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12 Days of Winter Activities for Kids in San Jose
December 13, 2021

Keep your little ones occupied during the chilly winter season by getting them excited about these fun-filled winter activities for kids in San Jose!

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.

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So, when the snow days come and the winter season leaves you with a house full of bored and bickering kids, don’t panic! We have a dozen of winter activities for kids in San Jose to keep the little ones pepped up and amused. Just because we’re in the depths of winter doesn’t mean the outdoors is off-limits. Get outside and have fun with the whole family. Wrap your kids up warm from head to toe and you’ll see a smile on their faces knowing they’re up for some epic winter action!

Winter activities for kids in San Jose - Van Gogh San Jose
Photo by: Beyond Van Gogh

Van Gogh San Jose

South Hall, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
435 S Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (800) 441-0819

September 24 – Dec 30, 2021

Schedule:
Daily | 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s artwork like you’ve never seen it before. One of the best winter activities for kids in San Jose this holiday season, Beyond Van Gogh uses cutting-edge projection technology to create an engaging journey into the world of Van Gogh. Using his dreams, his thoughts, and his words to drive the experience as a narrative, we move along projection swathed walls wrapped in light, color, and shapes that swirl, dance, and refocus into flowers, cafes, and landscapes.

Masterpieces, now freed from frames, come alive, appear and disappear, flow across multi-surface, the minutia of details titillating our heightened senses. Through his own words set to a symphonic score, we may come to a new appreciation of this tortured artist’s stunning work. Guests will leave with a new appreciation of this prolific artist’s stunning work. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter season in San Jose - Downtown Ice
Photo by: Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice

Downtown Ice in San Jose

120 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 213-8834

November 20, 2021 – January 10, 2022
Schedule:
Daily | 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Your kids would surely love to experience ice skating in the fresh outdoors of downtown San Jose! Now in its 25th year, the holiday downtown San Jose ice rink has been one of the finest winter activities for kids with its seasonal displays in California. Skaters and spectators alike come to celebrate the holidays and make lasting memories in the only ice rink in the world surrounded by 32 palm trees – affectionately known as the Circle of Palms.

Skates will swoosh, people will glide, and lights will twinkle again in downtown San Jose, all thanks to Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice in San Jose presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union and Alaska Airlines. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter activities for kids in San Jose - Holiday Ice
Photo by: Solar4America Ice

Holiday Ice

Solar4America Ice – San Jose
1500 S. Tenth St., San Jose, CA, 95112
Phone Number: (408) 279-6000

November 24, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Schedule:
Daily | 12:15 PM – 10:30 PM

Looking for affordable family fun? Look no further than Solar4America Ice! Bring your family and friends to experience the Bay Area’s premier ice skating and hockey facilities! Public skating sessions are available at all three bay area locations in Oakland, Fremont, and San Jose.

All facilities are open seven days a week. View their current schedule and pre-register for a session. Plus — they even have skates that you can rent! For more information, please visit their website.

Winter Wonderland San Jose - activities for kids
Photo by: Winter Wonderland SJ

Winter Wonderland San Jose

201 South Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 294-8324

November 24, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Schedule:
Daily | 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM

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. The family amusement area on Park Avenue, between Market Street and Almaden Boulevard, next to Tech Interactive, offers a festive arcade of fun and entertainment.

Also, amusement rides will stretch down the Paseo de San Antonio between Market Street and First Street. Winter Wonderlands feature family-friendly rides and delicious food that is sure to create a magical experience for everyone during the Christmas season. 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. 

For more information, please visit their website

Christmas in the Park
Photo by: Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park San Jose

1 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 808-9627

November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Schedule:
Daily | 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM

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. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter activities for kids in San Jose -  Blinky's Illuminated Holiday
Photo by: Blinky’s Illuminated Holiday

Blinky’s Illuminated Holiday

2305 S White Rd., San Jose CA 95148
Phone Number: (408) 809-9627

November 26, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Schedule:
Daily | 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Christmas in the Park presents Blinky’s Illuminated Holiday – a “mile of smiles” drive-thru adventure in front of Raging Waters at Lake Cunningham Park in San Jose. With 12 themed areas, the one-of-a-kind experience is like nothing you have seen before. This year’s event will follow Blinky the reindeer through the musical journey of his imagination.

A brand new display that will feature over 200,000-pixel lights capable of displaying 14 million colors will illuminate twelve different themed lands. Please be sure to arrive within your 30-minute window. Depending on the traffic flow on a given night, vehicles coming outside their time window may be asked to wait in a holding area before entry.

