- SCHOOLS &
During the winter season when days are much shorter than nights, it can oftentimes make it hard to find the motivation to go outside and look for winter activities for kids in San Jose. When it’s freezing cold outside, we all prefer to stay home where it’s warm and cozy. But as for kids, they are always up for fun and exciting things to do in San Jose. However, the cold weather may hamper their spirits. So, when everyone is stuck at home, expect to have stir-crazy kids start bouncing off the walls or complaining of boredom.
377 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 | 5 – 9 PM
Santana Row kicks off the winter season with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Bring your family and friends to one of the best winter activities for kids in San Jose and have a joyous celebration with the community. Let your kids experience the magic of the holidays as Santana Row lights up the night, coupled with a snow shower of confetti and more.
Come and enjoy an evening of live music, costumed characters, and family activities. Festivities include holiday photos with The Grinch, character meet & greet, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt (begins at 3 PM), and guest performances by local theatre groups including a special performance by San Jose Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker!
120 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Nov. 15, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020
Monday to Thursday | 5 – 9 PM
Friday | 5 PM to midnight
Saturday | 12 PM to midnight
Sunday | 12 – 9 PM
Downtown San Jose, San Jose, CA
Paseo de San Antonio (between Market and Second Streets)
Park Avenue (between Market Street and Almaden Blvd.)
Nov. 27, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020
For a complete list of hours, click here.
There are so many things to do in San Jose with kids during the winter season and this annual holiday tradition in the Bay Area unites folks near and far in the heart of Downtown San José. It has served as the perfect complement to Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice for over 15 years. Featuring family-friendly rides and delicious food that is sure to create a magical experience for people from all over the Bay Area during the holidays.
Winter Wonderlands feature family-friendly rides and delicious food that is sure to create a magical experience for everyone during the Christmas season. Since 2001, it has brought people from all over the area to experience the charm of the holidays. Whether you visit to enjoy a breathtaking view of Downtown San José from the beautiful 60 foot-tall Ferris Wheel, bring your kids to experience a charming classic carousel, or ride the towering 10-story high gondola ride. There are so many San Jose kids activities happening in Downtown San Jose for the month-long winter festivities.
Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park
S. Market Street, San Jose, CA 95136
(between San Carlos and San Fernando Streets)
Nov. 29, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020
Event Hours: Daily 9 AM – Midnight
Don’t miss this annual holiday tradition that takes place in the heart of Downtown San José. Christmas in the Park at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park is a whimsical walk-through event that has brought people from all over the Bay Area together during the holidays. Each year, the two-acre park is transformed into a holiday fantasy with over 40 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights, and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree.
Some of the original displays housed in one of the largest exhibits, the Lima Train, include a melting snowman, caroling mice, and elf wood crafters. Guests enter a winter wonderland of lights, songs, and local entertainment while strolling through an enchanted forest of trees decorated by San José schools, community groups, and businesses. This is definitely one of the must-go winter season activities for kids in San Jose.
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose, CA 95113
Dec. 6-8 & 13-15, 2019 | 10:30 AM | 2 PM | 7:30 PM
This winter season, experience the beauty and splendor of The San José Dance Theatre’s, The Nutcracker, a San Jose family tradition since 1966. Celebrating the tradition for the 54th year, San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley dancers take part in this iconic production at the San José Center for the Performing Arts in downtown San Jose.
Montgomery Theater (TSJ)
271 S Market St San Jose, CA 95113
December 6-15, 2019 | 1 PM | 2 Pm | 6 PM| 7 PM | 7:30 PM
Among the numbers of San Jose kids events in the theatre department, Matilda The Musical should be on your kid’s bucket list this winter season. Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs, children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by this magical story!
Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. As friendship blossoms between the two, Ms. Honey learns to appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. However, school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!
135 West San Carlos St., San Jose, CA 95113
December 11-12, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Cirque Dreams Holidaze brings its latest electrifying and reimagined live family holiday spectacular to the San Jose Civic with two unforgettable performances (December 11-12) presented by Nederlander Concerts. This critically-acclaimed extravaganza is both a Broadway musical and a new Cirque adventure wrapped into the ultimate holiday gift for the entire family!
Broadway singers perform original music along with a new twist on seasonal favorites such as “Deck The Halls,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” On the edge-of-your-seat feats are performed by toy soldiers, snowmen, penguins, candles, reindeer, gingerbread, carolers, Santa, and colossal ornaments flying, balancing, and stretching imaginations in this groundbreaking holiday stage spectacular. This is one of the best San Jose winter activities that would surely find a delight to kids of all ages.
Almaden Community Center
6445 Camden Ave., San Jose, CA 95120
Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 9:30 AM – 12 PM
One of the best things for kids to do in San Jose is the Annual Breakfast with Santa event. The morning will begin with a tasty breakfast and seasonal arts and crafts. Then, they will have a special visit from Santa. There will be opportunities to take pictures with Santa, so make sure to bring your own camera.
South Hall, 435 S. Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113
December 14-15, 2019 | 11 AM – 5 PM
Winter activities for kids in San Jose wouldn’t be complete without a holiday fair! Join San José Made and hundreds of amazing makers, artists, designers, food producers, and emerging brands for this year’s San José Craft Holiday Fair! Over the course of two days on December é Craft Holiday Fair will offer a festive, large-scale, all-in-one holiday shopping experience featuring an amazing showcase of brilliantly designed and meticulously made goods perfect for gifting this holiday season!
225 W Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 | 1 – 5 PM
Join the 8th Annual Santa Run Silicon Valley, benefiting Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. This 5K Run/Walk and Kids Reindeer Dash (ages 2-7) is fun for the whole family. This is one of the winter activities for kids in San Jose people look forward to every year. Dress up as your favorite holiday character or tradition like Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, reindeer, elves, dreidel, menorah, ornaments, tree, candlestick, or anyone you like. The racecourse winds through downtown San Jose and concludes at Christmas in the Park, where you can enjoy the festivities with Santa’s milk and cookies!
All kids receive a cotton shirt and fun prizes.
15350 Penitencia Creek Rd. San Jose, CA 95127
Dec 23 – Dec 27, 2019 | 8 AM – 3 PM
During the winter season break when school is off for the holiday, winter activities for kids in San Jose such as the Outdoor Camp have lots of fun to offer. Kids ages 5 to 12 years old can spend their holiday break at Alum Rock Park. Activities include nature hikes, outdoor games, crafts, campfire and smores, educational lesson plans on wildlife, plants, and the history of the park. The pick-up and drop-off location is at the Visitor Center at Alum Rock Park. Participants must bring their own lunch, snacks, and drinks to camp every day.
525 W Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113
Feb. 19-23, 2020 | 10:30 AM | 11 AM | 3 PM | 6:30 PM | 7 PM
Join Mickey Mouse and his friends at Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party. The lineup of winter activities for kids in San Jose has included a brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics, and unexpected stunts! Help them follow Captain Hook’s treasure map and look for clues in the search for Tinker Bell in immersive, fantastic worlds.
Explore the colorful spirit realm of Coco in Miguel’s Disney On Ice debut, sail away with Moana as she bravely saves her island, see Belle in the sky above you as the enchanted chandelier comes to life, and sing-along with Elsa in the icy world of Frozen. Make memories with your whole family during Aladdin, Toy Story, and The Little Mermaid as the search party becomes an all-out magical celebration on the ice, in the air, and all around!