Your source for free and affordable family fun in the Bay  Area.

Local Holiday Events Calendar by County: Alameda │ Contra Costa │ Marin │ Santa Clara │ Santa Cruz │ SF & San Mateo
Special Holiday Sections: Bay Area Nutcracker Ballets 2011 Tracking SantaSanta Letters

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Holiday Special Events - City of San Jose
Downtown Ice San Jose: Downtown Ice’s extraordinary circular rink provides a perfect setting for skaters who glide under the stars and twirl around 32 twinkling palm trees.   Open daily; Market Street, across from Plaza de Cesar Chavez;  Nov. 18- Jan. 18

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot: Before the big games, the big meal, the parades and the pies why not get in a little exercise with a few thousand neighbors? It's an event the whole family will enjoy. Many have made the "run" or "walk" a Thanksgiving Day tradition. November 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland: The family amusement area on Park Avenue, between Market Street and Almaden Boulevard, next to the Tech Museum, offers a festive arcade of fun and entertainment. Also, amusement rides will stretch down the Paseo de San Antonio between Market Street and First Street.  November 24 - January 2, 2011.

Christmas in the Park: Celebrating 30 years of “Joy and Magic” with more than 60 animated displays, thousands of glittering lights and the gigantic Community Giving Tree. Visit with Santa and enjoy nightly entertainment. Tree lighting ceremony is Nov. 27 at 5:30  p.m. Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Nov. 26 - Jan. 1, 2011. Celebrate-Family.com Best Bet:  Bring your camera (or purchase one there) and take holiday photos of your children with Santa!
Santa is available to see children (and adults) on weekends from noon to 3 p.m., 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m. and on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m.  NOTE: On crowded evenings, the line is closed at 8:30 p.m. to allow Santa to leave by 9:00 p.m. On Christmas Eve, the booth will close at 7:00 p.m. 

San Jose Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Part of the Christmas in the Park festivities.  Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Nov. 26  at 5:30 p.m.

The Nutcracker: See the Nutcracker Guide for more information.
Get a behind-the-scenes preview of the Holiday Parade with free entertainment and the inflation of three gigantic parade balloons.  Dec. 4, 3 -7 p.m.
One of the top 25 parades in America takes to the streets and entertains thousands with giant helium balloons, big brassy bands, beautiful floats and special guests. From HP Pavilion, east on Santa Clara Street and south on Market Street ending at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.   December 5, 8:30 am
Enjoy a day of celebrity guests, free giveaways, health screenings, interactive games and live performances. Don’t miss the finale: a Toys for Tots benefit concert featuring the U.S. Marine Corps’ Band.  Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Dec. 5, 2010, 11 am - 7 pm
Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale presents a festive program of holiday favorites, an audience sing-along, and an 80-voice chorus plus brass ensemble. All seats reserved.  California Theatre, 271 S. First St. Dec. 11, 2010
The historic Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph offers free nightly soul-satisfying multicultural musical concerts.
80 S. Market St.. Dec. 12 - 23

Visitors to Downtown San Jose are invited to dress as Santa Claus and participate in a number of downtown activities.  The Santa-Go-Round creates the visual spectacle of a "Seas of Santas,"  plus toy drive, Santas marching around town as Carolers; Costume Contests; ice skating; and after-noon / evening business crawl.  This is a family event.