Two 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
Looking for more to do in town? Check out the festive Los Gatos Carriage Rides, too.
The 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 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!
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!
See other Los Gatos events (or nearby) written about on this site
The 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).
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
Celebrate the season in style with the Los Gatos Halloween Pet and Kids Parade! It’s so nice to have a pet and children parade back!
Details on the Los Gatos Halloween Pet and Kids Parade
The event takes place on October 30th 2022 from 3 – 5 p.m. (check in at 2:45 on Grays Lane near Loma Brewing, which is at the intersection of Grays with N Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos).
Come in costume and bring the whole family. Many downtown merchants will be participating in handing out treats to the costumed visitors participating.
The cost is $10 per family or $5 per individual, and the recipient of funds raised will be The Street Dog Coalition.
Howling Halloween – a precursor
Years ago, we had a fun dog costume parade in Los Gatos each October called the Howling Halloween Pet Parade. The proceeds used to go to the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department’s K9 unit – a wonderful cause. That event was hosted by Society Dog, a pet supply company that closed several years ago.
You can learn more about the Los Gatos Halloween Pet and Kids Parade and buy tickets at their EventBrite page.
This weekend will be the first Los Gatos Beer and Wine Walk, and it promised to be a popular event! We’ve had Spring Wine Walk and Fall Wine Walk, but this is the first such event in town that includes beer.
Particulars of the Los Gatos Beer and Wine Walk 2022:
- Date is Saturday October 15, 1 – 4 pm
- Location is downtown Los Gatos
- Tickets are $50 each if paid in advance, or $55 the day of the event if not sold out
- The event will be on, “rain or shine”
- Must be 21 to participate
For all of the details, please see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce’s website
Los Gatos Wildcat Theatre – presentations in October 2022
Visit the Los Gatos farmer’s market!
List of Los Gatos neighborhoods – list with links to articles on each