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  (BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) CoupleWine.jpgDon't wait for Valentine's Day!


      A mom we know writes about her plans for a regular date night. "I am determined to set up a regular date night with my husband. Although we've tried for many years, we have still not been successful with this. Something always seems to come up whether he is traveling, or other plans get in the way or we are too tired... I realize those are poor excuses when I talk to parents who have a standing date every week. The advice I have received is "Do not ever cancel your date night." If one of you absolutely cannot make it, use the time to get together with a friend or have a night out alone.


     My gift this year was to set up the date night and I decided to take it one step farther by signing us up for a monthly massage so we are committed to an activity followed by dinner. Another great thing to do is to buy season tickets to the theater or symphony or book favorite concerts ahead.


     Now if you want to take advantage of the time your kids are in school, sneak out for breakfast and then a movie -- you might see other couples doing the same thing!


     Date nights can be a walk on the beach, a hike in one of our parks or a picnic or even wandering through the book store. The point is to have quality time alone as a couple. Get your calendar out and set up your dates for the next 6 months so that they are sure to happen.


     Too tired for a "big date"? Have a list of mini-date activities that give you at least one hour together out of the house away from the children. Spending time together as a couple is good role modeling for the tweens and teens in your family too."


(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpgEvents



     Just when we think there's a respite from fun things to do, we find more!  Saturday is packed with offerings and there is truly more than one activity for family preferences.  Getting out, changing pace, being together all benefit family dynamics.  Have fun!


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Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9:15 or 10:30, Mothersong with Joya Winwood, Unity, 407 Broadway, Sing and dance, Babies and Parents



(Special Event Page Graphics) GuysDolls.jpgFri & Sat, Jan 23 & 24, 7:30pm,Sun, Jan 25, 2pm Guys and Dolls, Mt Madonna. This show soars with the spirit of Broadway as it moves from the heart of 1950s Times Square to the cafes of Havana,Cuba. This middle school production is romantic and funny with lots of fast-paced action, Ages 8-adult.


Sat, Jan 24, 8:30am-3pm, Swift Street Courtyard Bicycle Festival, Kelly's French Bakery, 402 Ingalls St, SC, Come and enjoy an indoor free kids zone with face painting, art, costumes, plays and much more from 9-2pm at The West End Studio Theater. 5$ BBQ lunch, family bike ride, bike demos, bike safety classes and a great bike competition!


(Site Photos) Saturn.jpgSat, Jan 24, Sunset at 5:25pm, Saturn Rises at 9:01pm, Observing at Bonny Doon Airport. The Santa Cruz Astronomy Club invites you to join in telescope observing, family participation, and public enjoyment of the wonders of the starry night.


(Icons/Graphics) ReadingTeens.jpgSat, Jan 24, 10am-2pm, Annual Winter Children's Book Sale, Hundreds of books, media and other items such as DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes for kids, parents, and teachers will be for sale at the Santa Cruz Public Library Annual Winter Children's Book Sale. Included will be fiction/nonfiction, picture books, early readers, chapter books and young adult material. Prices generally are $1.50 per pound. This is a wonderful way to support our libraries and provide new interests for our children and young people.


Sat, Jan 24, 1-2, Wool, Spinning, and Weaving, Mission Santa Cruz, How did an isolated settlement clothe the hundreds of people who lived there? Find out as well look at the cloth industry of Mission Santa Cruz. We will follow the path of wool from the sheep to the shirt and you will have the chance to your hand at a drop spindle and spin your own piece of wool. Rain or Shine.

See full Calendar for Events Details!


Sat, Jan 24, 8pm & Sun, Jan 25, 3pm, Songs of the Americas, Exhilarating Vocal Music from the Renaissance to the Modern Day directed by Michael McGushin, Hymns, fuguing tunes, love songs, dance music, tango, fiddle tunes, Christian motets, African-derived ritual music, ballads, sea chanteys, Shaker songs, spirituals. ÊFolk-inspired and art music for chorus from Canada, the United States, and Latin America.


(Special Event Page Graphics) Drumming.jpgSat, Jan 24, 3-5pm, Community Drum Circle, Vets Hall, $10 donation at the door, vets & kids 12-under free. Come drum, dance and celebrate life all while supporting our Veterans Memorial Building programs. Internationally acclaimed community drumming leader, Jim Greiner, will conduct this all-ages, family-friendly drum circle. Instruments provided and bring your own.


