Quick Take:

Local calendars are filling up with food-themed fall events. Lookout food and drink correspondent Lily Belli collected them all in one place, and notes her picks for the best events of the season.

It’s fall, y’all! And although October, the most autumn-y month of the year, is already half over, the seasonal events are just getting started. We looked at the calendar and realized that there are more than 20 food-focused events in Santa Cruz County between now and Halloween. That means there are plenty of opportunities to get in the holiday spirit with tasty treats, fun tricks, boozy brews and groovy tunes.

These events range from free and family-friendly to elegant and exclusive. Mark your calendars so you can celebrate Spooky Season as many days as possible. To help you choose, I’ve noted which events I think are particularly special with a 🍂 emoji.

Saturday, Oct. 14

🍂 Heritage Harvest Festival & Apple Tasting
Wilder Ranch State Park
1401 Coast Rd., Santa Cruz
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Celebrate harvest time at the historic Wilder Ranch. Participate in historical activities, live history demonstrations, kids crafts and games and live music. Baked goods and hand-cranked pumpkin ice cream will be for sale. For $5, taste more than 70 varieties of heritage apples, sponsored by the Monterey Bay chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers.

Harvest Festival
UC Santa Cruz Farm
152 Farm Rd., Santa Cruz
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tickets: $5

Flex your culinary skills at the apple pie or salsa-making contest, stay nourished with food from local eateries and enjoy live music and kids activities while connecting with students and community members at UCSC’s famous campus farm.

Mexi-Pino Fest celebrates Mexican and Filipino culture at Woodhouse Blending & Brewing in Santa Cruz on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Mexi-Pino Fest celebrates Mexican and Filipino culture at Woodhouse Blending & Brewing in Santa Cruz on Saturday, Oct. 14. Credit: Via Mi Gente

🍂 Mexi-Pino Festival
Woodhouse Blending & Brewing
119 Madrone St., Santa Cruz
Noon – 6 p.m.

The second annual Mexi-Pino Festival celebrates the intersections and commonalities of Mexican and Filipino culture. The cultural event includes more than 20 food and art booths from Latine and Filipino cuisine plus all-day live music and dance performances.

Witches & Wine
Felton Mercantile
6257 Hwy. 9, Felton
Noon – 4:30 p.m.

Let your witch flag fly and sip wine with your dark companions. Dust off your pointy hats and boots at this dress-up event prior to a ticketed event called The History of the Witch with local author Kellie Rice.

Bruno’s Bar & Grill
230 Mount Hermon Rd., Scotts Valley
Noon – 5 p.m.

Four-legged friends are front and center at this fundraiser for the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Featuring food and drink specials for humans and free treats and chew toys for dogs, plus live music and plenty of dog-themed activities.

Oktoberfest Fundraiser for Santa Cruz Roller Derby
Faultline Brewing
262 Mount Hermon Rd. #103, Scotts Valley
4 – 10 p.m.

Party like a German at Faultline Brewing’s Oktoberfest, featuring craft beer and games like stein-holding, beer chugging and arm wrestling with your local roller derby team. Ten percent of beer proceeds benefit Santa Cruz Roller Derby.

Sunday, Oct. 15

Harvest Fest
Bottle Jack Winery
1088 La Madrona Dr., Santa Cruz
Noon – 5 p.m.
Tickets: $50

Experience the wine harvest first-hand with winemaker John Ritchey. Explore the wine-making process, witness and taste fermentations and get to know the equipment, art and science behind making wine — while tasting special Bottle Jack releases paired with snacks.

Tuesday, Oct. 17

Pumpkin decorated with farmers market produce
Credit: Via Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets

Pumpkin Decorating Bonanza
Felton farmers market
120 Russell Ave., Felton
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Kids and adults alike can dress up a pumpkin from Santa Cruz’s Rodoni Farms with all kinds of craft materials, including string, pipe cleaners, buttons — even veggies from the farmers market. When you’re done, seek out pumpkin ice cream and cardamom carrot pumpkin bread from market vendors.

Nichole Accettola and Malena Watrous in a collage with the cover of their new cookbook,
Bookshop Santa Cruz will host Nichole Accettola and Malena Watrous discussing their new cookbook, “Scandinavian from Scratch: A Love Letter to the Baking of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden,” on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Credit: Via Bookshop Santa Cruz

🍂 Nichole Accettola & Maleta Watrous | “Scandinavian From Scratch”
Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
7 – 8 p.m.

Love to bake? Don’t miss this free book talk with author Nichole Accettola and recipe tester Malena Watrous for their new book, “Scandinavian from Scratch,” which celebrates the baking traditions of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Yes, there will be samples!

Friday, Oct. 20

The Mountain Affair
Ristorante Casa Nostra
9217 Hwy. 9, Ben Lomond
5 – 9 p.m.
Price: $120

This elegant evening at Casa Nostra restaurant in Ben Lomond features fine cuisine, local wine and live music. The Mountain Affair is a fundraiser for Mountain Community Resources, a local nonprofit benefiting San Lorenzo Valley residents.

Vine to View Dinner: Calerrain Wines
Chaminade Resort & Spa
1 Chaminade Ln., Santa Cruz
6 – 9 p.m.
Price: $100

This four-course wine-focused dinner at Chaminade Resort’s restaurant The View features pairings from Gilroy’s Calerrain Wines.

