Showing posts with label san jose christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose christmas. Show all posts

Friday, December 29, 2023

Last chance to see the holiday projections at St. Joseph's Basilica this season

Right next to Christmas in the Park is a really cool projection-based light show at St. Joseph's Basilica. You can get a gist of it from the video below, but I was watching it for a solid 10 minutes. Lots of families taking photos in front of it. If you haven't seen it yet, there are still a few days before it's taken down until the 2024 holidays.

I'm hoping to see more art projects like this throughout San Jose. It really adds to the holiday atmosphere Downtown, which is already at an 11 out of 10.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family have the best holidays this year!

If you feel like driving through neighborhoods to find the best decorated homes in San Jose, there is a handy website for that over here. Some of the homes have been featured on TV shows and even have light shows synced to music.

Happy Holidays! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…

Friday, December 8, 2023

Spirit of the Row in San Jose

Every Tuesday leading up to Christmas, Santana Row is hosting free holiday performances featuring local community groups in Santana Row Park. There will also be photos with Santa in the Oak Tree Lounge by Blue Bottle and snow showerers in Park Valencia.

Below is the full lineup of performers:

Tuesday, December 12
The New Ballet performing The Nutcracker
Sarah Bylsma Soloist
Fantasy Dance
Presentation High School Choir & Dance
Santa Clara Elite Dance
Melissa Marielle Vocalist
Los Laurales performing Feliz Navidad
West Valley Dance Company

Tuesday, December 19
The New Ballet performing The Nutcracker
Sarah Bylsma Soloist
Nor Cal Dance Arts
PNC Music Management 
Joy of Dancing Competition Team
Castillero Middle School Choir
Almaden Spirit Athletics Cheer & Hip Hop

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Santa Run Silicon Valley is coming to San Jose on Dec 17th

Are you ready to join thousands of Santas, elves, reindeer, and other festive characters for a fun and charitable event in Downtown San Jose? If so, mark your calendars for December 17th, when the 12th Annual Santa Run Silicon Valley will take place.

The Santa Run Silicon Valley is a 5K run/walk that benefits Christmas in the Park and the Downtown Streets Team, two local organizations that work to make San Jose a safe, clean, and vibrant place for everyone. The event is organized by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, which also produces the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot and the Lam Research Heart & Soles Run.

The Santa Run Silicon Valley is not just a race, it's a celebration of the holiday spirit. Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite holiday character or tradition, and enjoy the festive atmosphere at the start and finish lines. There will also be a costume contest, a kids reindeer dash, and a virtual run option for those who can't make it in person.

The race starts at 8 AM at W Santa Clara Street and Almaden Avenue, and follows a scenic route through Downtown San Jose. The finish line is at Christmas in the Park, where you can enjoy the beautiful displays and attractions. You can also visit the nearby Winter Wonderland for some ice skating and carnival rides.

If you want to be part of this merry event, you can register online at until December 16th, or on race day at the San Jose Chamber of Commerce. The registration fee is $45 for the 5K Santa Run and $25 for the Kids Reindeer Dash (ages 2-7). You can also sign up as a Holiday Hero for $500 or $1000 and get extra perks like VIP parking, a private tent, and recognition on the website. All proceeds go to support Christmas in the Park and Downtown Streets Team.

Don't miss this chance to have some fun, get some exercise, and give back to our community. The Santa Run Silicon Valley is a San Jose tradition that you won't want to miss!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Winter Wonderland is officially open in Downtown San Jose ๐ŸŽก๐ŸŽ„

A holiday carnival is now in full swing adjacent to San Jose's Christmas in the Park. Rides include a nearly 70-foot tall Ferris Wheel, a Carousel, an Alien Invasion centrifuge, Tilt-a-Whirl, a Dragon Wagon coaster, and many smaller rides for younger children. Tickets are $5 a ride for the major attractions.

After three years of street closures on Park Avenue (and the whole COVID thing), Winter Wonderland is back in full force! You'll find rides both on Park Avenue and Paseo de San Antonio. The Park Avenue rides will be oriented for older kids, teens, and adults while the Paseo will have rides ideal for younger children.

