San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
Voted America’s number one rose garden, this is a great destination if you are on a tight budget, but still want to have an awesome outing. The Rose Garden is a gorgeous spot for a lazy afternoon strolling through the sprawling grounds or lounging on the grass and enjoying the sun. Pack some finger foods, suntan lotion and a picnic blanket.
San Pedro Square Market
If you’re looking to feed your inner foodie, grab a bite to eat at this historic food court in downtown San Jose. The sheer volume of people and open-air atmosphere at the San Pedro Square Market will keep things casual, while also giving you an excuse to splurge on some excellent gourmet food. Make sure to check out Spuds Potato Bar to enjoy a soft baked-potato, as well as Treatbot for specialty desserts like horchata and ube ice cream.
Sharks Ice at San Jose
So maybe you’re a die-hard Sharks fan. This is the perfect excuse to plan an outing to Sharks Ice in San Jose, where you can simultaneously gush about your obsession with the San Jose Sharks while ice-skating where they practice. Whether you’re pro-skaters or novices, the day will be well spent navigating the slippery ice.
Camera 12 Cinemas
For a more traditional route, dinner and a movie never fails to disappoint. If there’s a film you’ve been meaning to see, head over to Camera 12. Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, this movie theater not only offers student discounts, but also occasionally shows limited release movies. Negotiate a dinner location before indulging in some tasteful cinema.
Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Spend an afternoon working up a sweat while hiking though the Quicksilver trails. Featuring gorgeous and scenic routes that are not too physically strenuous, this is a great option that’s budget friendly and lets you enjoy the great outdoors. Bring a couple bottles of water and lace up your hiking boots before hitting the trails.
The Tech Museum of Innovation
Bond over your collective geeky tendencies and spend a day at the Tech Museum. In addition to wandering through the regular exhibitions of Body Metrics and The Tech Exploration Gallery, you can also visit the IMAX Theater and watch educational films on humpback whales and World War II. Double check the events calendar for upcoming special events at the museum.
Another popular nightlife spot in San Jose is Downtown Campbell, where the sidewalks are packed with energetic crowds and rambunctious music from bands can be heard from blocks away. Weave through the crowds, making sure to hit up some of the popular destinations in downtown Campbell. The Recycle Bookstore is a great place to browse through some unique books (and visit their in-store cat), while Rocket Fizz offers some unique candy selections.
Located just a couple of blocks from The Tech Museum, ComedySportz is a leading improvisation comedy show located in downtown San Jose. The two-hour long shows are highly interactive and sometimes even invite audience members to participate on stage. Start with dinner downtown before attending a show for an unforgettably hilarious night.
San Jose Japantown Farmers’ Market
From 8:30 a.m. to noon, San Jose Japantown is home to a year-round farmers’ market that boasts fresh produce and delicious goods that support local vendors. Arrive early to enjoy the morning and peruse the booths for fresh daikon, chard potatoes, bok choy and even egg rolls. Bring a reusable bag to store the goodies you collect.
If the weekend has a rainy weather forecast, plan for a day holed up inside with some arts and crafts. Located both in the Los Gatos and Willow Glen neighborhoods, Petroglyph allows visitors to pick a ceramic item to paint and create a unique craft. Let your creative juices flow with a plethora of paintbrushes and a rainbow of paint colors to choose from.