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

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wednesday Wishlist: Universal Studios San Jose?

I haven't done a proper Wednesday Wishlist post in years, but I saw something in the Catalyze SV newsletter that got me thinking. The Pleasant Hills Golf Course in East San Jose has sat vacant for ages--114 acres of prime space rotting away unused. Catalyze SV has several prudent suggestions for what this space can be utilized for such as affordable housing and open space. However, I wanted to throw out a wild idea.

San Jose has been doing more than it's fair share of adding housing in Silicon Valley and is one of two cities in the South Bay that is not resistant to building high-rise housing. There is plenty of space and opportunity for infill housing throughout San Jose, but it is extremely rare to have this much contiguous space anywhere.

So my crazy idea is to utilize the space for large-scale entertainment. It was a golf course in the past, why not a theme park?

Great America is shutting down to build housing in a matter of years and we almost lost Raging Waters this year--which is already only a seasonal park. Side note that Raging Waters is being renamed to CalBunga Waterpark and is right next door to this vacant land. One of the biggest criticisms of the San Jose area is lack of things to do... so why not use this space for fun and entertainment.



You might be thinking that this couldn't possibly be enough land for a legitimate theme park. However, it is more than enough. You can see it's size in relation to CalBunga and Cunningham Lake above. 

Again, this is 114 acres. Universal Studios has just proposed a new theme park resort concept in Waco, Texas that is oriented for kids under 13-years old. Think of it as the next step above Happy Hollow. It's being built right in the middle of a residential area and is oriented in a way where most of the rides are indoors and the buildings themselves will minimize noise travelling outside the park. 

The entire space including a hotel, surface-level guest parking, employee parking, and room for expansion comes out to be 97 acres.


Okay, but what about a theme park for everyone including adults and teens? One of the most efficiently laid out theme parks I have been to is Universal Studios Singapore. It features a dozen major attractions for all ages, is beautifully themed, and has multiple hotels connected to the property. The park itself is only 62 acres. They also have an aquarium, casino, and other attractions that would all fit within the envelope of this space.


It seems like Universal Studios is now taking some risks and is aggressively expanding. They are building one of the largest and most immersive parks in Florida, have a new concept coming to Las Vegas, and are pushing for a new park in the London area. Building something in the affluent Silicon Valley area could be an interesting opportunity. Any hotels could also serve a dual or triple purpose to support conventions and business travel. This area is only a 12 minute drive away from Downtown San Jose and the San Jose Convention Center.

This is obviously a long shot, but I've seen stranger ideas come to life!

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Culture night market tonight at Discovery Meadow

Head over to Discovery Meadow today anytime from 4pm-10pm for live music, activities for the kids (bouncy houses, connect four, jenga), and all sorts of local vendors. There are two stages, food trucks, a beer garden, Coterie Den vintage thrift market and more.

The event is free and open to all ages and pets. For more info click here.


Saturday, May 11, 2024

Raging Waters San Jose has a new name

After quite a bit of drama, Raging Waters will return this summer with a new operator. However, the name will be new. The waterpark will now be called Calibunga San Jose

California Dreamin' will put in millions of dollars in capital improvements and plans to have the park open by Memorial Day weekend. It also happens to be the same company that is redeveloping the former Raging Waters park in Sacramento, which it also renamed to Calibunga.

Source: ABC7 News







Monday, April 22, 2024

Sky Zone is bringing indoor zip lines and climbing walls to West San Jose

A major indoor active entertainment space is coming to Westgate Center at 1600 Saratoga Avenue. Sky Zone will feature zip lines, trampolines, climbing walls, and drop zones inside a 34,800 SQFT anchor retail spot.

Kids will get to run, jump, and play in a safe environment. Some of the activities also include aerial dodgeball, basketball dunking, gladiator-style jousts, and free climbing. There is also a toddler zone for younger children.

There is still no ETA for when Sky Zone will open, but when it does it'll be a great addition for the many young families that live in Silicon Valley.

Source: The Mercury News




Monday, April 15, 2024

San Jose's Raging Waters is coming back better than ever

After a lot of drama, Raging Waters will reopen this summer after all. San Jose has approved California Dreamin' Entertainment as the operator of the Lake Cunningham water park. 

Raging waters opened in 1985 as the largest water park in Northern California and has a 350,000-gallon wave pool and 14 water slides. The previous operator (Palace Entertainment) suddenly breached its lease two years before expiring in 2025.