Winter Wonderland Ride Hours

  • November 25 - 26: 12pm - 11pm

  • November 27 - 30: 3pm – 10pm

  • December 1 - 3: 12pm – 11pm

  • December 4 - 7: 3pm – 10pm

  • December 8 - 10: 12pm – 11pm

  • December 11 - 14: 3pm – 10pm

  • December 15 - January 1: 12pm - 11pm

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

SJMADE Holiday Fair 2023 - Largest Holiday Craft Fair in Silicon Valley

SJMADE's flagship event is back on Nov 24th and Nov 25th (Black Friday and Small Business Saturday). This free event has over 425 vendors, mostly made up of artists, makers, and local entrepreneurs. This year there isn't a single empty space, every booth is spoken for. Last year it took me over two hours just to quickly walk through and look at every vendor.

Concessions are available outside Halls C & D and additional on-site food and drink concessions can be found near the main entrance outside Hall A. The first 1,000 attendees each day will also get a door giveaway, which is always an item not available for purchase.

Admission is free, parking is free, it's open to all ages and runs from 11am to 7pm each day at the Santa Clara Convention Center (5001 Great America Parkway). There is also a VTA Light Rail stop right outside the event. To see the full vendor lineup and a map--which you'll probably need--head over here.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

San Jose Downtown Ice prepares for busy skating season starting Nov 17

Downtown Ice is back this year with one of the most unique ice rinks in the US. You can skate on two concentric circles surrounding palm trees across from San Jose's famous Christmas in the Park event. It officially starts on November 17th with a grand opening celebration on November 20th. For all of the details, the full press release is below.

SAN JOSE – San Jose Downtown Ice opens Nov. 17 for families from throughout the Bay Area who have made ice skating at the iconic rink a holiday tradition.

“This is Downtown Ice’s 26th season since its debut in 1994,” said Alex Stettinski, CEO of event partner San Jose Downtown Association.  “Children whose parents took them to skate downtown years ago are now moms and dads bringing their kids to enjoy our rink and all that downtown San Jose has to offer during the holidays.”

The circular rink located in and around the Circle of Palms plaza at 120 S Market St. will be open daily through Jan. 15. Ninety-minute sessions will occur every two hours.  Tickets can be purchased online at


Special Ice, the largest operator of seasonal outdoor rinks in California, will produce this year’s skating experience.

“Downtown Ice is an iconic event that leaves a lasting impression,” said Emery Lykins, president of Special Ice.  “We’re excited to be a part of the rink’s history, to contribute to this amazing city and hopefully usher in a revitalized future for the rink.”

Downtown Ice organizers hope for a second consecutive season of local and out-of-town guests surpassing pre-pandemic levels of 2019.  A recent report shows that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is downtown San Jose’s busiest, with almost 20 percent of last year’s 2.8 million visitors to the center city spending several hours within a three-block radius of the ice rink.  

Downtown Ice is nestled in the Circle of Palms plaza between the San Jose Museum of Art and the Signia by Hilton San Jose hotel.  The rink will join the rejuvenated Christmas in the Park displays as well as the popular Winter Wonderland amusement rides in the center of downtown’s major seasonal attractions.

Adding to downtown San Jose’s vibrancy and appeal as a weekend destination during the season are stage performances including two versions of The Nutcracker, concerts, Sharks hockey, museums and galleries, restaurants and shopping. Visit for events and downtown details, and for parking information.

Downtown Ice has exciting skating promotions planned this season including:

  • Sunday Show Tunes, presented by Broadway San Jose, where skaters can vote for their favorite Broadway songs; 

  • Learn-to-Skate sessions;

  • Family Skate packages; 

  • The Grinch will be at the rink from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 25 to greet skaters and promote Broadway San Jose’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas - The Musical in town Nov. 28-Dec. 3; 

  • The Ice Queens will entertain skaters Dec. 8 with a  performance, meet-and-greet and photo opportunity; 

  • Signia by Hilton offers a Shopping and Champagne package for stays between Nov. 17 and Dec. 31 that includes two tickets to Downtown Ice; round-trip transportation with Lyft to Westfield Valley Fair; and a Bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.


