San Jose kids will be bolting for the doors and ready for a summer vacation soon. That means parents will have more time to spend with their kids and they will want to have creative and fun things to keep them busy. San Jose attractions are plentiful, especially for younger children. Here are five of the best attractions in San Jose, California for kids ten and under.
In east San Jose there is a place that has been a family favorite for decades. Happy Hollow Zoo reopened this year after a much-anticipated renovation that cost $72 million dollars. There are animal exhibits, rides, learning centers, and in the “Upper Zoo” you will find the Double H. Ranch where kids can experience what life is like on the farm up close and personal. Pack a picnic lunch and plan on spending the day as there is much to see and do.
Happy Hollow Park is adjacent to another popular place, the San Jose Japanese Garden or Japanese Friendship Garden as it is also known. As you enter under the pagoda shaped gate, you sense the peaceful atmosphere of this meditative landscape of waterways, sculptured trees and foliage. There is a large lagoon teeming with giant Koi fish, ducks and Majestic blue and white Herons. A feed machine located towards the entrance of the park allows you to purchase duck and fish food (takes quarters). Kids will love to watch as the Koi swarm and the ducks dive in to gobble up the food. Entrance is free.
Another family park next to the zoo is the San Jose History Park at Kelly Park. Here you will find what is reminiscent of a small downtown from a bygone era. There are “27 original and reproduction homes, businesses and landmarks. History Park highlights Santa Clara Valley’s past. Complete with paved streets, running trolleys and a cafe, this 14-acre site has the charm and ambiance of times gone by” according to the Histroy Park website. Parking is plentiful and all three parks will give you weeks of fun and entertainment.
Travel to downtown San Jose and there are more adventures awaiting you. There is the famous San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum located right on the VTA light rail transit line. One fun day trip idea is to board the light rail at one of the stations on the outskirts of San Jose, then take the train downtown where you can go across the street to the Children’s Museum, avoiding the cost of parking in downtown and making the journey there part of the fun.
The Museum has many exhibits both permanent and traveling. Here your kids will have hands-on, interactive experiences that will teach them about space, art, gardening, music and much more. There is also a scheduled story time that is a favorite event for younger children.
San Jose has something for everyone and for every season. Another summer favorite is Raging Waters in East San Jose. Here kids of all ages (including parents) can find a suitable water ride to enjoy. While older kids may thrill to the heart dropping pace of Blue Thunder and White Lightning, other more timid visitors will find fun just splashing around in the wave pool or floating aimlessly down the Endless River on large inner tubes. Whatever your thrill level, spending a hot summer day in the cool water at Raging Waters is a good summer activity. They also have summer passes if you decide to make regular visits to the park.
Things to do in San Jose are plentiful. These are five of the best things to do in San Jose with young children. By taking advantage of all the events, parks, and attractions here, you will find the long days of summer quickly going by as each day is filled with fun and adventure with your kids, giving them more than entertainment. You will be sharing with them memories of childhood they will cherish forever.