This Weekend in Santa Cruz: July 29th – 31st, 2016

This Weekend in-8
Photo courtesy of @billhalleckart

July comes to an end with some special celebrations, anniversaries, and traditions, many of which benefit our local communities.

If you’re looking for kid-friendly events, check out Roaring Camp’s Day Out With Thomas, Festival of the Book, and the kickoff to Kids Week Downtown.

And if you’ve been meaning to check out Loch Lomond since it reopened, the Secchi Dip-in might be for you.

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


Taylor Dayne

When: 7/29 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free

Bringing her chart topping hits, including “Tell It to My Heart,” “Prove Your Love to Me” and “Love Will Lead You Back,” Taylor Dayne’s mixture of pop and dance songs will get you moving at The Boardwalk’s free summer series. Choose to come to the first or second show or both.

Get more info here.

Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine


When: 7/29 – 7/31 from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads
Cost: $16 – $24

The Roaring Camp steam engine transforms into Thomas the Tank Engine™ this weekend. Kids will love spending the day enjoying all the activities like riding the train, getting their picture taken with Sir Topham Hatt™, storytelling, face painting, jumping in bounce houses, bubble making, train play tables, live entertainment and more.

Get more info here.

Elima at Pono Hawaiian Grill

When: 7/29 at 6:30 pm
Where: Pono Hawaiian Grill
Cost: $10 (or whatever) donation

The five-member band brings their variety of style touching on traditional and contemporary Hawaiian, hula and modern nightclub. Come down and say aloha and enjoy some of Pono’s delicious poke bowls or tropical drinks while you’re there.

#santacruzlife tip: Even if you can’t make it, stop by and grab the Aloha Friday dessert from Meli’s Island Treats.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Our Annie-versary


When: 7/30 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Annieglass in Watsonville
Cost: Free Admission

Annieglass hits a milestone with 20 years in Watsonville and 33 years in business. To celebrate, they’ll have live music and dance, specialty foods, wine, bear and cider and factory tours and glass-making demonstrations. Raffle ticket sales benefit Digital NEST which provides equal access to technology to youth in poor and under-served communities.

#santacruzlife tip: The Annieglass retail store in Watsonville is a great place to shop and purchase discounted seconds pieces.

Get more info here.

Soquel Pioneer Historical Picnic

When: 7/30 at 12:00 pm
Where: Pringle Grove
Soquel Pioneer and Historical Association

Cost: Free

Travel back to Little House on the Prairie time at the Soquel Pioneer Historical Association’s Annual Picnic. You’ll be able to hear local historian Carolyn Swift speak and gander at pioneer era photos and scrapbooks. Items donated by local merchants can be won through a raffle.

Get more info here.

Artisans Gallery 40th Anniversary Celebration


When: 7/30 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Artisans Gallery
Cost: Free

Downtown’s beloved Artisans Gallery celebrates 40 years in business. Come by to browse discounted items, enjoy some hors d’oeuvres by El Salchichero and raise a toast with some bubbly.

Get more info here.

Secchi Dip-In

When: 7/30 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Loch Lomond Recreation Area
Cost: $6 per car entry fee into the Recreation Area

Celebrate Lakes Awareness Month by helping out in measuring the quality of water at Loch Lomond. While you’re here, enjoy the beautiful surroundings by hiking along the lake, fishing or heading out on a rentable paddleboat.

Get more info here.

Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine

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.


Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music


When: 7/31 – 8/13
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: $30

Kicking off the festival, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra performs open rehearsal for works in the Power & Devotion concert featuring Sir James MacMillan, Christopher Rouse and Anna Clyne. Music touches aspects of rock, Celtic folk and symphonic ballet. Check out the full list of performances. The festival runs through August 13.

Get more info here.

Festival of the Book


When: 7/31 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Harvey West Park
Cost: Free

The Summer Reading Program concludes with a festival at Harvey West Park. Head down for a free hot dog lunch, free book, crafts, face painting, book sale, jugglers and more. Please note: The last day for adults and kids to sign out of the Summer Reading Program is August 14th.

Get more info here.

Hunger Hoedown


When: 7/31 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County
Cost: General Admission $15.00, Family Pack of 4 $50.00

The Second Harvest Food Bank hosts an afternoon of family-friendly good times with live music by Coffee Zombie Collective and The Backyard Blues Band. They’ll have food, wine and beer for sale as well as plenty of kids activities, food bank tours, raffle and lots more. Proceeds will go toward supplying healthy food to people in need.

Get more info here.

Kids Week Downtown


When: 7/31 – 8/7
Where: Various locations
Cost: Free

The last day of July marks the end of Ice Cream Month and Find Waldo in Downtown Santa Cruz, but Kids Week is just beginning! Check out the free activities, events, festivals, and specials at restaurants and shops and make plans to bring the whole family Downtown during Kids Week.

#santacruzlife tip: Don’t miss the Free Family Concert at the Civic on Sunday, August 7.

Get more info here.

Music at Skypark


When: 7/31 from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Skypark
Cost: Free

Free music in Skypark begins today and runs the last Sunday of the month through September. This Sunday, The Johnny Neri Band opens followed by 10-member classic rock band, The Houserockers. Local businesses will offer food and other concessions for sale and there will be entertainment for kids. Proceeds help to benefit music programs in local public schools.

Get more info here.

National Theatre Live: The Audience


When: 7/31 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Where: Del Mar Theater
Cost: $15

This broadcast, filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, stars Helen Mirren reprising her Academy Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II. The film imagines what went on behind closed doors in weekly private meetings between the Queen and her twelve Prime Ministers.

Get more info here.

Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event


Experience the aloha spirit at one of Santa Cruz’s most beloved events. Get your team together for exciting outrigger canoe races (new and novice paddlers welcome), or come cheer on your friends. Then stroll down the wharf for Hawaiian and Polynesian crafts, dance, and more.

Get more info here.

What: Aloha Outrigger Races & Polynesian Festival
Where: Santa Cruz Wharf
When: 8/21 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

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About Keri Robinson

Keri Robinson has grown up coming to Santa Cruz and is proud to have made it her permanent residence as of 2011. She is a writer and blogger, active within the community. When not adventuring with her dog, kayaking, climbing or running she can be found at a local coffee shop, chronicling her adventures. Check out Keri's personal site to see more of her work.