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Featured Events:

Maryjo Koch and the Art of Scientific Illustration
Koch is one of the world's most accomplished naturalist painters around. Exquisite detail!
Every Tues, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa (Jan 24-Mar 16) from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 11 Cowell Service Road, Santa Cruz Map

Art Seen

Maryjo Koch and the Art of Scientific Illustration

popout1804-maryjoMaryjo Koch doesn't overlook the little things. When it comes to painting birds nests and honeybees, every little twig and hair matters. With acute attention to detail and precision, Koch is one of the world's most accomplished naturalist painters around.

 

Her hyperrealistic specimens are often found in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where Koch works. She has illustrated 18 books, and her work has been featured across the globe.

 

Hours
Tuesday-Saturday 12 PM-5 PM
Holidays and campus breaks observed.

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November

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
    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
    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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    Holidays Downtown
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    DTA
    Magical holiday times downtown!
    Date: Every day (Nov 24-Dec 24)


    Downtown for the Holidays

    Holiday Traditions and Magical Moments happen in Downtown Santa Cruz 

    The Holidays are a magical time of year, and nowhere is that magic more apparent than in Downtown Santa Cruz. Throughout the season there are so many reasons to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. One of the things that makes this time of year so special is our traditions. The Victorian Carriage Rides, Visits with Santa at Marini's, the Holiday Parade, Just strolling through the neighborhood and checking off your gift list. Whatever your favorite Downtown holiday traditions, we wish you and yours all the best and we invite you to come join us and celebrate at our fun holiday events!


    Black Friday Weekend

    Sidewalk Sale - Nov 24th, 25th, 26th

    Get a jump on your holiday shopping while enjoying a beautiful weekend in Downtown Santa Cruz. Bring the family and enjoy the walkable sidewalks of Downtown Santa Cruz. Sales run all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with great end of month clearance deals all around the Downtown.


    Small Business Saturday - Nov 25th

    Don't miss the biggest small promotion of the year. Think Big and shop Small with the annual event celebrating Small businesses. Pick up a Copy of the Santa Cruz Sentinel for a full listing of all of the local participating shops, eateries and other small businesses.


    Downtown Holiday Parade - Saturday, Dec 2nd

    Starting at 10 am on Pacific Avenue,

    The traditional holiday parade is the official kickoff for the winter holidays celebration. Bands, Dancers, Classic Cars, Synchronized Librarians, perhaps even a "Rootbeer Float" one never knows exactly what to expect at the Parade, but you can be sure to expect the whole community to show up and have a great time, and of course, at the end of the parade, Sitting in a horse-drawn Victorian Carriage, the man of the hour is welcomed back to Downtown Santa Cruz. Bring the family or participate! Register to be in the parade HERE.

    The Holiday Parade is Rain or Shine!


    Santa Cruise - Saturday, Dec 9th

    Back by popular demand, Santa Cruise is a spirited, text-based scavenger hunt, throughout downtown, including holiday spirits at your favorite Downtown Drinking establishments.

    Your ticket gets you a custom "Suessean" Santa Hat and the codes to connect with Santa himself, who will lead you on a frivolous journey through the streets of Downtown, sprinkled with specialty seasonal imbibements at some of Santa's favorite local haunts.

    The Downtown Santa Cruise is a 21 and over event. Get a crew together a come hunt, scavenge and sleuth your way to a great after party!


    Saturday, Dec 16 - Free Family Movie

    10 am at the Del Mar Theatre

    The Free Family Movie at the Del Mar is a special tradition and a wonderful way to support Second Harvest Food Bank as their holiday food drives help so many people in our community have healthy food, every day of the year.

    Bring a food or cash donation and enjoy a great holiday classic on the Big Screen.

    This is a fun, Saturday morning event for the whole family.


    Victorian Carriage Rides

    Reserve the traditional horse-drawn Victorian Carriage for a magical ride around downtown. Experience the lights and festive holiday environment in style. A fun outing for friends and family or part of a perfect date with that special someone. $50 reserves the carriage for a ride around Downtown. Two facing benches, seats 4-6 people comfortably, depending on size. The ride lasts about 15-20 minutes.

