A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Holiday

Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll

December 01, 2016


On Thursdays in December, a number of merchants in downtown Los Gatos will keep their doors open until 9pm to facilitate holiday gift buying. Additionally, there’s free valet parking!

Downtown Los Gatos has much to offer, particularly during the holidays, but now we can add one more thing for which to be grateful – downtown Los Gatos is working to keep the holiday joy in your shopping experience!

Sunday, December 11th, from 11am to 5pm is the first annual Holiday Shopping Stroll hosted by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the seasonal decor, there will be carolers, hot chocolate, and plenty of kids activities for revelers and shoppers alike. More details on the even page.

 

Please see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce’s page for a list of participating stores & shops as well as info on the valet parking…and more!

http://losgatoschamber.com/holiday.php

 

The Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!

100_2661December is upon us, and with it are all kinds of holiday wonders in beautiful Los Gatos.

Lots is happening in and around our quaint corner of Silicon Valley, and keeping up is half the battle. To make your holidays a little less stressful and a little more jolly, I have organized a list of events and activities going on in Los Gatos this holiday season. Below you will two lists – one with unique holiday events by date and a separate list of ongoing events. These lists do not include religious services, so please check your preferred place of prayer for those schedules.

 

Here’s the rundown on carriage rides, the Fantasy of Lights, the tree lighting ceremony, the Los Gatos holiday parade, and more:

Continue reading

Vasona Park’s Fantasy of Lights (Light Festival)

Fantasy of LightsThe 16th annual Fantasy of Lights show at Vasona Lake County Park begins soon, and some people have started phoning me about it already.  Please note that I do not run the event – I am only posting information about it. Full info can be found on the county’s park website – see link below.

When: The Fantasy of Lights runs from Monday Dec 8 to December 23, 2014 from 6 – 10pm. Prior to that, on November 23 ONLY it is a “walk through” event which runs 5pm to 9pm.

Where: Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road (near University Avenue), Los Gatos

How much: The cost varies.

$15- per Vehicle starting Dec 7th
$25- per Vehicle 10-25 guests (no discounts)
$50- Commercial buses (no discounts)

More details:

Please visit the Santa Clara County Parks page for the Fantasy of Lights to get more information on bus rides, special events and more! And to learn how to ride the Billy Jones train to see the lights (you’ll get many but not all of the lights), click on this link.

(More questions? PLEASE do NOT call me about this event – I’m a Realtor in Los Gatos, I’m not in charge of this venue! Please contact the SCC Parks Dept and check out their website for the Fantasy of Lights! The Vasona phone number is (408) 355-2201.)

Please visit Live in Los Gatos for year round events, neighborhood information, photos around the town, interesting real estate market data, haunted places and even some historical tidbits.

ALSO – SPONSORS AND DONORS ARE SOUGHT!

Please check out the parks’ page for info on becoming a sponsor or donor:
http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/

 

 

Los Gatos is a wonderful place to visit during the holidays, but it’s also a great place to live year round! If you are interested in buying a home in Los Gatos (or selling one), please contact me, Mary Pope-Handy. I’m both a Realtor in town and a resident myself, working full time in helping nice folks to buy & sell homes here and throughout the west valley.

If you aren’t familiar with the area, here are a few things to know!
Buy a home in Los Gatos (info on neighborhoods, school districts, homes for sale to browse online, links to important local sites & info)
Relocating and buying a house in Los Gatos
Los Gatos real estate on Facebook
Los Gatos real estate market statistics & trends for houses
Los Gatos realty trends and stats for condos & townhouses

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday Dec 6, 2013 in Downtown Los Gatos

November 29, 2013

Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Los Gatos, CAThe Los Gatos Community Foundation and the Town of Los Gatos sponsor the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on Friday, December 6th, 2032, beginning at 5pm at the Los Gatos Town Plaza. The late afternoon to early evening festivities will include music, the tree lighting at 6pm and a visit from Santa at 6:01pm. For Los Gatos, this officially marks the beginning of the holiday (Christmas) season.   Please stop by!

And for those new to the area, the next morning is the annual holiday parade, too. The parade always takes place on the first Saturday in December, and the tree lighting is always the night before. Mark your calendars!

For more information on this annual event, please visit the Los Gatos Community Foundation’s page:
http://www.losgatoscommunityfoundation.org/tree.php

Many thanks to all of the volunteers who make this annual event happen!

Holiday Celebration at Testarossa

December 05, 2011

Testarossa Winery is hosting a holiday celebration at its tasting room in Los Gatos this Sunday, December 11th, from 12 noon to 4pm. The event includes music and an expanded pour. Reservations are not required. The wine tasting room is located at 300-A College Avenue, Los Gatos.

