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     Want to help kids in other parts of the world get the things they need to survive and grow?


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     You've got the power to do it! This October, make Halloween count by Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF.  You can help Unicef get water, education and medicine to the children who need it most.  Getting involved is easy and fun!


(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenUnicefBox.jpg     First, you'll need a box. Order boxes online, or create your own.


     Then go door-to-door on Halloween—or create your own fundraiser—and ask everyone to help you raise money for kids around the world.


Once you've collected the money, send it to UNICEF to help save kids' lives. And be sure to celebrate your success once you're done!  Send us a picture and tell us about it too!



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Blogging by and for Santa Cruz Parents

about Parenting


     I wrote my first ever blog last week.  I wanted to be upbeat because I loved and love being a parent (and a grandparent) in all its stages, and was intending to talk about some of the joys in my "hands-on" parenting years, and then a crisis entered my sphere, so I wrote about a pretty serious topic, suicide. I really want to hear from you, so please visit my blog and add a comment. is looking for a mom blogger and a dad blogger to share personal views on parenting.  Do you enjoy writing about the big deals, the trivia, the trials, tribulations, funny moments and joys of parenting?  Do find humor in your day-to-day family life?  Can you laugh at yourself?  Are your children althernately adorable, clever, funny, exhausting, irritating and oh so sweet?  You do not have to be a professional writer, just earnest, local and uniquely "Santa Cruz County".  You may have little ones, tweens or teens, we're interested in all stages.  We want to hear your voice!!  Send us a sample story, one or five paragraphs, whatever it requires to tell a parenting story. 





(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpg            Events for Your Pleasure! 


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AWESOME STATE PARKS SEPTEMBER ACTIVITIES   Go to the Events Calendar and select State Parks.  Our local rangers have planned activities for all ages, toddlers, teens and adults!



(Site Photos) Airshow.jpgSat & Sun, Sept 27-28: 11am-4pm, gates open 9am.  Salinas Airshow featuring the U.S. Navy Thunderbirds.  If anyone in your family enjoys airplanes, this is a spectacular airshow with planes from all eras.  The Thunderbirds arrive Thursday to scope out the area and will be doing a dress rehearsal Friday afternoon, Sept 26.  This is a fundraising event for local charities.

Calendar Details


(Site Photos) Oktoberfest1.jpgFri, Sept 26, Sat. Sept 27, Sun Sept 28 Oktoberfest at the Tyrolean Inn

Friday 4-10pm The Karl Lebherz Band at 6pm

Saturday 2-10pm Big Lou's Polka Band at 2pm

California Alpine Band at 6pm

Sunday 2-9pm A new show by The California Alpine Band at 3pm.

Lots of activities for children when they aren't dancing!

Reservations taken for large groups.



(Special Event Page Graphics) BordersKidsParty.jpgSat, Sept 27, 2-4pm, Party for Kids and their Parents at Borders.  Bring the family to your local Borders store's kids' section for games, story times, activities, and more!




Sat, Sept 27, 7pm,  Radical Reels Film Festival, UCSC Media Theater(Special Event Page Graphics) RadicalMovieBikeJump.jpg
Faster, steeper, higher, deeper! outrageous mountain sport films.  Bike tough trails, paddle wild waters, and ski steep slopes. The Radical Reels Tour runs every spring & winter and spans North America bringing a variety of mountain sport films to a wide range of viewers from hard-core outdoor adventures to weekend warriors. Grab your tickets and hang on to your seats as we present the world's best action films on skiing, boarding, climbing, biking, kayaking and more- all brought to life on the big screen. 

Tickets available at Sprockets Bike Shop, Pacific Edge Climbing Gym and UCSC Recreation.


Sat, Sept 27, 9am-3pm “THUNDERBIRDS ON THE SANTA CRUZ WHARF”(Site Photos) Thunderbird.jpg

features classic 1955-1957 and the 1958-1965 vintage Thunderbirds. Each year about 100 Thunderbirds and hundreds of people participated in the show. Spectators from throughout the area come to view the classic Thunderbirds, join in the events and participate in the raffles. Additionally, Thunderbird clubs from all over California and Nevada caravan to the wharf in Santa Cruz to participate. Many stay the weekend. The ocean, the mountains, the wharf, the restaurants, and the retail stores all create a powerful attraction.

