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:


The Polar Express Train

Polar Express Train Santa Cruz

When: 11/18 – 12/23
Where: Santa Cruz
Cost: $34-$78

Ready or not, here come the holidays! Grab your golden ticket and hop on board for a festive trip to the North Pole. The Polar Express has moved north and will now be departing from the Boardwalk this year. In honor of the new location, guests will receive a $10 MyBoardwalk card with the purchase of each ticket.

Get more info here.

Watsonville’s First Roastery Cafe Grand Opening

When: 11/18 from 6:30 am – 6:30 pm
Where: Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting
Cost: FREE Admission

Join us in welcoming Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting to the local coffee scene. The grand opening is this Friday at their location in North Watsonville. Enjoy a free 8 oz coffee or single espresso shot during the grand opening.

Get more info here.

Mountain Community Theater Presents: “Other Desert Cities”

Other Desert Cities

When: 11/18 – 12/11, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 PM & Sundays at 2:00 PM
Where: Park Hall, Ben Lomond
Cost: $17-$20

Mountain Community Theater’s newest production, Other Desert Cities, opens this weekend at Park Hall in Ben Lomond. This emotionally powerful play was nominated for five 2012 Tony Awards, and was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Mountain Community Theater’s production is directed by Peter Gelblum and includes a cast of MCT veterans, as well as some first time performers.

Get more info here.

3rd Friday: Radical Craft Night

MAH Radical Craft Night

When: 11/18 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Cost: $5 General, $3 Students, Seniors and Kids, FREE for MAH Members and Children under 4

It’s a crafty evening of hands-on workshops and demonstrations at the MAH. We’ll go out on a limb and guess that the MAH is the only place in town where you’ll be able to make dragon puppets, fruity foodie wreaths, friendship bracelets, and oragami boxes this Friday. There will also be tri-loom weaving, button making, and many more hands-on crafting opportunities. Meanwhile, the atrium will be full of energy with live music, dance, and poetry performances throughout the night.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Rio Grand Valley Vipers

Santa Cruz Warriors Plantronics Jersey Night

When: 11/18 at 7:00 pm
Where: Kaiser Permanente Arena
Cost: $18 – $61

The Warriors take on the Rio Grand Valley Vipers for Plantronics Jersey Night – the first Friday night home game of the year. The Warriors players will be sporting special Plantronics jerseys which will be auctioned off during the game to raise funds for Second Harvest Food Bank.

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.


Beneath the Waves Film Festival


When: Saturday, 11/19 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Sanctuary Exploration Center, 35 Pacific AVE Santa Cruz CA 95060
Cost: FREE

The 4th annual Beneath the Waves Film Festival offers a chance to experience the wonders of the ocean through film. The festival features short films about ocean science, conservation and ecology. There will also be hands-on activities for kids, and presentations from local marine scientists.

Get more info here.

Book Signing with Cookbook Author Diana Kennedy

When: Saturday, 11/19 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Where: Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College
Cost: FREE

Nothing Fancy - Diana KennedyDiana Kennedy is the authority on authentic Mexican cooking, often being credited with introducing America to authentic Mexican cuisine with her 1972 classic, The Cuisines of Mexico. She will be at the Aptos Farmers Market this Saturday to visit with market customers and sign copies of her latest cookbook: Nothing Fancy — Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Rock Gem Mineral Fossil and Jewelry Sale

When: 11/19 – 11/20 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Live Oak Grange
Cost: Free

One of two annual shows put on by the Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society, this holiday sale offers an opportunity to shop direct from club members.

Get more info here.

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum Wreath and Gift Sale

UCSC Arboretum Wreath & Gift Sale

When: 11/19 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, Arboretum Rd. Santa Cruz, CA
Cost: Free

Head to the Arboretum for some truly one of a kind gifts this Saturday. Arboretum artists have been busy for months creating unique wreaths and dried flower arrangements. Wreaths will be available in a wide range of styles from traditional to succulent. Plants, dried flowers, and wreath kits will also be available for the DIY crowd.

Get more info here.

Looking for more holiday shopping events and craft fairs? You’ll find them all in our guide to 2016 Holiday Shopping Events and Craft Fairs.

The Polar Express Train

See Description Under Friday Section

Mountain Community Theater Presents: “Other Desert Cities”

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.


Mushroom Identification for Beginners

When: 11/20 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Quail Hollow Ranch County Park
Cost: $5

This class is the first step in your journey to becoming a mushroom aficionado. You’ll begin by embarking on a short hike to collect mushrooms. Next, you’ll enjoy an informative classroom session in which you’ll learn the basics of mushroom identification.

Get more info here.

The Polar Express Train

See Description Under Friday Section

Mountain Community Theater Presents: “Other Desert Cities”

See Description Under Friday Section

Santa Cruz Rock Gem Mineral Fossil and Jewelry Sale

See Description Under Saturday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

Little Craft Popup at Childish

What: Little Craft Pop Up
Where: Childish
When: 12/4 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

If you’ve got some kiddos in your life that you want to shop for this holiday season, then this is an event you don’t want to miss. We’ve attended these Little Craft Pop-Ups in the past and love them! It’s like an in-person Etsy extravaganza. Kids will love spending time at the Kaiwa Art & Play Space table, and we highly recommend the mini photo session with Renee Fox.

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 Ethan Oates

Ethan Oates fell in love with Santa Cruz while visiting as a child. He has lived in Santa Cruz since the mid '90's, and is happiest when spending time with his family.