This Weekend in Santa Cruz: July 8th – 10th, 2016

santa cruz events july 8, 2016

This weekend is all about perfect matches: music and ocean, beer and jam, and a 50th birthday party and cake from Gayle’s—yum!

Kick it off with some Family Stone at the Boardwalk, celebrate local history in Capitola, shop local in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and see what cool things some locals are up to, such as building a tiny railroad empire.

See our picks for the top events each day this weekend:

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Santa Cruz Sandhills: The Henry Cowell Trail Less Traveled

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A visit to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park usually means one thing: a walk through the Redwood Grove Loop Trail. This is the Henry Cowell most are familiar with and for obvious reasons. Centuries-old, skyscraping redwoods are hard to miss and quite the draw, especially when hosting out-of-town visitors.

But there’s another side to Henry Cowell that has more in common with the beach than a redwood forest and, in fact, used to be a beach. Sort of.
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Mother’s Day 2016 in Santa Cruz

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Bountiful brunches are just the beginning of things to do for Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz, which falls on Sunday, May 8.

We’ve compiled shopping, hiking, crafting activities and more to celebrate all things mom leading up to and throughout Mother’s Day weekend.

So go ahead and start planning to spoil, indulge, treat and appreciate the mom in your life—she deserves it.
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My #SantaCruzLife: Dead Central, Savory Churros, and a Serenading Salamander

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Rain boots, flip flops, lather, rinse, repeat. The extreme weather conditions of late are keeping me on my toes from one day to the next, but the rainbows in between are the best!

Luckily, Santa Cruz is full of adventures, rain or shine, so get out and explore—eat somewhere new, get in touch with nature, remember the Dead—and bring an umbrella just in case.

In this edition of My #SantaCruzLife, I’m talking about churros…AGAIN, but I’ll also take you to two must visit places in Santa Cruz, the Grateful Dead Archive at UCSC and the Nature & History Center at Rancho del Oso. [Read more…]

The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to Santa Cruz – from A to Mackenzies

Chocolate Santa Cruz: Chocolate Lover's Guide to Santa CruzIf you’re a chocolate lover, chances are you have a well hidden stash somewhere in your house.

So let us help you keep it fully stocked with the best chocolate confections Santa Cruz has to offer.

From guilty pleasures like chocolate-covered bacon to superfood chocolate made with maca and turmeric, your cravings are no match for our local chocolate artisans.

It’s time to take a self-guided tour of the top chocolate destinations in Santa Cruz. [Read more…]

Rainy Day Activities for Kids in Santa Cruz County

rainy day activities for kids in santa cruz

Photo by Kelley Thompson

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the kids think everything’s boring…

Time to get them out of the house!

To prevent everyone from going stir-crazy during cold, wet weather, keep these ideas on your rainy day bucket list for indoor fun in Santa Cruz.

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My #SantaCruzLife: Holiday Baking & Gift Wrap Tips, Plus a Free Pass to Bay Area Museums

My Santa Cruz Life: Holiday Baking, Gift-wrapping, Museum PassesIt’s been a long time since I’ve written to the sound of raindrops on my roof. The added thunder and hail last week provided just the right soundtrack for this holiday-themed edition of My #SantaCruzLife.

Read on for a holiday baking hack, convenient gift-wrapping tip, plus visit Bay Area museums for free. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for a bonus reader-contributed tip for your scaly pets!
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Halloween Events in Santa Cruz 2015

Looking for a listing of Halloween Events for 2016? You’re in luck! You can find them here.

Halloween Santa Cruz 2014
Welcome to Santa Cruz, where everyday is Halloween and October is just Halloween-appreciation month.

All kidding aside, Santa Cruz has frightful fun in store for everyone, so gather your ghoul friends and let the Halloween festivities begin!

Here’s a day by day listing of all the Halloween events this month:

Oct. 14, 21 & 28

Brew Cruz Haunted Tours

Brew Cruz Haunted ToursGhosts and beer…need we say more? Hop aboard the “Boo Cruz” for an hour-long tour of the most haunted spots in Santa Cruz. Costumes encouraged, BYO seasonal beers, and enjoy an adrenaline-filled pint post tour. Must be 21+
You can purchase tickets here.

Westside Haunted Tour: 10/14
Eastside Haunted Tour: 10/21
Westside Haunted Tour: 10/28
Cost: $25

Thursday, October 15

Halloween Party and Fashion Show at Camouflage

camouflage halloween 2015Camouflage’s biggest party of the year will feature soul-sucking sips, naughty nibbles, prizes every 15 minutes, and models showcasing several different Halloween looks to inspire your holiday.
Get more info here.

Camouflage
Thursday, October 15th
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Midnight Movies at the Del Mar

  • Shaun of the Dead Oct. 16
  • The Exorcist Oct. 17
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show Oct. 23 &24
  • Psycho Oct. 30
  • The Shining Oct. 31

Oct. 17-18, 24-25, 31 & Nov. 1 

Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party

Straight from the Island of Sodor, Thomas the Tank Engine and his buddy Percy are hosting a Halloween Party that includes a 25-minute train ride, storytelling and video viewing, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, a pumpkin patch, and the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt!

Roaring Camp Railroads
10/17, 10/18, 10/24, 10/25, 10/31, 11/1
Cost: $24
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My #SantaCruzLife: The Churro Guy, A Hidden Car Museum & an Animal-Friendly Halloween Tip

My SantaCruzLife: Churros, Car Museum, Pumpkin Carving

After what was starting to feel like an endless summer, there’s finally a slight chill in the air. My kids are planning their Halloween costumes and I ate my first slice of Costco pumpkin pie—in September!

The daily whale shows off West Cliff have been replaced by the fiery sunsets of fall, and the monarchs trickling in remind me, once again, this place is magic and I’m lucky to call it home.

In this edition of My #SantaCruzLife, I’ll take you to a churro cart in Watsonville, a car museum in Scotts Valley, and up Highway 1 to Wilder Ranch’s pumpkin-loving farm animals.
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Santa Cruz Weekend Events: Sep. 24-28, 2015

santa cruz weekend events sep. 24, 2015According to the calendar, it’s officially fall, but local’s summer is still going strong.

You could easily plan the weekend around the beautiful weather we have in store, the exciting possibility of seeing whales close to shore, and a full moon so rare we won’t see another like it until 2033.

But wait! There are actual organized events in and around town that you won’t want to miss.

See our picks for the top events each day this weekend:
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