Los Gatos Tree Lighting Ceremony

Los Gatos tree lighting info - click to visit town's pageTwo of the best attended and most celebrated holiday events in town are the Los Gatos tree lighting and the parade, both of which usually happen the first weekend in December.

Annual Los Gatos Tree Lighting

This year, the Los Gatos Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place Friday, December 2nd, at the Town Plaza Park (located at Main & Santa Cruz).  Per the town’s website:

The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with the lighting at 6:00 p.m. sharp. Free photos with Santa in the park will immediately follow the lighting until 7:00 p.m.

Normally there are snacks for sale and live music plays from local schools or from professional musicians. There aren’t many details on the town’s webpage, but no matter what, it is sure to be a very joyful event.

The annual holiday parade will take place the next morning. Details below.

The 66th Annual Los Gatos Children’s Christmas/Holidays Parade!

On the morning following the tree lighting, return to the downtown area to watch the annual Los Gatos Children’s Christmas/Holiday Parade travel down E Main Street and N Santa Cruz Avenue.  It begins at 11am rain or shine December 3rd. Parking and seats go quickly so plan to arrive early! Or skip the traffic and road closures and arrive by bike, with a free bicycle valet service provided from 8:45am – 2pm at Municipal Lot #1 behind Hercules Draft House and Cantina (formerly Flights or Hult’s Restaurant).

Sponsors include LGS Recreation, Los Gatos Lions club, and the Los Gatos High School.

Learn more at the LGS Recreation official parade page or on the Los Gatos Chamber’s website.


Los Gatos holiday parade
Los Gatos holiday parade

Looking for more to do in town? Check out the festive Los Gatos Carriage Rides, too.

Los Gatos Carriage Rides

Los Gatos carriage ride graphic with night sky - making memoriesThe annual Los Gatos carriage rides are in December, to the delight of many in and near town to celebrate the holiday season.  To me there are few things so festive as seeing and hearing the horses clippity-clop down Main Street and North Santa Cruz Avenue each December.

The dates run from Dec 9 to Dec 23, but not every single night:

December 8-10, 5:00-9:00pm
​December 14-18, 5-9:30pm
December 20-23, 5-9:30pm

What do the Los Gatos Carriage Rides cost?

This year, the horse drawn carriage ride will set you back $125 for a regularly sized carriage (4 adults, 2 kids under age 8 max) or $150 for a larger one that accommodate up to 6 adults.

Where to book a reservation & pay for the Los Gatos Carriage Ride

This fun experience is sponsored by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, and you can purchase your tickets and read all the requirements and rules on this page.

Downtown Los Gatos is adorned with holiday lights and décor, and I’d encourage everyone to enjoy some time there, even if it’s just a socially distanced drive through the business district and nearby historic residential districts. If you can manage the horse drawn carriage rides, so much the better, but all visitors are in for a visual treat no matter how they see the area.

The Monte Sereno real estate market

Monte Sereno Stained Glass Click HereThe City of Monte Sereno is a popular community bordering Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s also quite small, with just about 3,500 residents, so tracking the real estate market trends for the area can be tricky.

The number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small and the data will jump around. Checking the Los Gatos market will also help, but the best pulse on the market will come from particular sales in particular neighborhoods.

Houses make up most of Monte Sereno – there are no commercial buildings, just a post office, city hall, and an elementary school. There are also extremely few residential properties that are not detached single family homes. We don’t track the condo or townhomes in this area as we do in other communities because there just wouldn’t be enough (if any) data for it!

First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales). This is updated automatically, so feel free to check this article weekly to see what’s happening now with list prices.



Below is the Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the complete Real Estate Report).

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

By the end of October this small city had only 4 closed sales and 9 active listings – so take any swings in data with a grain of salt. The current chart shows clear and distinct cooling in Monte Sereno, despite prices being up significantly! Why such dramatic differences? One of those 4 sales was a luxury property valued over $10M.

Inventory continues to grow month-over-month while pending sales are shrinking, and all inventory and activity is well below last year.

