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Featured Events:

Holiday Lights Train
Choo, Choo, Santa Claus is coming to town, not by sleigh, not by snow but by Train!
Every Fri and Sa (Nov 23-Dec 23)
Location: Graham Hill Rd, Felton Map

(0 A November 2018) holiday-lights-train2018.jpgSanta Cruz Holiday Lights Train

NOVEMBER 23 - 24, DECEMBER 1 - 2, 8 - 9 & 15 - 23

Departs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk


Choo, Choo, Santa Claus is coming to town, not by sleigh, not by snow but by Train!

Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! Continue the merriment with a $6 MyBoardwalk card good for attractions, arcades and games in Neptune's Kingdom. Bring the whole family for festive fun. Happy Holidays!

 

Dear Santa Letter Download here - Print out your letter to Santa Claus and have Roaring Camp Deliver it by train to the North Pole. Write your letter and bring it with you to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, there will be a North Pole mailbox just outside of the entrance to Neptune's Kingdom by the first car of the train. Roaring Camp will be making a special trip each evening after the Holiday Lights Train to drop off your letters to Santa's Home in the North Pole.

 

Start a new holiday tradition! Gather your family and friends and celebrate Santa Cruz style with ice skating at the beach! See the new Main Entrance Plaza transformed into a winter wonderland with ice skating, rides, games, festive foods and more!

 

More info here: https://beachboardwalk.com/Boardwalk-Holiday-Ice

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Veteran's Day Exposition
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Pajaro Valley Historical Association
See up-close a wide array of authentic military uniforms, photography, and artifacts.
Date: 11/11/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All ages welcome

In honor of all men and women who have served, or are currently serving in the American armed forces, the Pajaro Valley Historical Association will be hosting an exposition of vintage American military uniforms from past wars. Come and visit us on Veterans Day at the Bockius-Orr House and Borina Archive to see up-close a wide array of authentic military uniforms, photography, and artifacts.

The Pajaro Valley Historical Association is located just two blocks down the street from the Veteran's Memorial Building on East Beach St. in Watsonville, and will be the open in conjunction with other events taking place in the downtown area on Veterans Day.

We look forward to seeing you!


Location: Bockius-Orr House , 332 East Beach St, Watsonville Map
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Thanksgiving in the Parks!
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State Parks Nearby
Turn Black Friday green! This Thanksgiving weekend, Friday November 24 through Sunday November 26, California State Parks i
Date: Every day (Nov 23-Nov 26)


Thanksgiving Weekend, November 24-26, in area California State Parks

 

Turn Black Friday green! This Thanksgiving weekend, Friday November 24 through Sunday November 26, California State Parks is encouraging people to connect with the outdoors. Spend the weekend celebrating family and friends outside.

 

Instagram Contest - Every Adventure has a Story. November 24 through November 26

To encourage people to connect with the outdoors, California State Parks is hosting an Instagram contest Thanksgiving weekend, November 24-26. To participate, visit your favorite California State Park and tell us your story of why this park is important to you. Post to Instagram a 60-second video or a photograph with the story in the caption using the hashtag #InventYourAdventure, #EagleCreek, and tag @CAStateParks. The most creative stories will be chosen as the six grand prizewinners. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/inventyouradventure.

 

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Facebook: @HenryCowellRSP/ | Instagram: @Henry.Cowell.Redwoods.SP  Located in Felton | (831) 335-7077

 

Life among 2000-Year-Old Giants Friday, November 24 at 11am

How do redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Why are there so few old growth trees left? Meet at the Visitors Center in the day-use area of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park located off Highway 9 in Felton for this free 0.8-mile tour. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Habitat Hike Friday, November 24 at 1pm

Join us for an approximately 5-mile loop through towering redwoods and rare ancient marine deposits, discovering panoramic views along the way. Please bring water, layered clothing, snacks, and hiking shoes. Meet at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Visitor Center, located off Highway 9 in Felton. Event is free; parking is $10. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation, and California State Parks.

