This Weekend in Santa Cruz: May 10th – 12th, 2019

There are many great ways to honor and indulge moms this weekend in Santa Cruz.

Mother Nature provides a great backdrop with outdoor activities from a living history hike celebrating women to birding at Natural Bridges and the UCSC Arboretum.

Or, spend some quality time with mom shopping, strolling and sipping at two perfectly timed wine walks in Downtown Santa Cruz and Watsonville.

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


This week’s roundup is sponsored by Play it Forward Santa Cruz — key word: PLAY! Don’t miss this family-friendly event from Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation. From hands-on activities and games to live music, food trucks, and a beer & wine garden, come hungry, thirsty, and ready to play!

Click here for more information about Play it Forward.


AAT Presents “The Drowsy Chaperone”

When: 5/10 – 5/11 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Louden Nelson Community Theatre
Cost: $13-$20

If you love classic Broadway musicals, The Drowsy Chaperone is just the ticket. Featuring a live band and local accomplished youth performers, this musical within a comedy will provide you lots of laughs and musical delights.

Get more info here.

JP Sears Comedy Show (Early Show) w/ guest Stephanie Clark

When: 5/10 at 7:00 pm (SOLD OUT) and 9:30 pm
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Cost: $38.50 + service charge

OK Santa Cruz hipsters, this comedy show is for you and about you! JP Sears is an emotional healing coach who brings his hilarious perspective on self-help, nutrition fads and new age healing to the comedy stage where he encourages us all to heal and grow. Stephanie Clark will open the show.

Get more info here.

41st Annual Spring Mother’s Day Plant Sale

When: 5/10 (Friday member pre-sale only); 5/11 9:00 am to 2:00 pm; 5/12 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Cabrillo’s Horticulture and Agriculture Technology Center

For gardeners, this is THE place for native, organic, edible, medicinal and culinary plants, as well as salvias, succulents, cut flowers and so much more. Even if you aren’t an avid horticulturist, this plant sale will get you excited about the possibilities.

Get more info here.

Looking for more Mother’s Day activities? We’ve included a few ways to celebrate here, but for our complete roundup of brunches, shopping, and outdoor events, check out our 2019 Mother’s Day Guide.

Bill Lewis Santa Cruz Sand: Mother's Day

Also on Friday


  • The Carolyn Sills Combo @ Henfling’s Firehouse Tavern
  • The Cabrillo Jazz Combos @ Cabrillo Crocker Theater
  • Salsa Night @ Palomar Ballroom
  • Live Music by The Joint Chiefs @ Abbott Square
  • Dance Gavin Dance @ The Catalyst
  • Kevin Morby @ The Catalyst
  • Jaron Yancey, Lindsey Wall, and SeaReinas- Blue Lagoon @ The Blue Lagoon
  • KavaJah & The Remedy @ Crow’s Nest
  • Kelly Finnigan & The Atonements @ Moe’s Alley
  • Shoobies! w/ Highland Eyeway and Local Creature @ The Crepe Place
  • (((folkYEAH!))) Presents THE CHURCH @ Rio Theatre
  • Hot Fuse @ Severino’s
  • Shady Rest @ Michael’s on Main
  • Locomotive Breath @ Michael’s on Main
  • Kaleo Phillips CD release Celebration! @ Pono Hawaiian Grill

  • Cabrillo College Spring Dance Concert 2019 @ Cabrillo Crocker Theater

  • Block Printing @ All Hands Workshops
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    Shakespeare to Go’s The Tempest

    When: 5/11 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
    Where: Boulder Creek Branch Library
    Cost: Free

    With a mission to open the world of Shakespeare to a younger audience, UCSC’s Theater Arts department puts a new spin on The Tempest. This shortened version retains the essence of the Bard’s language but gives new fans a live, up close and relatable experience.

    Get more info here.

    Senderos Vive Oaxaca Cooper Street Fiesta

    When: 5/11 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
    Where: Cooper Street, Downtown Santa Cruz
    Cost: Free

    Marking the beginning of the traditional Guelaguetza festivities, this colorful street fiesta will feature Oaxacan music, dancing and food, all arriving by jubilant procession from Cooper Street.

    Get more info here.

