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Featured Events:

Special Needs Walk
Learn about the many parenting styles of the redwoods, the dedicated parenting of the endangered marbled murrelet, the extended
08/26/2018 at 1:00pm
Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map

Special Needs Walk

Sunday, August 26 at 1pm

On this wheelchair and special needs accessible hike, Docent Nan Singh-Bowman will cover a wide range of subjects including plants, animals and the history of Big Basin. The hike will be paced for non-traditional kids, but everyone is welcome! Please wear comfortable shoes/clothing and bring water, snacks, hat and sunscreen. Be prepared for very warm weather but bring a light jacket or sweater as well. Meet at Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation.

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Girls Night Out
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Art Factory
Treat yourself to some time with the girls, wine and cheese and a create evening. Call Yvette for schedule!
Date: Every Fri from 7:00pm to 9:00pm


Friday Night Girl's Night Out!

 

Bring friends, make friends! Join us on a Friday evenings to learn the art of needle felting, miniature fairy/succulent gardens, painting/collage or to create a vision board to launch you into the next phase of your life. These inspiring evenings will provide you with detailed instruction, delightful company and an art piece to take home with you!

 

If you would like to book a private GNO with your group of 5 or more, please call The Art Factory to make arrangements. We will cover any of the mediums listed above or will customize the project to your request.

 

Call Yvette at The Art Factory for more information and to reserve space! 831-688-8862


Location: Redwood Village #15, 9099 Soquel Drive, Aptos Map
Phone: 831-688-8862 •website Aptos create a direct event link
Contra Dancing
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Santa Cruz Dance
Contra couples dancing for beginners and experienced dancers - Make dance magic happen on the dance floor!
Date: The 2nd Fri of every month from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Ages: 7+ Admission Fees: $12
Special Instructions: Beginner's lesson at 5:40. Dancing 7:00-10:00

Everyone is welcome! Partners and dancing experience are not necessary. Each of the dozen or so dance forms during the evening are taught and prompted (except for the waltz and hambo).

 

Beginner's Workshop:  dancers are encouraged to attend the beginner's lesson at 5:40. Regular dancing begins at 6:00 (dances can get more complex as the night goes on).

 

Admission: Suggested admission donation is $12 regular, $8 for full-time students w/student ID card. Discounts for volunteers.

 

Wear: Comfortable, non-marking shoes to protect your feet and our floors - a separate pair of dance shoes works best. You'll be more comfortable in loose-fitting light-weight clothing.

 

Please note that many dancers are very sensitive to fragrances and body odor and that our dances are fragrance-free events.

 

This is an all-ages event.  Bring your joyful enthusiasm along with a sensibility toward care and consideration for your fellow dancers.

 

More information about upcoming dances in our area is online at the links below:

 

Contra dances in Santa Cruz County: http://santacruzdance.org/drupal/

English Country Dance in Santa Cruz County: http://www.englishcountrydancing.net/

Contra dances in Monterey: http://montereycdc.webs.com/


Location: Veteran's Memorial Building, 846 Front St, Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Reach for the Stars: Star Types & Light Pollution
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Library Boulder Creek
Star Types & Light Pollution
Date: The 2nd Fri of every month from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

(0 A May 2018) Library_ReachStars.jpg

Tuesday, June 26

Reach for the Stars (6:30 PM-8:30 PM)
Location: Boulder Creek Branch

Calling all stargazers! This program will explore the ins and outs of all facets of astronomy for adults and families. Whether you're an experienced astronomer or someone who doesn't know the difference between a comet and an asteroid, this program is for you! Topics will vary month-to-month.


Note: Boulder Creek Library: Star Types & Light Pollution

 

In conjunction with the Reach for the Stars program series, we're launching a new service so you can check out a telescope with your library card! The telescopes will be subject to the same rules as most library materials, except they will not be renewable. To make it even more interesting, we're inviting the community participate in a telescope naming contest between May 16th and May 31st. Anyone may enter the contest by submitting up to 3 name suggestions either in person at any branch library or via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter by tagging us @santacruzpl and using the hashtag #ReachfortheStars.


Location: 13390 West Park Avenue, Boulder reek Map
Phone: (831) 427-7717 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Free Story Time and Craft Time
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Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources
Date: The 2nd Fri of every month at 10:30am


Free Story Time and Craft Time 10:30am. Join us on the second Friday of each month for free story time and craft time. Great for toddlers and preschoolers. All are welcome! Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources,


Location: 4101-B2 Soquel Dr., Soquel Map
Phone: 831-316-7261 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Watsonville Certified Farmers Market
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Watsonville Farmers Market
Fresh, locally grown produce on Friday afternoons from 2:30 to 6:30 PM from May to November.
Date: Every Fri from 2:30pm to 6:30pm


(0 A Aug 2018) WatsFarmersMkt_Mariachi.jpgAn enchanting farmers market with a "mercado" feel. Lots of wonderful produce and prepared foods.

