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(Site Photos) ContraDance.jpgThis Kind of Dancing is for Everyone!


     Enough of politics, mortgage crises, stock market plunges! Go dancing! It lifts the spirits, replaces stress with those oh-so-pleasant endorphins!


     We think we found the perfect family dancing activity for families with children 7+, and if your children are younger, get a sitter and go yourself. You can go as a single too.  Also if you know any teenagers who say they're "bored," make them go!  We're talking about Contra Dancing, a traditional New England repeat-pattern dance with certain basic moves that anyone can learn, led by a caller and inspired by live bands.


     Contra Dancing is a very social event, as you are encouraged to change partners after every dance. If you're a beginner, latch onto someone experienced so you can catch on faster.


(Site Photos) ContraDancing2.jpg     There is a Beginner's Introductory Workshop 20 minutes before each scheduled evening of dance for those who have never before experienced traditional partner dancing. Also, the moves for each set or form are explained and practiced before each individual dance, and dancers are supported by the callers´ prompting during the dances.


     What to wear? Casual, loose fitting clothes and clean, soft soled shoes are the only wardrobe items needed for a wonderful evening of dancing. Avoid shoes with deep treads that bring in dirt and small stones, rubber soles that stick to the floor, and shoes that might leave black marks on the floor. Ladies, choose shoes with low heels that will stay securely on your feet. Swirly skirts are fun, jeans will do fine. No perfumes or after-shave lotion, please.


(Site Photos) ContraDancingFathers4.jpg     Next dance is Sunday, November 16, 7-10pm, (beginners 6:40pm) Vets Hall, 846 Front St, Santa Cruz, with caller: Mavis McGaugh, band: 3 Fifths of Scotch with Dabra Tayleur, Eloise Blanchard and Tony Bishop, sponsored by Traditional Dancers of Santa Cruz.

     Everyone is welcome, especially beginners! Regular contra dance admission is $10, $9 Members of SCTD and $6 for full-time students with a valid student ID card.


     Would you like a sneak preview? Check out Family Contra Dancing at here.


A Place for Teens, "The Core"


     If you have teenagers who want to "flex their wings, have fun and hang out," there's a safe place for them at The Core. Under the watchful guidance of Kim Clary, volunteer extraordinaire since 2002, The Core has grown and gained community support.


     At The Core teens take responsibility for planning and running fun events. Parents can feel good about activities at The Core as there are lots of action packed activities, such as the Schralpfest (a surf competition), dodgeball tournaments, skiing trips, treasure hunts, movies with popcorn, pizz making parties and just plain hanging out.


     Recently The Core gained its own "clubhouse", a place above Santa Cruz Skate Shop, 912 41st Ave., Capitola, space donated by Skate Shop owner and Core supporter Danny Keith.  So far they have tables, couches, a big-screen TV, an Xbox, a DVD player, foosball table, a ping-pong table and pool. Kim welcomes input, volunteers, donations, and more teens.  You can reach her at 831.227.4204 and



Events for your Enjoyment!

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For times, locations and descriptions, please visit our full calendar

You can select by exact date, a range of dates or category.


Nov 21-Dec 14, weekends, The Wind in the Willows, Directed by Randall Stuart
(Special Event Page Graphics) WindintheWillowsMr.jpg     The Shakespeare Santa Cruz Holiday Show is a collaboration with the UCSC Theatre Arts Department.  The Wind in the Willows was the inaugural Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Holiday Show in 1997 (and 1998) and we are delighted to bring it back to its many fans and introduce it to new ones.

     2008 brings a new version by Kate Hawley and Paul Whitworth, based on the book by Kenneth Grahame, and celebrates the 100th anniversary of the book's original publication in 1908. 

(Special Event Page Graphics) WindintheWillowsTeaParty.jpg     The Wind in the Willows is the classic tale of friendship and adventure along the riverbank between the Mole, Ratty, Badger, and the irrepressible Mr. Toad.  The Shakespeare Santa Cruz annual Holiday Show is a very special treat for kids of all ages, kids at heart, and the people who love them. Continue the tradition or start a new one with this delightful theatrical celebration of timeless fairy tales, classic children's literature and more!

You can win tickets to this event! See column on the right.


Fri, Nov 14 7-8pm, Winter Storytelling: Spooky Tales,  SC Mission

Dress warmly and gather around the campfire for a cup of hot chocolate and a "good yarn." We kick off our winter series with featured storyteller Jerry Falek sharing stories that build suspense... but aren't too scary. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, warm clothes and your whole family! Rain Cancels.


Fri-Sun, Nov 14-16 Fiddler on the Roof, Kids on Broadway, Louden Nelson
Friday & Saturday 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday 1 pm


Sat, Nov 15, 7:30pm-8:30pm  Moon & a Mocha Night III

Author Dana MacKenzie & Scientist Tony Colaprete present Moon and a Mocha Night III

Local science writer Dana Mackenzie (The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be) continues his series of occasional talks on all things lunar. Tonight he will have a "fireside chat" with Tony Colaprete of NASA-Ames Research Center, the chief scientist on a mission called LCROSS that will try to find water ice near the lunar south pole. Weather permitting, members of the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club will set up telescopes in front of the store for moon- and star-gazing. Bring the curious kids, grab a mocha (or a beer!) from the cafe.


Fri Nov 14 3pm & 8pm, Sat Nov 15 3pm & 8pm, Sun Nov 16 3pm, Seussical, Cabrillo College Theater
This fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza brings to life all of the favorite Dr. Seuss characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and all of the Whos of Whoville! These classic, colorful tales are seamlessly brought together by Jojo, a young boy and "thinker of strange and wonderful thinks!" As each story unfolds you will marvel at how relevant and profound Seuss's subtle themes are, making this musical one that appeals to all ages.


Sat & Sun, Nov 15 & 16 Sea Swings, Beach Boardwalk
(Site Photos) SeaSwingsRide.jpgGet a sneak preview of the beautiful new Sea Swings ride
Whatever your age, you'll feel like a kid as you swing out high over the beach, with your legs dangling and Monterey Bay glistening in front of you. Sea Swings officially opens in Spring 09, but we're opening the ride at unscheduled times during upcoming weekends for some lucky visitors.

full calendar


For a complete list of all the wonderful outdoor activities in the our parks go to the events calendar.  On the drop down menu, select State Parks.

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Suki Wessling's Blog

The Reluctant Homeschooler


It seems to me that families who homeschool can be defined by type. There is, of course, some overlap, and always those pesky exceptions. But for the most part, homeschoolers come in three flavors: religious, alternative, and last resort... (continued)



Suki Wessling, Aptos, CA,

Writer, stay-at-home mom, educator, web designer, homeschooling parent.

(Site Photos) LorraineLowRes.jpgLorraine Pursell's Blog

Homework or Not?


Last night I gave a talk at Hualalai Academy on the Big Island of Hawaii. The topic was "End Homework Torture NOW!" I went along with my program until suddenly a parent said, "But what about a life for my kid?!" She relayed that her son spends 4-5 hours a night on homework, then another parent mirrored the same drudge of hours saying that she was up until midnight with her daughter the night before (continued)

Lorraine Pursell

Conscious Parent Mentor

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Open Houses

Waldorf High School

11/15 11am-2pm



World of the Young Child, Steve Spitalny

11/19 7-8:30pm

Waldorf Mexican Dinner & Talent Show

11/21 5:30pm

Mt Hermon Playschool Pancake Breakfast

11/22 8am

Circle Time for Early Childhood Educators, Steve Spitalny


Details in Events Calendar

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319 La Fonda Ave, SC


Visit us!

A Lovely Gift
for Parents of
Young Gardeners

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Gardening with Gus
by Janine Canada

A colorful book full of activities, recipes, songs and books for parents and pre-school teachers.  For more information,


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9:15 & 10:30


407 Broadway, SC


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The Wind in the Willows

Shakespeare Santa Cruz
Nov 21-Dec 14

For details go to

full Calendar.

Click on the exact date.


Send us the name of your favorite Wind in the Willows character and we shall enter you in a chance to win tickets to the show.  Hurry!  Do it NOW!!

Parents Night out!
Open Gym

SC Sports Central

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3rd Sat every month
6pm-10pm, Ages 3-13
Safe gymnastics, games, trampoline, snacks & fun. Call to reserve your spot as space is limited.

350 B Coral St, SC

(near Costco)


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Kumon is an after-school math and reading program that employs a unique learning method designed to help each child develop the skills needed to perform to his or her full potential.
Kumon helps both children who are struggling and those seeking enrichment.
Please come for a visit!

"Fabulous photographers
capturing every moment,
Brook and Alisha Todd."
Oprah Winfrey
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Please visit us at

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Hope to see you soon!

Tschuss! Whitney

9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond


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Last chance to win!


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


2) tell us the name of Jody's favorite vegetable (ask Jody, 429-1390),

and you will be entered into a drawing to win three main meal family dinners for three.



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Santa Cruz, CA