Christmas In The Park in downtown San Jose has been a holiday tradition for decades. Hundreds of Christmas trees decorated by schoolchildren and community groups. Animated displays of Santa’s elves working hard to make toys. Vendors selling holiday food and drinks. A free event that started on Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day and ends on several days after New Year’s Day.
That was until the coronavirus pandemic this year.
Due to social distancing rules, Christmas In The Park won’t be in downtown San Jose. Christmas In The Park will be a paid drive-through event at the History Park in east San Jose. Learn how to make your reservation, why the History Park, and what to expect for this year.
Make A Reservation
Since Christmas In The Park is a drive-through event, you have to make a reservation on their website. The event starts on Black Friday, November 27, 2020, and ends on Sunday, January 3, 2021. The hours are from 4:00PM to 10:00PM. Pick a day and a time window for your visit.
Prices are $10 USD from 4:00PM to 5:00PM and $20 USD thereafter. The first hour will still be bright outside before sunset. The sky will get darker and the Christmas lights brighter after sunset. The pricing is per car and not per person. You can also “buy one, give one” for $40 USD to allow a less fortunate family to attend Christmas In The Park for free.
Reservations are non-refundable.
The History Park
Christmas In The Park will be at the History Park in east San Jose. If the History Park sounds familiar, it should. The Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) has their annual Glass Pumpkin Festival this year. That event is still open through Saturday, November 14, 2020.
If you’re not familiar with the History Park, 30 old buildings represent San Jose at the turn of the 20th century. One of the technological marvels of that era was the Electric Light Tower from 1881 to 1915. San Jose was the first electrified city west of the Rockies.
- The light tower stood at 237 feet with a total output of 24,000 candlepower.
- The tower at the History Park is half the size of the original at 125 feet.
- The tower displayed at Christmas In The Park in downtown San Jose is only 30 feet tall.
What to Expect
Bring your reservation page with the QR-code when arrive at the History Park. Time your arrival to be within your 15-minute time window. Your reservation will be valid 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after your time window. Drive no faster than 2.5MPH inside the park. The entire drive through should take 20 minutes. Check out the promo video that the organizers posted on YouTube.
I’ll be attending Christmas In The Park during Thanksgiving weekend. Make sure you subscribe to my channel and turn on the notification bell. My montage video from my visit should be up the following week.