Driver’s must pay attention to the road and may not stop at any time. A holiday fair food festival awaits upon exiting the event. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Free Holiday Story Walk
Photo by: San Jose Playhouse

Free Holiday Story Walk

San Jose Playhouse
288 S 2nd St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 404-7711

November 27 – December 26, 2021

Schedule:
Daily | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

December 20-26, 2021

Schedule:
Daily | 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Enjoy lovingly created art installation featuring big, bright beautiful banners while you listen to favorite holiday stories, holiday songs, holiday humor, and holiday trivia. All presented as audio accompaniment in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. This is a FREE walk-by experience and is open for a limited time during holiday hours.

If you’re looking for something to do this holiday season – for kids, families, and adults – then mark your calendar for a holly, jolly holiday with 3Below and San Jose Playhouse! For more information, please visit their website.

Winter activities for kids in San Jose - Santana Row Snow Showers
Photo by: Santana Row

Santana Row Snow Showers

377 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128
Phone Number: (408)551-4611

November 27 – December 18, 2021
Schedule:
Wednesday & Saturday | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Every 30 minutes)

December 20-23, 2021
Schedule:
Nightly | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Every 30 minutes)

It’s snowing on The Row! Santana Row kicks off the winter season with some snow showers in San Jose. 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 brings the North Pole to San Jose for a fun, holiday celebration.

Enjoy outdoor snow showers and holiday tunes every 30 minutes in Park Valencia in front of Maggiano’s. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter activities for kids in San Jose - A Holly Jolly Holiday
Photo by: 3 Below Theaters

A Holly Jolly Holiday Experience

3 Below Theaters
288 S 2nd St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 404-7711

December 3-26, 2021

Schedule:
Daily | 1:00 PM

Downtown San Jose’s newest performing arts center is open again with programming in full swing for the holiday season. San Jose Playhouse is thrilled to present “A Holly Jolly Holiday Experience!” at 3Below Theaters! This is a perfect family holiday event for kids of all ages which includes food, fun, and film!

Winter Activities for kids include a rotation to its 3 Imagination Stations in 3 Below Theaters San Jose where you can decorate a holiday photo frame, create a reindeer ornament, and write your letter to Santa. Kids will get a delicious holiday cookie and hot chocolate or hot coffee and a goodie bag filled with giveaways and treats.

Get your camera out to selfies with their adorably costumed holiday characters and capture these cheerful moments. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter season in San Jose -The Nutcracker
Photo by: The Nutcracker in San Jose

The Nutcracker in San Jose

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 792-4111

December 10-12 and 17-19, 2021
Schedule:
Daily | 10:30 AM – 10:30 PM

This winter season, experience the beauty and splendor of The San José Dance Theatre’s, The Nutcracker, a family tradition since 1966. The original San Jose Nutcracker will capture your imagination and transport you to a magical world of brave toy soldiers & dancing snowflakes.

Step into the enchanting world of elegant sugarplums, waltzing flowers, a thrilling battle between brave soldiers and menacing mice, and debuting a new extra-large Christmas tree that grows to over 200 feet!

This year, San Jose Dance Theatre audiences will be awed by the grace and talent of their professional company dancing beside the youth ensemble, accompanied again by a live orchestra. Musical direction by Scott Krijnen conducting Cambrian Symphony.

This 56th production, choreographed by Artistic Director Linda Hurkmans, offers an unforgettable experience of your favorite annual holiday classic, The Nutcracker.  For more information, please visit their website

Winter season in San Jose - White Christmas Sing Along
Photo by: 3 Below Theaters

White Christmas Sing-Along

3 Below Theaters
288 S 2nd St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 404-7711

December 17-18, 2021

Schedule:
Friday – Saturday | 7:00 PM

Get dressed up in your snazzy holiday best and sing along with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and the film’s remastered soundtrack – plus a theatre full of your fellow snow-dreaming San Joseans – at our special holiday screening of this classic 1954 film, presented with lyrics on screen and free jingle bells and all the sing-a-long accouterments.

Irving Berlin’s musical favorite follows the talented song-and-dance team of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, who join forces with the sister act of Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen for a musical Christmas in Vermont. After leaving the Army after W.W.II, Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) team up to become a top song-and-dance act.

Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to beautiful sisters Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen) who also have a song-and-dance act. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter season in San Jose -A Magical Cirque Christmas
Photo by: Broadway San Jose

A Magical Cirque Christmas

Center for the Performing Arts
255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 535-3500

December 30, 2021

Schedule:
Thursday | 7:30 PM

Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family. The world’s greatest entertainers unite for a spell-binding and incredible holiday production — a Magical Cirque Christmas!

This production is presented by Broadway San Jose. For more information, please visit their website.

Winter can bring lots of family fun — from holiday events, theatrical and musical play, to winter camps, and everything in between. It’s the time of year parents look for various activities and events to keep their kids fruitfully occupied when they are cooped up in cold weather. This roundup of winter activities for kids in San Jose can surely bring joy and delight out of a chilly situation.

San Jose offers so many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our Places to Go section.

Looking for fun happenings for kids during the winter season? Check out our highly recommended indoor play areas in Santa Clara County kids must try.

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