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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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An Irish Christmas
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Golden State Fox Theatre
Don't miss a fabulous An Irish Christmas performance with world champion Irish dancers at the Golden State Theatre
Date: 12/06/2018 at 8:00pm
Admission Fees: $29 - $53

(0 Nov 2017) IrishChristmasLine.jpg

An Irish Christmas


A perfect family event!
World Champion Dancers: Scott Doherty and Tyler Schwartz star in An Irish Christmas!

Take a journey through Christmas in Ireland with superb dancing, singing and Irish traditional music celebrating the international spirit of the holiday season.

An Irish Christmas, features an award-winning cast of Irish dancers led by World Champion Dancers Scott Doherty (Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Rockin' Road to Dublin) Tyler Schwartz (Magic of the Dance, Gaelforce Dance, Celtic Fyre), Connor Reider and Emily MacConnell in a memorable night that sparkles with the charm and magic that only this festive time of year can bring.

 

Celebrate the great tradition of butter making, chase the wren on St. Stephen's Day, draw down the half door for spectacular dance, enjoy superb music-making and singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night! Songs spinning out of the mists and into the familiar Silent Night, Little Drummer Boy and Carol of the Bells, and superb music of the pipes, flutes, fiddles, and bodhráns are just the beginning of this great Irish night! Not to be Missed! Ireland at its best!

 

Thursday, December 6, 2018 8:00 PM ~  TICKETS


Location: 417 Alvarado St, Monterey Map
Phone: (831) 649-1070 x 21 •website Monterey create a direct event link
Frosty Fun Fest
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Louden Nelson Community Center
Transform the Art Gallery into a winter wonderland at our Snowflake Create Station.
Date: 12/07/2018 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Ages: All Ages Admission Fees: FREE

(0 A December 2018) FrostyFunFest.jpgEnjoy a night of creative crafting of First Friday! Transform the Art Gallery into a winter wonderland at our Snowflake Create Station.

 

Candy coat your dream home in the Team Gingerbread House contest.

 

Wear your favorite holiday sweater while sipping on hot chocolate.

 

Let the Fun Fest begin! FREE!


Registration is now FULL for the Team Gingerbread House Contest. A limited amount of community tables will be available for drop-in participants


Location: 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 420-6177 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Holiday Redwood Loop Walk: The Nutcracker
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State Park Big Basin
Meet famous trees on this walk in the forest!
Date: 12/08/2018 at 1:00pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: Also Friday, December 1 at 1pm

Holiday Redwood Loop Walk: The Nutcracker

Saturday December 8 at 1pm

Enjoy a festive walk in the famous old-growth redwoods at Big Basin Redwoods State Park with Docent Karen DeMello. We'll listen to the Nutcracker Suite and imagine the forest performing the ballet along the easy, level, half-mile Redwood Loop Trail. This walk is dedicated to the memory of Big Basin Docent Scott Peden. Dress warmly. If it's raining, we'll listen inside our warm Sempervirens Room. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 



 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831.336.8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
HOLIDAY WREATH WORKSHOP
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Sierra Azul Gardens
Make a beautiful, unique wreath!
Date: 12/08/2018 from 11:00am to 1:00pm


(0 A December 2018) AzulWreath2018.jpgHOLIDAY WREATH WORKSHOP Update! 

 

We are back to our original date: SAT. DEC 8th, 11-1, cost $30


All materials included to make a beautiful wreath! Lots of cuttings abound from our 2 acre sculpture garden! (The updated forecast is no rain
next Sat.)

 

Bring a lunch or eat later at Gizdich Ranch, Cafe Ella or Real Colima, all close by.


Location: 2660 E Lake Ave, Watsonville Map
website Watsonville create a direct event link
Westside Holiday Open Studios Mini Tour
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Westside Artists
Date: 12/08/2018 from 11:00am to 4:00pm


(0 A December 2018) WestSide-Artists-Holiday-Tour-2018-.jpgWestside Holiday Open Studios Mini Tour

A consortium of nine Westside artists will hold an open studios event to display their work. From studio and plein air paintings, batik birds to Hawaiian wood boxes, one-of-a-kind jewelry to ceramic and bronze sculptures, these artists have captured the essence of the Central Coast. Stop by their studios and see how the art is made.


Sandra Cherk Arts https://www.sandracherk.com/ 103 Redwood, pastels

Sydney Zentall- sydney.zentall.com, 316 Walk Circle, Paintings featuring the interplay of water & light.

Alexandra Sanders- ladywholovesbirds.com, 637 Columbia St, Batik images of birds and nature.

Annette Lanni- alanni.com/blog, 211 Sunset Ave, Plein Air and studio oil paintings.

William Winkler- zoeandcoalby@gmail.com, 211 Sunset Ave, unique jewelry fabricated from silver and gold, with precious stones

Timothy Lydgate- woodcircus.com, 108 Clark Ave, Woodwork using Hawaiian woods.

Marianne de Hatten Groh- mariannegrohsculptures.com, 214 Pelton Ave, Sculptures in ceramic and bronze.

Nicole Ribeyrolle-Launier- 214 Pelton Ave, handcrafted jewelry

Lynn Guenther- lynnguenther.com, 215 Walk Circle, handcrafted jewelry in copper, silver & gold with precious stones

 


Location: 103 Redwood St, Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Winter Faire
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Santa Cruz Waldorf School
Winter forest walk, Model Trains, Bonfire with chestnuts, Seasonal Crafts, Shopping, Food & Music
Date: 12/08/2018 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Admission Fees: None

(0 A November 2018) WaldorfWinterFaire2018.jpgPlease join us Saturday, December 8th, for our annual Winter Faire!

Come spend a day out amongst the redwoods, sipping hot drinks, listening to merry music, and enjoying the wonder and fun that the Winter Faire has to offer. Come one come all, big and small!

Winter Forest Walk
Bonfire with Chestnuts
Seasonal Kid's Crafts & Activities
Holiday Shopping
Food & Music
Story Telling by The Early Childhood Department

There will be a free shuttle bus from the UCSC Barn at High & Bay Streets. Limited parking at SCWS is available for $15.


Location: 2190 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 8314250519 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Holidays at the Ranch
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State Park Wilder
Candle and wreath making, cookie decorating, machine shop and blacksmith demonstrations, tours of the 1859 Gothic Revival farmho
Date: 12/08/2018 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

(0 A November 2018) Wilder_Holidays.jpgHolidays on the Ranch

Step back in time for an old-fashioned holiday celebration at Wilder Ranch State Park.

 

Hands-on activities and presentations include candle and wreath making, cookie decorating, machine shop and blacksmith demonstrations, tours of the 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse and 1897 Victorian home, and strolling Victorian carolers.