    World Migratory Bird Day

    When: 5/11 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
    Where: Natural Bridges State Beach
    Cost: Free ($10 Day-use parking fee)

    Natural Bridges is a popular stop on the Pacific Flyway, as you can witness at this fun and educational celebration of avian feats. With workshops, bird walks and arts and crafts, you can learn all about the hows and whys of bird migration and how to help our feathered friends.

    Get more info here.

    “Listen To Your Mother” Real Stories

    When: 5/11 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm
    Where: Center Stage Theater/1001 Center St, Santa Cruz
    Cost: $15 each/Group of 5, $10 each

    A collection of storytellers come together to talk about what it means to be a mother and be mothered in this unique production honoring and exploring the theme of motherhood.

    Get more info here.


    When: 5/11 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    Where: UC Santa Cruz Arboretum
    Cost: Free with paid Arboretum Admission

    You do not have to travel on an African Safari to see the fastest animal on earth (relative to its size). Just head to the Arboretum to see shocking numbers of Anna’s Hummingbirds. Learn to spot the difference between the Anna’s and the Allen’s hummingbirds, get photography tips and learn about the plants that attract these brightly colored birds. The Arboretum has a great little gift shop for last minute Mother’s Day shopping.

    Get more info here.


    When: 5/11 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Where: Downtown Watsonville
    Cost: $30

    Watsonville proudly displays its fine architecture and local art as you stroll along taking it all in, glass in hand. Sample some delicious food and browse the enticing artwork for sale. This event sold out last year, so advance purchase is recommended. Event goers receive a wine glass, tote bag and passport for 18 different locations throughout historic downtown.

    Get more info here.

    Bicycle Trip’s 26th Annual Bike Fest

    When: 5/11 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
    Where: 1001 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz
    Cost: Free Admission

    A free celebration of all things bike, this annual party features bike demos, stunt shows, a prize wheel and raffle as well as food and drinks and the good company of other bicyclists.

    Get more info here.

    Capitola Village Sip & Stroll (SOLD OUT)

    When: 5/11 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Where: Capitola Village
    Cost: $22.50

    Get more info here.

    AAT Presents “The Drowsy Chaperone”

    See Description Under Friday Section

    41st Annual Spring Mother’s Day Plant Sale

    See Description Under Friday Section

    Also on Saturday


  • The Cabrillo Latin Jazz Ensembles @ Cabrillo Crocker Theater
  • Cabrillo Chorale Spring Concert @ Cabrillo Samper Recital Hall
  • Live Music by Aliza Hava @ Abbott Square
  • The Faint @ The Catalyst
  • LIZ COOPER & THE STAMPEDE @ The Catalyst
  • Sin Sisters Burlesque @ Kuumbwa Jazz Center
  • The Gary Blackburn Band @ Crow’s Nest
  • ROYAL JELLY JIVE + Kendra McKinley @ Moe’s Alley
  • Flaural w/ Special Guest @ The Crepe Place
  • Hall Pass @ Severino’s
  • Spirit of ’76 @ Michael’s on Main

  • Cabrillo College Spring Dance Concert 2019 @ Cabrillo Crocker Theater

  • Baby Leatherback Painting with Anastasiya Bachmanova of Follow the Sun Art @ Sanctuary Exploration Center (35 Pacific Ave.)
  • Drawing for the Love of Nature @ Rancho del Oso
  • Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop @ Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
  • Brass Wall Hangings @ All Hands Workshops, 514a Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Pen & Ink Drawing @ All Hands Workshops, 514a Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Annieglass Succulent Arrangement Workshop @ Annieglass

  • Birding for Beginners in Waddell Valley @ Rancho del Oso
  • Snake Park Saturday @ Rancho del Oso
  • Archeology Demonstration @ Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
  • MORE

  • AGRICULTURAL HISTORY PROJECT – 2ND SATURDAY ON THE FARM – DAY ON THE FARM @ Agricultural History Project Center and Museum
  • santa cruz instagram
    Keep up with us all weekend long, and see which events we’re attending, by following Santa Cruz Life on Instagram.


    Mother’s Day at the Seymour Center

    When: 5/12 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Where: Seymour Marine Discovery Center
    Cost: Adult $9 | Senior, Student, Child $7 | Children 2 and under FREE | Members FREE

    The Seymour Center is always a delight and this Sunday features an arts and crafts table where kids can make their beloved Mommy a gift (from 1:00-3:00 pm). If you are amongst the first 125 moms who enter, you will receive a free handmade chocolate (which you do not have to share with your children) from sponsor Ashby Confections.

