Santa Cruz County Parks

Community Events

More than providing residents with venues for fun, play and celebration, community events create opportunities for participants to become connected to their community! There are major events held throughout the year along with free swim days, outdoor movie nights and more!

County Parks Community Events Calendar

County Parks Community Events

Open House Events

Santa Cruz County Parks has four venues perfect for weddings, family gatherings, parties, and fundraisers! Tour the venues and explore all your event possibilities at our Open House Events!

  • Thursday, June 20th, 4:30pm - 6:30pm at the Highlands House & Quail Hollow Ranch
  • Wednesday, July 24th, 4:30pm - 6:30pm at Valencia Hall & Aptos Village Park Clubhouse

Artist of the Year Award Profile Performance

Over the last 40 years, the County of Santa Cruz Arts Commission has selected outstanding artists nominated by the public and honored them through the Artist of the Year Award. The award recognizes artists for outstanding achievement in the disciplines of performing, visual, or literary arts.

  • Saturday, June 22nd, 7pm at Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Admission is free to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis the night of the event.
  • The event will be livestreamed as well! Click here to watch.

July is Parks & Recreation Month

Join us at Santa Cruz County parks, beaches, trails and programs to celebrate Parks Make Life Better Month. Challenge yourself to visit the more than 60 parks, beaches and coastal access points County Parks has to offer! But first, mark your calendars for the activities listed on this page - all FREE, and designed just for YOU!

Free Swim Days at Simpkins Family Swim Center

Splash around with friends and family at the Simpkins Family Swim Center! Free swim days occur annually and are sure to cool you off and connect you to our community.

  • Independence Day, Thursday, July 4th 12:30pm - 4pm
  • Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd 12:30pm - 4pm

Movie Nights at the Parks

Join us for family-friendly movie nights under the stars this summer and fall. Family Movie Nights is a series of free outdoor movie events. Movies begin at dusk. Low back chairs, blankets and jackets recommended. No alcohol, please. Come early and bring a picnic to enjoy.

  • Disney's Jungle Cruise, Friday, July 12th at sunset at Highlands County Park

Volunteer Events

Community volunteer days are a fun way to be with others and beautify our parks and beaches! Volunteer days include fun activities such as painting, weeding, fence building, beautification, invasive plant removal and more!

Volunteer Day at East Cliff County Parkway
 •  Saturday, July 27th 9am - 12pm
 •  Please sign up here.


Parks & Rex Dog Pool Party

Everyone will have a blast at this end-of-summer summer celebration with great food, music, and fun in the pool for adults, children, and your dog, too! Join Santa Cruz County Parks Department and the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter for the Annual Parks & Rex Pool Party FUNdraiser at the Simpkins Family Swim Center. All proceeds will benefit County Parks youth programs and Animal Shelter programs.

  • Saturday, August 17th Full details to be announced

Floating Pumpkin Patch at Simpkins Family Swim Center

Hop in the pool with your kiddos and begin your hunt for that perfect Halloween pumpkin!

  • Saturday, October 19th, time and details to be announced

Poetry and Music in the Park

Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy and a blanket to sit on while listening to live music and hearing local poets read from their work. All ages are welcome to attend this free series is hosted by County Parks and 2023 - 2024 Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate Farnaz Fatemi.  Musicians will play before and after the poets read. More details.

Community Meetings

County Parks is committed to providing safe, well-designed and maintained parks to our diverse community.  Visit the Current Projects page to learn more about our projects and meetings.

Next Community Meeting:

Moran Lake Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan Updates
Tuesday, July 23rd
5:30pm - 7pm
Community Room A at the Live Oak Community Center / Simpkins Family Swim Center

Join us for a public open house where County Parks staff and their consultants will share information on the updated Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan! The purpose of the updated plan is to help guide management actions to preserve and enhance the overwintering habitat for Monarch butterflies.


Register for Community Events

Some events require prior registrations so we can plan accordingly. Thank you for registering!

How to Register Online
  • Create an account on ActiveNet.
  • Navigate to Community Events.
  • Select your desired program.
  • Register and complete payment.
  • Thank you for choosing to participate in County Parks programs!

County Parks strives to make our programs accessible to all individuals and will make reasonable accommodations to ensure accessibility to individuals needing such assistance. If you have accessibility requests or concerns and would like more information and support, please give us a call at (831) 454-7941.

Contact Us


(831) 454-7901 (General)

(831) 454-7941 (Registrations)

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except holidays

Our physical office is open, but staff availability is limited.