The sales to list price ratio also tends to swing wildly with so few sales, but has remained over 100% on average for well over a year. Of these 4 sales, 2 sold over asking and 2 sold below.

While the average days on market slowed significantly month-over-month, the individual sales tell a different story. Of the 4 sales, 2 sold in under a week, 1 took exactly 2 weeks to sell, and 1 took a month and a half to sell. Overall homes are still selling extremely quickly!

Again, with so few sales the data is often sqewed by one or two extraordinary sales. With high demand and extremely low inventory, Monte Sereno remains in a strong seller’s market with clear cooling.


Trends At a Glance Oct 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,025,000 (+16.7%) $3,450,000 $3,850,000 (+4.5%)
Average Price $5,497,500 (+41.0%) $3,900,000 $4,281,710 (+28.4%)
No. of Sales (0.0%) 4 (-42.9%)
Pending (-50.0%) 8 (-42.9%)
Active (+28.6%) 7 (+50.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.5% (-4.6%) 102.2% 104.1% (-6.4%)
Days on Market 18 (-57.1%) 41 24 (-27.9%)
Days of Inventory 68 (+33.0%) 51 26 (+162.5%)

MLS info pulled directly: the charts below all were pulled from MLS Listings.com

Read more

Ramohs Pacific Railroad in East Los Gatos

Graphic with locomotive for the RM Heintz miniature train, the Ramohs Pacific RailroadThe Ramohs Pacific Railroad once ran through the foothills off of Blossom Hill Road in East Los Gatos. Today there are hiking trails in the Heintz Open Space Preserve (behind the Heritage Grove neighborhood put up by SummerHill Homes in about the year 2000).

Recommended reading on the Ramohs Pacific Railroad

If you enjoy Los Gatos history, you will love this in depth look at the Ramohs Pacific Railroad by Derek Whaley on his Santa Cruz Trains website:

RM Heintz Miniature Railroad on the Santa Cruz Trains site.


Related reading on Los Gatos history

Cheeky Los Gatos article from 1892 (on this website)

Los Gatos and the 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic: Part 1 (this site)

Hooker Gulch in the Los Gatos Mountains (this site)

Ming Quong: a Los Gatos Monument (this site)

The Los Gatos History Project (NUMU)



Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos - cornucopia and candlesThe annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service is a longstanding holiday tradition here in Los Gatos, and this year it’s both in person and virtual.

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos: key info

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2022
Time: 7 – 8 p.m.
In Person Location: Los Gatos United Methodist Church
111 Church Street – Los Gatos, Ca. 95030

Live stream link for the service.

Attendance is free.

A charity or worthy cause is always supported at these events. In the past they’ve included food and clothing drives as well as cash. This year’s recipient is Recovery Café – more on that below.

This lovely event is organized by the Los Gatos Interfaith Clergy Association. All are welcome!

Recovery Café

The worthy cause being supported this year is Recovery Café. There will be a message shared about the vital work that they do during the service. Donations can be given in person or online. Here’s the link to donate to them. It’s not too early to chip in!

“A healing community for those traumatized by addiction, homelessness, and mental health challenges.”

Learn more about Recovery Café in San Jose here.

Participating Congregations Include

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Congregation Shir Hadash
Jewish Silicon Valley
West Valley Muslim Association
The Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic)
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Skyland Community Church UCC (United Church of Christ)
The Terraces of Los Gatos
Los Gatos United Methodist Church (Hosting)

The participating communities change a little from year to year. In the past, this also included Faith Lutheran Church (ELCA), The Baha’i Faith of Los Gatos, chaplains from Good Samaritan Hospital, and Stanford Health Care.

Many thanks to all of you: those on the committee, the volunteers at the houses of worship who make this possible each year, everyone who donates, and everyone who prays with a grateful heart this season and always.

I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!


Related reading

See other Los Gatos events  (or nearby) written about on this site

Los Gatos real estate market trends and statistics

The Los Gatos real estate market is going into the autumn cool down. This is seasonally normal, even if the market conditions are artificially hurt by the fed’s efforts to control inflation by tightening the money supply with higher interest rates.