California Dreamin' will put in millions of dollars in capital improvements and plans to have the park open by Memorial Day weekend. It also happens to be the same company that is redeveloping the former Raging Waters park in Sacramento. Plans for Sacramento include more attractions, a lazy river with a swim-up bar, a year-round restaurant, 2-acre venue with wine garden and live music, and a Chuck E. Cheese-themed children's area with family-friendly water rides. Hopefully they will do something similar to help revitalize the San Jose landmark.

Some of the specific opportunities mentioned for Raging Waters in San Jose are an expansion of the park to include the marina, lake, Action Sports Park, or underdeveloped areas. 

As a side benefit, by getting the park open this summer San Jose will collect around $5 million in tax revenue.

Source: SVBJ



Thursday, February 29, 2024

Urban Putt, a love letter to San Jose's past, present, and future

With anticipation building for over a year, I thought there was no way that Urban Putt could possibly live up to the expectations in my head. I was wrong. Best. Minigolf. Course. Ever.


You walk through a very subtle entrance at 201 S. Seconds St., right next to Scott's Seafood. As soon as you walk in you are immediately transported to another planet. If Urban Putt was a standalone bar, it would already be one of the best ones in San Jose. Specialty drinks include The Winchester Old Fashioned with a smoke bubble, 10th Street Penicillin using local San Jose-made whiskey, Steve's Espresso Martini (pictured below), and a fruity Happy Accident which you wear around your neck and take with you as you golf.

For food, I just sampled a small number of their menu items at the media preview night but have plans to return this weekend for "more thorough research." The Pad Thai pizza was super tasty, as was the street corn salsa and Bavarian Pretzel with locally produced IPA mustard. I'm looking forward to trying their OMG Burger, which is a smash-burger on Texas toast with avocado and a fried egg.





Okay now for the best part. The golf course is incredible. It puts any other course I have ever done to shame in terms of creativity, engineering, and localization. It starts with an homage to Downtown San Jose and then blends innovation with nostalgia. I don't even want to show all the photos so that you get to experience some surprises while you're there. 

Some of the holes are actually races with your party of up to 4 people, including a game of labyrinth. One is a real-life game of Duck Hunt. Another is inside of the Winchester Mystery House. There's a shark, a downed UFO, a replica of the San Jose Electric Light Tower, a submarine, and a finale worthy of Silicon Valley. Some of the holes even have hidden tricks and easter eggs, including some trippy optical illusions and effects with vacuum tubes.







If there was ever a time to run out and support a new local business, this is it. I already have my next two trips lined up. Urban Putt officially opens to the public today at 4pm. After 8pm it will be 21+ only.

This has immediately become my top destination to take people from out of town. What a way to start 2024!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Latest news (and video) on Urban Putt - grand opening is later this week!

I know I'm promoting Urban Putt quite a bit, but I truly believe it is one of the most significant new businesses that I can remember in Downtown San Jose. 

Every one of the holes in the indoor golf course is unique, hand-built, and essentially a tribute to San Jose. Yes, they even have a replica electrical light tower inside the building. The level of craftmanship is off the charts.

For a quick preview of several holes, there is a 4 minute video by NBC Bay Area here.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal also has a story up with 13 photos.

Last but not least, the Mercury News has their own article here.

I'll get a chance to preview it first-hand at the media preview tonight. I can't wait and am already planning my second and third visits.

The official grand opening is Thursday, Feb 29th and Urban Putt is located at 201 S. Second St. in the former Camera 12 building. Scott's Seafood is next door.




Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Downtown San Jose's Urban Putt - Latest Updates

Urban Putt is now scheduled to open February 29th. To get super excited, you must watch the 3 minute video on their old Kickstarter page with a preview of what Urban Putt is planning. This is my most anticipated new San Jose entertainment venue for 2024.

As someone who grew up going to Golfland in San Jose, Milpitas, and Sunnyvale, I was definitely intrigued when I learned about a new miniature golf course coming to the heart of Downtown San Jose. I believe that Urban Putt will be the first in Downtown history.

It will feature courses inspired by the Winchester Mystery House, an interactive version of Downtown San Jose, a Shark that will try to eat your ball, a submarine, a crashed UFO, and all sorts of other unique courses filled with mechanical gizmos. The venue will also serve up craft cocktails and whimsical food. For more info, check out the description below and their website here.



