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April 1, 2009

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There is still time to get your program added to our camp guide coming out April 16th.  Click here to get in touch with us.


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A Winner

Seymour Marine Art

Contest for Student

Opening Display

Saturday, 4/4 12pm


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Local Shopping

at its Best !



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The Secret Lives of Seahorses Opens April 6.



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Santa Cruz Soccer Inc

Spring & Summer




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1/2 Off

Wiener Schnitzel




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Katie Dog loves her Neem, a nutritious and healthful meal, available at Allpets.  Stop in and ask to read the label!

1226 B Soquel Ave.


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Pick up a Chicken

 Pot Pie 

Call! 429.1390


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Are you a locally owned business?  Join us Thursday, 4/2, 5:30-7, and enter to win a $100 check to spend locally at a Think Local First member business! SC41 Furniture Store, 2647 41st Ave.



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Get your FREE monthly Parent Empowering 4-Pack website

Raise Responsible Kids Who Connect with You website 

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Hit the beach for the Spring Break at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!!



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Free Demo Classes

through Saturday




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Imagine Your Tween Making Dinner!

Fun Cooking Classes for Kids

Surf City Mac & Cheese

Everybody Loves Lasagna

Call 429-1390



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Summer Camp

with Outstanding

Role Models



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Gardening with Gus,

A Book of Gardening Ideas

for Preschools

and Parents of



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Adult Education

Great Spring Classes


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Mural Depicting Ohlone Life, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History


Support Your Favorite Museum.
Visit One, or Several!


     It's Spring Break. Go to a Local Museum!  They are hoping you will visit! Prepare to be pleased at the treasures awaiting you. See "old-fashioned" items through your children's eyes. Find a new artist you like. Touch and explore. Take a picnic lunch. Have fun.


     I like museums, all kinds of museums. It started in Connecticut at the Mattatuck Historical Museum. They had the neatest dioramas of little 3-4 inch high Indian figures with exquisitely chiseled faces wearing real cloth and animal clothing, going about their daily lives --attending to their cooking, hunting, cleaning the log house, playing. They don't display it on their website today. That's okay. I have a vivid mental image of it. Still today, when someone says "Let's go visit the xyz museum" I'm there!


     I was talking with Shauna at our own Museum of Natural History, the one with the famous, popular whale sculpture and the enchanting mural depicting Ohlone life. I was almost afraid to ask if they were able to remain open since they lost city funding, but Shauna said "Yes, we've received some generous grants that give us some time to plan for other ways to stay alive."


     They have some wonderful programs for all of us, especially this summer for kids and tweens. The camp class descriptions are so enticing. If only they took adults... but of course there's always volunteering!.


     One way we can all help all our museums is to visit and make a donation. When you find a favorite museum, become a member. That really helps them! Most museums have specials for members only. They make it easy to donate right online.


     You could visit a museum every day during the Spring Break and still have new ones left for weekends and summer. Here are a few museums to choose from too, and we only hit the highlights. Be sure to check their websites for days, hours, admission fees, free days. Have fun!


Santa Cruz County Museums


Santa Cruz Museum Natural History Museum, home to the whale, exhibits of local critters diorama style, a touching tidepool, and host to many informative community programs needs your help. Visit and ask what's needed!  website


(Site Photos) ArboretumPath.jpgVisit the Arboretum any time of the year, but especially in Spring if you want to see a riot of exotic beautiful flowering plants. If you walk quietly you may just come upon a family of quail running from one bush to another. Daily 9-5 Empire Grade on the right before the west entrance to the campus. website


Visit Seymour Center, a working marine laboratory and explore our aquarium, exhibit halls, and touch tank. (Hold a handsome hermit crab!) Explore on your own or take a tour. (See dolphins, sea lions, and fancy fish!) Learn about marine life through hands-on fun. (Find out who (?) makes a mermaid's purse.) website


Come visit The Agricultural History Project and see implements of yesterday's farming, along with fascinating historical notes! Admission is free, but visitors are asked to help support the work of AHP with a donation of $2 per person. website


