Open studios: South County Oct. 6–7, North County Oct. 13–14, Encore Weekend Oct. 20–21.
Read Farther Away
Jonathan Franzen is our most famous neighbor. Shouldn’t we know a little something about him? In this book of essays, the author of Freedom and The Corrections inveighs against Facebook and cell phone manners, urges people to be nice, writes about birds and habitat loss and laments the suicide of his friend, David Foster Wallace. Essays are short. Autumn evenings are long. It’s just a suggestion.
Burlesque Dance Class at Motion Pacific
Life is short. Why not learn how to spin a pair of boob tassles in opposite directions? At this Tuesday evening class, Sin Sisters alpha vixen Balla Fire instructs ladies in the art of bumping, grinding and shimmying (all technical terms, thank you) to the sounds of sexy strip-tease tunes. After the course, see how you stack up to the pros by heading to a Sin Sisters or Sirens show (see story, TK). Va-va-va-voom! Every Tuesday at 7:45pm at Motion Pacific Studio. $14.
Deb Perelman’s eclectic food blog Smitten Kitchen features everything from bacon corn hash and zucchini pancakes to pink lemonade bars and blackberry gin fiz. The newSmitten Kitchen Cookbook promises to be just as mouth-watering. Meet the woman herself at this free book signing.Nov. 4 at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Free.
Artists, restaurants, and galleries from all over Santa Cruz team up to share the best of their creative collaborations with the art-loving public for an evening of beauty and inspiration on the first Friday of every month, rain or shine. The best part? It’s free. Various locations.
Parenting tip: While your children don’t always listen to the lessons you impart, they will hypnotically heed to anything and everything a person in a giant animal costume says. This uplifting musical based on “The Ugly Duckling,” presented by Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the UCSC Theater Arts Department promises to help little ones appreciate what it means to be different. Nov. 16 –Dec. 9 at the UCSC Mainstage Theater. $18 to $37.
Downtown Holiday Parade & Lighted Boat Parade
Because floats are art too, and so is a marching band, and so especially are sailboats cruising in and out of the harbor on an early winter’s evening, with their masts and rigging lined in holiday lights so that when they sail back in all that’s visible are their twinkling outlines in the darkness. Saturday, Dec. 1. Free.
A worldwide holiday tradition, the Nutcracker has enchanted audiences for generations with its classic Tchaikovsky compositions and the timelessness of the dance. Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre returns to put its annual spin on the sugarplum fantasy, accompanied by a live orchestra and SO MANY CUTE LITTLE KIDS IN ADORABLE COSTUMES. Dec. 14-16 at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Ticket prices TBA.
First Saturday at The Tannery
We get it—Friday comes at the end of the workweek. Sometimes all you want to do is head home and eat a plate of nachos in bed, maybe get ambitious and create a Craigslist posting for your broken futon. If this sounds like you, fear not! The Tannery accommodates for First Friday slackers by continuing the party through until Saturday. With open studios, caricature drawing and kids activities, it’s culture without the crowds. First Saturday of each month. Free.