san jose


San Jose Art Walk Tour

Standing in front of the “Veteran’s Memorial of San Jose” and next to “Untitled” by Kenneth Matsumoto.

wearing: hoop earrings / grey scarf / charcoal cardigan (super soft!) / black long sleeve tee / black belt with snake buckle / holiday nail polish / black handbag / destroyed jeans (under $40) / Gucci platform sneakers /

I love finding local, cultural activities to explore and show my kids. When I heard about the San Jose Art Walk in downtown San Jose, I was excited to learn it was both an opportunity to walk around and get fresh air, as well as explore outdoor art.

The San Jose Art Walk is a public art tour of over forty different art pieces. There is a combination of murals, statues, and more! When I first looked at the map, I thought it would be a one day activity. I was wrong! There is a lot to explore; making this is a great multi-day activity.

There are a few installations which are best seen after dark. We all hopped into the car one evening and following the map, we explored LED light art installations around downtown San Jose. It was really interesting! I don’t have photos to share because we were in the car and I was driving. You will just have to explore the light installations yourself!

The second time we went downtown to explore the art walk, we parked near the Discovery Museum and walked throughout that portion of downtown, up to Cesar Chavez Plaza. This took roughly an hour and a half. We were able to see roughly 25% of the tour. We will definitely have to head back down to see the other portions of the art walk we missed!

From top left: Momotaro / Horizon / Space Dance for Peace 1 / Plumed Serpent /

Each art installation has a placard which describes the piece in more detail than you find on the map. It’s fun to follow the map, and look for each piece. In some cases, it feels like a scavenger hunt as you try to find an installation hidden in a courtyard, or behind a building. It’s a fun activity with the kids!

If you are local to the Bay Area, or you are visiting, this is a fun and free activity you can do! You can be ambitious, and try to see the entire art walk in one day, or you can break it up into different days like we are doing. Either way, it’s a great way to enjoy outdoor art while getting some exercise.

Here is a link to the San Jose Art Walk map-if you can print it out before you go, I highly recommend doing so! SanJoseca.gov.

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Have you gone on the San Jose Art Walk in downtown San Jose? What did you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

Thomas Fallon Statue 1989

History San Jose

One of San Jose’s best kept secrets is History San Jose park. This mini, historical town features buildings which were saved from demolition, and brought here to recreate San Jose’s early days as an American town.

The buildings all have some sort of special meaning to local history. They were lived in by people who helped settle the area, or they were businesses which were a first in the area. Such as the first candy shop owned by the O’Brien Family pictured below. (apologies for the reflection, I took this photo through the window since the building was closed.)

The park is often used for events, picnics, and corporate parties. Some of the buildings are normally open to the public, and serve as mini-museums which tell their story, and how it fits into local history.

Of course right now, since we are partly shut-down due to the pandemic, only the outdoor areas are open. We will have to go back when things open back up in order to show the kids the inside exhibitions.

History San Jose is a beautiful park to spend some time walking around, and learning about local history. If you are local to the Bay Area, I highly recommend checking it out. There is free parking right in front-but it is limited. So arrive early. Otherwise, there is a fee lot a few feet away from the entrance. If you are traveling to the area, be sure to check it out, and learn about our early days!

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Have you visited History San Jose? What did you think? You can learn more on their website here.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy


Japantown San Jose with the kids

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / white knit turtleneck / blue scarf / grey faux fur teddy coat / belt / bootcut jeans / black satchel / spring nail polish / western style boots /

The San Francisco Bay Area is full of hundreds of nooks and crannies. There is always something to do, and something to see. Although I am born and raised Bay Area, I had never been to San Jose’s Japantown before this month!

We decided to take the kids down to Japantown San Jose in order to see what was there, and also enjoy some sushi. Unfortunately, I won’t share the sushi lunch with you, it wasn’t very good. I think we chose the wrong restaurant. That being said, I am sure there are other places to eat, and I heard the ramen place is really good! Wish we had gone there, but I digress. . .

There are plenty of fun things to do in Japantown San Jose with kids. There is a museum, the temple, and many historical buildings. It is easy to walk around and see everything in one day. There are also cute shops with imported items from Japan. Some of the shops have been owned for generations and have their history posted inside. You can learn a lot by chatting with the shop owners, and reading the signs! It’s really a cool outing.

san jose wall art japantown

My son posing in front of one of the murals found in San Jose’s Japantown. This area of Downtown San Jose is full of street art. It’s fun to walk around and enjoy the beautiful murals. This one was my son’t favorite. He loves the characters depicted, and seems to know who they all are! I had no clue!!

If you are local to the Bay Area, and are looking for a fun daytime outing with the family, or without, I highly recommend visiting Japantown San Jose; and wearing walking shoes! High heel boots were not my best choice for the day. haha

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Have you been to Japantown San Jose? What is your favorite site to see?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

japantown san jose things to do