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Your  Favorite, Free, Fun Places to Go

Thanks for sharing! 


Santa Cruz Harbor at low tide is great.  “Our energetic boys like to scramble down the rocks and try to catch crabs.  If you can combine this with a sunset it’s perfection!”  Cris


(Site Photos) Whale.jpg“My kids love climbing the gray whale sculpture in front of the museum (Museum of Natural History) and pretending they are riding it at sea!  Then we pop into the museum to visit the touch pool.”  Nora


“We always take out of town visitors to the wharf to see the barking(Site Photos) SeaLions.jpg sea lions.  They jump onto the beams at high tide, push each other around and bask in the sun, or “hang” together in a group.  Watch out for the pelican sitting on the fence.  He has a long reach when you have food in your hand.  Don’t feed the seagulls!”  Jack


“We love to walk to the end of Main Beach in February and March to see the baby harbor seals basking in the sun on the rocks of the San (Site Photos) HarborSeals.jpgLorenzo River. Along the way we look for whole sand dollars.  Once there was a baby on our side of the river.  Signs around it alerted us that mother seals go out to sea to feed for as long as a couple of days.”  Rosemary


“We have spotted otters playing and diving for food among the seaweed as we walk along West Cliff Drive.  One morning, we saw(Site Photos) OtterMomBaby.jpg mom and baby diving, coming back up, calling for each other and embracing, rolling and playing.  On a good wave day we watch surfers riding the waves.”  Julie


“We like to take the path at Natural Bridges, saving the viewing platform for last!  Lie on your back on the wooden platform and watch the monarch butterflies in flight among the eucalyptus branches.  Then we go down to the tidepools to see what's there!”  Jody


“My son and I go to Farmers Markets every week.  He likes the music, honeysticks for 10 cents, samples of fruit, sometimes a balloon man and we come home with fresh produce!”  Joy


“We ride bikes on the levy because it’s traffic free!  We like to bring a snack and eat it while we watch the skateboarders at Ken Wormhoudt Skate Park.  Some of them are amazing athletes.”  Mark


“My kids like to climb the trees in “Pony Park.” Actually it’s part of(Site Photos) WilderRanchBoyinTree.jpg Twin Lakes State Beach but you access it from behind the Simpkins Swim Center.  They like the "monkey tree" at Ocean View Park, so named because when kids are in it they sound like monkeys.” Clare


“We go to pet stores to look at mice, rats, birds, reptiles, frogs and fish. We’re still in the small pet stage.  I don’t recommend this outing unless you are open to bringing home one of these cute critters to have as a pet or you have made it clear that it’s a look only visit.”  Whitney


“Highland Park has access to a sandy beach next to the San Lorenzo River and on a hot day it’s fun to wade in the water.  Inevitably we end up finding good “skippers.”  It’s a good idea to keep your kids at least a dozen feet apart while they’re practicing their rock skipping skills.”  Michael


(Site Photos) CaliforniaQuail.jpg“We love the exotic plants at UCSC’s Botanical Gardens and in the spring the children love looking for quail families.  They are so cute scurrying in a line to hide in the bushes.”  Melba



(Site Photos) BuddyCat.jpg“Go for a “Kitty Walk” before dusk.  This is when cats like to find the last warmth in the sidewalks so it’s easy to find them. My kids think it’s a successful outing when we spot five cats!” Lacey


Beaches! We love beaches and every summer we look for the beach with the most gentle slope and long, gentle waves for the kids to learn how to boogey board.  This is a constant search for the best beach because it’s always changing, but New Brighton State Beach often has the most level sand for children.” Amity



Are you looking for friends

for you and your little ones?

Parent Groups are here for you! will list your parent group!


    When you transition from adult working and social world to the new parent world, or go from parent of one to parent of two, or your family moves to a new community, adjusting and finding new friends can be a challenge!   Fortunately there are parent groups throughout the county that meet regularly and welcome new participants.  Some are playgroups that meet at parks, some have a learning focus, some are babysitting cooperatives, some meet special needs.  There's one for you or you may start one!

    Santa Cruz Parent offers a place to list your parent group under Parent Groups, Playgroups, Clubs.  Check them out and if your group is not listed, it’s free and easy to listEmail us about your group with contact information.  You will find many groups are listed under Ongoing Weekly Events.

    The Santa Cruz Mother's Club thrived for many years for a group of parents.  As their children grew older and went to school full time family needs changed.  Although many wonderful friendships made when children were little have been sustained, the original founders no(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) MomKidsWalking.jpg longer have a formal "club."  Lisa Litten is one of its "parent graduates" who welcomes inquiries about how this group formed and functioned and is glad to help you start a new one.  Call Lisa at 426-2818

    For inspiration, this is their original description. “The objective of Santa Cruz Mother's Club is to provide friendship, socialization and support for caregivers and their children. The club is for Santa Cruz County mothers or other primary caregivers of children from newborn to kindergarten age. SCMC offers a variety of playgroups throughout Santa Cruz county, parental educational resources through Parent Information Nights, Mothers Night Out, and opportunities throughout the year where other family members can participate with the primary caregiver and younger siblings.  SCMC is a service-oriented group, encouraging every member to participate, volunteer, and share ideas."



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


All Event Details in Calendar of Events


(Site Photos) MayDayBasket.jpg


5/1 May Day! Make a bouquet, leave it at the door of a special friend, ring the bell and run!


