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(Site Photos) DownsChild1.jpg Special Needs Children


     Consciousness about special needs children was raised a big notch Wednesday when Sarah Palin spoke about her special needs baby Trig, who was born with Down's Syndrome.  Sarah Palin spoke from her heart, "Our family has the same ups and downs as any other... the same challenges and the same joys.  Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.  And children with special needs inspire a special love.  I googled Downs Syndrome and found some awesome sites.  Try this one.


     I was moved to tears watching Sarah's children take turns holding baby Trig  during her speech. I thought of the parents I know who lovingly do all they can for their special needs children, of  the volunteers who give time and of the respectful way our community treats the special needs adults who work to keep downtown Santa Cruz picked up.


     In Santa Cruz County we have a wonderful organization that helps parents of children with special (Business Logos) SPINLogo.jpgneeds.  SPIN sponsors interesting and informative programs and generates support for parents of special needs children. "Parents of children with special needs may feel isolated and overwhelmed with the medical, emotional, financial, educational and social issues they face as they raise their child. SPIN is a non-profit parent-to-parent support and information network serving parents, guardians and families in Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties who have a child or children with special needs of any age."


     SPIN has an information meeting coming up soon (Sept. 13) where you can learn about parents' rights and responsibilities in the individualized Family Service Plan process, including an overview of Early Intervention System and a discussion of agency contacts and resources.  Training will be conducted by Loni Allen, Education Specialist from Parents Helping Parents.  This is an opportunity to meet other parents/guardians of infants and todlers in your community for peer support.  Questions and answers will follow the two hour training. Refreshments will be provided." All details are in the Calendar.


     You can learn about SPIN here and about other people in our community who work with children with special needs here.  If you know of organizations that are not listed with us, please let us know so we can provide that information to parents.




Back to School Tips




New! A Guide to After School Programs, and More!(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Print_postit.jpg

     From Soccer to Art, Dance and Martial Arts, Music or Swimming, Gymnastics, Drama --Santa Cruz County has many fine enrichment programs.  We created a Guide to After School Programs, and more, for your convenience.  It's printable!  Please be sure to let us know about any programs that we may have missed!  If your favorite class or teacher is not listed with us, tell them about us!


New! A Guide to Healthful Snacks, with thanks to you for ideas!(Icons/Graphics) FoodFruit.jpg

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Here's a great printable list of snacks that was compiled from moms' comments.  We are always amazed at what children will eat when they are involved in the preparations.  As soon as children can open the refrigerator door have snack materials at their levels. I loved it when  my daughter, after a playdate with a friend, told me in amazement, "Mom, Christy's mom makes her lunch!."  


Take a class.  Learn how to create unique snacks!

     We cannot rave enough about the classes offered to families by the Culinary Institute of Santa (Business Logos) CulinaryCenterofSantaCruz.jpgCruz.  On Sunday Kelly Dearie and Julianne Boyajian are offering a parent/kid class in which you will learn how to make delicious snacks, easy to make and a lot more sophisticated than just celery and carrots. They provide the shopping list, recipes and hands-on demo and you will go away with loads of nutritious goodies! Nourish your family with foods that are nutrient dense, packed with good fats, proteins, vitamins, probiotics and live enzymes. 


During the demo, you will learn to make delicious snacks to take home:
*Sprouted Granola
*Coconut Cream Popsicles
*Fruit rolls
*Turnip/Yam chips w/guacamole and cultured sour cream dip
*Flax/Veggie Crackers and much more!

You will also receive:

*Himalayan Salt Crystals
*Tips for dairy and gluten free alternatives
*Tips to transitioning off of processed foods

Activity corner for kids is provided if not participating in class.



(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpgEvents



     We welcome event submissions!  When you have a program open to the public, let us know! Look for Submit Your Event on our homepage.

Fri, Sept 5, 10am-2pm, Splendor in Lavender, This annual event is a sale of items made from freshly (Site Photos) FlowersLavendar.jpgharvested lavender plants sponsored by The Lavender Sisterhood of the Mid County Senior Center. You will find products for aromatherapy including lavender wands, eye masks and sachets for closets and drawers. For food items, there will be scones, shortbread, tea bread and spice rubs, plus dried lavender for your own projects. Shoppers Corner, 622 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz


Fri, Sept 5, Free Day: Museum of Art & History 11am-9pm.  Permanent display of local Santa Cruz County history. Lunchtime Museum Tour 12-12:30pm.  1st Friday of the month. Join us for an interactive tour of our current exhibition.


