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(Site Photos) FallLeaves.jpgAppreciate The Season

with a nod to Kadi Prescott


          The changing of the season brings with it many opportunities to teach children about the beauty of nature.  Fall weather brings relief from the blazing heat of the summer sun. It's perfect hiking weather.  We have nearby mountains and hills and seaside sloughs which are ideal for nature hikes, even our local neighborhoods hold surprises for those willing to look!  Our friend Kadi goes hiking with all seven of her children, so no excuses!  Get out there!  You'll be glad you did!

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     Give each child a list of twenty, ten or five age-appropriate items to find (bluejay feather, pine cone, oak leaf, pebble the size of a marble, snake skin...). In Santa Cruz good places to hike are Big Basin, Quail Hollow Ranch, Henry Cowell or Elkhorn Slough because they each offer activities for families.  After the kids find all the scavenger hunt items,  enjoy a picnic lunch.  While relaxing, discuss how the items the children found play a part in our eco-system.


(Site Photos) Kadifamily.jpg     Back home Kadi encourages the children to  use their finds to make a family collage. "Sometimes, we use the leaves to make beautiful paintings on canvas. Little ones can even join in the fun."


   "There are many lessons to be taught using the beauty of Autumn. I encourage all of you to take these next few weeks to find hidden lessons through hikes, apple picking, pumpkin selecting,  neighborhood walks and more!  It will become a tradition that you and your children cherish!"  Kadi


     We would love to receive photos of your children and their found treasures.  Click on Family Favorites.  Brownie

Jody Went Shopping for You and Me!


     Have you ever made a list and gone shopping for the exact same items at two different stores in order to see who really has the best prices? Or at least pretend shopped a list of staples? Many of us go to at least two or three different stores in one week. That's a lot of time spent shopping.


     Our friend Jody Lombardo, a local entrepreneur who own, with her mom Judy, owns Fresh Prep Kitchens, is a very efficient shopper with exacting quality and price requirements.  Recently she shopped at Safeway for the ingredients (excluding salt etc. that you have on your shelves anyway) for three meals which Fresh Prep sells packaged and ready-to-cook.


     Leaving out travelling time, Jody only counted time in the store and time in the kitchen. Here's a summary of their experiment:


    Ingredients Cost     Your Shopping/Prep Time
3 Do-it-Yourself Dinners $71.82 2+ hours
3 Fresh Prep Kitchen Dinners   $43.85 20 minutes
Savings $27.97 1 hour 45 minutes


     Result: Happy Families with three meals --Roasted Turkey Pot-Pie, Chipotle Glazed Chicken, and Nonnie's Meatloaf. Time is precious in our fast-paced world and lately money is too! Save both when picking up family main dishes at Fresh Prep Kitchens in Santa Cruz or Mint in Scotts Valley.

(Icons/Graphics) StarRed.jpgWin Three Main Meal Family Dinners!

     Email us your 1) three favorite meals from Jody's menus 

2) tell us the name of Jody's favorite vegetable (ask Jody), (Icons/Graphics) StarRed.jpg

and 3) you will be entered into a drawing to win

three "main meal family dinners for three."


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"Parenting is the Greatest Job on Earth!"


     So many of you know or know of Lorraine Pursell who for many years tutored children and coached families in successful parenting techniques in Santa Cruz County.  As her practice grew, Lorraine began collating all she learned from her work with families and "morphed" into a successful parent coach and mentor, giving talks, seminars and podcasting!  Whether you have two year olds or teens asserting their independence, Lorraine can help!


     Now living in Hawaii, yet with strong ties to Santa Cruz, Lorraine tells us, "I'm mom to Mark Pursell, Jr. (28), mother-in-law to Sarah and Gramma to Sadie Lorraine Pursell (1.75), who live in Santa Cruz, and happily living in Hawai'i! I love what I do- I empower parents in Their Greatest Job On Earth!"