The Capitola Historical Museum maintains extensive collections of photographs and artifacts, and offers changing exhibits on the history and art of the area, as well as on special seasonal and topical themes. Museum grounds now include a reconstructed cottage from the era of the early 20th century beach resort. Restoration of a wash house is a new, ongoing Museum project.  website


The Museum of Art & History houses a permanent exhibit of artifacts from early Santa Cruz history which fascinate children and adults alike. In addition it offers frequent special art exhibits, not to mention its annual Plein Aire Affaire and its popular Christmas Train Show. Art classes are offered to families year round.  website


Roaring Camp lets you see California's towering redwood forests from two historic railroads. Travel by steam train up a narrow-gauge track through the Big Trees to Bear Mountain or by beach train down the scenic San Lorenzo River to the sunny beaches of Santa Cruz.  website


Housed in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum traces over 100 years of surfing history displaying include surf boards ranging from redwood "planks" to modern high-tech designs, early wetsuits, photographs showing Santa Cruz surfers and wave riding from the 1930s through today, continuous videos illustrating surfing's ever-changing styles, and a giftshop with books, T-shirts, sweatshirts, posters, and more. Thursday through Monday, noon to 4pm. website


T(Site Photos) WingsofHistory_plane.jpghe Wings of History Museum is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antique aircraft as well as other aviation artifacts. The volunteers work to educate and stimulate interest in historic aircraft among the people of the area and to develop a fraternal spirit among the region's antique aircraft enthusiasts. Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 4pm. The museum and gift shop is open to visitors Tuesday and Thursday: 10am to 3pm. Museum work days: Restoration shop, Prop shop, Library, and Display maintenance ---Visitors are welcome too.  website


The Pajaro Valley Historical Association offers glimpses into the past at its "campus" which is comprised of the Bockius-Orr House, the Tank House, the Snyder Archive and The Volck Museum - This is a sweet little museum with some sophisticated displays of vintage clothing, household, office, farm and store items. T/W/Th 11am-3pm 332 E. Beach St. Watsonville  website


Day Trips to Nearby Museums


The California Academy of Sciences offers A four-story rainforest, an aquarium, a planetarium, and a natural history museum all under one living roof!  website


(Site Photos) deYoung_Sculpture.jpgFor lovers of art of course there is the de Young Museum with substantive collections from the North and South Americas, African, Oceanic, New Guinea and European art. There is truly something for everyone. Definitely bring teens, tweens, kids and toddlers here. There is truly something for everyone.


Monterey Bay Aquarium has nearly 200 galleries and exhibits devoted to the diverse habitats of Monterey Bay. the four largest are the Outer Bay (1million gallons); the Kelp Forest (335,000 gallons); Monterey Bay (326,000 gallons); and the Sea Otters Along the Bay Coast (55,000 gallons). It houses one of the world's largest jellyfish galleries.   website


The Steinbeck Center is located in John Steinbeck's hometown of Salinas, in the heart of Steinbeck Country. In the exhibition hall, literature jumps off the printed page and into your imagination. Discover Steinbeck's world through interactive, multisensory exhibits for all ages, rare artifacts, and seven themed theaters showcasing East of Eden, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and much more. Explore the stories of the Salinas Valley "from field to fork" in the Rabobank Agriculture Museum. Salinas has long been known as "the Salad Bowl of the World" and this hands on permanent exhibit celebrates the history, people and technology of the agricultural industry.  website


The Museum of American Heritage, MOAH, combines elements of history, technology and design to illustrate the evolution of technology, how and why it has influenced society from inception to the current time, and a glimpse of future expectations. Permanent Exhibits are: Kitchen of the 1920s - 30s, Early 20th Century General Store, Print shop of the 1920s - 30s and Radio Repair shop of the 1940s. Wait until April 17 to visit when they re-open with a new exhibit on early Sunset Magazine California Lifestyle.  website


(Site Photos) SFZoo_giraffe.jpgThe San Francisco Zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has several notable new babies, Hasani the gorilla and Camilla the little girl giraffe.  website


The Exploratorium offers hand-on science discovery exhibits that keep children occupied for hours. Just as much fun for teens and adults!  website