    Limited Rides - Dates TBD


    Visits with Santa at Marini's Candies

    No matter how old you are, if you were a kid In Santa Cruz, you probably visited the Jolly Fellow himself at Marini's Candies on Pacific Avenue.

    Well, it turns out, enough of us must have been nice this year, because he's coming back. Stop in for a relaxed, not rushed visit and photo with your own camera. Ho, ho, ho!

    Marini's Candies


    Santa's Reindeer Round-up

    reindeer

    Nov 25 - Dec 18
    Santa Needs your help!!!

    It seems the whole team of reindeer is hidden in stores throughout Downtown Santa Cruz.

    Help him find them before his big night! Pick up a map, have fun with this scavenger hunt and you could win Downtown Dollars and other great downtown prizes!


    Parking for Hope

    From December 18-Dec 24 revenue from Downtown Parking meters supports the great work of HOPE Services. Last year the Downtown meters raised over $30,000 for the HOPE services litter abatement crew.

     

     

     


    Location: Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz Map
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    Curious Contraptions
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    Exploratorium
    A temporary exhibition of the charming, often hilarious mechanical sculptures known as automata
    Date: Every day (Nov 16-Jan 28) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
    Ages: All
    Special Instructions: Pier 15, which is on the Embarcadero at Green Street

    (0 Nov 2017) Exloratorium_CuriousContraptions.jpgExplore small, surreal worlds at Curious Contraptions, a temporary exhibition of the charming, often hilarious mechanical sculptures known as automata. Like complex mechanical toys, these whimsical machines are brought to life by intricate arrangements of handmade cams, cranks, and other simple mechanisms.

     

    Each sculpture performs an absurd miniature drama reflecting its maker's worldview and sense of humor. Take a look at their exposed inner workings and investigate the low-tech mechanisms that make these automata move.

     

    This year, Curious Contraptions features the varied viewpoints of artists including Carlos Zapata, Paul Spooner, Keith Newstead, and Fi Henshall, plus artist residencies with Zapata, Hernán Lira, and Noga Elhassid.

     

    TICKETS


    Location: Pier 15, San Francisco Map
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    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.

    (0 Dec 2017) FNM_2018YouthButton_300x200.jpg (0 Dec 2017) FNM_Parade1.jpg (0 Dec 2017) FNM_2018AdultButton_300x200.jpg

    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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    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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    Thanksgiving in the Parks!
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    State Parks Nearby
    Turn Black Friday green! This Thanksgiving weekend, Friday November 24 through Sunday November 26, California State Parks i
    Date: Every day (Nov 23-Nov 26)


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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

    Habitat Hike Friday, November 24 at 1pm

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

     

    Birding for Beginners Sunday, November 26 at 8am

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

    Snapchat: anonuevosp | Twitter: anonuevosp

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Castle Rock Trail Loop Saturday, November 25 at 1pm

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

     

    Saratoga Gap Guided Hike Friday, November 24 at 9am

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

     

    Castle Rock Guided Hike Friday, November 24 at 10am

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


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

     

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

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


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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

    Mission Building Game Friday, November 24 at 11am

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

     

    Mission Cooking Demonstration Saturday November 25 at 1pm

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


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    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
    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
    Living History Demonstrations and Ranch Tours
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    State Park Wilder Ranch
    Experience the Victorian era!
    Date: Every Su and Sa from 11:00am to 3:00pm
    Ages: All Admission Fees: Free
    Special Instructions: Weekends from 11:00am-3:00pm, tours of the ranch houses at 1:00pm

    Wilder Ranch Living History Demonstrations and Ranch Tours

    Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm

    Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. 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.

     

    Call (831) 426-0505 for more details.


    Location: 1401 Old Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Holiday Train Rides
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    Beach Boardwalk
    Celebrate the Holiday Season with a ride on one of three festive trains!
    Date: Every day (Nov 24-Dec 23)


    (0 Dec 2016) Boardwalk_Holiday-Train-Rides2.jpg

    Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train

    November 24 through December 23

    Operated by Roaring Camp Railroads.
    Will-Call/Ticketing at Main Entrance

    Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through Santa Cruz streets.

    Passengers lend their voices to holiday carols and sip spiced cider while Santa visits with the little ones and the young at heart!

