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Featured Events:

Folk Dancing!
Check out these folk dancing events! Balkan, Israeli, International
Every Tues and Fri from 7:30am to 11:00pm
Location: Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz Map

(0 April 2018) FolkDancing.jpgTHE HELLADELICS at Live Oak Grange, Santa Cruz CA
Time: 8:00-11:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:30)
Cost: $15.00 (sliding scale) + tips for the band.
Bring: Snacks to share--finger food only, please.Dancing in Santa Cruz for 48+ years.

Join us on Friday evenings...


Live music parties will usually happen at the Live Oak Grange in Santa Cruz--depending on availability of the facility and bands. Occasionally we will party at Park Hall in Ben Lomond or at our regular venue, Market Street Senior Center.

Questions? Send email to:
(Be patient--answers may take a few days... Thanks!)


FRIDAY: Cabrillo Folk Dancers--Balkan & International

TUESDAY: Alan Rothchild's Israeli Dance class

Time: Friday, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
(Dancing starts about 7:45...)
EVERY Friday, except on (or near) national holidays. For the health and comfort of members with asthma and allergies, the class is "fragrance-free".
Any schedule changes will be announced on this web site, whenever possible.
Cost: $7.00
MARKET STREET SENIOR CENTER, 222 Market Street, Santa Cruz, CA

In a residential neighborhood, on the surrounding streets. Please be considerate of the neighbors, and don't block driveways.

New to folk dancing or haven't danced in 10-40 years?
Come at the beginning of class, when easier dances are taught.

LIVE MUSIC: Check the Calendar of Events page for the schedule of live music parties and other parties/events of interest.

Questions? Email: - (answers may take a couple of days...)

This class has been taught by Alan Rothchild for over 25 years.
Every Tuesday evening, 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Peace United Church of Christ (formerly First Congregational, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz


For more information email:

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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
Gingerbread House Workshops
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Hurry, spots sell out fast! Tell Marini's you found out about this workshop on!
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!

Location: 1308 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831.423.3299 •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
Senderos Winter Dance
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Come for dinner and a show!
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 2) at 5:30pm

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


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


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

Location: Harbor High, 300 La Fonda Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
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

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
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+)

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

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

Farley's Christmas Wonderland

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


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


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


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


Location: 108 Seaview Ave., Aptos Map
website Aptos create 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, or at

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
    Annual Children's Holiday Craft & Food Fair
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    Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz
    Art, crafts, baked goods by the children!
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
    Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

    Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz Annual Children's Holiday Craft & Food Fair

    Table registration is now open online!
    Location: Boys & Girls Club gym downtown (543 Center St.)


    (A Nov) boys-and-girls-club-craftfair-.jpgThe Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz invites all children (18 and under) who enjoy arts & crafts, baking, and/or cooking to rent a table at our annual craft & food fair. They can decorate their table as much as they like and sell their homemade goods to shoppers, family, and friends. This Craft Fair is truly unique in its support of children's creativity and entrepreneurship.We hold the craft fair in our gym immediately following the annual downtown Santa Cruz parade a couple blocks away where lots of people will be gathered. There will be live music from local performers (if you know of any groups who might like to perform, let us know). Customer admission is free.


    Table space is limited, so reserve yours early by registering and making payment for $15 per table (can be shared to save $, limit 2 per participant). How to Register: Registration is now available online.

    You can choose to pay online on that page, pay at the Club, or send a check.Feel free to pass this email along to friends who might be interested. We look forward to another fun event!

    Location: 543 Center Street, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831) 423-3138 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Annual Los Gatos Children's Christmas & Holidays Parade
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    Los Gatos Recreation
    This is a great parade!
    Date: 12/02/2017 at 11:00am

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


    Rain or shine.


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


    Huge parade!


    website Los Gatos create a direct event link
    Art Classes
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    Santa Cruz Art League
    Holiday art shopping special
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

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

    Location: 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831) 426-5787 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Loma Prieta Holiday Craft Faire
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    Loma Prieta Holiday Craft Faire
    Unique, thoughtful treasures handcrafted by California artisans for your friends and family, including ceramics, clothing, food,
    Date: Every day (Dec 2-Dec 3) from 10:00am to 4:00pm

    (0 Nov 2017) Christmas_LomaPrietaCraft2017.jpgLoma Prieta Holiday Craft Faire, Celebrating 25 years!

