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42 Fun Things to Do in San Jose, California

San Jose is a city in California.

With a population of nearly 1 million, the city has a lot to offer.

Known for being a technology hub, you’ll find plenty of museums and centers dedicated to its high-tech culture.

However, you’ll also find plenty of history that dates back to the 18th century at historical sites and parks.

Planning to a road trip around California and wondering where to stay? We’ve gathered a list of the top all inclusive resorts in California!

To help you start your itinerary for your visit to the city, you’ll find a list below of fun things to do in San Jose.

Spend some time in the great outdoors, exploring the beauty of the area, or take advantage of the lively nightlife scene.

Moreover, you’ll find a wide array of family-friendly activities that are fun and entertaining.

Table of Contents

Things to do in San Jose:

1. History San Jose

History San Jose, San Jose

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 1650 Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Open daily until 4:00 pm
  • Trolley available Saturdays and Sundays
  • Special programs events calendar online

Begin your visit to San Jose by gaining an understanding of the city’s history.

History San Jose is a unique type of museum in which you can visit both indoor exhibits as well as outdoor historical parks.

In the Arbuckle Gallery located at the Pacific Hotel, you with find a treasure trove of collections.

Particularly, you can peruse historical California artifacts while inside an 1880 building.

During your time at the exhibit, you’ll be able to see everything from telephone insulators and robots to fashion collections and vintage motorcycles.

Additionally, the McKay Collection offers a look at paintings created by regional artists.

Afterward, take the trolley ride to the off-site exhibits.

While at Diridon Station, you’ll find the history of San Jose’s railroad transportation.

Lastly, see an abundance of historical landmarks and other fascinating exhibits at History Park.

The park holds 32 reproduction and original businesses and homes, in addition to an old-fashioned ice cream shop and charming paved streets. 

2. Gonzalez-Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Historic Site

Gonzalez-Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Historic Site, San Jose

@Source | Bob Emerson

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 175 W St. John Street, San Jose, CA 95110

  • Book tour in advance
  • Allow 90 minutes

Take a tour of the Gonzalez-Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Historic Site, where you will have the opportunity to see 2 distinct styles of historic San Jose homes.

At the Gonzalez/Peralta Adobe, learn about Jose Manuel Gonzales, who built the home in 1797.

An Apache Indian, Gonzales was the adobe structure’s first resident, followed by Luis Maria Peralta, a local commissioner.

During the tour, you can admire not only the atmosphere of the unique home but also see furnishings that reflect the era it was occupied.

What’s more, the outside working oven is available to see.

While at the Fallon House, peruse a Victorian mansion built in the 1850s.

In particular, you will see traditional Victorian furnishings and get an idea of what life was like for one of the city’s first mayors.

3. San Pedro Square Market

San Pedro Square Market, San Jose

Dragan Jovanovic | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 87 N San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA 95110

  • Open daily
  • Local events throughout the year

Once you’ve learned some of San Jose’s history, take the short stroll to San Pedro Market Square.

Are you wondering where to find the best food in San Jose?

At San Pedro Market Square, you’ll find a plethora of cuisines that reflect San Jose’s heritage and international dishes, including tacos, sushi, pizza, and seafood.

Also on hand are cafes, bars, and tea shops.

What’s more, you’ll find boutique shops that sell unique items, such as handmade candles and soap.

4. Mount Hermon Adventures

Mount Hermon Adventures, San Jose

@Mount Hermon Adventures

Rating: 4.9★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $90.00

Address: 17 Conference Drive, Felton, CA 95018

  • Book in advance
  • Allow 2 hours
  • 45 minutes from downtown San Jose

If you’re looking for exciting things to do near San Jose, make the short drive to Mount Hermon Adventures.

The adventure company will give you the opportunity to see the redwoods of California in a unique and thrilling way.

Go on an Aerial Adventure and make your way between trees as you make your way along wooden and rope bridges.

Alternatively, you can take the Redwood Canopy Tour.

The tour includes 2 suspension bridges and 6 ziplines that will take you over creeks and through trees.

Moreover, you’ll feel safe and comfortable during your time with the adventure company.

Tour guides, safety equipment, and training are all on offer.

