Top 25 Fun Things to do in Santa Clara County with Kids
September 10, 2019
From museums, historical landmarks, amusement parks, tech hubs, sports facilities, and more, there is no shortage of places to go and fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids.
When it comes to fun family days out, the northern part of California offers a wide variety of attractions, entertainment, places to go, and fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids all year round. Whether your kids are up for some adrenaline-pumping or simply need plenty of space to run around, or you just want to broaden their minds, Santa Clara overflows with solid, kid-friendly offerings to families with children of all ages and tastes.
But deciding what to do in Santa Clara is a constant struggle. There are just so many places to go and fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids that are hard to pass up. And it feels like there’s never enough time. Fortunately, we have rounded up our top-notch family-friendly activities ready to be enjoyed and explored.
Follow along with our list of places to go and fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids and enjoy these great attractions, museums and other fun adventures. We know you’ll find a lot to love!
Bring your kids and dig for dinosaur bones or engage them in interactive exhibitions at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. It is one of the top 10 museums in the US and one of the best places to go in Santa Clara. Children’s Discovery Museum is home to exhibits that will provide learning and discovery to children of all ages and all walks of life. Opened in June 1990, it has since welcomed over 8.3 million visitors. The museum’s Discovery Youth Program provides samples of technology from the neighboring Silicon Valley.
Expose your kids to arts and make them understand the creative process by visiting the Triton Museum of Arts. Here, you will see art exhibits from local artists alongside regional and national artists that promote a broad range of contemporary California art. Sit back and relax while watching a Santa Clara theater performance or be amazed at the 7-acre sculptural garden with free admission. There are many Santa Clara kids events to enjoy and there is always a special exhibition of contemporary and historical works. Don’t miss the chance to see every artist’s interpretation.
Inspired by that amazing Temple of Arnon at Karnak, it is one of the best places to go and explore in Santa Clara. This museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts display in western North America. Explore an educational and enchanting experience with your kids and discover all aspects of ancient Egyptian life, from burial practices, hundreds of gods, life after death, and the practice of mummification. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum gives you an insight into an ancient culture that had such an influence on the world!
4. Intel Museum 2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95054 Phone Number: (408) 765-5050
If your kids know how to use your tablet better than you, then take them to an exciting behind the scenes tour and see what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip factory. It has exhibits about how semiconductor chip technology works, both as self-paced exhibits and by reservation as grade-school educational programs.
You also get to see a display of a fully functional 130x scale replica of the Intel 4004 CPU. Experience fun and interactive learning for kids and adults and connect with technologies that give us new ways to play, learn, and communicate. The Intel Museum is open to the public with free admission and is one of the best places to go in Santa Clara.
Develop the innovator in your kids by visiting this local landmark that celebrates the most innovative place on Earth — Silicon Valley. This science and technology museum located in downtown San Jose is a global leader in the formation of immersive STEAM education resources.
The Tech inspires kids through fun, hands-on activities, and one-of-a-kind floor programs that discover the next generation of problem-solvers. With so many interactive experiences at your fingertips, the possibilities for kids to learn technological innovations are limitless. This is definitely one of the best places to go and things for kids to do in Santa Clara.
One of the best places to go in Santa Clara, this family theme park offers exciting and adrenaline-pumping attractions your kids will surely enjoy. It is where you can find Northern California’s tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster. Find your way to adventure thrill rides, live shows, and even a water park. You heard that right!
The Boomerang Bay (open seasonally) is the coolest place in the bay area for kids and the whole family to slide, splash, chill, and dine. With a variety of fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained here all day long. Free admission for kids 2 years and below.
7.Raging Waters 2333 South White Road, San Jose, CA 95148 Phone: (408) 238-9900 Everyone turns into a kid for a day when there is a big beautiful water park around. The largest water park in Northern California, this is one of the must-visit places to go for fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids especially during the summer season. This 23-acres water park offers beautiful panoramic views of Lake Cunningham and the San Jose Foothills, over a million gallons of San Jose water slides, rides, and attractions.
The most popular family attractions include the 350,000-gallon Wave Pool, Endless River, Family Raft Ride, and the newest ride – Dragon’s Den! There are also two dedicated play areas for your little ones which include the Little Dipper slide, with a bubble pool, and of course the fun Wacky Water Works.
This recreational pool with water playground offers a number of attractions your kids would surely love. It features a spray-ground with misting sprays, cascading fountains, and shooting geysers. It also offers a competition pool with diving boards, general public swim (including laps), poolside seating, and shaded grass areas.
Whether your kids take instructional pool for learning or just simply swimming, this is one of the best places to go and fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids especially during summer. Stop by and have a blast on a variety of water features or just enjoy a leisurely day poolside. The Morgan Hill Aquatic Center is open year-round for lap swim and aqua fitness classes.
