NEW!! Click on your favorite language above to see our web site in translation!
Choose your language: English, Spanish, Mandarin, or most other international languages!

FREE June Parenting Classes!
with Triple P‐trainings

Creating Safety in the Home, Wednesday, June 3, 11 am - noon,
Felton Covered Bridge Park, corner of Mt. Hermon Road & Graham Hill Road, Felton

Raising Confident, Competent Children, Wednesday, June 3, 5:30-7 pm
Community Bridges, 236 Santa Cruz Ave., Aptos

 Raising Responsible Teens, Tuesday, June 9, 5:30-7:30 pm
First 5 Santa Cruz County, 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 106, Capitola

  Raising Resilient Children, Wednesday, June 10, 5:30-7 pm
Community Bridges, 236 Santa Cruz Ave., Aptos

 Raising Competent Teens, Tuesday, June 16, 5:30-7:30 pm
First 5 Santa Cruz County, 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 106, Capitola

 Getting Teens Connected, Tuesday, June 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
First 5 Santa Cruz County, 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 106, Capitola

 Traveling in the Car, Wednesday, June 24, 11 am - noon
Felton Covered Bridge Park, corner of Mt. Hermon Road & Graham Hill Road, Felton




May is National Foster Care Month, Highlighting Local Need for More Loving Stable Adults to Support Area Children

Family and Children’s Services of Santa Cruz County today announced it is seeking new foster parents in conjunction with National Foster Care Month in May. Foster Services of Santa Cruz County is appealing to caring, healthy, stable adults in Santa Cruz County to consider becoming foster parents for babies, teens, siblings, and special-needs children. Foster parent information meetings take place the first Wednesday of each month at the Live Oak Family Resource Center in Santa Cruz.

Family and Children’s Services, an important safety net for approximately 300 children in Santa Cruz County, provides a temporary safe place for youth who cannot stay in their homes because of abuse, neglect or their parents’ inability to provide adequate care. During the child’s time in foster care, the court system determines if they can safely return home to their parents. Foster families are a stable, healthy alternative to group homes. A foster parent can be any one of us: single, married, divorced, with children or without children, LBGT, young or old, homeowner or renter.

“Santa Cruz County has a shortage of licensed foster families,” said Trevor Davis, licensing supervisor for Family and Children’s Services of Santa Cruz County.  “Without enough foster homes, children can be removed not only from their parents, but could be separated from their siblings, friends, schools, communities and everything else that had once been familiar to them. Youth could be placed in homes where they don’t speak the same language as their foster parents. Having more local, licensed foster families helps prevent these scenarios from happening.”

About National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month—a time to acknowledge the foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. Learn more at

About Family and Children’s Services of Santa Cruz County
Family and Children’s Services of Santa Cruz County connects loving families with in-need children throughout Santa Cruz County. Adults interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent can attend a Foster Parent Orientation session the first Wednesday of each month, 6-8 p.m. at the Live Oak Family Resource Center, 1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz 95062. Contact the Foster Parent Recruiter at 831-345-2700 or Learn more at


Summer Camps are Right around the Corner!




This page sponsored bypalace.jpg

Top ten things to do with kids in Santa Cruz County!

Did you see the Santa Cruz Sentinel article? Check it out here!

1. Explore the tide pools at Natural Bridges State Beach

2. Learn about the honor system at Swanton Berry Farm

3. Stroll through Henry Cowell State Park

4. Connect with nature at the Museum of Natural History, AKA the Whale Museum

5.  Take a field trip to the Life Lab Garden Classroom on the UCSC Farm

6.  Get a history lesson at Wilder Ranch

7.  Be aMAHzed at the SC Museum of Art and History

8.  Head to the Beach!

9.  Explore your ocean at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center

10.  Don't miss the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

lenz.jpgServing you for over 45 years, Lenz Arts offers the largest selection of fine art supplies and the oldest custom frame shop on the Central Coast. Described as "one of the last real art stores on the West Coast," people drive for hours to take advantage of our selection of materials. From the finger-painting toddler to the professional gallery artist, we've got you covered!

Do you have time to head out of town?

We have so many wonderful places to visit close to Santa Cruz. Pick out one or two, and take your kids on an adventure
for the day! The variety of attractions within a day's drive is endless!