 

Hot-spiced cider and Mexican hot chocolate, as well as baked goods are available for purchase. Visitors are encouraged to dress in turn-of-the-century costumes.

 

Event free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.

 

Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 


Location: 1401 Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 429-1840 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Streets of Bethlehem
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First Baptist Church
Experience the streets of Bethlehem's time when Jesus was born
Date: Every day (Dec 5-Dec 8) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Admission Fees: Free

Our History

Like the boy shepherd who serves as our logo, Streets of Bethlehem has been in the process of growing up. What began as only a dream in the mind of three individuals came to life in 1992. With the desire to share the gift of the true meaning of Christmas to the community, the idea for a live re-creation of that tiny village on that first Christmas night was born. Streets of Bethlehem was cared for and nourished by the loving hands of dedicated scriptwriters, skilled carpenters, gifted artists and set designers. But what makes Bethlehem special is the way it comes alive when hundreds of volunteers don period costumes and go back in time to "become" those village citizens once again.

 

Streets of Bethlehem in Salinas. Over 200 cast members, numerous musical groups and live animals help recreate and bring this Christmas story to l! ife outside. Go to www.streetsofbethlehem.com for more information.

 

Streets of Bethlehem in Salinas, California is the living enactment of Christmas. The public can walk along with the congregation actors and participate in a meaningful holiday experience.

 

Streets of Bethlehem is certainly one of the best named California Nativity Scenes, and offers some of the greatest audience participation. In many similar events, guests simply drive-through and are entertained. But at Streets of Bethlehem, you ha! ve a chance to walk the street, see the animals, people and costumes up close and gain a personal sense of what it must have been like over 2000 years ago to experience the joy of birth on a special, holy night.

 

The Salinas re-enactment includes livestock such as lambs, sheep and donkeys, an angel hovering above, and a manger scene with a real, live baby child, cradled in love. This outdoor Christmas community experience offers the public a chance to "rediscover the true reason for the Christmas season." Among the cast, kids and adults will meet or watch live actors such as shopkeepers, Mary & Joseph, and more. They may also be invited to pet the animals or walk with Mary & Joseph and the cast of 300. Lovely Christmas music played in the background inspires all who attend. Guests are asked to leave their pets at home. Domestic pets will scare the animals and disrupt the event.

 

With large events (especially about 2000 years ago), parking is almost always a problem, but not at Bethlehem! Free shuttle parking is available at the Quadrangle/Valley Center parking lots (800, 900, 1000 blocks of South Main Street). Free courtesy busses will leave every few minutes.  The streets immediately near the event will be closed so this is the best option for parking.


Location: 1130 San Vincente Ave, Salinas Map
Phone: (831) 422-9872 •website Salinas create a direct event link
Westlake Winter Artisans Fair
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Westlake
Over 30 Artists and Craftspeople will offer jewelry, art, leather goods, photography, pottery, soaps, plants, knit, woodworking
Date: 12/08/2018 from 11:00am to 4:00pm


(0 A December 2018) WestlakeChristmas.jpgJoin us for the Annual Westlake Winter Artisans Fair!

Saturday, December 8, 2018
11am to 4pm | Multi-Use Room


The ever-anticipated Winter Artisan Fair is back! This unique community Arts and Crafts Fair showcases the talents of some of Santa Cruz's finest Artists and Craftspeople. Artists' booths feature a fabulous array of gift items for children and adults, gift ideas from around the world, and much more! Support the local arts and our school and bring your friends and family to this holiday event!

  • Over 30 Artists and Craftspeople will offer jewelry, art, leather goods, photography, pottery, soaps, plants, knit, woodworking and edible goodies for everyone on your holiday list! Find the unexpected gift perfect for holiday giving.
  • Shop from local artists who get to keep all their profits
  • Buy a lunch from a couple food vendors
  • Enjoy delicious Baked goods and coffee for sale while you shop
  • Gift wrapping station available to dress up your gifts.
  • Have your chance to win curated baskets of the artists' creations in a raffle
  • $2 raffle tickets (6 for $5)
  • Bring your own shopping bag if you can
  • Enjoy FREE admission!
  • Please park in the residential area or the parking lot of the church adjacent if the limited spots on campus are taken


We hope you can come- and bring a grandma/grandpa, aunt/uncle, neighbor or friend! The whole family is invited.

We appreciate all your help! If you would like to help with planning, decorating, securing vendors, organizing a bake sale or promoting in the community, please chip in!

 


Location: 1000 High St, Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
A CRAFT SHOW FOR PARENTS BY PARENTS
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Little Craft Pop Up
Handmade crafts made by parents for families
Date: 12/08/2018 from 11:00am to 3:00pm


(0 A November 2018) LittleCraftPopUpDec.jpgA CRAFT SHOW FOR PARENTS BY PARENTS
The Little Craft Pop-up is a unique event featuring handcrafted products for babies and children.


OUR MISSION
To curate the best of local handmade children's goods and present them in a child friendly setting that the whole family will enjoy.


THE EVENTS
Our pop-ups are held in Santa Cruz County and incorporate fun family activities like face painting, craft stations, photo booths and workshops.


Craft shows don't need to be stuffy-come play with us at the next event!


Location: Mini Mint, Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz CA 95062
website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Jingle Shells Arts and Crafts Festival
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Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Celebrate the holidays-Santa Cruz-style!
Date: 12/09/2018 from 12:00pm to 5:30pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Special one-day-only price: Adult $7 | Senior, Student, Child $5 | Children 2 and under FREE | Members FREE

(0 A November 2018) SeymourMDC_logoNov2018.jpgThe Seymour Center will host its annual Jingle Shells Arts and Crafts Festival on December 9, 2018 from Noon-5:30 PM.

 

Celebrate the holidays - Santa Cruz-style! The Seymour Center hosts its Jingle Shells Arts and Crafts Festival annually in December. This holiday tradition features local artists and crafts people who will tempt you with their ocean- and nature-inspired gifts. Enjoy live music, hot apple cider, and children's activities. Shop jewelry, ceramics, art glass, photography, gourmet food gifts, and much more-all by local artisans-and save 10% in the Ocean Discovery Shop!

 

Special one-day-only price:

Adult $7 | Senior, Student, Child $5 | Children 2 and under FREE
Members: FREE

2018 Sponsor: Elizabeth Quinn, MS DC

 

 


Location: 100 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 459-3800 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles: Navidad Mexicana
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Rio Theatre
Famous all female mariachi band!
Date: 12/09/2018 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm


(0 A October 2018) MariachiBand.jpgPerhaps the greatest tribute to Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles – the first all-female mariachi in the United States – is that there are now other all-female mariachi groups. It is the growing proof that when mariachi maestro Jose Hernandez founded Reyna de Los Angeles, it wasn’t a novelty; it was a genre.