    There’s a little bit of everything here! Unique, thoughtful treasures handcrafted by California artisans for your friends and family, including ceramics, clothing, food, furniture, gems and minerals, glass, jewelry, handknits, leather, local honey and beeswax products, metal, paintings, photographs, soaps and lotions, sculptures, textiles, toys and woodwork.


    The Holiday Craft Faire happens on the first weekend in December.

    Saturday, December 2 from 10 am to 5 pm
    Sunday, December 3 from 10 am to 4 pm


    Location: Loma Prieta Gym, 23800 Summit Road, Los Gatos Map
    website Los Gatos 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 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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    Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale
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    City of Watsonville
    Sale with a delightful array of products... save the date, it happens only once a year!
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 9:00am to 4:00pm

    Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale

    Each year Watsonville's business community holds a factory sale, which is held on Saturday, December 3rd from 9am to 4pm.  There are great deals on the many products grown, manufactured or produced right here in Watsonville!

    Click here for a list of Participating Vendors and Map

    This annual event features local businesses offering great Christmas gifts at deep discounts. Finish your holiday shopping early, save money and support local businesses.  Participating merchants will include:

    La Selva Designs - Gifts and Collectibles - 948 East Lake Avenue


    Head'n Home - Handmade Hats - 125 Aviation Way


    El Pajaro CDC Commercial Kitchen -Free Hot Chocolate. Featuring locally prepared food and Artisan products - 412 East Riverside Drive


    S. Martinelli & Company - Martinelli's Gold Medal Cider - 345 Harvest Drive


    Anniglass - Art for the Table - 310 Harvest Drive


    Smith & Vandiver - Bath, Body and Skincare - 480 Airport Blvd.


    Hidden Fortress Coffee - Coffee - 125 Hangar Way


    Roche Leather Company - Custom  Leather Handbags- 161 Harkins Slough Rd.


    Environmental Science Workshop - Unique gifts for the DIYer- 120 Second Street


    American Hatmakers / Head'n Home Hats - Handmade Hats - 125 Aviation Way


    Integrity Wines - Local handcrafted wines made to exceed your expectations -135 Aviation Way


    Creator Haven, LLC - jewelry, metal and glass artists- 41-B Hangar Way

    website Watsonville create a direct event link
    Winter Art Market
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    Tannery Arts Center
    Enjoy ornament making, holiday gift show, art demonstrations, stocking making, live music, caroling, and more. Free and open to
    Date: Every day (Dec 2-Dec 3)
    Ages: All ages

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

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

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

    Art Market hours

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


    Winter Art Market

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

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

    Location: 1050 River St, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831) 621-6226 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Lucia Festival of Lights
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    Scandinavian Cultural Center of Santa Cruz
    Celebrate the pageantry of the candlelit procession with Lucia, her attendants and star boys
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 4:00pm to 6:30pm
    Admission Fees: $5 adults, $3 ages 5-12, $15 families, under 5 no charge

    Dec 2, 2017 - Lucia Festival

    Lucia 2008

    • Refreshments and Butik
    • Children's Crafts
    • Bring Cookies to Kitchen before the Program

    The Jul season will be ushered in by our 2017 Lucia, followed by her attendants wearing silver tinsel crowns and star boys with tall pointed hats.  The well loved Swedish chorus, the Zaida Singers, will perform Scandinavian music in four-part harmony.  After the program, Jultomtem leads the way to cookies, coffee, and punch.  Everyone is invited to join in the dancing around the Christmas tree.  A craft table for children will be available.


    20131207_174301Our Butik will be open featuring unique Nordic gifts and items for the home and family.  Beautiful wooden, metal, and glass items, linens, candles, cards, books, jewelry, shirts, dolls, and Christmas decorations will be available for purchase.


    If your child or grandchild would like to participate in the program, please email Helene at before Oct 25.  Rehearsals start in November.