Learn more about this event on the Testarossa Winery website. Find directions on the same site as well.

 

 

Vasona Lake County Park's Fantasy of Lights in Los Gatos

November 21, 2010

Fantasy of Lights 2010 at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos CA (Silicon Valley)

Click here for info on the 2011 production!

The 2010 season of the “Fantasy of Lights” at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos runs from November 26 to Dec 31st and is open from 6 – 10pm nightly (every night, no exceptions).

This year marks the 12th anniversary of this very popular Silicon Valley lights festival in which people drive approximately 1.5 miles through a beautiful path of themed light displays.

The Fantasy of Lights does have an admission charge which covers the cost of the event (employees, extra lights, police help with the traffic, etc.). 

When: The Fantasy of Lights runs from November 26 to December 31, 2010, 6 – 10pm nightly.

Where: Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road (near University Avenue), Los Gatos

How much: The cost varies. For the best deal, get early bird tickets! $10 discount admission per vehicle through December 9th. $15 from Dec 10th – Dec 31st. For cars, minvans etc. holding 10-25 people, cost is $25 (no discounts) $50 for commercial busses.

For even more information, please visit the county parks site, www.ParkHere.org. In late 2010, someone took a video and uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy! It’s long, but good.

To see info from years past and comments from some visitors, please visit my older post here on Live in Los Gatos:

Vasona Park’s Festival of Lights

 

Los Gatos is a Great Place for a Weekend Away, a Family Reunion or Romantic Date

July 30, 2010

Old Town Shopping Center in Los Gatos on University AvenueLos Gatos is a wonderful place to live, but also it is a great place to visit for a retreat, a weekend getaway or a family reunion – especially in summer! Whether you are travelling alone, with one special person or thirty of your closest relatives, there’s a lot to do and to enjoy in Los Gatos.  
 

Why vacation in Los Gatos?

There’s lots to do and to enjoy in the town of LosGatos for people of all ages! 

  1. Free music  Los Gatos has a number of free musical concerts outdoors (Jazz on the Plazz on Wednesdays, Vasona Vibrations on Saturdays and Music in the Park on Sundays) throughout the summer
  2. Plays under the stars  Enjoy Shakespeare and other plays at scenic Oak Meadow Park in July in August (it is really worthwhile to time your visit to be here for these performances!)
  3. Awesome parks  Our parks can’t be beat!  Huge Vasona Lake County Park is a great place to picnic, throw around a frisbee, do some sailing or take a paddle boat ride.  There’s also an historic wooden carousel and a great small guage railroad train running through Oak Meadow and Vasona Parks (which are adjacent to one another.)
  4. Wine tasting  We have tasting rooms both in town (Testarossa and Fleming Jenkins) and in the hills above Los Gatos. Napa and Sonoma are lovely, but you do not need to go that far!  Have a look at the website for the Wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains and be amazed at the selection! 
  5. Amazing restaurants  Los Gatos offers all kinds of foods and menus for all kinds of budgets, ranging from simple and affordable to world-class and pricey.  Many restaurants are also “kid friendly” – And, there are loads of places which offer outdoor dining too. Several restaurants downtown can package food to go so you can enjoy the live music while eating at the park.
  6. Spas and massages  There are a number of places for experiencing a relaxing massage, so go ahead…be pampered!  (The Spa of Los Gatos is my favorite but I understand that the Hotel Los Gatos also has great massages too, and I know there are others.)
  7. Hiking galore  The Los Gatos Creek Trail is perhaps the best known of many places to “go take a hike”, but Los Gatos is crawling with scenic places to hike or go mountain biking.
  8. Shopping This is no all-indoor mall area!  Scenic Los Gatos offers unique shops as well as a few chain stores. Shop away!
  9. Scenic strolling If hiking the Los Gatos Creek Trail is not for you, don’t fear! You can walk through downtown Los Gatos and meander off the main roads to stroll among beautifully well preserved neighborhoods full of Victorian homes in the Edelen, Broadway, and Almond Grove neighborhoods…. Or walk up a flight of stairs and take in the Fairview Plaza area.  What could be prettier than the “painted ladies” of yesteryear? Prefer the downtown area? That works too.  The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce provides an historic walking map of downtown Los Gatos with the most interesting spots highlighted.
  10. Museums  Los Gatos is home to both an hisoric museum (at Forbes Mill) and an art museum (at the old fire station). Check out the current offerings at their shared website, MuseumsOfLosGatos.org.
  11. Movies  Los Gatos boasts a classic movie theater that is right in the heart of downtown.
  12. Petroglyph  Paint and fire up some ceramics and make memories that you can take home with you! Great for all ages….
  13. Ongoing events The Los Gatos Chamber has a great calender of Los Gatos events which you should check out – there’s loads going on all the time in Los Gatos
  14. Sunset Concert Series at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in late winter, early spring.
  15. Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning next to Town Plaza Park – great food, flowers and more often then not, entertainment too
  16. Bocce Ball – can be played at Campo di Bocce restaurant or at Oak Meadow Park
  17. Dog friendly – the town is a very dog-friendly place, and there’s a dog park that Los Gatos shares with the neighboring city, Campbell.
  18. Romantic  Los Gatos and the nearby areas are full of wonderfully romantic places, both restaurants and otherwise. Please see my post, Great Places to Kiss (in LG)

