Ardenwood Farm is a working farm that has kept a Victorian farm atmosphere. Kids can learn about the work of a farm, there is a train, and lots of animals out by the barnyard. There is also picnic and party areas, nice for birthdays.
This park has an excellent Japanese Tea Garden that kids would love to walk through, an area for water play with fountains that shoot out, and big nice spaces for bbqs, company picnics, volleyball, etc. Spacious and full of activities for kids.
Happy Hollow is a well-kept secret by South Bay parents. It is a nice little space for young children to play and they have perfect sized rides for the young crowd (2-7). A very nice place to bring small kids, without them getting run over by the big ones.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ride through the Santa Cruz mountains that is provided by the Roaring Camp. Very pretty, and you felt like you travelled 100 years back. They also have a summer service that will take you to the Santa Cruz BoardWalk from the woods. Absolutely a must for kids who love trains. It is kinda out of the way from Santa Cruz, but easily accessible from Scotts Valley or the 17. Kinda pricey, though, an adult ticket is about $26.
I'm not sure what it is, a naturally occuring gravity center, a gigantic magnet under the house, or a great ploy, but the Mystery Spot affected me physically. It's this house-cabin on the outskirts of Santa Cruz that will pull you down, and make you feel like you've lost your balance. There is no explanation for it, you just slide to the side and feel this big pull on your body. Fun for kids.
I was looking for employment, and Office Team was ready in a few days after my initial appointment to give me one. I was suprised, as the other temp agencies I signed up with gave me the cold shoulder or offered me part-time positions only. I was happy that Office Team was on the ball and had assignments ready to give out. I recommend them for your temp or temp-to-hire needs. Very professional, too.
I like that Tower Records not only sells CDs, but also DVDs and a huge selection of magazines. The store on Market, by Castro, has a whole wall on the first floor dedicated to magazines, and the rest of the floor is a haven for dvd collectors. The music upstairs helps, too.
The Beauty Store carries a good selection of salon-inspired beauty products. However, the prices are salon-inspired prices, too, and you are just as well going to your regular hair-cutting place to get your wares. Unless you are in desperate need of hair gel, then stop by here.
I like going to the Embarcadero Cinema because of the eclectic selection of movies shown. They are not block-busters, they are not the hollywood crapola shown in regular theaters. These are indie and foreign movies that may not please the action-blonde-bombshell movie consumers, and that keeps the tourists of the area at arm's length. Another plus.
I don't recommend the Discount Depot for several reasons. #1 is their selection, which is minimal. Number two is the lack of customer-friendliness encountered in the Depot. #3 is the prices; they are not as cheap as the nomer "Discount Depot" leads you to believe. Go to Ikea, or some other cheap futon seller to get your next futon.