The weekends around Thanksgiving are ideal for family time as the season gains speed and work and school holidays give the family opportunities for more time together. Head for these five kid-friendly activities in the South Bay, all perfect for families to enjoy together.
Lunch With Santa
3050 Hecker Pass Highway
Gilroy, CA 95020
www.gilroygardens.orgDates: Nov. 23-24, 2013
Rev up for the holiday season just as Thanksgiving approaches at this family-friendly event. Bring the kids to lunch with Santa and the Peanuts characters in the Events Plaza and get a preview peek at the Gilroy Gardens Holiday Lights special event. Two meal times are available with limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis: 12-1 p.m. or 1-2 p.m. Check the website for the kid-friendly menu.
9th Annual Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
Downtown San Jose
Santa Clara St. at Market St.
San Jose, CA 95110
www.svturkeytrot.comDate: Nov. 28, 2013, 6:30 a.m.
Begin the day off on the right foot and get ready for that big meal at the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot,” an annual event fit for the entire family. Get in your daily exercise with a thousand other festive folks. For many, it has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition. The run benefits a number of charities, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. These charities and others benefitting today provide families with basic needs for “health, hope and a home.” There are several runs taking place with the Kids Fun Run and Kids Fun Zone being part of the lineup. Kids runs are for children ages two through seven and run in different race categories; registration is before 9 a.m. on race day; races begin at 10:50 a.m. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. General registration must be completed before 6 a.m on race day, and is done online. Visit the website for full details on the day’s events, race categories and to register.
Sundays at Cantor Arts Center
328 Lomita Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Every Sunday, there are various activities just right for families and kids at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center. Spend part of the day doing something creative, including docent-led family tours, art making in the studio and focused drawing in the galleries. Themes for tours and art making activities change every Sunday, so return visits are a natural. Several ongoing exhibitions the family can enjoy will be on view November 30 and December 1, including “Hercules: Renaissance Hero” and “Ad Men: Advertising in Prints, 1960s -1970s.” Visit the website for full details on all events.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium
1660 Park Ave.
San Jose, CA 95191
Although closed on Thanksgiving Day, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium is open the rest of the holiday week. A visit to this fascinating museum, which draws architectural inspiration from the Temple of Amon at Karnak, is an entry into a gilded world that is both intriguing and mesmerizing. While the Rosicrucian is an educational institution that uses trans-disciplinary approaches to increase knowledge about the past, present and future, the learning aspect is a bonus for a wonderful family day. Located within Rosicrucian Park, this unique masterpiece, inspired by Egyptian and Moorish architecture, grabs you upon entry and gets even better inside. The museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America, with objects from pre-dynastic times right through Egypt’s early Islamic era. Kids will be thrilled, along with their parents, at the sheer amount of information they will encounter.
Happy Birthday San Jose! Family Day
1650 Senter Road
San Jose, CA 95112
www.historysanjose.orgDate: Nov. 24, 2013, 11 a.m – 4 p.m, activities begin at 12 p.m.
Say “Happy Birthday” to San Jose and help celebrate the city’s 236th birthday at the Peralta Adobe Historic site. This enjoyable family day event is especially fun for kids as there are tours just for children ages three to eight beginning at 1 p.m, plus live music, dancing, story telling and children’s hands-on activities. Meet members of Founding Families and take tours of the Peralta Adobe and Fallon House. Enjoy a slice of birthday cake too while you help celebrate the occasion. Food is available throughout the San Pedro Market. Admission is free, and activity tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Purchase tickets in front of the Peralta Adobe.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.