In addition, check for a limited number of special $10 tickets for Opening Day Nov. 17 and the Grand Opening Celebration Nov. 20.  On both days, skaters are encouraged to look their best or be in costume for possible social media and television news coverage. The Opening Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20 features emcees  Sandra Cervantes from Telemundo 48 and NBC Bay Area's Mike Inouye.

San Jose Downtown Ice sponsors include Jay Paul Co., Kaiser Permanente, Creekside Socials, Adobe, Broadway San Jose, City of San Jose Environmental Services Department, San Jose Earthquakes, LS Power Grid, NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48.  The City of San Jose funds the event as well.

“It takes a lot of support and work behind the scenes to build and operate this rink, but it’s so worth it when you see the laughter of the kids and the joyful moments and memories shared by all the families,” said Lykens, whose business also has Northern California rinks this winter in Walnut Creek, San Ramon and Folsom .


Event Snapshot

San Jose Downtown Ice - Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 15, 2024 

Downtown Ice is a traditional seasonal event for families and friends who twirl and skate amid concentric circles of 32 palms, under a canopy of stars on an iconic skating rink in the heart of downtown San Jose’s biggest attractions.

Information and tickets :

Direct ticket link:


Hours:  90-minute sessions start every 2 hours: 11 a.m.; 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.

  • Open 11 am - 9 pm from November 17 - December 15

  • Open 11 am -11 pm from December 16 - January 1 (9 p.m. session added)

  • Open 11 am - 9 pm from January 2 - January 15

Location: 120 S. Market St., Downtown San Jose – between the San Jose Museum of Art and Signia by Hilton San Jose

Opening Celebration: Monday, November 20; 5:30 p.m.

Co-Emcees:  Sandra Cervantes from Telemundo 48 and NBC Bay Area's Mike Inouye 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Willow Glen Christmas Trolley Rides

It's getting to be that time of year again! Willow Glen is doing a holiday trolley ride through both the commercial and residential parts of Willow Glen to view all of the holiday decorations. The trolly is an old fashioned cable car that seats up to 32 people.

The rides take place from December 7-10 and December 14-21 from 5:15pm to 9pm. Each ride takes about 30 minutes and costs $20 for kids and $40 for Adults. The trolley boards in front of Bank of America at 1245 Lincoln Avenue. There is also plenty of free public parking in the Bank of America lot, courtesy of the Willow Glen Business Association.

If you're wondering why I'm posting this so early, well many of the dates have already sold out. Now would be the time to book your holiday trolly ride over here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Downtown Ice is returning to San Jose this holiday season

After a one-year hiatus, outdoor ice skating between two concentric circles of LED-lit palm trees is back this year. Last year there was a switch to roller skating, but it's just not the same feeling as ice skating at Christmas in the Park.

Downtown Ice will run for it's 26th season from November 17th to mid-January. It's part of a holiday experience that brings over a half million people to Downtown San Jose during Christmas time. All of the details are below.

SAN JOSE – For the 26th time, outdoor Ice skating will return to downtown San Jose’s annual holiday celebration.

Special Ice, which has the largest portfolio of seasonal ice rinks in the western U.S., has agreed to produce and operate the downtown San Jose skating rink in the Circle of Palms plaza this season. The rink will be open Nov. 17 through mid-January.

“Downtown Ice is an iconic event that leaves a lasting impression,” said Emery Lykins, president of Special Ice, based in Livermore.  “We’re excited to be a part of the rink’s history, to contribute to this amazing city and hopefully usher in a revitalized future for the rink.”

Since starting business in 2011, Special Ice has been involved in California rinks including Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Great America in Santa Clara and Sea World in San Diego. Special Ice locations across the country have included Fenway Park in Boston and Dollywood near Knoxville, Tenn.

“I am thrilled to have our iconic ice rink back alongside all the many fun holiday-related activities in downtown San Jose that enrich families and people of all ages,” said Alex Stettinski, San Jose Downtown Association CEO. “More and more, families are looking for things they can experience together.  We’re in good hands having the largest producer of seasonal ice rinks in the state on board with us.”

