Christmas in the Park is a free annual outdoor event at Plaza De Cesar Chavez in San Jose that runs from the day after Thanksgiving through January 1. The whole area is transformed with decorated Christmas trees, lights, amusement park-type rides, and food booths. Actually, it's three events in one—Christmas in the Park, which is free, plus Winter Wonderland (the rides), and Downtown Ice (ice skating).
Last Friday night I drove down that way to meet up with my wonderful siblings who like to do family oriented seasonal things like Apple Hill, which I blogged about previously. At Christmas in the Park, I parked in a garage on Park Avenue, which cost $7.00 for the evening. There are a number of parking options in the area.
Our group had a mix of adults and kids ranging in age from 4 to 17 and all the kids wanted to go on the rides. After some waiting in line, we got them bracelets ($15 each) so they could go on unlimited rides. You can also get tickets to go on a ride or two.
If you have time, walk around and look at the decorated Christmas trees, many of which are provided by Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and other nonprofit organizations. We've done that in the past, but didn't get around to it this year. If you have very young children, you might want to come during the daytime when it is far less crowded. That makes it easier to keep an eye on everyone, especially if you have a child who tends to wander or dash off to explore.
Popular snacks for our group included funnel cakes with apples, churros, and dip cones. There's usually a place where you can get freshly made mini donuts dusted with sugar and cinnamon. This year we didn't come across it, but I think that's because we stayed near the rides. You can bring your own snacks and drinks if you want to stay healthy and/or save money.
While the kids rode the rides, we adults chatted, catching up since the last time we'd seen each other. A good time was had by all. I'd recommend a visit for a fun seasonal activity.