 

Birding for Beginners Sunday, November 26 at 8am

Join us for a 2-mile stroll to discover the wintertime birds of Henry Cowell. Please bring binoculars, water, snacks, layered clothes, and walking shoes. Please no pets. Heavy rain cancels. Meet in the main day-use parking lot at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, in front of the Nature Store. Day-use area entrance is located off Highway 9 in Felton. Event is free; parking is $10. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Wilder Ranch State Park Located two miles north of Santa Cruz, on Highway 1 (831) 426-0505  Facebook: @WilderRanchStatePark

 

Old Cove Landing Coast Nature Walks Saturday, November 25 at 11am

On these two-hour natural history excursions, you will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs. Meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and good walking shoes. Binoculars are available to borrow. Event is free; parking is $10. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

Ranch Tours Saturday, November 25 at 1pm, Sunday, November 26 at 1pm

History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends with Machine Shop Pelton Water Wheel Demos, baking on the woodstove, and ranch tours. Event is free; parking is $10. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

Natural Bridges State Beach 2531 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Facebook @NaturalBridgesStateBeach

 

Monarch Butterfly Tours Saturday, November 25 at 11am and 2pm Sunday, November 26 at 11am and 2pm

Meet at the visitor center for a free 1-hour guided tour of the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve. Vehicle day-use pass is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

Año Nuevo State Park 1 New Year's Creek Road, Pescadero, CA 94060 | (650) 879- 2025

Facebook: @Ano.Nuevo.State.Park | Instagram: @anonuevostatepark |

Snapchat: anonuevosp | Twitter: anonuevosp

 

Self-Guided Seal Walks Daily, between 8:30am and 3:30pm (Natural Preserve closes at 5pm)

Stroll over sand dunes, enjoy beautiful ocean views, and gain a unique opportunity to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals on this 3-mile, 2.5-hour self-guided trail! Visit the female elephant seals as they return to shore to molt, or shed their fur, in this annual excursion.  Additionally, young pups are still ashore from the winter breeding season. Layered clothing, closed-toes shoes, and rain/wind gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted inside the dune area. Pets are not allowed in the park. Walk is free; day-use vehicle fee is $10. Entrance to the reserve for your self-guided walk requires a free permit that can be obtained at the entrance station, or the Visitor Center. Please contact the park at 650-879-2025 for further information.

 

If you require mobility assistance, you may request a volunteer-led equal access tour. You will board our accessible van and get a ride to our wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. A volunteer(s) will accompany you to the two seal-viewing decks, explain the Northern elephant seal natural history, the history of the park, and answer questions. Reservations are required. Please, allow a 2-week advance notice. The volunteer led tour is free, day-use vehicle fee is $10. Contact the park at 650-879-2033 or email Ano.EqualAccess@parks.ca.gov. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

 

Castle Rock State Park Located on Highway 35, 2.5 miles southeast of the Hwy 9 junction. (408) 867-2952

 

Castle Rock Trail Loop Saturday, November 25 at 1pm

Discover the natural phenomenon that creates the Castle Rock sandstone formation on this 1.5-mile guided hike. Please bring hiking shoes, sun protection, water, snacks, and layered clothing. Meet at the Castle Rock parking lot kiosk. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $8. For more information, please call (831) 291-8273. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Saratoga Gap Guided Hike Friday, November 24 at 9am

Meet at Saratoga Gap Area for a 3-hour guided hike that will explore the less traveled parts of Castle Rock State Park. Former Ranger Miles Standish will take you on a journey to explore the early pathways of the native peoples, park history, redwood ecology, and a secret trail. Bring you camera, hiking shoes, water, and food. Event is free. The Saratoga Gap Parking Area is located at the intersection of Highway 9 and Highway 35 in Los Gatos. Please bring water, snacks, hiking shoes, and layered clothing. For more information, please call (831) 291-8273. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Castle Rock Guided Hike Friday, November 24 at 10am

Join us at the Castle Rock State Park parking lot for a 3-mile guided hike along the Saratoga Gap Trail. Discover the history of the area, from Ohlone times through the attempts at farming here, until the present day. Please bring water, snacks, hiking shoes, and layered clothing. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $8. For more information, please call (831) 291-8273. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and California State Parks.


Portola Redwoods State Park From Highway 35, turn west onto Alpine Rd., go 3 miles, and turn onto Portola State Park Rd. (650) 948-9098

 

Portola Redwoods Guided Hike Friday, November 24 at 8:45am

Join us for a 3-hour guided hike on the Slate Creek Trail and discover the secrets of the redwoods. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Please no pets. Please bring water, snacks, hiking shoes, and layered clothing. For more information, please call (831) 291-8273. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and California State Parks.