From the Kickstarter page:

This isn't your grandfather's mini-golf. 

This is miniature golf reimagined: an immersive, cutting-edge course, located in the heart of San Jose. Combining high artistry and a serious commitment to fun (and powered by a gaggle of mechanical gizmos), this 18-hole indoor miniature golf course will amaze and entertain. Conceived and built by the same team that created the wildly popular Urban Putt venues in San Francisco and Denver, Urban Putt San Jose is slated to open in late 2023/early 2024.

So what can you expect on the course? A crashed UFO, a submarine inspired by Jules Verne's Nautilus, a hole inspired by the Winchester Mystery House, an interactive version of downtown San Jose, a shark that will try to eat your golf ball, and even an old-school circuit board you putt through. Oh, yeah... and lots of man-made mountains towering over the entire expanse. Built by artists, craftspeople, designers, wood- and metalworkers, theatrical prop masters, programmers, and more, Urban Putt is looking to deliver next-level fun. 

The space itself is, in a word, breathtaking. Urban Putt San Jose is envisioned as an immersive experience, transporting you into a futuristic urban environment, where technology and entertainment collide. Designed by architect Chris Holzwart of holzarchitecture, the 13,000-square-foot site draws you through the front doors and down into a new world. The cylindrical dining room acts as the hub of the operation, with massive swooping openings on all sides that allow visitors to enter the mini-golf course or the private mezzanine viewing deck beyond. The design motif is a study in swoops, radiuses, and circles. Everywhere you look there are walls, fixtures, even the smallest details, that pay homage to the circle, a playful nod to the golf ball itself. Strategically placed portholes in the walls give visual hints to what lies beyond, whether viewed from the majestic front entrance or from the comfort of the mezzanine. Elsewhere, perforated metal walls and dividers (there are those circles again!) appear throughout the space. Overhead, in the main dining/drinking area, a six-foot-diameter polished orb floats overhead, honeycombed with cutouts and gears, to further reinforce the look and feel of the venue, while visually referencing the mechanical wonders that populate the course. Even the bathrooms -- with their glossy penny tile walls -- are showcases that give a nod to the ubiquity of the circle in our design.

And then there are the tables and bar surfaces. On the ground floor and mezzanine, four enormous community tables -- made of two-inch thick clear epoxy with thousands of golf balls embedded in each -- are custom-made conversation pieces. The bar tops and drink rails are similarly sensational and unconventional: slabs of highly polished concrete, smooth to the touch, with subtle curves at the edges and endpoints. It's a design that evokes wonder and joy, and may even leave you wondering, How did they do that? 

Speaking of the bar, our custom-built 40-foot-long bar top is a work of art in its own right, even featuring a "time machine" (non-functional, at least so far; but if anyone can create a working time machine, it would be Urban Putt's mad scientists). With a full slate of creative cocktails, locally sourced beers, and a passel of imaginative mocktails, Urban Putt's bar will be a must-visit in Downtown San Jose as well as a terrific location for post-work happy hours.

Meanwhile, the restaurant, helmed by noted San Jose chef Chad Ferry, will offer everything from out-of-the box shareables (grilled corn topped with Flamin' Hot Cheetos, anyone?) to hand-made pizzas and full sit-down dinners. We are particularly excited by Chef Chad's dessert menu, with Ice Cream Nachos, S'more Sliders, and even a flotilla of floats, some made with stout, for those who like their sweets with an alcoholic zing.

For partygoers, the mezzanine, which can hold 120 patrons, offers a bird's-eye view of the entire course, bar, and dining area. The "Mezz" can be divided into multiple configurations and has its own bathrooms and private bar, making it a premium location for private events, from company team building to birthday parties, bachelor parties, even weddings (Urban Putt founder Steve Fox is a Universal Life officiant who has performed nine weddings and is eager to oversee more of them).

We are in the home stretch right now, and need just a little help to push us over the top. The Kickstarter funds will be used to finish the grand finale hole (a design inspired by the dodecahedron) and the outer space hole. This is getting exciting; we can't wait to show everyone what we've been working on for the last two years.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Urban Putt has a new grand opening date - February 8th

The hottest new minigolf place in the Bay Area is opening up in Downtown San Jose in a couple weeks. They have some of the most unique holes you can imagine with nods to Silicon Valley and unique interactive elements. The Winchester Mystery House, Sharks, a submarine, and a UFO are all items you'll find throughout the venue. When you're done, there are craft cocktails and unique food items to try out. It's one of the most exciting new entertainment options Downtown in years and is actually the first minigolf place I can remember in the area.

