Top 10 Things To Do In San Jose

Photo of Kristine Xu
9 February 2017

While adventuring with your favorite group of people can be a great way to bond, outings can also go horribly wrong if planned incorrectly. Prevent plans from falling through by skimming through these cheap, fun, and unique ideas for when the weekend finally rolls around.

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden | © John Menard/WikiCommons

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 Jose Municipal Rose Garden, Dana Ave. & Naglee Ave., San Jose, CA, USA

San Pedro Square Market | © Kristine Xu
San Pedro Square Market | © Kristine Xu

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.

San Pedro Square Market, 87 North San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA, USA

Sharks Ice at San Jose | © Kristine Xu
Sharks Ice at San Jose | © Kristine Xu

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.

Sharks Ice at San Jose, 1500 S 10th St., San Jose, CA, USA

Camera 12 Cinemas | © Kristine Xu
Camera 12 Cinemas | © Kristine Xu

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.

Camera 12 Cinemas, 201 S Second St., San Jose, CA, USA

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.

The Tech Museum of Innovation, 201 S Market St., San Jose, CA, USA

Downtown Campbell | © Kristine Xu
Downtown Campbell | © Kristine Xu

Downtown Campbell

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.

Downtown Campbell, San Jose, CA, USA

ComedySportz | © Kristine Xu
ComedySportz | © Kristine Xu

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.

Japantown, San Jose, CA, USA

Petroglyph | © Kristine Xu
Petroglyph | © Kristine Xu


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.

Petroglyph, 1140 Lincoln Ave #5, San Jose, CA, USA