 

Reyna, which was formed in 1994, has taken the history of women in mariachi from being solely singers to being the full complement of musical performers. The accolades have not stopped since their forming. In a musical landscape where many mariachi songs are often written by men, about male perspectives, Reyna has created its own history.

 

That history had the best of beginnings with the mentorship of Lola Beltran, “La Reina de la Musica Ranchera” and their success has propelled Reyna de Los Angeles to record multiple successful albums. On this date, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles will be performing Navidad Mexicana, featuring a holiday-themed setlist.

At Rio Theatre (1205 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062)
Regular General Admission: $36.75/Advance $45/Door
Regular General Admission Youth Ticket: $10/Adv/Door (ages 18 & under, available while supplies last!)
Gold Circle Section (1st 10 rows): $52.50/Advance $60/Door
(5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax included, service fee not included)
No Comps
Doors at 6:00 PM


Location: 1205 Soquel, Santa Cruz Map
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Jingle Bell Rock 5K
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Toys for Tots
5K Walk/Run and 1K for Kids to Benefit Toys for Tots
Date: 12/09/2018
Admission Fees: $25 with a toy donation/$35 without a toy donation
Special Instructions: RACE DAY DEC 10

jbr-header-logo

9:00 am for Kids 1K


9:15 for 10K and 9:30 for 5K

We are really happy that we can now have a 10K course (two loops) and a 5K course because the Riverwalk makes a complete loop. You can view the course here. The Kid's 1K course will be timed this year with awards for the top 3 boys and girls under 10.

 

We especially want to thank the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for sponsoring again in 2018 with such a great venue- not to mention the killer views of the Boardwalk, the river and the ocean!

 

toys4tots

Come and join our annual year end holiday event! Its all about the toys and the fun. Put a smile on a child's face for a REALLY great cause. Bring a toy for Toys for Tots, go for a walk or run along the San Lorenzo River Levee.

 

You can get some exercise before you go holiday shopping! This event makes a difference in our community! Please come out and give all the support you can.

 

All the collected toys stay in our community.

TOY DROP OFF LOCATIONS

To participate in Jingle Bell Rock you can select to be timed or untimed. Awards for age group winners are large jingle bells on ribbons - suitable for wearing to claim bragging rights, or you can hang them on your tree!


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Artisans Fair
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Swanton Berry Farm
Features the work of 9 local artisans
Date: Every day (Dec 8-Dec 9) from 10:00am to 5:00pm


Visit Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 for a holiday artisans emporium featuring the work of nine local artisans selling unique, locally made products and fine art.

Artists' booths will feature handcrafted goods ranging from jewelry to soap, to fine art and ceramics. The berry farm will also sell hot soup and berry treats. All artists donate to a raffle to raise funds for the Davenport Resource Center.

 


Location: Swanton Road and Highway 1, Davenport Map
Phone: 831.469-8804 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Artisans Fair
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Swanton Berry Farm
Features the work of 9 local artisans
Date: Every day (Dec 8-Dec 9) from 10:00am to 5:00pm


(0 A December 2018) SwantonArtisans2018.jpgA trip to Swanton Berry Farm is a treat all year round. For the 18th year in a row, the farm will team up with local artists and crafters to create a unique and cozy holiday shopping fair. Shop sea glass jewelry, local landscape paintings, ceramics, ornaments, organic coffees and teas, eclectic jewelry, tea towels, prints-just to name a few. In addition to great gifts, you'll be able to partake in pies, fruitcake, cobbler, hot cider, and soup!


Location: Swanton Road and Highway 1, Davenport Map
Phone: 831.469-8804 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Miracle On 34th Street
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Mountain Community Theater
The heart-warming story of a gentle old man named Kris Kringle who believes he is Santa Claus and who uses kindness and generosi
Date: Every day (Nov 16-Dec 9)
Ages: 12+

MCT's Miracle on 34th Street - The Play

 

(0 A November 2018) MiracleOn34thSt.jpgJoin us for MCTs 10th production (and first since 2012) of its very own "Miracle on 34th Street, The Play, written by MCT's founders and first produced in 1982. This holiday favorite directed by Peter Gelblum tells the heart-warming story, familiar to most from the classic 1947 film, of a gentle old man named Kris Kringle who believes he is Santa Claus and who uses kindness and generosity to convince a little girl, and then everyone else that he is, in fact, St. Nick.

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

"This is a tale that creates a world we seem to desperately desire, free of the blatant commercialism that surrounds us, where love and decency and generosity of spirit are their own rewards; what we want Christmas to be all about, really."

*Join us for a champagne reception after the show on opening night, 11/16.


Miracle on 34th Street performances:

November 16 @ 8 pm Opening Night Champagne Reception
November 17 @ 8pm
November 18 @ 2pm
November 23 @ 8pm
November 24 @ 8pm
November 25 @ 2pm - Talk Back with the cast
November 30 @ 8pm
December 1 @ 8pm
December 2 @ 2pm - Talk Back with the cast
December 7 @ 8pm
December 8 @ 8pm
December 9 @ 2pm

 

TICKETS


Location: Park Hall, 9400 Mill Street, Ben Lomond Map
Phone: (831) 336-4777 •website Ben Lomond create a direct event link
Holiday Tree Walk
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Roaring Camp Railroads
Delight in the tree-lined walk of festive holiday trees displayed atop Bear Mountain
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa (Nov 23-Dec 9)


(0 A November 2018) HolidayTreeWalkSanta.jpgHoliday Tree Walk


NOVEMBER 23 - 25, DECEMBER 1 - 2 & 8 - 9

 

Get in the holiday spirit by bringing family and friends to ride Roaring Camp's daytime steam train to Bear Mountain. At the summit, guests may sip hot cider and delight in viewing a tree-lined walk of beautifully decorated holiday trees. Trees are provided by Patchen California Christmas Tree Farm, Los Gatos.

 

To add to the festive spirit and bring hope to families in need, visitors may bring a new and unwrapped toy to Roaring Camp's depot to benefit Santa Cruz County's Toys for Tots campaign.

 

Toys collected will be distributed to children who otherwise would have less. For each donated toy, Roaring Camp will deduct $2 per train ticket, purchased in person only. Guests are requested to avoid donating toys of aggression or unpacked stuffed animals.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Felton Map
Phone: (831) 335-4484 •website Felton create a direct event link
James and the Giant Peach
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All About Theatre
"A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, a boy and his insect friends take an amazing journey acr
Date: Every day (Dec 7-Dec 9)
Admission Fees: $15 - $20

(0 A December 2018) JamesAndTheGiantPeach_Large.jpg"A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, a boy and his insect friends take an amazing journey across the ocean."