Rink organizer San Jose Downtown Association pivoted to keep the skating tradition alive downtown during the holidays in 2022 when the previous ice rink producer did not renew and Aloha Skate owner Liz Ruiz stepped up to host a circular roller-skating rink under the palms for the holidays.

“People enjoyed roller skating, but we heard loud and clear that families and friends from all parts of Northern and Central California missed their tradition of coming to skate at our ice rink,” said Tricia Lee McNabb, who has managed rink operations since 1997.

“It’s increasingly important that Downtown Ice keeps coming back, especially in the wake of Raging Waters’ recent closing,” McNabb said, noting Great America in Santa Clara is also slated to shut down its operations in less than 10 years.

Added Lykins:  “Events like Downtown Ice carry the torch by providing true family experiences at the time of year when people are starved for them. Yes, it’s a business and it can be tough, but that all goes away when you're at the rink hearing the music and the kids laughing.  Plus, you find the big burly dad on skates who isn’t afraid of anything, and he falls in front of the family and kids and gets up smiling. Those are great experiences to see and be a part of – and makes the whole event worthwhile.”

Up to a half million people come to downtown San Jose to enjoy Downtown Ice, Christmas in the Park holiday displays, Winter Wonderland amusement rides, plus performing arts, concerts, Sharks hockey, museums and galleries, restaurants and shopping from Halloween through mid-January. Visit for events and downtown details, and for parking information.

Downtown Ice is located at 120 S. Market Street, nestled between the San Jose Museum of Art and the Signia by Hilton hotel in the Circle of Palms plaza. Construction of the rink begins Oct. 2.  Details including tickets, dates, hours and sessions will become available at

Downtown Ice is supported by the City of San Jose. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Aloha Downtown Skate roller rink opens Nov. 19 in Downtown San Jose

The holiday rink that has been a staple of Christmas in the Park for years is returning--with a big twist. Instead of ice skating, it's a roller rink. It will still be wrapped around the Circle of Palms but there will be retro elements to give it a "roller disco" theme. There will also be new areas to sit and rest between the two concentric skating circles. 

It all starts November 22nd. For all of the details, check out the press release below.

Downtowners are changing skates this holiday season in San Jose

Aloha Downtown Skate opens Nov. 19 and daily through the holidays


SAN JOSE – Aloha Downtown Skate roller rink will replace Downtown Ice this holiday season beginning Nov. 19 at the same Circle of Palms plaza on Market Street next to the San Jose Museum of Art and Signia by Hilton. 

The downtown anchor holiday attraction is produced by Aloha Fun Center in partnership with San Jose Downtown Association and with funding from the City of San Jose.  Google is presenting sponsor.

Downtown Skate manager Tricia Lee McNabb, who has worked at the downtown rink each of  its 26 years, thinks the switch from ice skating to roller skating is a good move.  “Like a lot of people, my sister and I were looking for something fun to do together during the COVID lock-down and we both had loved roller skating as kids,” she said.  “Every year I would get a new pair of skates for my birthday and now I’m continuing the tradition.”

Apparently, McNabb and her sister are not alone.  A roller-skating page on social media platform TikTok has received more than 8 billion views after shelter-in-place mandates started in spring 2020, and now roller skating has had a resurgence in popularity.

“I used to skate recreationally in the Circle of Palms area and always thought it would be a great spot for a roller rink,” said Downtown Skate producer Elizabeth Ruiz, who also operates the Aloha Fun Center at Eastridge and was a former member of the Silicon Valley Roller Girls roller derby team.  Ruiz says she is honored to have an opportunity to activate this high-profile urban space and bring her style of roller-skating fun to downtown San Jose.

The design of inner and outer rings around 32 palm trees lit with programmable LED lights will be familiar to anyone who skated previously at the ice rink.  There will be two areas for skaters to rest on benches between the palms and retro design elements to play off a “roller disco” theme.  The popular Snowman Hot Chocolate cabin is again next door to the rink.

