The Santa Barbara Zoo has special holiday exhibits and events to check out before the year is over, including snow!
“We bring 80 tons of snow to the zoo’s hilltop,” said Dean Noble with Santa Barbara Zoo.
At this Sunday’s Snow Leopard Festival at the zoo, kids can slide down the fresh powder on sleds provided by the zoo. Meanwhile, adults can sip on mimosas.
The event is a fun way for people to learn about snow leopards and celebrate the holiday season.
A pair of reindeer are wintering in the Santa Barbara sunshine.
“Their names are Peppermint and Cookie,” Noble said. “Cookie is the one that still has the fabulous antlers.”
The reindeer are a big hit with zoo visitors.
“It was so neat to see all their horns up close,” said Alicia Peak of Malibu.
“It’s always a treat to see them at Christmas time,” said Marci Lassen of Camarillo.
Cookie and Peppermint are training to one day pull Santa’s sleigh!
“The Santa Barbara Zoo is the perfect place for it because they can take off and land on East Beach right across the street from us,” said Noble. “They’ve also been given runway privileges by the Santa Barbara Airport.”
Santa will stop by on weekends all season to check on his reindeer trainees and hear what kids have on their wishlists.
Santa will also be at the zoo on weekdays once students out of school for winter break.
The reindeer will be at the Santa Barbara Zoo until New Year’s Day but – “As to whether or not these two will return next year, you know that’s really up to the North Pole,” Noble said.
The Snow Leopard Festival and sledding event is Sunday from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Kids can go sledding and play in bounce houses from $5, in addition to regular zoo admission.
The Santa Barbara Zoo will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The zoo has numerous holiday events planned through the month of December.