Best Places In The South Bay To Take Family Photos

September 13, 2013 5:00 AM

Computer History Museum (credit:

Family memories are precious, especially as the years pass by. You often look for just the right words to describe a celebration, event or occasion, but as the saying goes, one picture is worth a thousand words. Here are five South Bay destinations to capture those photo memories.

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San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
Naglee Ave. & Dana Ave.
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 277-5422

The stunning San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is a pretty place to take pictures with the kids. It is a peaceful, beautiful place in a lovely neighborhood with enough space to move around and take in all the beauty. The park simply looks great and smells incredibly fragrant, especially in the spring and early summer when the roses are in full bloom and their fragrance can be smelled from blocks away. There is a large fountain in the center of the park surrounded by benches where you can have a picnic lunch. You may even see a family of ducks drifting by in the water or the swallowtail butterflies that hatch in summer and fly into the park. This area is lovely for family photos, although unfortunately the fragrance cannot be captured.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
1300 Senter Road
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 794-6400

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo offers families a natural and imaginative escape for memorable gatherings. The park exists to provide a conservation-centered outdoor adventure for children and parents, and began as a way for families to have a small Disneyland-type adventure park right in their own hometown. This little amusement park makes for a fun day out, and comes complete with plenty of animals and rides that the kids will enjoy. There are lots of trees and plants and opportunities to walk around the park, taking photos of the kids on the carousel, kiddie swings and other rides or fascinated by the many animals in the zoo. Indoor and outdoor dining is available and homemade, bagged lunches are allowed entry to the park for a family picnic.

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park
3050 Hecker Pass Highway
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 840-7100

Gilroy Gardens is a non-profit educational institution with a mission to educate families, particularly children, on the importance of trees and horticulture in our lives. The Gardens achieve this mission by providing a beautiful setting for family fun and the memories families take home with them. Photo ops are everywhere here with rides and attractions, including water play areas to cool off in during the summer heat. There are paddle boats and a Rainbow Garden Boat Ride too. Gilroy Gardens has a number of restaurants and other food purchase spots, so plan on lunch here as no outside food is allowed.

Related: The Best Spots InThe Bay Area For Taking Pictures

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Shoreline at Mountain View
3070 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 903-6392

Shoreline at Mountain View is a 750-acre wildlife and recreation area that offers wonderful outdoor opportunities for families to explore together. Photo ops are plentiful at Shoreline’s numerous meadowland, wildlife and habitat areas. Shoreline features a boat sailing lake, an 18-hole golf course, historic Rengstorff house – Mountain View’s oldest and finest example of Victorian Italianate architecture on the West Coast — miles of paved trails, wetlands with two tidal marshes, two creeks and five irrigation reservoirs on the golf course. The many popular recreational activities here include jogging, walking, sailing, bird watching and open areas for kite flying. Any of these activities open up terrific family photo opportunities along with, of course, great memories for a lifetime.

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Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043
650) 810-1010

Spend a family day at the Computer History Museum with its many opportunities to learn and play with fascinating exhibits including multimedia exhibitions. This place is great for older kids interested in computers and gadgets, plus there are exhibits with buttons and lights that younger kids might like. Here you can discover why computer history is 2,000 years old as you uncover the roots of today’s Internet and mobile devices. Take photos as you explore some cool exhibits, including picture ops of the kids on the original “Jeopardy!” stage set where the IBM Watson debuted. There is a lot to learn about this and all of the other exhibits here, most with broad appeal.

Related: Best Spots To Spend A Summer Day With Your family In The South Bay

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

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