Opening day is February 8th starting at 4pm and it's located at 201 South 2nd Street (the old Camera 12 Movie Theater). For more info head to their website over here.



Tuesday, December 26, 2023

San Jose Earthquakes announce their 2024 MLS schedule and celebrate their 50th anniversary

If you're a soccer fan there is a lot to look forward to next year. In addition to the Copa America games at Levi's Stadium, the San Jose Earthquakes have recently released their 2024 schedule and there are a few notable matches on there. 

One home game against LAFC will take place at Levi's Stadium with a special halftime performance from Mexican singer-songwriter El Fantasma and a Cinco de Mayo pregame festival. Their 50th Anniversary game takes place at Stanford Stadium and will feature several additional activities to celebrate the occasion. All other home games will be at PayPal Park. Check out the full release below.


EARTHQUAKES ANNOUNCE 2024 MLS SCHEDULE FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY  

Quakes welcome Galaxy in home opener on March 2, return to Levi’s® Stadium on May 4 vs LAFC 

  

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes unveiled their full schedule for the upcoming Major League Soccer season as they celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2024. The year kicks off with a road match at FC Dallas on Feb. 24 before the home slate begins with a matchup against their biggest rival, the LA Galaxy, on Saturday, March 2 at PayPal Park. The match marks the 99th meeting between the two teams in official competitions and the first time San Jose has hosted the Galaxy in the home opener. 

 

The Quakes return to Levi’s® Stadium for the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Northern California on Saturday, May 4, against LAFC before heading to Stanford Stadium on Saturday, June 29, in a rematch against the Galaxy that will be part of a commemorative 50th Anniversary Weekend. Additionally, the schedule features the second year of Leagues Cup between every club from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX. In all, San Jose plays their two Southern California rivals three times each, starting with the Galaxy for the home opener and ending with LAFC for Decision Day on Oct. 19. 

 

“The Earthquakes are proud to celebrate our 50th anniversary with a truly landmark schedule, starting with the home opener against our biggest rival at PayPal Park,” said Earthquakes President Jared Shawlee. “Between returning to Levi’s® Stadium for a full-capacity match, and our 50th Anniversary Weekend in June, this season will be filled with great matchups for our fans.” 

 

After starting the season away at Toyota Stadium versus FC Dallas on Saturday, Feb. 24 (5:30 p.m. PT), the Quakes will return to PayPal Park to play three of the next four games, headlined by the California Clasico home opener against the Galaxy on Saturday, March 2 (7:30 p.m. PT). Following the homestand, San Jose will hit the road for four of the next five games before coming back to the Bay Area for a long-awaited rematch with LAFC at Levi’s® Stadium on May 4 (4:30 p.m. PT). 

 

Last season, the Quakes won 2-1 in front of over 45,000 fans and featured a special halftime performance from Mexican singer-songwriter El Fantasma, along with a pregame festival and numerous celebrity appearances. The game day will once again be the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Northern California, including a pregame fan festival, a halftime musical performance, and activations honoring Mexican heritage. In addition, the Quakes will open the stadium to its full capacity for this momentous match. More information about the event will be announced later. To learn about suite purchases, please click here or email Suites@49ers.com

 

“We’re excited to welcome the Earthquakes and their devoted fanbase back to Levi’s® Stadium after last year’s tremendous success,” said Al Guido, President of the San Francisco 49ers. “Levi’s® will be hosting this match, followed by Copa America in 2024, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and it's no question that the Quakes will continue to be a critical part of soccer’s growth in Northern California.” 

 

After the match at Levi’s® Stadium and a pair of road games, the Quakes play eight of 12 matches at home, with the highlight of that stretch being the annual California Clasico at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, June 29 (7:30 p.m. PT). The historic event, a staple of San Jose’s rivalry with the Galaxy, will now be elevated to another level as the club celebrates its 50th anniversary that weekend. The parade of festivities includes the return of numerous Quakes alumni from the past five decades, a countdown honoring the club’s top 50 players, and the Bay Area’s largest fireworks display. 