Lastly, get a look at your included photos that capture your memorable experience.

Exploring other parts of California? Why not check out the top unique things to do in Los Angeles , best things to do in San Francisco, and our list of top things to do in Bakersfield!

5. Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

Dragan Jovanovic | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $9.99

Address: 525 Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Allow 2 – 3 hours

For a fun and unusual historical experience, make a visit to the Winchester Mystery House.

Not only is the mansion a famous and popular spot for tourists, but also offers several types of tour options.

Take a classic tour of the mansion and learn about the strange home created by Sarah Winchester.

During the tour, you will be able to view 110 of the rooms and see some of the more fascinating points of interest.

Discover strange doors that lead to nowhere, as well as odd staircases and architectural details.

Also available are tours of the Victorian gardens.

Stroll through the well-maintained gardens and get a look at original trees, hedges, and plants grown by Sarah Winchester.

In particular, cherry laurels, colorful flowers, and statues all grace the property.

For unique and fun things to do in San Jose, the museum provides special tours and activities, such as axe throwing and self-guided nighttime flashlight tours.

Moreover, you can stop by Sarah’s Attic Shooting Gallery and play old-fashioned arcade games.

Even better, get your friends together for an escape room adventure inspired by Harry Houdini’s visit to the house.

Before leaving, be sure to check out the gift shop that offers everything from books to vintage toys and home décor.

6. West Wind Capitol Drive-In

West Wind Capitol Drive-In, San Jose

@West Wind Drive-In and Public Market

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $9.00, Children: $2.00, Ages 4 and Under: Free

Address: 3630 Hillcap Avenue, San Jose, CA 95136

  • Showtimes online
  • Discounts on Tuesdays

Are you searching for something fun to do in San Jose with your family?

See a movie at West Wind Capitol Drive-In and enjoy a retro experience that dates back to 1933

The family-owned theater has an old-school atmosphere blended with high-tech movie-watching.

Before the show starts, stop by the snack bar for some popcorn or burgers and sit back to enjoy a box office hit.

Moreover, the drive-in offers first-run movies and midnight screenings that will let you see early-opening films.

In between showings, play some arcade games and sample some pizza.

Additionally, you’re sure to enjoy the movie fully, with a massive screen and state-of-the-art digital projectors.

7. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San Jose

Michael Vi | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 150 E San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Open daily
  • Located at San Jose State University

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is a public space that offers much more than your typical library.

During your time there, you will find exhibits, collections, and art installations throughout the 475,000-square-foot building.

As you make your way through the nine-storied structure, take the time to admire artworks scattered on each floor.

Particularly, you’ll find 34 works that include dramatic sculptures, functional pieces, and light projections.

Moreover, the library has rotating exhibits you can peruse at your leisure.

Discover political works and cultural collections, as well as diverse international subjects.

Afterward, take a look at the library’s special collections.

You’ll be able to get a close-up view of manuscripts, maps, and books that catalog local history, as well as the country’s past.

Additionally, you can visit centers that showcase the lives of Beethoven and John Steinbeck.

8. San Jose Sonic Runway

San Jose Sonic Runway, San Jose

SnapASkyline | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: 

Address: 200 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Lit daily, 5:00 pm – midnight
  • Showcases the speed of sound

Located in front of San Jose’s City Hall, the San Jose Sonic Runway is a delightful art installation you’ll want to check out while strolling in the downtown area.

Only illuminated at night, the installation provides music and lights synchronized to create a fun experience.

With a variety of intricate light patterns and music, as well as 554 LEDs, the free show is one you won’t want to miss.

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9. San Jose City Hall

San Jose City Hall, San Jose

Calimedia | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.1★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 200 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Built in 2002
  • 285-feet tall
  • 2nd-tallest building in San Jose

During a stop at San Jose City Hall, you will find an impressive and dramatic piece of architecture that is a landmark building.

With curved glass walls, the modern building is perfect for photos both day and night.

Additionally, you can take a stroll through the surrounding plaza.

While perusing the area, admire the breathtaking water sculpture, art installations, and courtyards.

10. Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, San Jose

Jejim | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults and Children: $15.00, Seniors: $14.00

Address: 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110

  • Open Wednesday through Sunday
  • Bring water and snacks for Bill’s Backyard
  • Café
  • Event calendar online

Are you looking for kid-friendly activities in San Jose?

Visit the Children’s Discover Museum of San Jose, where both you and your kids will enjoy creative and interactive exhibits.

Stop by the art studio and spend time together as you both let your imaginations run wild.

During your visit to the studio, you’ll find unique art activities that include blow pain, printmaking, and digital art.

Afterward, head to the Amazing AirMaze to explore the power of air.

Play around with 2 stories of tubes as you experiment with objects and test hypotheses about air pressure.

Also on hand are exhibits that provide the best things to do in San Jose with kids, such as building spaces, a kid-size market, and a bubbles play station.

Moreover, the museum offers a look at fossils like a mammoth skull and femur.

In addition to looking at the fossils, you can get interactive and step into the shoes of a scientist.

Take a step outside and visit Bill’s backyard for some playtime in the natural world or see a live performance at the theatre.

You and your kids will also love Streets, where kids can experience a big city that’s just their size.

What’s more, fun times can also be had at experimental exhibits, such as WaterWays, the Imagination Playground, and Wonder Cabinet.

11. Institute of Contemporary Art San Jose

Institute of Contemporary Art San Jose, San Jose

@Institute of Contemporary Art San Jose

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 560 S First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Open Thursday through Sunday, noon – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 1 – 2 hours

The Institute of Contemporary Art San Jose offers a minimalist setting that showcases amazing works of art.

During a visit to the museum, you’ll discover both international and local pieces.

View work by Japanese creators that speaks to folklore and mythologies.

You can also see multi-media art installations that explore time and space, as well as American history and the African American experience.

Learn personal stories through film, photographs, and oral histories, in addition to national history.

Also available are public programs hosted by the museum.

Attend an artist’s workshop or gain an understanding of unusual art styles.

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12. Alum Rock Park

Alum Rock Park, San Jose

Sundry Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 15350 Penitencia Creek Road, San Jose, CA 95127

  • Tours available
  • Open daily
  • No pets allowed
  • Parking fee

Founded in 1872, Alum Rock Park is a popular public area located in Alum Rock Canyon.

Covering 720 acres, the park is known for its rugged beauty and diverse terrain.

Would you like to find some outdoor activities in San Jose?

Alum Rock Park has a multitude of things to do, such as trails perfect for horseback riding, bicycling, and hiking.

In particular, you’ll find 13 miles of trails.

Moreover, you can have a family picnic after grilling up lunch at the barbecue pits.

Afterward, take your kids to the playground or lounge on the lawns.

Stop by the museum and learn about the park’s history before playing a game of volleyball.

Alternatively, you can head to the mineral springs and explore the creeks.

You can also stop by the visitor center and see natural history exhibits or do some wildlife watching in the dense woodland areas.

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13. San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, San Jose

@San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Varies depending on show or event

Address: 255 S Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Event calendar online
  • 2,677 seats

The San Jose Center for the Performing Arts has been providing entertainment and culture to the local community since 1972.

Presently, you can spend an evening at the large center and see professional performances.

See fantastic shows that include Annie and My Fair Lady, as well as children’s plays.

Moreover, you can see movies, comedy tours, and attend galas.

Other events offered at the center include live concert events for films and documentaries, in addition to Dancing with the Stars and special guests.

Get some laughs with Jerry Seinfeld, watch the amazing work of Riverdance, and see a musical about Tina Turner.

Also on offer are a variety of live music styles and motivational speakers.

14. Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Mission Santa Clara de Asis, San Jose

Yhelfman | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

  • Open daily, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Current building established in 1929

Visit Mission Santa Clara de Asis for a look at both local history and awe-inspiring architecture.

Established in 1777, the Spanish mission is nestled along the shoreline of the Guadalupe River.

During your visit, you will see extraordinary architecture that is neo-colonial and offers breathtaking details.

Although the original mission is long gone, the current building offers styles drawn from historical photographs,

Particularly, the bell tower, decorations, and painted ceiling are replicas of some of the church’s first details.