Based on one of Roald Dahl's most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR. is a brand new take on this "master-peach" of a tale. 

 

Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.

 

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions.

 

James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

December 7 - 9, 2018

  • Fri, 12/7 at 6:30pm
  • Sat, 12/8 at 1:30pm
  • Sat, 12/8 at 6:30pm
  • Sun, 12/9 at 1:30pm

Tickets

$13 - Students & Seniors (over 62)

$16 - General Admission

$20 - Reserved Seating

Suitable for all children & families.

Featuring 6-11 year olds



website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Community Open House
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Monterey Bay Aquarium
Free admission for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito County residents
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 9) from 10:00am to 5:00pm


 

Schooling Pacific sardines in the Open Sea exhibit

Community Open House

    Tri-county residents enjoy free admission during our annual Community Open House. Visitors must present a photo ID (student IDs also accepted) or proof of residence, such as a current utility bill, at the Main Entrance.

To show appreciation for our local community, we're offering a variety of special promotions throughout 2018 to residents of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties (valid identification required). Visitors must present a photo ID (student IDs also accepted) or proof of residence, such as a current utility bill, at the Main Entrance.

 

All offers are valid on site only. Guests of local tri-county residents must pay regular admission prices.

 

Free admission is good during regular aquarium hours,! from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

 

Guests from outside Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito County - including relatives or friends of local residents - can accompany local residents, but will be charged regular admission fees.

 

Community Open House is made possible in part by the support of our Business Partners.

 

For general aquarium information including daily program schedules, visit www.montereybayaquarium.org or call (831) 648-4800. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located at 886 Cannery Row in Monterey.


Location: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey Map
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"Live" Village of Bethlehem
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Santa Clara First Baptist Church
"Experience the Birth"
Date: Every day (Dec 6-Dec 10) from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Admission Fees: Free

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Bethlehem_Guards_Entrance_tn.jpg

December 6 - 10, 6:30-9pm

Thursday - Monday

Five 30 minute Performances Nightly

Free Admission & Hot Drinks

 

Come join us on a journey to the Biblical city of Bethlehem. Be a part of history and witness the events that led up to the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

See Joseph and Mary search the city for a place to stay, see the lowly shepherds get visited by an angel and then proclaim the good news, see the noble entry of the wise men and their entourage looking for the new born king.

 

Enjoy the music, drama, lights, and exotic animals as you "Experience the Birth".


Location: 3111 Benton Street, Santa Clara Map
Phone: (408) 241-7635 •website Santa Clara Countycreate a direct event link
Craft Sale in the Mountains
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Made in the Mountains
Artists line the sidewalks showing of their amazing crafts.
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month (Apr 21-Dec 15) from 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Admission Fees: free

(0 April 2018) MadeInMountains2018.jpgIt's back!! The sidewalks will be filled with art and crafts again on the 3rd Saturday of the month. And we're adding music to the event! So, come out, enjoy the incredible spring weather and load up on art and joy!

 

I can't wait to see what creativity the winter months brought out in all of the artists' work!

We're continuing the "Spend $50, get $100" game, too! The Boulder Bucks program works like this - if you spend $50 or more at any local business during the Made in the Mountains event (buying groceries, getting a mani/pedi, buying pizza for the kids' baseball team, .... ) just take your receipt to Emelia at Air & Fire before the event is over. Your name will be added to the drawing that will happen within the week after the event. You could be the one that wins $100 in the form of a gift certificate to spend at a local business of your choice! You can also split the $100 into 2 gift certificates to different businesses.

 

So, getting the kids pizza could turn into a free necklace for yourself! Or the tools bought at the hardware store could get you a free mani/pedi for after the yardwork is done and some Chinese food for dinner! Nice, right!?

 

See ya out there!

 


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Mac Powell and the Family Reunion
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Rio Theater
Join us for a special night of festive celebration as you sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes
Date: 12/15/2018 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Admission Fees: Free

(0 A October 2018) Rio_MacPowell.jpgFor the past several years, Mac Powell has hosted a Christmas party at his home in Georgia to celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends.

 

This year, he is bringing the party to you with his new band, MAC POWELL and the FAMILY REUNION.

 

Join us for a special night of festive celebration as you sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes, as well as get a first listen to brand new music from MAC POWELL and the FAMILY REUNION.

 

Plus, VIP Christmas Party ticket buyers will have the opportunity to participate in an actual Christmas Party and fellowship with Mac and the band following the show. Seating is limited, so get your tickets today before they sell out!

Pre-sale is 10/5 at 10AM - 10/7 at 10PM, public on sale is 10/8 at 10AM PST.


Show time: 8:00 PM
Tickets: $35 Gen, $55 Gold Circle
Advance tickets : www.ticketfly.com


Location: 1205 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
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Holidays In the Plaza
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City of Watsonville
Multi-cultural Festival
Date: Every Su and Sa (Dec 1-Dec 15) at 1:30pm
Admission Fees: Free

(0 A November 2018) HolidaysinthePlaza.jpgHolidays in the Plaza - Multi-Cultural & Tree Lighting

1:30 pm - Multi-Cultural Festival, 3 pm - Holiday Train, 5:00 pm - Holiday Tree Lighting and 6:00 pm - Pictures with Santa

 

 

Sunday, December 2, 2:00-6:00pm - Snow Day!

2:00-6:00pm - Snow Day! - The North Pole has returned to downtown Watsonville. Bring a canned food item for your ticket to the winter wonderland.

2:00-6:00pm -  Holiday Train - Kids and kids at heart can board the train for a magical tour around the Plaza.

3:00-5:00pm -  Pictures with Santa - Join Santa in his workshop and snap a pic. #watsonville150

 


Saturday, December 8, 4:00-6:00pm - Jingle Bell Rock

Ring in the holiday cheer with musical performances, pictures with Santa and cookies and cocoa.

 

Saturday, December 15, 5:00-7:00pm - Holiday Movie in the Plaza

Enjoy a holiday -themed movie under the stars. There will be heat lamps to snuggle up to, as well as pictures with Santa and cookies and cocoa.


Location: City Plaza, Main & Peck, Watsonville Map
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Nutcracker Santa Cruz
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Santa Cruz City Ballet
What better way to ring in the season than with smiles, beauty and laughter?
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Dec 16) from 1:00pm to 4:30pm
Ages: All Ages Admission Fees: $30-$45
Special Instructions: December 15th & 16 at 1:00pm & 4:30pm

The Full Length Nutcracker Ballet - Experience the Magic!

Join the festivities and kick off your family's holiday tradition with the magic Nutcracker Ballet, a spectacular performance sure to delight and inspire!