Calendar Details

Once Upon a Nest 9am

Listen to tales of the history and lore of the endangered marbled murrelet as you follow the path of its(Site Photos) MarbledMurrelet.jpg discovery right here in the center of Big Basin with docent Karen DeMello. You'll also meet typical birds of the redwood forest along the way on this 1-1/2 mile walk. Binoculars recommended (not required). Meet at Park Headquarters.
Redwood Loop Melodrama 11am & 2pm
Celebrate Big Basin's history! Take a walk into the past on the easy, family friendly redwood loop trail and meet colorful characters from Big Basin's past-listen to the stories of a pioneering homesteader, an early conservationist, the first female ranger at Big Basin and more! Half-mile, 1.5-hour walk, wheelchair and stroller friendly. Meet at Park Headquarters.
JazzA Concert 12-2pm
Bring a picnic lunch and join the JazzA quartet in our beautiful campfire amphitheater and listen (and dance if you want!) as they play fun songs from days gone by!
(Site Photos) TreesRedwood.jpgFootsteps of the Founders 12 noon
Celebrate Big Basin's history by taking a walk to "Slippery Rock," the spot where the effort to save Big Basin began and find out what it took to preserve this special place. Join docent Doreen Devorah on this moderate 3.5-mile, 3-hour hike with waterfall views. Bring water and a light snack. Meet at Park Headquarters.
Children's Games 3:30-4:30pm
Step back in time and play some old-fashioned children's games. This one-hour program is for children of all ages. Meet at the Old Lodge.
Twilight Hike 7-8:30pm
Hear stories of the early days at Big Basin on this easy, ¾- mile walk that's fun for the whole family. Bring a flashlight and meet at Park Headquarters.

Calendar Details

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Fri & Sat, Sept 27 & 28,  USA/Boardwalk Cheer & Dance Competition Beach Boardwalk
Enthusiastic cheerleaders from all around Northern California compete on the beach bandstand.

Calendar Details




(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenJackOLanternCat.jpgOctober!!  When you go to our calendar click on the pull-down menu and select Halloween.  this jack o'lantern will designate Halloween Events, pumpkin patches and  harvest-related events!  Check back frequently as we shall be adding events as they come in.  Calendar Details



Weds, Oct 1, 11am-9pm, Summer Frivolity Fest, Benefit for WomenCARE Love offering donation.  A day for the community to come together to celebrate life through music, poetry, children's songs, games, dance, clowning, story-telling and simply playing together. Local artists, individuals and groups offering their talents for an important cause and just for fun. Beautiful grassy areas, sunshine and large trees with a meandering stream. For more information, directions or to offer your talents, contact Ronda Rice, 1701 Branciforte Dr.

Calendar Details


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FREE FUN ALERT.... In 2009, you will be able to enjoy "celebration vacations" at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park(s) on YOUR birthday and get in free! CLICK HERE, to sign up for a free birthday pass for You and YOUR CHILDREN! Additional details will be coming toward the end of the year.


(Site Photos) GreenApples.jpgAn Apple a Day...

     It is apple season! We appreciate and savor the taste and texture of a freshly picked apple. One of our favorites is the Gravenstein apple. Alas, its limited shelf-life and pack-ability and the conversion of orchards to vineyards has diminished our local stock, but if you can get a taste of a Gravenstein apple, be sure to eat one. They have a tremendous taste and aroma and make excellent dried, baked, and sauced products.

     The Worlds Healthiest Foods website has an excellent page on apples, detailing the incredible health benefits of fiber, antioxidant flavonoids, and sun protective phenols. Check out's interesting fact page on apples for some more interesting information on apples.

Party Favors

Doing Away with Kiddie B-Day Party Extravaganzas

By Starshine Roshell,


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    I'm doing something utterly outrageous for my son's third birthday party this month. I mean completely over the top. In fact, I'm pretty sure all the moms will be copying me next year. Here's what I'm doing: Almost nothing.


     I know. Crazy, right? Kids' birthday parties today tend to be more high-concept galas than low-key shindigs, replacing the once-popular cake-and-presents model with the full-blown dog-and-pony show. Sites like have sprung up to protest the trend, arguing that elaborate invitations and themes, inflated guest lists, wedding-scale entertainment and extravagant party favors make for stressed parents and spoiled kids.


     "I'm tired of being exhausted and tense on my kid's birthday," admits a friend of mine. "Especially if it is pointless - which it is." The woman spent six years trucking in horses and hiring musicians for her daughter's parties only to discover afterwards that her kid "does not in fact remember the band or the pony or the fairytale castle or the pumpkin-patch trip. None of it." They can't even jar her memory with photos of the events, because they didn't shoot any. "We were too busy running around conducting games or passing out prizes."


     My boys and I weren't invited to Suri Cruise's second birthday bash, which reportedly cost $100,000. But we've attended parties where the "favor" (a portable art set with paints, pastels, and brushes) was nicer than the gift we brought (a favorite paperback book). And we went to a casual backyard party where guests could hug a screeching orangutan and ride an African bull elephant. The five-year-olds weren't interested in the beasts; there was a far more enchanting bouncy house in the side yard.


     Why do we go wild over kiddie birthday parties? "When little Hannah has a princess bouncer and frost-your-own cupcakes at her party, and lucky Liam takes the whole class for a ride on a real fire engine, you sort of feel like you might need to step it up a little," says another mom I know, whose pet peeve is the guest goody bags that are derigueur at modern kiddie fetes.


