New for 2019
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New for 2019

We have A TON of new features to discover at Christmas in the Park in 2019, so be sure to scroll down to see all of our new features and special events.

Elf Trouble

New to the park this year is an interactive storytelling adventure from our friends at Hidden World. Walk around the park and discover the secrets behind why Santa has to keep his mischievous elves so busy as you determine the flow and next steps in your own adventure. Complete the story and save Christmas while earning your free Elf Trouble: I Saved Christmas button. When you are done with the story simply head on over to the Christmas in the Park Information Booth to get your free button.

Mobile App

Using your smartphone, take a self-guided walking tour of Christmas in the Park. Discover some fun facts and learn about the history of our event and it's unique displays. When you are at the park, simply go up to one of our displays and scan the QR code to begin your tour. In addition to the walking tour, you can also read menus from our food vendors, see who is playing on the Excite Community Stage and locate where a specific tree is located with our tree finder map.

Christmas Tree Maze

Something really special in 2019 is our updated Reindeer Ranch area of the park that now includes a Christmas tree maze! Wander around discovering some of our amazing Christmas trees as you find your way out of our ranch themed maze. Fun for the whole family and, just like admission to Christmas in the Park, it's free!


Construction on our newest display actually started three years ago and when you see how detailed and how large this display is, you'll understand why. Presented by John and Timi Sobrato, Santa's Workshop has been a labor of love for Christmas in the Park exhibit designer Tom Trafton (designer/builder) and board member John Herschbach. The display allows you to walk under Santa's Workshop as his elves are hard at work creating stuffed bears in time for Christmas. With multiple moving parts, the display will sit at the top of the stairs just above the North Pole Plaza at the park.


Before the San Jose Holiday Parade and before the annual tree lighting ceremony, the start of Christmas in the Park was marked with a night-time parade that circled the park and in 2019, we are bringing the Christmas in the Park Parade back as we celebrate our 40th year! Join us on Friday, November 29th at 5:00pm for this very special event.


Also new for 2019 is a true celebration of Christmas in the Park as each night at 6:00pm we will feature a special guest who will light our Community Giving Tree presented by Southwest Airlines. Enjoy a special musical light show on our 55-foot live Christmas tree as we celebrate 40 years of Christmas in the Park and kickoff the night's festivities on our Excite Community Stage.

Gingerbread Challenge

The Fairmont San Jose plays host to a new and "delicious" event held for two great causes. Enjoy a small plate and cocktail reception inside the Fairmont's Club Regent room and feast your eyes on the master works of local chefs and pastry chefs as they compete in the first annual Gingerbread Challenge to benefit Christmas in the Park and pediatric cancer research through the American Cancer Society. Mark your calendars for December 3 and purchase your tickets before they sell out. Attendees will also be able to bid on these master works of art and yumminess and take them home for their own holiday celebrations.

Model Train Village

In 2019 we are bringing back the model train village inside of our Information Booth. Our executive director, Jason Minsky, has been working hard to collect some amazing village pieces and has created a whimsical village that features a Christmas train along with some hidden treasures for you to locate in this seek and find scavenger hunt.

How To Enjoy Your Visit!

Our Executive Director, Jason Minsky, gives his "Top Ten" tips on how best to enjoy your visit to Christmas in the Park.

1. Did you see all of the new features we talked about above? Be sure to take advantage of all of our new event elements during your visit.

2. Try to avoid coming on a weekend. Our crowds are busiest Friday through Sunday, so if coming during the week is an option, take advantage of that.

3. Do not drive directly to the park. If you can, take Lyft or other means of public transportation. If you do need to drive, do not drive directly to the park as there is no parking on site. Pick a parking lot or garage and drive there, then walk to the park. There is plenty of parking downtown and you can find more info here.

4. Ideally you should arrive at the park about 4:00 while it is still light out. Take a stroll around the park so you can see all there is to take in at this magical place. Pay attention to detail, read the history signs, see who is sponsoring which display, etc. Then, go have dinner and afterward come back to the park when its dark to see the lights and grab a tasty treat from one of our vendors.

5. If you are going to see Santa, be sure to check out the Santa schedule here. Arrive at the beginning (if not a little early) for the time slot of your choice. Be aware, the Santa line will close approximately 30-45 minutes before the end of each shift.

6. When walking the park there is no pattern to see everything without having to see an area or two more than once. Don't try to figure it out, but if you do, let us know! We've been at it for 39 years and still can't!

7. Most vendors at the park only take cash, so bring some. Be sure you are purchasing from an approved park vendor. This means they have a permanent spot in the park and have paid a fee to be there - helping to keep the event free each year. There are also 4 ATM machines in the park.

8. Our entertainment schedule is posted here if you are looking for a specific performance. Try attending one of our movie nights (be careful, they are on Saturdays starting at 6pm) - they are a lot of fun and Lucky's brings free milk and cookies.

9. We still have many special events to attend. Friday night's are "Amazon Fridays" and you can get a free photo (6-10) with your family. Saturdays from 10-2 we have kids from Harker helping with free arts & crafts projects. We also have two "dog days" where you can bring your pet to the park to visit with Santa - for FREE!

10. Support our event! We are a non-profit and rely on you making a donation while at the park. You can also purchase a Christmas in the Park shirt, hoodie or beanie while at the park - they make great gifts! You can also donate online here. Follow us on Facebook for all event updates.
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