Looking for a great way to start the new year in Santa Cruz? How about going outside and enjoying the great outdoors? Beaches, forests, and more! You owe it to yourself to check out these amazing Santa Cruz First Day Hikes for 2019. There are a couple right here in Aptos!
If you don’t know what to do to ring in 2019 in Aptos and Santa Cruz, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Turns out, our Santa Cruz has something for everyone. Here is the list of the ultimate New Years 2019 Activities in Santa Cruz County (and a few beyond!).
Ring in the New Year at Seascape!
Seascape Resort is hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Offering a lavish dinner and dessert buffet with live music by Mike Hadley and the Groove, and a midnight champagne toast (must be 21 or older to attend).
The event will begin when doors open at 6:30. Dinner is from 7:00-9:00pm, and dancing from 8:30pm-12:30am. They have special room rates, too! The event cost is $150 per person (includes service charge and tax).
Best Western Seacliff Inn New Year’s Eve Party
Our local hotel, the Best Western Seacliff Inn will have a New Year’s celebration with food and music on Monday, December 31, 2018 from 6:30 PM – 1:30 AM. Dinner seating times are from 6:30pm-8pm, and includes champagne toasts and party favors. Dance the night away with Live Again, performing hard rocking tunes from 9pm-1am.
They will serve a four course dinner at $109 per person. Check their web site for the Room and Dinner Special at $425 per couple. Package includes a standard room, dinner for two and a complimentary hot breakfast buffet.
Tsunami plays Cafe Rio New Years Eve!
The Tsunami Band will be playing at Cafe Rio on New years eve from 9 PM til 12:30 Am – make your reservations now!
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Chamstock 2019 “Hippy” New Year Party
Chaminade Resort & Spa will host a Hippy New Year, offering a very psychedelic night. The flashback starts at 7pm with appetizers and includes a complete New Year’s Eve beverage package of beer, wine, champagne. It sounds like a really great time, as they’re offering a themed strolling dinner experience from 8pm-10pm, then dancing until midnight.
Check their overnight Packages Starting at Just $499 per couple (taxes and resort fee additional).
China Cats New Year’s Eve Celebration
Hosted by Flynn’s Cabaret and Steakhouse and the China Cats. On Monday December 31st from 9PM to 12 AM you can join the rich and varied musical tradition of the Grateful Dead and more.
The China Cast band on any given night will play songs from throughout the Dead’s 30-year repertoire. Their joy and enthusiasm for making music together is so contagious that the band has featured guest appearances from Grateful Dead alumni, including original member Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay. Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band has joined the band on numerous occasions since 2013.
The cost is $30-$35, or consider getting the package of dinner and tickets. Vegan/Vegetarian choice for $84 with Glass of Champagne or $99 Meat Plate with Glass of Champagne
Located at Flynn’s Cabaret and Steakhouse
6275 Highway 9, Felton, California 95018
Soulwise and The Leftovers at Zelda’s
If you looking for Reggae and rock party on New Year’s Eve, consider checking out SOULWISE and THE LEFTOVERS. The fun starts at 10 pm and goes on til 1 am at Zelda’s Restaurant in Capitola on the Esplanade.
203 Esplanade Ave, Capitola, California 95010
New Years Eve Party w/ The Get Down and Judo No
Cruise on down to the Crepe Place for their New Year’s Eve Dance Party. Right in the new year with great bands, people, and a party! The fun starts at 9 PM and goes til 12:30 AM.
The Crepe Place
1134 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, California 95062
New Years Eve Black and White Party at Bruno’s
Bruno’s Bar and Grill will host a Black and White Party on New Year’s Eve, and they claim to have the best party in town. Dinner starts at 7:30PM and they have a package for $50 per couple or $25 per person, including party horns and a crown or hat.
The dance party starts at 9:30PM with a champagne toast at midnight. Offering live music from the Hot Fuse Band playing classic rock, funk, latin rock and reggae covers.
You can wear all black, white or both and for those who would like to participate in the masquerade portion, wear a mask or pick one up at the door.
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 7:30 PM – 12:30 AM.
230 Mount Hermon Rd. #G, Scotts Valley, California 95066
4th Annual New Years Eve Party with THE LOST BOYS featuring James Durbin
You can also celebrate at The 4th Annual New Year’s Eve Party with The Lost Boys featuring James Durbin for $50.00. This event will be located at The Inn at Pasatiempo. You can expect dancing, Appetizers, Champagne Toast, balloon drop and no host bar along with a rockin’ good time.
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 8 PM – 12:30 AM
The Inn at Pasatiempo
555 HWY 17, Santa Cruz, California 95060
New Year’s Eve Party and Campfire Benefit
Hosted by Beneath the Redwoods Event Planning
The party will rage from 8 PM – 1 AM at the Brookdale Lodge
11570 Hwy 9, Brookdale, California 95007
New Years Eve at the Jack O’Neil Lounge
The Aquarius Restaurant at the Dream Inn Santa Cruz will offer a five course New Year Dinner. From 5:30pm – 10:00pm. Live Music 6:30pm – 9:30pm. $85 per person, Reservations Required.
