Park Events

All events and activities are free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10.
For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.

Events made possible by California State Parks Volunteers, California State Parks, and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

 

February

Ranch Tour
Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm
Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Coast Nature Walk
Saturday, February 1 at 11am
Saturday, February 15 at 11am
Saturday, February 22 at 11am
Saturday, February 29 at 11am
We will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs on this 2-mile family-friendly walk. Bring water, hat, closed toe shoes, and layered clothing. Meet at interpretive center. Trail stroller accessible. No pets. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Backcountry Hike
Saturday, February 8 at 9am
On this 7-mile, 3-hour challenging hike, we’ll explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch. This hike includes several descents and ascents. Bring layered clothing, good walking shoes, water, snacks and lunch, and binoculars. Meet in parking lot. Rain cancels. No pets. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Bird Watching for Beginners
Friday, February 14 at 9am
On this 2-hour walk, be prepared to hike two miles on uneven surfaces, with many stops to view the many birds, plants, and scenery along the way. You will help each other spot and identify birds! Bring your binoculars if you have them (binoculars are available to borrow), clothes for variable weather, and good walking shoes. Meet at the interpretive center. Everyone is welcome, but children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by adults. Rain cancels. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

March

A special event!

Life on the Ranch Day
Saturday, March 7 from 11am to 3pm

Come experience firsthand the early days of life on a dairy ranch with our costumed docents, living history demonstrations, and old-time activities. Bring the whole family and a picnic lunch. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Ranch Tour
Sunday, March 1
Saturday, March 8
Saturday, March 14
Sunday, March 15
Saturday, March 21
Sunday, March 22
Saturday, March 28
Sunday, March 29
Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Bird Watching for Beginners
Friday, March 13 at 9am
On this 2-hour walk, be prepared to hike two miles on uneven surfaces, with many stops to view the many birds, plants, and scenery along the way. You will help each other spot and identify birds! Bring your binoculars if you have them (binoculars are available to borrow), clothes for variable weather, and good walking shoes. Meet at the interpretive center. Everyone is welcome, but children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by adults. Rain cancels. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Backcountry Hike
Saturday, March 14 at 9am
On this 7-mile, 3-hour challenging hike, we’ll explore the natural and cultural history of the upper hills of Wilder Ranch. This hike includes several descents and ascents. Bring layered clothing, good walking shoes, water, snacks and lunch, and binoculars. Meet in parking lot. Rain cancels. No pets. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

Coast Nature Walk
Saturday, March 21 at 11am
Saturday, March 28 at 11am
We will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs on this 2-mile family-friendly walk. Bring water, hat, closed toe shoes, and layered clothing. Meet at interpretive center. Trail stroller accessible. No pets. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

Annual Events

Garden Planting and Wool Day
Saturday May 2, 2020 from 11am to 3pm

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.” This event is appropriate for all ages. 



festivitiesOld-fashioned Independence Day
Saturday July 4, 2020 from 11am to 4pm

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. This event is appropriate for all ages.





bakingLife on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
Saturday March 7, 2020 from 11am to 3pm
Sunday June 7, 2020 from 11am to 3pm
Saturday August 8, 2020 from 11am to 3pm
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, 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! This event is appropriate for all ages. 



square dancingHeritage Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 11am to 3pm
Saturday October 17, 2020 from 11am to 3pm

Celebrate! The harvest is in! See tractor and living history demonstrations, listen to music, make crafts, and participate in harvest-time activities. This event is appropriate for all ages. 









holiday knittingHolidays on the Ranch
Saturday December 7, 2019 from 11am to 3pm
Saturday December 12, 2020 from 11am to 3pm

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, decorate the tree, and create ornaments while spending the day on the grounds of the cultural preserve at beautiful, historic Wilder Ranch State Park.