This Weekend in Santa Cruz: Nov. 30th – Dec. 2nd, 2018

Some of our favorite local holiday traditions take place this weekend, rain or shine.

Saturday’s a biggie—we’ll be in our usual spot for the Downtown Holiday Parade and bundle up later for the Lighted Boat Parade, plus we’ll squeeze in some local holiday shopping in between.

Be sure to check out our Holiday Guides to plan a festive itinerary for the rest of the month.

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

Friday

December in Mexico: Colores de mi Tierra

When: November 30 & December 1 at 7:00 pm
Where: Harbor High Theater
Cost: General Admission $10, Students/Seniors $5

Take in dinner and a show at Harbor High. Senderos presents its winter dance performance, Colores de mi Tierra, featuring Centeotl Danza y Baile dance troupe and Ensamble Musical youth band. Arrive early (5:30 pm) to enjoy delicious Mexican food. This fundraiser helps support Senderos, an all-volunteer nonprofit that provides free after school dance and music classes, tutoring, and scholarships for Latino youth.

Get more info here.

ParkStore Holiday Sale 2018


When: 11/30 – 12/2 
Where: Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz Mission, Wilder Ranch, Seacliff

Shop thoughtful holiday gifts while supporting our state parks and beaches. The annual ParkStore Holiday Sale includes a preview sale on Friday at Natural Bridges and last chance shopping on Sunday, so don’t miss your chance to enjoy holiday discounts: 30% off for members and 20% off for non-members. Other ParkStore locations include Santa Cruz Mission SHP, Seacliff State Beach, and Wilder Ranch State Park.

Click here for more information.

Alladin Nursery: 14th Annual Christmas Open House

When: 11/30 – 12/2 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Alladin Nursery & Gift Shop, Watsonville

Alladin Nursery & Gift Shop will transform into a Christmas wonderland, full of gifts for everyone on your list. Enjoy live music, hot apple cider, wine, and homemade pastries while you shop. Bring in a bag full of non-perishable or canned groceries to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank and receive 10% off your purchase. Bring 2 bags and receive 20% off!

Get more info here.

Heritage Holiday Craft And Gift Fair

When: 11/30 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; 12/1 – 12/2 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
Cost: $6.00 Children under 5 FREE

Don’t let the Gizdich pie, model trains, and Mr. and Ms. Claus sightings distract you from all the one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. With three big buildings filled with handmade crafts, antiques, collectibles, and toys, you’re bound to cross everyone off your list and earn that slice of pie.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Saturday

Holiday Art & Craft Faire

When: 12/1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Simpkins Family Swim Center
Cost: Free parking and admission

Shop one-of-a-kind at the annual Holiday Art & Craft Faire at Simpkins Swim Center. Wares from local artists include jewelry, textiles, ornaments, soaps, wreaths, mosaics, chocolates, hand-made bags and wallets, and more.

Get more info here.

Annual Holiday Sale


When: 12/1 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center, Ben Lomond
Cost: Free

Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center makes it easy to give the gift of handcrafted, unique art. Don’t miss their annual holiday sale to find beautiful jewelry, ceramics, scarves, sculpture, paintings, photography, and more. If you can’t make the sale, check out their “Little Treasures” exhibit during gallery hours for smaller, affordable pieces of artwork and new items added every week.

Get more info here.

Winter Art Market


When: 12/1 – 12/2 at 11:00 am
Where: Tannery Arts Center
Cost: Free

Here’s a chance to buy direct from over 20 Tannery Studio and Loft artists. While you’re busy crossing loved ones off your gift list, you might also enjoy stopping to try a new craft activity or watch an artist demo. Bring your appetite too, because Bistro 112 will be open for breakfast, lunch, espresso drinks, beer and wine.

Get more info here.

11th Annual $25 and Under Artisan Gift Show


When: 12/1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building
Cost: $25 or LESS!

The 11th Annual Artisans Gift Sale features a wide variety of gift items, all of which are handcrafted locally and $25 or less. Check out this portfolio showcasing a selection of the unique gifts that await.

Get more info here.

Holidays in the Plaza

When: 12/1 – 12/2 
Where: Watsonville City Plaza
Cost: Free

Watsonville caps off its 150th anniversary year with festive celebrations throughout the month. This weekend’s headliners are a multicultural celebration and tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, followed by snow on Sunday. Hope on the Children’s Holiday Train, meet Santa, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies! Admission to the snow is one non-perishable food item or a small monetary donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Get more info here.

Downtown Holiday Parade

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When: 12/1 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Downtown Santa Cruz

The Annual Downtown Holiday Parade has everything you would hope for. There will be floats, marching bands, classic cars, horses, crowd favorites like the Santa Cruz Public Library Precision Book Truck Drill Team, and naturally, Santa Claus. The parade takes place rain or shine.

Get more info here.

33rd Annual Lighted Boat Parade

Where: Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor
When: December 1, at 5:30 pm

The Lighted Boat Parade is a Santa Cruz tradition and is always one of the most anticipated events of the season. Dress warm, grab some hot chocolate, and find a spot to take in 50 boats decked out in holiday lights as they parade through the yacht harbor.

Get more info here.

