Great Upcoming Events for Kids

Sat, Apr 29th - 9:00am

This year’s fourth annual Independent Bookstore Day at Bookshop Santa Cruz will feature a huge variety of daylong celebrations that you don’t want to miss--replete with contests and prizes, authors and family events, refreshments, and trivia. Launched in California in 2014, this celebration of Independent Bookstores has since expanded nationwide and is one of our most anticipated events. From coffee with Verve right at opening to Literary Trivia, co-sponsored by Santa Cruz Shakespeare, join us all day long for exclusive items, laughter, and a festival of literary proportions! 

In addition to Bookshop's line-up of events and activities, Independent Bookstore Day features exclusive items created by authors, artists, and publishers ONLY available in an independent bookstore on Bookstore Day! To see full descriptions and prices for this year's exclusive items, click here, or be first in line at Bookstore Day.

Visit Bookshop Santa Cruz on Independent Bookstore Day for all-day activities including literary scavenger hunts, photo booth station, and the Prize Wheel (earn a spin when you buy a Bookstore Day excclusive item or spend $30 or more)!

Plan ahead for our scheduled line-up of events and activities with our local, independent Santa Cruz partners, starting at 9 am:

9:00 AM -- Door busters and Verve Coffee 

For those who must be first in on Independent Bookstore Day, grab a free cup of coffee from local coffee roasters Verve and as you peruse this year's exclusive items. These exclusive, limited edition products are created specifically for Independent Bookstore Day, and often sell out in the first hour.

10:00 am -- Potter vs. Skywalker: Battle of the Fandoms Photobooth Kickoff 

Come represent your favorite series - Harry Potter vs. Star Wars! Visit our photo booth 10 am, through 7 pm, and use our costumes and supplies (or bring your own) to show your wizard or Jedi pride. To score points for your fandom, post your photos on social media and use the hashtags #fanbattle #ibdbsc, and #teamhogwarts or #teamstarwars. We will announce the winning fandom during our annual Literary Trivia at 7 pm.

BONUS! FREE copies of Rainbow Rowell's stand-alone short story "Kindred Spirits", a short story about a girl camping out to see the new Star Wars movie who unexpectedly meets an unlikely someone who might truly understand the way she feels. One copy given to every fan who stops by the photo booth, while supplies last!

11:00 am -- Histories & Legends of Santa Cruz 

Join us for an hour to learn the living history of Santa Cruz! Bookshop is pleased to welcome authors Maryanne Porter (Haunted Santa Cruz), Traci Bliss (Santa Cruz's Seabright), and Wallace Baine (A Light in the Midst of Darkness) as well as the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for this hour-long author salon and museum pop up. Get your books signed and bring your questions about the bewitching, heart-filled story of this wild little town. 

1:00 pm -- Kaiwa Art & Play Space presents a Child of Books Art Project 

Kids (ages 4+) and families are invited to join us for a bookish art project blending collage, crayons, and mixed media art supplies! Keara from Kaiwa Art & Play Space will lead you through a project that explores our shared love of books and stories. We do ask that all persons bring a certified grownup to supervise their use of glitter glue.

2:30 - 3:30 pm -- Spoke Art with Bike Santa Cruz 

Words on Wheels! Julia of Bike Santa Cruz is here to help you make your own Literary Spoke Art Cards to light up your spokes and showcase your bookish lifestyle on the go. Whether you're new to bikes or well-wheeled, all are welcome. Materials and supplies are free, but bring your own favorite literary quotes!

4:00 pm -- President Orange's Golden Book Happy Hour 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Kellyanne Conway? Has a certain orange tornado got you down? Come to Bookshop during our Make Your Own Alternative Golden Books event, and you too can craft your own ending! Using collage, Golden Books, and political cartoons, we'll rewrite recent history - or, at the very least, enjoy some wine together. Every bookmaker will be entered into a raffle for beanies from both the ACLU and Little Golden Books, to be drawn at the end of the Happy Hour.

