Get set for a busy holiday season

Downtown Ice skating returns; Christmas in the Park will be enhanced; Winter Wonderland is back on Park Avenue; old favorite events are coming back; and some businesses are taking advantage of downtown San Jose’s burgeoning nighttime economy by programming special events just about every night.

The annual holiday season kicks off this week looking as if it could make a solid contribution to an overall strong year for downtown’s economic recovery.

Here are some event highlights meant to add vibrancy to our urban center and get residents, workers and visitors out on the town the rest of 2023 and into 2024:

SAP Center: 11 dates Nov. 24-Jan. 2, including eight Sharks games and a concert Dec. 6 featuring Ricky MartinEnrique Iglesias and Pitbull.

San Jose Theatres: Fifty-nine performances are scheduled between Nov. 24 and New Year’s:

  • 14 performances at The Civic including Englebert Humperdinck, Maria Jose, Blippi, Matt Rife, Natalia Lafourcade, Jon Favreau, Joaquin Cortes, The Jinkx with DeLa, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Dave Koz.
  • 17 dates at the Performing Center for the Arts: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas the MusicalSan Jose Dance Theatre’s 58th annual NutcrackerMamma Mia and Derek Hough.
  • 20 dates at the California Theatre: Highlights — The Barber of Seville by Opera San JoseSymphony San Jose’s American Portraits; Christmas at the California with Symphony San Jose; You-Sing-It Messiah with the San Jose Symphonic Choir; The San Jose Nutcracker by New Ballet (including My Very First Nutcracker)
  • Eight shows at the Montgomery Theatre: CMT Marquee’s Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoy Orbison Returns; An Italian Christmas with Pasquale Esposito

More local performing arts:

  • The Improv:  Headliners Aries Spears, Gina Brillon, Tommy Davidson, Ralph Barbosa and Mo Amer account for 27 shows on weekends and eight other comedy shows are booked for weeknights before the year ends.
  • The StageThe Play That Goes Wrong continues through Dec. 17 with 23 performances, including matinees.
  • City Lights Theatre Company: 15 performances of The Game’s Afoot; or Holmes for the Holidays between today and Dec. 17, plus Ren Geisick’s ninth annual Winter Wonderland on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10.
  • San Jose Playhouse:  14 performances of Sondheim on Sondheim, Nov. 30-Dec. 17.
  • Hammer Theatre Center has 10 events on tab through Dec. 10 including A Merry-Achi Christmas and comic Max Amini this weekend.
  • Mission Chamber Orchestra presents Ardent Echoes – four works – at Hammer Theatre Center on Dec. 2.
  • San Jose Jazz closes out its fall BreakRoom series Dec. 9 with Druvvy.

In addition, Children’s Discovery Museum welcomes back its Noon Year’s Eve event for the first time in four years — the family event’s absence caused by pandemic. Winter Wonderland returns to Park Avenue after three years of a development-related street closure (Free rides 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24). And the owners of Paper Plane and MINIBOSS are bringing back their Miracle Pop-up event for the holidays.

If that’s not enough, several downtown businesses have noticed the big numbers of people visiting or going out at night throughout the week. A quick check of SJDA’s Downtowner Online (subscribe here) email of events reveals the following businesses programming events multiple nights between Monday and Friday: Tabard TheatreSan Pedro Square MarketCaravan ClubMama KinNirvana SoulNoiteFive PointsO’Flaherty’s Irish PubGuildhouse and Fox Tale Fermentation Project.

One of the reasons for the surge of night-time traffic is the need for work-from-home employees from going stir-crazy or avoiding cabin fever by getting outside and finding social activity. Social media, blog posts and medical websites have plenty to say about the need for work-from-homers to take time from their work stations and get out of the house.

Daytime foot traffic will of course be enhanced this season by San Jose’s Downtown for the Holidays seasonal events that draw thousands daily from all over San Jose, the Bay Area, Monterey/Salinas Area, and Central Valley from Stockton to Fresno:

For the holidays, find events at these links:

Scroll to Top