Skip to Main Content
Menu
Contact Us Search
Parks Title

Events & Activities

Monthly Park Activities Schedule

Please click here for a monthly downloadable list of events in area California State Parks.

July Activities


 

A Special Event!

Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration

Saturday, July 4 from 11 am to 4 pm

 

Travel back in time at Wilder Ranch State Park on Thursday, July 4, to experience an Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration!  At 11:45 meet at the apple orchard in front of the Highway 1 tunnel and join in the parade. Bring a musical instrument or noisemaker, dress in early 1900s costume, or pull a decorated wagon.  Parade walks through the complex to the front lawn for a flag rising, speeches, and patriotic music.  Listen to live old time music and try the cakewalk, historic lawn games, draft horse wagon rides, and crafts. Bring your own picnic lunch or partake in the food and drink for sale; ice cream cones, strawberry shortcake, dill pickles, watermelon, root beer and hand squeezed lemon aide.  Bratwurst USA and Lily’s Roasted Corn will be selling food at family prices.  The Bank will exchange your 2015 dollars into early 1900s tokens. Step back in time to an early 1900’s dairy ranch with living history demonstrations including; blacksmithing, Pelton water wheel operated machine shop, hand-cranked ice cream making and vegetable gardening.  Docent led tours will be held through the historic Meder house (Old Farm House) and the Victorian home. Musicians will include the Society Orchestra playing patriotic music, and the 5M’s will perform popular early 1900s songs. Wilder Ranch State Park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1.  The event is free; parking is $10 per car.  For more event information, call (831) 426-0505.

 

Wilder Ranch Living History Demonstrations and Ranch Tours

Weekends from 11 am to 3 pm

Tour of the ranch houses at 1 pm

Visit an early day dairy ranch and step back in time to the late 1800’s at Wilder Ranch State Park. Weekends at 1 pm, join the 1 hour tour of the 1897 Victorian home, 1896 water powered machine shop, 1856 Gothic Revival farm house, barns, and other historic buildings. You can also play Victorian games or bring a picnic to enjoy on the front lawn, visit the farm animals and see what activities are taking place on the ranch this weekend; You may learn about hand quilting, watch blacksmithing, or wood stove baking techniques. Call (831) 426-0505 for more details.

 

History, Nature, and Scenic Views:  A Tour of the Grey Whale Ranch Area

Saturday, July 11 at 9 am

This challenging guided 3 hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of the park.  Meet at the Wilder Ranch parking lot.  Bring good walking shoes, lunch, snacks, and water.  Rain cancels.

 

Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks

Saturdays, July 4 at 11 am

Saturday July 18 at 11 am

Saturday, July 25 at 11 am

On these 2 hour natural history excursions you will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs.  Meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and good walking shoes.  Binoculars are now available to borrow. 



Annual Events 2015

Garden Planting and Wool Day
Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Imagine yourself at Wilder Ranch in the early part of the 20th century and help plant the heirloom vegetable garden as it would have been circa 1900.   Also learn from composting demonstrations, gardening information and participate in garden crafts.  If good weather, arrive early (10am to Noon) to see a sheep shearing demonstration and find out how wool is processed from “sheep to shawl.” The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve.  The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060.  Day-use parking fee is $10.  This event is appropriate for all ages.  For more information, please call (831)426-0505.

Old-fashioned Independence Day
Saturday, July 4, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit Wilder Ranch’s historic cultural preserve and take a step back in time 100 years ago as you participate in an early 1900s-style Independence Day celebration including a noon family parade, games,  children’s crafts area, live big-band music, living history demonstrations, historic speeches and flag-raising.   Food and drink available for sale, or bring a picnic lunch.  The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060.  This event is appropriate for all ages.  Day-use parking fee is $10. More information is available at (831)426-0505.  The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. 

Life on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
Saturday, August 8, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, November 14, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wilder Ranch State Park invites you to experience old-time activities from its rancho, dairy farm, and cowboy rodeo days.  Hands-on activities and living history presentations vary each month and may include:  butter churning, ice cream making, branding, cooking, roping skills, wagon rides and demonstrations in the ranch buildings. Come for a picnic on the lawn and follow it up with a game of tug of war, sack races, hoops, stilts, and Wilder Ranch’s famous old-fashioned bubbles! The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060.  Day-use parking fee is $10.  This event is appropriate for all ages.  For more information, please call (831)426-0505.

Heritage Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Celebrate! The harvest is in! See tractor, draft horse and living history demonstrations, listen to music, make crafts, and participate in harvest-time activities.  Wilder Ranch State Park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060.  This event is appropriate for all ages.  Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 426-0505.

Holidays on the Ranch-2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music and merriment from the early 20th century.  We’ll busy your hands with holiday wreath-making, invite you to join in an old-fashioned sing-along around the player piano, and provide you with materials to make Victorian and Mexican holiday crafts. Come play games, take a draft-horse carriage ride, decorate the tree and create ornaments while spending the day on the grounds of the cultural preserve at beautiful, historic, Wilder Ranch State Park. Admission to the event is free; day-use parking is $10.00 per car.   For more information, or to make arrangements for those with special needs, call the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center at (831) 426-0505.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Let us be your guide on an adventure like no other…

California State Parks Guided Backpacking Adventures

1 Night Trip: Saturday, August 1 to Sunday, August 2

            From Big Basin Redwoods State Park to Waddell Beach

            Cost $80

(Mandatory Pre-Meeting: Monday, July 13 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm)

3 Night Trip: Friday, August 21 to Monday, August 24

            From Castle Rock State Park to Waddell Beach

(Mandatory Pre-Meeting: Wednesday, August 5 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm)

Cost $190

Who better to lead you through our parks than California State Park professionals? Travel from spectacular ridgelines, through old growth redwood forests, to sandy shores with our knowledgeable team of naturalists. Imagine if the Santa Cruz Mountains could speak, and the stories they could tell. Our guides will share the secrets of this precious wilderness and give you a window into the lives of the people who lived here for thousands of years. There is no limit to the personal growth and amazing natural beauty you will experience on your backcountry adventure. For both trips, space is extremely limited   Sign up is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register by calling Cathryn Boult at Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (831) 429-1840 or emailing cathryn@thatsmypark.org. For more detailed information please call (831) 335-6391 or (831) 427-2288 or visit www.thatsmypark.org.

1 Night, 2 Day Trip from August 1 to August 2:

Route: You will begin at Jay Camp, Big Basin Redwoods State Park and travel along the Skyline to Sea Trail and arrive at Waddell Beach, 17 miles North of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1. This trip is approximately 13 miles long, with a net elevation change of 1,000 feet. We will be hiking no more than 8 miles per day. Families are welcome, but please no children under the age of 13. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

 

Transportation: You will be required to organize your own transportation for both drop off and pick up.

Cost: $80

*You will be responsible for providing your own food and gear

 

3 Night, 4 Day Trip from August 21 to August 24

Route: You will begin at Castle Rock State Park and travel through the mountains, eventually arriving at Waddell Beach, 17 miles North of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1. This adventure is approximately 30 miles long with a net elevation change of 3,000 feet. We will be hiking no more than 10 miles per day. Families are welcome, but please no children under the age of 13. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Transportation: You will be required to organize your own transportation for both drop off and pick up.

Cost: $190

*You will be responsible for providing your own food and gear