This Week in Santa Cruz: Dec. 11th – 13th, 2015

santa cruz events, dec. 11 2015

This weekend brings the opportunity to see a rap legend in concert, hear some of Cabrillo’s finest jazz musicians, and hit several different local craft fairs.

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

Holiday Events in Santa Cruz

Holiday Event Guide

santa cruz christmas events 2015Catch every holiday event in Santa Cruz County this month with our Santa Cruz Holiday Event Guide.

Holiday Craft Fairs & Shopping Events

santa cruz holiday craft fairs 2015There are dozens of local craft fairs and shopping events in Santa Cruz County, many of which take place this weekend. You’ll find them all here.


Snoop DoggSnoop Dogg

When: 12/11 at 9:00 pm
Where: The Catalyst
Cost: $40.00 – $80.00

Rap trends come and go, but Snoop Dogg has been a cultural mainstay for over twenty years now. You can catch this legend, along with a few of his friends, right here in Santa Cuz this weekend.

Get more info here.

Cabrillo Jazz Series

When: 12/11 – 12/12
Where: Cabrillo Crocker Theater
Cost: $10 or 2 -Day Festival Pass $22.00

Whether you favor big band style jazz, chamber ensembles, or Latin jazz combos, this weekend’s Cabrillo Jazz Series installments will have something for you to enjoy.

Get more info here.

Beach Market Tree Lighting

When: 12/11 at 6:00 pm
Where: Crow’s Nest Beach Market
Cost: Free

Take a picture with Santa and the Mrs., enjoy some great live music and welcome in the holiday season at the Crow’s Nest’s annual tree lighting. It’s holiday cheer, Surf City-style.

Get more info here.

59th Annual Dad’s Club Basketball Tournament

When: 12/10 – 12/12 from 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: Check with event

This tournament has been giving local fathers the chance to lace up their athletic shoes and show off their prowess on the court since 1956. Come out to the Civic Auditorium to show the father in your life some support.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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MagicFlute_Encore_250x375Met Opera: The Magic Flute at the Regal Santa Cruz 9

When: 12/12 12:55 pm
Where: Regal Santa Cruz 9
Cost: Starts at $16.80

The Mozart opera The Magic Flute tells the story of a princess in distress, a brave soldier, and quite a few plot twists. Thanks to the Regal’s Met simulcast, you don’t even need to leave town to enjoy it.

Get more info here.

WinterFest and Downtown SANTA Cruise 2015

When: 12/12 from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Where: Downtown Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Downtown Santa Cruz will become a winter festival compete with carolers and musicians along Pacific Avenue. Visit local merchants for Open House activities, including crafts and treats, then stick around for the inaugural Downtown SANTA Cruise to participate in real-time fun-and-games throughout the evening.

Get more info here.

Holidays on the Ranch

When: 12/12 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Wilder Ranch State Park
Cost: $10 for Parking

Celebrate the holidays like it’s 1815 with wagon rides, wreath and candle making, living history demonstrations and much more at Wilder Ranch.  This is a great weekend outing for the whole family.

Get more info here.

Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández: A Merri-Achi Christmas

When: 12/12 at 7:30 pm
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: $15 – $45

José Hernández’s family has been playing Mariachi music for five generations, but José will put his own seasonal spin on the genre this Saturday night.  Celebrate Latin culture and the upcoming holidays at this celebratory concert.

Get more info here.

Cabrillo Jazz Series

See description under Friday Section

59th Annual Dad’s Club Basketball Tournament

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.


Jingle ShellsJingle Shells Arts & Crafts Festival

When: 12/13 from 12:00 noon to 5:30 pm, followed by whale lighting
Where: Seymour Center
Cost: $6 adults, $4 kids

You’ve heard of holiday tree lightings, but are you ready for a whale lighting? After an afternoon of shopping ocean and nature-inspired gifts, gather ’round Ms. Blue, the largest displayed whale skeleton in the world, for a group sing along of Jingle Shells.

Get more info here.

Gabriella’s Snow Day

Snow-Day-Flyer-draft4-copy1-791x1024When: 12/13 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Sky Park, Scotts Valley
Cost: $10 donation

The 4th annual Gabriella’s Snow Day charity event benefits Team G Childhood Cancer Foundation’s mission of supporting newly diagnosed families of childhood cancer. Enjoy a fun day in the snow with your family while raising funds for research and awareness for pediatric cancer.

Get more info here.

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

Free Admission at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay AquariumLet the Monterey Bay Aquarium treat you this holiday season! Free admission for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito County residents ends this Sunday, December 13. Be sure to check out the newest exhibit Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes.

Get more info here.

What: Community Open House
Where: Monterey Bay Aquarium
When: Now through Sunday, December 13

Cost: Free!

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About Blair Stenvick

Blair Stenvick is a freelance writer who has lived in Santa Cruz for four years.