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Kid-friendly activities in San Jose

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that San Jose has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

A kid looks at a neon light carousel.

There’s so much to explore at the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Table of Contents

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Great America to hidden gems like the Glow Candle Lounge, there’s something in the great 408 for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 20+ kid-friendly activities around the South Bay.

🧠 Educational activities

Children’s Discovery Museum, 108 Woz Way
There’s no shortage of fun exhibits and hands-on activities that will stimulate your young one’s mind. Kids can dig for fossils, explore the power of air, or prepare their own food in a mini kitchen. Kids will remember all the interactive displays that they actually get to touch in a museum.

The Tech Interactive, 201 S. Market St.
Little scientists and young engineers will love the exhibits that teach them about cyber sleuthing, gravity, robots, and more. Kids will remember creating their own virtual roller coaster at The Innovator.

History Park, 635 Phelan Ave.
Give your kids an interactive history lesson about Santa Clara Valley through galleries, vintage collections, and workshops. There’s even an ice cream shop inside — to balance out all the academic fun, of course. Your kids will remember riding the trolley while looking at historic buildings.

🎨 All about the arts

San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S. Market St.
Young artists will be taught to observe, discuss, and create art by the museum’s artist-in-residence. Kids ages 6-14 will remember the fun weekly themes like visual journaling, art + activism, botanical oil pastels, and more.

Hidden Talent Art Studio, 1375 Blossom Hill Rd., Ste. 17
Founders Jean and Shana encourage self-expression at this studio, and will help guide lessons that combine both art and problem-solving skills. Kids of all ages will remember the fun factoids on artists + art eras during the guided sessions.

Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge, 1140 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 5
Explore creativity with your little ones by creating a one-of-a-kind ceramic art piece, or head a few doors down to Glow Candle Lounge and make a personalized candle. Kids will remember their original take-home piece that they worked hard on.

Zoo employee holds out a parrot for little girl to look at.

Happy Hollow teaches visitors about animal care + conservation.

Photo via Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

🌳 Great outdoors

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, 748 Story Rd.
There are experience-based programs for all ages at Happy Hollow, from drop-off programs for toddlers that teach them about different parts of zoo life, to teen paint nights that offer food + mock-tails. Kids will remember the various animals they met, and the wild ones they got to pet.

Santa Clara County Parks, locations vary
Your young adventurers can participate in natural history tours, challenges + contests, and science lessons within our county’s beautiful parks. Kids will remember their experience becoming a Junior Ranger.

Wilder Skills, 23600 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
Send the kids to a day camp at Quarry Park where they can learn wilderness survival techniques, outdoor cooking, and plant identification. Kids will remember learning outdoor adventuring skills.


Bond over the love for food + cooking at Tastebuds Kitchen.

🍽️ Foodie families

TasteBuds Kitchen, 1150 Foxworthy Ave.
From Asian street food to flower cupcakes and turtle bread, kids of all ages can learn to be a junior chef. TasteBuds offers Mommy & Me classes, family sessions, or drop-off classes. Kids will remember the dinosaur cupcakes and donuts they learned to make with new friends.

Cucina Bambini, 1041 Lincoln Ave.
Kids ages 5+ will learn how to roll their own pasta, make sushi, or participate in cooking challenges alongside other little chefs. Kids will remember the themed culinary camps like Disney Delights or American Road Trip.

🛼 Indoor activities

LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 870 Great Mall Dr.
Master builders will enjoy seeing the Bay Area in bricks — 1.5 million to be exact — as well as participating in building challenges + making their own LEGO person. Kids will remember creating their own LEGO car and racing with another builder.

The Plex, 800 Embedded Way
There’s fun for everyone in this giant entertainment complex. Enjoy an arcade, bocce ball, a bounce house room, climbing walls, cornhole, and a skating rink — all under one roof. Kids will remember knocking you over in a fun game of Bubble soccer.

Aloha Fun Center, 2190 Eastridge Loop
Get groovy with the young ones at this roller rink that also offers laser tag, black light mini golf, and an arcade. Beginner skaters can also take lessons at this rink. Kids will remember the Hawaiian decor + fun lights as they skate around the large rink.

Immersive Gamebox, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Ste. 2605
All ages will enjoy this immersive experience that offers themed games like “Paw Patrol,” “Squid Game,” “Angry Birds,” “Shaun the Sheep,” and more. Kids will remember the vibrant visuals that transports them into their favorite movie, TV show, or game.

Waterslides at South Bay Shores.

Slip n’ slide at Great America’s South Bay Shores.

💦 Splash around

South Bay Shores, 4701 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara
The kiddos will love making a splash at Pup’s Pier, a mini Raging Waters that includes small geysers, fountains, and eight mini-slides. For the thrill-seekers, there are four large, plunging water slides. Kids will remember the Breakers Bay wave pool that turned them into mini body surfers.

Raging Waters, 2333 S. White Rd.
Find family fun with Raging Waters’ exciting slides, kiddie rides, lazy river, and 350,000-gallon wave pool. As Northern California’s largest water park, there’s enough to fill a full day — we recommend getting a cabana. Kids will remember riding the two-person Great White Shark ride down its throat and into the Lazy River.

Emerald Hills Golfland, 976 Blossom Hill Rd.
For an all-around experience, take your young ones to Golfland where they have the choice to plunge down water slides, race against each other in the arcade, or play a few rounds of mini golf. Your kids will remember the tall water slides that give them a glimpse of the whole golf park.

A drive-in movie screen at night.

Pull up with blankets and snacks at West Wind Capitol Drive-In.

Photo via Jessica Te

🌙 After-hours attractions

West Wind Drive-In, 3630 Hillcap Ave.
Give the kids a cinema experience they won’t forget. As the city’s last standing drive-in, you can enjoy the nostalgia while your young ones enjoy a film in the comfort of your car with snacks. Kids will remember watching a film under the stars.

Lick Observatory, 7281 Mount Hamilton Rd.
Take your young astronomer to Lick Observatory’s “Evening with the Stars,” where they’ll learn the history of the observatory, view the stars through a telescope, and meet world-renowned scientists. Kids will remember viewing the night sky through the larger-than-life telescope.

Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd.
For the ones who don’t scare easily, consider taking a “Walk with Spirits” tour (for ages 5+) where they can learn about the history of the mansion and the Spiritualism movement. Kids will remember the spooky, quirky aura of the house.

Ready to visit these local attractions but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured activities.

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