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We just love everything about the holiday season — the religious and multicultural celebrations, the Christmas decorations, and the starry lights that light up everywhere in Silicon Valley. Right after Thanksgiving, San Jose transforms into a magical wonderland with millions of holiday lights dazzling all across the city. When temperature drops and the sun goes down, it’s time to bundle up your kids and head to the best places to visit and see the holiday and Christmas Lights displays in San Jose!
San Jose knows how to warm your heart with millions of twinkling lights and extravagant Christmas events that bring holiday cheer to everyone. And taking a trip to one of the beautiful Christmas lights attractions in the city is one of the family fun traditions you’ll never want to miss. Kick-off the Christmas season through the shimmer of festive lights while taking a family stroll, a short drive under the giant candy canes, or watching light up the giant Christmas tree. But, do you know where to find the best places to see holiday and Christmas lights display in San Jose?
Look no further! Your family’s guide for the holiday lights in San Jose is here! Whether you want interactive Christmas light shows, walking light displays, or drive-through lights attractions, we’ve got you covered! This roundup of the top holiday destinations and the brightest Christmas events across San Jose will surely bring smiles to your little one’s face!
San José City Hall
200 East Santa Clara Street CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 535-3500
November 5, 2021 – December 31, 2027
Daily | 5:00 PM – 12:00 MN
Sonic Runway is a light-art installation that visualizes the speed of sound created by a team of artists including lead artist Rob Jensen, co-lead Warren Trezevant, and a design by Stockhausen.
Live audio input is converted into intricate light patterns that beam through a corridor of 25 arches, stretching 432 feet at the speed of sound, so that sound and lights are synchronized.
In addition to providing an engaging experience for City Hall Plaza visitors, Sonic Runway will again serve as a canvas for arts and events such as live and recorded musical performances, fashion shows, video, and photography, and will appear in countless selfies. For more information, please visit their website.
194 South Market Street, San Jose CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 809-9627
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Daily | 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Christmas in the Park is an annual holiday tradition of lights, trees, and exhibits in the heart of Downtown San José at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The two-acre park is transformed into a holiday fantasy with over 40 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights, and the 50-foot Community Giving Tree. Some of the original displays in one of the most extensive exhibits, the Lima Train, include a melting snowman, caroling mice, and elf woodcrafters.
The theme for this year’s family-oriented event is “A Very Beary Christmas.” guests enter a winter wonderland of lights, songs, and local entertainment while strolling through an enchanted forest of trees for free. They have a few new surprises as well, including new light displays, a brand new 65′ tall walk-through Christmas tree, and Blinky’s Tavern – an all-new inflatable beer and wine garden! For more details, please click the link HERE.
Christmas in the Park
2305 S White Road, San Jose CA 95148
Phone Number: (408) 809-9627
November 26, 2021 – January 9, 2022
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.
1419 Lamore Dr., San Jose, CA 95130
November 27 – December 31, 2021
Daily | 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
One of the best places to see holiday and Christmas lights in San Jose, Lamore Drive has an epic amount of lights in its display, with two different light shows that happen every 15 minutes. After you drive through the large arch over the street, walk under the arches spanning the sidewalk. As you do, you will be amazed by the many reindeer, trees, the flock of hockey-playing penguins, the animated train, and topped with a sparkling star atop the house.
For your viewing enjoyment, they present two different musical light shows where the entire yard and large arch come alive with the beats to the music. If it is cold, windy, rainy, and social distancing, you can hear the music in your car if you set your radio to 89.1FM. Stay on the lookout for the penguins playing hockey with candy canes! For more details, please click the link HERE.
635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Number: (408) 287-2290
December 3-31, 2021
Daily | 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Come to History Park San Jose during the month of December and enjoy an evening of family-friendly festivities with Christmas Lights display to celebrate the holiday season. Guests will be treated to the brand new Deck the Halls Epic Holiday Light Show projected on the front of the Pacific Hotel. Visitors will delight with the sights and sounds of Christmas as Christmas Ornaments amuse them with their holiday songs and jokes.
Other activities throughout the evening will include holiday crafts, scavenger hunts, and lawn games. Special holiday treats will be also be offered for sale at O’Brien’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop and there will be food trucks by Moveable. For more information, please visit their website.
3050 Hecker Pass Hwy., Gilroy, CA 95020
Phone Number: (408) 840-7100
November 26 – December 31, 2021
(Select Nights Only)
Fridays | 5 PM – 10 PM
Saturdays & Sundays | 1 PM – 9 PM
You know it’s that time of year when the trees start to twinkle with all those festive little lights. Bring your kids and take in the wonder of the park’s gardens at night as they sparkle with the magic of the season. The magic returns with visits with Santa, cheerful shows, ice skating under the stars, sparkling light displays, and festive food found throughout the park.
Sing and dance along with the whole Peanuts gang in the live “A Charlie Brown Christmas” musical show, indulge in a grand feast with all the trimmings and sparkling light displays around every corner. Enjoy all your favorite traditions – plus some exciting new experiences. For more details, please click the link HERE.
4701 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone Number: (408) 988-1776
November 26, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Select Nights Only | 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
The Bay Area’s most immersive holiday event returns this year, sparkling brighter than ever before. WinterFest brings holiday cheer to California’s Great America as the park is magically transformed into a winter wonderland and holiday festival. With more than 60 rides and holiday attractions, such as sending letters to the North Pole, checking out Santa’s workshop, baking cookies in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and all the scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations—WinterFest has something for guests of all ages and appetites.
This enchanted wintery world and Christmas celebration are dominated by one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests. This fantastic event features millions of lights, creating a Christmas event for the entire family. For more details, please click the link HERE.
969 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Phone Number: (408) 615-2200
December 3, 2021
Friday | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The City of Santa Clara is excited to host the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in-person this year. Join on Friday, Dec. 3, 5-8 p.m. as they light the Holiday Tree in Central Park, 969 Kiely Blvd. The event will feature performances from community groups, food, pictures with Santa, and a snow park presented by Silicon Valley Power. Teddy will reside atop the 90-foot lit tree in Central Park from Dec. 3, 2021, through Jan. 7, 2022.
For more details, please click the link HERE.
Vasona County Park
333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Phone Number: (408) 355-2200
Walk-thru | December 4-5, 2021 | 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Drive-thru | December 7–30, 2021 | 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
First presented in 1999, Fantasy of Lights is now in its 23rd year and has become a cherished holiday tradition. Thanks to the transition to environmentally friendly LED displays, it is bigger, better, and brighter than ever before.
Experience Fantasy of Lights via Walk-thru magic! Your family can stroll through the park while enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays, with Santa Claus, food trucks, hot cocoa, special performances by the Los Gatos Ballet, photo opportunities, music, and so much more. The Drive-Thru runs from December 7th-30th and is closed on December 25th. For more details, please click the link HERE.
The holiday season shines bright in San Jose as attractions with glowing traditions bring endless strands of brilliant Christmas lights to the city. With the days getting shorter, there’s something genuinely magical about driving around to look for the Christmas light displays in the area. And with our list of the best places to see holiday and Christmas Lights in San Jose, you’re sure to find something that will get the whole family into the holiday spirit. The kids are sure to delight in these spectacular events that set the mood for a merry holiday season!
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 things to do in San Jose with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in San Jose? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region and our highly recommended seasonal blog posts.
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