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Santa Cruz Weekend Events: Nov. 28 – 30, 2014

thanksgiving weekend santa cruz

Photo taken in front of Pleasure Point Pilates

The weekend after Thanksgiving…let the shopping and holiday festivities begin!

The holiday season kicks off with Surfin’ Santa Cruz in the Capitola Village, and the launch of the Train to Christmas Town.  Shopping events also start this weekend, with Small Business Saturday, Downtown sidewalk sales, and the Surf City Vintners annual art, wine & gift bazaar.

Read on to see the rest of our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.

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How’s the Market? Santa Cruz County Market Report: October 2014

Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Statistics
It’s been a while since our last update on the local housing market. What’s happened to housing in Santa Cruz County since the summer?

For starters, prices are up and inventory is down.

The median price for single family homes in October was $715,000, up 11% from last October, and up a healthy 6% from September. Condos had a median price of $465,000 in October. This is an increase of 24% from a year ago, and a 9% gain from September.

Evaluating the numbers gives us a good start at understanding the housing market, but while the numbers never lie, they don’t always paint the whole picture. That’s why this month we want to open the topic of the Santa Cruz real estate market up to local agents.

If you’re an agent in Santa Cruz County then head over to our Facebook page to let us know what’s really happening in the market. What’s hot? what’s not? Where’s the market heading? Add your voice, or just read along to find out what the experts have to say, at the following link:

Join the conversation on Facebook

October Housing Statistics in Santa Cruz County:

Single Family Homes

 20132014% Change
Inventory641535-17%
New Inventory198158-20%
Sales1621631%
Avg. Sales Price$687,750$794,80616%
Median Price$647,000$715,00011%

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Halloween Weekend in Santa Cruz 2014

Santa Cruz Surf Statue Pumpkin

With Halloween landing on a Friday, this weekend’s event roundup contains a ton of Halloween events.  The forecast calls for rain on Halloween so that could dampen the outdoor festivities, but there are also plenty of fun indoor options this year.

Read on to see the rest of our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.

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Halloween Events in Santa Cruz 2014

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

Halloween Santa Cruz 2014
Halloween is just around the corner.  Time to work on those costumes, and plan your Halloween activities.  We can’t offer much help with the costumes, but we’ve got you covered for all the best Halloween events in Santa Cruz.  Here is a day by day listing of all the Halloween events this month:

Friday, Oct. 24 & Saturday, Oct. 25

Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party

For the first time at Roaring Camp, Thomas the Tank Engine’s buddy Percy will join him on the rails to give an instructional and festive Halloween ride.  Activities include: Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Story Telling, Videos, Train Play Tables, Pick a Pumpkin (small pumpkins for little ones), Cookie decorating, photos with Sir Topham Hatt, Thomas store and entertainment.

Roaring Camp Railroads
10/18, 10/19, 10/25, 10/26, 1/1, 1/2
Cost: $24

Roaring Camp Halloween Ghost Train

Celebrate Halloween Roaring Camp style by boarding the Ghost Train for a ride through the haunted forest, as scenes from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are reenacted.  Once off the train your youngsters will be able to enjoy games, Trick or Treating, and a haunted house.

Roaring Camp Railroads
Friday, October 24 & Saturday, October 25
Cost: $28

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GLOW: The Brightest Nights of the Year in Santa Cruz

GLOW 2014 Santa Cruz

Are you ready for the two brightest nights of the year in downtown Santa Cruz?

Once a year the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History transforms the museum, the adjacent Abbott Square, and Cooper Street into a festival of fire, light, and illuminated digital art.

GLOW 2014 is a two day festival.  The first night is A Festival of Light and the second night is A Festival of Fire.  The 3rd annual GLOW Festival takes place on Friday, October 17th & Saturday, October 18th, 2014.

Attendees will be treated to elaborate illuminated digital art, live performances, and plenty of interactive exhibits.  This is a chance to see world class artists and performers who you would be more likely to see at Burning Man than your average museum exhibit.

Simply put, it’s a spectacle, and one you won’t want to miss.

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First Time Open Studios Artists: Meet This Year’s Rookie Class

new open studios artists 2014

I’m not exactly sure when I started attending Open Studios, but I know I’ve spent at least a decade devoting my October weekends to visiting local artist studios.

Open Studios is my personal favorite annual event in Santa Cruz, and much of that can be attributed to the returning artists whose studios I visit each year.  There are a handful of artists who are on my must-see list every year.  Paul Fortis, Barbara Bailey-Porter, Marie Gabrielle, Paul Zaretzky, Sandra Cherk, Mary Offerman, and Ea Eckerman (before he stopped showing his work in Open Studios two years ago), just to name a few.

A funny thing happens after visiting the same studios year after year though. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour 2014

open studios santa cruz 2014

If you caught any of our 2013 Open Studios coverage then you already know that here at Santa Cruz Life we are BIG fans of Open Studios.

We’ll be providing coverage of the 2014 Open Studios Art Tour in the coming weeks.  Until then, you’ll find some helpful information below to help you plan your Open Studios tour this year.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of our Open Studios coverage, then sign up for email updates in the box to the right (or below this post if you’re on a mobile device).
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Event Santa Cruz One Year Anniversary: Sep 18, 2014

Event Santa Cruz one year anniversary

Last fall Matthew Swinnerton started Event Santa Cruz as a way to showcase Santa Cruz businesses and the people behind them.

One year later Event Santa Cruz is about to celebrate with their biggest event yet.

The Event Santa Cruz One Year Anniversary event is Thursday, September 18 at the MAH, and it features an impressive lineup of speakers, a ribbon cutting with the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, networking, and food and drinks courtesy of Pono Hawaiian Grill, Brew Cruz, and Allterra Solar.

In the first year Event Santa Cruz gave local business owners, and entrepreneurs of all types, a chance to gather once a month, share their stories, inspire, get inspired, and strengthen the local business ecosystem in the process.

[Read more…]

The Santa Cruz Harbor Gets Wacky with Cardboard Kayak Races (and You’re Invited!)

Cardboard Kayak Race

There’s something romantic, even epic, about the idea of building your own boat.

It’s one of those bucket list items that only the most hard core DIYers will ever achieve.

On the other hand, there’s something utterly absurd, and equally awesome, about building a boat made of cardboard and duct tape to race through the Santa Cruz Harbor.

Lucky for those of us in Santa Cruz we get the opportunity to do just that on September 14th.

The inaugural Cardboard Kayak Race is shaping up to be a whimsical event ripe with competitive shenanigans, the likes of which seem perfectly suited for Santa Cruz.

So, if you’re thinking, “OMG, I HAVE TO DO THIS!” then read on. And if you aren’t, then, well…why not? [Read more…]

Santa Cruz 4th of July 2014 Events

Santa Cruz 4th of July

This post is about 4th of July events from 2014, but not to worry! Just head over to our updated post with 2015 4th of July events in Santa Cruz.

4th of July in Santa Cruz.  For some it means pancake breakfasts, parades and parties in the park.

For others it means backyard barbecue in the afternoon and fireworks at night.

It could even mean watching fireworks from an evening boat cruise or kayak on the bay.

4th of July events in Santa Cruz County include family friendly old-fashioned celebrations at Wilder Ranch and Roaring Camp, the county’s only official fireworks show in Scotts Valley, and parades spanning from Watsonville to San Lorenzo Valley.

[Read more…]