La Campagna Building in Los Gatos at the corner of Main Street and Santa Cruz AvenuesAnd…there’s even more nearby!!  Go just a little further and you can enjoy several fabulous things in neighboring Saratoga, too: horseback riding (at Garrod Stables), concerts at Montalvo and at The Mountain Winery, and more shops, restaurants and spas in downtown Saratoga too. 

Got more than a couple of days? Spread out and see a bit of Silicon Valley, including the Winchester Mystery House, Great America Theme Park, The Tech Museum of Innovation or the Children’s Museum in San Jose.  Or go “over the hill” to the beach & boardwalk at Santa Cruz – it’s only about 25 minutes away in regular traffic.  You’re just scratching the surface!  But make Los Gatos your “home base”.

Children will love many things about Los Gatos & nearby areas

  • Vasona & Oak Meadow Parks: the carousel, the train, the paddle boats, the playground (esp the real airplane!), the 100+ acres of lawn, the lake, the ducks & swans
  • Eating at The Diner of Los Gatos, where burgers come in large paper “cars” with 50s styling
  • Outdoor music (where you don’t have to be too formal or too neat)
  • Making ceramic items at Petroglyph 
  • Bocce Ball
  • Movies
  • Nearby: the Children’s Discovery Museum (San Jose), Great America Theme Park (Santa Clara), the Beach & Boardwal
    k (Santa Cruz), horseback rid
    ing at Garrod Stables (Saratoga)

What about accomodations in Los Gatos?

Hotels: There are a number of wonderful hotels in Los Gatos, including the Hotel Los Gatos, the Toll House Hotel and The Garden Inn (where Marilyn Monroe and  Joe DiMaggio spent part of their honeymoon). Unfortunately, Los Gatos does not have any & Bs. (I don’t know why not – the downtown area strikes me as perfect for a & B!)  Some residents do rent out their homes for vacation rentals, though. Check Craigslist.com for that!

Clothing optional resort: There are other types of accomodations, too.  Up in the hills a little bit you’ll find the Lupin Lodge, a clothing optional resort.  (I can’t say much on it because I’ve never been…the idea terrifies me, frankly.)

Religious (Catholic) Retreats:  There are religious retreat centers nearby, too (that is more up my alley!).  The Holy Names Sisters have  a retreat place close to downtown [Los Gatos at 82 Prospect Avenue, Los Gatos 95030 tel (408) 354-2312].  I made a retreat there in the early 80s and it was very, very nice.  Not too far away, the Presentation Sisters have a retreat grounds also [19480 Bear Creek Road Los Gatos CA 95030 (408) 354-2346].  I have not yet visited but understand that they have done some “green building” there.

Whether you want a quiet day or two or more by yourself, a romantic weekend with the one you love or  to organize a reunion of family & friends, there’s plenty to do in Los Gatos. Summer is a particularly good time to vacation here because of the many free music concerts and the fabulous plays.  But year-round, there’s always something to do and enjoy, so come visit.  You may like it enough that you’ll want to stay!

Reminder: Tree Lighting Ceremony Tonight, Parade Tomorrow

December 04, 2009

Quick reminder that the Los Gatos tree lighting events are now underway at the town park plaza (next to the downtown post office at Main Street and North Santa Cruz Avenue)!  The tree will be lit at 6pm & afterwards the carriage rides will begin.  Tomorrow is the town’s annual holiday parade at 11am. Please be advised that this is a popular event (this year there are 285 entrants!) so parking can be a challenge. Get there early!

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Holiday Events in Los Gatos for 2009

November 23, 2009

It’s late November and that means the holidays are almost here: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are all just around the corner. It’s time to count our blessings, share the joy and spend time with loved ones. . . .Maybe, too, it can be a time to give back to the community and do some volunteer work. More on that below!

Holiday 2009 Events in the Town of Los Gatos:

Tue 11/24/09 7:30pm Thanksgiving Interfaith Service Congregation Shir Hadash
Fri 11/27/09 6:00 – 10:00pm Fantasy Train of Lights – 1st night Oak Meadow Park – details below
Thur 12/03/09 10am – 4pm Summit League

Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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