Family Holiday Traditions near Almaden Valley

The holidays are upon us, and here are some favorite family holiday traditions happening near Almaden Valley…

Family Holiday Traditions Fantasy of LightsVasona Lake Park Fantasy of Lights Spectacular – December 6-30

If you are looking for special holiday displays close to Almaden, you cannot miss the Fantasy of Lights spectacular at Vasona Lake Park. Take your family on a magical drive through the 1.5 mile long holiday lights display. It is a spectacular extravaganza to be enjoyed by both young and young-at-heart alike.

Driving through the park in the cozy comfort of your car, you will pass through over 50 exciting exhibits and themed displays like the Dinosaur Den with the sights and sounds of an erupting volcano, a playful pen of penguins, Santa shooting hoops, pirate cannons blazing and tunnels of moving lights. At the center of it all is a 90-foot twinkling tree for you to gaze at.

Important: Remember to purchase your tickets in advance to attend the Fantasy of Lights 2016. The park will not admit any cars without a prior ticket. For more information, visit: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/fol/Pages/AnnualFoL.aspx.

Family Holiday Traditions Foxworthy Baptist ChurchBroadway Style Christmas Musical at the Foxworthy Baptist Church – December 9-11

The Foxworthy Baptist Church of San Jose presents a Broadway style Christmas Musical during the holiday season. It has been doing so since 1984, and as a holiday gift to all attendees, the show is presented entirely free.

This year, the Church will be presenting six free shows, two on each day between December 9 and 11. The 90-minute show features 30 singers in a fully staged and choreographed Broadway style production. It includes many favorite Christmas songs and special guests including Rudolf, Frosty, SpongeBob, the Grinch and Olaf. They’ll also gather around the manger to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Reason for the Season, and the Savior of the world. The musical is directed by Don and Diann Fugate. Performances are December 9-11, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2.00pm and 7 pm. For more information, visit: http://www.foxworthy.org/upcoming-events.html.

Family Holiday Traditions Christmas in the ParkChristmas in the Park in Downtown San Jose – Now until January 1

If you and your family would like to enjoy a free and fun holiday event near Almaden Valley, the Christmas in the Park celebration at downtown San Jose is a must do. In December, the two-acre Plaza de Cesar Chavez at downtown San Jose turns into a winter wonderland.

At the heart of the festivities is a majestic 60-foot Community Giving tree. Attractions include over 40 animated exhibits with glittering lights and music, a toy train ride and a mini park of Christmas trees decorated by children of San Jose schools. Additionally, there are a host of other rides, games and a variety of foods from local vendors to be savored. You can enjoy free arts and crafts activities every Saturday.

Christmas in the Park is open now through January 1. For more information, visit: http://www.christmasinthepark.com/.

Almaden Community Center Holiday Events Begin!

Almaden Community Center holiday eventsThe Almaden Community Center holiday events are about to begin! Here’s what’s in store for us the first part of December…

December 3, 2016: Holiday Brunch for Seniors

The celebrations begin with the Annual Holiday Brunch for Almaden Community Center senior members on Saturday, December 3. This festive buffet will serve egg frittata, grilled ham slices, potatoes O’Brien, breakfast pastry, mimosas and beverages. Tickets: $8 for members and $10 for non-members; can be purchased on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:40 am to 10:00 am at the Almaden Community Center. For more information, call 408-268-1133.

December 6, 2016: Thunder Valley Casino Fun Trip

On December 6, the Senior Association is taking its members on a fun trip to the Thunder Valley Casino. The trip costs only $35 per person. It includes a $15 slot play or table play card and a $5 food players card. To join in, please arrive at the Almaden Community Center at 6445 Camden Avenue, San Jose, at 7:30 am. Tickets are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at the Almaden Community Center lobby. For more information, call Sally at 408-826-9619 or Bea at 408-761-4002.

December 10, 2016: Breakfast with Santa

The Community Center’s littlest patrons have a special treat coming up for them on December 10: The Annual Breakfast with Santa event. The morning begins with a breakfast full of special treats and a guided session of holiday arts and crafts. After that, Santa will make a special appearance giving the tiny tots an opportunity to sit on his lap for that wonderful photo moment. To participate in this event, your child must be registered, so remember to do so and make sure you carry your camera. If you have a child under one and half years, please call 408-268-1133 to ensure your child has a seat on the day of event. Time: Between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm.

For general information about these and other events at the Almaden Community Center, browse their new 2016-2017 Winter Catalog (https://issuu.com/sjparksandrec/docs/almaden) or find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AlmadenCCSJ).

