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December

Adoption Fair
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Pet Pals
Date: Every Sa from 12:00pm to 4:00pm


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

  PET PALS
  3660 Soquel Drive
​  Soquel, CA


Location: 3660 Soquel Drive, Soquel Map
Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Coffee Talk and Crafts
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State Park Big Basin
Introduction to the park and figuring out the right trail for you!
Date: Every Su and Sa (Dec 1-Dec 31) from 9:30am to 12:00pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: See different times

Coffee Talk and Crafts

Saturday, December 2 from 10am to 1pm

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

Saturday, December 23 from 10am to 1pm

Saturday, December 30 from 10am to 1pm

Sunday, December 31 from 10am to 1pm

Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. A Docent will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity! Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831) 338-8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Old Cove Landing Trail Walks
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State Park Wilder Ranch
Explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs.
Date: Every 2 weeks on Sa (Dec 2-Dec 30) at 11:00am


Old Cove Landing Coast Nature Walks

Saturdays, December 2 at 11am

Saturday, December 16 at 11am

Saturday, December 30 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.

 

 

Rain and/or wet weather cancels this event!

Meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center.

Wilder Ranch State Park, 1401 Coast Rd. Free, but parking costs $10


Location: 1401 Coast Rd., Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 421-0139 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
iskate
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Chamber of Commerce Capitola-Soquel
Ice skate by the sea!!
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Jan 7)
Admission Fees: $10 with ice skate rentals available for $5, or bring your own

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

 

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

 

 


Location: Esplanade Park , Capitola Village Map
website Capitola Villagecreate 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
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
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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Choose Your Own Adventure Tour
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State Park Henry Cowell
Join us on a guided scavenger hunt along our trails.
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Choose Your Own Adventure Tour
Saturdays at 1 pm


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

 

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

 

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


Location: Hwy 9, Felton Map
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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
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

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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
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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Adult Crafts
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Library Felton
Let's have some fun while also helping each other learn and grow as artists and crafters!
Date: Every Su and Sa from 2:00pm to 4:30pm


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

 

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

 

 


Location: 6299 Gushee, Felton Map
Phone: 831-427-3151 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Farley's Christmas Wonderland
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Farley's Christmas Wonderland
Visit an elaborate Christmas-themed oasis
Date: Every day (Nov 23-Dec 31) from 5:45pm to 9:00pm
Admission Fees: Donations accepted

Farley's Christmas Wonderland

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


Location: 108 Seaview Ave., Aptos Map
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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
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
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
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