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Travel BLOG
November 28, 2014

Come and be merry… in Santa Cruz County!

Holiday Round Up ‘Tis the season for some family holiday fun, and Santa Cruz County offers an abundance of events you and your family will love to join! The coming weeks are full of faires, parades, and festivals filled with cheer and magic holiday moments! Get out there – and get the whole family into the spirit of the holidays! Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train November 28 & 29, December 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 19-23, 2014 Riding the Holiday Lights Train is like a trip back in time! Vintage train cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights roll through the streets of Santa Cruz. Passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! Continue the fun with your choice of arcade games, mini-golf or laser tag at Santa's Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Bring the whole family for festive fun. Trains at 5:00, 6:30 & 8:00 pm. Happy Holidays! Location: Departs from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz Phone: 831.335.4484 Holiday Tree Walk November 28-30, December 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 2014 Get in the holiday spirit by bringing family and friends to ride Roaring Camp’s daytime steam train to Bear Mountain. At the summit, guests may sip hot cider and delight in viewing a tree-lined walk of beautifully decorated holiday trees. See website for train times. Location: Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton Phone: 831.335.4484 Downtown Holiday Parade December 6, 2014 The official kickoff for the winter holidays celebration. Bring the family and join the fun as floats, marching bands, fire trucks, horses, classic cars and Santa go down Pacific Avenue. Free. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Location: Downtown Santa Cruz / Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz Phone: 831.332.7422 Lighted Boat Parade December 6, 2014 Features 50 decorated boats parading throughout Santa Cruz Harbor, rain or shine. Family-oriented festival. Free. 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Location: Santa Cruz Harbor, Santa Cruz Phone: 831.475.6161 Scotts Valley Christmas Tree Lighting Festival December 6, 2014 Join in the music and fun as we light the Christmas tree, welcome Santa and enjoy welcoming Christmas to Scotts Valley. Free. Starts at 5:00 pm. Location: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Rd., Scotts Valley Phone: 831.438.1010 Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale December 6, 2014 Visit local factories for great discounts on brand names! Free. 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Location: Various shops & factories, Watsonville Phone: 831.768.3100 Jingle Shells Art & Craft Festival December 7, 2014 Ocean-inspired gifts from local artists, live music, children's crafts, and other festivities. And don’t miss out on the big finale – a singing holiday tribute to Ms. Blue, the largest displayed whale skeleton in the world! 12:00 – 5:30 pm. Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, End of Delaware Ave., Santa Cruz Phone: 831.459.3800 Watsonville Holiday Tree Lighting December 7, 2014 This year the City Plaza will once again feature a beautiful 30 ft, live holiday tree. Along with the tree, colorful strings of lights will adorn the City Plaza. All are invited to view the lighting of this magnificent tree. Santa will also be there to spread holiday cheer! Starts at 5:00 pm. Location: 358 Main & Peck Streets, Watsonville Phone: 831.768.3240 2014 Winterfest December 11, 2014 New this year, for one night, the streets of Downtown Santa Cruz become a winter festival with choirs, carolers, a free outdoor movie, wagon rides, photo opportunities with Santa, open houses, and special musical headliner FOREVERLAND, a 14 piece tribute to Michael Jackson! Bring the whole family for a night of fun. You are invited to bring a food or cash donation for Second Harvest Food Bank. Free. 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Location: Downtown Santa Cruz / Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz Phone: 831.247.0317 Holidays on the Ranch December 13, 2014 Experience the winter holidays as folks did in Victorian and early 20th century times. Crafts, games, treats. Free. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Location: Wilder Ranch State Park, 2 miles north on Hwy. 1, Santa Cruz Phone: 831.426.0505 Victorian Carriage Rides December 13 & 14, 20 & 21, 2014 Enjoy a good old-fashioned ride in a horse-drawn Victorian Carriage, from the Santa Cruz Carriage Company. It’s a delightful family outing or a romantic date! 3:00 – 7:00 pm. Location: Downtown Santa Cruz / Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz Phone: 831.332.7422 Chanukah Train December 18, 2014 Gather on the 1st night of Chanukah for the lighting of the menorah and then set off on an incredible train ride on Roaring Camp's old-fashioned excursion cars adorned with thousands of lights and Chanukah decorations. Share in Chanukah traditions as you ride the train listening to Chanukah stories, playing dreidel and enjoying kosher refreshments provided by Chabad by the Sea. The evening includes one activity of choice at the Boardwalk of miniature golf, laser tag or arcade games. Trains at 6:00 & 8:00 pm. Location: Departs from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz Phone: 831.335.4484 The Nutcracker December 19-21, 2014 A Santa Cruz tradition! Our twelfth anniversary production at the Civic Auditorium starring Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre alumna, Houston Ballet principal dancer Melody Mennite. Featuring the Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre Orchestra, a fully professional orchestra conducted by Maestro Pamela Martin. Choreography by Robert Kelley. See website for current times. Location: Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz Phone: 831.477.1606

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