McNabb pointed out that the most noticeable change will be the fact that the rink will be at plaza level rather than on a raised platform. 

“Not only will skaters be able to rest on benches right between the palm trees, but the trees themselves will appear taller and more majestic,” she said.  

Construction started Oct. 31 and will take less than three weeks, a reduction by four weeks compared to the ice rink build.  Basic construction includes a Sport Court laid over a plywood base plus “Jersey barriers” – also known as “K-rail” – providing the walls of the rink.    

McNabb said she looks forward to working with the rink’s neighbors at the San Jose Museum of Art, 50 West office building and especially the Signia by Hilton hotel this season. 

“Last year, the rink was open but the hotel was still closed, and it definitely felt like there was something missing,” McNabb said.

The cost to skate on the downtown rink will be $20 for 90 minutes, including skate rental.  Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the rink.  

The roller rink will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends and from Dec. 17-Jan. 7.  Weekdays before Dec. 17, the rink will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., closing at 9 p.m. on Sundays and 11 p.m. on Friday nights and the night before Thanksgiving.  The Opening Ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 22.

Ruiz stepped in to ensure the Circle of Palms will be busy during the holidays after last year’s ice rink operator opted not to return this year. The location just across the street from Christmas in the Park is ideal for a fun family-oriented activity, she said. 

“Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love skating, so this is a great combination of two things I am very passionate about,” Ruiz said.

The rink will stay open through Jan. 8.  Rink information, hours and tickets are available at or through

Monday, November 14, 2022

San Jose Holiday Drive Through Light Show 2022

During peak COVID the folks behind Christmas in the Park came up with a novel drive through concept so that families could enjoy the holiday decorations while staying safe. This year we have Christmas in the Park AND the Holiday Drive Through. Best of all, ticket purchases help fund the traditional Christmas in the Park event Downtown, still the largest Christmas event in California.

Tickets cost $30 per car (not per person) and the event now takes place at Lake Cunningham Park from November 26th to January 1st. The main entrance is on Tully. 

For tickets to the Holiday Drive, click here!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

CA Great America Winterfest 2021

(SANTA CLARA, CA) Nov. 23, 2022 - The Bay Area’s most immersive holiday event returns this season, beginning November 26 and sparkling brighter than ever before. Running select dates until January 9, 2022, this magical outdoor experience has been extended to include additional operating days in the new year.

“We’re so pleased we could bring safe, fun and amazing experiences back into people’s lives this holiday season,” said Barb Granter, general manager. “WinterFest is one of Northern California’s most spectacular winter events and gives our guests the opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family, while making new holiday memories.”

About WinterFest
WinterFest features holiday fun for the entire family, including:

  • Ice Skating on Snow Flake Lake*: Glide down Snow Flake Lake as it glistens in front of Carousel Columbia, the tallest carousel in the world, providing the most picturesque ice rink in the South Bay.

  • Holiday Lights and dรฉcor: Great America has once again been transformed with millions of festive lights and stunning holiday dรฉcor. From the North Pole Outpost, to Charlie Brown’s Christmastown and Tinsel Town Fair, the entire park has been themed to the holidays.

  • Live Shows:  Experience more than 10 live holiday shows during your visit to WinterFest.  From our spectacular nightly Tree Lighting Ceremony to the high energy Cool Yule Christmas, you won’t be able to resist singing along.

  • Festive Activities: Have you ever wanted to see Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree or make cookies with Mrs. Claus*?  At WinterFest, you can do just that and more with your friends and family.

  • Holiday Themed Food:  Treat your taste buds to a delectable menu of holiday fare. From Gourmet Hot Chocolate to Gingerbread Churros, WinterFest features a wide variety of savory holiday meals and homemade snacks prepared by the Great America culinary team. 

  • Rides: A trip to WinterFest would not be complete without a spin on your favorite family rides.  With more than 30 rides open for WinterFest, including both big and little thrills, Great America has fun for the whole family waiting.

*Additional charge activity.