Big Basin Redwoods State Park Located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236(831) 338-8883 | www.parks.ca.gov/bigbasin/activities Facebook @BigBasinRedwoodsSP

 

Redwood Grove Loop Walk Thursday, November 23 Thanksgiving at 1pm, Friday, November 24 Green Friday at 11am and 2pm, Saturday, November 25 at 11am and 2pm, Sunday, November 26 at 11am and 2pm

How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Outlook from Mt. McAbee Friday, November 24 at 10:30am

Join Docent Hal Anjo on a hike to McAbee Outlook. We'll stop at the top and enjoy the lovely ocean views, returning through a beautiful old-growth redwood forest. Learn about the different habitats as you watch the environment change as we climb and enjoy the view. Difficulty level is moderate. The hike is six miles and about three and a half hours. Bring plenty of water, snacks and good hiking shoes. Meet at Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Saturday, November 25 at noon Sunday, November 26 at noon

Explore the park's less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike is tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park's most scenic areas. Meet at Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Snakes Alive! Saturday, November 25 from noon to 3pm

Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Sempervirens Room/Park Headquarters and meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park144 School Street, Santa Cruz, CA  95060 | (831) 425-5849Hours: Mondays,Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays from 10am-4pm; Sundays from 12pm-4pm.Closed Thursday, November 24 for Thanksgiving

 

Mission Building Game Friday, November 24 at 11am

Gather round the table and play a board game set in the 18th century. Spend Spanish real coins and roll the sheep's knucklebone to determine the fate of your mission. Geared for ages 8 and older. This free event is at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, located on School Street in Santa Cruz. For more information, please call (831) 425-5849. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

Mission Cooking Demonstration Saturday November 25 at 1pm

Come to Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park and experience different cooking styles used by the people who lived and worked here over 200 years ago. There will be a presentation of Ohlone and Spanish cuisine including hot rock cooking, tortilla frying on a Comal and baking in our Horno. You can even sample the creations and make your own tortilla. This free event is at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, located on School Street in Santa Cruz. Rain cancels. For more information, please call (831) 425-5849. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.


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Christmas with Dickens
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Library Central
Meet Dickens... and Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Mrs. Catherine Dickens, and the Ghost of Christmas
Date: 11/28/2017 at 7:00pm

Special Instructions: English

(0 A November 2018) Library_DickensColor.jpgWilling Suspension Armchair Theater & The Dickens Project present Christmas with Dickens

Charles Dickens just wants to talk about his book, A Christmas Carol, but what happens when Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Mrs. Catherine Dickens, and the Ghost of Christmas Present show up? Chaos, confusion, conflict, and complaints, just like a normal holiday gathering.

Willing Suspension Armchair Theater and the Dickens Project (UCSC) present an original piece written by JoAnna Rottke and directed by Karen Schamberg. Readers will be; Brian Spencer, Frank Widman, Martha Rabin, Susan Forrest and Jim Schultz.

JoAnna Rottke spent her best years as Assistant Director of the Dickens Project, a research program at UCSC devoted to the life and works of Charles Dickens. She knows more about Dickens than she'd like to admit.

This event is free, but donations are most welcome and appreciated. There will be refreshments as well as time at the end to ask questions and interact with the author, director and readers. 


Location: 224 Church St, Santa Cruz Map
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Art Classes
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Santa Cruz Art League
Holiday art shopping special
Date: 12/02/2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Mark your calendars! Saturday, December 2nd, 2-4pm
Member Double Discount Day. Come and see what we have done with the place.....and join us for refreshments, holiday shopping and a special 20% discount for members! If you are not already a member, this is a great day to become one.
A portion of all proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank


Location: 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-5787 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Annual Los Gatos Children's Christmas & Holidays Parade
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Los Gatos Recreation
This is a great parade!
Date: 12/02/2017 at 11:00am


(0 Dec 2016) LosGatosHolidayParadeSanta.jpg Annual Los Gatos Children's Christmas & Holidays Parade

 

Rain or shine.

 

The Annual Los Gatos Children's Christmas/Holidays Parade is sponsored by the Los Gatos Lions Club & LGS Recreation, in cooperation with the Town of Los Gatos and Los Gatos High School.

 

Huge parade!

 


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Senderos Winter Dance
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Senderos
Come for dinner and a show!
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 2) at 5:30pm


(0 Nov 2017) Senderos.jpgThe Senderos winter performance features Centeotl Danza y Baile and Ensamble Musical showcasing dances and music on the first weekend each December.

 

Come experience beautiful dances from different regions in Mexico and also enjoy delicious Mexican food!

 

The 2017 December in Mexico show will be Friday December 1 and Saturday December 2 at the Harbor High Little Theater.


Location: Harbor High, 300 La Fonda Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
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Winter Art Market
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Tannery Arts Center
Enjoy ornament making, holiday gift show, art demonstrations, stocking making, live music, caroling, and more. Free and open to
Date: Every day (Dec 2-Dec 3)
Ages: All ages

(Photos General) Tannery_PaintingofBuilding.jpgHoliday gifts, caroling, ornament making, and seasonal art activities for all ages!


