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Park Events

All events and activities are free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10.
For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.

Events made possible by California State Parks Volunteers, California State Parks, and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

 

August

Tour of the Grey Whale Ranch Area
Saturday, August 12 at 9am
This challenging guided three-hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch State Park. Meet at the Wilder Ranch parking lot. Bring good walking shoes, lunch, snacks, and water. Rain cancels.

Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks
Saturday, August 5 at 11am
Saturday, August 19 at 11am
Saturday, August 26 at 11am
On these two-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 snacks, water, binoculars, and good walking shoes. Binoculars are available to borrow. Rain cancel

Life on the Ranch Day
Saturday, August 12 from 11am to 3pm
Join in on the fun and Old West activities from the Rancho, Dairy Farm, Cowboy Rodeo Days.  Living history demonstrations by docents may include; Machine Shop, Blacksmith, Wood Stove Baking, Tortilla Making, Roping & Rope Making, Butter Making, Crafts, Games and Wagon Rides.

Living History Demonstrations
Saturdays and Sundays in August from 11am to 2pm
History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends with Machine Shop Pelton Water Wheel Demos, baking on the woodstove, and ranch tours. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505.

September

Life on the Ranch Day
Saturday, September 16 from 11am to 3pm
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, cooking, wagon rides, machine shop demonstrations, blacksmith demonstrations, wood stove baking, tortilla making, and roping & rope making.

History, Nature, and Scenic Views: Backcountry Hike
Saturday, September 9 at 9am
This challenging guided three-hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch State Park. Meet at the Wilder Ranch parking lot.  Bring good walking shoes, lunch, snacks, and water. Rain cancels.

Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks
Saturday, September 2 at 11am
Saturday, September 16 at 11am
Saturday, September 23 at 11am
Saturday, September 30 at 11am
On these two-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. 

Living History Demonstrations
Saturdays and Sundays in August from 11am to 2pm
Ranch Tours at 1pm
Ranch Tour, Monday September 4 at 1pm
History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends with Machine Shop Pelton Water Wheel Demos, baking on the woodstove, and ranch tours. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505.

Annual Events

Garden Planting and Wool Day
Saturday April 29, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm

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. Learn from composting demonstrations, obtain gardening information, and participate in garden crafts. If weather is good, arrive early (10 am to noon) to see a sheep- shearing demonstration and find out how wool is processed from “sheep to shawl.” This event is appropriate for all ages. 



festivitiesOld-fashioned Independence Day
Tuesday July 4, 2017 from 11 am to 4 pm

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. This event is appropriate for all ages.





bakingLife on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
Saturday August 12, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm
Saturday September 16, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm
Saturday November 11, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm
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! This event is appropriate for all ages. 

square dancingHeritage Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 11 am to 4 pm

Celebrate! The harvest is in! See tractor, draft horse, and living history demonstrations, listen to music, make crafts, and participate in harvest-time activities.  The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. This event is appropriate for all ages. 









holiday knittingHolidays on the Ranch
Saturday December 9, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm

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.