Tips for Booking the Fire Pits at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

February 20, 2021millionmilermom

While on my endless quest to find fun, unique things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area while international travel is off the table, I stumbled upon the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offering fire pits. I do love a beach bonfire but this was a gas powered fire pit up on the actual boardwalk. All the fun and the views without the hassle of sand…sign me up! Read on for tips about booking your own time at the ocean view fire pit at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Location Details

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is located in Santa Cruz, California. With a lengthy stretch of beach in front of it and the Municipal Pier just alongside, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers (in normal circumstances) entertainment and dining for the whole family. While many of the rides and attractions are currently closed, they have pivoted to offer some great options.

Parking is available in a paid lot just behind the boardwalk (map to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Public Parking on Beach Street at Cliff Street). Metered street parking is also available.

Address: 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

How to Book the Fire Pits

The fire pits are booked through a short form on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk website. This form does not process payment but it does send an inquiry to book. You will be asked for:

  • Your name and contact details
  • Approx. number of people
  • Preferred dates (available Saturday and Sunday now through April 25, 2021)
  • Preferred time slot(s): 1-2pm, 2:30-3:30pm, 4-5pm, 5:30-6:30pm, 7-8pm
  • Any add-ons you’re interested in

I wasn’t sure about our headcount or add-ons so I just did the basics to see about a date and then a staff member contacted me to confirm availability. Try to be as accurate as possible on your form as I had a small snafu with the s’mores kits – not knowing how many I needed, I put one in the booking form but then changed to 10 after talking to a staff member. Unfortunately, the booking request was never updated so we only had one kit waiting for us (a single serving). Thankfully, the on-site staff was incredibly helpful and quickly resolved the issue.

You will need to call to process payment over the phone using a credit card.

Costs for the Fire Pits

The cost to rent one area for one hour is $100. There are three areas in total. They are all facing the beach with white picket fence to divide them up and also block off public access. Each area has adirondack chairs, a gas-powered fire place and two picnic tables.

Your private space includes beach views, fire pit, chairs and picnic tables.

You can add on other items to enhance your experience:

  • S’mores kit ($6 each): contains one Hershey’s bar, four graham crackers and 2 marshmallows. I made sure we had one pack for each child attending and then a few extras to divide among the adults.
  • Hot Chocolate Carafe ($30): serves 8 people.
  • $20 MyBoardwalk Card: many of their arcade games are outside under the covered areas and these cards can be used to play the games. They can also very easily be purchased the day-of.
  • $14 Boardwalk Bucks voucher: used for food at any of the food spots at the Boardwalk.

Parking in the lot mentioned above is currently $5.

COVID & Cleanliness

Individually wrapped s’mores for each guest are available to pre-order.

Each area is cleaned thoroughly in between guests but you could always bring with some wipes to do a secondary cleaning if you needed. The Boardwalk itself does mandate masks on the property and there are hand sanitizer stations everywhere. We only removed our masks in the private area we had when we were eating.

Tips From Our Experience

We had a great time and used this as a mini birthday celebration for my daughter with two other families in our pod. Things to keep in mind:

  • Definitely arrive early to allow time to park, use the restrooms and find your fire pit. Since you only have an hour, you definitely want to make the most of it! We were a tad early and they let us go into the area since it had already been cleaned.
  • We booked the 5:30-6:30pm time slot which was perfect for having dinner and watching the sunset.
  • While you can purchase food onsite, we did bring some takeout for a local restaurant.
  • It is pretty warm if you’re right next to the fire pit but can get chilly or windy at anytime. Be sure to wear layers, bring a warm hat and consider throwing a blanket in the car to add some warmth.
  • There is sand immediately in front of fire pit area but down a level (accessible by stairs closeby) so bring sandals/flip flops and some sand toys for the kids.
  • Before or after your reservation time, have a stroll up and down the Boardwalk or head over to the the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf to spot some sea lion or grab some delicious candy or ice cream from Marini’s Munchies.
  • As mentioned above, many of the arcade games have been moved outside. They do have hand sanitizer next to all of them so I just made sure my kids were sanitizing their hands before and after using each game.

Ready to Book?

Since dates are limited, be sure to submit your interest form online for the fire pits in Santa Cruz as soon as possible to secure your spot. If there is inclement weather, you’ll be able to get a refund or change to a different date so you have some assurance if Mother Nature has other plans! Let me know if you have any other questions or if you have done this and have other tips to share.

Need more ocean fun? Read about our stay at Sanctuary Beach Resort in nearby Marina, California.

Comments (9)

  • Kala

    February 27, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Thank you for this!

    1. millionmilermom

      February 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Sonia

    March 1, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Do you know if you can reserve for more than 1 hour?

    1. millionmilermom

      March 1, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      They were limiting to one hour to accommodate the most people with buffer in between to do a deep clean.

    2. Mills, Sherri

      March 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      I was recently able to book two hours for my grandson’s 5th birthday. We go this Sunday. I filled out the form and then called the number on the confirmation email to talk to Carol in the Season Pass Department who are handling the fire pit bookings. She was very accommodating and we can’t wait for the family to go!

      1. millionmilermom

        March 5, 2021 at 7:18 pm

        That is awesome!! I’m glad they are allowing extended times.

  • Kelly Kristensen

    March 4, 2021 at 2:16 am

    Such a great idea! I’d love to visit here. I have only been to northern California, so going here would be a dream! 🙂

    1. millionmilermom

      March 4, 2021 at 9:41 am

      This was such a lovely spot to enjoy the sunset! So much to do for whole family in Santa Cruz!

  • Amanda

    March 4, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    This looks awesome! Great tips for Santa Cruz.

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