(0 A October 2018) NutcrackerSC_2018.jpgThe Santa Cruz Dance Guild (501c3), presents the full length Nutcracker Ballet at Cabrillo's Crocker Theater for one weekend only on December 15th & 16th. Join us for our 10th year and our 8th year at Cabrillo's Crocker Theater.

What better way to ring in the season than with smiles, beauty and laughter?

Director/Choreographer and Juilliard Alumnae, Shannon Chipman began the Nutcracker tradition as the Snow Queen in the first ever production of the Nutcracker in Santa Cruz at Cabrillo's old theater in 1988... Thirty years of Nutcracker! Since 2008, she has brought her vision to life with Co-Director, Vicki Bergland at the International Academy of Dance, home of the Santa Cruz City Ballet. Chipman and Bergland combine their artistic efforts alongside Choreographer, Melissa Palumbo to once again bring the stunning Nutcracker Ballet to life.

The Santa Cruz Dance Guild production is the premier Nutcracker Ballet in Santa Cruz and has become a steadfast holiday tradition showcasing local talent, as well as bringing in guest artists from the Bay Area and beyond. Many dancers have grown up with the production and began as tiny Angels, Lambs or Gingersnaps and are now dancing en pointe.

For the fourth year in a row, Mother Ginger will be preformed by Krazy George. You may know him as the inventor of "The Wave" or may have seen him cheer for the San Jose Earthquakes or the Oakland A's. Don't miss this special opportunity to cheer on Krazy George and his team of adorable Gingersnaps!

It is exciting to see the production continue to grow as well as the dancers. Every year this is something new to see!

We invite you to experience quality, entertaining Classical Ballet, enchanting choreography, magnificent guest artists, beautiful sets, brilliant costumes, family tradition and the JOY of Dance at the premier Nutcracker in Santa Cruz! Experience the Magic for yourself!


Location: Cabrillo College's Crocker Theat, 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos Map
Phone: (831) 466-0458 •websitecreate a direct event link
Christmas Market
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San Lorenzo Chamber of Commerce
Gifts from local artists, enjoy delicious food and drinks, plus more!
Date: 12/16/2018 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm


(0 A October 2018) ChristmasMarket_FeltonCoveredBridge.jpg

Come celebrate the season at Felton Covered Bridge Park! Join us December 16 from Noon to 4pm for a traditional Holiday Mart on the bridge, complete with arts & crafts, delicious food & beverages, music, holiday lights and other festivities.

 

Great opportunity to get last minute gifts from local artists and to socialize with your neighbors.

 

The Felton Covered Bridge was built in 1892, and is recognized as a historical treasure in the State of California.


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Holiday Tea with Santa
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Seascape Beach Resort
Holiday Tea with Santa
Date: 12/16/2018 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: 0-100 Admission Fees: 45 plus tax and service

Holiday Tea with Santa

Sunday, December 16, 2018

12:00-3:00pm

$45 per person (plus tax & service charge)
View Holiday Tea Flyer Here

 

  • Visit with Santa Claus
  • Enjoy Hot Chocolate, Assorted Sandwiches & other Sweet Treats
  • Mimosa Bar
  • Cookie Decorating
  • Holiday Ornament Crafts
  • Balloon Twisting
  • Face Painting

We're supporting Toys for Tots! Please bring an unwrapped toy to be donated.

Purchase Holiday Tea with Santa Tickets


Location: 1 Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos Map
Phone: (831) 688-6800 •website Aptos create a direct event link
Homemade Holiday Craft Fair
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The Discovery Learning Center
Date: 12/16/2018 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Ages: parents

(0 A November 2018) DLC_CraftFair.jpgWe will be hosting a Homemade Holiday Craft Fair at the DLC in four weeks!


We hope you will save some of your holiday shopping for this fundraising event benefiting our non-profit organization.

 

You are sure to find unique homeschooler made items and some higher end crafts contributed by seasoned crafters.

 

 

 


Location: 5271 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley Map
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Annual "Messiah" Sing-A-Long
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Peace United Church of Christ
A community sing-a-long, open to anyone who would like to raise their voice to sing Handel's legendary "Messiah."
Date: 12/18/2018 at 7:00pm
Admission Fees: $25 general admission

Messiah Sing-A-Long

Annual "Messiah" Sing-A-Long and Gala

Cabrillo Chorus & Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra

 

A community sing-a-long, open to anyone who would like to raise their voice to sing Handel's legendary "Messiah."

Everyone will sing the Christmas portion of the "Messiah" with chamber orchestra and guest conductors. Bring your own score or borrow one at the door (limited amount available.)

 

Gala reception to follow.


Buy Tickets Now!

 


Location: 900 High St, Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Bear Creek Community Nights
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Boulder Creek Rec & Park District
Date: Every Wed (Nov 7-Dec 19) from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

(0 A November 2018) BearCreekCommunityNightsNov2018.jpgCommunity Nights are in full swing.
Come out to the Bear Creek Facility and join us for organized family fun.


FREE for the community, or join in our enrichment program Kids Empowered and drop off from 2:30-6pm


November
WED, 14  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

WED, 28  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

 

December
WED, 5  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

WED, 12  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

WED, 19  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Location: 15685 Forest Hills Dr, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831-338-4144 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
ABBA-Solutely Christmas Show
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Rio Theater
Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Take a Chance On Me, Super Trouper, Voulez Vous, Gimme Gimme Gimme, SOS, The Winner Takes it all, and T
Date: 12/21/2018 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Admission Fees: $40 Gen, $60

(0 A October 2018) ABBAChristmas.jpg

Featuring The ABBA Show

Abba-Solutely Christmas Show! All of your favorite ABBA hits with the perfect mix of Christmas music sprinkled in to celebrate the holidays.

 

America's most popular ABBA tribute show will light up your holidays. Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Take a Chance On Me, Super Trouper, Voulez Vous, Gimme Gimme Gimme, SOS, The Winner Takes it all, and Thank you for the Music, the hit list goes on and on and on...

 


Show time: 7:30 PM
Tickets: $40 Gen, $60
Advance tickets: www.red.vendini.com
Artists website: www.theabbashow.com

 

 


Location: 1205 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
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Free Outdoor Movies
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Library Central
Celebrate the holiday season with free, family-friendly outdoor movies Downtown, in the Library parking lot every Friday evening
Date: Every Fri (Nov 23-Dec 21) at 5:30pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free Admission
Special Instructions: 5:30pm: set-up chairs, 6-8pm: Movie

(0 A November 2018) Library_MoviesGrinchD7.jpgCelebrate the holiday season with free, family-friendly outdoor movies Downtown, in the Library parking lot every Friday evening between November 23rd and December 21st.