The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds.  website


(Site Photos) Rosicrucian_photo.jpgIf you are still fascinated with Egyptian history, go to Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak, houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in the western United States -- including objects from pre dynastic times through Egypt's early Islamic era.   website


If you have one of those children who run to the window every time there's a fire engine, the San Francisco Fire Department Museum offers displays of engines from 1810 through 1992.  website


In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so many (Site Photos) Winchester.jpgunexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester built a home that is an architectural marvel. Unlike most homes of its era, this 160-room Victorian mansion had modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. From rambling roofs and exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors to the gold and silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass windows, you will be impressed by the staggering amount of creativity, energy, and expense poured into each and every detail. I'm moving the Winchester Mystery House near the top of my list.  website


Visit Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose where you can expect to test, crank, listen, prod and tinker. One of the largest museums of its kind in the nation, CDM's 150 interactive exhibits lead visitors to explore, understand and enjoy the world in which they live.  website


My Museum in Monterey is an 8,500 square foot museum packed with a variety of hands on exhibits, making each visit unique and exciting. It compliments any visit to the Monterey area or makes a good day into a great day for those who are fortunate to visit us on a regular basis. Near Dennis the Menace Park which kids never want to leave.  website

If you know of a museum we left out that should be in our Activities & Family Fun Resources section, tell us!

(Site Photos) SukiWessling.jpgSuki's Blog:  Fund Raising vs. Funding


What is the role of fundraising in a school community? Should parents be asked to contribute more than just tuition? Or in the case of public schools, should parents have to contribute anything more than their appreciation?   >>>>>>>>>


(Site Photos) LorrainePhotoforWeb.jpgParent Coach, Lorraine Pursell: #3 Reason Kids Don't Do Their Homework


I've had parents tell me that they can't manage quiet homework time because their toddler insists on being the center of attention, being loud, can't sit still and raises lots of annoying behavior while big brother or sister was trying to concentrate. Point well- taken. Try approaching it.... >>>>>>>>>>

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) running_mom.jpgTrudi's Blog: Mom in training..

Wow.. I have now fast forwarded to coming a triathlete, I can now swim in a wetsuit in a lake with a bunch of people. The distance for this swim was about 2/3 mile - it was hard, the water was really cold, green with floaty bits. I was somewhat intimated as I really wanted to do this right I wanted to swim the American way - head down, side breath and doing a great free style. But I..... >>>>>>>>>>>>


How About A Family Weekend?

Adventure Sports

(Site Photos) Adv_Sports_Tommy.jpgFri-Sat, 4/3-5, Stillwater Cove Abalone Weekend, Adventure Sports, Families & Adults, Stillwater Cove Ranch is an ideal setting for abalone divers, kayakers and families simply needing to get away. We stay at the Dairy Barn, a bunkhouse setting with showers, wood burning stove, kitchen and dining room. There is indoor sleeping in the dinning room, however, most prefer to camp in the meadow for peace and privacy. The ranch is right across the street from the ocean with its protected coves loaded with the king of shellfish, Haliotus rufescens, the Red Abalone.


The Stillwater Cove experience offers kayaking along the ruggedly carved bluffs of the Sonoma coast or the calm bay formed by the mouth of the Russian River, hiking the meadows and redwood forests of the ranch, and foraging for seafood to complement the cuisine served at our gourmet feasts. The Stillwater Cove experience is a Family Style Adventure (FSA) in which all participate in the daily activities to make something wonderful happen.

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Weds, 4/8, 6-8pm, Free Educational Workshop: Helping Develop Social Skills, Chartwell


Fri, 3/3, 1:15-2:30pm, Friends & Family Day for Ocean Week, Gateway


Fri, 3/3 & 4, 6-8pm, Wonderland, a humorous musical, Chartwell


Sat, 4/4, 6-11:30pm, All That Jazz, Adult Evening, Aptos Academy

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Fun Events

for You!

The lady detectives have been busy!



All details are in the Events Calendar.  Use the pull-down menus to refine your search!


