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Art Galleries, Museums & Theater

Things To Do

Check out these local spots to expand your mind, learn about local history, and have fun!

  • Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery

    Due to the generosity of a few donors, CASA now has memberships for Advocates and their youth to check out this new museum! Located in the Capitola Mall at 1855 41st Avenue, CASA’s and their children can go whenever they are open — just mention that you’re with CASA at the front desk and you’ll be admitted, free of charge. The mission of the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery is to delight, inspire and challenge by providing an exciting and interactive learning environment in which children and their adults can explore the wonders of Santa Cruz County. For hours and more information, check out their website at:

  • SculpTOUR on the Pacific Garden Mall

    Start at the north end of Pacific Avenue and stroll through downtown Santa Cruz to enjoy the nearly 20 installations of large public art that are part of SculpTOUR, the city’s ever-changing outdoor sculpture exhibit. Look for the dogs made out of rocks, a school of swirling hammerhead sharks, a huge Japanese shoji gate, and more. FREE

  • Agricultural History Project Museum

    Museum and county gift shop, grounds display, early farming equipment and methods of the central coast. Special activities for children. Open: Tues. Sat, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm by appointment only. Fairgrounds – 2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville – Phone: 831-724-5898

  • Santa Cruz Art League

    All sorts of ongoing exhibits and art classes for children. Please call for details. FREE. 526 Broadway Street, Santa Cruz. Phone: 426-5787

  • Capitola Historical Museum

    This museum features Capitola history as seen through artifacts and photos. FREE. Open: Noon-4:00 Wed/Fri/Sat & Sun 410 Capitola Ave., Capitola. Phone: 831-464-0322

  • Pajaro Valley Historical Association

    FREE. Open: 11:00-3:00 Tues-Thurs Call in advance for group tours. 322 East Beach, Watsonville. Phone: 831-722-0305

  • San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum

    This is an interactive museum that includes art, science, and technology. Kids Café on site. Museum is also surrounded by Guadeloupe Park for picnics. 180 Woz Way, San Jose. Phone: (408) 298-5437.

  • Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

    Connecting people with nature, and inspiring stewardship of the natural world. Permanent exhibits include: Native Peoples – The Ohlone, Geology of the Santa Cruz Region (dig in the fossil dig), Wildlife & Habitats of the Santa Cruz Region (live beehive and live king snake), Marine Life of the Monterey Bay (touch tide pool), and Garden Learning Center. There is also a life size grey whale model for children to climb on. Ongoing classes are also available. The following are a sample of classes currently available: Nature Notes & Sketches, Natural Science Illustration for Kids, Nature Photography, Endangered Neighbors Gallery Walk, Super Summer Saturdays, and Waterfowl that Whiten the Sky.

  • 100 years of surfing history. Old photos, vintage boards, and a shark attack surfboard. Donations accepted. West Cliff Drive at Lighthouse Point Thurs-Mon 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM. Phone: 831-420-6289

  • Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery

    Changing exhibits featuring works in all media including sculpture, paintings, drawing and interesting installations. PVAC coordinates the amazing outdoor sculpture exhibit at Sierra Azul Nursery, see “Gardens and Outdoor Activities”, below FREE!

  • The Museum of Art & History

    This museum does once a month activities for children, usually the first Saturday of each month. MAH also houses rotating exhibits and one permanent, locally based exhibit on Native American history to the present. Other lectures, tours, and workshops are also available, including classes and events for children. FREE on certain days. call for details! 705 Front Street at Cooper Street, Santa Cruz. Phone: 429-1964

  • Guitars and Lessons

    Provides free 8 week beginner and intermediate guitar classes for disadvantaged youth ages. 12 -18 who want to learn how to play guitar. Generally there are only 12 spots available for each class. Guitar classes have been held in Santa Cruz and Watsonville Classes are held sporadically throughout the year and based upon number of volunteer teachers available. Guitars are provided for the lessons and students who complete the class will receive their own guitar at the end. Richard Salazar-director and lessons in Santa Cruz 212-2614, Gino Brigado, lessons in Watsonville. 768-3294