Sat, Jan 24, 12 noon, Family Discovery Walk, Big Basin, Join interpretive volunteer Norm Beeson for a family friendly winter walk. We will investigate the mysteries and wonders of Big Basin's redwood forest. This easy, one and a half mile walk will take approximately 1 1/2 hours. Good walking shoes, a warm coat (rain coat or umbrella) are all that's required. Heavy rain will cancel but light rain gives our redwood forest a wonderful feel. Hot chocolate will follow. Meet at the Sempervirens Room at noon.

See full Calendar for Events Details!

(Site Photos) WilderRanchBluffs.jpgSat, Jan 24, 11am, Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks: On these two-hour natural history excursions you will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs. Meet at the Wilder Ranch interpretive center. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and good walking shoes. Binoculars are available to borrow. Walk is canceled if rain.


Sat, Jan 24, 9am-1pm, Free Shredding at Office Max. Santa Cruz Professional Organizers invites you to bring your bags and boxes of personal papers to OfficeMax for free shredding up to 50 lbs/person. Prizes will be raffled off, and there will be the opportunity to learn more about protecting your identity.  You might be lucky enough to meet our own Shannon McGinness!


Sat, Jan 24, 7pm, Song-Strummin' Storyman at Viking Hall, 240 Plymouth St, SC. Come for a rich evening of story-telling, instruments and audience participation. Mr. Song-Strummin' Storyman, Jack Pearson, is a professional comedian and musician from Minnesota who has performed at Scandinavian festivals throughout the US.


Sat, Jan 24 8pm Civic & Sun, Jan 25 2pm, Santa Cruz Symphony, Mello, TRIUMPH AND NEW BEGINNINGS SCHUBERT, Overture in C, D. 591; MENDELSSOHN, Piano Concerto No.1; Daniel Del Pino, Pianist; TCHAIKOVSKY, Symphony No. 5


(Site Photos) Quilt1.jpgSun, Jan 25, 11am-3pm, Living History Demonstrations, Wilder Ranch, Learn about hand quilting with master quilter Carolyn Miller.

See full Calendar for Events Details!



Parent Coach: "7 Ways to Inspire Dreaming In Your Child (and You!)"

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     In my 13+ years of working with kids and families, I find that very few kids have dreams. How did this happen?...  (continued...)




Suki Wessling's Blog: TOADY AWARDS

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   I can't remember when I heard about the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. I've been on their mailing list for a number of years, and they are consistently measured and serious in their dedication to pointing out how our children's lives have been commercialized. As far as I've noticed, they don't make up overblown campaigns about nothing the way that some organizations do. I think that they've got enough really shocking stuff to go after...they don't have any dead air to fill!

They have just announced their first "TOADY" awards -- I highly recommend you go to their site to check out their nominations for the worst toys of the year. And you can vote on your "favorite" as well.    (continued...)

If You're New To Our Site...


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(Icons/Graphics) SchoolHouseRed.jpgSchool Corner








Open Houses

Aptos Academy Pre-8

1/25 2-5pm


1/27, 9-11am

The New High School Project

1/27, 7:30pm

Growing Minds Montessori

1/31, 9am-2pm

Details in Calendar

Winter Clearance!

(Site Photos) Snowflakes.jpg
Huge All Winter
Used Clothing

50% Off Sale
through February 15
Little People's

Soquel and

Scotts Valley
Get coupon here!


Aptos Academy

PreK - 8
Sun, Jan. 25
2-5 pm

(Site Photos) AptosAcademy2.jpg

Meet inspired teachers
& friendly students!


arts-enriched programs

WASC Accredited

Aptos Academy
1940 Bonita Dr, Aptos

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


Fresh Prep


Enjoy Fresh

Hand-Made Dinners
Each Week!

There's still time to enjoy our Tuscan Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Glaze this month. Made with fresh bone-in chicken thighs--marinated in our Signature mix of herbs, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. They roast in your oven with bacon and sweet red onion for a very flavorful main dish. Goes great with our mashed potatoes or polenta side-dish.

View entire January menu

504 B Front St, SC


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Open Gym
Parents Night Out
Santa Cruz

Sports Central
(near Costco)

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Jan 25, 6-10pm
Ages 3-13
Safe gymnastics, games, trampoline, snacks & fun.

Call to reserve your spot as space is limited.



(Business Logos) Kajeet.jpg

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If you sign up for a monthly plan (as low as $4.99/month!) before February 16, 2009, you'll receive 3,000 FREE text messages!
Also use code BONUS10 at activation to receive an additional $10 in free airtime.

Enter coupon code: SCPARENT at check out and receive FREE Shipping and 15% OFF your order

Offer good through Feb 16

Check Local Perks 

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Santa Cruz, CA