With a wide range of free events taking place year-around, there’s always something to celebrate in Santa Cruz County every weekend. Choose an art and wine festival, a beer or music festival, a summer concert or movie on the beach, or an art and culture event like First Friday or Open Studios Art Tour. Enjoy a timeless event like Woodies on the Wharf, Fourth of July Fireworks, or Thomas the Tank Engine. Want to play? Run the Wharf to Wharf or go to a birding festival. Check out all the fun on tap!
Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf
831.420.5725 | www.santacruzparksandrec.com
Join us for 13 days of frightful fun on the Santa Cruz Wharf! Take part in the Great Pumpkin Bingo Hunt, snap a photo at our scenic photo booth, dance at Zombie Night and enjoy festive Wharf specials all 13 days! The Great Pumpkin Bingo Hunt: Find hidden pumpkins on the Wharf match their ghoulish image on your bingo card and get a stamp from the business. Submit your completed bingo card to one of the participating businesses and win a prize! Photo Booth on the Wharf Stage, snap a festive photo with your family with the scenic Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Lighthouse as your backdrop. Enjoy fabulous, unique specials from restaurants and gift shops perfectly catered to the Halloween theme. Kick Off is Saturday, October 19th, 4:00- 6:00 pm at the Wharf stage; Free hot apple cider, games, face painting and the Great Pumpkin Bingo Hunt begins! This year’s Halloween photo booth will be unveiled. Haunting Hour Kick-off: Wharf Specials for the Haunting Hours from 5:00 – 7:00 pm! Zombie Night on the Wharf – Saturday, October 26th, 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Trick-or-Treating on the Wharf – Thursday, October 31st, 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
San Lorenzo Valley Museum
831.338.8382 | www.slvmuseum.com
Enjoy the history, in images, of Welch’s Big Trees, now the Redwood Loop Trail at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. See images of features no longer in the park and learn about others that have unusual stories to tell. Donations appreciated.
Sierra Azul Gardens & Nursery
831.728.2532 | pvarts.org
Sculpture IS: In the Garden 2019, marks our thirteenth sculpture exhibit in partnership with Sierra Azul Nursery and Garden. The jurors, Susana Arias, Jamie Abbott and Jeff Rosendale, selected over 80 sculptures created by 52 artists and collaborators. Visit the stunning two-acre demonstration garden, relax under the umbrellas, bring your picnic lunch, and spend an afternoon enjoying the exhibit.
Pajaro Valley Arts
831.722.3062 | pvarts.org
Mi Casa es Tu Casa is PVA’s annual exhibit inspired by Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a traditional holiday in Mexico that celebrates ancestors and others who have passed away. Altars (ofrendas) are built in homes and public spaces to honor and remember the dead. Similar customs exist throughout the world and we share common ground with many cultures in our desire to honor and remember those whom we have lost. Our theme this year is Pasajes y Puentes / Passages & Bridges. Passage is the act of moving through, over, under or past something on the way from one place to another. Boats are symbolic of passages as well as the journeys and transitions that we make in life and in death. Bridges can symbolize progress, connections, transitions and stability, as well as a way to reach a destination. Opening Reception: Sunday, October 27th 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Performances by: El Sistema and Ballet Folklórico Olin. November 10th: Poetry Reading at the gallery 2:30- 3:30 pm.
Santa Cruz Harbor
831.475.6161 | www.santacruzharbor.org
Harbor restaurants & the beach are great viewing areas to watch the sailboat races against the setting sun.
Bookshop Santa Cruz
831-423-0900 | www.bookshopsantacruz.com
Tui T. Sutherland, bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series, the Menagerie trilogy and the Pet Trouble series will join us to read and sign copies of her enthralling new books, Hidden Kingdom (Wings of Fire Graphic, Book 3) and The Poison Jungle (Wings of Fire, Book 13). This is a free event. Chairs for open seating are usually set up about an hour before the event begins. If you have any ADA accommodation requests, please e-mail us by October 22nd, 2019.
831.423.5590 | beachboardwalk.com
With a cocktail in your hand, enjoy your favorite scary movies in the historic Cocoanut Grove ballroom. In a time of crisis a hero must rise…from his sofa. Shaun’s uneventful life is disrupted by the zombie apocalypse. Bring your friends for a night of fun and frights! Themed giveaways for the first 50 attendees each night! Full cash bar featuring signature drinks such as “Wicked Manhattan” and “Zombie-Kazie”. Snacks available for purchase. Banquet chair seating. Fun inflatable chairs available on a first-come-first-served basis. You are encouraged to come in costume, but please adhere to the following rules: No weapons of any kind, No masks, Costumes should not display offensive symbolism or gestures and No outside food or drinks allowed. Doors 7:30 pm, Movie 8:00 pm. $5 Entry Fee. 21+ only- ID’s will be checked at the entrance.