    Get more info here.

    Mother’s Day Walk: Women of Big Basin

    When: 5/12 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
    Where: Big Basin Redwoods State Park
    Cost: Free ($10 Day-use parking fee)

    Take a living history walk at Big Basin and learn about some of the spirited, forward-thinking women who helped preserve, protect and interpret this incomparable park. Stroller and wheelchair accessible, this half-mile hike will be led by Susan Blake as she portrays three inspiring women who broke in the trail for us.

    Get more info here.

    Tannery Spring Art Market

    When: 5/12 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Where: Tannery Arts Center
    Cost: Free

    You will be amazed at the beauty, creativity and bounty as you explore and shop the 40+ artists and vendors displaying their wares at the Tannery. With fabulous local live music, beer from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, and local wines, food trucks Ate3One and Mattia Pizza as well as the Tannery’s Bistro One Twelve and kids activities, this event will be a feast for eyes, ears and taste buds.

    Get more info here.

    35th Annual Mother’s Day Run/Walk for Shelter

    When: 5/12 at 7:00 am
    Where: Ramsey Park
    Cost: $20 – $40 Day of Regristration only (Online registration closed)

    Pajaro Valley Shelter Services hosts this 10K run, 5K run/walk and 1K for kids to raise money for women, children and families dealing with homelessness. This computer timed race begins and ends at Ramsey Park in Watsonville and is a fun way to help those in need this Mother’s Day.

    Get more info here.


    When: 5/12 at 9:00 am and 11:00 am
    Where: Roaring Camp Railroads
    Cost: Brunch only – Adults: $39 and Children: $29; Brunch & Train – Adults $69 and Children $50

    Enjoy a relaxing brunch in Bret Harte Hall at Roaring Camp and follow it up with a train ride through the majestic Redwoods. Live Music from Pat Hull and kids arts and crafts will complete the day.

    Get more info here.

    Youth Rock Show + Play Day

    When: 5/12 from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
    Where: The MAH
    Cost: $10 (free for Members)

    Hula Hoops, face paint, DIY balloon hats will occupy your mind as your ears take in the sonic stylings of five youth rock bands in Abbott Square.

    Get more info here.

    Downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk – Spring

    When: 5/12 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
    Where: Soif
    Cost: $35 in advance / If not sold out in advance, then $40 day-of event per person

    There might be a little shopping, but really it’s all about taking mom out for some quality time together, strolling through downtown shops and wine tasting. Featuring wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Central Coast, this is a great opportunity to taste and discover mom’s new favorite and keep it stocked for visits.

    Get more info here.

    Also on Sunday


  • Santa Cruz contra dance @ Veterans Memorial Building, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz
  • Deva Premal & Miten with Manose – On The Wings of Mantra @ Rio Theatre
  • Zach Freitas w/ Dead Conduit and Reverend Stephen Sams @ The Crepe Place
  • Grateful Sunday Concert Series @ Michael’s on Main

  • Cabrillo College Spring Dance Concert 2019 @ Cabrillo Crocker Theater

  • Drop-In Family Craft – Paper Poppies @ Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

  • Tidepool Tour @ Natural Bridges State Beach
  • Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike! @ Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Berry Creek Falls Hike @ Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Meteor Trail Hike @ Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Younger Lagoon Reserve Tours @ Seymour Marine Discovery Center
  • MORE

  • Live Comedy @ Crow’s Nest
  • Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss

    Event Name

    When: Sunday, May 19 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    Where: Louden Nelson Community Center
    Cost: Free

    Don’t miss this family-friendly event from Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation. From hands-on activities and games to live music, food trucks, and a beer & wine garden, come hungry, thirsty, and ready to play!

    Event Name

    When: Friday, May 17 at 5:00 pm
    Where: Skypark, Scotts Valley

    With six different food trucks lining up to serve you, and a beer garden featuring Steel Bonnet Brewing Company, watching The Force Awakens out under the night sky will be an unforgettable experience. The movie is free, and the beer garden benefits the Scotts Valley Education Foundation. Bring your camera and snap a few pictures with a famous little droid.

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    About Meridith Cook

    Meridith Cook came to Santa Cruz 18 years ago from Minnesota. She is a freelance writer and mother of 3 who enjoys exploring the beauty and culture of this unique community. Visit her website at