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Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Will Close for Renovations, Host Free Family Day

A digital rendition of the new Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
A digital rendition of the new Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. (SBMM image)

In 2000, a group of maritime lovers turned a dream into reality with the opening of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

This December, SBMM celebrates its 15th anniversary and will do so with the unveiling of the new Gail and Barry Berkus Children’s Gallery, new plank flooring throughout the museum, fresh paint and an exciting exhibit, "Tattoos and Scrimshaw: The Art of the Sailor," opening January 2016. 

To prepare for this transformation, SBMM will temporarily close from Nov. 20 through Dec. 7, 2015. 

In its 15-year history, SBMM has engaged the community with informative maritime history, from commercial diving exhibits to lectures to the educational tall ship program.

The new Children’s Gallery will continue in this tradition with interactive exhibits and displays, a great benefit to both children and parents.

The gallery boasts a 13’ x 6’ mosaic mural by local artist Patti Jacquemain. The mural illustrates how marine life and humans interact, above and below the sea. 

The gallery also includes new exhibits with hands on educational opportunities: the Marine Sanctuary kelp forest with catch and release fishing that teaches children about fishing, sea life and fishing regulations; Commercial Fishing with a wooden fishing vessel, block & tackle and sail raising activity; and Healthy Oceans, involving marine debris clean up activities and a lighthouse recycling station that informs children and parents about the importance of a healthy ocean environment.   

To celebrate the anniversary, and formally introduce the children’s area to the community, SBMM will host a free community family day Dec. 18, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is a great opportunity for people of all ages to explore everything the museum has to offer. 

For more information about the temporary closure and the free community day, please visit Please note that during the closure, the museum store will remain open.

The mission of the SBMM is to preserve and celebrate the maritime heritage of the California Coast and present it to the public in an interesting and exciting way.

Marjorie Large is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.


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