Capitola Historical Museum
831.464.0322 | www.cityofcapitola.org
Our exhibition for 2019 is titled Capitola Obscura: Little-known Facts About Capitola History. Did you know that Capitola was once owned by one person? Did you know that a locomotive that pulled trains through Capitola is now displayed in the Smithsonian? These are just a few of the twenty obscure and unusual facts featured in this year’s exhibition. Each fact is explained through the use of historical artifacts and photographs from the Museum’s vast collection. The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 4:00 pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
831.438.3251 | www.facebook.com
Join us for an evening of fun with Movie & Food Trucks in the Park. Dinner is from 4:30-7:30 pm with some of the best food trucks in Santa Cruz County. The movie, Spider-Man, Into The Spider-Verse, begins at 6:30 pm on the big outdoor screen. Valley Churches United is hosting the Beer Garden and is also collecting canned goods. Come dressed in a Halloween costume and receive a treat! There is plenty of open space for families to spread out and enjoy the evening, along with plenty of picnic tables. People are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to watch the movie. The scheduled food trucks include: Saucey’z, Holopono, Mattia Pizza, G’s Mexican Tacos & Aunt LaLi’s. Valley Churches United is hosting the Beer Garden and is also collecting canned goods. Event is weather permitting. Scotts Valley Recreation and Food Trucks A Go Go have partnered together to organize this event.
Downtown Santa Cruz: Pacific Avenue between Walnut Avenue and Church Street
Friday Food Truck Summer Series in Downtown Santa Cruz on Pacific Avenue (between Walnut Avenue and Church Street) featuring local food trucks, Rogue Pye, Union Foodie, Scrumptious Fish & Chips, Shockwave, Drunk Monkey, Nomad Momo. Local bands performing: Cement Ship Band, Simply Put & Flypaper Blues. Kids activities and face-painting.
Chaminade Resort and Spa
831.475.5600 | www.chaminade.com
Through his carefully sourced and crafted menus, Chef Page takes guests on a culinary journey through the Central Coast showcasing the region’s diverse abundance of fruits, vegetables, meats and produce inspired by the seasonal harvest. Guests have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the vintners, culinary staff as well as representatives from the featured farms. The evening begins with a wine and passed hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:00 pm, on the outdoor patio with stunning panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay. Dinner begins at 6:30 pm featuring a five-course menu and carefully paired wines, featuring wine from Alfaro Family Vineyard & Winery. Enjoy soothing acoustic jams from local musician Asher Stern, which complement the dining experience. Reserved seating is not an option, as all guests are seated at large, connecting, beautifully set tables designed to invite open conversations among guests. Ticket Price: $90 per person (tax and gratuity additional, $115.76 inclusive). Tickets are available for purchase online. Photo Credit: Neil Simmons Photography.
(831) 429-1964 | santacruzmah.org
Enjoy live music from Coast Ridge Ramblers. Grab a tasty meal or delicious beverage in Abbott Square Market. Explore the interactive art and history exhibitions just a few steps away inside the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. Run into old friends and make new ones in the plaza.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
831.423.5590 | www.beachboardwalk.com
Bring your appetite and join the fun as both professional and amateur chefs work their culinary magic and compete for the title of Best Chili!
Live Oak Grange Hall
831.476.6424 | chrisjohnsonglass.com
The Santa Cruz Glass Pumpkin Patch at Live Oak Grange Returns with golden leaves and autumn breezes! We are delighted to again be in the heirloom fruit garden at historic Live Oak Grange. This year we have a Bumper Crop of beautiful hand-made glass pumpkins and gourds created in the glass blowing studio of local glass artist Chris Johnson. A dazzling array of colors, in all sizes and for every budget. Because they are hand made one at a time, each pumpkin is completely unique! Come early for the best selection! These pumpkins get picked early! No purchase required, all are welcome to come enjoy the beautiful art glass! One weekend only.
831.335.4484 | www.roaringcamp.com
Little engineers won’t believe their eyes, or their ears! Percy will be joining Thomas the Tank Engine on the rails! Also, Thomas the Tank Engine™ will be able to talk to his fans! Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas™ and Percy™, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family. Activities include: Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Story Telling, Videos, Train Play Tables, Pick a Pumpkin (small pumpkins for little ones), Cookie decorating, photos with Sir Topham Hatt, Thomas store and entertainment.
Natural Bridges State Beach
831.423.4609 | www.parks.ca.gov
Meet at the visitor center for a free 1-hour guided tour of the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve. Monarch migration is variable, please check the website or contact the park to find out the current population. To arrange a tour for groups of 10 or more, please visit www.thatsmypark.org. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks. Event starts every Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Event is free, parking is $10.
Wilder Ranch State Park
831.423.9703 | https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=549
On this Saturday 2.5 mile, 2-hour family friendly walk, we’ll explore the plants, animals, and geology of our coastal bluffs. Bring water, hat, closed toe shoes, layered clothing, and binoculars if available. Rain cancels. Most Saturdays throughout the year. No walk every 2nd Saturday of each month. Meet at the interpretive center. Event is free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
831.338.8861 | www.parks.ca.gov
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible, Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Bring water and good walking shoes. Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Meet at park headquarters. Event is free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.
