This Weekend in Santa Cruz: April 6th – 8th, 2018

Though the weekend is scheduled to start out with a dose of April showers, there’s still plenty to do regardless of what the Pineapple Express brings our way!

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

Thank you to the Santa Cruz Derby Girls for sponsoring this week’s newsletter. We attended their home opener last month and had a blast. Don’t miss their next bout, coming up on April 21st.  Use code SCLife18 at checkout for 10% off tickets.

Click here to get more information, and here for tickets. Use code SCLife18 at checkout for 10% off. 



There’s just something special about the first Friday of the month. It’s practically a holiday in Santa Cruz, where we celebrate art and artists, live music, and free admission to some pretty cool places like the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History and the MAH.

Take a First Friday Art Tour and connect with local artists. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:

  • Artisans Gallery in Downtown Santa Cruz is featuring seascapes and portraits by Dana Richardson and eco-friendly jewelry by Sarah Zentz Jewelry.
  • Peruse three floors of art exhibitions at the MAH, join the kids for a seed planting art activity and listen to some live music by Papiba and Friends! Check out the newest exhibition, We Feed You: Works by Victor Cartagena, that explores the injustices of food production as told by migrant workers.
  • Head to the Santa Cruz Mountains for First Friday Felton Art Walk where participating Felton shops will host local artist exhibits and receptions.

Get more info here.

OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder

When: 4/6 – 4/7 at 8:00 pm & 4/8 at 2:00 pm
Where: Center Stage Theater
Cost: $10 – $25

This is opening weekend for the Santa Cruz production of Our Town! The American classic by Thornton Wilder is a story set in a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century when life was considered simple. It brings a message about how there is more to life than we realize and how every moment should be treasured, even the simple ones.

Get more info here.

Traction: Art Talk with Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

When: 4/6 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108 at UCSC
Cost: Free and open to the public. Pay station parking available. 

Come and join these two Canadian artists for an informative talk about their internationally acclaimed works of immersive sound installations and audio/video walks. The art talk is the prelude to Saturday’s sound installation debut of FOREST (for a thousand years) at the UCSC Arboretum and Botanic Garden. (See more details for Saturday.)

Get more info here.

Parks and Rec Activity Fun Fair

When: April 6 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: Free

Get a sneak preview of all the summer fun Parks and Rec has in store. Learn about summer classes and camps, meet instructors and camp leaders, view demos, and participate in hands-on activities. This will also be a good opportunity to get ready for “Super Saturday” registration which takes place April 14.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Watsonville Taiko’s 27th Anniversary Concert – Primordial Winds

When: 4/7 at 7:00 pm & 4/8 at 2:00 pm
Where: Crocker Theater, Cabrillo College
Cost: $21 General, $16 Sr/Students, $12 children under 15

Get ready for an exciting drumming event you won’t want to miss! This year’s anniversary performance theme signifies wind and the movement of energy across time and space. Join in on this spring celebration and experience the energy and power of Taiko drumming.

Get more info here.

FOREST (for a thousand years…)

When: 4/7 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: UCSC Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Cost: FREE

Sit in the forest and listen to the enchanting soundscape from the captivating audio installation created by artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. You will hear the forest like you’ve never heard it before.  The sound installation will be located in the redwood grove of the UCSC Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Get more info here.


When: 4/7 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Cost: Free

Volunteer opportunity: The Evergreen Restoration Committee invites you to a work party to celebrate Qing Ming. This traditional Chinese holiday includes cleaning grave sites of family members. The work will be done at Evergreen Cemetery and tools, gloves and water will be provided.

Get more info here.

New Music Works presents “BECAUSE”

When: 4/7 at 7:30 pm
Where: Peace United Church of Christ
Cost: $10-$25 + service fee

All you need is love…and a ticket! Spend the evening enjoying diverse vocal and instrumental music, from The Beatles to Stravinsky, at this concert presented by New Music Works. It’s a one-night music festival you won’t want to miss with a full line up of special guest artists led by Conductor, Phillip Collins, including Lori Rivera, Ariose Singers, Akindele Bankole, Sarah Cahill, and Marina Thomas.

Get more info here.

OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder

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.



When: 4/8 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Pogonip (RSVP for location)
Cost: Free

Bring a sketchbook and go on a nature journaling trip to Pogonip with scientific illustrator, Fiona MacLean. You will take in the beautiful views and journal your experience with your drawings. All levels of experience welcome.

Get more info here.

Castro Adobe Open House 2018: Vaqueros y Bandidos

When: 4/8 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Castro Adobe State Historic Park
Cost: Free

Don’t miss an open house showcasing this important piece of local history. Before the cowboys of the old west, there were the vaqueros of California. Go back to a time when cattle ranching was the livelihood of the area. View traditional stable gear, enjoy a guided tour, and get hands-on with activities like fresh tortilla-making and kids crafts. Event may be cancelled if there is heavy rain.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Contra Dance

When: 4/8 from 5:40 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Hall
Cost: $8 students/ $12 general

Bring a partner or come alone for an evening of New England folk dancing fun!  Contra Dance is a traditional style of folk dancing with two lines of dancers and a caller who teaches each step. No experience is necessary.

Get more info here.

Watsonville Taiko’s 27th Anniversary Concert – Primordial Winds

See Description Under Saturday Section

OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Food Trucks A Go Go: The Beatles

Where: Skypark – Scotts Valley
When: 4/20 from 5pm to 8pm

Food trucks and The Beatles music…who needs more? Don’t miss Food Truck Friday at Skypark with live music by Liam & Ryan and a variety of fabulous food truck choices! There will also be a Beer/Wine Garden fundraiser to benefit Scotts Valley Educational Fund (SVEF).

Get more info here.

13th Annual Secret Film Festival

Where: Landmark’s Del Mar Theatre
When: 4/14 to 4/15 from 11:59 pm to Noon

Spend the night in the theater! The 13th Annual Secret Film Festival runs from midnight until noon with screenings of only Santa Cruz premiere films. Titles are not revealed until each screening begins. What will they be this year? Get your jammies and bunny slippers ready for a movie night experience like no other.

Get more info

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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.