The lighting of Griswoldia also kicks off the Tannery's Winter Art Market, a four-day shopping celebration of locally made arts, crafts, and goods.

The Winter Art Market will feature over 50 artists who work in ceramics, glass, textiles, printmaking, illustration, painting, jewelry and sculpture, as well as food vendors and music.


Art Market hours

Thursday 4-7
Friday 6-9
Saturday & Sunday 12-5

 

Winter Art Market

Shop local this holiday season!  50+ artists exhibit and sell their work.

  • Hands-on activities for all ages
  • Card making
  • Ornament making
  • artist demonstrations
  • FREE!

Location: 1050 River St, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 621-6226 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Old-Fashioned Christmas Tea
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Pajaro Valley Historical Association
Date: 12/03/2017 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm


Old-Fashioned Christmas Tea

 

Step back in time and enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas tea while taking in the history of the diverse cultures that shaped California. The house will be filled with sweet treats, beautiful clothing and objects of art, and there will be a wonderful slide show to enjoy.

 


Location: 332 East Beach St, Watsonville Map
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Fantasy of Lights
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County of Santa Clara Parks
Magical wonderland of thousands of colorful twinkling lights, exciting, animated displays and favorite holiday music
Date: Every day (Nov 1-Dec 30) from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Admission Fees: Tickets available NOW!
Special Instructions: OPEN DECEMBER 2-30

Fantasy of Lights is a spectacular 1.5 mile Drive-thru extravaganza of Holiday Lights and Displays for the entire family.

Enjoy a magical evening in the warmth of your vehicle as you drive through large animated
displays while listening to Holiday music on your car radio. See the sights and sounds of
an erupting volcano in the dangerously fun Dinosaur Den, cheer on Santa shooting hoops,
wave at a pen of playful penguins, watch blazing Pirate Cannons and sail through tunnels
of moving lights. Over 50 themed displays and a 90-foot twinkling tree will have you
"oohing and aahing" throughout your adventure.

 

(0 Nov 2017) Christmas_FantasyWalk.jpg Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2 ONLY!  4:00 pm - 9:00 pm, ADMISSION WITH PRE-PAID TICKETS ONLY! -- ON SALE NOVEMBER 1!


  • $10 - adult (13 & up)
  • $5 - child (4 thru 12)
  • FREE - 3 years old or younger

(0 Nov 2017) Christmas_FantasyDrive.jpgTuesday, December 4 - Saturday, December 30,  6:00pm - 10:00pm, (Closed December 25), ADMISSION WITH PRE-PAID TICKETS ONLY! -- ON SALE NOVEMBER 1! --

 


  • $20 - PER VEHICLE (up to 12 people)
  • $50 - oversize vehicles (capacity 13+)

IMPORTANT NOTE!
There is NO event parking at Vasona County Park! Free parking & shuttle available at NETFLIX, 121 Albright Way. We HIGHLY encourage ridesharing with LYFT or UBER.  Please respect our neighbors! Event cancelled ONLY with heavy rains or unsafe conditions.


Location: Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Dr, Los Gatos Map
Phone: (408) 355-2201 •website Los Gatos create a direct event link
Farley's Christmas Wonderland
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Farley's Christmas Wonderland
Visit an elaborate Christmas-themed oasis
Date: Every day (Nov 23-Dec 31) from 5:45pm to 9:00pm
Admission Fees: Donations accepted

Farley's Christmas Wonderland

untitled-design-37Tucked away in Seabright is a one-of-a-kind local neighborhood attraction: Farley's Christmas Wonderland.

 

Pat Farley, a local Seabright resident, creates an elaborate Christmas-themed oasis each year in his front yard and opens it up for the public to walk through and view.

 

If you're looking for a uniquely local Christmas experience to share with family then consider stopping by Farley's Christmas Wonderland.

 

Visit the Farley's Christmas Wonderland website or Facebook page for more information.

 


Location: 108 Seaview Ave., Aptos Map
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iskate
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Chamber of Commerce Capitola-Soquel
Ice skate by the sea!!
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Jan 7)
Admission Fees: $10 with ice skate rentals available for $5, or bring your own

(0 Nov 2017) IceSkating.jpgiSKATE Capitola glides into California's oldest seaside resort town for three weeks of unique winter fun.

 

Trade your flip-flops for ice skates and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at Santa Cruz County's first eco-friendly, synthetic ice rink, located in Esplanade Park, in front of the stage and overlooking Capitola Beach and the Monterey Bay.

 

 


Location: Esplanade Park , Capitola Village Map
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