    History of Lucia Day

    Before daybreak, Lucia, dressed in a white gown with red sash, wearing a crown of blazing candles in her hair, emerges our of the darkness carrying a tray of saffron buns and steaming coffee to awaken the family.  According to one legend, Lucia was born in Sicily and secretly distributed her large dowry by candlelight to the poor.


    Dec 13th on the Julian calendar was the winter solstice celebrated by the Norse; now this date is the traditional Lucia Day and is celebrated all over Scandinavia in homes, schools, hospitals, and city halls marking the darkest time of the year when all celebrate the beginning of the Jul season and the return of the sun - a festival of light!

    Location: Peace United Church of Christ, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
    Lighted Boat Parade
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    Santa Cruz Harbor
    50+ beautifully-decorated power and sailboats parading through the Santa Cruz Harbor
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 5:30pm to 10:00pm
    Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

    (A Nov) LightedBoatParade-150x150.jpgSponsored by the Santa Cruz Yacht Club and including a canned food drive benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank, the Lighted Boat Parade features 50+ beautifully-decorated power and sailboats parading through the Santa Cruz Harbor.


    Charter boats available.


    This is a family event with hot drinks and snacks available at various locations through the south harbor.

    Location: 135 Fifth Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831)425-0690 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Holiday Parade
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    Downtown Santa Cruz
    Community celebration, rain or shine, quirky, fun parade!
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

    Special Instructions: Spruce Street down to Pacific Avenue to Front Street

    (0 Nov 2017) DTAParade2017.jpgDowntown Association's Holiday Parade

    Starting 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!


    The annual holiday parade is rain or shine!


    For further information, please visit:


    Location: 1346 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Holiday Art & Craft Faire
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    Santa Cruz County Parks
    Do your holiday shopping, and support local artists and craftspeople!
    Date: 12/02/2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
    Ages: All ages Admission Fees: free
    Special Instructions: Free parking, too

    (0 Nov 2017) CountyCraftFair2017.jpgA wide variety of high-quality, handmade art and crafts will be showcased at the annual Holiday Art and Craft Faire!


    Shoppers will find one-of-a-kind items created by local Santa Cruz County artists and craftspeople, including jewelry, hats and bags, textiles (knitted items, clothing), ornaments, chocolates, soaps, art, nightlights, succulent mini gardens, craft kits for kids, cards, pillows, art glass, and much more!


    Come on by to find that perfect gift, stocking stuffers, or something for yourself! Free parking and admission.

    Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center, 979 17th Ave., SANTA CRUZ Map
    Phone: (831) 454-7901 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Old-Fashioned Christmas Tea
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    Pajaro Valley Historical Association
    Date: 12/03/2017 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

    Old-Fashioned Christmas Tea


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


    Location: 332 East Beach St, Watsonville Map
    website Watsonville 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 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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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


    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!



    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.


    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.


    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Chanukkuh Train
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    Beach Boardwalk
    Create a new holiday tradition with family and friends as we experience the lights, stories and traditions of Chanukah in a whol
    Date: 12/14/2017

    Santa Cruz Chanukah Train

    December 14 - One Night Only!

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

    Share the light of this special season with a ride on the Chanukah Train.

    Light the menorah, listen to stories, play dreidel and enjoy kosher refreshments. Happy Chanukah!




    Location: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    Toy Trains 2017
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    MAH and Golden State Toy Train Operators
    Experience a mini-universe of model trains that delight the young and young at heart.
    Date: Every day (Dec 15-Dec 31)
    Ages: All Admission Fees: Free


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

    Back for their 12th year, the Golden State Toy Train Operators, Inc. presents Toy Trains. Watch a massive standard gauge steam engine from the 1920s start up with the headlight flashing and drive wheels spinning. Marvel at smoke flowing from the smoke stack, and a mighty whistle. Members of the the Golden State Toy Train Operators will be on hand to help young engineers' master controls and to answer questions. You can even bring your own toy train and put it on the track!

    Also enter the raffle to win a toy train! Raffle drawing will be on Saturday December 30th at 12:00 noon.

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

    December 15 - December 31

    Location: 705 Front St, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: 831.429.1964 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
    "The Nutcracker"
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    Santa Cruz Ballet Theater
    Everyone's Favorite Holiday Tradition!
    Date: Every day (Dec 15-Dec 17)
    Ages: 3 - 103 Admission Fees: $15-58 plus box office service charge
    Special Instructions: For Group Sales rates , call the Box Office.