Chairs can be set up at 5:30pm and movies start at 6pm. Please bring low chairs to sit on. There will be a snack bar offering popcorn, hot chocolate and other movie watching treats.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner! Visit http://www.downtownsantacruz.com/eat/ to find to-go dinner options!

The movies are suitable for all ages.
The Library parking lot is located at 224 Church Street in Santa Cruz. Each movie night will also highlight a local community organization.

 

November 30: A Christmas Story

December7: The Grinch

December 14: Zootopia

December 21st movie: Frozen

5:30pm - set-up chairs
6-8pm - Family Movie


Location: Parking Lot, 224 Church Street, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 427-7700 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Holiday Lights Train
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Roaring Camp
Choo, Choo, Santa Claus is coming to town, not by sleigh, not by snow but by Train!
Date: Every Fri and Sa (Nov 23-Dec 23)


(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


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Felton Map
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Gingerbread House Workshops
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Marini's
Hurry, spots sell out fast! Tell Marini's you found out about this workshop on SantaCruzParent.com!
Date: Every day (Nov 1-Dec 23)
Admission Fees: $50/gingerbread house
Special Instructions: Classes 11/24 - 12/23

(0 A November 2018) Marinis_GWorkshops2018.jpgGingerbread House Workshops

For kids of all ages! Beautiful gingerbread houses that you design and create.

 

Our popular Gingerbread Workshops are back again this year! New dates and times added! Visit us on line at www.mariniscandies.com to sign up! Classes fill quickly!

 

Classes fill quickly so call to reserve your spot.

 

Dates 11/24 - 12/23

 

Tell Marini's you found out about this workshop on SantaCruzParent.com!


Location: 1308 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831.423.3299 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
"The Nutcracker"
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Santa Cruz Ballet Theater
Everyone's Favorite Holiday Tradition!
Date: Every day (Dec 21-Dec 23)
Ages: 3 - 103 Admission Fees: $15-58 plus box office service charge
Special Instructions: For Group Sales rates , call the Box Office.

"The Nutcracker" - the original Santa Cruz production, with live orchestra!


Dec. 21, 201Friday 12/21 8:00 PM

  • Saturday 12/22 1:00 and 4:30 PM
  •  Sunday 12/23 1:00 and 4:30 PM.

"Come see our annual production of 'The Nutcracker' with live orchestra, performed at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.  

 

"Starring alumna Melody Mennite and Chun Wai Chan, principal dancers with Houston Ballet. 

"Tickets for Sweet Treats meet-and-greet event prior to 1 pm performances are available for an additional fee."

 

 


Location: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium , 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 420-5260 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Holiday Homeless Garden Sales
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Homeless Garden Project
Come visit us starting Nov. 12th at 1338 Pacific Ave, next to El Palomar restaurant.
Date: Every day (Nov 12-Dec 24)


(0 A November 2018) HomeslessGardenHolidayStore2018.jpgThe wait is almost over - our Holiday Store is opening Nov. 12th! We're looking for volunteers to staff the store; email our Volunteer Coordinator at JustinW@homelessgardenproject.org for more info.

 

Our store is "at the center of a web of community ties-of people, actions, dreams, things made, and relationships created." -- Quentin Hancock, store volunteer & HGP supporter

 

Come visit us starting Nov. 12th at 1338 Pacific Ave, next to El Palomar restaurant.

 

Hours: 11 AM - 7 PM, Nov. 12th - Dec. 6th
10 AM - 8 PM, Dec. 7th - Dec. 24th

 


Location: 1338 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz Map
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Reindeer Romp at SF Zoo
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San Francisco Zoo
Come see the reindeer on loan from Santa
Date: Every Fri and Sa (Nov 17-Jan 1)

Special Instructions: Sloat Blvd at Great highway

(A Dec) Christmas_ZooReindeer2015.jpg

 

Reindeer Romp

 
November 17 through January 1

Santa is sending his favorite reindeer, "Belle", "Holly" and "Peppermint" to spread holiday cheer at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!  Until January 1, majestic reindeer will be romping at SF Zoo's Playfield Lawn, near the spectacular Elinor Friend Playground.  We will have Zoo staff at the Reindeer from 11:30-4 daily.

Celebrate the holiday season by visiting the animals who help Santa deliver presents to all the children in the land.  Learn what they eat (besides carrots and cookies on Christmas Eve) and see what they look like up close and on the ground.  Reindeer and caribou are classified as the same genus and species - Rangifer tarandus.  Reindeer are domesticated caribou and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists them as "vulnerable" after a 40% decline in population over the last 20-30 years.  Reindeer are highly adapted to their life in cold climates as they have two thick layers of fur to keep them warm and what are called "turbinate" bones in their nose, which helps warm cold air before it enters their lungs.  They also have specially designed hooves which provide extra traction on the wet, spongy tundra during the spring; in the winter the footpads shrink and tighten, exposing the rim of the hoof which cuts into the ice and snow for a surer grip.  They are used by many circumpolar cultures for their meat, hide, milk and antlers.

 


Location: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco Map
Phone: (415) 753-7080 •website San Franciscocreate a direct event link
Transport of Delight
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San Lorenzo Valley Museum
Transportation models of all kinds
Date: Every Su, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa (Dec 8-Jan 6) from 12:00pm to 4:00pm


(0 A November 2018) SLVMuseum_Transport.jpgA delightful display of transportation models of all kinds. Sure to be fun for all ages, with a hands on, interactive play area for our younger visitors.

 

If you have models of trains, cars, wagons, ships, sleighs, planes, balloons, bicycles, horses - any method of transport and if you would like to share your model(s) please email us at slvmcollections at sbcglobal.net.

 

Exhibition - Dec 8, 2018 - Jan 6, 2019


Location: 12547 Highway 9, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831) 338-8382 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Zoo Lights Celebration
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San Francisco Zoo
Experience bright holiday light displays, Santa Claus and the only place around where you can see Santa's reindeer!
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa (Dec 14-Dec 30) from 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Special Instructions: Sloat Blvd at Great Highway

(0 A November 2018) sfZooLightswide.jpgThe best time of year is here as we present our annual ZooLights celebration! Bring your family and friends to be a part of your new holiday tradition. Experience the magic and wonder of the season during this special evening event, featuring bright holiday light displays, Santa Claus and the only place around where you can see Santa's reindeer!

Plus! Enjoy strolling carolers, sip delicious hot cocoa and tasty seasonal delights, and shop at our Zoo gift store.

SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT: No admission charge for San Francisco Zoo Members and Guardians!

ZooLights takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on December 14-16, 18-23, and 26-30.


