Bay Area families know there’s a lot more to San Jose than meets the eye: between the sprawling Children’s Discovery Museum to the Tech Museum, this Silicon Valley city has been pumping out diversity, culture and innovation long before you could say start up. We’ve gathered up all the fun things for kids to do from museums to parks to an amusement park just for them in this list below. Don’t forget to swing by our San Jose events calendar to see what events are happening during your San Jose visit.

photo: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Children’s Discovery Museum
Since opening in 1990, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose has become one of largest and most respected museums of its kind in the nation. Geared towards kids 10 and under, the CDM offers hands-on discovery from everyone’s favorite bubble room to a fire truck you can climb on. Don’t miss their new outdoor space, Bill’s Backyard, for down-in-the-dirt action.

180 Woz Way
San Jose, CA
Online: cdm.org

Municipal Rose Garden 
Rolling green lawns and colorful showy blooms highlight the San José Municipal Rose Garden. In fact, hardly a day passes when some species is not in full bloom, with more than 3,500 plantings and 189 varieties featured.

Naglee Avenue & Dana Ave.
San Jose, CA
Online: sanjoseca.gov

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Los Gatos Creek Trail
The Los Gatos Creek Trail system extends from downtown San José to the hills above Los Gatos Creek. On-street travel along bike lanes on Willow Street is required to travel between downtown and west San José.

San Jose, CA
Online: sanjoseca.gov

photo: Kate Loweth

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Part zoo, part amusement park, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose offers family rides, a Puppet Theater, play areas and an accredited Zoo with over 140 animals, from endangered lemurs to miniature horses. Kids will love the giant climbing structure in the middle of the park where there’s tons of shade for parents to take a break. All the rides are included in the price of admission and they are geared more toward the 10-and-under set. Pro tip: Save the merry-go-round at the entrance for bribery to get the kids to leave.

1300 Senter Rd.
San Jose, CA
Online: happyhollow.org

Japanese Friendship Garden
This well-maintained park covers six acres of manicured landscape, waterfalls, bridges and bonzai plants. It’s a great spot to bring the kids for a picnic.

1300 Senter Rd.
San Jose, CA
Online: sanjoseca.gov

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
Dig deep into history at this spot that’s right next to the Municipal Rose Garden. Weekends are a great time to visit as they offer a family scavenger hunt and other activities. Explore all the time periods in Ancient Egypt and don’t miss a stop at the tomb. They also have a great outdoor courtyard if you need a fresh air break.

1660 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA
Online: egyptianmuseum.org

photo: Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Museum of Innovation
This 132,000-square foot museum is one of the nation’s premier science and technology museums. The Tech is dedicated to inspire the innovator in everyone. Through fun, hands-on experiences and one of-a-kind floor programs, many supported by Stanford and NASA, the museum unleashes the creative sparks hidden within.

201 S Market St.
San Jose, CA
Online: thetech.org

Raging Waters
Raging Waters San Jose has everything you need to make your summer exciting! Featuring cabanas and a picnic grove to host your next birthday, party, family reunion, or corporate get together. Raging Waters is convenient and hassle free. Fun for the family, and thrills for anyone that’s looking to get their heart pumping, we’re the perfect summer spot that does it all! With attractions like Dragon’s Den, Endless River, and Wacky Water Works for children, Raging Waters is the best place for everyone young and old.

2333 S White Rd.
Tully Road off Capitol Expressway
San Jose, CA
Online: rwsplash.com

photo: Evan Zimmerman/Murphy Made

Broadway San Jose
Performing at the Center for Performing Arts right in downtown San Jose, Broadway San Jose offers tons of kid-friendly shows with Wicked and Les Miserables coming up this season. Matinees are offered on the weekends for those with earlier bedtimes.

Center for the Performing Arts
255 S. Almaden Blvd.
San Jose, CA
Online: broadwaysanjose.com

Emma Prusch Farm Park
Yes, a farm in the middle of the city! Head here to meet some friendly chickens that greet you in the parking lot and then make your way to the barn where there are usually some pigs, cows and horses to check out. Bring quarters so that you can feed the animals!

647 S King Rd
San Jose, CA
Online: pruschfarmpark.org

The Best Upcoming Events for Kids in San Jose
If you’re looking for events and activities, don’t miss our local San Jose events calendar, which has everything from story times to seasonal activities like apple picking, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms.

—Kate Loweth

Featured photo: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

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