Top Family-Friendly Summer Attractions in the South Bay

Published Jan 19, 2017

Summer is the perfect time to explore all of the awesome attractions the South Bay has to offer. Check out our list of must-see attractions, and be a tourist in your own home town!

2015 Top Family-Friendly Summer Attractions in the South Bay

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San José has been a part of the lives of Bay Area families since opening its gates in 1961. It’s a unique combination of family rides, amusements, the Puppet Castle Theater, play areas and an accredited Zoo with over 150 animals ranging from jaguars to miniature horses.

This summer visit the zoo to Celebrate “Our Really Big Summer” with special shows, new animals and a new ride!

San Jose Flea Market

Visit the original flea market, the granddaddy of outdoor markets that started the trend that has spread across the U.S. 

Serving the Bay Area since 1960, and celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2015, the San Jose Flea Market is a destination for family fun. Looking for an offbeat item? You'll probably find it here. Hundreds of Sellers, a quarter-mile long farmer’s  market, really fantastic food, spotless restrooms, and live entertainment.

Open Wednesday, and Friday-Sunday.  Free Admission.

Raging Waters

Raging Waters San Jose is celebrating its 30th season as Northern California’s premier water park destination. Enjoy scenic panoramic views of Lake Cunningham and the San Jose Foothills, over a million gallons of water attractions, and 23-acres of family fun!

Their most popular family attractions are the Wave Pool, Endless River and Family Raft Ride. Thrill seekers can race through a variety of the more adventurous rides, while younger kids can enjoy the dedicated kiddie play areas and tiny tot slides.


San Jose's Japantown began as did many other communities with the need to combine comradeship and resources to survive as immigrants in a new country. If you walk down Jackson Street today you will experience the increasingly rare feeling of a neighborhood where history and heritage reside in the keepers of the shops and the people walking along the streets.

Every Sunday morning there is a Japantown Farmers' Market where both locals an out-of-towners come to buy fresh vegetables, baked goods, or flowers. In this country, where most other Japanese-American neighborhoods were lost after the internments of World War II, San Jose's Japantown is a rare treasure.

San Jose Theaters

San Jose Theaters a division of Team San Jose, is responsible for the management of the Montgomery Theater, the California Theatre, the City National Civic, and the Center for the Performing Arts.

These historic and distinctive venues, conveniently located in the heart of downtown San Jose within walking distance of one another and the San Jose Convention Center, host a wide range of performing arts events including touring Broadway shows, major rock concerts, opera, ballet, children’s shows and more.

Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is a California State Historical Landmark and was designed and built by Winchester rifle heiress, Sarah Winchester. It is an extravagant maze of Victorian craftsmanship.

Tour guides must warn people not to stray from the group or they could be lost for hours! Countless questions come to mind as you wander through the mansion – such as, what was Mrs. Winchester thinking when she had a staircase built that descends seven steps and then rises eleven?

Children's Discovery Museum

The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose's mission is to inspire creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning.

As winners of numerous community awards, they have demonstrated their value from an educational and entertainment level as a cultural institution in the Silicon Valley.  In 2015, they will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary.

The Tech Museum of Innovation

From its humble beginning in 1978, The Tech Museum of Innovation has now become a dazzling 132,000-square-foot mango-and-azure-colored domed building, unlike any other in the Silicon Valley or the world.

The Tech has since become a landmark for visitors seeking a glimpse of the most inventive place on Earth, complete with its own IMAX theater and several fun hands-on exhibits for guests of all ages.

San Jose Museum of Art

From the infamous garage in Palo Alto to the uprising of local DIY culture, the Silicon Valley has long been a land of inventors, designers, and tinkerers…those who embody the true spirit of the Maker Movement. Makers fearlessly create, learn by doing, and re-imagine objects and materials rather than throw them away.

The San Jose Museum of Art's Maker Day Community Day honors this creative process with unique musical performances, inspired demonstrations, and hands-on art activities for all ages.

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Comments (1)

May 28, 2015, 3:42 p.m. Flag

Wow, Howard, I am really impressed with this list of exciting local destinations! I don't have any little kids running around, but I think I would like to visit these just for my own enjoyment, and maybe bring a couple of fun-loving friends!

Great job finding and sharing these awesome places!



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