December is almost upon us, and with it comes all kinds of holiday events and activities in beautiful Los Gatos.
Keeping up is half the battle with so much happening this December! To make your season a little less stressful and a little more jolly, I have organized a list of holiday events and activities going on in Los Gatos. Below you will find two lists – one with unique events you might only have a day or two to enjoy, and a separate list of ongoing events you can join in all December long. These lists do not include religious services, so please check your preferred place of prayer for those schedules.
So get ready for carriage rides, the Fantasy of Lights, the tree lighting ceremony, the Los Gatos holiday parade, crafting, caroling, cookies and more!
The 21st 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 – see link below.
When: The Fantasy of Lights runs from Tuesday December 10th to December 30th, 2019 from 6 – 10pm. Prior to that, Saturday December 7th and Sunday December 8th ONLY it is the Fantasy of Lights Walk-Thru event which runs 4pm to 9pm. The Fantasy of Lights is closed on Christmas Day.
Where: Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road (near University Avenue) Los Gatos, CA
How much: The cost varies. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
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.
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.
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 bring the holiday joy into your shopping experience!
This Sunday, December 10, from 11am – 4pm Los Gatos encourages you to shop local for the holidays at the 2nd Annual Holiday Stroll. In addition to the seasonal decor, there will be carolers, hot chocolate sales, a visit from ol’ Saint Nick, and plenty of kids activities for revelers and shoppers alike. Additionally, there’s free valet parking!
The 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!
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.
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:
Los 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!
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
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!)
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
Shopping This is no all-indoor mall area! Scenic Los Gatos offers unique shops as well as a few chain stores. Shop away!
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.
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.
Movies Los Gatos boasts a classic movie theater that is right in the heart of downtown.
Petroglyph Paint and fire up some ceramics and make memories that you can take home with you! Great for all ages….
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
Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning next to Town Plaza Park – great food, flowers and more often then not, entertainment too
Bocce Ball – can be played at Campo di Bocce restaurant or at Oak Meadow Park
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.
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)
And…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
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!