San Jose’s Christmas Light Displays: A Guide for 2023


Looking for the greatest San Jose Christmas light displays? This neighborhood is special because there are multiple streets where residents collaborate to make beautiful light displays, as well as light shows put on by non-profit groups. Continue reading to learn about the greatest sites to watch Christmas lights in San Jose, California.

Sunset Glen

Sunset Glen is a neighborhood in south San Jose that has one of the outstanding Christmas light displays in the area! It is surrounded by Colleen Dr. and Chesbro Ave., and residents go all out with Christmas light displays, adorning their houses with thousands of lights, music, animatronics, inflatables, and other decorations.

San Jose’s Christmas Light Displays A Guide for 2023

Some households time their light shows to music played on local radio. Each Christmas season, thousands of people come to see the light displays. Cars queue up and along the streets to pass by the lit-up houses leisurely. Since the early 1990s, it has become a treasured local custom.

This South Bay sugar cane alley is accessible to the public and free to attend. Peak viewing hours are normally between 6 and 9 p.m. from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, however, some homes put lights up as early as mid-November.

Always be courteous of people’s homes and families by not dropping rubbish on the ground and staying off lawns!

Christmas in the Park

Visit Christmas in the Park to get into the holiday mood. Christmas in the Park, which takes place in Plaza de Cesar Chavez, is a downtown San Jose tradition. Hundreds of trees are decorated by community groups. Over 600 Christmas trees, holiday displays, and lights make the park’s Christmas tree lane sparkle every year during Christmas in the Park.

Before you go get their famous “Snowman” hot chocolate, don’t forget to take a picture in front of the 60-foot Community Giving Tree that has more than 100,000 lights on it.

Moving displays, photo ops, a holiday market with sellers, visits with Santa, food trucks, live music on the community stage, and dance shows with holiday cheer are some of the other things that can be found.

The park opens at 9 a.m. and has music and lights every night around dusk. The event takes place rain or shine, so make sure you dress for the weather. It is possible to buy food and drinks, but you are not allowed to bring your own. On certain nights, you can pay to get a picture with Santa. Service animals are the only pets that can be in the park during the event.

And don’t forget to visit Downtown Ice, the ice rink! There will be Downtown Ice in downtown San Jose again this holiday season, running from November 2023 to January 2024. The event takes place at the Circle of Palms, which is close to the San Jose Convention Center. People love this popular winter activity because it lets them ice skate outside among the palm trees and holiday lights.

Some people from Special Ice and the San Jose Downtown Association work together to run Downtown Ice. There are 90 minutes of skating time included in the price of entry. People who want to skate can either bring their own or rent a pair at the rink.

Downtown Ice has a Snowman Hot Chocolate hut where people can buy warm drinks in addition to skating. On some days, food carts may also be around.

It is highly suggested that you buy your Downtown Ice tickets ahead of time. You can do this online. Tickets will also be sold every day on-site, though there may not be many available during busy times.

History San Jose

At the History Park San Jose, the Christmas in the Park group also has a drive-through winter beauty light show! At San Jose’s History Park, drivers can reserve a time spot, turn on their radio to 93.5, and listen to songs that are timed with more than 200,000 bright lights along the route.

In 2020, during the pandemic, this drive-thru started. Now, Christmas in the Park organizers say it’s their biggest fundraiser of the year! Each car needs to pay $35 to get in for the 2023 season. It’s a 1.5-mile light show.

You can get to the drive-thru at 799 Phelan Ave, San Jose, CA 95112, in the K4 parking lot of the Kelley Park Disc Golf Course. There are temporary toilets in the parking lot near the ticket counter, but not at the end of the drive-thru.

Visitors should check out the food choices downtown at the main Christmas in the Park event instead of the drive-thru this year since there are no food booths there.

Dogs can go through the drive-thru as long as they stay safe inside the cars. No matter what, people must stay in their cars during the whole drive-thru for safety reasons.

Willow Glen

The Christmas lights at Willow Glen make the season more fun for everyone. There is a famous area in San Jose called this one that is known for having a small-town look and feel. In December, it’s also filled with Christmas lights and decorations.

San Jose’s Christmas Light Displays A Guide for 2023 (1)

The famous Christmas Tree Lane, which can be found on Glen Eyrie Ave and Glen Echo Ave, is the center of Willow Glen’s decorating. The hundreds of old trees that line the street are decorated with thousands of bright lights that twinkle and make bridges over the road. People can walk around under the lights while sipping hot drinks and taking in the view.

There is plenty of street parking on Willow Street and in the surrounding area. However, we suggest that you walk instead of driving through! If you do decide to drive through Willow Glen, make sure the radio station you’re listening to plays Christmas music.

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