This weekend brings Santa Cruz Shakespeare, the centennial birthday party for a local institution, more free music on the beach, and yet another mountain music festival.
Read on to see the rest of our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.
Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach: Macy Gray
When: Friday, 7/10 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
How Much: Free
The powerhouse sultry voice behind 2000’s big hit “I Try” is coming to Santa Cruz, and you won’t even have to pay to hear here do her thing. Just show up at the Boardwalk, and perhaps bring a blanket or chairs to sit in and enjoy the Grammy winner’s performance.
Santa Cruz Shakespeare Noon at the Nick: The Liar
When: Friday, 7/10 at 12:00 pm
Where: The Nickelodeon
How Much: Free
If you love Santa Cruz Shakespeare so much that just seeing the performances isn’t enough for you, then you’ll definitely want to take part in the discussion of The Liar at The Nick this Friday. You’re free to bring your own lunch and hear SCS Artistic Director Nick Ryan’s take on this farcical play.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
When: Friday, 7/10 at 8:00 pm & Saturday, 7/11 at 2:00 pm, runs through August
Where: Santa Cruz Shakespeare at Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen
How Much: $16-$52
Shakespeare essentially laid the groundwork for the modern day romantic comedy, and never is that more apparent than when viewing Much Ado About Nothing. Watch contempt turn into love seemingly out of thin air in this masterful take on gossip and romantic rivalry.
Artisan Food Market at Food Lounge
When: Friday, 7/10 from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Food Lounge
The Artisan Food Market is where everyone who’s anyone in the Santa Cruz local foods scene gathers to enjoy great produce, tasty treats, and expertly crafted cocktails. Stop by this Friday to be a part of the fun.
Second Saturday on the Farm
When: Saturday, 7/11 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where: Agricultural History Project
How Much: Free
Santa Cruz and Watsonville both have strong agricultural roots that extend into the present day. Learn more about these roots and enjoy interactive exhibits for the whole family at Second Saturday.
Cabrillo Stage Preview: Schoolhouse Rock Live!
When: Opening Night: Friday, 7/10. Performances on Saturday & Sunday.
Where: Cabrillo Stage
How Much: $18-$45
Anyone under 40 who’s been through the American school system can easily quote Schoolhouse Rock. Relive a piece of your own childhood and introduce your own kids to the fun at the upcoming Cabrillo Stage Preview.
Summer Céilí with The Crooked Road Céilí Band at the Trout Farm Inn
When: Saturday, 7/11 from 8:00 pm – 12:00 am
Where: Felton Trout Farm Inn
How Much: $8
Billing themselves as “real Irish music for real Irish dancing,” The Crooked road Céilí Band will bring their authentic, cheery sounds to the Trout Farm Inn once again this Saturday night. This is an all ages event that will include a full dinner service as well as an open bar.
Garfield Park Library’s Centennial Celebration
When: Saturday, 7/11 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where: Garfield Park Public Library
Public libraries haven’t had the easiest time lately, so the fact that Garfield Park Library has survived to be 100 years old is certainly worth celebrating. Show your support for public libraries and experience a bit of history with activities for the whole family at this centennial celebration.
Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival
When: Saturday, 7/11 through Sunday, 7/12
Where: Roaring Camp
How Much: $65 for a 1-day pass, $115 for both days
Michael Franti and Brett Dennen are just a couple of the impressive artists gracing this year’s Sol Festival’s lineup. If you want to experience a great summer music festival without shelling out hundreds of dollars of traveling far from home, this is the perfect opportunity.
When: Sunday, 7/12 at 9:00 am
Where: Lincoln Street between Pacific Ave & Cedar St
How Much: Free
Whether you’re looking to furnish your home with antiques or just want to check out some cool vintage posters, the downtown Antique Faire is the perfect way for any antique lover to spend a sunny Sunday morning.
Second Sundays at San Lorenzo Park
When: Sunday, 7/12 from 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo Park
How Much: Free
If you’re looking to diversify your garden or just want to learn more about native plants, Second Sunday is the perfect opportunity to do so. You’ll be able to swap seeds, ask questions of local experts, and enjoy a beautiful Santa Cruz summer day outside.
- Wilder Ranch Living History Demonstrations and Ranch Tours
- History, Nature, and Scenic Views: A Tour of the Grey Whale Ranch Area
- Guided Redwood Grove Walks
- Wildflower Walk
- Redwood Loop Walk
- Nature Wander
- The Road Less Traveled – A Dog-Friendly Walk
- Berry Creek Falls Hike from Big Basin HQ
- Elkhorn Slough Reserve “Slough ‘n Easy” Walk
Additional events this weekend
- Junior Rangers
- Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
- The White Buffalo + Jade Jackson
- MaMuse – “Heart Nouveau” CD Release Celebration
- Beach Fuzz, Wally Joyner, Whalefish
- THRIVE, SEEDLESS, Wasted Noise, One A Chord
- A Stellar Experience — Star Gazing at Quail Hollow Ranch
- Stephen Inglis Celebrates 4 Years of Pono
- Magical Moonshine Puppet Theater presents: Puppylocks
- Archeology Demonstration
- Summer Concert Series: Western Sing-a-long with Michelle Kiba
- Birding for Beginners
- Summer Sundaes at New Leaf Market Capitola
- China Cats Songs of the Grateful Dead
- The White Buffalo + The Sam Chase (solo)
- Michael Feinberg/Billy Buss Quartet – Club Kuumbwa
- Tim Bluhm (of The Mother Hips)
- SNOW THA PRODUCT, Audio Push
- Sin Sisters Burlesque
- Boomeria Extravaganza
Saturday & Sunday
- Stu Allen & Mars Hotel: Grateful Dead Tribute
- Amanda Wisler CD Release Concert
- BUILT TO SPILL, Slam Dunk
- Weekly XStream Beach Cleanup at Davenport Main Beach
Recurring Events You Can Find Every Weekend
- Tours of the Reserve at Elkhorn Slough (weekly event – every Saturday & Sunday)
- Santa Cruz Farmers Markets (weekly events)
- Live Comedy at the Crow’s Nest (weekly event – every Sunday night)
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