Things to do, see and experience nearby
As the nights grow longer and we get closer to the end of 2017, the time for outdoor activities dwindles, unless you’re bundled up. Even then, it’s cold out, and Netflix and a hot beverage are a siren song.
But with the holiday time there’s opportunity to entertain yourself with a bit of time outside of the house. Whether it’s taking a walk in the neighborhood, or rendezvous somewhat further, we have a few suggestions to get some entertainment in your neck of the woods.
Christmas in the Park
The San Jose tradition started in the 1950’s as a lawn decoration in Willow Glen, and continues to captivate audiences in SJ’s downtown Cesar Chavez Park. If you’ve never been, a unique and special part of San Jose’s traditions lies in the walk through the Christmas in the Park. If you’re a veteran of the event, as always, hot chocolate, a churro, and some holiday spirit are in store when you visit during the holiday time. It’s free to check out, and full of some great exhibitions including the beacon of Christmas time, the giant (nearly 60 foot) Christmas tree around the middle of Cesar Chavez park. So why not take a picture of Santa, stand under the artificial snow machines and maybe ride one of the carnival rides available on the corner of Park and Market Street?
Catch a Railroad
In the Santa Cruz Mountains lies the Roaring Camp Railroads, where year-round trips on steam locomotives snake through the enchanting Redwoods and misty air. During the holidays, the experience transforms to multiple holiday opportunities for guests. A Holiday Tree Walk (December 9-10), Chanukah Train (December 14th) and Holiday Lights Train (December 9-10, 16-23) can capture the holidays in a very Harry Potteresque environment. Plus, the train whistle is totally worth the trip. Visitors can bring a new and unwrapped toy to benefit Santa Cruz County’s Toys for Tots as well, which deducts $2 off a train ticket purchase.
Are you into crafts? Anyone in your family or social circle like crafts? Are you curious about crafts, but have stayed away from them – but now you feel like you should try it out at this point? Well in that case San Jose Made (SJMADE), the small business and craft incubator in downtown San Jose, will have a two-day, Craft Holiday Fair, focusing on highlighting the various local Bay Area artists and their handcrafted creations. The theme is of course the holidays, but if you need anything unique, whether it be art, t shirts, or something that says San Jose on it but doesn’t look like a generic airport knick knack, this is the place to find it. The Craft Holiday Fair takes place at 435 South Market Street on Saturday and Sunday December 16th and 17th, from 11:00am – 6:00pm for both dates.
The glorious California Theater will embark on a holiday concert series which includes a Symphony Holiday Concert. The fantastic thing about this Holiday Concert is the “playlist” for the night will be the music of films, titled “Movie Matinee”. You know how the new Star Wars is coming out soon? Well they’ll be doing their interpretation of the original theme. More of a dinosaurs-brought-back-to-existence-through-science? Jurassic Park in symphony form is happening too. Enjoy the various movie soundtrack symphony pieces at the California Theater on Sunday December 10 from 2:30pm – 4:30pm.
All of the Lights
This is a drive thru of Christmas. It sounds wild, but it makes so much sense. As aforementioned, it’s cold in the Bay Area right now, we don’t have snow but it’s not going stop us from shivering in these low temperatures. Also, drive thrus are convenient and thus the idea for Fantasy of Lights, which takes place throughout Vasona Lake County park in Los Gatos, makes complete sense. Drive through the captivating light exhibits and see a dragon, Santa Claus, and various holiday offerings in the comfort of your own car. Or maybe you’re carpooling with someone else, but it’s still comfortable hopefully. Throw on your own holiday music as you stroll along, it’s going to be a holly jolly opportunity. Fantasy of Lights is open nightly in December from 6:00pm – 10:00pm, except the 25th. Pre-purchased tickets required fyi.