Leland and Pioneer High School Performing Arts 2016

High School Performing Arts

Don’t miss these two great plays presented by Leland and Pioneer High drama departments!

Arsenic and Old Lace at Leland High

Leland Drama presents Arsenic and Old Lace, by special arrangement with the Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Written by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, Arsenic and Old Lace is in the genre of black comedy. The plot revolves around the Brewster family, whose ancestors once arrived on the Mayflower, but whose members have now disintegrated into homicidal insanity. Performances are at Leland High School on November 16-18, 7 pm. Tickets: $10 for students and $12 for general admission. Limited seats, hurry and grab yours! For more information, visit http://sjusd.org/leland

Godspell Jr. at Pioneer High

To ring in the holiday spirit in December, Pioneer High Advanced Drama, with its 80-member cast and crew, presents Godspell Jr., a musical by Stephen Schwartz, based on the Book of Matthew. The play reminds viewers that “in a world that feels crazy, community is what gets us through”. The production is hip and modern with new upbeat songs. Performances are at Pioneer High School Performing Arts Center on December 1-3, 7pm. Tickets: general, $10, students, $5. For more information, call 408.365.1615 or get tickets online at https://phsdrama.ludustickets.com/index.php.

Enjoy the drama season!

An Almaden Valley Halloween: In Search of the Perfect Scare

Almaden Valley HalloweenAn Almaden Valley Halloween … Are pumpkin patches or trick or treating down the block during Halloween too tame for you? If you have a taste for the gothic, maybe a trip to a haunted house in search of ghosts is just the thing for you.

In the South Bay, near Almaden Valley, the most legendary and elaborate haunted house attraction is, without a doubt, the Winchester Mystery House. Up until Halloween night, visitors can enjoy Candlelight tours through 110 rooms of the massive estate. Tickets are available online or at the door. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/

A bit closer to home, there are a number of other chilling attractions certain to give you a scare, but you may want to check out their websites before taking small children:

⇒ The Bernal Scream: Westfield Oakridge mall http://www.thebernalscream.com/

⇒ Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions: 2501 Tully Rd. at East Capitol Expressway http://www.deadtimedreams.com/

⇒ Rebel Yell: 1577 Rebel Way, San Jose http://www.rebelyell.info/rebelyell.html

⇒ World’s Largest Haunted House: County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd., San Jose http://www.worldslargesthauntedhouse.com/

When you’ve had your fill of haunted houses and are ready to look for the real thing, give me a call!

Happy haunting!

Broomstick Ball Haunted Hoedown Comes to Almaden Valley

Haunted hoedownGet ready for a Haunted Hoedown right here in Almaden Valley!

Do you fancy a ride on a haunted horse? For an early Halloween party, head to the Haunted Hoedown on October 15, 2016, at the Santa Clara Horsemen’s Association at 20350 McKean Road, San Jose CA, 95120.

This year, Silicon Valley Cares (SVC), host of the Broomstick Ball Halloween party, is taking the annual event to new heights. At the Haunted Hoedown, costumed guests will be treated to a mechanical bull ride, silent auction, fun games, music and dancing as well as an extravagant dinner spread provided by Justin’s Catering. Tickets cost $130 each and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

The Broomstick Ball Halloween costume party is the culmination of a series of annual fundraising events through the summer and autumn. This year, the fun began with the Texas Hold’em Poker and Bingo tournament in August and, more recently, the Annual Par Tee Classic Golf Tournament at the Cinnabar Hills on September 23rd.

The SVC is an all women volunteer non-profit which donates to beneficiaries like Breakthrough Silicon Valley, a charity for middle school students, the Grateful Garment Project, for victims of sexual attack and the Silicon Valley Pet Project. So what are you waiting for? Bring out those costumes and head to Almaden Valley for a haunted ride of your life. For more information, visit www.siliconvalleycares.org.

A Night Out in Almaden Sponsored by Super Lion’s Club

Night out in AlmadenWould you like to enjoy a night out in Almaden filled with good food, music, dancing and fun-filled casino gaming? Then join your friends and neighbors at the Almaden Community Center this weekend!

The Almaden Super Lion’s Club, a San Jose chapter of the Lion’s Club International, is hosting the evening to raise funds for charity. All proceeds will go to the aid of the Almaden Lion’s Charitable Foundation assisting the visually impaired, veterans and other groups in need of assistance. The chapter also organizes the I CARE Classic Bike Tour, another highly successful annual fund-raising event.

