Santa Cruz Events

Santa Cruz County has great events all year long, and we'll keep you up to date on the best events, right here.


Santa Cruz knows how to celebrate holidays, as is evidenced by the massive influx of visitors with each major holiday. HIghlights include 4th of July in Santa Cruz, Halloween, and the Christmas holidays.

Recurring Events

Santa Cruz is home to some great recurring events. The First Friday of each month is an art lover's dream, while bargain hunters love the Santa Cruz Antique Faire, held the first Sunday of each month.
During the summer months you can enjoy weekly outdoor events like the Wednesday night Movies on the Beach, Thursday night Beach Parties at the Crow's Nest, Friday Night Bands on the Beach, Sunday Art & Music in Capitola, and many more.

Annual Events

Over the years Santa Cruz, Capitola, and the surrounding communities have developed some amazing annual events. Summer is the unofficial event season, but you can find great events year round.
Favorites include Woodies on the Wharf, the Capitola Rod & Custom Classic Car Show, the Wharf to Wharf Race, the newly added Pleasure Point Street Fair, Begonia Festival, Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Restaurant Week, the Santa Cruz County Fair, the Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour, Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Santa Cruz Greek Festival, and Santa Cruz TEDx. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
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This Weekend in Santa Cruz: November 18th – 20th, 2016


The week started with a super moon that was lost behind some super fog, and will end with what looks to be a super weekend full of fun events.

This weekend brings another Warriors home game, a Tony nominated play, a film festival and a radical night at the MAH.

You’ll also have a few opportunities to get a jump on your holiday shopping with some unique local shopping events, and (even though Thanksgiving isn’t here yet), you can also catch a holiday train to the North Pole.

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

[Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: November 11th – 13th, 2016

this-weekend-in-34Start this holiday weekend off honoring our Veterans with a variety of commemorative events around town.

Then, from sports to the arts to local natural history, this weekend has it all. Catch the opening night D-league Warriors game, be inspired at the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, and go on an insect-education scavenger hunt.

Don’t forget wine tasting Sunday afternoon around Downtown Santa Cruz and a book fair for young adults. Enjoy!

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

[Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: November 4th – 6th, 2016


First Friday infuses a heaping dose of art into this weekend’s events, from a new mural unveiling to painting plein air in Capitola.

Festivities for sea glass lovers, hot rod enthusiasts, and opera fans give you plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy yourself or try something new. Enjoy!

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

[Read more…]

Santa Cruz Holiday Craft Fairs & Shopping Events 2016

santa cruz holiday shopping events‘Tis the season to shop unique, handmade, and most of all, local!

Santa Cruz businesses and organizations are making it easy with a full slate of holiday shopping fairs, makers markets, and boutiques.

Be sure to check back often, as new pop-up shopping events are added throughout the holiday season.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best opportunities to buy some awesome gifts and help support the local economy and arts culture at the same time. [Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: October 28th – 30th, 2016

santa-cruz-halloween-weekend-2016-27940There’s no escaping Halloween this weekend (insert evil laugh), or some rainy weather (insert happy cheers and puddle jumps).

We hope you stay warm and dry, and enjoy the frightful festivities—there are a ton—listed below and in our 2016 Halloween Events Guide.

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

[Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: October 21st – 23rd, 2016


Santa Cruz continues to embrace the Halloween spirit this weekend with many more events geared toward the upcoming holiday including spooky forest tours, youth rock shows with a costume contest and a floating pumpkin patch.

The Boardwalk holds it’s annual chili cooking contest, San Lorenzo Park sees people transform to colors of the rainbow, comedy hits Boulder Creek and a local author speaks about his new book focused on Bookshop Santa Cruz.

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

[Read more…]

Halloween Events in Santa Cruz 2016

Halloween Santa Cruz 2016
Welcome to Halloween month, when the phrase “only in Santa Cruz” takes center stage.

This month, you can pick pumpkins by train or from a floating pumpkin patch…Ride a bus, drink beer on said bus, and tour haunted spots around town…Take a flashlight tour of a whale skeleton or dress your fur babies in costume and parade with them on West Cliff Drive…

…just to name a few of the frightfully fun events in store.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without community favorites like the Gault Parade and trick or treating Downtown.

Here’s a day-by-day listing of all the Halloween events this month: [Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: October 14th – 16th, 2016


This weekend celebrates the flourishing fall season and Santa Cruz arts, from a rooftop balcony autumn affair to a free choreographed dance show in an unlikely place. And don’t forget it’s the final Encore Weekend for the Open Studios Art Tour.

Live performances abound! Stand up comedy at the Rio, aerial arts, and a CD release party for a local singing legend.

Plus, celebrate the fall harvest 1800’s style at the Wilder Ranch Heritage Harvest Festival complete with harvest time activities and pumpkin ice cream.

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

[Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: October 7th – 9th, 2016


This weekend celebrates our community, from Choose Santa Cruz on Friday night to Open Streets on Sunday.

The surfing community gets a 2-day film festival AND a 2-day surf board show.

Plus, another fireworks display…how lucky are we?! Speaking of colorful sky shows, the monarchs are back and you’re invited to the party.

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

[Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: September 30th – October 2nd, 2016

this-weekend-in-29Photo courtesy of Christine Marie Chen aka @Bayareaknitter

It’s a little hard to go into the weekend events knowing our Santa Cruz Mountains residents are facing the Loma Fire. We are sending out our very best thoughts for safety for all, especially the firefighters working hard to contain it.

This weekend’s lineup features a grand opening celebration, 150th birthday beach party, a multicultural film festival, and the first weekend of Open Studios Art Tour.

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

[Read more…]