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Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

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Portland, Oregon
posts: 125
Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

My husband has a business trip scheduled and my daughter and I will go along so we can head to Disneyland on his days off. Not sure where we'll be staying yet, but we will have a car. What kind of things can we do together while my husband is working? I am not a very adventurous person but the thought of staying in a hotel room for 6 days with a 5 year old is making me more adventurous. :)

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 26,163
reviews: 131
1. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

travelforkids.com/Funtodo/…california.htm has info on what one can do in California. Just to make sure that you are posting on the correct forum, you are all visting San Jose California for 6 days and I presume you are then driving the 400 or so miles to Anaheim for Disneyland and you don't think that Disneyland is close to San Jose

I am sure the San Jose folks can jump in. Three or four places we have been to in that area. The Tech Museum in downtown, Happy Hollow Zoo which is somewhere further south, Gilroy Gardens, Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton on the way to Santa Cruz, and Santa Cruz boardwalk but you should check hours and days they are open.

You could also take Caltrain to San Francisco for the day and ride cablecars and do all the fun stuff kids and parents do in the city

Edited: 11:26 am, September 04, 2012
Portland, Oregon
posts: 125
2. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

Yes. Thank you for checking :) We will be making the LONG drive from San Jose to Anaheim. It will be a trek, but it's a more cost effective way for us to visit Disneyland. Thank you for the website and the recommendations. I will certainly look into them.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 125
3. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

A couple more questions (for now) Best beach with a small child? I am from a small town and get nervous in new places. I hope not to offend anyone, but is the San Jose general area safe and which beaches would be closest? Last time we went to San Jose are with my husband we stayed near the great mall in milpitas. the first day we arrived it looked sketchy, but then during the weekday it seemed great.

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 10,316
reviews: 80
4. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

San Jose is very safe for a large city - probably one of, if not the safest large cities in the US. When you know where you will be staying, let us know and we can give you some better advice about the area close to your hotel.

In general though, good advice so far. I don't think anyone has mentioned the Childrens Discovery Museum, which is right downtown San Jose. This is a field trip destination for all the local schools - always seems to be a big hit with the kids.

For the best beach with kids - Santa Cruz has lots of good beaches. The Boardwalk was mentioned already - that is an amusement park on the main beach in Santa Cruz. The Boardwalk itself is free, but you pay to go on the rides and play games - and there are plenty of good games and fun little rides for kids, including an historic carosel. The wharf is next to the Boardwalk and has a resident population of sea lions, which is always a hit with the kids.

I like the beach at Capitola Village with kids - the village has shops and restaurants, and there is a creek that empties into the ocean there. Kids love to play in the creek, which of course doesn't have waves and it a little warmer than the ocean.

Someone mentioned Roaring Camp railroad in Felton - if your kid likes trains, definitley go here. Lots of fun. You can also go to Henry Cowell state park, which is next door (literally you can walk between the two). In the park is a short interperative trail where you can learn about redwoods - that is a good little walk with kids. Felton also has a covered bridge nearby - good for 20-30 minutes of looking around. Kids seem to get a kick of of covered bridges.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 125
5. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

Great! Thank you so much!!! I am getting excited and not just about Disneyland now. :)

6. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

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7. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

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Edited: 10:10 am, January 10, 2013
San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,310
reviews: 42
8. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a terrific place for all ages! It is not a "theme park" or a collection of thrill rides, but what we over-50's used to call an "amusement park." It's pretty much the last old-fashioned Coney Island type beach resort on the California coast.

Be sure to check the days and hours. Once school starts, the hours are shorter, live entertainment is limited, and many attractions are open only on weekends. During school vacation periods like Thanksgiving week, they expand the schedule again. The adjacent Municipal Wharf has restaurants, shops, exhibits, and a colony of sea lions that hang out on the pilings beneath the deck. The deck has viewing ports where you can look down at the critters.

www.beachboardwalk.com/

Closer to home (in San Jose) is the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and tickets include in-and-out for the same day.

http://www.hhpz.org

A 5-yo may be too young for mummies or “haunted” mansions, but you know your child best. So you’ll have to decide about the Winchester Mystery House and Rosicrucian Museum. Some people poo-poo the Winchester house as a tacky tourist trap, but it’s quite an architectural oddity and has a bizarre history. As Halloween approaches, for those who are so inclined, they have special “fright nights.” The Rosicrucian Museum has one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian mummies and artifacts in the U.S. It’s located in a park setting with other buildings and features that remind you of Egyptian culture.

www.winchestermysteryhouse.com

www.egyptianmuseum.org

Be aware that San Jose is very big. In both physical size and population, it’s larger than San Francisco, and public transit is not ideal to get around to some of the less central locations. It’s true that there has been more concern lately about gang activity and the crimes it creates, but no bit city is immune to that. Comparatively speaking, it’s a pretty safe place. It is not Camden or Detrot, or Oakland, or even Vallejo or Richmond.

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 10,316
reviews: 80
9. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

San Jose is still a very safe city, even with the increase in crime. Crime has been big news here because there were several murders in a short period of time. Most cities would be relieved to have our crime problems though, because out problem years look like low crime years for a lot of cities.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 11,310
reviews: 42
10. Re: Things to do with a kiddo during non-summer season

** "but no bit city is immune to that." **

Ooops, I meant "big city." San Jose is not really a "bit" city!

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