The highlight of the evening will be dancing to the strains of the 10th Avenue Band. So mark your calendar for the event on Saturday, October 1, 2016, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, at the Almaden Community Center, 6455 Camden Ave., San Jose 95120. Tickets cost $50. For more information, go to http://www.almadenlions.org/a-night-out-in-almaden.

New Almaden Day Jump-In Parade 2016

New Almaden DayMark your calendars for this year’s New Almaden Day Jump-In Parade! The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10th in celebration of the 36th Annual New Almaden Day. The parade will begin at the New Almaden Community House on Bertram Road at 11am. The route will continue along Bertram Road and through the intersection of Almaden Road. Arrive early and get a parking spot at the Hacienda entrance to Almaden Quicksilver County Park, because the streets will be busy and parking will be tough. The parade will feature convertibles, antique cars, floats, equestrians and more. After the parade, awards will be presented for the “Best of Show” and a barbecue will start right after. There will also be live music, kids games, a raffle, a cake walk, and a bake sale. Come join New Almaden and Almaden residents in this fun Almaden Valley community event. For more information contact Kitty Monahan at 1-408-268-6541.

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016It’s that time of year again in the Almaden Valley! The 40th Annual Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016 will be held on Sunday, September 11, at Almaden Lake Park from 10am to 6pm. This year the community celebrates a milestone of four full decades of sponsoring the festival, which hosts over 90 vendor booths including a number of local artists and craftspersons selling their paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and much more.

The food at the festival will be local and diverse, including Indian specialties from Mayuri, pizza from Oak & Rye, Mexican cuisine from Carmen’s Taqueria, and Asian fusion from Cross Hatch Eatery. There will also be Gourmet Food Trucks offering even more variety, and of course you’ll find dessert favorites such as shave ice and kettle corn. The popular Premium Wine Tent will be offering selections from Rombauer Vineyard in Napa and Leal Vineyards in Hollister, along with selections from other local wineries. Not the wine connoisseur? Grab a beer from a beer truck and relax at the Beer Garden! Festival glasses with the Art and Wine Festival logo will be sold at local merchant booths.

The Kid’s Fun Zone will have a rock climbing wall, carnival games, and jump houses. The Fun Zone stage will feature performances by local school bands, dance groups, cheerleading squads, and professional entertainers. There will also be a Main Stage with performances by Joanne LeBlanc, Fog City Band, Big Mike and the HartBeats, Leland High School Cheer & Dance, and many more. The Main Stage and Kid’s Fun Zone entertainment schedules are available online at www.almadenwine.org/events. To top it all off, there will be a silent auction with items such as signed sports and entertainment collectibles, limited edition art, fabulous designer jewelry, and tickets to local attractions.

The Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is sponsored by the Almaden Valley Women’s Club, which raises funds for the festival every year. The festival is also made possible through the support of local sponsors as well as the City of San Jose. All proceeds from the festival are donated to non-profit organizations and local schools. As always, admission and parking are free, and a free shuttle service is available. Come join the Almaden Valley community in celebrating the 40th anniversary of this popular annual event!

Almaden Valley Community Events in July

Almaden Valley communityJoin the Almaden Valley community this July in attending Music in the Park on Thursday nights 6:30-8:30 PM at Graystone Park (Mt. Carmel @ Camden Ave.). This past week Old School Rock & Roll headlined. The upcoming acts for the month include The Houserockers, Free Fahlen, and Sage, each performing their own respective genres of music each upcoming Thursday this month. This event is open to all Almaden Valley residents and is a great way to relax and listen to music with the Almaden Valley community.

This past weekend the New Almaden community hosted one of its weekly Saturday events “What’s In a Ranger’s Truck?” At the Almaden Quicksilver County Park, all attendees were welcome to view the inside of a Park Ranger’s truck and learn about the various tools used by rangers on the job, whether used for helping aid others in an emergency or for search and rescue purposes.

Almaden Soccer’s 1st Annual 5K/10K “Kick-off” Run

Running shoesIs one of your New Year’s resolutions to participate in more fitness activities? If so, here’s an opportunity to start off 2015 with a “bang!” Almaden Valley Youth Soccer League and Almaden FC is holding their first annual “Kick Off” run on January 1st at Leland High School. This fun event is open to runners and walkers of all ages; everyone is welcome. For the competitive set, medals will be awarded to the top finishers, and all participants who finish their race will receive a pin. Although entrants can register the day of the race, they can receive a discount by registering earlier. For more information, visit www.almadensoccer.org