This Weekend in Santa Cruz: Jan. 26th – 28th, 2018

Santa Cruz Tide Pooling

The last weekend of January will bring some unique opportunities to get you out and about after a long week.

Get a behind the scenes look into a real symphony rehearsal and then attend the grand performance later. You might want to grab the kids and go sip some hot chocolate around the campfire for some storytelling, or spend some time volunteering to make animal toys?

There’s also a special day of beach cleanup and tidepooling to celebrate a local historical figure who was both a Santa Cruz lighthouse keeper and a naturalist.

We found celebrations, performances, presentations and more that will end your January on a great note.

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


Free Santa Cruz Symphony Open Rehearsal (Songs of Past, Present & Future)

When: 1/26 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: Open Rehearsals are free to the public. Donations are always welcome.

Get a rare glimpse behind the scenes as the Santa Cruz Symphony rehearses for their weekend performance of Songs of Past, Present & Future. Experience a working rehearsal for the musicians, soloists and Maestro.

Get more info here.

Storytelling Night: ‘Stories for a New Year’

campfire stories

When: 1/26 at 6:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cost: Free

Enjoy an evening hour around the campfire as you listen to storytellers weave tales of adventure and mystery that will be sure to make you smile. Wear warm clothes and bring blankets. Hot chocolate will be provided. Gates open at 6:30 pm, storytelling begins at 7 pm.

Get more info here.

Jewel Theatre Presents: SILENT SKY

Silent Sky

When: 1/24 – 2/18
Where: The Colligan Theater
Cost: $26 – $48

This play is based on the true story of an early 20th century woman who worked as a gifted astronomy “computer” at Harvard Observatory and the struggles she faced while dealing with societal biases towards a female in the field.

Get more info here.

Urinetown, The Musical

urinetownWhen: 1/26 & 1/27 @ 7:00 pm and 1/28 @ 2:00 pm
Where: Mount Madonna School
Cost: $11 / $16

Years of water shortages have led to private toilets becoming outlawed while a sinister company takes over the public restrooms and charges big fees. A thought-provoking message combined with a big dose of humor.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday


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Santa Cruz Symphony – Songs of Past, Present & Future

When: 1/27 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: $29 – $85

The Santa Cruz Symphony presents an exciting vocally-themed performance featuring Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, followed by Strauss’s Four Last Songs with Metropolitan Opera star Michelle Bradley and finished with Rimsky-Korsacov’s symphonic suite, Scheherazade. Featuring Concertmaster Nigel Armstrong.

Get more info here & purchase tickets here.

Castro Adobe Open House 2018

castro adobe

When: 1/27 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Castro Adobe State Historic Park, 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville, CA 95076
Cost: Free

See the recent progress of the restoration of the Casa Adobe. This property is an important piece of California Ranchos history that is located right here in Larkin Valley. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is partnering with California State Parks to restore this rancho hacienda. Limited parking available.

Get more info here.

Into Africa

Frans Lanting Into Africa

When: 1/27 at 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: $20 Gen, $45 Gold Circle

Enjoy a new presentation by world-renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting and writer/videographer Chris Eckstrom as they share their experiences in wild Africa. All proceeds will be donated to the marine science education and conservation programs at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.

Get more info here.


When: 1/27 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Cost: Free

Come out and celebrate 10 years of brewing with Pepe! Pop up by Chuy’s tacos and live music from Los Primos will add to the festivities.

Get more info here.

Laura Hecox Day – Beach Cleanup and Tidepooling at the Hook

Laura Hecox Day

Beach Cleanup:
When: 1/27 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: Seabright Beach
Cost: Free

When: 1/27 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: The Hook
Cost: $10 General | $5 Museum Members | Kids are FREE

Celebrate the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History founder and lighthouse keeper, Laura Hecox , with a day of naturalist activities. First help clean up Seabright Beach and then join a marine biologist for tidepooling at the hook and explore the interesting wildlife in the intertidal zone.  Pre-Registration required for tidepool event.

Get more info here & here.

Jewel Theatre Presents: SILENT SKY

See Description Under Friday Section

Urinetown, The Musical

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Saturday

santa cruz instagramKeep up with us all weekend long, and see which events we’re attending, by following Santa Cruz Life on Instagram.


Santa Cruz Symphony – Songs of Past, Present & Future

When: 1/28 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Henry J Mello Center (Watsonville, CA) – Please note this is at a different venue than Saturday’s performance
Cost: $29 – $85

See Description Under Saturday Section

Get more info here & purchase tickets here.


When: 1/28 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Cocoanut Grove
Cost: $8

Want to plan the perfect wedding? Here’s your chance to find just what you need and see the best local wedding services including photographers, florists, caterers, bakers, venues, entertainment and more. Register to win a weekend getaway.

Get more info here.

Family Volunteer Event: Make Animal Toys for the SPCA!

spcaWhen: 1/28 at 4:00 pm
Where: Bookshop Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Volunteer to make some fun toys for the animals staying at the shelter. Bring your family and help a great cause! All materials provided.

Get more info here.

Jewel Theatre Presents: SILENT SKY

See Description Under Friday Section

Urinetown, The Musical

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

black lives matter santa cruz

What: EXHIBITS: “Black Lives in Santa Cruz: What Matters” –Allison Garcia, photography
Where: Resource Center for Nonviolence
When: Opening Reception: Feb. 2, from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Exhibit runs Jan. 13 – Feb. 26,  M-Th from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

Freelance photographer Allison Garcia’s new exhibit, on display at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, strives to answer the question: What’s it like to be Black in Santa Cruz? Garcia’s exhibit, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, combines photography and interviews which share participants’ views on being Black in Santa Cruz.

Get more info here.

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About Valerie Lemke

Valerie Lemke was a transplant from the Bay Area to Santa Cruz County over 25 years ago, and hasn't looked back since. She is a local freelance writer and photographer who loves writing about and photographing one of the most beautiful regions in the world, the Central Coast.

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