Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 9:36 am | Overcast 70º


Captain’s Log: Zooing The Day Away

Want to combine outdoors, adventure and wildlife? Heck, that’s easy ... spend a day at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

To help plan your day, take a look at the zoo's website, What an incredible local resource for the whole family.

It is easy to happily while away a day meandering about and checking out the critters of land, sea and air, and also the carefully crafted habitat and displays.

Critters tend to take naps and need their down time (something many of us could learn from them), so it is helpful to come back and see the lazy ones later in the day when they may be more active

Snack and beverage vending machines keep zoo visitors hydrated and energized to continue the adventure for the whole day, and there is a gift shop for memorabilia.

The zoo manages a robust schedule of activities. For example, kids can attend a summer zoo camp. Individuals can volunteer to help with projects and care of the zoo.

Donations are always appreciated to fund new and ongoing renovation and habitat construction as well as zoo infrastructure. One fun possibility is having a birthday (or other) party at the zoo.  There are special areas you can reserve for your event and staff will help you create a stellar gig.

Our zoo has the big cats, critters swinging through the trees, flying through the air and scurrying every which way, but there is much more. During the day, it is common to find zoo employees doing entertaining things with the critters in their care.

While I was visiting, a team of bird handlers was exercising a beautiful red-tailed hawk. Along with dozens of other folks, I enjoyed and photographed the bird and handlers at work and play.

The hawk took to the air and to trees, and the handlers moved about and called the bird to them for a snack. It was a magnificent experience and the zoo is always finding unique ways to have fun with and be inspired by critters.

The zoo is planning a fun fundraiser, 5:30-11 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25. The Summer of Love Zoofari Ball is a flashback to the 1960s. Folks who remember the music and lyrics of that era will appreciate the words on the website:

"When the Moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, you’ll know it’s time for Zoofari Ball, the best party under the stars.”

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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