This Weekend in Santa Cruz: October 21st – 23rd, 2016


Santa Cruz continues to embrace the Halloween spirit this weekend with many more events geared toward the upcoming holiday including spooky forest tours, youth rock shows with a costume contest and a floating pumpkin patch.

The Boardwalk holds it’s annual chili cooking contest, San Lorenzo Park sees people transform to colors of the rainbow, comedy hits Boulder Creek and a local author speaks about his new book focused on Bookshop Santa Cruz.

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

Halloween Events in Santa Cruz 2016

santa cruz halloween events 2016Catch every Halloween event in Santa Cruz County this month with our Santa Cruz Halloween Event Guide.


Joey Cook & The PartyRaddlers presents THE VARIETY SHOW!


When: 10/21 at 8:00 pm
Where: Bocci’s Cellar

Joey Cook, an American Idol season top 7 finalist, and her band bring an energetic, eclectic experience to Bocci’s Cellar. The 7-member group will stir up some gypsy jazz and bluegrass using ukuleles, accordions, xylophones, baby pianos and more.

Get more info here.

Live Comedy in Boulder Creek – Samantha Gilweit

When: 10/21 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: lille aeske Art House & Boutique
Cost: $10 – $20 (pay-what-you-will)

Samantha Gilweit along with six other comedians are sure to have you in stiches. Ms. Gilweit has performed at San Francisco’s The Punchline and all over the Bay Area and L.A. A single mom and writer, her comedy packs a punch with straightforward confessions and humorous criticisms.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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When: 10/22 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Make A Difference Day is the largest day of service in the U.S. Organizers put together a list of projects throughout our community. Check it out and join one or more. Help make a difference by cleaning, clearing and revitalizing Santa Cruz County.

Get more info here.

GLOW: A Festival of Fire & Light 2016


When: 10/22 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Cost: $20 General, $15 Kids 12 and under, $10 MAH Members

The MAH takes it outside this evening for a celebration filled with LED sculptures and interactive art, flaming cannonades, fire dancing, flaming pianos, fire breathers and more. Cooper Street will be closed off to demonstrate all the light and fire. Abbott Square too will overflow with art, music and dancing. We can’t wait to see the night light up!

Get more info here.

Sustain Farm Supper


When: 10/22 from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: Homeless Garden Project Farm
Cost: $125

Enjoy a 4-course meal on an organic farm, prepared by top local chefs including Mark Denham of Soif, Kendra Baker of Assembly, Charlie Ayers of Calafia, and Stephen Beaumier and Katy Oursler of Mutari Chocolate. In addition to your fabulous meal, listen to keynote speaker Novella Carpenter, author of the bestselling memoir, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Chili Cook-Off


When: 10/22 Public Tasting begins at 1:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free Admission, $10 for Tasting Kits

As the weather grows colder, there’s nothing better than a hearty bowl of chili to warm your spirits.  The Boardwalk’s 7th Annual Chili Cook-Off is your chance to try the best from both amateur and professional chefs. Purchase a Tasting Kit and sample up to six chili concoctions, then cast your vote for the best. Yum! A portion of the proceeds benefits Marine Mammal Center.

Get more info here.

The Missing Arm of William Waddell

When: 10/22 at 6:30 pm
Where: Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Cost: Free Admission, $10.00 parking fee.

Big Basin gets into the Halloween spirit by taking you on a short night hike followed by a ghost story told by campfire. Hear the tale of William Waddell, a lumber mill owner in days gone by who had a dastardly encounter with a grizzly bear. Yikes! Bring a flashlight for the walk. Walks take place every 15 minutes. The campfire story is not too scary for children.

Get more info here.

Holi Festival of Colors


When: 10/22 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo Park
Cost: $5 plus purchase of “color throws”

In India, Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. In Santa Cruz, San Lorenzo Park goes rainbow with mantra bands, interactive dance, DJ’s, yoga, and of course, the playful throwing of colored powder every hour. Wearing all white is highly encouraged!

Get more info here.

Be Natural Kid’s Rock Halloween


When: 10/22 at 1:00 pm
Where: Don Quixote’s
Cost: $7 adv./$7 door Children Under 3 Free seated <21 w/parent

Get ready to rock as eight youth rock bands take to the stage. This family event includes a raffle and costume contest. All raffle proceeds go toward the Be Natural Music Scholarship Program.

Get more info here.

Bark’tober Fest


When: 10/22 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
Cost: $40

Celebrate the season with man’s best friend…beer. Whoops, we mean your dog, of course. Your admission includes 4 pours—5 if you bike!—light snacks, and a costume contest for your pooch. Come out and support our county’s local Open Admission Shelter.

Get more info here.

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.


Floating Pumpkin Patch


When: 10/23 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Simpkins Family Swim Center
Cost: Event admission: $7.00 adults/$5.00 children & seniors. Swim for a pumpkin – $4.00/pumpkin. Free parking!

Simpkins Valley Swim Center puts a creative twist on the traditional pumpkin patch by putting their pumpkins in the pool! Don your swimsuit and take to the water to peruse the floating pumpkin patch. The waterslide will be open and there will be games, pumpkin decorating, music, prizes and popcorn. Costumes are encouraged.

Get more info here.

Wallace Baine, Light in the Midst of Darkness


When: 10/23 at 7:00 pm
Where: Bookshop Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

At some point, most of us have probably enjoyed hearing an author speak at our much-loved Bookshop Santa Cruz. Tonight is a special night as the focus happens to be on the bookshop itself and love story behind it. Come listen to Santa Cruz Sentinel Arts Editor and Columnist, Wallace Baine, tell the story of the book stores owners who met, fell in love and transformed the store into a vibrant hub within our community before passing it on to their daughter.

Get more info here.

Spooky or Not Spooky?

When: 10/23 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Cost: Free Admission, Parking is $10 and supports the park

This easy, 1-hour kid-friendly, Halloween-inspired walk has participants explore the forest and ponder is something spooky or not. You’ll check out cobwebs, holes, burls and other natural phenomena along the way and depending on the way you look at it, your answer may change.

Get more info here.

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

What: 8th Annual Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Art Festival
Where: Cocoanut Grove Ballroom
When: November 5 & 6, 2016

Cost: $5, Kids 6 and under Free

Calling all sea glass lovers and early holiday shoppers! This weekend-long festival features over 40 unique artists showcasing beautiful jewelry and crafts. Enjoy the new Collectors Corner and Ocean Conservation Exhibits, along with food, drink (full bar), and raffle prizes.

Get more info here.

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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.