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...

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. 😉

The Community Forest (and a snowman 🙂 )

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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23 Comments on this post.
  • Rahul Bhatia
    25 December 2012 at 2:54 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Thank you Divya for taking me to SanJose with you through this lovely visual post! Merry X Mas and a Very Happy New Year!!

    • dNambiar
      26 December 2012 at 1:26 am
      Leave a Reply

      You're welcome, Mr Bhatia. Season's greetings to you too. 🙂

  • magiceye
    26 December 2012 at 2:13 am
    Leave a Reply

    Lovely captures of the joyous season!!

    • dNambiar
      26 December 2012 at 11:22 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you Magic eye. Merry Christmas to you.

  • R Niranjan Das
    26 December 2012 at 7:09 am
    Leave a Reply
    • dNambiar
      26 December 2012 at 11:22 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Yeah, it is a happy place. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you too, Niranjan.

  • Kalpana Sharma
    27 December 2012 at 6:58 am
    Leave a Reply

    I have gone through your blog and found each of your posts really interesting. Your writing style is really amazing that catches the attention of the readers and travel enthusiasts. I would admire you to write some posts for our blog as a guest blogger. Here below is our blog EaseMyTrip Travel Blog

    For the guest blogging u can mail me
    @ kalpana.sharma297(at)gmail(dot)com

    • dNambiar
      3 January 2013 at 3:24 am
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you for the invite, Kalpana. I'll go through your site. Thank you for the invite. 🙂

  • Bikramjit
    27 December 2012 at 12:42 pm
    Leave a Reply

    HO HO HO HO …
    lovely pictures


    • dNambiar
      27 December 2012 at 10:51 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you Bikram. 🙂
      I hope Christmas was good at your end. Hey happy new year to you. 🙂

  • strange.friendships
    28 December 2012 at 8:26 am
    Leave a Reply

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

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

    • dNambiar
      3 January 2013 at 3:25 am
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you. Will come and see your blog soon. 🙂

  • Avanish Maurya
    28 December 2012 at 6:26 pm
    Leave a Reply

    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.

    • dNambiar
      3 January 2013 at 3:21 am
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you Avinash.
      Happy New year to you. 🙂

  • R.Ramakrishnan
    30 December 2012 at 11:54 am
    Leave a Reply

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

    • dNambiar
      3 January 2013 at 3:21 am
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for the wishes from Coimbi. 🙂 Here's hoping you have a great year too. 🙂

  • Kishan P
    1 January 2013 at 2:20 am
    Leave a Reply

    Very Merry Christmas D.

    • dNambiar
      3 January 2013 at 3:23 am
      Leave a Reply

      Thank you so much, Kishan. Season's greetings to you too. I see a few new posts on your blog. Shall come by soon. Take care and have a great 2013.

  • Kokila Gupta
    16 December 2014 at 6:10 am
    Leave a Reply

    Festive pics D! Merry Christmas 🙂

  • Rahul
    21 December 2016 at 4:27 am
    Leave a Reply

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

    • dNambiar
      29 December 2016 at 10:21 am
      Leave a Reply

      Isn’t that nice. Thank you for coming back here. 🙂
      It’s always great to hear from you.

      Happy New year to you and your family.

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    27 December 2016 at 6:02 am
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    […] Christmas in the  Park […]

  • Public Art found in the 'Capital of Silicon Valley' |Tipsy from the TRIP
    3 January 2017 at 1:30 am
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    […] more murals HERE Also from the Plaza de Cesar Chavez — Christmas in the Park – a San Jose tradition    For pictures from the road, Like/Follow Tipsy From The TRIP on  Facebook.  Come, […]

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