This Weekend in Santa Cruz: October 27th – 29th, 2017

santa cruz surf statue pumpkin

Halloween is almost here, and whether you’re looking for some spooky thrills for yourself, or family fun for your little ghouls and goblins, we’ve got you covered!

Maybe you’d rather just check out the Santa Cruz scene on another gorgeous fall weekend. Well, if that’s the case, then you’re in for a real treat, too.

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

Halloween Events in Santa Cruz

Halloween Santa Cruz

We cover some early Halloween events in this weekend’s roundup, but if you want to see the full list of Halloween events throughout the county then be sure to check out the 2017 Santa Cruz Halloween Event Guide.

Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches
We also rounded up all the best local pumpkin patches. You can find them here, in our guide to Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches.


Pacific Rim Music Festival

When: 10/25 – 10/28 at 7:30 pm and 10/29 at 3:00 pm
Where: UC Santa Cruz
Cost: FREE

Come and enjoy 40 new works in a series of concerts written by award-winning composers and performed by master musicians from the United States and Korea. The year’s festival theme is “From the Root to the Living Tradition.”

Get more info here.

Michael Hardt: “Where have all the leaders gone?”

Where have all the leaders gone?

When: 10/27 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: UC Santa Cruz Kresge Town Hall
Cost: Free and open to the public

Are social movement and activist leaders a thing of the past? Would finding new leaders for today’s social movements make a difference? Come and hear renowned speaker Professor Hardt and join in on this important discussion.

Get more info here.

Dia de los Muertos + Food Lounge 4th anniversary party

food lounge dia de los muertos

When: 10/27 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Food Lounge
Cost: Free

My Mom’s Mole celebrates 4 years in business at the 2nd Annual Día de los Muertos party. Costumes are encouraged so you might want to choose something that will hold up to dinner, drinks, and dancing. A portion of the night’s sales will support the Food Justice & Equity Scholarship Fund at the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems.

Get more info here.

Sanctuary Speaker Series: Inside California’s Underwater Parks

When: 10/27 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Alta Organic Coffee & Tea Co., 2712 Mission St Ext, Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Preserving the wildlife areas underwater has been a very important onging mission for the Monterey Bay and California. Come and find out more about these special areas right off our coast as Save Our Shores Sanctuary Speaker Series presents Dr. Rikki Eriksen, Director of the California Marine Protected Areas.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Make-A-Difference Day

save our shoresWhen: 10/28 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo Riverwalk, 155 River St S, Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Join Save Our Shores and truly make a difference in just a few hours by helping to pick up trash along the this major waterway before it enters the Monterey Bay. All volunteers will receive a reusable produce bag for participating.

Get more info here.

Thrill The World Santa Cruz 2017

When: 10/28 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Louden Nelson Center, 301 Center St, downtown Santa Cruz
Cost: FREE

Every year, on the Saturday before Halloween, night creatures call and the dead start to walk in their masquerade. So basically, a zombie flash mob Thriller dance. There are plenty of opportunities to learn the dance all month and participate in a world-wide simultaneous Thriller Dance at various venues throughout the county. Family and zombie-friendly!

Get more info here.

4th Annual Santa Cruz Comedy Festival

santa cruz comedy festival 2017

When: 10/28 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm + pop-up events through Nov. 4
Where: Downtown Santa Cruz
Cost: Free & Ticketed Show ($5 – $30)

Be prepared for a weekend of laughs and good fun as the comedy festival hosts a series of downtown walking comedy tours and ticketed shows. Choose from a variety of venues to tickle your funny bone!

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 8th Annual Chili Cook-Off

When: 10/28 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free Admission, Tasting kits: $10

Summer is over, but the heat is on! It’s that time of year again for one of Santa Cruz’s most tasty events. Bring your hungry friends (and maybe a fire extinguisher) and help pick this year’s chili cook-off winner.

Get more info here.

Gault Elementary School Halloween Parade & Celebration

When: 10/28 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am
Where: Gault Elementary School
Cost: Free

The Gault Elementary Halloween Parade & Carnival has been a favorite community event since 1948. All of Santa Cruz is invited to this fun family friendly event. The day begins with a costume parade on Soquel Ave. followed by the carnival at Gault Elementary.

Get more info here.

Pacific Rim Music Festival

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.


Kennolyn Camps Halloween Trick-or-Treat Event

kennolyn halloween 2017

When: 10/29 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Kennolyn Camp’s Stone Creek Village
Cost: Free

Fun tricks and treats are in store at Kennolyn Camp’s Halloween celebration, including entertainment by the Surfing Magician, cookie and pumpkin decorating, free family photos, and of course, trick-or-treating. Costumes encouraged!

Get more info here.

Capitola Village Halloween Parade

capitola village halloween parade

When: 10/29 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Line up in the Beach & Village Parking Lot
Cost: Free

The Capitola Village Children’s Halloween Parade begins near the Capitola Police Department, and works its way down Capitola Avenue to the Esplanade stage where refreshments will be served. Enjoy trick or treating at the Capitola Village shops after the parade.

Get more info here.

Kuhai Halau O Mehana Pa ‘Olapa Kahiko Concert Fundraiser featuring Waipuna

When: 10/29 at 6:00 pm
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Cost: $30/Advance $35/Door

The Kuhai Halau O Mehana dance school holds it’s annual fundraiser, this year featuring the well-known Hawaiian band Waipuna. Spend an afternoon with the cultural music and dance of the islands while supporting this school.

Get more info here.

Barktober Fest 2017


What: Barktober Fest 2017
Where: Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
When: Sunday, October 29 at 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 

Get your woof on and bring your best 4-legged buddy to this fun social event. Enjoy some locally crafted beer, share some light snacks with your pup, and even enter a costume contest. No dog? No problem. A brewery dog would be happy to hang out with you. All proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

Get more info here.

Pacific Rim Music Festival

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

What: Santa Cruz Warriors Home Opener
Where: Kaiser Permanente Arena
When: Nov. 4

Our local team is back in action and getting ready to step out onto their newly transformed court at the arena. All fans will receive an opening night shirt, and the first 1000 fans will also receive a rally towel!

Buy tickets here.


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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.