Mother’s Day 2017 in Santa Cruz

mother's day santa cruz 2017

Bountiful brunches are just the beginning of things to do for Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz, which falls on Sunday, May 14.

From shopping to hiking, we’ve compiled some ways to spend time with mom leading up to and throughout Mother’s Day weekend.

So go ahead and start planning to spoil, indulge, and celebrate the mom in your life—she deserves it.
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Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire 2017

The wait is over! The Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire returns this weekend for a second year of making, tinkering, inventing, hacking, experimenting, and mostly, having fun.

Jam-packed with hands-on, interactive experiences, live music, performance art, food trucks and more, this gathering and celebration of Santa Cruz’s vibrant maker community is truly a family-friendly event—it’s as much fun for the kids as it is for the adults. Trust me, we were there last year.

So prepare to let off some STEAM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, that is—and be inspired. The Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire runs 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday, April 29 at Gateway School, 126 Eucalyptus Ave.

Here are some highlights from last year’s inaugural faire as well as some tips for enjoying this year’s festivities.
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4th Annual Mole & Mariachi Festival: Sept. 10, 2016

Mole & Mariachi Festival-4

If wearing white after Labor Day is a fashion faux pas, it’s a good thing the Mole & Mariachi Festival takes place after the holiday. It could get messy!

The 4th Annual Mole & Mariachi Festival will take over Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park on Saturday, September 10, celebrating the famous sauce and signature dish of México.

Prepared with an average of twenty ingredients, from nuts and seeds to chiles and oftentimes chocolate, moles from ten local chefs including restaurants, catering companies, and home cooks, will be available for sampling at the festival.

As festival regulars and judges in this year’s mole cooking competition, we have three pieces of advice: arrive early, come hungry, and save room for dessert.

Here’s what’s in store at this year’s Mole & Mariachi Festival: [Read more…]

A Call for Entries: How to Participate in the Santa Cruz County Fair

The Santa Cruz County Fair

The Santa Cruz County Fair will take place September 14-18, ushering in the fall season with five days of carnival games and rides, racing pigs and wild turkey stampedes, endless deep-fried food options, and our favorite—exhibition halls filled with local community talent.

Each year, the fair receives hundreds of entries from county residents, young and old, vying for bragging rights and blue ribbons on their homemade and homegrown goods, artwork, and collections.

If you or your child has created something, there’s a good chance you can and should enter it into the fair, and we’re here to help you get those entries in on time. [Read more…]

Mother’s Day 2016 in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz-3

Bountiful brunches are just the beginning of things to do for Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz, which falls on Sunday, May 8.

We’ve compiled shopping, hiking, crafting activities and more to celebrate all things mom leading up to and throughout Mother’s Day weekend.

So go ahead and start planning to spoil, indulge, treat and appreciate the mom in your life—she deserves it.
[Read more…]

My #SantaCruzLife: Dead Central, Savory Churros, and a Serenading Salamander

MySantaCruzLife-rainbow-tall-99515

Rain boots, flip flops, lather, rinse, repeat. The extreme weather conditions of late are keeping me on my toes from one day to the next, but the rainbows in between are the best!

Luckily, Santa Cruz is full of adventures, rain or shine, so get out and explore—eat somewhere new, get in touch with nature, remember the Dead—and bring an umbrella just in case.

In this edition of My #SantaCruzLife, I’m talking about churros…AGAIN, but I’ll also take you to two must visit places in Santa Cruz, the Grateful Dead Archive at UCSC and the Nature & History Center at Rancho del Oso. [Read more…]

Rainy Day Activities for Kids in Santa Cruz County

rainy day activities for kids in santa cruz

Photo by Kelley Thompson

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the kids think everything’s boring…

Time to get them out of the house!

To prevent everyone from going stir-crazy during cold, wet weather, keep these ideas on your rainy day bucket list for indoor fun in Santa Cruz.

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My #SantaCruzLife: The Churro Guy, A Hidden Car Museum & an Animal-Friendly Halloween Tip

My SantaCruzLife: Churros, Car Museum, Pumpkin Carving

After what was starting to feel like an endless summer, there’s finally a slight chill in the air. My kids are planning their Halloween costumes and I ate my first slice of Costco pumpkin pie—in September!

The daily whale shows off West Cliff have been replaced by the fiery sunsets of fall, and the monarchs trickling in remind me, once again, this place is magic and I’m lucky to call it home.

In this edition of My #SantaCruzLife, I’ll take you to a churro cart in Watsonville, a car museum in Scotts Valley, and up Highway 1 to Wilder Ranch’s pumpkin-loving farm animals.
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Beyond the Beach: A Family Road Trip Up Highway 1

highway 1 family road trip

When you drive north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1, you don’t need much of a plan.

You could spend days exploring less crowded beaches alone—from Fern Grotto to Año Nuevo and everywhere in between—but this iconic stretch of coast-hugging asphalt also leads the way to unique destinations beyond the beach and perfect for families.

Roadside U-pick farms, a nature and history center, and even seasonal train rides are all within a scenic 45-minute drive from the outskirts of town.

We’ve made planning a one-day road trip with the kids easy so all you have to do is pack a picnic, or better yet, bring an empty basket and fill it along the way.

Now choose the panoramic setting on your camera and go!
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The Top 3 Family Hikes in Santa Cruz County

Old Cove Landing Trail, Wilder Ranch

Santa Cruz County is home to some of the most beautiful State Parks in California.

Filled with endless trails for walking and hiking, our local state parks offer amazing scenery as well as opportunities to view local wildlife.  Best of all, many of the hiking trails in Santa Cruz County are perfect for the whole family to do together.

Here are the top 3 family friendly hikes in Santa Cruz:

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