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 60 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, post at least 5 images of you, family members and/or friends at a Santa Cruz County Parks activity, or a County park, facility, beach or coastal access point (there are 64 to choose from!). Post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us: #santacruzcountyparks or @SCParksDept. At least one post must depict participation in one of the 19 FREE July is Parks and Recreation Month activities listed on this page (on the calendar or the list of activities). The four additional posts are up to you. Questions? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's how to participate in the Challenge:
- Post at least 5 images as outlined above on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag us: #santacruzcountyparks or @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 form 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.