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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.


Ranch History Tours
Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm
Monday, September 3 at 1pm
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. 

Backcountry Tour
Saturday, September 8 at 9am
This challenging guided three-hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of the backcountry of Wilder Ranch State Park. Meet at the Wilder Ranch State Park parking lot. Bring good walking shoes, lunch, snacks, and water. Rain cancels. 

Bird Watching for Beginners
Friday, September 14 at 9am
On this one and a half hour walk, be prepared to hike a couple of miles on uneven surfaces, with many stops to view the many birds, plants and scenery along the way. You will help each other spot and identify the birds! Bring your binoculars if you have them (binoculars are available to borrow), clothes for variable weather, and good walking shoes. Everyone is welcome (children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by adults). Meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center. Rain cancels. 

Coast Nature Walks
Saturday, September 1 at 11am
Saturday, September 15 at 11am
Saturday, September 22 at 11am
Saturday, September 29 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 available to borrow. Rain cancels. 


Annual Events

Garden Planting and Wool Day
Saturday April 28, 2018 from 11am to 3pm

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
Wednesday July 4, 2018 from 11am to 4pm

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 11, 2018 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, 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 20, 2018 from 11am 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. This event is appropriate for all ages. 

holiday knittingHolidays on the Ranch
Saturday December 8, 2018 from 11am to 3pm

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.