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!

Bats Over Calero at Calero County Park

Bats Over CaleroIf you enjoy observing creatures in their natural habitats, Bats Over Calero at Calero County Park may be just the thing for you. On this tour, the Calero County Park rangers will be taking you on a guided van ride to Bat Inn, deep in the heart of the park.

The Calero County Park is a regional park with a variety of recreation areas and activities. The park primarily includes the Calero County reservoir, which offers a boat launch ramp and host of water activities during the summer, and the “back country” which includes a variety of plant and wildlife habitats.

At the Bat Inn, during the twilight hours, you can view thousands of bats as they emerge from the cave after sleeping through the day. Before the tour, there will be a presentation on the life and habitats of bats. Bring a flashlight, a folding chair or a mat and bug repellent. Dress in long pants and sturdy shoes. Please note that flash photography is not allowed on this tour. The tour cost is $15 per person. Making prior reservations for this tour is recommended. Call 408-535-4070.

When: July 13th, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Calero County Park – 23205 McKean Rd San Jose, CA 95120

For more information visit: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/Calero.aspx

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.

Summer Fun at Almaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs

With summer around the corner, there’s nothing more inviting than a dip in the pool. Here’s a roundup of all the Almaden Valley pools and cabana clubs where you and your family can cool off from the sizzling heat.

Almaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, Almaden Cabana ClubAlmaden Cabana Club

The Almaden Cabana Club is located on Bret Harte Drive and serves the residents of the Almaden Park and Shadow Brook II areas of Almaden Valley. It operates from May to September and is the perfect place to relax with your family and socialize with your neighbors.

The club is home to the Dolphins swim team. The Almaden Cabana Club also offers summer swim lessons for kids of both member and non-member families. For more information, visit http://www.almadencabana.com.

Shadow Brook Swim ClubAlmaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, Shadow Brook Swim Club

The Shadow Brook Swim Club is a neighborhood cabana club for residents of the Shadow Brook neighborhood of Almaden Valley. Located at the corner of Almaden Expressway and Shadow Brook Drive, this club is home to the Shadow Brook Sharks swim team.

The pool is open annually between May and September. The club also offers summer swim lessons to kids. For more information, visit www.shadowbrook.org.

Almaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, ASRCAlmaden Swim and Racquet Club (ASRC)

The Almaden Swim and Racquet Club is a popular sports and recreation club in Almaden Valley. Serving about 300 members, it is located on Northridge Drive in the prestigious Country Club neighborhood of Almaden. The facility offers a swimming pool, a kids wading pool, and a hot tub, in addition to six USTA championship tennis courts. ASRC membership is open to all, though there is a wait list. The club offers swimming lessons in the summer. For more information go to www.almadensrc.org.

The ASRC is also home to the Quicksilver swim team and Masters (QSS), which offers year-round competitive swim training for kids and adults. QSS also has a summer swim team. For more information, go to https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=pcqs.

Montevideo Cabana and ClubAlmaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, Montevideo

Residents of the Montevideo neighborhood in Almaden Valley can swim at the Montevideo Cabana Club. This club is home to the Piranhas swim team and offers summer swim lessons. The club also includes other fun facilities like a volleyball court. For more information, visit http://www.gopiranhas.com.

So, get ready for a summer packed with pool parties and grilling get-togethers, and go make a splash!

Super Run 5K at Almaden Lake Park

Super Run 5K at Almaden Lake Park – Saturday, February 18, 2017

Super Run 5KThe San Jose Super Run 5K kicks off at Almaden Lake Park on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8:00 am.

Don your cape and be a superhero for the day! Run, volunteer, or invite your friends to this fun event while supporting your favorite charity.

The Super Run is a series of superhero themed national running events. It partners with non-profit organizations to raise funds and create awareness for their causes.

You can purchase Super Run 5K tickets at http://sanjose.eventful.com/venues/almaden-lake-park-/V0-001-000561394-1

Charitable organization the walk supports include The Children’s Heart Foundation, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Playworks, to name a few. To learn more about the Super Run 5K and the charities they support, go to http://thesuperrun.com/

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/.

Internet Safety Reminder for Winter Break

Internet safetyInternet Safety – The holidays are about to begin and your children will very likely spend a lot of time online with multiple devices. Now is a good time to educate or remind them about Internet safety, and to reinforce the need for caution while browsing or posting on social media.