     

     

    Tickets

     


    Location: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    JOY!
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    Tandy Beal & Company
    Dazzling extravaganza for the whole family, JOY!, A Holiday Show with Circus, Dance, and Live Music
    Date: Every day (Nov 24-Nov 26)


    JOY! Nov. 24 - 26: Friday 2pm & 7pm.  Saturday 2pm & 7pm. Sunday 2pm.

     

    The holiday season kicks off with the return of Tandy Beal & Company, presenting another dazzling extravaganza for the whole family, JOY!, A Holiday Show with Circus, Dance, and Live Music, featuring the reunion of Pickle Family Circus stars Pino and Razz - also known as Cirque du Soleil soloists Jeff Raz and Diane Wasnak.

     

    The show, which follows up on last year's critically acclaimed Nutz RE-Mixed!, is set to the live music of award-winning a cappella group SoVoSó, performing original Candy Land flavored tunes and other seasonal favorites, accompanying a magical madcap holiday circus featuring world-class acrobats, dancers, and circus artists in a zany holiday spectacular.

     

    This zany holiday spectacular performs November 24 - 26 at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, and December 1 - 3 at the Hammer Theatre in San Jose. Group discounts for 10+ available.

     

    Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz. For tickets ($9.75 - $50) and more information visit www.holiday-joy.com.


    Location: Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Santa Cruz Farmers Markets
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    Santa Cruz Farmers Markets
    A moveable feast of fresh, locally grown produce, free-range eggs, grass-fed meats and poultry, baked goods, music and good comp
    Date: Every Su, Tues, Wed and Sa
    Ages: All

    Our family of five farmers' markets showcases the best in regional organic produce, pasture-raised meats, eggs and dairy, sustainably-harvested seafoods and artisan-made goods.

     

    Purchasing your food through the area's farmers' markets ensures that you are getting the freshest, healthiest and tastiest foods while supporting local jobs, increasing local spending and promoting the region's strong farming tradition.

     

    We provide direct access to sustainable sources of fresh produce and other unique foods and education about food issues, both local and beyond.

     

    Santa Cruz/Downtown Weds 1:30-5:30 Lincoln & Cedar Year-round
    Santa Cruz/West Side
    Sat 9-1 2801 Mission Year-round
    Scotts Valley Sat 9-1 King's Village Dr Year-round
    Live Oak/East Side
    Sun 9-1 15th & Eastcliff Dr Year-round
    Felton Tues 2:30-6:30 120 Russell Ave May - Oct

    Location: 2801 Mission St, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz 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 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
    Write A Letter to Those Who Serve
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    Libraries - All
    It's easy to participate and your letter and/or artwork will make some one very happy. Kids are especially encouraged to write.
    Date: Every day (Nov 15-Dec 31)


    (0 Nov 2017) Library_VeteranLetter.jpgOperation Gratitude sends 200,000+ Care Packages each year to Deployed Troops, Veterans, New Recruits & First Responders. Of all the items included in these packages, the most cherished are the personal letters of appreciation! That's why we're partnering with Operation Gratitude on a letter writing campaign at all of our libraries.

     

    We'll have pens, pencils, paper, and inspiration available at all branch libraries and at the Veterans Information Center at the Downtown Library. We will begin gathering letters from our branches starting now and continuing through the New Year. We will mail one giant box with our letters to Operation Gratitude!

     

    It's easy to participate and your letter and/or artwork will make some one very happy. Kids are especially encouraged to write.


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    Family Caroling Class
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    Santa Cruz Performing Arts
    Holiday caroling course for both kids and adults! Learn how to harmonize.
    Date: Every Su and Wed (Oct 23-Dec 11)
    Ages: All Ages Admission Fees: TUITION; $150 (Family Discounts Available)

    (0 Oct 2017) BenJamminCarolingClass.jpgFamily Caroling  ~  Hark, the Family Carolers Sing!

    Now you can pass-down the tradition of holiday caroling by enrolling your child and/or self in our annual multi-generational choir! Drawing from both traditional and non-traditional music, students learn beginning harmony and vocal techniques, while singing an array of traditional and secular holiday carols, including, "Seasons of Love", "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog", and "Silent Night"! 
    Classes are fun, low key, meet once a week, and begin in mid-October.