North of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1
Go visit the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Reserve. It is located about 25 miles north of Santa Cruz, off Highway 1. The guided tours are the only way to see the seals during their mating and birthing season. Tours are held daily, from early morning until mid-afternoon, rain or shine. The season is the middle of December through the end of March and cost about $4.00. (Kids 3 and under are free) Reservations must be made in advance at 800-444-4445. Weekend reservations sell out immediately when they go on sale (56 days prior to the desired tour date). Park information is 650-879-0227 or

Other activities north along Hwy 1: Half Moon Bay, Pidgeon Point Lighthouse, picking berries in season at the farms along the way, hiking at Pescadero State Beach, watching the windsurfers at Waddell Beach, touring the little Natural History Museum at Rancho del Oso across from Waddell Beach.

North of Santa Cruz Via Hwy 17: San Jose
Kelley Park-
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo-
Japanese Friendship Gardens & History Park-
Paramount's Great America-
Raging Waters-
San Jose Flea Market-
Winchester Mystery House-

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose-
History Museum of San Jose-
San Jose Museum of Art-
Rosicrusian Egyptian Museum-
The Tech Museum-
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles-

Local Teams:
San Jose Giants-
 San Jose Earthquakes-
 San Jose Sharks-
 San Jose Sabercats-

Center for the Performing Arts-
H.P.Pavillion at San Jose-
Le Petit Trianon-
San Jose Repertory Theatre-

For more event ideas check out:

North of Santa Cruz Via Hwy 17: Oakland
 Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt:
 Chabot Space and Science Center:
 Children's Fairyland:
 Gondola Servizio:
 Jack London Square:
 Oakland Zoo:
 Theatre First:    
 USS Potomac: 
 Morcom Amphitheater of Roses
 Jack London State Historic Park: 
 Lake Merritt Boating Center:


 African American Museum & Library at Oakland:
 Oakland Aviation Museum:
 Oakland Museum of California: 
 Mills College Art Museum: 
 Museum of Children's Art:
 Pardee Home Museum:
 Peralta Hacienda Historical Park:
Local Teams:
   Oakland A's:
   Oakland Raiders:

For more ideas check out:

San Francisco:
Alcatraz Island:
 Pier 39:
Aquarium of the Bay:
Golden Gate Park:

The Presidio:
 Union Square:
 Ghirardelli Square:
 Maritime National Historic Park:
 China Town:

  Bike Rentals: Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals:
  Cable Cars:
Asian Art Museum:

  California Academy of Sciences:
  Contemporary Jewish Museum:
  Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum:
  Museum of Modern Art:
  Walt Disney Family Museum:
  Wax Museum:
  Yerba Buena Center for the Arts:
Local Teams:

   San Fransisco Giants:

   San Fransisco 49ers:
For more ideas check out:

South of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1
Head south towards Monterey to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium,
  886 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940 24-Hr. Info: (831) 648-4888 Español (800) 555-3656. Open every day except Dec. 25, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Daily 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Summer & Holidays.

Other activities south on Highway 1: walking the beaches at Carmel-by-the Sea, kayaking near Fisherman's wharf in Monterey, renting bicycles and riding on the bike path between Monterey and Pacific Grove to Lover's Point, walking along Cannery Row, hiking in Pt. Lobos State Reserve south of Carmel and having a picnic there. Send us your ideas!



Movies Worth Watching
There have been several excellent documentaries produced in the last few years that are well worth watching. See if you can catch them! They are available at various screenings throughout the county at different venues and different times (they come and go).


Miss Representation The documentary Miss Representation, by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

 Race to Nowhere  “Race to Nowhere” is a film and call to mobilize families, educators and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens.

Waiting for Superman "When people ask me what inspired "WAITING FOR SUPERMAN" says Guggenheim, "it was really that feeling I had every morning driving past my public school — the feeling that I'm so lucky to have found another way for my kids, and the feeling that this is not enough, it's not enough that I take care of my kids and move on. Unless each one of us fights for change, our schools won't get any better." 



We welcome your ideas! Email us at









Founded in the year 2000, our web site continues to help families who are
new to Santa Cruz, visiting Santa Cruz
and local families who want to see ONLY family-friendly events on the calendar!
We personally post all of our calendar listings, AND our calendar looks like a CALENDAR!
TIRED of scrolling down those LONG LISTS to find the event you're looking for?
You probably won't see events on our calendar that aren't appropriate for your children.
You probably WILL be able to navigate our web site to find whatever you want right away!

We were started in Santa Cruz, are locally run, locally designed and operated. We are NOT a FRANCHISE!

Our online summer camp resource guide is #1 on Google:

We pride ourselves on the easy navigation that we've set up on our website: the navigation bars are at the top and there are only 6 main categories to choose from. All of the pages in our site can be reached from one of the 6 main icons at the top of each page.

Once on one of the main links, there are many choices for navigating to various other links. We are open to your suggestions. Please let us know how you like our new format!