175 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, California 95060
New Year’s Eve Three Course Dinner
The Chaminade Resort & Spa is also offering a NYE Three Courses prix fixe dinner. From 5pm to 10 pm. Offering a three-course prix fixe dinner crafted by new Executive Chef, Pete Page. Linwood’s Bar & Grill will be featuring this delicious menu throughout the evening, with additional champagne and wine pairings available.
$50 Per Person – tax and gratuity additional
View menu at www.chaminade.com
New Year’s – Lobster, Oysters & Bubbles
MJA Vineyards and Ohana Table in the Westside Barrel Room will host a New Year’s party like no other. Starting at 4 PM until 7 PM they will be serving raw oysters, sauteed oysters, and a special treat – traditional Maine-style lobster rolls (chilled w/ lemon aioli on top a split bun).
Entry to the event is free! Oysters may be purchased in the barrel room, or in advance at a discounted price. You can check the menu online.
328 Ingalls St Ste A, Santa Cruz, California 95060
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FAMILY NEW YEAR EXPERIENCES
Early New Year’s Eve Skate
A great way to celebrate with young people that can’t make it to midnight. Santa Cruz Roller Palladium will have an early New Year’s Eve skate.
7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Santa Cruz Roller Palladium
1606 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, California 950
New Year’s Eve Sleepover at The Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is offering a New Year’s Sleepover for kids and families from 5 years old to adult. This one of a kind experience will happen on Monday, December 31st, 2018 from 7 p.m. til 8:30 a.m. on January 1. Tickets are $155 per person for the general public or $125 per person for Aquarium members.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940
Noon Year’s Eve at Happy Hollow
Hosted by Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. The countdown to midnight may belong to the adults, but Happy Hollow’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration is all about outdoor fun for the little ones. On December 31st, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo will celebrate the arrival of 2019 with award-winning magician Robert Strong, Danny the Dragon, sparkling apple cider, biodegradable confetti, music and dancing, and a magical “countdown to noon” ball drop.
All the fun is included with the price of admission!
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
1300 Senter Rd, San Jose, California 95112
New Year’s Eve and Garden Night Holiday at Gilroy Gardens
Get together with family and friends for a special New Year’s celebration at Gilroy Gardens including music by DJ Livinh, and fireworks over Coyote Lake as they count down to 2019! They’ll have music, local wines, and craft beers at the Events Plaza starting at 8pm. The fireworks show starts just before midnight and is included FREE with all Holiday night admission tickets.
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 8 PM – 12 AM
3050 Hecker Pass Rd, Gilroy, California 95020
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4K Video of Low Tide Walk from New Brighton to Capitola
On January 1, 2018, Santa Cruz county rang in the new year, and Mother Nature provided an incredible way to greet it: with a King Tide. A King
Tide is simply the very highest tide, and the flip side is a very low tide. When the tide is very low, it’s possible to walk from New Brighton Beach to Capitola Beach, right along the base of the cliff, without having to get wet.
My wife and I decided to take the kids for the walk, because this kind of super-low tide doesn’t happen every day. The weather was fine, just a tad under 60 degrees, with scattered high clouds. We started off from New Brighton Beach around 1 PM, with the lowest tide to come at 4:18 PM.
It took us a little more than an hour to make the walk to Capitola Village, exploring the rocks and tide pools exposed by the receding waters. We checked out countless sea anemones and hermit crabs, but were unable to find any starfish. Some folks said they had seen a small red octopus, but it vanished into the rocks.
We made it to Capitola shortly after 2 PM, and headed down for a late lunch at Paradise Beach Grill. By 3:30 we were again on the sand, walking back. On our way home, we ran into a lot of people we knew, so it took closer to two hours for the return trip. Which was fine, because the sunlight was sublime and it was great to be able to spend so much time with Mother Nature and so many members of our community.
We are so thankful that in less than a five minute drive from our house we can get to the beach for an experience as spectacular as the one we enjoyed as a family on New Year’s Day. Before we left, our youngest boy Evan was complaining about another trip to the beach, but he was amazed by all the “discoveries” we made, frolicking in the tide pools. Another priceless family memory, courtesy of our beautiful Monterey Bay. Happy New Year everyone!
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Good morning, and welcome to a new year in Aptos! Many people are all too happy to bid good riddance to 2016. It was certainly a contentious year with seemingly more downs than ups. In Aptos, though, it feels easier somehow to just let it roll off you, like water off a duck’s back.
Late yesterday afternoon, my family headed down to Seacliff State Beach around 4:30 PM. It was a beautiful late afternoon winter day in Aptos. Nary a cloud in the sky, temperatures in the mid-50’s, and a calm, gentle surf breaking on the sand. There were people on the beach – but not many. It gave you a sense of community, of being with people, but with plenty of space for you to soak up the glory of it all in harmonious contemplation.