     Read Lorraine's first blog for us, "A Big Hello... and Halloween" and visit her website, for "TONS of support!"  Welcome to SantaCruzParent Lorraine.



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


(Site Photos) TheNina.jpgNow! 9am-5pm & through Nov 2. The Nina is in the Santa Cruz Harbor. The Nina replica was built in the remote town of Valencia, Brazil, the only known location where 15th century methods of shipbuilding are still practiced. Eighth-generation shipbuilders there constructed the vessel with their bare hands and basic tools, just as people would have hundreds of years ago. Learn more.


Oct 22 Pacific Rim Film Festival.  $15 for Benefit


Fri, Oct 24


6pm Kids on Broadway's Junior Thespians kick off the evening with "The Smith Family's Sweet Scare" an original short musical by Robin Macomber and Akilah Crossdale, followed by performances of various Be in Your Own Band musicians including "Rapid Fire", "Definistration", and more.. Play starts promptly at 6pm, followed by music, scary movies, blacklights, and Halloween Fun!


Sat Oct 25


6:30pm, The Missing Arm of William Waddell, Big Basin A half-mile guided walk through a forest decorated in the spirit of Halloween. Walks leave every 20 minutes, from 7 pm.

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Halloween_CostumeKidsX.jpgGault Halloween/Dia de los Muertos Parade/Carnival, 9:30am-2pm, Gault Elementary School
Event is free, carnival game tix 25 cents ea., wristbands $20, 60th Annual Gault Elementary School Halloween-Dia de los Muertos Costume Parade and Carnival. Parade 9:30-10 assembles at B40 Small Schools, Carnival at Gault 10-2. Prizes for best home made costumes, carnival games, activities, food. A Seabright Tradition since 1948.


(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenScarecrow3.jpgHalloween & Harvest Carnival, Aptos Academy, 10am-4pm, Free. Fun for the whole family. Haunted house, horse rides, dunk tank, cake walk, games, jump house, face painting, balloons, arts and crafts activities. Plus raffle, live music, seasonal crafts vendors, gourmet hog dogs and food concession. Costumes optional! 


(Site Photos) WilderRanchWagonride.jpgHeritage Harvest Festival, Wilder Ranch, 11am-4pm, Parking Fee: $6 parking, Celebrate harvest time the old-fashioned way at Wilder Ranch State Park's Heritage Harvest Festival. Choose and decorate a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, take a wagon ride, watch draft horse, antique tractor, and living history demonstrations, try your hand at some old-time harvest activities, listen to live bluegrass and western music, learn to square dance, play cow pie bingo, enjoy hand-cranked pumpkin ice cream, harvest goodies, and more.


Sun, Oct 26


Healthy Halloween Treats for Kids: Make n' Take option! 3-5pm, Oops a goblin has eaten some of your child's Halloween candy! What do you do? Replace it with something yummy and healthy!  Come learn about the healthiest sweeteners available! All ages are welcome... please come in costume. There will be a kid's activity corner with Halloween fun!  Kelly 229-0171, Registration: 429-1390  504-A front St., SantaCruz


(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenJackOLanternStarsCat.jpgHarvest Festival, Gateway School, 1pm to 4pm
Fun for the whole family! Many booths including pumpkin walk, bean bag toss, obstacle course, climbing wall, bake sale and more!


Capitola Halloween Parade, City of Capitola, 1:30pm, Halloween Parade: Line-up at Pacific Cove Parking Lot above, Capitola Police Department & City Hall. Parade starts at 2pm and winds through Capitola Village and ends at Esplanade Park.


Sat & Sun, Oct 24 & 25


(Special Event Page Graphics) GhostTrain.jpgRoaring Camp Ghost Train, Trains at 6:00, 6:30, 8:00, 8:30 pm, Fees: $25/person, Reservations required, This is a family and children's Halloween event! Relive "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" this Halloween at Roaring Camp as you ride vintage railway cars through a Redwood forest to Bear Mountain. Named one of the top 10 Halloween events by USA Today. Costumed actors re-enact scenes from the story as it's narrated during the one-hour ride. Designed for young children and the young-at-heart, the event is a light and lively adaptation of the famous tale.

