Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around San Jose
Best Places for Kids in the San Jose area!
Every May and June, thousands of local parents, grandparents, and caregivers weigh in on their favorite local places to take kids. Typically, we showcase the Top 20 winners... but this year, in honor of KidsOutAndAbout.com's 21st birthday (we originally launched in June of 2001), we bring you the San Jose area's
TOP 21 Places to Take Kids!
Of course, there are literally hundreds of wonderful places to take your kids in our area, not just this year's winners! After you check out the list, make sure to find great things to do on our packed daily calendar, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter, and visit our Everything That's Free page for lots more ideas.
1. Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
Test, tinker, and create with more than 150 hands-on exhibits exploring science, humanities, the arts, nature, and health. It’s family fun and learning with open-ended play at the award-winning museum that inspires creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning!
2. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Connecting people to nature through play, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is a division of the City of San José, Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services Department. With tens of thousands of visitors passing through our gates each year, the teams at Happy Hollow understand the importance of providing great experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
3. My Local Library
Of course, the libraries in the San Jose area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them to the list of best places to take kids this year!
5. The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo
The Junior Museum & Zoo is a place where children and their caregivers come to explore, discover, create and play. Through hands-on science exhibits and a diverse community of live animals, your child's natural scientist will be nurtured.
6. Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm offers a glimpse into life on a family farm between 1890 and 1930. Step back in time as you explore the remnants of the once vast estate of George and Clara Patterson, whose family farmed the land for over 100 years, beginning in the 1850s. East Bay Regional Park District has operated the property as a fully functioning, turn-of-the-last-century farm since 1985.
7. California's Great America
California's only combination theme park and waterpark, offering more than 100 acres of world-class entertainment for guests of all ages!
14. The Tech Interactive
The Tech Interactive is a family-friendly interactive science and technology center located in the heart of downtown San Jose, California.
19. Raging Waters San Jose
Northern California's largest waterpark! More than 23 acres of slides and attractions, including raft rides, body slides, kiddie activity pools, thrill rides, the endless river and wave pool. Raging Waters San Jose was founded in 1985 and is Northern California's Largest Waterpark, offering scenic panoramic views of Lake Cunningham and the San Jose Foothills, over a million gallons of San Jose water slides, rides, and attractions, and 23-acres of family-friendly fun!
20. Safari Run San Mateo
A fantastically fun and healthy entertainment center for the whole family! Attractions: Big mazes, climbing tunnels, giant slides, running track, separate toddler area, parent lounge, plasma TV in every room, free Wi-Fi, always clean!
21. Children's Musical Theater San Jose
Children's Musical Theater San Jose (CMT) trains and educates today's youth through musical theater to set and achieve high artistic and personal goals, and to inspire them to become exemplary artists, patrons and citizens of tomorrow. In a normal year, CMT mounts ten full-scale musical productions at the historic Montgomery Theater in downtown San Jose. As a nationally acclaimed theater organization and the oldest performing arts organization in San Jose, CMT remains dedicated to providing the highest possible caliber of musical and theatrical training to children from ages 4 to 20, spanning all abilities. We stand behind our promise never turn a child away, regardless of financial or physical limitations.
Top Arts Educator: Children's Musical Theater San Jose
CMT offers a robust arts education program providing year-round training, master classes, guest artist series, winter and summer camp. Our Student Matinees offer affordable weekday performances to audiences of young people, many of whom are experiencing the gift of live theater for the very first time. CMT prides itself on being a reflection of the community it serves, with an ethnically diverse staff, board of directors, and roster of participants.
Top Sports Educator: Silicon Valley Karate
Silicon Valley Karate has been setting the high bar for instruction in authentic, traditional Shotokan Karate since 1998 (but its primary instructor actually started teaching elsewhere in 1984). Come find out why so many people agree that this is THE place to do Karate! Choose to be awesome! Choose Silicon Valley Karate!
Top STEM Educator: Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
As an integral part of our commitment to conservation, Happy Hollow offers engaging experiences to educate the community about wildlife. The Education team encourages people of all ages to embrace their wild side with our new virtual program options. Fascinating encounters with animal ambassadors help visitors feel more connected to animals, and motivate them to take action to protect the natural world.