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Park Events

All events and activities are FREE, and are made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

For more information about events and activities please call the Santa Cruz Mission at (831) 425-5849. All programs meet at the Santa Cruz Mission, located on School Street off of Mission Street and Emmet Street in Santa Cruz.





Gardens of Time
Monday, January 1 at 2pm
Stroll through history as you visit the various gardens within our courtyard and patio at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. We can learn a good deal about people who lived here in the past by exploring the plants they used and cultivated. Tour our native plant gardens, demonstration vegetable beds and Victorian “Nearyland”. Take home history in a seed. Rain Cancels.

Mission Strategy Game
Thursday, January 4 from 11am to 12:30pm
Monday, January 15 from 11am to 12:30pm
Gather around the table and play a board game set in the 18th century. Spend Spanish real coins and roll the sheep’s knucklebone to determine the fate of your mission. Geared for ages 8 and older.

Adobe Tour
Friday, January 5 at 2pm
Sunday, January 14 at 1pm
Sunday, January 28 at 1pm
Join us at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park for a free guided tour of the oldest building in Santa Cruz. Learn about the many families who have called this 180-year-old mission adobe their home.

Hides and Tallow
Saturday, January 6 from 1pm to 2pm
Come and see how Mission Santa Cruz participated in a world economy back in the early 1800’s. We will look at some of the major products of the mission like leather and tallow, and demonstrate how they were used. You will see how a branding iron works and get to make your own candle.

Drop In Family Craft
Sunday, January 7 from 1pm to 3:30pm – Ramillettas at the Santa Cruz Mission
Sunday, January 21 from 1pm to 3:30pm – Yarn Baskets
Enjoy an informal afternoon at this hidden jewel near downtown Santa Cruz. Create colorful layered paper decorations or a basket made of colorful yarn.

What They Wore
Saturday, January 13 from 1pm-2pm
Color, cloth, & cut – the clothing worn by the people in the Mission was not all about style – it was about identity, status, and different roles in the community. We will demonstrate the apparel you may have seen here in the 19th century, and lean what the clothing meant to the people who wore it.

Skill and Luck: Games of the Mission
Saturday, January 20 at 1pm
Learn to play traditional California Indian games that took plenty of skill and luck. Discover how the Spanish influenced these games. Make your own traditional Ohlone game to take home during this one-hour session. 

Storytelling Night: “Stories for a New Year”
Friday, January 26 at 6:30pm
Gather around the campfire as storyteller Jim Cockrell & friends spin tales of adventure, mystery, and laughter. Bundle up! We’ll provide the hot chocolate.

Wool, Spinning, and Weaving
Saturday, January 27 from 1pm to 2pm
How did an isolated settlement clothe the hundreds of people who lived there? Take an in depth look at the cloth industry of Mission Santa Cruz. We will follow the path of wool from the sheep to the shirt. Try your hand at a drop spindle and spin your own wool.