Kid-friendly activities in San Jose for winter break

From theme parks to cooking classes, educational options to DIY days, check out these kid-friendly activities in San Jose.

Two kids sit on Santa's lap during pictures at Christmas in the Park

Take on the role of Santa this year.

Winter break is no time for kiddin’ around. From Winterfest at California’s Great America to holiday tours, there’s something in San Jose for children of all ages.

Entertain your youngsters over winter break with these fun, seasonal activities.


  • Polar Play Days | Through Monday, Jan. 15, 2024 | Tech Interactive | $28-$34 | You and the littles can have STEM-tastic fun with Polar-themed exhibits, play zones, winter activities, and IMAX Dome Theater thrills.
  • Voyage to Vietnam | Through Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024 | Children’s Discovery Museum | $16-$18 | Discover the beauty, sights, and sounds of Vietnam through the lens of Tet in this interactive exhibition from the Purple Museum.


  • Public art tours | Through Saturday, Dec. 30 | Times vary | San Jose Museum of Art | $0-$15 | Families can join free public tours, and participate in art-making activities and galleries Thursday-Sunday.
  • Observatory tour | Through Sunday, Jan. 6 | 12-5 p.m. | Lick Observatory | Free | Learn the history of the observatory, view the stars through a telescope, and meet world-renowned scientists. Note: Closed on Christmas Eve + Day.
  • Holiday Candlelight Tour | Saturday, Dec. 30 | 6-8 p.m. | Winchester Mystery House | $19.99-$44.99 | Journey through the gorgeous holiday decor, lit up by the warm glow of candlelights.
A nighttime shot of the swings at Great America.

It’s all fun and games until...

Theme parks

  • Holiday Bricktacular | Through Sunday, Jan. 6 | Times vary | LEGOland Discovery Center | $23.99-$36.89 | 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. Note: Closed on Christmas Day.
  • Happy Hollow Park | Saturday, Dec. 23-Sunday, Jan. 7 | Times vary | Happy Hollow Park and Zoo | $0-$18 | Enjoy drop-off programs for toddlers that teach them about different parts of zoo life, and teen paint nights that offer food + mock-tails. Note: Closed on Christmas Day.
  • Winterfest | Through Sunday, Dec. 31 | 4-10 p.m. | California’s Great America | $19.99-$24.99 | Enjoy the immersive holiday event, featuring Santa’s workshop, the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas tree, and holiday food + drink specials.
  • Aloha Fun Center | Through Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | Eastridge Mall | $15-$35 | 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.

Food + Viewing

  • Brunch with Santa | Sunday, Dec. 24 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Hayes Mansion | $34.80-$54 | Little ones can decorate festive cookies, write letters + meet the big man himself.
  • Cooking classes | Through Saturday, Jan. 6 | Times vary | Taste Buds Kitchen | $42-$47 | 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.
  • Drive-in movies | Through Sunday, Jan. 6 | Times vary | West Wind Drive-In | $2-$9 | Enjoy the nostalgia while your young ones enjoy a film in the comfort of your car with snacks.
a girl in a green jacket explores an interactive science display

The museum’s goal is to inspire the innovator inside everyone.

Photo provided by The Tech Interactive


  • Studio day | Tuesday, Dec. 26-Sunday, Jan. 7 | Times vary | Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge | $12-$14 | 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. Note: Closed Christmas Day, open for normal hours on New Year’s Day.
  • Outdoor adventures | Every day | Sunrise-Sunset | Santa Clara County Parks | Free | Your young adventurers can participate in natural history tours, challenges + contests, and science lessons within our county’s beautiful parks.
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