July is Parks & Recreation Month
All month long - FREE activities! Join the Challenge!
Check the calendar below for dates and times & click on an activity for details.
This July, join us at Santa Cruz County parks, beaches, trails, programs and at the Simpkins Family Swim Center to celebrate Parks & Recreation Month. Challenge yourself to visit the more than 55 parks, beaches and coastal access points County Parks has to offer! But first, mark your calendars for the activities listed below. All of them are FREE, and designed just for YOU! Please note: Activities with an * require advance registration.
Take the Parks and Recreation Month Challenge!
During the month of July, take part in at least 5 Santa Cruz County Parks challenges. The 5 challenges you complete and post must include at least one of the 19 activities listed on this page (on the calendar or the list of additional activities). The other four posts can be from the calendar or list, or create one of your own design - it just needs to take place in one of the 55 County Parks facilities, parks, beaches or coastal access points. Photos should depict you and/or family members or friends at a park or activity. Questions? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's how to participate in the Challenge:
- Take part in 5 activities/challenges.
- Post photos of your 5 completed challenges on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag us: #santacruzcountyparks and @SantaCruzCountyParksDepartment.
- Next, complete an entry form for a chance to win a gift certificate with a value of up to $250 for County Parks activities.
- Email your completed entry form to email@example.com or print your completed from and mail it to ATTN: Parks & Rec Month Challenge, 979 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Below are some suggestions for additional activities to post you and/or family members participating in for the Parks and Recreation Month Challenge:
- Hike through Quail Hollow Ranch and discover each of the 13 distinct habitats
- Explore the creek trail behind Polo Grounds Park
- Take a County Parks public art tour. There are art installations at many County Parks in addition to art exhibitions at the Government Center (County collection floors 2-5 and atrium and rotating exhibitions floors 1 and 5) and at Simpkins Family Swim Center.
- Play Pickleball at Brommer Street Park and Willlowbrook Park
- Play Bocce Ball at Felt Street Park and Heart of Soquel Park
- Birdwatch at Pinto Lake County Park
- Take a stroll along East Cliff Parkway, with full views of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary and the infamous surf spot at Pleasure Point
- Dip your toes in the San Lorenzo River at Highlands Park
- Geocaching - We’re told that there are at least two caches at Santa Cruz County Parks locations in the Aptos area. Can you find more?
- Look for fish and/or banana slugs near the creek at Aptos Village Park
- Go back in time and visit the historic Felton Covered Bridge, considered the tallest covered bridge in the United States. California Registered Historical Landmark No. 583 and National Register of Historic Places No. 73000451
- Discover 23 coastal access points along the expansive coastline in Santa Cruz County (*trying to confirm this number)
- Grab a skateboard and visit the skate parks at Highlands, Jose Avenue and Felt Street Parks
- Take a walk/ get your steps in at the walking tracks at Aldridge Lane, Anna Jean Cummings, Polo Grounds, Seascape, Pinto Lake County, Felton Covered Bridge and Quail Hollow Ranch Parks
Posts depicting participation in Santa Cruz County Parks activities requiring a fee also qualify for the Parks and Recreation Month Challenge in July and include: swim lessons, recreation and lap swimming, water aerobics, Little and Jr. Guards at Simpkins, Spanish Class, Pickling Class, Kreative Kids Program and Musical Theater, Star and Moon Gazing at Quail Hollow Ranch, SF Giants and A’s Battle of the Bay Game trip, Treasure Island’s TreasureFest trip and the following camps: Art Studio, Baseball, Science Exploration, Beginners Backpacking, Nature Journaling, Science Sleuths, La Selva Beach Summer Camp, and Zombie Camp.