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Events & Activities

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May Activities

Wilder Ranch Living History Demonstrations and Ranch Tours
Weekends from 11 am to 3 pm
Tour of the ranch houses at 1 pm
Discover what life was like a century or more ago on this innovative dairy ranch.  The hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1856 Gothic Revival farm house, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. You can also play Victorian games or bring a picnic to enjoy on the front lawn, visit the farm animals and see what activities are taking place on the ranch this weekend; You may learn about hand quilting, watch blacksmithing, or wood stove baking techniques. Call (831) 426-0505 for more details.

History, Nature, and Scenic Views:  A Tour of the Grey Whale Ranch Area
Saturday, May 28 at 9 am
This challenging guided three hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch State Park. Meet in the Wilder Ranch Parking lot. Bring good walking shoes, lunch, snacks, and water. Hike is canceled if rain.

June Activities

Wilder Ranch Living History Demonstrations and Ranch Tours
Weekends from 11 am to 3 pm
Tour of the ranch houses at 1 pm

Discover what life was like a century or more ago on this innovative dairy ranch.  The hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1856 Gothic Revival farm house, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. You can also play Victorian games or bring a picnic to enjoy on the front lawn, visit the farm animals and see what activities are taking place on the ranch this weekend; You may learn about hand quilting, watch blacksmithing, or wood stove baking techniques. Call (831) 426-0505 for more details.

History, Nature, and Scenic Views:  A Tour of the Grey Whale Ranch Area
Saturday, June 11 at 9 am

This challenging guided three hour hike will explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch State Park. Meet in the Wilder Ranch Parking lot. Bring good walking shoes, lunch, snacks, and water. Rain cancels.

Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks
Saturday, June 4 at 11 am
Saturday, June 18 at 11 am
Saturday, June 25 at 11 am

On these two hour natural history excursions you will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs. Meet at the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and good walking shoes. Binoculars are available to borrow. Rain cancels.

Annual Events for 2016

flowersGarden Planting and Wool Day
Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 11 am to 3 pm

Imagine yourself at Wilder Ranch in the early part of the 20th century and help plant the heirloom vegetable garden as it would have been circa 1900. Learn from composting demonstrations, obtain gardening information, and participate in garden crafts. If weather is good, arrive early (10 am to noon) to see a sheep- shearing demonstration and find out how wool is processed from “sheep to shawl.” The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Day-use parking fee is $10.  his event is appropriate for all ages. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.


festivitiesOld-fashioned Independence Day
Monday, July 4, 2016 from 11 am to 4 pm

Visit Wilder Ranch’s historic cultural preserve and take a step back in time 100 years ago as you participate in an early 1900s-style Independence Day celebration including a noon family parade, games, children’s crafts area, live big-band music, living history demonstrations, historic speeches and flag-raising. Food and drink available for sale, or bring a picnic lunch. The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060. This event is appropriate for all ages.  Day-use parking fee is $10. More information is available at (831) 426-0505. The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. 


bakingLife on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
Saturday, August 13, 2016, from 11 am to 3 pm
Saturday, September 17, 2016, from 11 am to 3 pm
Sunday, November 12, 2016, from 11 am to 3 pm
Wilder Ranch State Park invites you to experience old-time activities from its rancho, dairy farm, and cowboy rodeo days. Hands-on activities and living history presentations vary each month and may include: butter churning, ice cream making, branding, cooking, roping skills, wagon rides, and demonstrations in the ranch buildings. Come for a picnic on the lawn and follow it up with a game of tug of war, sack races, hoops, stilts, and Wilder Ranch’s famous old-fashioned bubbles! The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Day-use parking fee is $10.  his event is appropriate for all ages. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.


square dancingHeritage Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 11 am to 4 pm

Celebrate! The harvest is in! See tractor, draft horse, and living history demonstrations, listen to music, make crafts, and participate in harvest-time activities.  The event is held on the grounds of the Wilder Ranch Cultural Preserve. The park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on the coast side of Highway 1 at 1401 Coast Road Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Day-use parking fee is $10.  his event is appropriate for all ages. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.




holiday knittingHolidays on the Ranch-2015
Saturday, December 17, 2016, from 11 am to 3 pm

Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music, and merriment from the early 20th century.  We’ll busy your hands with holiday wreath-making, invite you to join in an old-fashioned sing-along around the player piano, and provide you with materials to make Victorian and Mexican holiday crafts. Come play games, take a draft-horse carriage ride, decorate the tree, and create ornaments while spending the day on the grounds of the cultural preserve at beautiful, historic Wilder Ranch State Park. Admission to the event is free; day-use parking is $10 per car. For more information or to make arrangements for those with special needs, call the Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center at (831) 426-0505.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks, and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks