Covering 180.52 square miles, San Jose is a beautiful and highly-populated city at the center of the Silicon Valley. It's the third most populous city in California, and you'll find an abundance of activities to try here.
My family has called this beautiful city our home for 9 years, and we're constantly amazed by all of the activities and things that the city has to offer. There's a lot packed in a small amount of space.
If you're looking for activities to try, check out my list of 45 things to do in San Jose with the kids. These activities will keep you busy and give you a new perspective of the city.
1 - Enjoy the beautiful blooming flowers in the Municipal Rose Garden. One of the best times to visit is in May or June. The fragrant flowers are usually all blooming at this time.
2 - Plan a picnic with friends and family at Kelley Park.
3 - Connect with nature and learn more about wildlife by going to the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo. Check the daily timetable and schedule to determine what activities are planned.
4 - Teach your children how to choose veggies and the benefits of eating healthy at the San Pedro Square Market. This is also a great place to grab a bite.
5 - Go shopping outdoors and enjoy the beautiful tree-lined streets at Willow Glen.
6 - Shoot paintballs at each other in an all out war at Santa Clara Paintball. There are 12 playing fields and activities for all ages.
7 - Get wet at San Jose's best and largest water park, Raging Waters. The park is filled with exciting slides, wave pools, themed areas like a pirate's cove, and more.
8 - Enjoy numerous different fun and interesting movies at Camera Cinemas. They play a large selection of new and classic Hollywood releases, foreign films and art house films.
9 - See how far technology has come by going to The Tech Museum of Innovation. The museum offers many hands-on activities for children.
10 - Enjoy an outdoor shopping experience at Santana Row. Buy back-to-school supplies a new clothes for the upcoming year.
11 - Expose the kids to a different culture by taking them to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. On top of cultural exhibits, this museum has many historical exhibits as well.
12 - Go biking and see what the city has to offer on one of the many San Jose Bike Trails.
13 - Explore the San Jose Flea Market to find some great deals. This is also a great place to grab a bite. There's lots of restaurants and food stalls around.
14 - Take in the beauty offered by the trails of Alum Rock Park. Unfortunately, no dogs or pets are allowed at this park.
15 - Learn about ancient Egyptian culture by going to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium. This museum houses the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts in western North America.
16 - Go back in time and learn about the history of mercury mining at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum.
17 - Get lost in the numerous trails offered by the Los Gatos Creek Trail. The trails are suitable for cyclists, skaters and hikers.
18 - Play some golf at the San Jose Municipal Golf Course, which offers 18 beautiful green courses to all players.
19 - Sign your kids up for joining a baseball league or other outdoor sports that take advantage of the beautiful weather.
20 - Fly a kite at Fowler Creek Park, a 9.5-acre park.
21 - Pitch a tent for the whole family at Family Camp at Yosemite. Fish, hike, swim or just sit back and relax with the family.
22 - Take advantage of the nice weather and go watch the sunset together. The idea may seem a little lame but it will give your some quality time to actually talk to your kids and bond with them.
23 - Have a family movie night! After spending all day outdoors, why not cuddle up together and watch your favorite film? Don't forget the popcorn!
24 - Visit the pumpkin patch at the Emma Prusch Farm to pick the perfect pumpkin for Hallowe'en. The farm also offers a close encounter with a bunch of farm animals like pigs, rabbits and geese.
25 - Enjoy the playground at Almaden Meadows Park. There's plenty of slides, swing sets and monkey bars around.
26 - Make spooky Hallowe'en art from recycled materials at the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Visitor and Education Center. It costs $15 for members and $18 for non-members. Pre-register to reserve a seat.
27 - Enjoy the Festival of Lights at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. Or check out one of the many other fun exhibits they offer.
28 - Connect with nature and the outdoors with the Bill's Backyard: Bridge to Nature exhibit. Scale and climb up trees or scoop sand, gravel and dirt from the pit.
29 - Introduce the little minds to the arts and creativity by taking them to see some of the many exhibitions hosted by the San Jose Museum of Art.
30 - Rake and jump into a pile of leaves in the backyard to fully appreciate the beauty of fall.
31 - Go on the Winchester Mystery House Tour. This Victorian mansion is thought to be haunted.
32 - Dress up in Hallowe'en costumes and go trick-or-treating around the block for some chocolate bars, hard candies and other sweet treats.
33 - Visit a library and grab some books for the kids to read by themselves. Choose bedtime stories for younger kids who are still learning how to read.
34 - Stay active and cool by exploring one of the many trails near San Jose. The Guadalupe River Park Trail offers a scenic route for both bikers and hikers.
35 - Stop by Winter Wonderland at night and go on some brightly-lit rides, like a gigantic ferris wheel.
36. Stroll through Christmas in the Park and be amazed by the hundreds of decorated Christmas trees.
37 - Make real (or fake) snow angels and snowmen and have a huge snowball fight in the yard. Be sure to bundle up!
38 - Sip on some hot chocolate to celebrate the holiday season. Cocola Bakery makes an amazing banana hot chocolate that is simply extraordinary.
39 - Go ice skating at Downtown Ice. Enjoy this seasonal ice rink while you can. It's absolutely beautiful and attracts lots of people each year.
40 - Support San Jose sharks by buying home game tickets to see the team in action.
41 - Watch The Nutcracker at the San Jose Dance Theater. The performance is filled with breathtaking colors and will be sure to amaze the entire family.
42 - Host a family game night! Have healthy snacks on hand, and maybe an unhealthy snack for the winner.
43 - Spend some time in front of a fireplace at home while reading Christmas stories.
44 - Enjoy some great music at the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest. Take a look at all of the musical artists who will be performing.
45 - Host a Christmas family dinner and have the kids helps with all the baking and cooking. It really brings the whole family together.
And, that's it! That's my list of the 45 things you must do in San Jose with your kids. These activities will easily fill up your schedule and give you a good look at what the city has to offer.
You and your kids will be happy and proud to call San Jose your home after exploring all that the city has to offer.
For more fun things to do with your kids, check out our Events page. We are always adding cool, new, and sometimes FREE family-friendly events!