15. Coterie Winery

Coterie Winery, San Jose

@Mercury News

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: $32.00

Address: 885 W Julian Street, San Jose, CA 95126

  • Open Friday through Sunday
  • Book tasting in advance

Coterie Winery is located near downtown San Jose, making it easy to stop by for a tasting.

Moreover, the winery is the perfect place if you’re looking for romantic things to do in San Jose, with superb events and beautiful surroundings.

Take your significant other for a stroll through the tranquil environment before sampling distinctive wines.

In addition to wine, you can choose to add a pairing of food during your tasting.

Enjoy charcuterie, appetizers, and cheese as you relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Also available at the winery are events that include mouthwatering food pairings.

Sample seafood, wood-fired pizza, and Asian-inspired cuisines, as well as classic American fares.

16. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $10.00, Seniors, Students, and Children: $8.00, Ages 6 and Under: Free

Address: 1660 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95191

  • Open Friday through Sunday
  • Allow 2 – 3 hours

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum houses the largest collection of artifacts from Egypt in the western part of North America.

Consequently, you’ll find exhibits that will keep you enthralled and help you gain an understanding of Ancient Egypt.

During your time at the museum, you will see fascinating collection pieces, such as a statue of Taweret and the mummy of a baboon.

Walk through the replica of a rock-cut tomb and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of an excavation.

While in the tomb, you’ll be able to see sculptures, columns, artwork, and a replica coffin.

At the Alchemy Exhibit, learn the 7 stages of alchemy.

Along the way, you will see a meditation chamber and a reproduction of the workshop of alchemist Azoth of the Philosophers.

Additionally, you can view the mummy of an Egyptian male, an 18th-dynasty coffin, and stone figures.

Moreover, you’ll learn about the deities of Ancient Egypt.

See artifacts that reference gods and goddesses like Bastet and Anubis, as well as Isis and Osiris.

Overall, the museum will take you on a journey from the Neolithic Age to Modern Times, putting it high on the list of educational places to visit in San Jose.

17. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, San Jose

Photosounds | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free, varying cost for rides

Address: 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

  • Rides open daily April through September, weekends during colder months
  • Arcade open year-round

Wondering if there are any beaches near San Jose?

Just a quick 40-minute drive away, you’ll find Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an entertaining destination that offers a mile-long beach and plenty of fun attractions.

Spend some time on the soft sand of the beach or go for a swim before exploring the boardwalk amusements.

Play some miniature golf with your family and challenge your kids to a game of bowling.

Afterward, compete against each other at laser tag or visit the arcade.

If you’re ready for a scare, head under the boardwalk and experience the Fright Walk.

Also available are classic carnival games, face painting, and caricature drawings.

You’ll especially want to check out some of the rides offered at the boardwalk.

Your younger kids will love the pedal cars, in addition to the beach swing and carousel.

For more thrills, take a ride on the Cyclone, Double Shot, or Fireball, plus many more.

The boardwalk also offers rides your whole family will love, including the Cave Train and Loggers Revenge, as well as the Sea Swings and Sky Glider.

Once you’re ready for a break, stop by one of the restaurants or snack spots for a variety of choices.

In particular, you’ll find snacks and meals ranging from boba tea and classic carnival fare to Thai cuisine and sweet treats.

Loving the beach experience? Check out top things to do in Huntington beach, fun things to do in Oceanside, and the best things to do do in Malibu with friends! 

18. Mount Umunhum

Mount Umunhum, San Jose

Sundry Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: Santa Clara County, CA

  • Elevation of 3,489 feet
  • 4th highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Pets not allowed

Mount Umunhum is a part of the Sierra Azul Range, as well as being one of the tallest peaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Moreover, you’ll find an impeccable trail that is an easy to medium hike to the summit.

Are you searching for the best views in San Jose?

Reach the top of Mount Umunhum, and you’ll have a scenic panoramic view that allows you to see everything from the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to the views, you’ll also discover plenty of beautiful wildflowers, natural rock gardens, and wildlife.

For some great photos, head to the East Summit Viewpoint before stopping by the Ceremonial Space to learn about the local Native American community.

You can also visit the peak’s radio tower, also known as The Cube, which played an important role in military history.

Particularly, the tower was part of the missile defense system of the west coast.