We do expect it to be harder to sell for top dollar by November and December. At the same time, for sellers willing to sell with pricing pressure, often the odds are improved since many home owners will remove their properties from the market – especially in December.

For home buyers, selection typically dwindles this time of year. The trade off is that prices are also usually softer. With less demand, it’s not uncommon to see interest rates ease up a little, too, though I’m not expecting that right now.

Los Gatos real estate market graphic with home near downtownStats from the MLS for Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032

As of today, November 8, the Los Gatos real estate market in 95030 & 95032 is cooling down a little – more inventory, fewer sales, longer days to sell:

  • 50  single family homes are on the market in “Active” status – last month at this time it was 48 (of those, 5 are listed as “agent only, show”, and 1 is “agent only, do not show”). The agent only listings means that they are not syndicated to other websites, meaning 6 properties, or 13% of the homes for sale will not be seen on places like Realtor.com, Zillow, or Redfin.
    • The median days on market for these 50 homes for sale is 47. Half the listed properties have been on the market for shorter than this time, and half longer.
    • The average days on market for this group is 57.
    • Six of the homes have been on the market for more than 100 days. Eight more have been on the market for more than 60 days.
    • Additionally, some homes may have come off market, changed the price, and returned with the clock rolled back to zero when they’re really been for sale most of 2022.
  • 3 houses are under contract but there are contingencies of some kind in place (could be loan, appraisal, property inspection, buyer to sell current home, seller to find a replacement home) – so those sales may not go through. It was 4 a month ago.
  • 11  houses are sale pending, no contingencies (this is a small number compared to the active listings) – it was  20 last month at my last update for this post
  • 21 houses have closed escrow in the last month, down from 24 last month and 29 the month before.
    • The average sale price to list price ratio for these 21 houses was 99% – it was 100% on Oct 10 and  97% for my September update. I think it’s fair to say that it is hovering close to 100% generally.
    • The median days on market was 19 for this group – meaning that half of the homes sold in 19 or fewer days and the other half longer. The average days on market for these 21 houses is 37 days. That tells us that some of the sold properties were on the market for a very long time. Three houses took more than 100 days. Twelve of twenty one sold in under a month.

Multi Year Statistics: Los Gatos real estate market

Here is some multiple year over year Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today:


Inventory has risen back up a bit, but is well before all recent Octobers except for October 2021.


2022-11-08 the inventory of Los Gatos houses for sale in 95030 and 95032


Months of inventory for Los Gatos homes for sale

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Vasona Park’s Fantasy of Lights (Light Festival)

2022 Fantasy of Lights in Los GatosThe 24th annual Fantasy of Lights show at Vasona Lake County Park begins soon! Occasionally people call me to ask about it – 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, linked below.

24th annual Fantasy of Lights:

Get your tickets now, they sell out fast! Entry with prepaid tickets only!

What: The Fantasy of Lights


Walk-thru Weekend Dec 3 & 4, 2022 from 4 to 9 pm

Drive-thru Nights Dec 6 – 30, 2022 with 30 minute slots from 6pm to 9:30pm

Open rain or shine. As always, the Fantasy of Lights is closed on Christmas Day (Dec 25).

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

How much: Tickets must be purchased in advance available online through EventBrite.

Walk through cost is $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 4 – 12, and free for 3 and under (tickets still required for free entry!)

Drive through cost is $20 per regular vehicle (up to 12 passenger capacity), $50 per oversized vehicle (13+ passenger capacity).

More details:

Please visit the Santa Clara County Parks page for the Fantasy of Lights to get more information and updates on this event.

Please check the county’s page for this event.

More questions? PLEASE do NOT call me about this event. 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 the occasional historical tidbit.


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 (contact information in the sidebar). I’m both a Realtor based in the Town of Los Gatos and a resident myself, working full time in helping nice folks to buy and sell homes here and throughout the west valley and greater Silicon Valley communities.

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
Monthly Los Gatos real estate market update
Los Gatos real estate market statistics & trends for houses
Los Gatos realty trends and stats for condos & townhouses