Sat & Sun, Sept 6 & & 11am and 2pm. Redwood Loop Trail Naturalist Guided Walk. On this easy, level, half-mile walk you will learn astonishing facts about the ancient redwood environment and see the tallest, most rare and most fascinating trees in BigBasin. Park docent-interpretive naturalists engage young and old alike with colorful park history, redwood reproduction and animal stories as you explore the mysteries of the forest.  Meet the Mother of the Forest, the Father of the Forest, the Santa Clara, Animal and Chimney Trees, and more. Don't miss this informative walk on this historic trail! One hour. Stroller and wheelchair accessible.


Sat, Sept 6, 9am-1pm Mothers of Twins Club Annual Sale, Santa Cruz Mothers of Twins Club Annual Clothing and Equipment Sale, selling baby clothes and more. Household items, Strollers, car seats, cribs, toys, raffle prizes. Bake sale.  Portugese Hall, 216 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz (near Costco)

SantaCruzParent Calendar

Sun, Sept 7 Big Kahuna Triathlon 7am. The Big Kahuna is a long course triathlon consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. The event starts and finishes near the historic Beach Boardwalk.


Sun, Sept 7, 3-5pm, Make n' Take Healthy Sweet Treats! Kelly Dearie & Julianne Boyajian

All Ages, $49, Register on line: We'll provide the shopping list, recipes and hands-on demo and you will go away with loads of nutritious goodies! Nourish your family with foods that are nutrient dense, packed with good fats, proteins, vitamins, probiotics and live enzymes.

SantaCruzParent Calendar


Sun, Aug 31 11am-noon Bug Walk, Earthbound Farm, Carmel Valley.  Kids of all ages learn about beneficial insects and help us release ladybugs in our fields. $5/child (includes goodie bag), free for adults.  Corn maze is open! 


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Sept 6 -Oct 12, Open Weekends 10am-6pm  Renaissance Faire A talented cast of diverse characters will  delight our patrons once more, along with exciting new acts. Gossiping washerwomen, bellowing town criers, mischievous fools and swashbuckling sword fighters fill the street with color and merriment bringing our magical Renaissance village to life.  Come in costume or as you are.

SantaCruzParent Calendar


Fri, Sept 5 Movies at Capitola Beach: Goonies, Seating 6:30pm, Movie 7:30pm.  Free popcorn 7-7:30. This is a great chance to watch a movie on one of our Indian Summer nights.  Come early, have dinner in the village, bring the family, bring friends, flashlights, low-back beach chairs, blankets and warm clothes just in case it's a cool night.

Sat & Sun, Sept 6 & 7 Capitola Art and Wine Festival Volunteers are needed for the Capitola Art and Wine Festival, taking place September 6 and 7, to help with a special marketing survey. Volunteer for one hour on either day asking people their zip code to help the chamber determine where the crowds are coming from. All materials for the survey will be provided and each volunteer will receive a 2008 T-shirt, wine glass and a ticket for a glass of Vino.  Contact Ruthie, or call 521-7867.


Sun, Sept 7, 3-6pm, Wine Tasting and Auction. Come enjoy the 4th Annual Wine Tasting, Hor D'oeuvres and Auction. Local wineries include Alfaro, Bargetto, Natal, Nicholson, Storrs, and Windy Oaks. Hors d'oeuvres prepared by local chefs Russ Borelli (Deli Borelli) and Jeff Huff (owner, Silent Chef; instructor, Culinary Center of Monterey). Live and silent auctions available. Come for great fun, wonderful food, live music and wine! Holy Eucharist Catholic Community Office, 527 Corralitos Road, Corralitos.


(Site Photos) ShishKabob.jpgFri-Sun, Sept 5-7, 27th Annual Greek Culture and Food Festival  It's time for the 28th Annual Greek Festival in Downtown Santa Cruz! Come and enjoy authentic Greek Food and Desserts, Live Greek Music, Dancing, Gifts and Crafts and a Rock Climbing wall for the kids! The taverna will be serving Greek and American Beer, Wine and traditional Greek Spirits. Our vegetarian Food Booth is a huge success since so many wonderful Greek Foods, such as Moussaka (Moo-SA-KA) are meatless. Lamb lovers will be in heaven. And don't forget, Calamari, Gyros (YEEROS), Shish Kebobs, Baklava (Bak-la VA) and all of your Greek favorites.  Fri 5-11pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 12-8pm


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Sept 5-8 Circus Vargas, An authentic Circus under the Big Top, that's right, a TENT!! Daring aerial acts and clowns to make you laugh!  The quintessential coupling of traditional acts and modern concepts, a production par excellence! Join us for what is sure to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable editions of Circus Vargas to date, an ingenious mélange of unparalleled artistry and comical relief.... a welcomed diversion from the everyday doldrums. Come join the FUN!  With the sawdust, spangles and billowing canvas, Circus Vargas is a time machine that transports its audience back to the glamour and heart-pounding excitement of the authentic old-time circus. And we’ve never looked back!