Location: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco Map
Phone: (415) 753-7080 •website San Franciscocreate a direct event link
Heritage Holiday Craft and Gift Fair
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SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FAIR HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Festive event full of holiday cheer includes crafts, folk art, antiques, collectibles, gift foods, delicious refreshments at the
Date: Every day (Dec 30-Jan 2)
Ages: All Admission Fees: Adults $6, Children under 10 FREE

(0 A November 2018) HeritageHolidayCraftFair-Wide.jpgHeritage Holiday Craft Fair

 

🎄41st Annual Heritage Holiday Craft & Gift Fair🎄


Presented by the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Foundation

Friday November 30th, Saturday December 1st and Sunday December 2nd

🎟Admission - Adults $6.00, Children under 10 FREE🎟
🚙🚜🚛Parking FREE🚗🚕🚙

Three huge buildings filled with one of a kind gifts!!! 👩🏼‍🎨Crafters, Artists, Photographers, Flowers, Wreaths, Antiques, Woodworking, Jewelry, Holiday Foods, Gifts, 1000's of great gifts for all of those people on your gift list🎁

🎅🏼🤶🏼Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the fair 11am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday and will be available for pictures - bring your camera
Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive aboard the historic red delivery truck from Martinelli Cider!

🎄Home cooked holiday foods available from our friends at Grace Works Bible Church and Ella's at the Airport (back with us again this year

🎄Fairgrounds Foundation Pie booth serving Gizdich Pies both by the slice and whole pies

🍰Kettle Corn and a new Delicious Waffle vendor
🥂Fairgrounds Foundation Cheer Bar serving Bloody Mary's, Hot Toddies, Wine and more all day long everyday🍾

Biggest show ever - 140 vendors this year - a new record - our biggest show ever - all inside nice warm buildings☃️

Perfect way to start the Holiday Season
Free shuttle service to and from the parking lot

🎉NEW THIS YEAR🎉
🎈New Metal Sculpture Art
🎈New Bakery (Christmas goodies for sale)
🎈Over 30 new crafters this year

🎁And of course all the favorites with new gifts and crafts again this year.🎊


Location: Santa Cruz County Fairgrou, 2601 E. Lake Ave, Watsonville Map
Phone: (831)612-9118 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Christmas Events in Monterey County
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Monterey County
Holiday celebrations in Monterey County bring back memories of a golden era and create new memories to last a lifetime.
Date: Every day (Nov 21-Dec 31)


Ice Skating by the Bay

Wednesday, November 21 - Thursday, January 6

Celebrate the holidays amidst the scenic coastline at Ice Skating by the Bay's seasonal ice skating rink located in Custom House Plaza behind Portola Hotel & Spa. The ice rink is open daily Monday-Saturday from 11am-10pm and Sunday from 12pm-8pm.

 

Cannery Row Holiday Tree Lighting

Friday, November 23, 5pm-9pm

Santa sleighs in for a full day of play along legendary Cannery Row. The festivities begin at Steinbeck Plaza overlooking Monterey Bay at 5pm with Christmas carolers and live reindeer. Stick around until 6pm when Santa flips the switch on a towering 25-foot holiday tree.

 

Salinas Holiday Parade of Lights

Sunday, November 25, 6pm

Kick off your holidays at the annual Salinas family and community delight that attracts over 10,000 spectators. Parade entrants range from marching bands, floats and dancers to walking groups and classic cars. The route winds up South Main Street and through Oldtown to the National Steinbeck Center. Celebrity announcers keep you well informed during the festivities.

 

Pacific Grove Christmas Tree Lighting

Monday, November 26, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Come to Pacific Grove for an old-fashioned Christmas tree lighting! The town Christmas tree is located at Jewell Park, at the corner of Central and Forest Avenues. Don't forget to visit Santa's Christmas Party at Chautauqua Hall for refreshments, live entertainment and a dance show.

 

Christmas at the Inns

Tuesday, November 27 and Wednesday, November 28, 6pm-9pm

It's Pacific Grove at its most picturesque, as ten of the town's bed and breakfasts and inns deck their halls and open their doors so you can share their holiday cheer in Victorian-era splendor. Each and every location will have great live music and tasty holiday treats! A limited number of tickets are available. Admission is $20. Please call 831-373-3304 or visit the official website to reserve your spot.

 

Holiday Parade of Lights

Thursday, November 29, 6pm-7pm

An annual tradition, Pacific Grove's Holiday Parade of Lights is a fun hometown parade down "Main Street, USA." This lighted parade includes floats, marching bands, dance troupes, equestrian performances and Santa Claus. After the parade, carolers will walk through the streets of downtown Pacific Grove as local businesses stay open well into the evening for the holiday celebration.

 

Colton Hall Christmas Tree Lighting 

Friday, November 30, 5pm-6pm

Watch downtown Monterey flip the switch on the Christmas Tree at Colton Hall this afternoon. The tree lighting ceremony will be full of cheer including carols, candles, cookies and cider.

 

Christmas on the Wharf 

Friday, November 30 - Sunday, December 16

Old Fisherman's Wharf invites you for some festive cheer with special holiday entertainment, sweet treats, free Santa "meet and greet" visits, holiday princesses and much more! "Christmas on the Wharf" occurs on Friday evenings from 5pm-9pm, Saturdays from 11am-9pm and Sundays from 1pm-6pm. Click here for the entertainment schedule. 

 

Smuin Ballet's The Christmas Ballet

Friday, November 30 at 7:30pm and Saturday, December 1 at 2pm

Light up the holiday season with a stellar performance from the Smuin Ballet at the Sunset Center! This holiday-themed program is filled with a stunning and original array of ballet, tap and jazz.

 

Stillwell's Fun in the Park

Saturday, December 1, 10am-4pm

Caledonia Park in downtown Pacific Grove behind the Post Office will be full of wintry fun for all! Fun in the Park features Santa's arrival on a shiny Pacific Grove fire truck, Frosty the Snowman, hayrides, a petting zoo & lots of entertainment.

 

Brighten the Harbor Boat Parade

Sunday, December 2, 5pm-7pm

Watch decked out boats cruise along Monterey Bay's scenic coastline during the Monterey Yacht Club's lighted boat parade. The boats will start at Old Fisherman's Wharf and turn around at Hopkins Point, just after the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

 

Streets of Bethlehem

Wednesday, December 5 - Saturday, December 8, 6pm-8:30pm

Step into the Nativity story, as 200 re-enactors, along with live animals and musical groups, recreate the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Volunteers from the First Baptist Church of Salinas recreate the entire town of Bethlehem to provide visitors with a truly immersive experience.

 

Carmel-by-the-Sea Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday, December 7, 3pm-7pm

Carmel-by-the-Sea lights up the night with a special tree lighting ceremony at Devendorf Park. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 3pm in Devendorf Park with plenty of entertainment, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus! After the tree is lit at 5:45pm stop by Carmel Plaza for their annual open house with live entertainment and refreshments. 