Haunted Trail, Santa Cruz County Parks, 6-10pm Ages: may be too intense for children Admission Fees: $5.  Meet ghosts from the past. For just two spine chilling nights, the trails of Twin Lakes State park (behind the Simpkins Family Swim Center) will be transformed into an experience not recommended for the faint of heart.  Learn and discover first-hand the dark and mysterious history that curses Santa Cruz. The Haunted Trail is an inexpensive alternative to other holiday events that is fun for the whole family and encourages the public to get out and enjoy one of California's beautiful state parks.

Calendar Details

Oct 25-Oct 30

(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenZooKids.jpgBoo at the Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, 10am-5pm, Haunted Nature Trail ▪ Creepy Crawley Critters
Pumpkin Stomp and Chomp


Mon, Oct 27

Mask Making Workshop, Louden Nelson Center, 12pm-5pm
Free, Santa Cruz Mask Festival. The Santa Cruz Mask Festival has it all: dance, theater, storytellers. This annual event is a fun-filled day for the whole family. Come see how masks are made and make one yourself.


Sat, Nov 1, 8am - 3pm

Families on the Water, A great outing for families with tweens and teens!

(Site Photos) AdventureSportsPescadero.jpgJoin ASU's Families on the Water for a day of exploring the Monterey Bay by kayak. On this trip we will go to Pescadero Slough, one of the most beautiful inland lakes attached to the open ocean Pacific. We will kayak these glassy waters, entry by the ocean, surrounded by cattails and studded with sea birds. We will have a cooperative picnic by a secluded beach. Great outing for the entire family!



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for Horse Lovers
A Preschool
Realtor Who
Works for You!

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Open Houses

Cabrillo College & Career

11/3, 6-8:30pm

SC Montessori Jr Hi

11/5, 7-8:30pm

Waldorf HS


SC Montessori Pre & K

11/8 10am-3pm



Waldorf Grades

11/11, 8:45am



Springhill K-6

11/12 6:30-8pm

Special Events!
Gault Carnival


Aptos Academy Festival


Gateway Festival


VHM Faire

11/2, 12-3pm


For details go to full Calendar.

"As the scent of the food reached him, his eyes widened, he sniffed, and he literally started licking his lips!"

by Suki Wessling.
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Piano and Guitar Lessons

by Bike

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 "I look forward to meeting you and exploring your love (or your child's love) of music."

*Experienced teaching in your home
*10 years' music teaching experience
*Beginners of all ages welcome
*Pop, jazz, gospel, more!
*Always encouraging


Save a trip-I'll bike to you (within Santa Cruz and Live Oak).



(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenWitchSilhouette.jpgOctober!!  When you go to our calendar click on the pull-down menu and select Harvest & Halloween.  A (Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenJackOLanternCat.jpg 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

"Fabulous photographers
capturing every moment,
Brook and Alisha Todd."
Oprah Winfrey

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Please visit us at

Tyrolean Inn

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Open 5:30, Tues-Sun

9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond



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Parent to Parent




A great way to connect with parents or make recommendations for other families is Parent Chat. As you post your suggestions, others can share in your ideas and it's a great way to get ideas from others. 


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Think Local,

Shop Local

Soquel & Branciforte

Santa Cruz

You know them! Tell us about

Mighty Fine Moms and Dads in Santa Cruz County.

     Do you know parents who should receive recognition for all that they do? We would love to hear about them.   We shall feature the moms in Mom's Spotlight and our awesome dads on our Dad's Scoreboard!  Please email us your nomination and tell us why.


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"We do tricks

for treats!


for checkups

go to

Dr. Ken Cholden
Dr. Jen Berry


All Pets

Veterinary Clinic

Call them!"


1226-B Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz

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Remind them to mention your child's school, or theirs!

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Santa Cruz, CA