This family-friendly amusement park and zoo are situated on a 16-acre land with many popular features like a carousel, roller coaster, petting zoo, and Puppet Castle Theater. With half-million people visiting each year, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is a place for the young and young at heart. It is a great attraction for both fun and educational trips. Stroll your kids on the ground and see animals like lemurs, meerkats, jaguars, and goats. Don’t forget to drop by the Learning LODGE built from hay bales to check out upcoming classes for kids and camps.
Kids will have the best time getting creative, learning about nature and science, and engaging their curiosity at this interactive museum and zoo. With over 50 species of animals that include approximately 200 specimens, kids can have face-to-face and hands-on experience with those creepy-cool creatures like millipedes, spiders, insects, and even anthropods. Other species like bobcats, hedgehogs, freshwater fish, giant tortoises, bats, raccoons, and even slippery snakes are used as part of science outreach programs which are all great to experience up close.
Engage Your Kids in Physical Activities
11. Levi’s Stadium 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way, Santa Clara, CA 95054 Phone number: (415) 464-9377
Attend big events with your kids at Levi’s Stadium. The home venue for National Football League (NFL)’s San Francisco 49ers, this American football stadium can be configured for special touring events like concerts, indoor or outdoor conferences, and other community events. This open stadium with a natural grass field has a seating capacity of 68,500, expandable to approximately 75,000 to host major events like the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup.
Don’t forget to drop by the 49ers Museum presented by Foxconn Industrial Internet dedicated to the 49ers past, present, and future. It features 11 unique galleries and exhibit spaces. Kids 12-year old and below are welcome to enjoy the museum while accompanied by a parent or guardian.
This 20,000 sq ft jungle-themed indoor play facility is one of the best places to go and fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids 12 years old and below, and even their parents too. Seems like your kids will have a wild time on your family day out as they play all day in the trampoline area, giant play structure, toddler area, arcade, and bazooka ball. Kids can use those wild imaginations and pretend they are explorers deep in the jungle as they hide, run in foam forests, crawl, soar through the air on track glides, climb, slide and jump on equipment designed to build social and physical skills. Or they must have found the bumper cars next! How about trying out the exciting glow-in-the-dark laser tag? Now, that’s a whole lot of fun!
13. Golfland USA 855 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 Phone number: (408) 245-8434
A whole new level of excitement and challenges await kids and the entire family at Sunnyvale’s Golfland. It’s more than just playing “around” with the 18- hole miniature golf courses but also fun to see who gets under par too! Whether you’re in for a great family adventure, birthday parties, team building, school, or group outings, Golfland is the place to be. The park also features a huge video game arcade and a delicious snack bar.
14. Sky High Sports 2880 Mead Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95051 Phone number: (408) 496-5867
Trampolines are fun to play on and can help you and your kids stay fit. So, stop looking for fun things to do in Santa Clara County with Kids and head on to Sky High Sports. This unique trampoline center was designed and created for the whole family to have FUN! Whether you flip forward or flip backward, you will definitely flip out or free-bounce and do tricks all day. When you’re not jumping, you can swing into their massive foam pit, play an epic game of dodge ball, or reach new heights in the Climb Zone. There’s truly something fun for everyone. It’s going to be great family bonding, great exercise, great atmosphere, and great facility.
If you want to have a botanical adventure with your kids, better head off to Gilroy Gardens. This non-profit educational institution wants to inspire families, especially kids to appreciate horticulture and the importance of trees. This family theme park has 40 rides, 6 garden attractions, 6 water features and it is home to the Circus Trees, created by Axel Erlandson.
From coaster rides to riding the caterpillar around the apple core, or spinning strawberries and motors that will take you back in time to the 1920s, Gilroy Gardens definitely have enough to make your visit fun and enjoyable. All attractions were built around beautifully designed landscaping which features different varieties of flowers, trees, water elements, and rock formations. Spot the oldest tree in the park!
17. Deer Hollow Farm 22500 Cristo Rey Dr., Cupertino, CA 94040 Phone number: (650) 285-3337
Located in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in the hills above Los Altos, this 160-year old historical ranch in Silicon Valley is the best venue for environmental learning among kids. It has welcomed 100,000+ visitors annually for the last 30 years. Over 5,000 students from 45 schools in 13 Bay Area cities have participated in this Santa Clara kids activitiesevery year.
Deer Hollow Farm is the perfect destination for kid’s fun and learning. Explore the barnyard with its century-old buildings, experience close encounters with farm animals, check out the organic orchard and garden, or take an exciting nature hike with their 24 miles of trails in the surrounding Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. There are also picnic tables in the Hay Barn for the whole family to hang out and relax.
