If the weather’s fine, as it often is here, you might start by introducing your kids to Oak Meadow and Vasona Parks, which are adjacent to each other. Oak Meadow includes a great airplane that kids can climb on, a beautiful carousel and a small train that loops into Vasona and back. Vasona has paddle boats that can be rented (seasonally). And of course there’s lots of playground equipment and sprawling lawn for those who want to toss a ball or frisbee around. For time outdoors, these parks are hard to beat. Read more about these very cool parks here: http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/vasona-and-oak-meadow/
The Youth Science Institute is a program offered at Vasona to help educate students on nature. This is not a one day event but is extremely worthwhile. Check it out: http://www.ysi-ca.org/
If your little people like to hike and explore, the Montalvo estate and grounds in Saratoga is a great nearby option on a dry day, too. Montalvo is an arts center but there are wonderful trails which can be enjoyed. But no picnicing, sorry! Learn more at my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog: http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/great-time-of-year-to-visit-villa-montalvo/
All ages: any of the free music events, all of which are out doors, virtually all summer long in Los Gatos!
Touristy but still fun
Roaring Camp and Big Trees http://www.roaringcamp.com/
The Mystery Spot http://www.mysteryspot.com/
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk http://beachboardwalk.com/
California’s Great America in Santa Clara (amusement park, rides) https://www.cagreatamerica.com/
Time to eat!
There are MANY great kid-friendly restaurants in Los Gatos. A few of my favorites are these:
- The Diner of Los Gatos (hot dogs and burgers come in paper “cars”) http://.LGDiner.com
- Andale – patio dining http://andalemexican.com
- Double D’s sports bar – lots of tv screens, pool table, things going on, not stuffy! http://www.doubleds.com/
- Gelato at Dolce Spazio (or Fro Yo elsewhere) http://www.dolcespazio.com/
The Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose https://www.cdm.org/
The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose https://www.thetech.org/
Petroglyph (in Los Gatos, Willow Glen, and Santa Cruz locally) http://www.petroglyph.com/
Looking for more ideas? There’s a slightly longer list of kid friendly things to do on another of my blogs. Have a read:
The 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)
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:
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
August 20, 2011
The land at 930 University Avenue in Los Gatos is earmarked to become the long-desired sports park, the Creekside Sports Park. The town’s planning commission is holding public hearings on Wednesday August 24 2011 at 6:00 at the Council Chambers, 110 East Main Street, Los Gatos.
Why is there a public hearing? The town of Los Gatos needs to decide how the land will be used and accessed. Of particular controversy is whether or not there should be a pedestrian bridge over the Los Gatos Creek, connecting the sports park to Vasona Lake County Park (and the town’s Oak Meadow Park).
Also on the docket for the evening is more discussion of the Albright Way & Winchester development (sometimes called the Netflix project to the dismay of some).
The town helpfully publishes agendas ahead of time. You can view the Los Gatos Planning Commission agenda for this particular meeting online also at the following url:
November 21, 2010
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.
To see info from years past and comments from some visitors, please visit my older post here on Live in Los Gatos:
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|
February 08, 2009
The Youth Science Institute, which has facilities in Los Gatos at Vasona Lake County Park, in Saratoga at Sanborn Park, and in San Jose at Alum Rock Park, has met its campaign goal of $300,000 and will keep its doors open!
Read more at the YSI website: http://www.ysi-ca.org/
January 21, 2009
The Youth Science Institute, or YSI, is based in Los Gatos at Vasona Lake County Park, but serves all of Santa Clara County. It serves about 30,000 children each year across Silicon Valley and is highly regarded, but has been in danger of being shuttered due to a significant financial shortfall of $300,000. It’s down to the wire now and just $20,000 is still needed by the end of January.If you can help, please visit the campaign’s website and donate or make a pledge!
How did the YSI come to be in such a dire situation? Apparently it was due to a combination of things, from fewer signups in the summer programs, not enough donors or donors unable to be as generous as in the past, fewer field trips (due to state budget issuesj etc.
The YSI had fewer than 200 donors prior to the fundraising campaign. Today that number is over 1000. The public support has been fantastic but a little more help is needed: $20,000 by the end of January.
Please help if you can!
Congratulations to Jewish Family Services for Overwhelming Success with the First Annual Silicon Valley Duck Race!
June 26, 2008
Last Sunday afternoon, Jewish Family Services (based out of the Jewish Community Center on Oka Road in Los Gatos) hosted the first Silicon Valley Duck Race to benefit the many charities it supports countywide. Ten thousand ducks were available for adoption in the race – and it was a sellout! They raised fifty thousand dollars through this race. Congratulations and good job!!!
I was unable to attend as I was hosting an open house, but you can read about it online and see who won what, and which charities benefit, at www.SiliconValleyDuckRace.com.
April 29, 2007
Yesterday I visited Vasona Lake County Park to see the nesting Great Blue Herons. While there, I took 54 photos of adjoining Oak Meadow and Vasona Parks. It’s impossible to capture all of these two parks in one quick slideshow, but I did attempt to do that with another one-minute Real Estate Show.
Mary Pope-Handy’s Photo Tour: Vasona & Oak Meadow Parks