Family Attractions in San Jose

You love your kids, and you love to travel – but the two don’t always go together. Not every destination is super kid-friendly, and that can be a bummer for your entire crew.

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You love your kids, and you love to travel – but the two don’t always go together. Not every destination is super kid-friendly, and that can be a bummer for your entire crew. Luckily, in San Jose, California, the sunshine is as bright as the technology. Plan a family vacation here, and all you need is a sense of adventure and a desire to let loose to have some fun. Don’t worry if you’re traveling with a picky pants – the city offers these fab spots along with plenty of others to get you up and running.

Brigadoon Park

Feel like a kid again with a little playtime at Brigadoon Park, where the big attraction is a giant concrete slide, or rather slides. Bring some cardboard, or you’ll be testing more than fate on your slide to the bottom. (Seriously, don’t attempt it without cardboard!). Sliding without it will give you a “hotter” booty than you ever wanted. (New pants, anyone?)

The slides are popular, but they aren’t the only reason to go. Take some sports balls to throw or kick around the park’s large field, or head straight to the swing set and all the fun playground equipment. Note to self: Don’t forget to hit the restroom before heading out; you won’t find toilets at Brigadoon Park.

Children’s Discovery Museum

Palm trees and young boy outside Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, California on sunny day

Rainy day? Sunny day? A visit to Children’s Discovery Museum (CDM) is always worth it — rain or shine. You could go every day and never get bored! Hands-on exhibits for all ages make everyone happy. You can even make giant bubbles. Who doesn’t like giant bubbles?

Drive a fire truck — okay, pretend to drive a fire truck — and halt traffic by changing the stop light inside the museum. Dig for fossils, or check out one of the cool events — there’s always something going on. Think about it. How cool would it be to spend some time creating Vietnamese lanterns or making rice cakes? Learn how at the CDM.

Raging Waters

Cool off and earn some major cool points with your kids. There’s nothing better on hot San Jose days than slathering on some sunscreen and heading to Raging Waters. You need a hefty dose of courage to ride slides with names like Barracuda Blaster, Bombs Away, and Shotgun Falls, but no one’s ever called you chicken, right? If you’re looking for something a little calmer, the Endless River beckons with gentle waves.

Test your balancing skills at the activity pool, hopping across the water on crocodile backs or lily pads. Little tikes can splash in the kiddie area and create their own waterfalls with levers and wheels. As long as you have another set of eyes watching the little ones, you might even get a few minutes to chill out and soak up a few rays in peace while checking out the views of Lake Cunningham and the San Jose foothills. Although San Jose enjoys relatively warm weather year-round, Raging Waters is seasonal, so put it on the calendar for summer.

Japanese Friendship Garden

red bridge surrounded by lush greenery in Japanese friendship garden is reflected by the water beneath it in San Jose, California, on sunny day

When your crew is in the mood for something quieter — hey, it could happen — a visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden is in order. It’s a great spot to do a little walking and talking, but the red curved bridge catches the eye and makes the perfect backdrop for a family photo. Let the kids search for koi fish and egrets while you follow the stream that connects the ponds. The Japanese Friendship Garden is in a walled area of Kelley Park, the home of Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.

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