Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas In the Park

With over 15 years of enjoying Christmas festivities under my belt, you would think that I have experienced pretty much anything Christmas related in the Bay Area.  Some no longer around like the Hyatt Embarcadero’s Department 56 Snow Village that was originated by the late Len Connacher and then a short return by a different collector backdropped with Hyatt’s famous curtain of lights and the Livermore Lights, one of the winners of the Great American Light Fight who have since moved away for a job opportunity due to exposure from that show.   

Some are paid admission which I have been to once, which was enough like the Dickens Christmas Fair, Global Winter Wonderland which has since moved from San Jose to Sacramento, Gilroy Gardens Holiday Lights, Discover Kingdom’s Holiday in the Park, Santa Cruz Holiday Light Train and Niles Canyon Holiday Lights Train. 

Others although paid, I have repeated twice like Oakland Zoolights and Vasona Park’s Fantasy of Lights. 

A few I wish I could do annually but due to distance presents a challenge like the Apple Farm’s 25 Days of Christmas in San Luis Obispo -, 

I have been kicking off my holiday season every year with the Embarcadero Building Lighting - followed by stops at Union Square’s Macy’s Tree, Westin St. Francis’ Sugar Castles, Fairmont’s life sized Gingerbread House, the Oakland Mormon Temple and two Christmas Tree Lanes around the Bay religiously - and even managed a couple Away (Pacific Grove and San Diego) as my blog is appropriately named.  So you can imagine my surprise when I actually find something new that has been around for decades just waiting for me to discover it. 

How did it take me so long to discover and check out San Jose’s Christmas in the Park? Partly it is probably due to the lack of time and dry weather between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day to squeeze in my favorites listed above and partly because South Bay is the one area I rarely explore. 

This year I had a renewed determination to finally see it for myself and I am so glad I did.  Since this is a new find for me, I experienced this truly through the eyes of a child seeing something for the first time.  I found myself literally clapping with excitement from the 12 Days of Christmas lighted display at the entrance
to what seems like hundreds of decorated Christmas trees courtesy of different schools and organizations

to the animated holiday displays

and finally to the Snowman Hot Chocolate
that was the perfect treat to warm your cold hands as you stroll leisurely through the park.  Unlike most festivities this time of year, this one is open from 9AM because there are quite a lot to see aside from the lights.  We arrived at the perfect time around 5PM when we could still see displays best during the day

and of course the wonderland that lights up the dark.

Although we only needed about an hour to see everything, this has surely made the list to repeat and even tempted to return again this year.  Now if only I could find the time…

194 S Market Street,
San Jose, CA 95113
Until 1/1/2017 9AM-Midnight

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