 

Seaside's Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting

Friday, December 7, 6pm-9pm

Celebrate the Christmas season in the City of Seaside! The annual Winter Wonderland Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony features ice skating, interactive crafts, hay rides, a petting zoo and a special visit from Santa.

 

Christmas in the Adobes

Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8, 5pm-9pm

Step back into Monterey's past during Christmas in the Adobes. See the adobes by candlelight and enjoy refreshments and live performances as volunteers in period attire welcome you into historic homes decorated in historical style. The twenty 19th-century adobes, lit by luminaries and enhanced with period decorations, are within an easy walk of each other. Learn while you celebrate; docents and volunteers will be on hand to tell the story of each of these charming buildings, many of which are only open to the public during this celebration. Tickets are $25 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-17 (must be accompanied by a paying adult), and free for children ages 5 and under. Buy tickets online

 

The Nutcracker performed by Dance Kids of Monterey County

Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8 at 7pm and Sunday, December 9 at 2pm

Join the celebration as Dance Kids of Monterey County present its 25th anniversary of The Nutcracker featuring the live Monterey Pops! Orchestra at the Sunset Center. Tickets are $49 for adults and $35-$45 for children. 

 

Jingle Bell Run

Saturday, December 8, 8am-11am

Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce and the Arthritis Foundation introduce a festive Jingle Bell 5K race (run or walk) at Lovers Point Park. Have fun with Santa, tie jingle bells to your shoes, and help raise funds to support the foundation.

 

Santa's Fly-In

Saturday, December 8, 10:30am

Santa and Mrs. Claus fly-in by helicopter direct from the North Pole to Carmel Valley Village Airfield! There they'll board their sleigh and lead a parade through Carmel Valley Village. The parade is filled with horses, the Carmel Valley Kiwanis Club train, unique autos and more! Afterward, kids can head to the Carmel Valley Youth Center for a photo with jolly Old Saint Nick.

 

TubaChristmas

Sunday, December 9, 1pm-2pm

Don't miss your chance to see an incredible (and free) holiday concert featuring the spectacular resonance of over 50 tubas during TubaChristmas! Your holiday spirit will vibrate with delight during this toe-tapping, finger-snapping, and soul-stirring sing-along concert of your favorite holiday carols at the Monterey Conference Center.

 

Inns of Distinction

Sunday, December 9, 2pm-5pm

Several quaint inns and B&Bs in Carmel-by-the-Sea open their doors this afternoon for the Inns of Distinction tour. Stroll the streets of Carmel and visit charming inns while sampling tastings from some of the area's finest restaurants and wine tasting rooms. Visit the Carmel Heritage website for ticket information.

 

The Nutcracker performed by Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre

Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 at 7pm and Sunday, December 16 at 2pm

Bring the entire family out to a performance of The Nutcracker performed by the Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theatre. The Sunset Center comes alive with this magical tradition with over 150 dancers, countless volunteers and enthusiastic supporters. Tickets are $40 for adults and $32-$37 for children.

 


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FIRST NIGHT MONTEREY
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First Night Monterey
Dance, play, act, perform, create and sing our way into 2018!
Date: Every day (Dec 17-Jan 1) from 3:00pm to 12:01am
Admission Fees: $0 - $20

Welcome to our FNM 2018 website, celebrating 25 years! Planning is being finalized and we will keep you updated with changes as they occur. Watch for a complete listing of performers, coming later this month (you can see a sneak peek here). 80% of the performances are indoors and an FNM Button is your ticket to those performances. 

 

Kids' Night Out! The First Act for the Young and Young-at-Heart

The most creative New Year's Eve you will have with your family!

Kids' Night Out! The First Act for the Young and Young-at-Heart

First Night is Monterey's most exciting, imaginative and uplifting cultural event. FNM is an affordable, alcohol-free family celebration of the arts on New Year's Eve from the 3 pm Opening Ceremony to the Countdown to Midnight; our theme for FNM 2018 celebrates "25 Years of Magic". The many performances range from Classical to Hip-Hop, Jazz to Reggae, dance and artwork.

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The most creative New Year's Eve you will have with your family!

Kids' Night Out (5 and under free) features music & art activities for the younger set, culminating with the Costume Contest & Twilight Procession at 5:30 pm.

 

At 3:00 p.m. kick-off at Colton Lawn on Pacific Street, culminating with the Twilight Parade at 5:30 p.m on Alvarado Street serving as the kids' Finale. Music, song, drumming, dance, ballet, face art, art creating, hat making and more! Check out the Colton Lawn on Pacific Street, the Monterey Art Museum and the Work Building on Alvarado Street for activities to complete artful time.

 

Make sure to have your FNM button - admission to all the fun for the over-5 set! Please refer to the afternoon and evening grids to plan your New Year's Eve and participate in all the fun! Thanks to First Five Monterey County for their support of the free kids' activities.


Location: Historic Downtown, Alvarez St, Monterey Map
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Holiday On Ice
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Beach Boardwalk
Create a new holiday tradition with family and friends ice skating by the sea
Date: Every day (Nov 17-Jan 6)
Admission Fees: $14.95 + tax

Boardwalk Holiday Ice

Presented by Dignity Health

November 17, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Celebrate this holiday season with a new family tradition - ice skating at the Boardwalk!

(0 A November 2018) Boardwalk_holiday-ice-fam-skate.jpgFestivities Include:

  • Ice Skating by the Beach-on Real Ice!
  • Select Boardwalk Rides and Games
  • Indoor Arcades, Mini Golf, and Laser Tag
  • Delicious Boardwalk Treats
  • Classic Holiday Movies
  • Kids Craft Activities
  • Holiday Lights and Decorations

Ice Skating by the beach!

Our new 32' x 90' covered ice skating rink is open rain or shine!

Each 1-hour session includes ice skate rental.


Ice skating session schedule PDF

 

Reservations recommended. Reserve Now


Location: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz Map
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Toy Trains 2017
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MAH and Golden State Toy Train Operators
Experience a mini-universe of model trains that delight the young and young at heart.
Date: Every day (Dec 21-Dec 31) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

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Experience a mini-universe of model trains that delight the young and young at heart.

The Golden State Toy Train Operators, Inc. presents Toy Trains. Watch a massive standard gauge steam engine from the 1920s start up with the headlight flashing and drive wheels spinning. Marvel at smoke flowing from the smoke stack, and a mighty whistle. Members of the the Golden State Toy Train Operators will be on hand to help young engineers' master controls and to answer questions. You can even bring your own toy train and put it on the track!

Holiday Hours: The Museum is closed on Christmas Day, and closes early at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

December 15 - December 31


Location: 705 Front St, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831.429.1964 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
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