 

After three more home matches in early July, the Quakes take a month-long break from regular-season action for Leagues Cup, an interleague tournament between MLS and Liga MX that starts on July 26 and concludes with the final on Aug. 25. All 47 teams from the two leagues will participate, with three teams earning qualification to the 2025 Concacaf Champions League. Last year, the Quakes hosted Liga MX side Tigres UANL in a sold-out group stage match at PayPal Park. More information about the competition, including the draw for the group stage, will be announced later. 

The final stretch of the regular season entails eight games—an even four on the road and four in San Jose—culminating in the home finale at PayPal Park against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 5 (7:30 p.m. PT) and Decision Day away at LAFC’s BMO Stadium on Oct. 19 (6:00 p.m.). 

 

Single-game tickets will be available to the general public on Friday, Dec. 22, and are now available for current 2024 season ticket holders. Tickets for Levi’s® and Stanford will go on sale in January, with more information to be announced later. Fans interested in tickets for groups of 10 or more can find more information here, while those interested in purchasing 2024 season tickets can click here

 

The San Jose Earthquakes’ full 2024 regular season schedule is below: 

 

DATE 

OPPONENT 

TIME (PT) 

VENUE 

BROADCAST 

Saturday, Feb. 24 

at DAL 

5:30 PM 

Toyota Stadium 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Mar. 2 

LA 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Mar. 9 

VAN 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Mar. 16 

at SKC 

5:30 PM 

Children’s Mercy Park  

Apple TV 

Saturday, Mar. 23 

SEA 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Mar. 30 

at HOU 

5:30 PM 

Shell Energy Stadium 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Apr. 6 

at ATX 

5:30 PM 

Q2 Stadium  

Apple TV 

Saturday, Apr. 13 

COL 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Sunday, Apr. 21 

at LA 

4:00 PM 

 Dignity Health Sports Park 

Apple TV/FS1 

Saturday, Apr. 27 

at NSH 

5:30 PM 

Geodis Park  

Apple TV 

Saturday, May 4 

LAFC 

4:30 PM 

Levi's® Stadium 

Apple TV 

Saturday, May 11 

at COL 

6:30 PM 

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park  

Apple TV 

Wednesday, May 15 

at POR 

7:30 PM 

Providence Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, May 18 

ORL 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, May 25 

ATX 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Friday, May 31 

at NYCFC 

4:30 PM 

Yankee Stadium 

Apple TV 

Saturday, June 15 

CIN 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Wednesday, June 19 

POR 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, June 22 

at LAFC 

7:30 PM 

BMO Stadium 

Apple TV 

Saturday, June 29 

LA 

7:30 PM 

Stanford Stadium 

Apple TV 

Wednesday, July 3 

at STL 

5:30 PM 

CITYPARK 

Apple TV 

Sunday, July 7 

CHI 

TBD 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, July 13 

SKC 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Wednesday, July 17 

HOU 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park  

Apple TV 

Saturday, July 20 

at MIN 

5:30 PM 

Allianz Field 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Aug. 24 

at RSL 

6:30 PM 

America First Field 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Aug. 31 

MIN 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Sep. 14 

at VAN 

TBD 

BC Place 

Apple TV 

Wednesday, Sep. 18 

at SEA 

7:30 PM 

Lumen Field 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Sep. 21 

STL 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Sep. 28 

at MTL 

4:30 PM 

Stadium Saputo 

Apple TV 

Wednesday, Oct. 2 

DAL 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park 

Apple TV 

Saturday, Oct. 5 

RSL 

7:30 PM 

PayPal Park  

Apple TV 

Saturday, Oct. 19 

at LAFC 

6:00 PM 

BMO Stadium 

Apple TV 

 

*Home matches in bold 

 

About Levi's® Stadium 

Named Sports Facility of the Year for 2015 by Sports Business Journal, Levi's® Stadium is home to the San Francisco 49ers and serves as one of the world’s most technologically advanced and sustainable sports and entertainment venue. The $1.2 billion venue consists of 1.85 million square feet and 68,500 seats, including 175 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats, and was designed by HNTB and built by Turner/Devcon for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. It is a multi-purpose facility with flexibility that has allowed it to host a wide range of events – including international soccer, college football, ice hockey, motorsports, concerts and various civic events – since opening in 2014. The venue is also expandable for major events such as 2026 FIFA World Cup, WrestleMania 31, Super Bowl 50 and the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Levi's® Stadium is owned by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, a public joint powers authority established to provide for development and operation of Levi's® Stadium to ensure the stadium serves the goals of the City of Santa Clara. For more information, go to LevisStadium.com.