 

The Watsonville Farmers' Market is a member of the California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets.

 

The Market provides fresh, locally grown produce on Friday afternoons from May to November.

 

Mariachi California de Javier Vargas will play every first Friday of the month from 5-6pm (May-October) at the Watsonville city Plaza


Location: Main St/At the Plaza, Watsonville Map
Phone: (831) 588-7366 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Adoption Fair
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Pet Pals
Date: Every Sa from 12:00pm to 4:00pm


ADOPTION FAIR!
EVERY SATURDAY
Come visit our adoptable animals from 12-4pm! 
(weather permitting)

  PET PALS
  3660 Soquel Drive
​  Soquel, CA


Location: 3660 Soquel Drive, Soquel Map
Santa Cruz create 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 6-Dec 9) 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
Evening Art Program
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State Park Henry Cowell
Activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Evening Art Program
Mondays and Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Join us in the campfire center for a family friendly arts and crafts program. All ages welcome. Topic changes week to week and activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more! Meet at the Henry Cowell Redwoods Graham Hill Campground, located off Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. No experience necessary. Event is free; parking is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
website Scotts Valley 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: 12/09/2017 at 1:00pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: Also Friday, December 1 at 1pm

Holiday Redwood Loop Walk: The Nutcracker

Saturday December 9 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
Choose Your Own Adventure Tour
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State Park Henry Cowell
Join us on a guided scavenger hunt along our trails.
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Choose Your Own Adventure Tour
Saturdays at 1 pm


Join us on a guided scavenger hunt along our trails. The group chooses from a selection of pre-planned walks, and then together seeks out the wonders of the woods! With our ample selection of trails, abundance of wildlife, and constantly changing seasons, no two adventures will ever be the same!

 

Meet at the Visitor Center, in the day-use area of the park located off Highway 9 in Felton. Tour is free; vehicle day-use fee is $10.

 

Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation, California State Parks volunteers, and California State Parks. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. 335-7077


Location: Hwy 9, Felton Map
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Succulent Gardens Open House
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Succulent Gardens
Join us for a fun, festive, and FREE holiday open house.
Date: 12/09/2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Admission Fees: free

(0 Dec 2017) SucculentWreath.jpgJoin us for a fun, festive, and FREE holiday open house. Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 10am-4pm at Succulent Gardens.

- DIY make-and-take holiday succulent crafts!
- Nursery tour at noon.
- Hot cider & doughnuts.
- Holiday centerpieces and decorations for purchase.


Location: 2133 Elkhorn Rd, Castroville Map
website Castrovillecreate a direct event link
Festivos on the Rancho
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State Park Castro Adobe
Make tortillas, stroll through the historic garden and learn about the next CA State Historic Park. Parking is limited; carpoo
Date: 12/09/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm

Special Instructions: Old Adobe Road, off of Larkin Valley Road

Join us at Castro Adobe State Historic Park for an open house event, "Festivos en el Rancho (Holidays at the Rancho)." Located in Larkin Valley, near Watsonville, the two-story Castro Adobe, built between 1848-49, is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area.

 

Open House visitors will be able to tour the property including the restored cocina (kitchen) and the Potter-Church Garden. The garden is a unique outdoor space originally created by then-owners Elizabeth and David Potter (1968-72), in consultation with noted landscape architect Thomas Church.

 

Make tortillas, stroll through the historic garden and learn about the next CA State Historic Park. Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. On leash dogs allowed in parking area only.

 


Location: 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-335-6318 •website Watsonville create 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: 12/09/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Admission Fees: None

(0 Nov 2017) Waldorf_WinterFaire.jpg


Location: 2190 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 8314250519 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Second Saturday on the Farm
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Ag History Project
Join us for demonstrations using antique farm equipment, crafts, farm animals, wooden cow milking, water pumps, learning to driv
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: $2/person Kids under 1 are free

Every month we produce a 2nd Saturday on the Farm, a family event that focuses on a particular area of agriculture each month. Visitors can participate in the regular activities of the Ag History Project plus others related to the day's special focus. We host over 2,500 visitors each year at 2nd Saturday on the Farm.