Saturday, Oct. 21

🍂 Bonny Doon Art, Wine and Brew Festival
Crest Ranch Christmas Tree Farm
12200 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz
11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tickets: $50

At “the best little party in the Santa Cruz Mountains,” now in its 20th year, taste beverages from local wineries and breweries, explore arts and crafts from local vendors and enjoy music, dancing and food. This is a fundraiser for the Bonny Doon Community School Foundation.

Pleasure Point Sip & Stroll
Pleasure Point
3811 Portola Dr., Santa Cruz
Noon – 5 p.m.
Tickets: $40

Stroll through the scenic Pleasure Point neighborhood and stop to sip samples from local wineries and breweries at more than 20 participating businesses.

🍂 Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport
35 participating wineries
Noon – 4 p.m.
Tickets: $90

A Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport grants exclusive access to more than 35 participating wineries, many with beautiful tasting rooms nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Twice a year, these tasting rooms open their doors to passport-holders to offer a unique experience. Plan your trip, designate a driver and explore!

🍂 Uncork Corralitos
Alladin Nursery & Gift Shop
2905 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville
1 – 4 p.m.
Tickets: $40

This Freedom Rotary Club event celebrates the culinary side of South County with local wine, beer, cider, nonalcoholic beverages and three food trucks. Proceeds benefit two local food-focused organizations: the Second Harvest Food Bank and the El Pajaro Community Development Corporation Kitchen Incubator.

Vegan Moroccan Cooking & Wine Pairing Class
Flipjack Ranch
4600 Smith Grade Rd., Santa Cruz
1 – 5 p.m.
Tickets: $175

Take a culinary journey to Morocco while learning to prepare a four-course plant-based meal, including an aubergine chickpea stew and lemon-herb couscous. This feast is paired with a lovely French red wine, the 2018 Château Cleyrac Bordeaux.

Thursday, Oct. 26

Summit Wineries Harvest Party
Burrell School Vineyard and Winery
24060 Summit Rd., Los Gatos
5 – 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10

Four Santa Cruz Mountains wineries with tasting rooms on the summit along the border of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties are teaming up to offer a community harvest party with great wine, a rockin’ DJ and plenty of yummy bites. Participating wineries include Burrell School, Wrights Station, Villa del Monte and Silver Mountain Vineyard.

Friday, Oct. 27

Food Truck Friday
361 Kings Village Rd., Scotts Valley
5 – 8 p.m.

On this last Food Truck Friday of the year, come out for a tasty meal from a local food truck with live music, beer and wine.

Saturday, Oct. 28

old mill estates mobile home park
Credit: Via Homeless Garden Project

🍂 Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper
Natural Bridges Farm
Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz
3 – 6 p.m.
Tickets: $195

The Sustain Supper is an elegant outdoor fundraising event for the Homeless Garden Project at its Natural Bridges Farm. This year, chefs Emily Beggs of Santa Cruz’s Kin & Kitchen, Yulanda Santos of Aubergine in Carmel, Anna Bartolini of La Balena in Carmel and Leonardo Ramirez of The Charapa Project will prepare a multicourse fall feast. The keynote speaker is Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author Charles Duhigg.

Harvest Festival
Bargetto Winery
3535 North Main St., Soquel
4 – 6 p.m.
Tickets: $45

Celebrate the harvest season with themed appetizers, cheese pairings and barrel samples of the 2022 vintage at Bargetto Winery.

Collective Santa Cruz's Glow Hard Full Moon Party returns to Moe's Alley on Oct. 28.
Collective Santa Cruz’s Glow Hard Full Moon Party returns to Moe’s Alley on Oct. 28. Credit: Via Luis Contreras

🍂 Glow Hard Full Moon Party
Moe’s Alley
1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz
7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Tickets: $20

Collective Santa Cruz is back with Glow Hard Full Moon Party 2.0, an entertainment spectacular at Moe’s Alley. Not only will there be a drag show, haunted circus and interactive art, the food will be on point, with Upper Crust pizza by the slice, vegan burgers from Pretty Good Advice, dumplings by Miss Lippe’s Dumpling Party, mushroom popsicles from Santa Cruz Fungi and a special cocktail menu.

Sunday, Oct. 29

🍂 Inside Santa Cruz: Apple Pressing with Santa Cruz Cider Co.
Santa Cruz Cider Co.
65 Hangar Way, Watsonville
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tickets: Free for Lookout members / $15 for non-members

Join Lookout for an Inside Santa Cruz event with Natalie Henze and Nicole Todd of Santa Cruz Cider Company and Lily Belli, Lookout’s food and drink reporter. Learn all about how to make hard cider, including different apples and their juices, the historic significance of the apple in Watsonville and try apple pressing — plus cider and juice sampling and fall treats.

Nik Sharma in conversation with Andrea Nguyen
Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
7 – 8 p.m.

Bestselling cookbook author Nik Sharma will be in conversation with Santa Cruz-based cookbook maven and James Beard Award winner Andrea Nguyen to discuss Sharma’s newest book, “Veg-table: Recipes, Techniques, and Plant Science for Big-Flavored, Vegetable-Focused Meals.”

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Lily Belli is the food and drink correspondent at Lookout Santa Cruz. Over the past 15 years since she made Santa Cruz her home, Lily has fallen deeply in love with its rich food culture, vibrant agriculture...