We sat there on a huge driftwood log, and just watched as the sun sank slowly into the west. We listened to the waves crash on the shore, hearing the seagulls caw as they drifted through the air. We marveled at how much the SS Palo Alto had changed in the past year from last winter’s storms. We listened to a young girl shrieking as she played in the sand nearby with her parents.
And in that moment, all was well. Perfect, actually. We live in such an amazing place. I’ve only lived here a few decades, but I’m pretty sure it was an amazing place 1,000 years ago and will probably be an amazing place 1,000 years in the future. Time marches on, and the Earth will abide. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, we’re here for a good time, not a long time.
That’s why New Year’s is my favorite holiday. A year is something real, something indisputable. You can quibble about when it begins, when it ends, what every day in between means – but in the end, it doesn’t matter. A year is the time it takes the Earth to make one revolution around the sun – and that’s something we all experience, no matter how old or young, rich or poor, black or white, American or Russian or Chinese or Syrian. We only have so many years in our lives – some will have more than others, but time waits for no man. It’s something that ultimately makes us all very equal.
I look at each new new year as a marker, a waypoint. A time to reassess, and think about what I want to do with the time I have remaining, however long that is. I am not making any new resolutions this year – rather, I am just resolved to keep doing what I’ve been doing, only better and with more focus and commitment.
Whatever the new year means to you, I want to wish you and everyone on our big blue marble a warm, prosperous, and peaceful new year. Let’s hope for the best and then all work hard to make it happen. Our children deserve nothing less.
Aptos Last Day of 2016 Sunset Video
Happy New Year everyone! As I’ve mentioned before, I really love a new year. Already, I feel like the year is off to a good start – I know the freakish weather on the east coast and in Europe is a concern, but finally, we have rain in California. The local economy feels much improved from a year ago, so who cares what the Chinese stock market did today?
Our family started the year off in a big way, by welcoming a new addition, right on January 1st: a beautiful two-ish month old tabby cat, tentatively named Sparky. Our kids have wanted a pet for…well for years now, probably. They’re head over heels in love with him! We got him thanks to Melissa, a friend of ours who works with Heading Home Animal Rescue (you can also find them on Facebook). If you’re looking for a new dog or cat to join the household, check there first!
Despite an auspicious beginning for some of us, there’s no shortage of reasons to be pessimistic about the future, given the state of things today. But the world’s always going to have horrific events like what’s recently happened in Paris, San Bernadino, and pretty much all of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya. Bad things are going to happen. I grew up terrified of a nuclear winter; now we’re terrified of climate change, and who knows what our kids will have to worry about.
But thankfully, most of this feels a world away. Here in Aptos, the economy is doing well, the rain is pattering on my roof, and California’s crime rate is at a 47 year low. Our kids are healthy and happy – the new kitten is an additional joy in our lives. We are truly blessed, and we are looking forward to a beautiful 2016 with our friends, family, and our community at large.
We hope all of you have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016!
I’ve been working on Aptos Community News for over a year now, in part because I want to help make Aptos an even better place tomorrow than it is today. And in that spirit, I plan on starting 2015 on the right foot in Aptos. I’m going to improve our community starting with me, which is the only thing I am 100% in control of.
The good news is, I won’t be alone in this. Thousands of folks in the community are looking back on 2014, and looking forward to 2015 and thinking about what they can do better in the new year. I have a very long list of ways that I can personally improve, but as I get older, one thing that becomes increasingly important is maintaining my health.
And that’s why my eyes opened wider when I saw that the good folks at Fleet Feet Sports in Aptos are organizing Tons of Fun 2015, which is a community-based health and weight loss challenge. When striving towards any goal, it’s often more effective not to go it alone, and to at least have some kind of accountability partner…and maybe meet some like-minded, health-conscious Aptosians to boot.
I spoke with Tina Coillot who is one of the owners of Fleet Feet Sports, and put up a recording of our conversation on the Real Santa Cruz Podcasat. You can listen to the interview here:
Interview with Tina Coillot of Fleet Feet Sports
It’s refreshing to talk to someone who truly has a passion for what they do – and I think you can really get a sense of that from my interview with Tina. I get the feeling that she really enjoys being part of our community and making the folks who live here healthier – and happier.
The interview is around 40 minutes long, so you might want to just subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Stitcher and listen to it in your car, on your morning walk, at the gym, or whatever.
In the interview, we also talked about their “Couch to 5K” program – which I hadn’t heard about before we started talking. It sounds like just the ticket for me – someone who has never, ever ran (since high school anyway, and then only barely). I would love to be able to run a whole five thousand meters – so this is something I’m going to sign up for as well. In for a penny, in for a pound!
Happy New Year, Aptos! I love you. See you in 2015!