 

We have created some unique interactive educational activities to help you have fun learning about past agricultural practices. What we like to call our "usual" activities include:

  • Wooden cow milking: we have life-size wooden cows with rubber teats that help you learn how to milk a cow.
  • Kid-driven tractor: we retrofitted a John Deere tractor so that anyone can learn to drive it. You sit in the seat and control the steering wheel while a trained volunteer stands on a platform to your right to controls the speed. We even have space for a parent or friend to stand to your left and enjoy the ride.
  • We are currently working on creating a stationary tractor that you can drive down a crop row and the computer screen in front of you displays how well you are handling the tractor.

Location: 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-728-5898 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Holidays on the Ranch
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State Park Wilder Ranch
Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music and merriment from the early 20th century.
Date: 12/09/2017 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Admission Fees: $10 parking fee

Holidays on the Ranch
Saturday December 9, 1 am to 3 pm

Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music, and merriment from the early 20th century.  We'll busy your hands with holiday wreath-making, invite you to join in an old-fashioned sing-along around the player piano, and provide you with materials to make Victorian and Mexican holiday crafts. Come play games, take a draft-horse carriage ride, decorate the tree, and create ornaments while spending the day on the grounds of the cultural preserve at beautiful, historic Wilder Ranch State Park.

 

 


Location: 2 miles North of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Reindeer at SF Zoo
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San Francisco Zoo
Come see the reindeer on loan from Santa
Date: Every Fri and Sa (Nov 18-Jan 1)

Special Instructions: Sloat Blvd at Great highway

(A Dec) Christmas_ZooReindeer2015.jpg

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 a Program Guide 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
Historical Aircraft Display
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Young Eagles
Everyone is welcome to show and admire these historical aircraft
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 8:00am to 4:00pm
Admission Fees: Free

(0 Dec 2016) WatsAirport_SecondSatHistorical.jpgWatsonville Municipal Airport hosts a Historical Aircraft Display every second Saturday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.  

 

Admission is free and everyone is welcome to show and admire these historical aircraft.

 

The pilots displaying their aircraft can top off at our self service island at the lowest fuel prices from 0800 Saturday morning until 0800 Sunday morning!

 

 For additional information call 768-3575

 


Location: Watsonville Aviation Education C, 100 Aviation Way, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-768-3575 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Guided Redwood Grove Walks
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State Park Henry Cowell
Amazing forest adventure - ask any questions you may have
Date: Every Su and Sa at 11:00am
Admission Fees: Day-use parking fee is $10
Special Instructions: Saturdays at 11 am & 2 pm

Guided Redwood Grove Walks

Saturdays at 11 am & 2 pm

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? Answer these questions and more every Saturday and Sunday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable docents will lead you through our magnificent old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the Visitors Center in the Day Use area of Henry Cowell off of HWY 9, at 101 N. Big Trees Park Road in Felton.

 


Location: 525 North Big Trees Park Road, Felton Map
Phone: (831) 335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
Sunday Seaside Crafts
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Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)
Join us with your small fry every Sunday for hands-on fun!
Date: Every Su from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: Kids and up Admission Fees: General admission fees apply.

(A June) Seymour_Crafts3.jpgSunday Seaside Crafts -make it and take it! Come create and take home a fun souvenir, an activity for the whole family to share.

 

For example, find out what gray whales eat by creating a bright sun catcher for your window, or create a fancy fish with paper, paint, and color.

 

Build a seal or sea lion puppet decorated with your own special seal nose, complete with whiskers!

 

Join the fun in the crafts room every Sunday from 1-3 PM for hands-on fun.

Sponsored by: Sigma Alpha of Omega Nu


Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 459-3800 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Jingle Bell Rock 5K
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Toys for Tots
5K Walk/Run and 1K for Kids to Benefit Toys for Tots
Date: 12/10/2017
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

This year we are really happy that we can have a 10K course (two loops) and a 5K course due to the opening of the new bridge connecting the San Lorenzo Levee Trail at Soquel Avenue. You can view the course here.

We especialy want to thank the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for stepping up and providing us a clean and safe place for this year's event - 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.

This is the 8th year for Jingle Bell Rock and each year as the participation grows we try to set a big goal for collecting toys. Last year was great - over 800 toys donated at our sponsor locations and at the race. This year let's try and hit 1000 toys. 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!

 

Award Categories

Top 3 Junior Men and Women 15 - 19

Top 3 Boys and Girls 11 -14

Top 3 Boys and Girls 7 - 10

Top Three Men and Women in the following age groups:

20- 29, 30 - 39, 40 - 49, 50 - 59, 60 - 69, 70 - 79, 80+

We'll have prizes for the best dressed runner who comes decked out in holiday running wear, the best dressed team, the ugliest holiday sweater, and the best decorated stroller runners!