19. Intel Museum

Intel Museum, San Jose

Tada Images | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95054

  • Guided tours available with advanced reservation
  • Opened in 1992

While at the Intel Museum, you’ll get an inside look at Silicon Valley’s high-tech world.

Walk inside an ultra-clean silicon chip factory and see the connections between technology and our daily lives.

You’ll see how the technological developments of California have changed the ways in which we communicate, work, learn, and play.

Moreover, you’ll get to see a 130-times replica of a CPU, a behind-the-scenes look at Intel’s most famous products, and learn about the history of the company.

20. San Jose Brew Bike

San Jose Brew Bike, San Jose

San Jose Brew Bike | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $50.00

Address: 199 S Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Book in advance
  • Allow 2 – 3 hours

Take a tour with San Jose Brew Bike and have a fun-filled time exploring some of the best pubs in town.

Make your way through San Jose while pedaling along on a 15-passenger cycle with your guide.

The Brew Bike also provides fun activities to do in San Jose with friends, taking you to some of the city’s best bars and eateries for drinks, food, and a festive atmosphere.




Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Varies depending on group size and game

Address: 625 Wool Creek Drive E, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Book in advance
  • Special event packages available

Escape rooms have become a popular pastime for friends, families, and couples, and OMESCAPE offers one of the best escape room experiences around.

Get spooked in the Dark Altar room, where you have to stop a foreboding ritual.

Comparatively, you can enter Joker’s Asylum and unravel a mystery.

Moreover, you and your family will love The Kingdom of Cats.

Compete in a tournament and solve puzzles before Austin Schrodinger imprisons you.

Also available is Pandemic Zero, which will challenge you to find the cure for a super virus.

While in the Sorcerer’s Sanctum, solve magical puzzles and escape from a spell.

22. San Jose Museum of Art

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.2★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $10.00, Seniors: $8.00, Students, Educators, and Ages 17 and Under: Free

Address: 110 S Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Open Thursday through Sunday
  • Allow 2 hours

San Jose Museum of Art is a great place to see art in an environment that is playful and unexpected.

View international and national contemporary works throughout the museum’s collection.

On offer are installations that reflect local culture and heritage, as well as Asian perspectives and whimsical pieces.

Additionally, the Art Learning Lab is an exhibit that showcases how artists engage with their work.

While at the lab, spark your own creativity with experimentation using tools and techniques found in the works on display.

You’ll also find a plethora of mediums to browse, such as photographs, mixed media, and sculptures.

Before leaving, be sure to stop by the museum’s store and take a look at the variety of products available.

Particularly, you’ll find everything from jewelry and art books to activity kits and stationery.

23. Overfelt Gardens

Overfelt Gardens, San Jose

Lowe Llaguno | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.2★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 2145 McKee Road, San Jose, CA 95116

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – sunset
  • Opened in 1966

Find a tranquil and breathtaking spot in San Jose at Overfelt Gardens.

The 33-acre property provides diverse features that make it one of the top free things to do in San Jose, including towering palm trees, aromatic plants, and meandering pathways, as well as ponds and lakes.

Visit the Chinese Cultural Garden, and you will be pleasantly surprised.

While in the cultural garden, you will see the impressive Friendship Gate, along with a traditional pavilion, sundial, and Memorial Hall.

Throughout the rest of the gardens, be sure to keep an eye out for native wildlife.

You will have the opportunity to catch sight of birds and reptiles, in addition to fish in the water features.

Also, make sure to bring a picnic to share with your family or significant other at one of the designated areas.

Looking for an adventure around California? Why not check out best things to do in Lake Tahoe, and the famous Lake Tahoe ski resorts!

24. Visit Japantown

Japantown, San Jose

Wayne Hsieh78 | Shutterstock

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: San Jose, CA

  • One of three Japantowns in the United States
  • Located 3 blocks north of City Hall

If you’re searching for some great food and fascinating culture, head to Japantown.

During your time in the district, you’ll find fantastic dining with plenty of mouthwatering Japanese cuisine on hand.

Sample sushi, tempura, and ramen before showing off your singing skills at a local karaoke bar.

What’s more, there are international spots that serve everything from Hawaiian dishes to Mexican fare.

