We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Perfect for the kiddos”

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Ranked #9 of 136 things to do in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose has been a part of Bay Area families since it opened its’ gates in 1961. It’s a unique combination of family rides, amusements, a Puppet Theater, play areas and an accredited Zoo with over 140 animals, from endangered lemurs to miniature horses. Year round classes are offered for ages 12 months to adults as well as special events for all seasons. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo offers yearly Memberships for families and individuals.
N. California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Perfect for the kiddos”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We have been members for about 9 months now, and we LOVE Happy Hollow! When we first walk through the gate we have to go on the carousel first, then it's either to the lower zoo (jaguar, lemurs, monkeys, birds, it's quite impressive for a place of this size) or off to the rides. Our daughter is just under 2 and loves the Granny Bugs, Cars (police and fire trucks), slides, and Danny the Dragon. I personally don't like Danny the Dragon. If you have to ride on it, do it early. The ride takes just under 10 minutes by the time they load up and drive around, so do the math if there is a line. Yikes. They've updated the park very nicely; I do think the things you see on Danny need updating. Some are really janky. The petting zoo is cool, the cafe is convenient. It’s clean, nothing wrong with it, the food is just ok, good for kids.
Once our daughter is a little older there is a new set of rides for her which I like. She’s just too short. I’m guessing the max age to be entertained is 5-7 depending on your kid, with 16 months-5 years old being the sweet spot. Tip – if you’re in the area buy the annual pass and the parking pass. They both pay for themselves very quickly and you can park elsewhere for free too. Now we can go for a couple hours and not be mad we spent $25 + parking.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank jwebbca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

390 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Luis Obispo, California
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Happy Hollow Park, San Jose CA”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Excellent for families with young children. Rides, zoo, animal petting farm, great food too! Can spend modt of a day there. Easy parking.

Visited July 2013
Thank Steve U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay area, CA
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“great fun for smaller kids”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We have a season pass, and go there fairly often. My older daughter is 4, and that seems to be the right age. For her, the roller coaster and big play structure with slides are the hits for her. There are several other rides appropriate to her age. The petting zoo area is fun.

The area is clean and was refurbished in the last couple years.

Visited June 2013
Thank bjblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, California
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Petting zoo more like it. Fun nonetheless!”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Is this a zoo? A park? An amusement park? I can't quite classify it except under "Fun for young kids!" My 2 year old enjoyed this very much and thankfully, was just able to meet the height requirement (36" for accompanied, 40" for unaccompanied riders) for the one and only roller coaster. There are 5-6 rides geared towards younger kids and the wait was never longer than 10 minutes even with many groups of summer camp kids around. Some rides are shut during certain hours of the day, so take note of the daily schedule.

We thought it was a zoo, and told my son that. But it seemed more a petting zoo than a regular one. The lemurs were just sunbathing. We couldn't find the wallabies. But boy did we have fun with the many goats, the mini horses, the donkey ("Eeyore!"), the cow and the sheep. I'd suggest taking note of the Meet and Greet times posted at the entrance. They brought out a snake which any kid would find very cool to touch. And I heard someone saying "Madagascar hissing cockroach this way!" erm, no thanks.

Lots of picnic areas, plenty of shade on a hot day. They thoughtfully provide benches and areas for stroller parking. But why be so unfriendly with a $10 parking fee? Admission is required for kids 2 and up. So for a family outing, this can be quite a costly option.

And yes, the play structure was a huge huge hit!

Visited July 2013
1 Thank FriesAndFoieGras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
536 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
“A Great Place To Take Children”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

This is a relatively small zoo compared to other large cities. The big draw is for smaller children, with a large age appropriate playground and a train to ride. There are some educational exhibits. Adults without children will find greater enjoyment at attractions elsewhere.

Visited August 2012
Thank Modestotrekkerl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Happy Hollow Park and Zoo also viewed


Been to Happy Hollow Park and Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing