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(Site Photos) Volunteer1.jpgGive and It Comes Back!


     The benefits of volunteering run deep. Why? It's no secret that in the process of "giving back" we "get back" as much, if not more, as we give!  Whether you are giving time to an organization or helping a neighbor in need, there's no doubt that giving engenders feelings of satisfaction and worthiness and often brings us a better understanding of both others and ourselves.


     Volunteering can bring new friends into your life, give you a chance to explore other areas for a next career, help you acquire new job skills, earn recommendations for getting into college, discover your own hidden talents, adjust the path of an challenging teen and more!


 (Site Photos) Volunteer3.jpg    Wherever and however you can give you are welcomed! For busy families, there are ways in which you can give together. Involving children in the process models the behavior and nurtures generosity. You can get into a rhythm of giving on a regular basis such as 'docenting' at one of our many parks, or you can select occasional specific activities such as holiday soup kitchens or pulling up scotch broom. There's something for everyone.


     Go to our Families Giving Back for a few ideas. If you're a member of a non-profit organization that needs volunteers please share your needs with us, Wish List.


     This month state parks, museums et. al. are offering docent training and also asking for help with plant restoration, trails etc. Visit our Events Calendar for details. Our Parks system has ongoing restoration projects. Just show up with work gloves and a willingness to shovel, plant and have fun with other volunteers.


Getting ready for the new year...

 After-School Classes & Sports for the Winter Quarter. >>>



(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpgEvents



1st Wed every month, 6-7:30pm, Foster Care / Adoption Orientation, County of Santa Cruz, Families & Children's Services, Adults.


1st Wed every month 7-8:30pm, SPIN Parents Support Groups All Disability Parent Support Group, Asperger Syndrome Parent Support Group, & Autism Spectrum Parent Support Group Meetings

See full Calendar for Events Details!


(Icons/Graphics) CampfirePhoto.jpgFri, Dec 9, 7-9pm, Storytelling Nights, SC Mission, Gather round the campfire as our storyteller weaves tales of adventure, comedy, mystery and truth. Bring blankets and dress warmly, the park will provide the hot chocolate! The event is FREE. If rain, the event will take place indoors.



(Site Photos) Volunteer2.jpgSat, Dec 10, Volunteer Planting Day at Wilder Ranch/COAST DAIRIES. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, California State Parks and the California Native Plant Society will host a volunteer planting day. Individuals and families are invited and encouraged to come join the effort to plant native species and restore habitat along the bluffs at Laguna Creek.

Sat & Sun, Jan 10 & 11, 2pm, Old Growth Redwood Walks, State Park Henry Cowell, Enjoy one of California's most scenic hikes on this one hour guided walk through the tallest living things on earth, the coastal redwoods. A park docent will share local lore and ecology about this majestic habitat. This trail is also stroller and wheelchair accessible. Come see the park's newly remodeled Visitor Center.


Jan 10 & 11, 11am & 2pm, Tours of the Monarch Grove, State Park Natural Bridges. Join a Docent Naturalist for a tour of a state designated insect preserve. Thousands of monarch butterflies are returning this fall to one of the larger over-wintering sites in the United States. Learn the story of this beautiful creature and its fascinating seasonal migration.


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Sun, Jan 10, 9am-12pm, Coffee Talk, State Park Big Basin Redwoods, Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate in front of a blazing fire! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. Lou Wolner, a Big Basin docent, will be happy to answer questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail.

See full Calendar for Events Details!

Sun, Jan 11, 1-2:3-pm, If Houses Could Talk, Quail Hollow Ranch, Do you enjoy looking through old buildings, learning about their stories? Here's your chance to join naturalist Lee Summers on a tour through Quail Hollow Ranch House. Learn about its history and secrets, from Sun-Kissed Ranch to Sunset Magazine and beyond. This informative tour will give you the opportunity to find out about the six families who made the ranch their business, home and haven.


(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Birthday_cake_gifts.jpgSun, Jan 11, 1-4pm, Happy 60th Birthday Capitola!  Capitola Mall, Join us for a fun-filled 60th Birthday Bash for Capitola-by-the-Sea at the Capitola Mall! Festivites include games, crafts, a treasure hunt, pinatas, a magic show and of course birthday cake!


Weds, Jan 14, 5-8pm, Six Traits That Lead to Life Long Success, Chartwell School, The Chartwell School Outreach Program is pleased to offer a series of free educational workshops about best practices in literacy, reading, technology and math instruction.  Chartwell teacher Steve Henderson will review a twenty-year longitudinal study that traces the lives of individuals with learning challenges through adulthood.


Weds, Jan 14, 6pm, Positive Discipline for Developing Capable Young People, Rio Theater, Jane Nelson, Positive Discipline for Developing Capable Young People. Avoid Power Struggles, Gain Cooperation, Experience More Joy in Parenting
6pm Parent Info Fair
6:30 Main Program
8:30 Q & A


(Site Photos) ElephantSeal_Baby.jpgDec - Mar, Guided Elephant Seal Walks, December By reservation only. Winter is the prime season to view thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls. Ano Nuevo State Reserve is home to a large colony of Northern Elephant Seals. The seals come ashore to give birth and mate from mid December through March.