Are you searching for the perfect spot for shopping in San Jose?

Japantown offers gift shops, art galleries, and apparel shops, all filled with unique items.

In addition to superb food and fantastic shopping, the district also offers tranquil churches and tourist attractions.

25. Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Japanese American Museum of San Jose, San Jose

@Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $8.00, Seniors and Students: $5.00, Active Military, Ages 4 and Under: Free

Address: 535 N 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Open Thursday through Sunday, noon – 4:00 pm
  • Established in 1987

Before leaving Japantown, be sure to stop at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.

While at the museum, you will learn about the history and culture of Japanese Americans, as well as gain an understanding of the Asian experience both locally and nationally.

Discover the connections between the Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese communities of San Jose before viewing the Bioquilts exhibit.

Not only learn what a bioquilt is but also see how these creative pieces tell a story.

Also at the museum are exhibits that showcase oral histories and historical events.

At the Exquisite Art exhibit, you will find art that was created by people during World War II while being imprisoned in camps.

Afterward, visit The Barracks Room.

While there, you can walk through a recreation of living quarters from Tule Lake camp which was operated by the War Relocation Authority in 1943.

Other exhibits available cover a diverse selection of ideas and subjects.

Peruse displays that highlight sports in the Japanese American Community, as well as life after relocation camps and World War II events.

26. The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive, San Jose

@The Tech Interactive

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Varies depending on activity

Address: 201 S Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Open Tuesday through Sunday
  • Allow 2 – 3 hours

The Tech Interactive should be a must-see on your list, with some of the best things to do in San Jose right at your fingertips.

Your entire family will love the IMAX Dome Theater on hand.

Be immersed in movie experiences that surround you will the sights and sounds of another world.

Additionally, you can peruse interactive exhibits that focus on science and technology.

Design and build your own robot, learn about the history of space innovation, and gain an understanding of cyber security.

Afterward, try out the diverse media types in Reboot Reality or explore science fields like biology and bioengineering.

Also on hand is an exhibit that allows you to see how your body moves through the use of sensors.

27. San Jose Improv

San Jose Improv, San Jose

@San Jose Improv

Rating: 4.3★

Entry Ticket: Varies depending on show

Address: 62 S Second Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Open Thursday through Sunday
  • Book in advance
  • Showtimes and events calendar online

Are you looking for fun places to go in San Jose at night?

Take your date or friends to San Jose Improv and spend an evening laughing your cares away.

Dine on mouthwatering American fare and have a few drinks while you see performances by world-renowned comedians.

Enjoy acts by performers like Gabriel Iglesia, Leanne Morgan, and David Lucas, as well as Jay Mewes and Jessie Johnson.

28. Lick Observatory

Lick Observatory, San Jose

Sundry Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 7281 Mt. Hamilton Road, Mt. Hamilton, CA 95140

  • Open Saturday and Sundays
  • Gift shop

Approximately 1 hour from downtown San Jose you will find Lick Observatory at the summit of Mount Hamilton.

The observatory received renown after discovering Amalthea, the fifth moon of Jupiter, in 1892.

During your visit to the observatory, you can view exhibits and peruse the original marble and oak interior of the main building.

Additionally, a discussion about astronomer James Lick is conducted, and you can get an up-close look at the Great Lick Refactor.

Afterward, visit the Shane dome and learn about one of the 120-inch reflector in the visitors’ gallery.

California has tons of exciting & unique activities, so don’t miss our list of fun things to do on Catalina Island, and Catalina Island camping on your vacation!

29. Almaden Lake Park

Almaden Lake Park, San Jose

Joanne T | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 6099 Winfield Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95120

  • Pet-friendly
  • Open daily, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • 32-acre lake
  • Parking fee

Almaden Lake Park is the perfect place to get away with your family and have a great day out in the sunshine.

While at the park, you can play a variety of sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and bocce ball.

Afterward, grab some drinks and snacks at the concession stand and hang out at the picnic area.

Once you’re rested up, explore the area along Lake Almaden Trail that wraps around the water.

Also on hand are 2 playgrounds for your kids.

Would you like to do some fishing in San Jose?

Go fishing along the shoreline at Almaden Lake Park and unwind as you catch a variety of species like black bullhead, largemouth bass, and bluegill.

