Summer may be coming to an end but there is still plenty of time for fun in the sun and around town. So before the school year commences, grab the kids, pile into the family car and prepare for some exciting adventures in and around the Silicon Valley area! These are 8 of our favorite kid-friendly activities close by!
1901 Monterey Road, San Jose, CA 95112
This may be the only time Mom is glad to have her kids bouncing off the walls! A trendy trampoline park, jumpers can enjoy a dodgeball arena, slam dunk zone, ninja course, open jump area, vertigo climbing and more! For older children (or parents), the X-Beam lets participants choose a padded lance and work to maintain balance while trying to knock their opponent from the beam. In short, it’s a fun way to exercise and make sure your kiddos get out all that pent-up energy.
748 Story Road, San José, CA 95112
Animal lovers unite at this family-friendly, 16-acre zoo and amusement park. Originally opened in 1961, more than 150 exotic, endangered and rescued ambassador animals including jaguars, meerkats and American alligators call Happy Hollow hollow. Besides wildlife, zoo-goers can enjoy the carousel, rides for all ages, petting zoo and Puppet Castle Theater. Contributions go to local and global wildlife conservation initiatives.
400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Located along the sandy beach, this classic seaside amusement park features more than 40 rides and attractions! Experience the thrill of the world-famous 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster; fun fact, it’s been featured in films such as “Sudden Impact,” “The Lost Boys” and “Dangerous Minds.” Another crowd favorite is the vibrant Looff Carousel, a hand-carved merry-go-round that has been entertaining children since 1911. Aside from the kiddie rides and roller coasters, families can enjoy indoor arcades, a miniature golf course, numerous shops and restaurants galore.
886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
Recognized as one of the best aquariums in the country, a quick day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is worth it! Bringing to life the wonders of the ocean, its oceanfront location features over 200 world-class exhibits and 80,000 animals and plants including playful otters, swaying kelp forest, and spectacular sharks. During exhibit visits, stop by the cafe to dine-in or peruse the Aquarium Store for a souvenir.
180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110
Since 1990, the mission of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose has been to inspire creativity, curiosity and lifelong learning. Here, children and adults alike can explore numerous exhibits including the LeRoy Neiman Art Studio Gallery where individuals can create artwork, Bubbles where kids can compete to create the biggest bubble with the giant rings, and Bill’s Backyard to discover the natural world scaling the Tree Climber and scooping sand in the Dig Pit. Regardless of the type of discovery a child is looking for, the 52,000 square foot purple building is bound to have it.
3050 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA 95020
Another short day trip away, Gilroy Gardens proves that fun for kids of all ages grows on trees. Set against a beautiful backdrop of six majestic gardens, the park features excitement for all ages. Come for the rides and stay for the laughs while floating in a bright balloon, racing on the Timber Twister rattlesnake coaster, or fly above the trees on a giant mushroom swing. When the heat gets to be too much, cool off with twisty waterslides, a giant waterfall, and swan or duck-shaped boats in the lake.
4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Offering big thrills and little ones, California’s Great America is fun for the whole family. Guests can enjoy gondola rides that soar over the entire park at a leisurely pace and offer amazing 360-degree views, or they can hop aboard Mass Effect: New Earth to experience a next-generation 3D ride simulator with 4D effects. For more excitement, take a spin on RailBlazer, the ground-breaking single-rail steel coaster, or cool down on the Rip Roaring Rapids, a white water rafting expedition down a rugged river course in a 6-person raft. Little ones will appreciate the music and shows or spending time in Planet Snoopy with the PEANUTS Gang.
201 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
For the littlest of innovators, The Tech Interactive is a science and technology center that offers hands-on activities, design challenges and experimental labs to inspire curiosity and creativity. Children can step into the role of a cyber sleuth in Cyber Detectives, take a ride in a chair resembling a NASA manned maneuvering unit, and explore how body movements work with Microsoft’s Kinect technology that leads visitors through three activities – pose, balance and bounce. There is even an opportunity to design, build and program a real robot using sensors, controllers and actuators!
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