• July 2022

    LGBTQ+ Booklist

    Task Force Releases LGBTQ+ Booklist for School Libraries by Santa cruz county BOARD OF EDUCATION A task force convened by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education has released a booklist called the “Top 40 LGBTQ+ Books that Every School Library Should Have,” a project undertaken as part of a commitment to safety and inclusiveness for LGBTQ+ students The final list of 40 books includes fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, anthologies and picture books. Ten titles were selected for each of the gradespans of PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. “When students see themselves reflected back in culture, curriculum, and media they are empowered to work harder and dream bigger,” said Santa…

  • June 2022

    YAN Pop-Ups

    Santa Cruz County Youth Action Network “Pop Ups” Bring Together Local Youth and Community The Santa Cruz County Youth Action Network and United Way of Santa Cruz County are “popping up” at various Santa Cruz County destinations to offer the community a new, fun, and meaningful way to bring youth, community members, and youth-serving organizations together. The Youth Action Network Pop-Up events are family-friendly and focus on offering games, activities, food, and fun for middle – high school youth while connecting them with local youth programs, resources, and community leaders. The Youth Action Network consists of organizations focusing on youth well-being and committed to amplifying youth voices from across the…

  • June 2022

    Summer Reading

    Avoid the Slide by diane cowen Summer Slide is the term used to describe learning loss that children experience over the summer when they are out of school and away from structured learning activities. Children and teens who do not read over the summer lose some of the achievement gains made during the previous school year. These summer setbacks are particularly problematic because early education serves as the foundation for the achievement, work habits, and perceptions about self-confidence and schooling that impact performance for years to come. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) can help with that! The Library Summer Reading Program provides educational, fun enrichment activities, and they’re free!…

  • May 2022


    Capitola Mall is Flying High with Cirque.Tumble.Cheer By Jeanette Prather Once upon a time in the former Wrigley bubble gum factory on the Westside, four women came together over their love of aerial and movement arts. They assembled a collective of aerialists and dancers who would each contribute to a stipend that they would pay their landlord as he developed what is now the University Business Park. This collective offered classes and training time, then came to be known as the Santa Cruz Aerial Playground. “They scrimped, scavenged and labored almost endlessly to install rigging points, padded floor coverings, a wooden sprung dance floor, lighting, seating, crash mats,” said former…

  • May 2022


    by Kimberly Hickok As summer peeks around the corner and pandemic restrictions begin lifting, the urge to get out of the house and go do something fun is stronger than ever. Fortunately for Santa Cruz area residents, there’s no need to travel far for enjoyable, exciting activities with little and big kids alike. Here are 17 of our favorite Santa Cruz area “staycation” ideas:  Ride roller coasters and play games The historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk hosts a plethora of fun rides for kids of all ages – from a kiddie train to the classic Giant Dipper roller coaster. After enjoying the rides, check out the large arcade, pirate-themed miniature…

  • May 2022

    Not Fitting In

    Allison Paradise on Not Fitting In By Jeanette Prather “What do I do for a living?” repeated Allison Paradise, Founder and CEO of The Epicenter in Santa Cruz, in response to the question. “That’s such a funny question. I live.” The Epicenter empowers students ages seven through 22 through mindfulness and a reconnection with their authentic selves and limitless potential, according to Paradise. “This is transformative; it can lead to feelings of liberation, awe, clarity, focus, strength, confidence, purpose, joy, and deep gratitude,” said Paradise.How does this happen? “Through intentional design, The Epicenter creates an open space (both physical and virtual) that gives students permission, and the courage, to be…

  • April 2022

    Annual Summit for the Planet

    Family Fun at the 16th Annual Summit for the Planet Earth Day Festival Mount Madonna School From barn owls and bearded dragons to California kingsnakes and turkey vultures, the opportunity to get up close and hands-on with wildlife at the annual Summit for the Planet Earth Day festival is always a huge draw. Children and adults alike enjoy the many birds, reptiles and amphibians shared by the Bay Area Herpetological Society (BAHS) and Wildlife Education Rehabilitation Center (WERC).  For the 16th annual Summit for the Planet, everyone is welcome to check out the wildlife and family-friendly activities on Saturday, April 23 from 9:00am to 1:30pm at Mount Madonna School. This…

  • April 2022

    Kids Day Downtown Map

    Downtown Santa Cruz April 23 | Noon to 4pm Exhibitors will be lined up on Cooper Street and Pacific Ave. (between Church St. & Locust St.) Almost every exhibitor will have a free, family activity. There will also be performances and demonstrations all day long in Abbott Square. Plus, many Downtown businesses will be offering discounts and specials just for kids. Bring your family down to enjoy face painting, music, dancing, bubbles, foosball, crafts & more! Kids Day Downtown is proudly presented by Downtown Santa Cruz, along with our partners Growing Up In Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz Museum of Art And History. Read More Parenting Articles

  • April 2022

    Kids Day Downtown Santa Cruz

    Kids Day Downtown SC Downtown Association of Santa Cruz Kids Day is an opportunity for children of all ages to enjoy safe and friendly Downtown Santa Cruz experiences! You are invited to meet the many community organizations showcasing what Santa Cruz has to offer families! In 2022, you and your kids can enjoy a wide variety of free, fun activities at dozens of booths. Teen bands will be playing at the Abbott Square stage throughout the day and other family-friendly performances will pop up on Pacific Avenue. In addition to all the fun at the Kids Day event, over a dozen businesses throughout Downtown are offering in-store specials and discounts…

  • March 2022

    Whalefest Monterey

    Whalefest Monterey Whalefest Monterey announces lineup for 2-day Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and historians on March 19 & 20, 2022 Symposium to be held at Heritage Harbor adjacent to the Recreation Trail, just steps away from Old Fisherman’s Wharf March 2, 2022. Monterey, CA. Don’t miss the 2-day Symposium during Whalefest Monterey on March 19th and 20th, 2022 featuring cutting-edge presentations by marine experts and others about important issues surrounding the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and beyond. In addition to the Symposium, Whalefest will feature dozens of interactive exhibits, live music and other activities for all ages. In 2022, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be celebrating…