Mon, Sept 8, 7:30pm, 12 Steps to Finding Your Life, A Night of Written and Musical Inspiration
Author Diane Dreher, Your Personal Renaissance: 12 Steps to Finding Your Life’s True Calling (Da Capo) & Musician Michelle Chappel performing songs from her new CD Shine. Capitola Book Cafe

Sept 9-14 noon-11pm, A week of fun at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds (Site Photos) Goat.jpg

Get ready for pig racing, frisbee dogs, bands, art, wine. poetry, gardening, garlic fries, concerts, carnival rides and livestock exhibits. 400-pound pumpkins, and more!

Tues, Sept 9, Seniors Day $4.00 Admission for Seniors age 62 and over

Weds, Sept 10, Kids Day, Smoke Free Day Free Admission for Kids 11 and Under All Day, Carnival Wristband Day

Thurs & Fri, Sept 11 & 12, Education Days, Carnival Wristband Day

Sat, Sept 13, Junior Livestock Auction, Ocean Speedway Race Day

Sun, Sept 14, Ocean Speedway Destruction Derby Day


Weds, Sept 10 9:15-11:30am, Mandarin Speaking Playgroup, Ni hao pen yo! We're a Mandarin speaking playgroup for kids 1-5years old. We meet in the Santa Cruz county every Wednesday from 9:15-11:30am. The playgroup is to reinforce speaking Mandarin with the little ones and to meet new friends! If anyone is interested, they can visit  Thank You, Anna


Sat, Sept 13, 6-10pm, Open Gym/Parents Night out! Santa Cruz Sports Central (near Costco), Ages 3-13, Safe gymnastics, games, trampoline, snacks & fun. Call to reserve your spot as space is limited, 427-3547.


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It's a Win-Win!

Be sure to put

your school's name

in the Comments section

and tell us if

you're a teacher, parent

or both!


Call 713.7026

or email us.

Carden School

of Santa Cruz

Offers a

Junior Kindergarten

For the 4 Year Old

Who Delights in

Learning and Play

In a Nurturing

& Rich Program

319 La Fonda Ave,

Santa Cruz



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The Village Preschool

A warm and nurturing


inspired preschool

Toys made from nature's gifts 

Days filled with artistic and practical work

Imaginative play, fairy tales, puppetry, circle games, movement, outdoor play

West Side of Santa Cruz

Call Laura to visit.


Piano Lessons

by Bike with

Michael Levy

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10 years' music teaching experience
Beginners of all ages welcome
Pop, jazz, gospel, more!
Save a trip-

I'll bike to you

(Santa Cruz and Live Oak)
Always encouraging



After-School Support

fostering a mastery

of the basics of reading and math 

Stop in to see how we empower you and your child.  Let us show you our very effective "Number Board! You will be amazed.

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Please see our special offer

in Local Perks


845 Cedar St, Santa Cruz


Bavarian Buffet


Thursday, September 4th
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Live accordion music highlights our great buffet dishes. This month's menu includes cucumber turkey, duck,

Reuben casserole and

an ode to chocolate!
Reservations appreciated! 

9600 Hwy 9





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Santa Cruz Sports Central

350 B Coral St,

Santa Cruz

near Costco


Hidden Treasures Preschool

A New Home-based Program
In a Welcoming New Yurt
Experienced, loving,

respectful teachers
Small Classes
Ages 2 1/2 - 5
Mon-Thurs 9-1
West Santa Cruz
Jaimie Allen 423.6463
Lic # 444406041


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The Right School

for Your Child!

Which school is right for your child? Should you find yourself in a situation that is not working well, it's not too late to explore alternatives. Many schools have a few spaces left and offer visiting days.  Don't be shy.  Call to arrange a visit.  You can learn more about other schools here on


Finger Babble(Site Photos) Signing_Daddy.jpg

Fall Play Class

Starts in September!

Free Demo Class


Sept 12

Call 425.7357

for time & location!


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Kung Fu Kids

A  balance of the

discipline and activity

of martial arts,

support of homework,

fun games,

good friends and

positive mentors.

We pick up from school.

Come visit us!

1570 Soquel Dr.


Dogs Attack Gator!

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Thank you for inviting us into your mailbox!  Please tell us what we can do for you!


Bacon and Swiss Turkeyburgers ~  Cajun Style Jambalaya

Crispy Citrus-Sesame Tapia Fillets  ~  Fresh Peach Bread Pudding

Green Chile Enchilada Caserole  ~  Sicilian Chicken Parmesan

Sloppy Joes ~ Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary Infused Plum Sauce

Slow-cooked BBQ Flank Steak   ~  Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Sound Delicious?

  In one hour at Fresh Prep Kitchens you can bring home any number of these family meals to freeze and have whenever you need them! 

Visit FreshPrepKitchens or call 429.1390

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Santa Cruz, CA