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Five Fun Things to do for Independence Day

Looking for things to do on the Fouth of July? Here ya go!

by Samantha Chavez

1) Old Timey Independence Day At Wilder Ranch
It’s time to party like it’s 1912! Wilder Ranch will be hosting a historically accurate Independence Day celebration on Saturday. Hand made ice cream, fresh squeezed lemonade, and live 1900s era music all add to the ambiance of a genuine turn-of-the-century celebration. Let the whole family join in on the parade by bringing your own decorated wagon and some noisemakers. You won’t get a more unique but truly American celebration than at Wilder Ranch.

Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz. 11am-4pm.

2) The ‘World’s Shortest’ Independence Day Parade in Aptos
Start your morning in Aptos with a patriotic pancake breakfast at the parking lot of Burger Aptos. Afterwards, walk down the street to delight in the marvel of the “World’s Shortest” Independence Day parade! This petite parade packs a whole lot into two city blocks: dancers, classic cars, floats, and more. Don’t be fooled by it’s short length, the event lasts for two hours! After the parade, head over to nearby Aptos Village Park. It takes a village to host a party and Aptos truly delivers. Live music, food, and games will be fun for the whole family. The party ends at 4pm, just enough time to head home for some fireworks. It’s an entire day of fun in lovely little Aptos, what more could you want for the Fourth?

Parking lot of Burger at 7941 Soquel Drive, Aptos. 7am-10am. Parade starts on Soquel Dr and State Park Dr, Aptos, 95003. 10am-12pm.

3) Santa Cruz Firecracker 10k
The Firecracker 10k is a different way to kick-off Independence Day. If you didn’t sign up to run, you can still volunteer your time. The whole family can participate and there are different races for different skill levels. Cheer on the runners of the 10k, 5k, or the children’s 1k run/walk. Runners will even receive a free pancake breakfast after the races. You can have a great workout, eat free pancakes, and support the Central Coast Red Cross all before lunch. It’s a unique way to start Fourth of July celebrations!

Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. 8am-11am.

4) Free Swim Day at Simpkins
What’s more fun than a pool party for the Fourth of July? Simpkins Family Swim Center is offering free admission from 9am to 4pm. Water slides and a climbing wall offer fun for all ages. The Family Recreation party starts at noon and a delicious barbecue will keep the kids happy and full. Just be sure to wait half an hour after lunch before jumping back into the pool. Bring the whole family and plenty of sunblock.

Simpkins Family Swim Center, 979 17th Ave, Santa Cruz. 9am-4pm.

5) Old Manresa State Beach
Is there a better way of ending your day than a bonfire at the beach? But with so many tourists crowding the beaches of Santa Cruz, you might want to drive down to Manresa State Beach. A beautiful beach with fire rings awaits you and the best thing in the sky will be the stars. Spend the day surfing, flying a kite, or barbecuing at a beach that is just too big to feel crowded. Bring binoculars to spot local marine life such as dolphins or otters. Try your luck at getting a walk-in campsite at the nearby Manresa Upland Campground. Camping and a day at a wild beach; it’s the perfect Independence Day weekend for nature lovers.

Field Notes

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