     "When we were kids - and yes, I realize I sound ancient - you were happy to get a homemade cupcake. Now you have to give kids a present for coming to your kid's party? What IS that?" It's nonsense, that's what. And I'm over it.


     Sure, in the past, I've hand-delivered message-in-a-bottle invitations all over town for a pirate birthday, and manned game stations across the yard for a carnival party. But this year, I'm not playing the one-up-manship game with my fellow party-planning parents. I'm setting the bar back at the bottom - down where my pre-schooler can actually reach it - with a simple backyard scamper fest. No inflatable jumpers. No themed tablecloth or dazzling Disney centerpiece. No pinata, magician or face-painter. The only entertainment I'm hiring is Duncan Hines to work his Supermoist magic on my son's fuss-free single-layer cake.


     Even my gal pals who typically throw Birthday Extravaganzas have lauded my newfound laziness. "I know my kids feel very special to receive the royal treatment," says a friend who once threw a Harry Pottery party with a sorting hat, potion station, life-size chess board, wand-making table, sorcerer's stone hunt and backyard Quidditch match. "The problem is that each year we feel the need to either top the previous year or declare a 'pass,' as if the birthday isn't as important this year.


     I find myself praying I don't have to host a Star Wars Bar Mitzvah complete with R2D2 serving the food!" Feelings of maternal inadequacy have no place in party planning. They're uninvited guests and should be blown out like birthday candles or popped like balloons.


     If you thrive on throwing birthday banquets, knock yourself out. But those of us who have to answer to our envious invitees would ask that you toss a little restraint into your goody bags from time to time. At least that's a favor we can all enjoy.


Open Studios begins in October!

(Special Event Page Graphics) OpenStudiosBarbara.jpg    The Open Studios self-guided Art Tour takes place from the redwoods to the sea. Thousands of art enthusiasts visit with artists in their studios to see the creative process at work.

     Art Tour information is available through the 15-month Artist Guide/Calendar, a Preview Exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League, and on our website. The museum-quality, 15-month Artist Guide/Calendar, available for $20 at more than 50 locations in Santa Cruz County, includes a map of Open Studios Locations and contact information for each artist. Calendar sales benefit local arts and arts learning programs.

Painting by Barbara Lawrence

Studios Open 11am-6pm oct 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19  Open Studios

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 Tyrolean Inn!

Fri, Sat & Sun

Sept 26-28

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Friday 4-10pm

The Karl Lebherz Band 6pm

Saturday 2-10pm

Big Lou's Polka Band 2pm

California Alpine Band 6pm

Sunday 2-9pm

A new show by

California Alpine Band 3pm

Lots of

Fun Activities for Children

See you on the dance floor!

9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond



If everyone

in Santa Cruz


one pair of socks

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from a locally owned store

what it would do

for our local economy.


It would re-circulate

more money in the


than buying at a




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Think Local

Buy Local

One Pair of Socks... 

                       or more...

Pacific Ave, SantaCruz

Don't leave costumes

to the last minute! 

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Go to

Baby Bloomers

Water St, Santa Cruz


Jelli Beanz

2555 Soquel Av, Santa Cruz


Little Peoples

2601 Main St, Soquel

& Safeway Center, Scotts Valley

476.7244, 438.7245

Lorelei, Stephanie,

Sherri and Shelly

each have great

"costume re-cycling"


and encourage you

to bring in

last year's costumes

and find


for this


Call for "take-in" hours!

Baby Shoppe

1101 Pacific Ave

Santa Cruz

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Halloween Costumes

Perk for your


Find it on

Where Locals
Shop for Great Meats,
Cheeses, Produce and Wines,
Banciforte and Soquel 
Santa Cruz
     "Recently my brother from Connecticut came for a few days.  He wanted to visit wineries in Santa Cruz and told me he likes "European earthy wines" so I went to Shoppers and said to Brian, Shopper's wine buyer, "HELP!  Where should I take him?!"  Based on my brother's "wine adjectives" Brian recommended visiting certain wineries.  We spent a couple of days visiting and my brother was enchanted.  So was I!  I recommend going to Shoppers for any wine question.  Brian is so accessible and he's no wine snob.  You will be pleased with his enthusiasm, knowledge and service.  Oh, and did I mention that Brian calls himself a 'foodie'?"  Brownie

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Story Time
Mondays 11am 
  Tumbling Tutor
Ages walking-5
After 45 minutes of
movement adventure
with Somersault Suzy
your child will be
mellow and energized!
Portola & 41st
Call Barry

 Santa Cruz Spanish
Spanish Classes
at these schools:
Carden, Santa Cruz,
Linscott, Watsonville
Mar Vista, Aptos
Main, Soquel
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Thank you for using our website as a resource. 

We appreciate your passing us along!

To share this site with a friend, click here.


Contact us to list and share your business with parents

for this coming holiday season!




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Santa Cruz, CA