For complete information on WinterFest, including a full list of shows and attractions, operating hours and tickets, please visit

 About California’s Great America

California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and waterpark located in Santa Clara, California. As Northern California’s premier amusement park, featuring thrill rides, live entertainment, and in 2020 the new South Bay Shores waterpark, California’s Great America is the top destination for thrill-seekers and families alike. 

 About Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, an indoor water park and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. For more information, see

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family have the best holiday season possible this year!

Even though Christmas in the Park has temporarily moved for 2020, Downtown is still decked out for the holidays with tens of thousands of lights. New this year are holiday projections like the one below at St. Joseph's Cathedral.

If you feel like driving through neighborhoods to find the best decorated homes in San Jose, there is a handy website for that over here. Some of the homes have been features on TV shows and even have light shows synced to music. It's a fun thing to do with the family and completely covid-safe!

Happy Holidays! ๐ŸŽ„

Downtown San Jose for the Holidays. Still the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Light the Holiday Nights Downtown San Jose Nov. 26-Jan. 3

While Christmas in the Park is moving to History San Jose this year, there will still be plenty of holiday cheer in Downtown San Jose. The Light the Holiday Nights installation in Plaza de Cesar Chavez features LED wrapped trees, archways, and a contemporary Christmas Tree on the stage. 50 West San Fernando, Miro, and City Hall will also be lit up for the holidays along with a special window at The Tech Interactive. Light projections will be cast on the former Camera 12 building and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. Lastly "The Story of Holiday Arts" will be on display at 125 S. Market featuring costumes from San Jose productions of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and Hansel and Gretel.

The event will run from dusk to dawn starting on Thanksgiving and running until January 3rd. For more info, have a look at the press release below.

Lights in Plaza de Cesar Chavez will brighten downtown and holiday spirits

SAN JOSE -- Despite the main traditions and attractions of Downtown for the Holidays derailed by Covid-19, the festive lights of the season will shine bright in the city center. 

“Just like Dr. Seuss' Whos of Whoville, no Grinch or pandemic can take away our holiday cheer," said Autumn Young, director of special projects for San Jose Downtown Association.

With Downtown Ice, Christmas in the Park and Winter Wonderland shutdown or moved by the Covid pandemic, the heart of the city faced not being wrapped in its usual holiday best. 

"No way were we going to leave the center of the city dark this season when we need to be uplifted more than ever," said Scott Knies, SJDA Executive Director. 

The main feature to Downtown Lights will be the Light the Holiday Nights installation at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.  From dusk to dawn Thanksgiving through Jan. 3, Light the Holiday Nights will light the stage and the trees ringing Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

 “We had to brighten up the center of the city,” Knies said.

Multiple sponsors agree.  Light the Holiday Nights will be produced by SJDA in coordination with the City of San Jose and Downtown Property-Based Improvement District, and supported by presenting sponsor First Tech Federal Credit Union and downtown property owners Jay Paul Company, Google, Sobrato, Swenson and Urban Catalyst.

Together, the partners have created an illuminated wonderland, with lights in the park’s existing trees, more lighted trees brought in for the occasion and sparkling arches, ideal for a drive-around or a stroll through.  A 26-foot-tall stylized holiday tree perched atop the stage on the north end of the park will be a primary feature. 

"This is an interim installation to get us through this unusual holiday season and keep the spirits up until Christmas in the Park can return next year," Young said.

The project is designed as a “passive and festive” strolling experience.  Visitors can add to the excitement by adding lights to their person, pets and kids, but they also must wear their masks and make sure they are properly socially distanced of six feet or more from other parties.  Large families should break up into smaller groups to avoid blocking pathways and to keep the experience safe for everyone.

“Light the Downtown Nights will bring much-needed cheer to our downtown essential workers, residents and visitors,” said Doug Bartl, president of the PBID Board of Directors.

The Plaza Park installation is part of a larger Downtown Lights experience planned for the holidays, which includes these highlights:

·      Lighting of trees and buildings at 50 West San Fernando, Miro and City Hall

·      Activated window at The Tech Interactive

·      “Video mapping” lighted projections on the former Camera 12 building on Paseo de San Antonio and Second Street, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph at San Fernando and Market streets.

