San Jose’s ‘Christmas in the Park’

Christmas isn’t Christmas without gifts, Santa Claus and Yuletide carols. And Christmas in San Jose, California is incomplete without its age-old downtown festivities.

Like a lot of other cities San Jose too gets all lit up and decorated to usher in the Christmas spirit but the icing on the cake is undoubtedly a tradition that is over 30 years old. Christened Christmas in the Park, this holiday event attracts people from all over with its Christmas displays, stage shows and carnival atmosphere.

The venue for  this grand Christmas party is Plaza de Cesar Chavez, the park in the heart of downtown San Jose.

The day after Thanksgiving, with the official tree-lighting ceremony, this park turns into an extravaganza of lights and decorated trees and rows of holiday exhibits. The North Pole, Reindeer, Snowmen and elves and even grand old Santa Claus will be found here. There will be music in the air, happy talk all around and wafting smells of popcorn and donuts.

You don’t have to pay a penny to get into the park and partake in the annual festivities of Christmas in the Park. Neither  will you be charged to call on Santa Claus in his den. The gentleman in the red suit is ever-ready to chat up little ones and pose for pictures. You’ll need to take out your wallets only if you need some popcorn, hot chocolate or if you’d like to pick up some dinner at the food court, at the south end of the park.

And just outside the park you are sure to see a Ferris Wheel, a small wheel for the little ones, a Carousel and a few other rides. You’ll find cotton candy too. It’s like having a Christmas Carnival in town. The rides are not exactly a part of  Christmas in the Park but sure go hand in hand with it, making it a fun-filled event.

`A San Jose community tradition,’ says the tagline of the event, and that, it truly is. It is sure to bring joy to all who come by: Men and women, young and old. If you’re visiting San Jose around Christmas, you might want treat yourself to the some holiday cheer at Christmas in the Park. And if you live around here and have guests, you know where to take them. Don’t forget  — the event makes sure Christmas stays in town, till New Year’s Day at least. πŸ˜‰

The Community Forest (and a snowman πŸ™‚ )

Bears Log Cabin

Santa Claus Rail Road @ the North Pole Station

Candy Cane Lumber Mill

Lima Train – one of the oldest displays of Christmas in the Park.
  • Venue – Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park
  • Parking – you can use the parking spaces around the park. (Since they are almost always full, we generally park at City View Plaza’s basement parking. It’s just next door to the park.)
  • Food – Yes. There’s a food court near 
  • Restrooms – Yes. Plenty. Near the South End of the Park/Behind the Food Court/ Near San Carlos Street
  • Entry – FREE
  • Open – From the day after Thanksgiving to the first of January.
  • Open till midnight. 
PS: Don’t forget your warm clothes. San Jose can be pretty cold in the winter. 

Also see:
Another Christmas attraction – Fantasy of Lights (Los Gatos, California)
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  1. Thank you Divya for taking me to SanJose with you through this lovely visual post! Merry X Mas and a Very Happy New Year!!

  2. Lovely captures of the joyous season!!

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  4. HO HO HO HO …
    lovely pictures


  5. You have a beautiful blog…Really charming way of writing too…

    I just started one too…You are invited to visit…

  6. These pictures are nice..very beautiful..After Christmas, its time to celebrate new year now..waiting for the pictures from new year celebration…best wishes from my side.

  7. Really lovely,colorful,joypus & well illuminated images from San Jose.Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Divya.

  8. Very Merry Christmas D.

  9. Festive pics D! Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

  10. Merry Christmas to you and family. Just noticed this mine was the first comment when you posted this Divya:)

  11. Pingback: Holiday exhibit at Legoland, California, Christmas, 2016

  12. Pingback: Public Art found in the 'Capital of Silicon Valley' |Tipsy from the TRIP

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