Christmas in the Park transforms Plaza de Cesar Chavez into a dazzling array of over 60 festive exhibits with acres of decorated Christmas trees. The most striking tree of all is a 60-foot, brightly-lit Community Christmas Tree. The scene is truly amazing; it’s as if Christmas exploded in downtown San Jose.
Christmas in the Park is directly across the street from the Fairmont hotel. As I was a guest of the hotel, I didn’t have to worry about parking. If you’re driving in from out of town, December is the best time for families to stay at the Fairmont because of its "Downtown for the Holidays” package which includes the following:
• One night accommodation in a guest room
• Concessions voucher at Christmas in the Park ($10
• 2 Downtown Ice anytime admission and skate rentals
• 2 Winter Wonderland wristbands good for one day of
unlimited rides ($26 value)
• Rates: Starts at $149 (based on availability)
Christmas in the Park is a free annual event and is supported through the fundraising efforts and volunteer hours of San Jose’s volunteer Board of Directors. If you’ve never been to Christmas in the Park, this bit of information may not seem significant to you, but if you’re a Christmas in the Park regular, you’ve seen firsthand the grand scale of holiday joy this event provides to the community and can appreciate the hard work that goes into making this fantastic family-friendly tradition.
At Christmas in the Park, kids can pose with Santa in his den, enjoy a cup of cocoa piled high with whip cream, and enjoy a wide assortment of uniquely decorated Christmas trees by day or by night. My family did both and I’m glad we did. During the day, it was a pleasure to walk around with the sun shining on our heads. We took in local performers on the entertainment stage and the daylight provided great views of each tree’s distinctive ornaments. By night, the trees are illuminated and it’s a beautiful sight! The crowd is fuller and more alive and the rides at Winter Wonderland are all operating.
Winter Wonderland is an annual winter community carnival held in downtown San Jose alongside Christmas in the Park and is open until the first week of January. On the other side of Winter Wonderland is an ice skating rink, Downtown Ice. The rink is built into the center of a circle of palm trees decorated with twinkle lights and is the location of California Historical Marker 461, the site of California's first state capital from 1849-1851.
Between the 3 activities, your family will have a wonderful open-air experience seeped in holiday cheer.
A San Jose tradition for more than three decades, Caesar Chavez Park is transformed into Christmas in the Park during the holiday seasons. Acres of trees decorated by local scout troops, youth clubs, schools and other organizations form a forest of Christmas cheer.
Enjoy a visit with Santa, check out musical and animated exhibits, take in entertainment on the stage near the Community Tree and dance with your friends under sprays of machine made snow. There's so much to see and enjoy in the holiday wonderland that is Christmas in the Park.
Other attractions my family enjoyed are:
- Winter Wonderland: the stretch of carnival rides adjacent to Christmas in the Park
-Downtown Ice, an expansive outdoor ice rink just across the street from Christmas in the Park between the San Jose Museum of Art and the Fairmont Hotel.
Need a pick me up? My brood recommends that you visit the hot chocolate vendor in the park. Imagine a hot chocolate with luscious syrup and whipped cream topped with sprinkles in a large enough serving to share with your posse!
The City of San Jose has a yearly "Christmas in the Park" at the Caesar Chavez Park on Market St. Families can enjoy a walk across from the Fairmont Hotel to view a variety of themed lighted displays for the holidays. Free admission for all ages. This is located across from the Tech Museum and San Jose Art Museum, as well as nearby outdoor ice skating in the past.