The farm produces food on-site, such as fresh eggs and seasonal orchard produce which are for sale when available. It is open to the public and admission is FREE!
18. Hakone Gardens 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070 Phone Number: (408) 741-4994
Experience Japanese culture with your kids at this 18-acre traditional garden situated in the verdant hills of Saratoga overlooking Silicon Valley. Hakone offers visitors an international cultural venue to celebrate civilization. This masterpiece of architectural and botanical beauty is one of the oldest Japanese estates, retreats, and gardens in the Western Hemisphere.
Whether you are strolling at the hill and koi pond garden, cross the moon bridge, have tea overlooking the dry landscape Zen garden, or simply enjoy quiet reflection in Hakone’s tea and bamboo gardens, the whole family will have a taste of the concoction of art, culture, and nature. It’s a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lace up those sporty shoes, take a stroll with your kids and go for a jog at this flat, paved, and beautifully maintained kid-friendly trail. The creek is home to a wealth of biodiversity and is one of the few urban streams in the area that is still relatively intact. The 11.2-mile Los Gatos Creek Trail passes through multi-jurisdictions and is operated by the town of Los Gatos, the County of Santa Clara Park Department, and the cities of Campbell and San Jose. Pack up some water and get ready to walk alongside fellow hikers, maybe their dogs, and nature lovers.
An all-time favorite hangout place for kids and the whole family to have a picnic, walk around or simply relax and enjoy the scenic views of nature. This 52-acre central park offers major facilities such as Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club, Community Recreation Center, Senior Center, Youth Activity Center, International Swim Center, Reed Street Dog Park, Skate Park, and more fun things to do in Santa Clara County with Kids.
Described as bizarrely beautiful, this perhaps is one of the strangest places to go and things to do in Santa Clara. Explore the mystery of this architectural wonder and historic landmark built from the ground up with their countless rooms and mazes. It also has an amazing garden with some 100-year-old plants. From 1886 to 1922, construction seemingly never stopped as the original eight-room farmhouse grew into the world’s most unusual and sprawling mansion.
It’s going to be a fun and fascinating experience for a family day out with a difference! Your family can discover the mystery once you visit this place. Don’t forget to check out the Winchester Historic Firearms Museum which has one of the largest collections of rifles on the entire west coast!
22. Villa Montalvo 15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga, CA 95071 Phone number: (408) 961-5800
This national historic landmark offers a peaceful environment for the whole family to experience an oasis of culture and nature, and enjoy all types of arts. It was built in 1912 by Senator James Duval Phelan and then left this to the people of California for their love of art, music, literature, and architecture. After the construction of this Mediterranean-style villa on 175 stunning acres, Montalvo Arts Center animates these historic grounds to serve the community as a catalyst for discourse and cultural understanding.
Everyone in the family will surely have a blast exploring the Montalvo Arts Center. Some of these activities and events include resident artist exhibits and programs, three separate performing arts buildings, classes, camps, and numerous tours. Villa Montalvo is also a perfect spot to enjoy a concert in these spectacular surroundings.
This beautiful historical landmark in the heart of Silicon Valley is a must-visit for the whole family. Mission Santa Clara de Asís is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in the present-day city of Santa Clara, California. It is the namesake of both the city and county of Santa Clara, as well as Santa Clara University, which was built around the mission. It has rung its bells every evening at 8:30 p.m. for over two centuries.
Take a family day tour to the oldest train station on the west coast. The South Bay Historical Railroad Society (SBHRS) was incorporated way back in 1985 to preserve the local area railroad heritage while running a working museum to benefit the community. Inside the museum, you can find the library and two operational scale model railroad layout displays outlining various railroad eras giving visitors a better understanding of the different aspects of model railroading. There are also some areas devoted to artifacts and other railroad-related objects.
Know the past and discover the future of California’s Silicon Valley in an exciting tour for kids and the whole family to some of the most famous tech startup companies. Browse through the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, search for the Google Campus in Palo Alto, check in at the Facebook complex in Menlo Park, and more.
Silicon Valley is home to over 6,600 technology companies including Adobe, Cisco, Brocade, Netflix, eBay, PayPal Sun Power, and TiVo. In the neighboring cities, there is also Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Intel, and many others. The region offers plenty of places to unleash your geek!
With so much to do and places to go in Santa Clara County, it’s great to plan ahead for something parents and kids can do together. Bundle up and schedule a family trip once in a while. Expand your horizons in a place that’s equally rich in history, culture, and technological innovation. Explore all the fun things to do in Santa Clara County with kids on our list to have fun learning for the entire family.
Looking for more kids’ activities in the greater Santa Clara area? Check out our Things To Do category.
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