6th Annual Santa Cruz Stache Dash 1K/5K/10K


When: 12/1 at 10:00 am
Where: Swift Street Courtyard
Cost: $15

No mustache is too big or too small to join the Stache Dash—even fake ones are allowed! The whole point is to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research, and the whole family can get in on the fun. Sign the kids up for the 1k, register yourself for the 5k/10k walk/run, and meet up at the finish line (Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery) for beer and live music by Moshe V Music.

Get more info here.

Bargetto Winery: Art in The Cellars


When: 12/1 – 12/2 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Bargetto Winery
Cost: Free admission; Wine tasting festival glass $10

Wine and local art make a great pairing, and one you’ll find at Bargetto Winery, along with artisan food products and more. Admission is free, and you can taste Bargetto’s selection with the purchase of a $10 commemorative glass. Sip, shop, and stroll the historic cellars!

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Museum Of Natural History: Winter Open House


When: 12/1 – 12/2 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Cost: FREE admission

For all the nature lovers on your shopping list, take advantage of the museum’s store-wide sale throughout the weekend. Admission is free! Enjoy complimentary hot cider and cookies, crafts and activities, plus the chance to explore the museum’s latest exhibits.

Get more info here.

Holiday Pop Up Sale at Equinox


When: 12/1 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Equinox Winery

There’s holiday shopping, and then there’s local holiday shopping with a glass of bubbly and fried chicken (Kickin Chicken in the house!). This holiday pop up features gift-able crafts by local artists, including candles, leather, textile prints and jewelry.

Click here for more information.

December in Mexico: Colores de mi Tierra

See Description Under Friday Section

Alladin Nursery: 14th Annual Christmas Open House

See Description Under Friday Section

Heritage Holiday Craft And Gift Fair

See Description Under Friday Section

ParkStore Holiday Sale 2018

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Saturday

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THEATER/ARTS

MAKE/CRAFT

OUTDOORS

MORE

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

Sunday

Free Gift Making Workshop

When: 12/2 from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center, Ben Lomond
Cost: FREE

Enjoy Sunday Funday with a holiday twist! Mountain Arts Center is hosting a free, drop-in holiday craft workshop for the whole family. Crafts are tailored to a wide age range and kids may attend with an adult chaperone.

Get more info here.

Downtown Santa Cruz Makers Market


When: 12/2 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: N Pacific Ave
Cost: FREE admission

There’s a new Makers Market in town, Downtown Santa Cruz that is, and it’s happening on the first Sunday of every month. Don’t miss this new holiday shopping tradition—come shop local with over 40 Santa Cruz County artists and makers, and enjoy live music by Jasmine Bailey Apple City Slough Band & Taylor Rae!

Get more info here.

11th Annual Holiday Gift Show

When: 12/2 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Westside’s Circle Church
Cost: Free

Head on over to the Westside for handmade artisan goods and plenty of holiday spirit. Plus, a percentage of sales will be donated to Westside Parent Education Nursery School- WPENS. Shop ceramics, gourds/basketry, prints, fabric designs, vintage kimono scarves, jewelry, and more. Enjoy live music and tasty eats from the Shockwave Food Truck.

Get more info here.

Alladin Nursery: 14th Annual Christmas Open House

See Description Under Friday Section

Heritage Holiday Craft And Gift Fair

See Description Under Friday Section

Winter Art Market

See Description Under Saturday Section

Holidays in the Plaza

See Description Under Saturday Section

Bargetto Winery: Art in The Cellars

See Description Under Saturday Section

Santa Cruz Museum Of Natural History: Winter Open House

See Description Under Saturday Section

ParkStore Holiday Sale 2018

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

MUSIC/DANCE

THEATER/ARTS

MAKE/CRAFT

OUTDOORS

MORE

Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Be Natural Music | Youth Concert

What: Be Natural Music | Youth Concert
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
When: Friday, December 7, 2018 at 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Come out and support the youth—8 youth rock bands to be exact. We’re intrigued by band names alone: Toast, Afternight, Space Monkeys, Common Cents, Meh., Fuzz, Faceplant, and Full Disclosure. Proceeds and donations will support the Be Natural Music Scholarship Program which provides financial assitance to kids in the music program

Get more info here.

Painting With a Purpose: California Wild Fire Relief Fundraiser

Painted Cork Fire Relief Benefit

What: Painting With a Purpose ~ California Poppy ~ California Wild Fire Relief Fundraiser
Where: Painted Cork
When: December 9th

We’ve featured Painted Cork and their “paint and sip” classes a few times since their grand opening earlier this year. We featured previous events for the simple reason that we think painting with a glass of wine (or a beer) is a great way to spend an evening with friends. We’re highlighting this event for those same reasons, but more importantly, because 100% of proceeds will be donated to California fire relief efforts. Grab your favorite drink, or enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, and enjoy an evening of guided painting knowing that you’re supporting a great cause.

Get more info here.

2018 Holiday Guides

2018 Santa Cruz Holiday GuidesYour guide to celebrating the holidays in Santa Cruz is here. You’ll find holiday events, shopping guides, local Christmas tree farms & New Year’s Eve events (coming soon). Be sure to check back weekly as we’ll be adding new events to these guides as they pop up. Happy holidays!

Read the holiday guides

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About Christine Candelaria

Christine Candelaria is a local mom of four who enjoys sharing her Santa Cruz adventures. You can follow her #santacruzlife on Instagram at @theaumsmama.

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