7:00 pm -- Bookshop's 4th Annual Literary Trivia Night with Santa Cruz Shakespeare 

You may have the reputation of a book nerd, but you haven't really earned your bookworm credentials until you've participated in Bookshop's annual Literary Trivia Night.

Join with a team of 3-6 players to survive through three rounds of bookish trivia to take home the prize - and the bragging rights. Lots of prizes, refreshments, and literary delight for all! This year's grand prize winners will take home 6 pairs of tickets to co-sponsor Santa Cruz Shakespeare's summer theatre season. Pre-registration for your trivia team is suggested, but not required. Sign up your team of 3-6 players by e-mailing your team name, member count, and phone number to . And study up... (hint...maybe spend a little time on Shakespeare and Alfred Hitchcock...though not all of your time...)


Free Items! Bookshop will have a limited supply of these free items created exclusively for Independent Bookstore Day!

Got Character? Card Game The Got Character? card game uses classic and contemporary characters from Macmillan’s bestselling and award-winning titles like Bad Kitty and Tikki Tikki Tembo to update Go Fish. Large cards are made for little hands.

"Kindred Spirits" Short Story by Rainbow Rowell From best-selling young adult author Rainbow Rowell, a short story about a girl camping out to see the new Star Wars movie who unexpectedly meets an unlikely someone who might truly understand the way she feels. Stop by our Fandom Photo Booth to claim a copy while supplies last!



For Independent Bookstore Day, Libro.FM is offering five complimentary digital audiobooks, plus two incredible samplers to visitors to independent bookstores on April 29th. These free downloadable audio books include The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace, Tombquest #1: Book of the Dead by Michael Northrup, Shadow House #1: The Gathering by Dan Poblocki, and Brain Rules by John Medina, as well an audio book sampler from Penguin Random House, and an audio story sampler from Hachette.

Visit Bookshop on April 29th, Independent Bookstore Day, for details on how to claim your free downloadable audio books - and visit to find out about your local, independent alternative to downloadable, digital audiobooks.


For more information on Independent Bookstore Day, celebrated nation-wide.

Thu, May 11th - 7:00pm
The Fierce Reads Spring Tour 2017 is coming to Bookshop Santa Cruz! This year the tour features four fierce YA authors, some you may know but others that are new to the game.
Join us on May 11th as we welcome:
  • Erin Beaty, author of The Traitor's Kiss, an action packed debut that is Jane Austen with an espionage twist.
  • Taran Matharu, author of The Battlemage, book three in the New York Times bestselling Summoner Series.
  • Kristen Orlando, debut author of You Don't Know My Name, the captivating and emotional page-turner about spies and making choices.
  • Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author of the Uglies series, debuting his first graphic novel Spill Zone about a mysterious radioactive spill and the girl who is dedicated to finding out what happened.

Tue, May 16th - 6:30pm

Join us Tuesday, May 16th for a reading from some of our talented local young writers, at the Young Writers Program End-of-Year Reading!

The Young Writers Program presents its fourth annual end-of-year reading featuring student writers who have participated in the program. Student writers were involved in one of eleven Young Writers Program projects held throughout the county during the course of the academic year including those at Branciforte Middle School, Brook Knoll Elementary, E.A. Hall Middle School, Louden Nelson Community School, Y.E.S. School, and Mountain Elementary School.





Co-sponsored by Santa Cruz Arts Council and Santa Cruz County Office of Education, the Young Writers Program brings community volunteers into grade 4-12 classrooms to work on teacher-initiated writing projects. Student writing is then professionally published and made available at Bookshop Santa Cruz and other local bookstores.


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All titles are subject to availability. Prices subject to change. Please call 831-423-0900 to confirm.
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(831) 423-0900 · 1520 Pacific Ave · Downtown Santa Cruz · Santa Cruz, CA · 95060