Surfing and Social Media Internet Safety

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 requires that websites aimed at children under 13 must get parental consent. According to the Library of Congress, in the US, three among four children have access to smartphones and social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr. And while they are using these apps, most kids never customize the privacy restrictions on their profiles, and many of them even publicly post their address and/or phone number.

Monitoring children’s online activities can be overwhelming and time consuming, but some basic steps should be taken to ensure their protection. Here are some guidelines for both parents and children.

For parents:

  • Educate your children about Internet safety – Include Internet safety and privacy in all “growing up” discussions with your children.
  • Follow and be a ‘friend’ on social media – Your children might be reluctant to let you into their virtual world, but get an agreement on this before allowing them to use social media. Having you on their accounts will make them careful about what they post. It will also help you weed out people who may not really be friends. However, keep some distance and avoid stalking them.
  • Adjust privacy and parental control settings – This should be done on each device before you let them use it.
  • Install monitoring software – There are various software and apps available to track browsing history and block dubious sites from baiting and preying on your children through advertising.
  • Make kids anonymous on the Internet – Avoid posting pictures of your children on social media sites and the Internet. If posted by friends and family, un-tag as much as possible. Ask family and friends to seek your consent before they post any pictures of your children.

It is very important that children understand the reasons behind the rules to ensure compliance. So talk about the risks and keep that dialogue going.

For children:

  • Protect your passwords – Create strong and unique passwords, and don’t share them with your friends. If you think someone has gained access to your password, change it immediately. Use different passwords for email and social media.
  • Select online friends carefully – Do not add anyone as a friend on your social media if you do not know him/her well, and in person. You may be tempted to have more social media friends than others in your peer group, but think carefully before you add people on. Someone doesn’t qualify to be a friend just because you have other friends in common.
  • Privacy Settings – Set your privacy settings to “friends only”.
  • Every post is permanent – Your social media posts, including pictures, remain on the Internet even after you remove them. Increasingly, social media sites are screened by colleges and employers for admissions and jobs. What you post today could impact your future.
  • Be kind and sensitive online – Don’t post anything that might be hurtful to others. Avoid anything that might seem like cyber bullying, which is not just wrong but could also get you into big trouble. A rule to follow is this: if you can’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.

For more information on Internet safety and protecting your child’s privacy, go to:

https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/protecting-childrens-privacy

Almaden Valley Thanksgiving Events 2016

Almaden Valley ThanksgivingIt’s November, and there are a number of Almaden Valley Thanksgiving events happening throughout the month. Here’s a round-up…

Almaden Community Center Senior Association Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 16, 2016

The Almaden Community Center Senior Association is sponsoring a Thanksgiving feast on Wednesday, Nov. 16 between 2pm and 4pm at the Almaden Community Club. Come join in with family and friends for a sumptuous meal of traditional turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert. Tickets are $12 for members and $15 for non-members, available at the Almaden Community Center. For more information, call 408-268-1133.

Almaden Country School Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 22, 2016

The Almaden Country School’s annual Thanksgiving feast is a tradition of long standing. On Monday Nov. 21, parents and children will gather in school to prep and cook up a dish to serve at the feast the next day, Nov. 22. No prior cooking experience required. Come with a turkey and an oven bag. Happy cooking! For more information, visit https://www.almadencountryschool.org/appleseed/index.aspx.

Turkey Trot, Nov. 23, 2016

Castillero Middle School is doing its bit to give back to the community and the school during Thanksgiving. Castillero’s PE department is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Turkey Trot on Wednesday Nov. 23. During the Turkey Trot, students will have a choice of trotting through two events – a competitive mile lap and a non-competitive track lap. Spirit t-shirts will be sold for $10 each and all funds will go towards the Castillero Middle School PE department. Those who sign up will also donate one item of canned food for the Second Harvest Food Bank Thanksgiving donation. For more information, visit http://sjusd.org/castillero.

Run Turkey Run 5K / 10K, Nov. 24, 2016

On Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of Almaden families will gather at Leland High School to participate in the Run Turkey Run 5K / 10K. This annual Thanksgiving event is organized by the Bret Harte Booster Club.

The run/walk event begins at Leland High School at 8.30 am. Both the 5K and 10K sprints will be done on level terrain on the paved trails along the Los Alamitos Creek trail, and will end in a loop at Leland High.

Registration is $15 for kids 12 and under and $20 for adults. You can also purchase Run Turkey Run spirit t-shirts for $15 at the time of packet pick-up and on race morning. All proceeds go towards supporting Bret Harte Booster Club activities. For additional information, visit http://sjusd.org/bretharte/clubs/booster-club-athletics.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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!