30. South Bay Historical Railroad

South Bay Historical Railroad, San Jose

@South Bay Historical Railroad Society, Inc.

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 1005 Railroad Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95050

  • Open Saturdays and Tuesdays
  • Allow 1 hour

Are you curious about the history of San Jose and the surrounding area?

Visit South Bay Historical Railroad, and you will be immersed in the heritage of the local railroad transportation system, as well as enjoy collections both you and your kids will love.

Stroll through the depot and peruse the railroad artifacts on display, including a railroad car.

You’ll also find model railroads that showcase a variety of railroad eras.

Also on hand to see are items like locomotive headlights, railroad signals, and switch stands.

31. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, San Jose

Uladzik Kryhin | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: General Admission: $18.00, Seniors and Military: $15.00

Address: 748 Story Road, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Open Friday through Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 3 hours

While at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, you will find endless attractions and exhibits to keep your family entertained.

Tour the zoo and meet animal ambassadors that include a hedgehog, opossum, and snakes, as well as insects, turtles, and a ferret, plus many more.

At the exhibits, you can see diverse species.

Meet anteaters and goats before getting a look at jaguars, red pandas, and capybaras.

You’ll also see a variety of birds that are colorful and unique.

Afterward, visit the nature play areas or grab a bite to eat at Picnic Basket.

Moreover, you and your kids will both be delighted with a trip to the Crooked House or a visit to the Dino Dig.

There are also plenty of playgrounds on hand that allow your kids to find adventure as they climb, slide, and jump.

Before leaving, don’t miss out on the underground Miner’s Maze and rides.

Particularly, your family will have a fantastic time on rides like the Pacific Fruit Express and Dragon Flyers.

32. Garden at the Flea

Garden at the Flea, San Jose

@Garden at the Flea

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 1590 Berryessa Road, San Jose, CA 95133

  • Open Fridays, 5:00 pm – 10:pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Fee for special events

Are you curious where the locals of San Jose go on the weekends?

Garden of the Flea is an open-air market that is a popular spot where you can not only have a unique shopping experience but also meet local vendors and enjoy live music and street food.

During the day, peruse booths that offer vintage items, apparel, and collectibles, plus much more.

On Fridays, visit the night market and sample a variety of fares from the food trucks.

Moreover, you can shop amidst festive lights while listening to live music.

33. The Plex

The Plex, San Jose

@The Plex

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $8.00

Address: 800 Embedded Way, San Jose, CA 95138

  • Open daily
  • Special event packages available

Are you looking for a way to play sports in San Jose?

The Plex offers a wide variety of activities you can enjoy with your family and friends, with a large center that provides numerous ways to play.

Go skating at the rink and have a great time under black lights while you listen to music.

Alternatively, you can play bocce ball, cornhole, or volleyball.

At the Kids Corner, your children will love some time on the rock-climbing wall and inflatables, as well as the basketball half-court.

Additionally, the Kids Corner offers a craft area and lounge.

Once you’re ready for a cooldown, head to the arcade or grab a meal and drink at one of the eateries.

34. Computer History Museum

Computer History Museum, San Jose

@Computer History Museum

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $17.50, Seniors, Students, and Military: $13.50, Children: $6.00, Ages 7 and Under: Free

Address: 1401 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, CA 94043

  • Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 1 – 2 hours

If you’re still on the hunt for interesting places to go near San Jose, make your way to the Computer History Museum.

Only 20 minutes from downtown San Jose, the museum offers both self-guided and docent-led tours.

Learn all about Photoshop from professionals before trying out some coding or perusing exhibits.

While at the museum, you will learn the history of computing, surprisingly dating back 2,000 years.

Also on hand are collections that showcase computer marketing over the years, laboratory notebooks, and oral histories.

35. Raging Waters San Jose

Raging Waters San Jose, San Jose

Sundry Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4★

Entry Ticket: $54.99

Address: 2333 S White Road, San Jose, CA 95148

  • Open May through September
  • Largest waterpark in Northern California

Raging Waters San Jose is a 23-acre waterpark that will keep both you and your family happy.