Castle Rock State Park
On this 1-mile, 1-hour interactive journey we will discuss the various park ecosystems, Ohlone history, Black Oak ecology, wildfire, and more. Bring water, closed toe shoes, snacks, and a camera. Meet at Castle Rock kiosk. No pets. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
831.335.4598 | www.thatsmypark.org
Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10.
Wilder Ranch State Park
831.423.9703 | www.parks.ca.gov
Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00pm. Event free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.
831.761.2041 ext. 121 | annieglass.com
Join us to learn the ancient technique of Shibori Indigo Dyeing and create your own unique set of 4 dinner napkins to bring home! We will learn the basics of the Japanese art of folding and binding fabric to create timeless patterns, mix a vat of indigo dye together, and experience the magic of this natural dyeing technique! Additionally, each guest is welcome to bring a small piece of their own to dye at the end of the workshop (must be 100% natural fiber). About the teacher – We are dyeing to meet her! Kaitlin Bonifacio studied the ancient art of Shibori in both Hawaii and Japan. The workshop includes a complimentary glass of wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverage while you craft. The workshop ticket is $70, available online.
Bruno’s Bar and Grill
831.438.2227 | www.brunosbarandgrill.com
Join us at our Oktoberfest party for food, drinks and fun! We’re having our party later in the month this year, but that’s how we roll at Bruno’s we don’t follow the rules! Dress up in your best Oktoberfest costume for a chance to win a $50.00 Bruno’s Gift Card. Outside in our beer garden we’ll be grilling up sausages and serving your favorite beers and playing cornhole. Well behaved dogs on leash are welcome to party outside Barktoberfest style! Inside enjoy live music, billards, foosball, darts, shuffleboard and ping pong. We’ll also have a few fun games for you to win prizes. You know we always throw the best parties, don’t miss this one!
Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
831.425.5849 | www.parks.ca.gov
Come and see how the oldest building in town was made. We will look at the materials used by the Ohlone to build their homes and then at the materials used by the Spanish to build Mission Santa Cruz. You will have the chance to get your hands dirty and make your own mini adobe brick. Rain cancels. Free event.
Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf
831.420.5725 | www.santacruzparksandrec.com
Zombie Night on the Wharf ! Zombie Dance 5:30 pm, Apocalypse Wharf Specials 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Take part in the Great Pumpkin Bingo Hunt, snap a photo at our scenic photo booth, dance at Zombie Night and enjoy festive Wharf specials!
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
831.338.8861 | www.parks.ca.gov
History takes a tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds. Silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail. Enjoy the redwoods on a fall night with music, storytelling and “Ranger Apples” around the campfire. All participants must register at Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
831.420.6115 | www.santacruzmuseum.org
Come in costume and explore the mysteries of the Museum after dark. Imbibe cauldron-concocted cocktails, feast on freakish foods, and explore the natural and cultural history of our sometimes-frightening feathered friends, from Hitchcock horror to ancient omens and beyond. Warning to the squeamish: students and staff from the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History at UC Santa Cruz will perform “live” taxidermy demonstrations using specimens from their ornithology collection. If dissecting once-living creatures is not your cup of tea, rest assured, you can unwind in the company of the living in other areas of the Museum. $13 pre-sale before Oct. 26th, $15 at door. One free drink included with admission! Must be 21 or over to enter.
El Rosal Bakery
831.423.3138 | www.diasantacruz.com
A family friendly 5k/3k Run/Walk along the ocean will kick off the 7th Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival in the heart of Live Oak. This fun and inclusive community event will feature a diverse line-up of traditional Mexican dance, colorful costumes, face painting, special performances, homemade altars (ofrendas), and food vendors. Admission to the festival is free. Registration details available online.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
831.338.8861 | www.thatsmypark.org
On this dog-friendly walk, we travel North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We’ll discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun and easy, 3-mile, 2-hour walk with docent Diane Shaw. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water. Meet at park headquarters. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Photo Credit: Bill Rhoades
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
831.459.3800 | seymourcenter.ucsc.edu
Make it and take it! Come create and take home a souvenir, an activity for the whole family to share. Join the hands-on fun at the crafts table every Sunday except April 21st, 2019. Sponsored by Sigma Alpha of Omega Nu. Free with paid admission to the Seymour Center.
Quail Hollow Ranch County Park
831.335.9348 | www.scparks.com
Do you enjoy looking through old buildings and learning about their stories? Join history docent, Richard James, on a tour of the Quail Hollow Ranch House and learn about the history of Sun-Kissed Ranch, Sunset Magazine, and the pioneer families who made the ranch their business, home, and vacation haven. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $3.