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

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.

Poetry in the Park

Join us on Sunday, June 4 for a free poetry-themed afternoon at Brommer Street County Park from 1-4 p.m.. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during the poetry reading for all ages from 1-2 p.m. with local poets Victoria Bañales, Billy Butler, and Farnaz Fatemi. Following the reading, from 2-4 p.m., youth ages 10-18 are invited to participate in free, fun poetry writing activities. Victoria Bañales teaches English at Cabrillo College and lives in Watsonville. Billy Butler is a writer and educator from Northern California. Farnaz Fatemi is currently serving a two-year term as Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate. Presented by County Park Friends and Santa Cruz County Parks, along with 2023/2024 Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate Farnaz Fatemi. 

  • Sunday, June 4 from 1-4pm

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 the community

  • May 29, Memorial Day - 12:30-4:00pm
  • July 4, 4th of July -  12:30-4:00pm
  • July 29, Family Fun Day - 10am to 2pm
  • September 4, Labor Day - 12:30-4:00pm

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!

Parks & Rex at the Pool

Everyone will have a blast at this end-of-summer summer celebration, which will include great food (vegetarian options available), 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 19, 2023 - Simpkins Family Swim Center from 11am to 4pm

Floating Pumpkin Patch at Simpkins Family Swim Center

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

Holiday Art & Craft Faire

Every holiday season, County Parks hosts the Holiday Art & Craft Faire. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for that special someone or festive stocking stuffers, you’ll find a wide variety of high-quality, handmade art and crafts will be showcased at the annual Holiday Art and Craft Faire!

Artist of the Year Award

Over the last 34 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.

Community Meetings

County Parks is committed to providing safe, well-designed and maintained parks to our diverse community.  Click here, to visit the Current Projects webpage with the latest current meetings and past meeting updates.

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

Email: (General) (Registrations)

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