Almaden Halloween Haunts

Pumpkin patches, haunted houses, costume parties and great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. It’s Halloween, and Almaden Valley is abuzz with festive spirit. Here’s what is haunting the neighborhoods this week.

Castillero’s Cobra Crypt: This year, Almaden’s Castillero Middle School’s Drama Department has started a new Halloween tradition. It’s hosting the “Cobra Crypt”, a week-long Halloween fest that includes a pumpkin patch, haunted house, carnival, games and a variety of activities. The fest is every day from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm till October 31st. Tickets are $5. This is Castillero Drama’s biggest fundraiser, and by all neighborhood accounts, not to be missed.

Halloween Britannia Arms AlmadenThe Simpson’s Halloween at the Britannia Arms: On October 30th, at 7:30 pm at the Britannia Arms, you can enjoy a Simpson’s themed Halloween event. There will be a costume contest, Simpson’s trivia, special food and drinks, and more.

Neighborhood trick-or-treats: Almaden Valley boasts some of the best trick or treating neighborhoods in San Jose. Attractive areas include Chateau Drive and the Country Club neighborhood, the Pierce Ranch neighborhood, and the Graystone neighborhood, among others. The biggest attraction might be at Little Falls Drive in the Country Club neighborhood, which draws huge crowds for the spooky haunted house display at the end of the street. Venturing there is well worth it, and give yourselves ample time to park and stroll through the streets.

Happy Halloween!

Almaden Art and Wine Festival 2018

Almaden Art and Wine Festival 2018Almaden Valley’s most exciting annual event is here: The 42nd Almaden Art and Wine Festival is being held at Almaden Lake Park this Sunday, Sept. 16, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The setting itself is incredibly beautiful with dazzling white tents against the backdrop of Almaden Lake, bright yellow sunflowers, people in colorful attire strolling and sipping wine, musicians playing and artists showcasing their work.

The festival is organized by the Almaden Valley Women’s Club (AVWC) and provides a platform to local artists to display and sell their work and to local musicians with an audience to showcase their talent. It also gives family run and specialty wineries an opportunity to introduce their products through wine-tasting.

The Almaden Art and Wine Festival is an important local fund-raiser. The proceeds from the festival go towards supporting a host of local non-profits serving the areas of education, teens and women.

At the festival, there is entertainment for all ages. Kids have a 25 ft. rock wall and rappelling area, slides, bounce houses and a special stage for kid’s entertainment. Adults have a variety of local bands and performers on the main stage.

It’s an event not to be missed, so stroll in, sip some wine and prepare to be entertained.

For more information, visit: https://www.almadenwomen.org/

4th of July 2018 in Almaden Valley – Fireworks, Parade and More!

4th of July 2018 in Almaden Valley4th of July in Almaden Valley is traditionally an exciting day of festivities and fun-filled family events. This year promises no less!

Montevideo Neighborhood Parade and ‘4 on the 4th’ Run/Walk

The Montevideo neighborhood celebrates the 50th year of its annual Independence Day Parade. This is certainly one of the most festive neighborhood celebrations in the South Bay. Events begin in the morning with the ‘4 on the 4th’ Run/Walk through the neighborhood, and then the unique parade with colorful floats.

The parade begins and ends at the Montevideo Improvement Association (MIA) Clubhouse, looping through Camden Avenue, Puerto Vallarta Drive, Vera Cruz Drive, Monteverde Drive and Montellano Drive. Both the parade and the run/walk are open to all.

For more details, visit: https://montevideoneighborhood.wordpress.com/fourth-of-july/

Annual Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show at Almaden Lake Park

The spectacular display of fireworks at the annual Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show at Almaden Lake Park on the 4th of July is a must watch! Festivities begin at 3:00 pm with various activities for families. There will be a fireworks safety demo and a booth to write thank-you letters to soldiers. There will also be food trucks and booths by various local organizations including the Kiwanis Club of Almaden Valley, which will be serving all-American hot dogs, the entire proceeds of which will go back into charitable activities serving the community.

The fireworks show kicks off at about 9:00 pm. The event is free to all, so bring your family and friends. Please note that alcohol, pets, barbecues and personal fireworks are not allowed.

The Almaden Lake Park 4th of July celebration is the destination to enjoy a stunning and safe fireworks display. Don’t miss it!

For more information, visit: http://www.sjd10.com/4th-of-july-annual-event-.html

Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2017

Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2017It’s the end of summer, and the grand event that Almaden residents await is finally here… The Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2017!