Get busy and get creative. See you at the Jingle Bell Rock.

 


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Coffee Talk and Crafts
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State Park Big Basin
Introduction to the park and figuring out the right trail for you!
Date: Every Su and Sa (Dec 1-Dec 31) from 9:30am to 12:00pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: See different times

Coffee Talk and Crafts

Saturday, December 2 from 10am to 1pm

Sunday, December 10 from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Saturday, December 23 from 10am to 1pm

Saturday, December 30 from 10am to 1pm

Sunday, December 31 from 10am to 1pm

Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. A Docent will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity! 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) 338-8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Adult Crafts
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Library Felton
Let's have some fun while also helping each other learn and grow as artists and crafters!
Date: Every Su and Sa from 2:00pm to 4:30pm


(0 Oct 2017) LibraryFeltonCraft1.jpgCome join us at The Felton Library for Adult Afternoon Arts and Crafts. It's every Sunday from 2-4:30pm.

 

Bring something portable that you are working on or come prepared to have fun!

 

 


Location: 6299 Gushee, Felton Map
Phone: 831-427-3151 •website Boulder Creek 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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Elephant Seal Walks
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State Park Ano Nuevo
3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Date: Every day (Oct 20-Mar 31)
Ages: All: (Lots of walking) Admission Fees: Guided $7; Self-guided free
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31

Explore Año Nuevo with a Docent Naturalist

gudied walks

Guided Elephant Seal Walks

Ticket sales open Friday, October 20

Cost: $7 per person + $3.99 reservation fee

www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seals, or bulls, arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups.

 

These popular guided walks take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear is strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. Parking is $10. For more information, please call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227.

 

People with accessibility needs may reserve an equal access tour along the boardwalk.

These tours take place on Fridays, weekends, and select holidays. For reservations and info call ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

 

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.


Location: Hwy 1, Pescadero Map
Phone: (650) 879-2025 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
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State Park Pigeon Point Light Station
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa at 10:00am
Ages: All

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is currently under repair, but that doesn't mean that the First Order Fresnel Lens can't shine! The Fresnel lens, the original lighthouse beacon, will light up once again from its temporary home in the Visitor Center. As dusk settles, the 24 beams of light provide a dramatic glimpse of how the lighthouse once guided ships passing by this rocky coastline. Bring a flashlight and join us for a unique experience. For more information, call the park at (650) 879-2120 or go online to www.Parks.CA.gov/PigeonPoint. Event is free. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

* Please note the lighthouse will NOT be lit. The original lighthouse beacon, the First Order Fresnel lens, will be lit but in its temporary location inside the Visitor Center. The lighthouse is being repaired and is currently not accessible to the public.


Location: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero Map
Phone: 650-879-2120 •website Pescadero 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 2-Dec 10) from 10:00am to 5:00pm


 

Schooling Pacific sardines in the Open Sea exhibit

Community Open House

Enjoy free admission during the Aquarium's annual Community Open House. Become an Aquarium member during this event and receive an extra two months of benefits.

 

To show appreciation for our local community, we're offering a variety of special promotions throughout 2017 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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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 2 and Sunday December 3 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 5 - Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 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
Free First Friday
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Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Enjoy our intertidal touch pool, large-screen microscope, and geology exhibit and "dig pit".
Date: Every day from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All ages Admission Fees: FREE

FREE First Friday 11am-4pm. Enjoy the Museum for FREE with your family on the first Friday of every month. Enjoy our intertidal touch pool, large-screen microscope, and geology exhibit and "dig pit". Santa Cruz Natural History Museum. 1305 East Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz. 420-6115


Location: East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 420-6115 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
December at The Farm
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The Farm
Carols, cookies, hot apple cider and moonlit hayrides. 6-9pm. Weather permitting!
Date: Every day (Nov 21-Dec 23)

Special Instructions: Spreckles Boulevard West at Highway 68

Dec 2 & Dec 3 (Fri. & Sat.): Open House/Christmas Sale!  
Our Last Day of 2016!

Dec 2 (Fri.): Christmas Night at The Farm
Carols, cookies, hot apple cider and moonlit hayrides. 6-9pm.  Weather permitting!

Dec 9 (Fri.): Fresh-baked pies. Pick up from office (green house) 1pm-4pm.  Credit card or check only, please.

Dec 16 (Fri.): Fresh-baked pies. Pick up from office (green house) 1pm-4pm. 

Dec 19 (Mon.): Deadline for Christmas Pie orders.

Dec 22 & 23 (Wed. & Thur.): Christmas Pie pick-up!  Pick up from office (green house) 1pm-4pm. 

