Los Gatos Creek Trail and County Park
1250 Dell Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
One of the most popular South Bay locations to run, walk or bike is along the Los Gatos Creek Trail. On any given day, visitors are greeted by several walkers, runners and bicyclists of all ages, who politely share the paved 9.7-mile trail. One of the best locations to visit the trail is Los Gatos Creek County Park, which features a casting pond stocked with rainbow trout and an enclosed dog park. The park occasionally offers a Community Fishing Day that teaches children aged five to 15 how to fish.
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Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park
5049 Centennial Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Youth soccer is extremely popular in the South Bay, with several youth leagues operating in the area. The Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park is just one location used for the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League, sponsoring several boys and girls teams from ages up to 16. All three fields at the soccer park are of regulation size, two of them have natural grass and the other has artificial sports turf. The soccer park, whose future neighbor will be the new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers, also sponsors county recreational activities and school programs.
Sharks Ice at San Jose
1500 S. 10th St.
San Jose, CA 95112
Because South Bay is home to professional hockey team San Jose Sharks, ice skating, figure skating and youth ice hockey are very popular activities for local children. Public skating is generally offered seven days a week at Sharks Ice and children as young as two years old can participate in a skating class. The San Jose Sharks Youth Hockey League offers five different age group divisions ranging from six years and younger to junior high. Sharks Ice also sponsors a high school hockey league with many area high schools participating on either a junior varsity or varsity team.
Silver Creek Sportsplex
800 Embedded Way
San Jose, CA 95138
This gigantic complex was voted the 2012 Family Favorite by Bay Area Parent magazine and for good reason. The premier inline hockey facility in Northern California, with three rinks and a capacity of 10,000, has something for everyone. Aside from inline hockey leagues, the facility offers many activities, including flag football, box lacrosse, martial arts, badminton, dance camps and even an indoor golf academy. Also available is an Open Play program that allows children as young as 18 months to 12 years old to play on giant inflatables.
The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Children of all ages can get plenty of exercise at the spacious Tech Museum in downtown San Jose, while learning about modern innovations in science. The museum has an impressive collection of both permanent and temporary science exhibits, with a special emphasis on school-age children. The Tech Museum sponsors an abundance of learning programs for children, such as The Tech Challenge, a team-based design competition for grades five through 12, a hands-on science workshop and after-school science labs. The museum also features the Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater, the largest dome theater west of the Mississippi, and offers movies for the entire family and birthday parties.
About Karen Szabo:
Karen has been the Aquatics Director at the Los Gatos Swim and Racquet Club for 30 years. She has a BA in Recreation Administration from Chico State University and a teaching credential from San Jose State University. During the off season, she works at the Wooden Horse, a specialty toy store in Los Gatos.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.