    SUNDAYS:@Kristy's School of Dance in Aptos - October 23 - December 11 - 2:00-3:30 OR  WEDNESDAYS @Ben Jammin's Studio in Live Oak - October 19 - December 11 - 3:30-5:00


    Please note that students may choose to rotate between the Sunday and Wednesday locations to make-up missed rehearsals. The course will end with four caroling exhibitions (some exhibitions are subject to change), of which we request participants to perform in a minimum of two.

    TUITION; $150 (Family Discounts Available)

    Click to register NOW


    Location: Kristy's School of Dance & Ben J, 7970 Soquel Dr, Aptos Map
    Phone: (831) 334-2121 •website Aptos create a direct event link
    Strike Out Hunger
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    Boardwalk Bowl
    Can of food for a free game
    Date: Every day (Nov 1-Dec 31)


    (0 Nov 2017) BoardwalkBowl.jpgYou can help #StrikeOutHunger and bowl for FREE!  Bring a can of food to the Boardwalk Bowl, now through December 31st, and bowl a game on us.  Food for the needy...free bowling for you! All donations go to the Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz

     

    Bring a can of food, and bowl a game for FREE!
    All food donations go to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County to help feed local families. Last year, we collected over 10,810 cans or over five tons of food!

     

    For a $100 cash donation to Second Harvest, we're giving away 25 FREE BOWLING passes for use at the Boardwalk Bowl on future visits.

     

    Boardwalk Bowl League Players who bring in 3 cans of unexpired food during league play receive 3 FREE BOWLING passes for a future visit.

     


    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Holiday Ice Skating
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    Beach Boardwalk
    Ice skate by the beach, on real ice!
    Date: Every day (Nov 11-Jan 7)
    Admission Fees: Each 1-hour session includes ice skate rental. $12

    Boardwalk Holiday Ice
    Presented by Dignity Health Medical Network

    November 11, 2017- January 7, 2018

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

    Festivities Include:

    • Ice Skating by the Beach - on Real Ice!
    • Holiday Lights and Decorations
    • Boardwalk Rides* & Games
    • Indoor Arcades, Mini Golf, and Laser Tag
    • Classic Holiday Movies

    Schedule

    November 11 - December 24, 2017, and January 2 - 7, 2018

    Fridays-Sundays: 12pm-9pm

    Mondays-Thursdays: 4pm-9pm

    December 25, 2017 - January 1, 2018

    12pm-9pm

    Ice Skating

    Our new 40' x 60' covered ice skating rink is open rain or shine!

    Each 1-hour session includes ice skate rental.

    $12

    photo of ice skating

    Reserve your ice skating session before you arrive!

    (Online reservations coming in November)

     

    *Please call (831) 423-5590 the day of your visit to confirm which rides and games are open.

     


    Location: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Felton Toy Train Days
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    Felton Presbyterian Church
    Date: Every Su and Sa (Nov 25-Dec 31)

    Special Instructions: Saturdays 10AM - 6PM & Sundays 12PM - 5PM

    You are invited! Felton Toy Train Days

     

    Amazing toy trains rolling along 3 giant, beautifully decorated train layouts. Refreshments, photo booth, holiday music, train tables and more for children of all ages! Admission and Parking FREE! FREE community event! Enjoy an amazing toy train display, refreshments, photo booth and FUN!!!


    Location: 6900 Highway 9, Felton Map
    Phone: (831) 335-6900 •website Felton 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
    The Smithsonian Is Coming!
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    San Lorenzo Valley Museum
    Hometown Teams explores the deep roots of sports in American culture, and shows how we engage in and watch sports to have fun, b
    Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa (Oct 14-Nov 26)


    (0 Sept 2017) SLV_HometownTeamsExhibition.jpgThe Smithsonian Is Coming!

    Hometown Teams explores the deep roots of sports in American culture, and shows how we engage in and watch sports to have fun, build up our communities, and support each other.

     

    Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.


    Opening Reception Oct 14, 2-4pm

     

     


    Location: 12547 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek Map
    website Boulder Creek 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
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