Did you get out to the Dragon Boat races on Treasure Island last week? We went to fulfill part of a community service requirement my oldest has at school this year, so were down participating in a Costal Cleanup Day on the peninsula Saturday. Then Sunday seemed to be filled with homework, oh well. The pictures from the event looked like a great day to be there, hopefully you got the chance to enjoy some of it. Treasure island is often forgotten about and a nice place for a photo opportunity, or just step away from bad traffic on the bridge.
This week’s adventure is down in the south bay. Right next door to Happy Hollow and behind the San Jose Giants (minor league team) is a delightful little spot, the History Park in San Jose. They have collected a number of historic structures from early California days, there is a wonderful trolley that runs through the park on weekends, a trolley barn with a number of other trolleys and trains that run periodically, a classic print shop, a replica of a giant light pole that used to light downtown San Jose, and so much more. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring a packed lunch and leisurely spend the day going around the park.
Also let us know if you go, we would love to hear about your trip. Have any questions or suggestions? Simply reply to this e-mail.
And please feel free to forward this to a friend.
Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com
1-2-3 Things — San Jose History Park
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
- Visit the San Jose History Park
- Ride the free historic trolley
- Stop in at the print shop and see antique letterpress in action
San Jose History Park
We only found out about this place earlier this year and made a visit in January (read more in the link above), I think we are due for another visit. The highlight for us was the fully restored 1922 Fresno trolley which we rode 4 times, making friends with the motorman along the way. This is like a full size version of Mr Rogers Neighborhood. There are some really nice photo opportunities here with all the historic buildings and vehicles. Plus it’s fun to go and pretend for the day too. And don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with one of the volunteers, they have great stores and you will make their day.
Parking is $6 (from a machine that accepts credit cards) and park entrance is free (unless they have a special event going on, but then it’s still very affordable). Several of the organizations that operate the historic structures there do ask for donations, so try and be generous. There is also a sweet shop and soda fountain on sight in the lobby of the old hotel, you can also find bathrooms here.
Visit the Trolley Barn and ride a historic trolley car
The Trolleybarn is run in cooperation with the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation, a group of volunteers that restore historic vehicles of all types. In the barn you can see work being done on several vehicles and talk with the volunteers who have some wonderful stories. There is usually a volunteer out operating a Trolley that takes a short free route through the park, and on some weekends (during the summer months I believe) they take a longer route our to the Japanese garden next door.
The trolley is a free ride, and provided there isn’t a crowd of people waiting, you can ride it back and forth as often as you would like. They do ask for donations which you can have fun putting into the fare box. It’s really a fun experience and they did a magnificent job restoring the trolley.
Growing up my dad was a printer, so I always find delight in taking my kids to show them things like this. Here they can see how type was set and how letterpresses were run to print any number of things from newspapers to bookmarks. They are often giving demonstrations of setting type and locking it up into a chase. You can quite often get samples of interesting projects to take home too. Its fascinating to see how much work goes into something we often just take for granted.
- There is a delightful Japanese Friendship garden right next door, a nice spot to have a little walk or spend a little time. http://www.sanjoseca.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/350
- If you have younger kids, Happy Hollow is right next door (older kids will have fun too) http://www.hhpz.org/
- Pack a lunch, there are some scattered food options around, but they are a drive from the park.
- Unfortunately the season just ended, but going off to see a San Jose Giants game is great fun. A more intimate ballpark experience that isn’t as hard on the wallet as the San Francisco counterparts. Might be a fun adventure for next year. I’m told their 4th of July fireworks show is pretty spectacular too.