On September 17, 2017, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Almaden Lake Park will be decked out and playing host to festivities featuring a wide variety of arts and crafts from local artists. To complement these festivities, you can savor wine and spirits from seven local wineries and breweries.

The festival, now in its 41st year, also brings to you live music, entertainment, and fun-filled activities for the entire family. There are over 80 vendor booths and a fun zone to keep kids occupied. Admission is free and all proceeds are donated to charity.

So, mark your calendars for the Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival. It’s an event not to be missed!

4th of July 2017 in Almaden Valley

4th of July 2017 in Almaden Valley is right around the corner, and Almaden certainly celebrates in style! Here are the highlights of some exciting events happening in Almaden this Independence Day.

4th of July 2017 in Almaden ValleyMontevideo Neighborhood Parade and Run/Walk

The Montevideo neighborhood of Almaden Valley celebrates the 4th of July with its unique annual float parade, run/walk, and barbecue and pool party at the Montevideo Cabana Club. The festivities open at 8:00 am with the 4-on-the-4th Run/Walk (participation fee – $5).

The parade begins at 11:00 am and the theme this year is “School Memories”. It starts and ends at the Montevideo Improvement Association (MIA) Clubhouse at the corner of Camden Avenue and Monteval Lane, and will pass through the following streets: Camden Avenue, Puerto Vallarta Drive, Vera Cruz Drive, Monteverde Drive and Montellano Drive.

The Fourth of July Parade within Montevideo is one of the most vibrant neighborhood celebrations in the South Bay. In addition to the public parade and run/walk, the Montevideo Cabana Club will also host a private barbecue and pool party for its members and guests.

For more details, visit: http://blog.miahomeowners.com.

4th of July Fireworks at the Almaden Lake Park

The Almaden Lake Park will come alive again this 4th of July 2017 with its spectacular annual fireworks display. Thousands of Almaden residents throng to this beautiful lake to see this dazzling show.

The event begins at 3:00 pm with entertainment by the radio station KRTY, local band Snarky Cats, and magician Pete E Magic. Activities for children include various arts and crafts, a fireworks safety demo, and writing a letter to a soldier. There are food trucks and booths by various local eateries.

The fireworks show kicks off after dusk, at about 9:00 pm. The event is free to all. A couple of tips: Come early to grab a spot, and carpool with neighbors to avoid parking hassles. Alcohol, pets, barbecues and personal fireworks are not allowed.

For more information, visit the sponsor website: http://www.krty.com/2017/06/27/almaden-lake-park-4th-of-july.

More Almaden Valley Winter Holiday Events

Here are a couple more Almaden Valley winter holiday events to enjoy in the days ahead…

Almaden Valley Winter Holiday Events Celtic RoseCeltic Rose: Rare Holiday Gems – An Afternoon of Celtic Holiday Music

The holidays are well and truly upon us. And what better way to enjoy a cold December afternoon in Almaden than with some ‘Rare Holiday Gems’? Celtic Rose: Rare Holiday Gems is a performance of holiday songs played to the accompaniment of the lute, the recorder, drums and the guitar.

Celtic music is the music of the people settled in the Celtic regions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, among others. The music has a lyrical quality to it and uses a variety of traditional instruments. Performed by Doris Williams and Caroline Garbarino, “Rare Holiday Gems” will take place at the Almaden Library on Saturday, December 17 at 3.00 pm. For more information, visit: https://events.sjpl.org/event/celtic_rose_rare_holiday_gems_9874

Almaden Valley Winter Holiday Events Leland DramaLeland Drama Presents: Comic Shorts

The holidays would certainly be incomplete without a healthy shot of laughter! Head to the Leland High School Cafeteria this week for a hearty laugh with Comic Shorts. This winter production by the Leland High Drama Club is a montage of short comedy scenes, including:

  • Bobby’s Brain (by Bruce Kane), directed by Braeden Thomson: When Bobby meets the girl of his dreams, things go haywire in his brain and uproarious situations arise.
  • Who’s on First, directed by Quentin Thorne: This hilarious scene, inspired by Abbott and Costello’s famous series, will surely leave you in splits.
  • A Very Memorable Family Reunion, directed by Aidan Bates: A boy meets his fiancé’s family but has a shock in store for himself!
  • Comedy 101, directed by Porter Aman: An instructor is dressed in a chicken suit and the students tell terrible jokes…meet colorful characters like Blueberry Bob and Terry Terry.
  • The Ultimate Student Presidential Election, directed by Melissa Webb: When two students compete for the post of President, the results are hilarious!

Performances take place December 15 & 16 at 6.00 pm. For more information, visit: http://www.lelanddrama.org/

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!