This Weekend in Santa Cruz: November 17th – 19th, 2017

West Cliff

Thanksgiving guests will be arriving soon and the holiday shopping season officially starts next week. That probably means there’s a lot on that to-do list. But don’t worry, we have a fantastic lineup that will not only help you relax and enjoy time indoors and out this weekend, but you can even check some of that shopping off your list, too.

We have a little bit of everything on our list with holiday boutiques, workshops, performances, and even an anniversary celebration of a favorite historic lighthouse.

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

Santa Cruz Holiday GuidesHoliday events are just around the corner. If you want to get a head start on your holiday plans then check out our Holiday Guides where you’ll find what to do and where to shop this holiday season.

Jump to the Santa Cruz Holiday Guides


A Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol

When: 11/17 – 11/19 & 11/25 – 11/26. Check website for show times.
Where: Louden Nelson Community Center
Cost: $15 – $20

Christian Youth Theater presents this Broadway adaptation of the favorite Dickens classic. This performance puts a new spin on the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the lesson he learns about what is truly important in life.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

email iconWant to see all the best events in Santa Cruz every weekend? Click here to get these Weekend Roundup posts delivered straight to your inbox.


Arboretum Wreath and Gift Sale


When: 11/18 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: U.C. Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden
Cost: Free

A visit to the arboretum is always a treat, so why not get some holiday shopping out of the way while you’re there? You’ll find carefully crafted dried flower works of art, as well as traditional and one-of-a-kind wreaths. If you’d rather go the DIY route, get inspired with a selection of plants, dried flowers, frames, wreath kits and wreath demonstrations.

Get more info here.

Embracing the Dance

When: 11/18 at 7:30 & 11/19 at  2:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium / Henry J Mello Center
Cost: $29 – $85

The Santa Cruz Symphony presents a program of musical dance scores across time. Celebrate the music of Adams, Bernstein and Beethoven and enjoy a variety of music from West Side Story to a Beethoven’s 7th. This concert masterpiece has four movements and is approximately 40 minutes long.

Get more info here.

Planet Cruz Comedy

Planet Cruz Comedy with Richard Stockton

When: 11/18 at 7:30 pm
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: $20 advance, $25 door

Have some laughs and enjoy a night of comedy. This year’s theme is “Breach in the Wall” and features comedians Kermet Apio, Kellen Erskine and Kat Simmons, with special guest Reverend Deborah Johnson and local humorist Sven Davis. Live music by Planetoid Band.

Get more info here.

Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen Every Day

When: 11/18 at 4:00 pm
Where: Bookshop Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Meet the New York Times best-selling author and blogger at this signing event to kick off her new cookbook which is full of good food and plenty of humor.  You can reserve a priority spot in the signing line by purchasing her new book with signing line voucher through Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Get more info here.

145th Anniversary Celebration of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Photo by Don DeBold

When: 11/18 from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park
Cost: Free

Celebrate 145 years of this historic lighthouse with California State Parks and Coastside State Parks Association and find out more about the rich history. There will be food trucks, live music, tours, as well as a native plant sale. Plenty of activities for kids and information booths, too. Bring a flashlight and a warm jacket.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Track Club’s Turkey Trot 2017

When: 11/18 from 7:45 am to 11:00 am
Where: 2300 Delaware Avenue
Cost: $45 for 5K & 10K – $5 for kids’ 1K

Trot along with Santa Cruz Track Club for a choice of either a 10K, 5K or a 1K ocean view race.  The fun begins and ends on Delaware Ave by Natural Bridges State Park back entrance. There will be an award issued for each race.

Get more info here.

Beginning Embroidery – Cactus

embroidery class santa cruz

When: 11/18 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Wallflower Boutique
Cost: $50

Spend an afternoon learning embroidery techniques and basic stitches while creating your own cactus themed wall hanging decoration. All supplies will be provided. Feel free to bring your own colors of floss if you prefer.

Get more info here.

How to Install a Community Cupboard/Little Pantry

When: 11/18 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Private Home on the Westside
Cost: $5

Share some food and help support those in need in your community. This workshop will teach you how to build your own sturdy community cupboard/pantry to use curbside by your home.

Get more info here.

Holiday Sale – Rocks, Gems, Minerals, Fossils, Jewelry, & More

When: 11/18 – 11/19 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Live Oak Grange
Cost: Free Admission

Prepare to be dazzled at The Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society holiday sale, where members will be displaying and selling their treasures, including rocks, minerals, fossils, gems, jewelry, lapidary arts, and more.

Get more info here.

A Christmas Carol

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.


Watsonville Taiko Holiday Boutique

When: 11/19 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Kizuka Hall in Watsonville
Cost:  Free admission; Raffle Tickets $10

Support Watsonville Taiko and get a jump start on your holiday shopping! This family-friendly boutique features something for everyone—unique and creative holiday gifts from arts & crafts to theme baskets to gift certificates, and more. Try your luck at numerous raffle prizes, including the grand prize, an original, handmade Japanese Motif Quilt. Enjoy baked goods and snacks for purchase while you shop.

Get more info here.

Book Launch: Between the Redwoods and the Bay: The Jewish Community of Santa Cruz County, California from the Gold Rush to the 21st Century

When: 11/19 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where:  Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Cost: Free

Join author George Fogelson for a talk and book-signing for this new publication for the MAH. You can learn more about the early Jewish settlers who arrived during the Gold Rush era and about the history of the Jewish community in Santa Cruz County from past to present day.

Get more info here.

Holiday Sip & Sale

When: 11/19 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: An Epicurious Lifestyle
Cost: $10

Home to cooking classes, unique private events, and soirées, An Epicurious Lifestyle offers the opportunity to shop local, get your holiday gifts early, and, if you’re one of the first 50 to purchase a ticket, receive a swag bag filled with vendor goodies. Vendors include Mark Messa Designs, Linny’s Floral, Stacy Lynn Accessories (a Santa Cruz Life fave), Santa Cruz Stitchworks, and Goose’s Goodies. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and wine.

Get more info here.

A Christmas Carol

See Description Under Friday Section

Embracing the Dance

See Description Under Saturday Section

Holiday Sale – Rocks, Gems, Minerals, Fossils, Jewelry, & More

See Description Under Saturday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

pacific edge fundraiser

What: Climb for Fire Relief 2017
Where: Pacific Edge Climbing Gym
When: Sunday, Dec. 3rd 6 – 9 PM 

Join in on a great cause with Pacific Edge and other Northern California climbing gyms in support of victims of the recent wildfires. There will be climbing opportunities for any level, from new to expert. A $20 donation is suggested at the door. There will be live music, a silent auction and a bake sale, too.

Get more info here.

PS – Get coverage of the best Santa Cruz events and other Santa Cruz Life content delivered straight to your inbox by signing up below…

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.