Thurs, 4/2, 8pm, Flashback Flix at Cinema 9, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Coming 4/09 - Back to the Future


Fri, 4/3, 7:30-12am, Star & Moon Gazing at Quail Hollow Ranch, Come learn more about the moon, planets, stars, nebula and other celestial neighbors.  Views of the moon and Saturn will highlight this evening with the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club. Indoor slide presentation.  Rain or cloudy skies cancel the program.


Fri, 4/3, 7pm, Contra Dancing Felton, Ages 7+,, involves couples dancing in two facing lines while following the direction of a skilled dance caller.  Snack potluck during the break. Wear clean dance shoes.


Saturdays 4/4 & 11, 10:30am-2:30pm, Project Scout - Tax Help: Free Tax help for seniors and low income families, Central Library, 224 Church St, Santa Cruz


Weds-Sat, 4/1-4, 9:30am-12:30pm FREE Music Together Sample Classes! Musical Me, Inc. Offers Music Together, Birth through 5 FREE! Please go to our website for complete calendar listings.!


Sat, 4/4 Learn more about what good coffee really tastes like. Capitola Book Café, Enjoy five different coffees freshly brewed to cupping strength-including Organic Chiasso and Tanzania Peaberry-alongside cookies and teacakes. Informal discussion on the various types of coffees.  $6 includes coffees and baked goods. Purchase your ticket in advance.


Sat, 4/4, 6:30 pm, Santa Cruz Rollergirls, SORRY, SOLD OUT, so if you want to see this rollicking action packed sport, book tickets in advance for May 16, Jun 27, Jul 11, Aug 22, Sept 12

 Events Calendar

Sat, 4/4, 12pm, Marine Masterpieces Awards Reception & Display, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Come admire winning and specially selected artwork from this year's Marine Masterpieces art contest for K-12 students.


4/4-5, Sat 10-5 & Sun 12-5 Vietnamese Community Celebration, Children's Discovery Museum, Music, dance, art . . . even food tasting. . . will highlight this exciting, colorful, and culturally rich two-day event featuring members of the local Vietnamese community.


Sun, 4/5, 10am-12pm, Trek to the Forbidden Sandhills, Quail Hollow Ranch, Springtime is the best and only time to visit the flower-covered hills of the sand parkland habitat.   Wear good walking shoes and a hat, and bring drinking water.  Due to the sensitive nature of the area, the group size is limited to 15.  Sign up at the park office or call.


Sun, 4/5, 1-3pm, "Twenty-five Years" Arts Exhibit, Pajaro Valley Arts Council, Collective Members' Art Exhibit -2009 Celebrating PVAC's Silver Anniversary!  This art from the quarter of a century it represents is a dazzling triumph of our mission of supporting the community through the arts!   Please join us to celebrate this special, shining occasion with some Silver Anniversary-style cake, bubbly beverages, and swinging live music. And always, with a "sweet little yellow house" full to bursting with diverse art and culture!



4/3-5, Fri & Sat 7pm, Sun 1pm, Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr., Kids On Broadway presents the stage adaptation of the 1951 animated film with Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts!


Tues, 4/7, 11:45am, Small business Survival Series: Search Engine Optimization, How to Get Noticed and Increase Your Sales.  Seminar participants will learn how to identify who uses search engines to shop for their businesses services, how customers search for products, and what customers expect from a business website.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch. Advanced registration required - Sign up here or call 831-479-6136.

Events Calendar

Tues, 4/7, 7pm, Yami's Spicy Secrets with Yamindira Kanaga Sundaram, Sharing her mother's secret curry powder recipes, passed down through her Sri Lanka family. Find out how to prepare & enjoy delicious samples! Way of Life, Capitola


Tues, 4/7, 6:30pm, CPR for Family & Friends,  Dominican Education Center, $30, Designed for the general public, course covers adult, child and infant CPR, and what to do if someone's airway is obstructed. Ideal for new and expecting parents, the class can help laypersons become rescuers in the community. Not for those who must take CPR for work or a credential. No certification is issued.

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click to view: movie review: Waiting for Superman book review: The Great Truck Rescue
travel review: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA parent blog: Antiques Roadshow: The Hottest Ticket in Town
recipe club: Thumbprint Cookies feature article: Parent & Kids

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Santa Cruz, CA