San Jose is the largest city in Northern California by both population and area.
There are plenty of fun things to do in San Jose that are both kid and family friendly. With so many options, it’s best to stay for at least a couple of days to experience as many sights as possible.
Hotel Valencia is a fantastic option for families. It’s the only hotel in Santana Row so you’re guaranteed to have the best view of all the action! Read more about our experience at Hotel Valencia here.
Let’s get to the list!
Westfield Valley Fair Mall just might be the biggest mall I’ve ever seen! You can spend a whole day here and I’m not even exaggerating. Aside from all the shops and wonderful dining, there’s also a children’s art studio located inside of the mall. Young Art offers hands on learning through creativity. Parents are able to drop-off the kids while they do some shopping OR can stay and participate in some of the activities.
Young Art’s dedicated team of instructors are passionate about serving the community and providing enriching experiences. They also offer virtual lessons at $1 a day. My kids are enrolled and we are loving the variety of classes! You can learn more about the program here. Use code ARR1AGAXYA at checkout to receive an additional week of unlimited classes for free.
San Jose’s Municipal Rose Garden is over 5 acres and draws thousands of visitors each year. This historical landmark has over 4,000 rose shrubs with 189 varieties on display. Picnic areas are available along with BBQ grills. The garden opens at 8am and closes 1 hour after sunset.
3.Hunt for Murals
This is a fun activity for the whole family. It keeps the children from getting bored while in the car and it’s also exciting to discover all the cool artwork! We were able to find a few while driving around the area. San Jose is such a vibrant city and all of the murals reflect that. For a list of San Jose’s street art, click here.
4.Visit A Museum
San Jose offers some of the best museums. Being the heart of Silicon Valley, it’s easy to see the art, history and culture that this city is bursting with. From art museums to hands-on technology at the Tech Museum of Innovation, there’s something for everyone in San Jose! For a comprehensive list of museums in the area, click here. Remember to check with the business directly to confirm its reopening.
The Peralta Adobe is a Historic Site located across from San Pedro Market. The home was built in 1797 by Manuel Gonzalez, an Apache Indian. The Peralta Adobe is currently not open for tours but you can still stop by and see the building. A virtual tour can be made by clicking here.
6.Stroll Santana Row
Santana Row is the Northern California version of Southern California’s Rodeo Drive. It’s fancy here and there’s plenty to see and do. Tourists and locals alike can be seen walking their dogs and shopping the fabulous brands and boutique stores. There’s also plenty of dining options to choose from at Santana Row. For a list of businesses click here.
7.Winchester Mystery House
My kids love getting spooked! When we found out that the Winchester Mystery House was only a couple of blocks away from the hotel, we had to visit. Parking is free so even if you can’t get yourself or the kids to take a tour, you can still walk around the outside and take photos of the house. Virtual tours are also available if that’s more to your liking. See the hours and tour availability here.
8.Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is a 16 acre zoo and amusement park perfect for families visiting the area. It was closed the weekend we visited but they have since reopened with online reservations available. For more info on what to expect on your visit click here.