See full Calendar for Events Details!


(Special Event Page Graphics) LegoDisplay.jpgJan 2-11, 11am-4pm Living LEGO-cy Exhibit, See LEGO trains circle a miniature version of San Francisco in a huge scene created by the Bay Area LEGO Users Group and Train Club. LEGO towns, farms, spaceships, pirate ships, castles and more are also on display. Located in the historic Williams House and Gardens near downtown Palo Alto.


(Special Event Page Graphics) FungusFairChanterelles.jpgJan 10-11, Fungus Fair, Louden Nelson, Santa Cruz, Every January, after the rains have sent chanterelles and witch's butter popping up, mycophiliacs from all over Central California converge on Santa Cruz for the Fungus Federation's Fungus Faire, a celebration of all things mushroom. Features identification workshops, cooking demonstrations and more.  Did you know that without fungus we'd have no bread, cheese, beer or wine? That anti-cholesterol medicine was developed from mushrooms?


(Special Event Page Graphics) DaVinci.jpgthrough Jan 25, Leonardo: 500 Years into the Future For the first time ever in the U.S.! The world premiere of the largest, most comprehensive exhibit of the innovative art, science and engineering works of Leonardo da Vinci and his contemporaries. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how this genius of the Renaissance has influenced and inspired much of the technology we use today.





Dear Aunt Lorraine: Problem: "A Mouthy" Teen

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Dear Aunt Lorraine,

     I have an out-of-control teen. He's really rude to me and I can't seem to stop it. He's a good boy who gets good grades, but his mouth is really disrespectful. I know he loves me, but how can I stop this mouthiness and name-calling?


Dear Mom Deserving Respect:

Well, my dear, these issues do not form overnight, so the fix will take some time. But if you truly love your son, these are the steps you need to take NOW! (continued>>>)


Suki Wessling's Blog: Live Local, Buy Local


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In case you hadn't noticed, we're in the middle of an economic meltdown. I'm just telling you in case you're living in a more comfortable bubble than I am.


We are living in a bubble here in Santa Cruz. It's a nice, comfortable one where Walmart hasn't yet... [click to continue]



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School Corner





Open Houses

GBK 6-12

1/13 7-9pm

SC Waldorf 1-8

1/13 8:45am

SC Montessori Jr Hi

1/15, 7pm

SC Waldorf 9-12

1/15 8am

SC Waldorf K

1/17 10am-2pm

Monarch K-5

1/21, 6:30pm

SC Montessori Elem 1-6

1/21, 7pm

Independent School Fair

1/22, 7pm

Aptos Academy Pre-8

1/25 2-5pm

The New High School Project

1/27, 7:30pm

Details in Calendar

Baby Bloomers

Annual Sale!

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30% off all used clothing

15% off every other item in the store

for the entire month of January!

923 Water St, Santa Cruz


A.D.D. is a gift...

You are Unique

& Special!

Don Mordasini, M.A.

ADD Psychotherapist


Don Mordasini

Fresh Prep



Chicken Pot Pie

Italian Style

Turkey Meatloaf

Soooo good!


Fresh n' Ready Dinners to Go...

Take home a delicious dinner tonight!
We offer a selection of Main Dishes and Side Dishes that you can pick-up today, no appointment necessary! We make dinner easy!

Menu Jan 6 -10


Fresh Prep


Saving you

time & money!


504 B Front St,

Santa Cruz


Open Gym
Parents Night Out
Santa Cruz Sports Central

(near Costco)

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Jan 10, 6-10pm
Ages 3-13
Safe gymnastics, games, trampoline, snacks & fun.

Call to reserve your spot as space is limited.



(Ads) CardenLit.jpg

319 La Fonda Ave


(Business Logos) Kajeet.jpg

kajeet is the only cell phone service especially for kids!

(Site Photos) Tweens_CellPhones_140.jpg


Visit: for more details!

Enter coupon code: SCPARENT at check out and receive FREE Shipping and 15% OFF your order. Check the Local Perks for another Bonus discount when you activate your new phone!

Finger Babble
Infant Sign Language
Free Demo Class

Jan 8, 10am
Ages: 0-2
Come learn farm animal signs, discover the benefits of using sign language with pre-verbal infants and toddlers and find out more about Finger Babble's up coming 10 week play class.

224 C Walnut Ave, SC
(408) 884-1597

Tyrolean Inn

Thursday Buffet

Please join us.

We welcome


Tyrolean Inn

9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond



Katie Dog

raves about


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A low-gluten diet

made with turkey,

organic Oats,

vegetables, and love!

Dr. Ken & Dr. Jen

at Allpets Clinic

 recommend it!

1226 B Soquel Ave,



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Santa Cruz, CA