This Weekend in Santa Cruz: September 22nd – 24th, 2017

this weekend in santa cruz

Photo by Valerie Lemke

The first weekend of fall is upon us. The air is still warm and there is much fun to be had. Watch a play, listen to music indoors or out, rally together for some local businesses, do a little birdwatching, tour a slough, and more.

You can even sample some coffee that you will definitely need if you do everything on this list. Well, maybe it would be best to just pick a few and go from there.

You’re in for a great first autumn weekend, Santa Cruz style.

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


Mountain Community Theater Presents “9 to 5, The Musical”

When: 9/22 – 9/23 at 8:00 pm
Where: Park Hall, Ben Lomond
Cost: $20-25

Based on the book and film with music and lyrics originally by Dolly Parton. This musical comedy about three women who plot an interesting revenge on their unscrupulous boss  is sure to keep you entertained.  Rated PG13.

Get more info here.

Banff Mountain Film Festival Radical Reels Tour

When: 9/22 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: $18

Grab a seat and hold on tight! Don’t miss this presentation of some of the most exciting sports adventure films from the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Get more info here.

The 2017 Downtown Party

When: 9/22 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Downtown Santa Cruz
Cost: $100

Meet the mayor, police chief and Downtown Association members at this event to celebrate Santa Cruz businesses. Hear about the successes and ongoing vision while enjoying music, food and drinks with fellow community members.

Get more info here.

Rancho Del Mar Rally

When: 9/22 – 9/24 During Store Hours
Where: Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center
Cost: Free to meet. Customers choose how to support the businesses.

Time to rally up some support for these local businesses that are affected by the center remodel. Come out for an evening of good food and holiday shopping and give our local retailers some appreciation for their years of service.

Get more info here.

Lawrence and Clare

When: 9/22 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: lille aeske Art House & Boutique (Boulder Creek, CA)
Cost: $10 – $20 (pay-what-you-will)

How about a little Folk music and music for folks? This group was influenced by many types of music such as blues, bluegrass, soul and ragtime. Kick your weekend off with a relaxing musical start.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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13th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival

When: 9/23 at 6:30 am
Where: 275 Main Street Watsonville, CA
Cost: $10-30

Have you ever wanted to find out more about the birds of the Central Coast? New and experienced bird enthusiasts will enjoy this day out. Listen to Keynote Speaker, Peter Pyle and go on bird walks at a few different locations. Register online.

Get more info here.

12th Annual fashionARTSantaCruz

When: 9/23 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: $20 – $35.50

A fashion show of wearable art hits the runway at the Civic. Local creative artists display their talents and latest unique designs. Reserve your seats today.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival

When: 9/23 – 9/24 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Where: Roaring Camp Meadows
Cost: $65 – $120

A weekend festival of musical fun in the meadow for the entire family. Food, beer, wine and craft vendors will be on site. Bring a blanket, chair and a maybe a friend or three.

Get more info here.

Music At Skypark

When: 9/23 from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Skypark
Cost: Free

Skypark’s last free summer concert in the series is here. Come and see local favorites Extra Large and The Joint Chiefs Band for an afternoon of music. Food and drink purchases support the local schools.

Get more info here.

Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House

When: 9/23 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Elkhorn Slough Reserve
Cost: Free

Celebrate National Estuaries Week with Elkhorn Slough at this free event for all ages. Enjoy a day of nature walks, discussions with scientists, conservationists, activities for the family and more.

Get more info here.

Talk & Tasting: For the Love of Coffee

When: 9/23 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Cost: $12 Adult; $10 Children; $5 off for Museum Members

You may love coffee so much that you don’t know how you could live without it, but have you ever learned how it gets from field to your cup each day? Find out how each precious bean makes it to your morning cup and sample some of Alta’s coffee, too.

Get more info here.

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.



When: 9/24 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Watsonville City Plaza: 358 Main St, Watsonville, CA 95076
Cost: Live Entertainment is FREE/Activity Wristband: $15/Activity Tickets: $1 each 

Support this important local nonprofit at their 19th annual fundraising carnival. Each booth and activity honors a child or memory of a local child with cancer. Entertainment for kids, activities, bounce houses and more.

Get more info here.

Oktoberfest Santa Cruz

When: 9/24 from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Messiah Lutheran Church
Cost: Admission Free; Food Tickets $15

Celebrate Oktoberfest with authentic German food, beer, wine, and Polka dancing for the entire family. Activities and fun for all ages.

Get more info here.

Paws in the Park Returns to the Riverwalk

When: 9/24 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo River Walk
Cost: Free

Bring your favorite canine out for a 1.5 mile leisurely walk along the Riverwalk. Meet other local dogs and their owners while enjoying this dog-friendly community space. Meet behind PetSmart in Gateway Plaza.

Get more info here.

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

October means harvest time at the UCSC Farm, and it’s time to celebrate. Enjoy live music, crafts, food  and hayrides. Do you make the best apple pie and want to enter it into a contest? Here’s your chance! Enjoy workshops and a farm tour, too.

Get more info here.

What: Fall Harvest Festival at the UCSC Farm
Where: UCSC Farm
When: 10/01/2017 at 11:00am – 5:00pm

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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.