This Weekend in Santa Cruz: July 28th – 30th, 2017

santa cruz weekend events

A weekend of celebration, music and summer days and nights is the common thread this weekend in Santa Cruz County. A certain famous train engine comes back for a summer visit for the kids, an ancient tree is commemorated, and there is enough music and art to cover everyone’s taste. Oh, and did we mention food trucks?

It’s going to be another great weekend, so get out there and soak it up!

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


Los Lobos

When: 7/28 at 6:30 pm & 8:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free

The Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach concert series continues with this Grammy Award winning band. Come out for a summer night of favorite hits that have spanned across three decades. Two concert showtimes to choose from.

Get more info here.

A Day Out with Thomas The Tank Engine!

When: 7/28 – 7/30 from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads
Cost: Tickets are $20; $24 for peak times (Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am 2:30pm)

Everyone’s favorite engine is back for a summer weekend of fun for the family. A ticket includes a train ride, live entertainment, bounce house, face-painting and many other family-friendly activities.

Get more info here.

Friday Night Live: Sensory TRiBE

When: 7/28 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Abbott Square
Cost: Free

This band of like-minded voices brings Reggae Fusion music with a message. A sensory experience by way of music from this Monterey based band.

Get more info here.

Kids Escape Room for Kids Week Downtown

When: 7/28 @ 4:00 pm to 7/30 at 7:00 pm
Where: EXIT Santa Cruz
Cost: $10.99

Kid’s week begins downtown this weekend and it’s a perfect opportunity for kids to take a 30 minute escape into a pirate adventure. Kids 8 years and up can use a pirates map to search for the treasure in this escape room.

Get more info here.

Food Trucks + Parks and Recreation day in San Lorenzo Park

When: 7/28 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Enjoy an extravaganza of food trucks and a recreational day in the park. Choose from a huge selection of food and drinks, as well as a wine and beer garden. Play corn hole, ladder ball, hula hoops or even show off your Frisbee throwing. Bring your family for the evening celebrate our local parks.

Get more info here.

First 50 Celebration: 50th Anniversary of the UCSC Farm and Garden/CASFS

When: 7/28, 7/29, 7/30 (Various times and events)
Where: Various locations on the UCSC Campus
Cost: See website for pricing

Celebrate 50 years of the UCSC Farm and Garden program with various events and workshops throughout the weekend. A banquet dinner dance, fog rise gathering, and a garden tour are just a few of the fun events that are on the schedule.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Cheers to 50 Years Summer Celebration

When: 7/29 from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: Sesnon House 6500 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Cost: $40 in advance – $45 at the door – $120 group tickets (families of 4)

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County is turning 50, and they will be celebrating with a big summer birthday bash. Family fun for all ages with food, live music, activities and a raffle. Come and celebrate a half century of success for a great local resource.

Get more info here.

Great American Secchi Dip In

When: 7/29 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: Loch Lomond Recreational Area
Cost: free

Celebrate California Lakes Appreciation Month with an afternoon at a local hidden lake treasure. Loch Lomond Reservoir is the main resource of water for Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. Come to the lake and try out a Secchi disk to check for water transparency, and learn more about our valuable water supply.

Get more info here.

Arts and Crafts Fair

When: 7/29 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Alladin Nursery 2905 Freedom Blvd. Watsonvile CA
Cost: Free

Four Sisters Artisan’s Collective presents a wide selection of locally crafted art displayed in the garden setting of Alladin’s Nursery. Stop by for some complimentary snacks, shopping and socializing. Items include mosaics, hand embroidered evening bags, jewelry, gourd art, fused glass and more.

Commemorate the Advocate Tree

When: 7/29 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Cost: events are free; parking at the park is $10 and supports the park

The Advocate Tree, a 250ft. tall redwood tree that was more than a thousand years old, fell in January this year at the park. Join in the commemoration for the iconic tree, followed by a 50th celebration to honor Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks marking their 50th anniversary, which is hosted along with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

Get more info here.

A Day Out with Thomas The Tank Engine!

See Description Under Friday Section

Kids Escape Room for Kids Week Downtown

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.


Festival of the Book

When: 7/30 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Harvey West Park
Cost: Free

Celebrate a successful summer reading program this year with Santa Cruz Public Libraries. The festival will feature light snacks, crafts, face-painting, juggling, as well as an audience of certified therapy dogs for kids to read to.

Get more info here.

Special Soquel Sunday Sale

When: 7/30 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: Soquel Village

Sundays were made for two things: mimosas and antique shopping! Enjoy both in Soquel Village where Cowbelles, Center St. Antiques, and Loot Vintage are holding a joint sale with special discounts and bubbly beverages.

Get more info here.

Music at Skypark

When: 7/30 at 2:30 pm
Where: Skypark
Cost: Free

The 9th annual Music at Skypark presents The Houserockers and the Johnny Neri Band. Enjoy an afternoon of good music and fun in the sun at the park in Scotts Valley.

Get more info here.

Sunday Art & Music at The Beach – Samba Cruz -Brazilian

When: 7/30 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Esplanade Park
Cost: Free

The Sunday Art and Music at the Beach summer series continues with music from Samba Cruz. View the artwork of local artists who will be displaying their creations for sale along the Esplanade.

Get more info here.

A Day Out with Thomas The Tank Engine!

See Description Under Friday Section

Kids Escape Room for Kids Week Downtown

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

church st fair

A street fair like no other, with art, food, wine, and non-stop music and dance performances. Kids will love the creativity tent and the highlight of the weekend: The Free Family Concert which includes a tour of the orchestra!

Get more info here.

What: Church Street Fair
Where: Church street / Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
When: Aug. 5 & 6

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About Valerie Lemke

Valerie Lemke is 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.