The Los Gatos Holiday Guide

The Sleigh Way: The Children’s Christmas/Holidays Parade comes to downtown Los Gatos on Saturday, Dec. 5.

The Sleigh Way: The Children’s Christmas/Holidays Parade comes to downtown Los Gatos on Saturday, Dec. 5.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year—especially in Los Gatos, where downtown is decorated to the nines and a series of traditional celebrations bring people together for tree lightings, parades and Santa sightings. Start making plans now to enjoy the holidays to the fullest. We bet we can fill up your entire calendar …

Nov. 12-15

Christmas Goose Boutique
The 35-year tradition continues. Handmade crafts, homemade food and collectibles are on display for early bird holiday shoppers to snap up. At the History Club of Los Gatos.

Nov. 15

50 Years of  The Nutcracker
San Jose Dance Theatre will present excerpts from The Nutcracker featuring young local dancers in a performance that demonstrates how the production has evolved over time. Carriage House Theatre at Villa Montalvo. Tickets $20 (adult) and $10 (kids).

Nov. 20-22

Holiday Tea at Montalvo
Get into the holiday spirit with Yuletide Tea (mornings) and Champagne High Tea (afternoons) at the stunning historic Villa. Both feature sweet and savory treats, holiday music and a small gift bazaar. Tickets $45-50.


Nov. 21

55-Plus Program Thanksgiving Luncheon
Give thanks, enjoy terrific food and maybe win a door prize at this popular free event co-sponsored by the Town of Los Gatos, LGS Recreation, CB Hannegan’s and the Los Gatos Lions Club. A $5 donation is appreciated, as are donations of hearty canned foods like chili, tuna and peanut butter. At the Los Gatos Adult Recreation Center. 11:30am. Space is limited! To reserve your place, call (408) 354-1514 by Nov. 18.


Nov. 28

Hike Your Pie Off
Work off that second helping of pumpkin cheesecake on this free group hike at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve in South San Jose. Meet at 10am. Details at


Dec. 4-6

‘The Nutcracker’
Los Gatos Ballet performs the seasonal favorite at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino.


Dec. 4 

Tree Lighting Ceremony
The grand fir tree in Town Plaza Park, planted in 1923 by the Los Gatos History Club, gets its annual three weeks of fame starting tonight. At 6pm the mayor will flip the switch and turn on thousands of LED lights strung about the tree, making the holiday season official. Till then, enjoy hot chocolate, popcorn and treats courtesy the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, with proceeds going to local projects. Sponsored by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Los Gatos. 4pm.


Dec. 4-23

Holiday Carriage Rides
Jingle bells, indeed! Hop aboard a 6 or 8 person carriage drawn by a horse with bells on bobtail and manned by a friendly driver, and you’re ready for a festive tour of historic downtown Los Gatos. Rides are offered 6:30-9:30pm on Dec. 4 and 5-9:30pm on Dec. 5, 11-13 and 17-23. Tickets are $25 (adults) and $10 (kids 3-10; toddlers and babies in arms free). Reserve tickets at


Dec. 4-31

17th Annual Fantasy of Lights
A Dinosaur Den, basketball-playing Santa and the Tunnel of Lights make for an unparalleled holiday-themed spectacle at this fantastical light show in Vasona Lake County Park. The 1.5-mile route leads automobiles around the park while a special local-area radio station pipes in holiday music. Saturday, Dec. 5 is Walk-Through Night 4-9 pm, with carolers, Santa, $6 admission (prepaid is recommended) and free shuttle from Netflix, 121 Albright Way. Open nightly 6-10pm through Dec. 31. Admission is $15-25 per vehicle; <b>this year tickets are prepaid only!</b> Pick a time convenient for you at

WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND: Stroll through the Fantasy of Lights at Vasona Park and visit with Santa on Walk-Through Night, Dec. 5.

WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND: Stroll through the Fantasy of Lights at Vasona Park and visit with Santa on Walk-Through Night, Dec. 5.


Dec. 5

Children’s Christmas/Holidays Parade
Thousands of spectators and participants alike flock to downtown Los Gatos for this annual holiday tradition, now in its 59th year. Sponsored by the Los Gatos Lions Club & LGS Recreation in cooperation with the Town of Los Gatos and Los Gatos High School, the parade starts at 11am rain or shine. It goes from Almendra Avenue and N. Santa Cruz Avenue to the corner of N. Santa Cruz Avenue and Main Street, then heads east to Church Street. Street closures will be in effect.  11am.

Dec. 6

Hooray for Hanukkah
Make candles, play the dreidel game, hear stories, eat traditional Jewish food and see performances celebrating Hanukkah at this day of cultural celebration. Sponsored by the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, this event takes place at the Children’s Discovery Museum. Noon-4pm.


Dec. 11

Menorah Lighting at Shir Hadash
Congregation Shir Hadash celebrates Hanukkah with a family service and candle lighting. Storytelling, the Shir Hadash Junior Choir and jelly doughnuts make for a fun evening for the whole family. All are welcome to this free celebration. 7:30pm.


Dec. 12

Holiday Lights Drop-in Workshop
Elizabeth Greer helps kids and their families create festive paper ornaments that incorporate LED lights and electric gel paint during this two-hour drop-in workshop at NUMU. 1-3pm. $15 materials fee.


Dec. 13 

Santa Run Silicon Valley
Dress up as your favorite holiday character and join the 5k run/walk benefiting Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice in the heart of San Jose. Can you jog as the Abominable Snowman? Only one way to find out. 3pm. Registration $35 (adults) or $12 (kids).


Dec. 13

Lighting of the Menorah at Santana Row
Celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights at Park Valencia with crafts like dreidel decorating, Jewish stories and activities, and the lighting of the menorah. 2-4pm. Rain moves the event to the via next to Left Bank.


Dec. 13 & 20

Santa in The Town Plaza Park
Santa and his elves are coming to downtown! And this isn’t just any Santa, but a Santa with terrific listening skills and an extensive C.V. as a jolly old elf. Sitting on Santa’s lap is free, but a donation of $5 per child is most welcome. No pets, please. Bring your own camera to capture the moment.  Light rain does not cancel. 11am-3pm.

Dec. 14 

Gingerbread House-making
What child doesn’t think gingerbread houses are the absolute bomb? Make a small person’s holiday memorable with this workshop and leave with a gingerbread house with all the trimmings. Kids ages 3-5 and their parents get a turn at 1:30pm; children 6 and older take over at 3:30pm. Cost is $55 per attendee (includes materials).


Dec. 16

Holiday Sing-a-long
The holidays aren’t complete without a caroling session with punch and cookies. The Los Gatos Adult Recreation Center provides songbooks and light refreshments. Suggested donation is $5 at the door. 1pm. Call (408) 354-8700 for more information.


Dec. 19-22

Santa Visits Your Home
The big man himself will come to your home Dec. 19-22 during the prime party hours of 5:30-8:30pm. What could be jollier? Cost is $72. To schedule, email

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