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

    Click HERE to purchase tickets online


    A Santa Cruz tradition!  Our sixteenth production with full professional orchestra at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.  Over seventy local dancers perform choreography by Robert Kelley with sumptuous costumes and scenery.  Guest starring SCBT alumna Melody Mennite, who will be partnered by fellow Houston Ballet principal dancer Ian Casady.  The Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre Orchestra is conducted by our Music Director Pamela Martin.  

    Friday December 15 at 8 pm
    Saturday, December 16 at 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm
    Sunday, December 17 at 1:00 and 4:30 pm


    Location: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium , 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831) 420-5260 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
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    Chamber of Commerce Capitola-Soquel
    Ice skate by the sea!!
    Date: Every day (Dec 15-Jan 7)
    Admission Fees: $10 with ice skate rentals available for $5, or bring your own

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


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



    Location: Esplanade Park , Capitola Village Map
    website Capitola Villagecreate a direct event link
    Nutcracker Santa Cruz: Experience The Magic!
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    International Academy of Dance, Santa Cruz Dance Guild
    Kick off your family's holiday traditions with the magical Nutcracker Ballet, a spectacular performance sure to delight and insp
    Date: Every day (Dec 16-Dec 17)
    Ages: all Admission Fees: $30-$40
    Special Instructions: Performances 1:00pm and 4:30pm

    The Premier NUTCRACKER in Santa Cruz
    Cabrillo's Crocker Theater ~ 2017


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

    This Thanksgiving weekend, International Academy of Dance and the Santa Cruz Dance Guild, present the full length Nutcracker Ballet at Cabrillo's Crocker Theater.

    Affordable tickets the whole family can enjoy!




    Cabrillo's Crocker Theater
    Saturday, December 16th
    Sunday, December 17th
    Two shows per day at 1:00pm and 4:30pm

    Location: Cabrillo's Crocker Theater, Lower Perimeter Road, Aptos Map
    Phone: (831) 466-0458 •website Aptos create a direct event link
    Annual "Messiah" Sing-A-Long
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    Peace United Church of Christ
    A community sing-a-long, open to anyone who would like to raise their voice to sing Handel's legendary "Messiah."
    Date: 12/19/2017 at 7:00pm
    Admission Fees: $25 general admission

    Messiah Sing-A-Long

    Annual "Messiah" Sing-A-Long and Gala

    Cabrillo Chorus & Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra


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

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


    Gala reception to follow.

    Buy Tickets Now!


    Location: 900 High St, Santa Cruz Map
    website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
    Community Christmas Day Dinner
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    Veterans for Peace
    The Friends of Christmas are partnering with the Veterans for Peace to provide a full Christmas-style ham dinner (with vegan & v
    Date: 12/25/2017 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
    Admission Fees: Free to attend / Donations Appreciated

    (0 Dec 2017) HamDinner.jpgCommunity Christmas Day Dinner

    For 31 years, the Veterans in Santa Cruz have been providing delicious community dinners for the holidays.

    Once again this year, The Friends of Christmas are partnering with the Veterans for Peace to provide a full Christmas-style ham dinner (with vegan & vegetarian options) hosted by our friends and community partners at the MAH. All are welcome.

    Community members interested in donating to the holiday dinner can do so by sending your tax deductible check made out to Steve Pleich, Treasurer and addressed to:

    Steve Pleich, P.O. Box 7186, Santa Cruz, CA 95061

    Or donate online at:

    Volunteers are needed for food prep, serving, table setting, decorations, cleanup, etc.

    Just as importantly, we are asking for donations of warm weather gear of any kind to help provide some winter protection and holiday cheer.

    For more information about clothing drop off, volunteer opportunities or general event information, please call Steve Pleich: (831) 466-6078 or email:

    Thanks from the Friends of Christmas, the Veterans for Peace and the Museum of Art & History.

    We're saving a place at our holiday table just for you!

    Location: MAH, 705 Front St, Santa Cruz Map
    Phone: (831) 466-6078 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
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