5/2 Fri, 10-3, County Wide Homeschool Picnic Day, Harvey West Park


5/2 Fri Annie, Kids on Broadway


5/3 11am, Capitola Kite Classic, Main Beach, Capitola Village


5/3 Sat, 8-2, City Wide Garage Sale, Capitola


5/3 Sat 9-3, Annie Glass Mother's Day Benefit Sale, 310 Harvest Dr., Watsonville 


5/3 Sat 12-5pm Blue Grass Faire, San Lorenzo Park(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) KiteKidX.jpg


5/3 Sat 1-3pm, Kite Days: Build and fly a kite,  New Brighton State Beach. 


5/3 Sat 10-5,  Illustrating Nature Art Show, Museum of Natural History


5/3 Sat, 10-3 UCSC Farm & Garden Plant Sale 


5/3 10-7, Sat World Wide Free Comic Book Day. Atlantis Fantasyworld

 calendar of events details

5/3 Saturday May Fair Santa Cruz Waldorf School

(Icons/Graphics) Maypole.jpg   Celebrate the end of winter and the return of the sun and the soil's fertility at our annual May Fair. Families are invited to enjoy a full day of frolicsome performances, activities, and crafts including flower garland making and a traditional May Pole Dance.



5/3 Student Authors' Fair, Capitola Mall
5/4 Sun, Cinco de Mayo Festival, Mexican Foods & Entertainment,(Icons/Graphics) CincodeMayo.jpg
 Downtown Plaza, Watsonville

5/4 Sun, 12-6, Cinco de Mayo Davenport
5/4 Sun 12-3, Midwives of Santa Cruz Family Reunion with families affiliated with Kate Bowland and Roxanne Cummings, Harvey West Park.
5/4 Sun, "CINCO DE FIDO"  Our 7th Annual Festival Join Us at the C-DOG Spring Dog Festival! Bring your dog - try the contests and sports. EVERY dog registered gets a goody bag full of gifts and toys. It can\'t get any better than this!


5/8 Thurs 3:30pm, Kid's Club - Magic Bubble Show, Capitola Mall

Come to Kid’s Club and Bubble Over with Laughter with our Magic Bubble Show!  There will be lots of bubble tricks and audience participation and you may be picked to be inside a bubble!  Before the show we will have a Mother’s Day Present Craft Station and Card Making Station to make mom feel special and after the show there will be goodies for all!  See you here for a Bubbly Good Time!

5/8 Thurs 5-7, Step Up Women's Network Event Capitola Mall 
    Women helping women!  Capitola Mall will be putting together "wellness bags" for local cancer patients...
    Capitola Mall, along with all Macerich Centers, will partner with  Step Up Women's Network to aid women with cancer.  Women volunteers will gather to feel good while doing good.  They'll be assembling 300 "wellness bags" for local women cancer patients, while enjoying a spirit of female camaraderie with their peers. 
    Capitola Mall is teaming up locally with WomenCare to help deliver these bags to the women who need them most.  We will be treating our volunteers to makeovers, entertainment and refreshments during the event. 
    For more information on how to volunteer or to donate product for the "wellness bags", please contact Lynsey Niizawa, Marketing Manager for the Capitola Mall, 476.9616.
5/10 & 11 Bike Fest 


Tyrolean Inn Restaurant

Bavarian Buffet 

 Thursday, May 1


All you can eat

for only $19.95.

Live accordion music.

This month includes

deviled ribs,

chicken dumplings,

spiced pork, gulash,

peach kuchen,

black forest rolls,

and of course,

apple strudel.

Reservations recommended.


  Mother's Day Brunch Buffet 

Sunday, May 11th

German/American style
Unlimited trips
to the buffet
only $21/adult
$12/child age 6-12
$6/child under 6
The bounce house is up!
Patio seating outdoors. 
Sat, May 17, 2-10pm
We can't wait for Oktoberfest,
so we'll party in May!
 Al Gruber Band
Kids activities
& Bounce House
Hot Pretzels 
Maibock Beer!
9600 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond


 Classifieds for You

(Icons/Graphics) YardSale3.jpg

(Business Logos) ShoppersCorner.jpg
Where Locals
Shop for Great Meats,
Cheeses, Produce and Wines,
Banciforte and Soquel 
Santa Cruz

Story Time with
Billie Harris
Mondays 11am 
 (Business Logos) AnniesNanniesDomesticStaffLLC.jpg

 (Business Logos) CapitolaKidsClub.jpg

5/8 Thurs 3:30pm, Kid's Club - Magic Bubble Show, Capitola Mall

Come Bubble Over
with Laughter
with our Magic
Bubble Show! 
Bubble tricks &
Audience participation 
You could end up
inside a bubble! 
Before the show:
Mother’s Day
Craft Station &
Card Making Station
After the show
goodies for all!  

(Business Logos) FoodChainRadio.jpg
 for "Foodies"
Saturday 9am
1080 AM
(Business Logos) KungFuKids.jpg
 A wholesome family oriented
where all kids feel welcome,
secure and have fun.
Kung Fu Kids offers
competitive prices
for top notch
martial arts training.

(Business Logos) SantaCruzBeachBoardwalk.jpg

(Icons/Graphics) TeacherAppreciationWeek.jpg
One Hundred Years
from now
It will not matter
what kind of car I drove,
What kind of house
I lived in,
how much money
was in my bank account
nor what my clothes
looked like.
But the world may be
a better place because
I was important
in the life of a child. 

 Do you know of a business that should be listed with us? Go here to learn more.

(Speical Event Page Graphics) PVShelterMothersDayRun.jpg

(Site Photos) GnarlesEmma.jpg


Gnarles, a puli &
Emma, a white
shepherd get along
just fine! 



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Santa Cruz, CA