Family Activities » San Jose, CA

Family Activities in San Jose, CA

Ancient museums, mysterious mansions, zoos and parks are just a few fun family activities you can experience in San Jose.
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Children's Discovery Museum

This children's museum has over 150 exhibits, making it one of the largest of its kind in the nation. The focus of this museum is having children learn by touching, feeling and doing. With over 28,000 square feet of semi-permanent and traveling exhibits, children will learn to be creative and discover the world around them. The Kids' Garden area is a real working garden where real fruits and vegetables grow. Children can learn what it's like to tend to plants, and why it's important to grow a garden. Morning chores, making flower wristbands and watering the garden are all chores the children can participate in. Other exhibits at the museum include the art gallery, bubbles, cornhusk dolls, theater and secrets of circles. 

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium

With over 4,000 Egyptian artifacts on display, the Rosicrucian Museum houses the largest collection on exhibit in western North America. The Junior Archaeologist Program allows children ages 5 to 17 to experience behind the scenes and hands-on learning opportunities. You can take a guided tour, or download the MP3 tour and experience it at your own pace. Because cats were a big part of the ancient Egyptian culture, you will find a wide variety of cats displayed in bronze, wood and even mummies. Learn all about how mummies are made and the process it takes to become mummified. Learn about the scribes in ancient Egypt, and the tools they used to create their writings. 

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

A large area of zoo animals and park spaces, the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is fun for all ages. By providing stimulating environments for the animals, it allows their animal behaviors to be enhanced. The park area is filled with different themes for all ages. Young children love the Double H Ranch Exhibit, where they can interact and get up close and personal with domesticated species of animals. Family rides are found in the park, and include a carousel, roller coaster and Danny the Dragon ride. The Giggle Grove is perfect for toddlers and younger children, and offers smaller play equipment. The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo also offers a puppet theater, classes and camps.

Winchester Mystery House

Knowns as the "World's Strangest Home," the Winchester Mystery House has over 160 rooms. Sarah Winchester, the Winchester rifle heiress, left Connecticut in 1884  and traveled to San Jose where she began building this mysterious house. To this day, it is unknown as to why she was so obsessed with building such a large house, with more and more rooms added on. One of the staircases in the house is very strange, as it descends seven steps, then rises eleven steps. When taking the tour, make sure to stay by your tour guide and not wander off, or you could be lost in the maze of hallways and rooms for hours. Hidden rooms and secret passageways are all found within the walls of this mysterious home. 

Japanese Friendship Garden

San Jose's "sister city" is Okayama, Japan, and the Japanese Friendship Garden is a symbol of that partnership. It is modeled after Korakuen Park in Okayama. This garden is a great place to go to sit on a quiet afternoon and collect your thoughts. The garden is located in between the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, and History San Jose. Koi fish have recently been returned to the park, and feeding them is a fun family activity. Make sure you bring quarters with you to purchase fish food. The different fountains and bridges are the more popular things to see while visiting. Admission to the garden is free.