 

 


Location: Boulevard West, Spreckels Map
Phone: (831) 455-2575 •websitecreate 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 24-Dec 10)


holiday-tree-walk.jpg

Holiday Tree Walk

NOVEMBER 24 - 26, DECEMBER 2 - 3, 9 - 10

 

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.

 

Toys for Tots


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Felton Map
Phone: (831) 335-4484 •website Felton create a direct event link
Ranch Tours
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State Park Wilder Ranch
History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends
Date: Every Su and Sa at 1:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: $10 parking

(0 Oct 2017) Wilder_Baking2.jpgRanch Tours

Saturdays and Sundays 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.


Location: Wilder Ranch , Hwy 1, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831.426-0505 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
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 25-Dec 23) at 2:00pm


Gingerbread House Workshops

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

 

Classes fill quickly so call to reserve your spot.866-627-4647

 

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
Tour the Pacific Migrations Center
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State Park New Brighton
Self-guided tour highlights history of Pacific Rim migrations
Date: Every Su, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: 7-12

 Tour the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center at New Brighton State Beach

Come explore the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center at New Brighton State Beach. This free mini-museum highlights the history of Pacific Rim migrations and how they have influenced the Monterey Bay area. 

The exhibits explore the contributions of Chinese fishers, who established fishing camps on the Monterey Bay coastline beginning in the 1850s. Fishers dried and shipped most of their catch to markets up and down the coast, as well as across the Pacific. Chinese fish merchants also sold their fresh catch in local towns. China Beach, as New Brighton was known at the time, lasted until the mid-1880s. 

The center, which is supported by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. It also includes a ParkStore, offering nature and history-themed merchandise for sale. All proceeds benefit local parks and beaches.

Self-guided tours of the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center are free. Docent-led tours are available for groups. Contact Jean Bernard at the Visitor Center, 831-464-5620, to schedule. Parking at New Brighton State Beach is $10 and supports the park. New Brighton State Beach is located at 1500 Park Ave. in Capitola


Location: 1500 Park Ave, Capitola 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 7-Dec 11) from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Admission Fees: Free

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Bethlehem_Guards_Entrance_tn.jpg

December 7 - 11, 2017

Thursday - Monday

Open from 6:30PM - 9:00PM

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
The Ultimate Christmas Show
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Mountain Community Theater
The fruitcakes of Mountain Community Theater invite you to take an irreverent, comedic, yet heartwarming trip through the holida
Date: Every day (Nov 24-Dec 17)
Ages: 12+ Admission Fees: $17-$20
Special Instructions: Fri & Sat 8pm, Sun2pm

The fruitcakes of Mountain Community Theater invite you to take an irreverent, comedic, yet heartwarming trip through the holidays in their upcoming comedy production of Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor's The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) playing Nov. 24 through Dec. 17, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM at Park Hall in Ben Lomond.

 

Tickets can be purchased for $20 general and $17 for students and seniors at www.mctshows.org, or at www.brownpapertickets.com.

It is festive, funny, physical and fun as some of your favorite MCT comedians poke fun at many holiday traditions, while stepping on more than a few sacred cows. There's lots of singing, a live band, and you can even bring a wrapped holiday gift of $5 value or less and participate in the audience gift exchange! Delicious holidays desserts will be served, as well as inspired madness! This hilarious show promises to boost your spirits and bring gales of holiday belly-aching laughter!

The show stars Santa Cruz area favorite comedians Karin Babbitt, W. Scott Whisler, and Jackson Wolffe, and is directed by MCT veteran Kathie Kratochvil, with musical direction by Mazera Cox, and choreography by Shannon Marie Kerr.

Audience members will enter the world belonging to the "Saint Everybody's Non-Denominational Universalist Church" who are currently hosting their annual "Multicultural Interfaith Holiday Variety Show and Christmas Pageant." Scheduled to perform are groups such as: The Holy Strollers (Holiday toddlers perform the Nativity story); as well as The Christmas Boys' Choir from our Our Lady of Eternal Suspicion Catholic Church.

  • Unfortunately, it is a dark and stormy night in the San Lorenzo Valley and all the roads into the Valley have been closed (sound familiar?). Fortunately, the costume trunks and props from all the scheduled performing acts arrived before the big storm. Unfortunately, the scheduled performers can't get into the Valley. So, the evening's hosts must perform the show themselves! Join us as Mountain Community Theater rekindles the joy, inner-child and familial dysfunction inside us all! This show is recommended for ages 12 and older.

  • Location: Park Hall, 9400 Mill Street, Ben Lomond Map
    Phone: (831) 336-4777 •website Ben Lomond create a direct event link
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