Spend some time perusing the waterpark’s shop and find the perfect souvenir, graphic tee shirt, or water accessories before exploring the attractions.

With rides that are great for everyone, from smaller kids to adults, it’s no wonder the waterpark is one of the most popular fun things to do in San Jose during the summer.

Cool off as you speed down slides like Blue Thunder or Bombs Away before relaxing on the Endless River.

Your kids will love slides and water features that cater to their age and the pools that offer a spot for everyone to cool off.

36. Emma Prusch Farm Park

Emma Prusch Farm Park, San Jose

Jejim | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 647 S King Road, San Jose, CA 95116

  • Open daily, 8:30 am – sunset
  • Private tours available for $8.00
  • Community gardens

You and your kids will both enjoy a day at Emma Prusch Farm Park.

The educational park provides numerous areas to learn about how farms work and what farm life is like.

Head to the barnyard and meet a wide range of animals, such as pigs, ducks, and sheep.

Afterward, take a stroll through the citrus grove and apple orchard.

Also available are a redwood grove and a rose garden.

37. Triton Museum of Art

Triton Museum of Art, San Jose

@Triton Museum of Art

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 1505 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95050

  • Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Allow 1 hour

Triton Museum of Art prides itself on offering a blend of local, national, and international art for the public.

See both historical and contemporary works ranging from paintings and photographs to art installations.

What’s more, the museum offers special workshops and events.

Spend the day with your family learning art techniques in a fun way, or attend discussions about art.

38. Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden, San Jose

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.1★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 1300 Senter Drive, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Parking fee

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a gem of San Jose, offering a look at a spot inspired by the famous Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan.

Built in 1965, the garden is a delightful place to visit in the city.

During a walk through the property, you’ll find waterfalls, koi ponds, and charming bridges.

Additionally, you can visit the tea house and sit on the terrace as you have lunch and sample tea.

39. San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose

@San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $10.00, Seniors, Students, and Educators: $8.00, Military, Ages 17 and Under: Free

Address: 520 S First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Open Friday through Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 1 hour

While at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, you will gain an understanding of the connection between culture and creation through textiles.

Although you may associate your grandmother with quilts, the museum will change your mind.

Get an up-close look at quilts that are not only colorful but have modern designs and vibrant patterns.

In particular, you’ll find hand-dyed and hand-painted materials that include cotton and silk.

Moreover, you’ll find fiber art that is unique and even put technology to use in the works.

40. Haberdasher

Haberdasher, San Jose


Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 43 W San Salvador Street, San Jose, CA 95113

  • Open Wednesday through Sunday
  • Speakeasy

Are you searching for a date idea in San Jose?

Spend the evening at Haberdasher, a speakeasy-style bar that offers high-quality cocktails and a sophisticated atmosphere.

Warm up with some hot buttered rum or an Irish coffee in one of the dimly lit corners.

Alternatively, you can try some of the specialty drinks on offer, such as the Mango Tango or Penny Popper.

What’s more, the bar provides rare whiskies you can try through the Bootlegger Whiskey Syndicate.

41. Downtown San Jose Farmers Market

Downtown San Jose Farmers Market, San Jose

Sundry Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.2★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 350 S First Street, San Jose, CA 95110 

  • Open May through November
  • Food trucks on Fridays

Spend a warm afternoon strolling through the Downtown San Jose Farmers Market and find a plethora of products.

During your time at the market, you’ll find local produce, freshly baked goods, and specialty foods.

Grab a homemade cupcake, or try a sweet and soft bao.

You’ll also find products like hummus, microgreens, soups, and honey.

42. San Jose Municipal Golf Course

San Jose Municipal Golf Course, San Jose

@San Jose Municipal Golf Course

Rating: 4.2★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $20.00

Address: 1560 Old Oakland Road, San Jose, CA 95131

  • Open daily, 6:30 am – 9:00 pm
  • 18-hole course

Would you like to play some golf in San Jose?

Make your way to San Jose Municipal Golf Course for some time to unwind on pristine fairways that offer spectacular views.

While on the course, you’ll find beautiful water features and surrounding trees.

Also available are a driving range, lessons, and a pro shop.

Once you’ve played a round, stop by the Muni Bar & Grill for some lunch and drinks.