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Get in the holiday spirit at the Castro Adobe open house
Castro Adobe State Historic Park will be open Saturday for Festivos on the Rancho (Holidays at the Rancho), an open house event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Located in Larkin Valley, near Watsonville, the two-story Castro Adobe, built between 1848-49, is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area. Open House visitors will be able to tour the property including the restored cocina (kitchen) and the Potter-Church Garden. The garden is a unique outdoor space originally created by then-owners Elizabeth and David Potter (1968-72), in consultation with noted landscape architect Thomas Church.

Make tortillas, sip hot chocolate, stroll through the historic garden and learn about the next CA State Historic Park. Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Castro Adobe it at 184 Old Adobe Road in Watsonville.

Give the gift of Friends' membership this holiday season
Membership is one of the best ways to help Friends support Santa Cruz State Parks. 

At Friends, members’ support enables us to work tirelessly to preserve our precious state park lands, protect our visitor-serving economy and provide essential funds in support of dynamic programs which inspire and build connections between people and nature.

Annual membership starts at just $50 and can be given as a gift. Membership can be purchased onlinePurchase one of our $50 Ollie the Otter membership packages at any of our four ParkStores — Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, Seacliff State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach or Wilder Ranch State Park — and head home with Ollie and a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Feel festive at Holidays on the Ranch
Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music and merriment from the early 20th Century during Holidays on the Ranch, Saturday, Dec. 17 at Wilder Ranch State Park.

There will be holiday wreath-making, an old-fashioned sing-along around the player piano and materials provided to make Victorian and Mexican holiday crafts. Come play games like dreidel, take a draft-horse carriage ride, decorate the tree or create ornaments to bring home, while spending the day on the grounds of the cultural preserve at beautiful and historic Wilder Ranch State Park.

Illustrator Allan B. Allen will be at the event signing copies of his new book The Architectural Tour of Historic Santa Cruz from 12-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.

Admission to the event is free; day-use parking is $10. Wilder Ranch State Park is at 1401 Coast Road, just off Highway 1. 

Thanks for celebrating with us at the Downtown Holiday Parade 
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks staff, volunteers and board members marched in the Downtown Santa Cruz Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 with State Parks interpreters, docents and lifeguards. Our contingent included about 40 people, a few pairs of butterfly wings, a decorated lifeguard truck towing a personal watercraft and a vintage State Parks touring car.

The fun, festive event was a great way to kick off the holiday season! See photos on our Facebook page.

After the parade, we went to Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park to have tacos on the terrace with Taquitos Gabriel's and shop the ParkStore Holiday Sale.
Shop for holiday gifts at ParkStores
Shop one of our four ParkStore locations or the ParkStore Online for thoughtful holiday gifts. All proceeds benefit our local state parks and beaches. Find iconic Michael Schwab park illustrations on apparel and more, plus jewelry, maps, nature guides, local history books, educational toys and other merchandise that represents the special cultural history and environment of each park. 

ParkStore locations are:  Check days and hours on our website. Shop online by Wednesday, Dec. 14 to have gifts delivered by Christmas.
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, All rights reserved.

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