Santa Cruz Parent Directory

Directory of Local Resources for Families in Santa Cruz County

Since 2007 Santa Cruz Parent has provided a directory of businesses and nonprofits which serve families in Santa Cruz County. We hope you will find what you’re looking for here. If you know of a program or service not listed with us and which would benefit families, please let us know:

Allison Livingston, Parent Coach and founder of 5 Steps to Connect to your Strong Willed Child
Address: 145 Riviera Dr., Aptos, CA
Short Business Description: Do you argue and conflict more than you'd like with your strong willed child? Join our community for learning and support for parents with strong willed children. We all have one and know it's not easy; we don't have to do it alone!
Long Business Description:

We created 5 Steps To Connect to bring together parents of strong willed children to learn how to transform intense, hard interactions into chances to grow and connect so we can feel more peace and joy in our families.

We understand you, why it's hard, what you need.

All of us have a strong willed child so we get walking on eggshells to avoid reactions, rigid No! and intense energy.

Our dream is for all parents with a strong willed child to relate with more ease. After I used the 5 Steps to Connect framework, I was less reactive so my daughter could trust me to hear and accept her, and her reactivity decreased as well.

Exploring these skills together allows us to take things less personally, set boundaries more clearly, and not direct our reactivity AT the people we love.

When we come together and share our lived experience, shame loses its power and we feel enough, worthy. The results when I parent from here are miraculous.

I invite all to try this community and explore the fun learning with others who are walking the same challenging path. You won't regret it!

Business Website Address:
Business Phone Number: 831-419-5459
Adventure Sports Unlimited
Address: 303 Potrero St., Santa Cruz CA
Short Business Description: Adventure Sports Unlimited (ASU) is an aquatics center that teaches people the fun to play in water.
Long Business Description:

Adventure Sports Unlimited (ASU) is an aquatics center that teaches people the fun to play in water. We bring people together, teach them to the best of their abilities, outfit them with gear to fit their potential, arrange adventures to use their new skills, and eat well. It seems only appropriate that when you have a bunch of adventure enthusiasts together at an exotic aquatic environment, after a day of SCUBA diving, that a bit of seafood foraging will result in a wonderful gourmet meal to toast the day.

The essence of our plot is unrelenting fun and through this joy we will impart superior skills and safety. The ASU facility has a tropically heated training pool with hot tub, retail shop to serve your swimming and dive needs, classroom, and loaded it with water toys for people to play with. For 38 years,we have been successfully teaching the joys of being in water through the recreational sport of SCUBA for all ages and Adventure Sports Swim School.  Additionally we offer outstanding travel adventures. Find your next adventure through Adventure Sports Unlimited. Family Offerings  Seafood Foraging  &  Kelp Pickling

Adventure Sports Swim School  Learning to swim is a new and exciting experience for children. For the past 35 years Adventure Sports has taught over 25,000 children to swim in a positive, warm environment. Our instructors strive to develop a trusting special relationship with each child, encouraging them in a gentle, but firm manner to exceed their limits as their abilities grow. We maintain a high quality and individual accomplishment through small group lessons. We want your potential swimmers to have confidence in the water. In the end, this means technique, safety, and bright, happy smiles for everyone.

Business Website Address:
Business Phone Number: 831.458.3648
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Business Phone Number: 831-359-0850
Akido Santa Cruz
Address: 306 Mission St.
Santa Cruz
Business Genre:
Short Business Description: Aikido is an energetic, non-competitive Japanese martial art.
Long Business Description:

Join us for an exciting week of training in Aikido. Aikido is an energetic, non-competitive Japanese martial art. The guiding principle is creating harmony. Learn non-violent resolutions to conflict, while having fun in a safe environment. The week will be filled with learning Aikido techniques, Aiki games, rolling, 'blending,' and centering. Special classes will include a day of out door training with the wooden samurai sword, a session of Japanese brush calligraphy, and sushi to eat on the last day. Beginners welcome.

Business Website Address:
Business Phone Number: 831-423-8326
Business Genre:
Business Phone Number: (831) 345-6340
Aloha Celebrity Races and Polynesian Festival
Address: Santa Cruz Wharf
Long Business Description:

Aloha Celebrity Races and Polynesian Festival
Join us for the Annual Aloha Outrigger Races and Polynesian Festival on the Santa Cruz Wharf on a Sunday in August.

Santa Cruz honors its Hawaiian connections at the Annual Aloha Outrigger Races and Polynesian Festival. A fun day to cheer on friends in the Outrigger Races, delight in island-style music and Polynesian dancing and enjoy a taste of the tropics with "shave ice" and festive drinks. Vendors line the Wharf with unique items perfectly catered to the Polynesian theme. Sponsored by the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation department and Pu Pu O'Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Club. This annual event is a Santa Cruz classic. FREE!

Outrigger Races: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Polynesian Festival: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Enter to Race in the Aloha Outrigger Races
Participate in a fun outrigger competition – no experience necessary! Anyone can sign-up and race! Pu Pu O'Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Club provides each team with a stroker, steer-person and all necessary equipment to get you racing. Dress in your festive best and win the Outrigger Aloha Spirit Award.

Two divisions: Open and Co-Ed (Co-Ed must have at least two women per team). Dress in your festive best and win the Outrigger Aloha Spirit Award.

Join us!
Contact is at or call us at 408 981 3717.

Business Website Address: City of Santa Cruz Events
Business Phone Number: (831) 420-5273
Alternative Family Education
Address: Branciforte Small Schools Campus
840 North Branciforte Ave, Santa Cruz, CA

Long Business Description:

Alternative Family Education

Interested in Homeschooling with Alternative Family Education? Have you discovered homeschooling works well for your child and your family? Or is the uncertainty of this time leading you to explore other options of public education? Are you curious how homeschooling can work with you and your child choosing your curriculum, supported by a consultant teacher?

Please contact Sara Homan, our registrar, for more information about Santa Cruz City School's K-12 Homeschool/Independent Study Program.

phone 831-429-3898 ext. 201, email or email Dorothee, AFE Resource Specialist and alumni mom,

AFE can enroll students 6th-12th grade as transfers from other districts, but Santa Cruz City Schools is not able to accept elementary students from outside of the district, sorry!

Business Website Address:
Business Phone Number: 831-429-3898 ext. 201
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Animal Training & Research International
Address: Moss Landing Marine Labs
8272 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, CA
Business Genre:
Short Business Description: Experience what it's really like to work with sea lions!
Long Business Description:

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Our Jr. Trainer program is for children ages 9-16 (as young as 7 if they participate with a parent) who are serious in their interest of animal care and training. This allows people to experience what it's really like to work with sea lions, not just an interaction program like other places may offer (although it's still fun and exciting!).

Jr. Trainers receive personalized attention designed to give them a feel for what it’s like to actually care for, work with, and train sea lions. They learn animal care, feeding, husbandry skills, and much more!

General Information:

Includes a sea lion kiss with a photo for you to keep
Available year round, 7 days a week (multiple days do not have to be consecutive)
May be scheduled for 1-5 days at a time.
Hours are 8:30am to 3:00pm
Scheduled on a first come, first served basis, with no more than 2 participants at a time for personal attention. (Summer is the busiest time, so early reservations suggested)
$50.00 non-refundable deposit required to reserve dates ($100 deposit required for summer months of June - August)
Balance of fee due by first day

Business Phone Number: (831) 771-4191
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