·      “The Story of Holiday Arts” featuring costumes from San Jose productions of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol and Hansel and Gretel plus chairs and stands to represent the missing musicians and audiences for the symphony and holiday musicals in the windows at 125 S. Market St. 

“The Story of Holiday Arts display unfolds by telling the tale of what holiday arts of the past looked like here in the city,” said Young.  “Effort will be placed on keeping the narration uplifting while inspiring guests to give a moment of their time to appreciate the beautiful costume designs on display, to visit the websites of the organizations featured and if possible, to contribute in support of the arts.”


WHAT:  Light the Holiday Nights installation is ongoing this week.  Lights come on for public at dusk on Thursday, Nov. 26
WHEN:  Dusk to dawn, Nov. 26-Jan. 3
WHERE:  Plaza de Cesar Chavez
WHO:  San Jose Downtown Association, Downtown San Jose Property Owners, developers and Presenting Sponsor First Tech Credit Union
WHY: Interim activity meant to keep holiday spirits bright during the holidays.  Covid forced cancellation of the holiday ice rink, and Christmas in the Park created a drive-through experience outside of downtown.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Christmas in the Park is going to look vastly different this year

You might be wondering what will happen to one of San Jose's most beloved events this year due to Covid. Fortunately, Christmas in the Park will go on this year. Unfortunately, it will not be in Downtown San Jose for the first time in 40 years.

The current plan is to turn Christmas in the Park into a drive-through holiday experience at History San Jose. Below are a few mock-ups of what the revised event could look like. While it will be different, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could be a very innovative experience and provide some fresh ideas for 2021. I'm looking forward to it and hope Downtown San Jose still goes all out this year during the holidays.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

If you have already done the standard San Jose holiday traditions at Christmas in the Park and Santana Row, you can go on an adventure through our neighborhoods. You can find the addresses of the most decorated homes in San Jose over here. Some even have light shows synced to music--it's worth the drive.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice returns for 24th season!

Iconic outdoor ice rink open daily Nov. 15, 2018 - Jan. 12, 2019

SAN JOSE – Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice will be front and center among downtown San Jose holiday attractions from Nov. 15 through Jan. 12.

Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic gold medal winner in women’s figure skating, will celebrate the opening of San Jose’s ice season with sponsors on Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.

Yamaguchi adds her name to support the rink for the ninth time, and her Always Dream Foundation will again be a rink beneficiary.

This will be Downtown Ice’s 16th year in the Circle of Palms and 24th year overall.  More than 50,000 skaters and 120,000 of their friends are expected to visit the ice this season.  The rink generates more than $4 million in economic impact to San Jose.

As usual, the palms of the Circle of Palms will be lit with thousands of color-changing LED lights for skaters who pay one fee for unlimited skating time and skate rental.

Admission costs $18 for adults and $15 for children 10 years and younger.
Downtown Ice is presented by Alaska Airlines in association with Google, First Tech Credit Union and Swenson.

Proceeds from the Dec. 16 Santa Run Silicon Valley help support Downtown Ice.  Sign up at

During November, early December and after the holidays in January, Downtown Ice is open 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday; noon-midnight on Saturday; and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.  During the winter break, the rink is open 11 a.m.-midnight daily.  Special hours apply to the holidays. 

The rink phone number is (408) 610-4055 Details are at

Parking information is at


Children 10 & younger, Seniors and Military: $15
10 years & older: $18
Bring your own skates: $10
Cash, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and Discover Card accepted. Admission includes ice time and rental skates (skate sizes range from toddler 8 to men's 15) 
Skate all you want (no in-and-out privileges). First-come, first-serve.

Address (starting November 16):  120 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 279-1775 (SJDA); (408) 610-4055 (rink, starting Nov. 15)


The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), established 1986, is a non-profit group of business and property owners working to improve the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose. SJDA advocates on issues that affect downtown business and property owners; enhances the image of downtown and attract new visitors through year-round marketing, public relations, and special events; and collaborates with its Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) for ongoing improvements to downtown’s cleanliness, security, aesthetics and delivery of services.