What’s New in San Jose Tourism: Fall/Winter 2012

SAN JOSE, Ca. – (Nov. 16 , 2012) – With harvest season in full swing at vineyards west of San Jose, winemakers are creating their next great vintage, making it a great time to visit. In addition to wonderful wine tasting experiences at harvest festivals and wineries, San Jose offers a continuously cultivating tourism product, from stylish hotel enhancements to fantastic new exhibits.

Hotel Happenings

Fairmont San Jose: Starting Nov. 22, hotel guests, locals and visitors experience this grand hotel’s “Holidays at Fairmont,” where Executive Pastry Chef Fernando Arreola and his team will unveil two life-sized Chocolate Nutcrackers guarding a gingerbread village in the luxurious Fairmont lobby. Downtown San Jose's whimsical winter festivities, which include Christmas in the Park, Winter Wonderland and the Downtown Ice outdoor skating rink, are just steps away from premier holiday destination. www.fairmont.com

Hotel Valencia Santana Row: This chic hotel on trendy Santana Row is offering several fun packages this fall. The “Stay Two Nights, Get the Third Free Holiday Package” gives shoppers extra value over the upcoming holiday weekends (November 16 -25 and December 21-30). Rates from $189 per room, per night, double occupancy, exclusive of tax and subject to availability. This special promotion includes continental breakfast for two at CITRUS and two cocktails to the ultra-hip Vbar. The “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Package” offers a grown-up twist on the all-girls slumber party tradition. Available Fridays and Saturdays, it includes: stylish accommodations for two, two cocktails to the ultra-hip Vbar, two Valencia tote bags with goodies to make the slumber party complete and continental breakfast for two at CITRUS. Starts at $239 per night, double occupancy, exclusive of tax, and is subject to availability.

For more information or reservations (mention package name when booking), call 866.842.0100 or visit www.hotelvalencia-santanarow.com.

San Jose Marriott: With rates starting as low as $144 per night and an unbeatable location in the heart of Downtown, the San Jose Marriott is the place to park and party during the holidays. Leave your car in luxury and walk to the convention center, museums, restaurants, galleries and nightlife, as well as Christmas in the Park with the “Parking Package,” now through Jan. 1, 2013. Features includedeluxe accommodations for one night and valet parking for one vehicle. Be sure that promotional code PSF appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making online reservation, or call 1-800-228-9290 in the U.S. and ask for promotional code PSF. http://www.marriott.com/specials/mesOffer.mi?marrOfferId=712734&displayLink=true

La Quinta Inn San Jose Airport: The hotel is undergoing a complete multi-million-dollar transformation set for completion by the end of the year, including a completed full renovation of guest rooms, with upgraded bathrooms, new carpet, furniture, and 32” HD LCD TV’s and more. The newly designed lobby is now checking in guests, and the 900 square-foot full bar/lounge called Naki’s will soon open. http://www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?propId=6273

Moorpark Hotel: Ring in the holidays at the upscale boutique Moorpark Hotel when you book the “Holiday Cheer Package,” which includes a Deluxe King or Double Queen accommodation, breakfast for two and $5 per night donation to the Toys for Tots program, which distributes toys to needy children in our community during the holidays. Starts at $134 and runs Nov. 23 – Dec. 30, 2012. www.moorparkhotel.com

Shopping Specials

Santana Row Promotion: Santana Row, San Jose’s answer to Rodeo Drive but more accessible, is offering the “Rainy Day Promotion,” giving holiday shoppers and diners a little sunshine with rewards for braving bad weather. When there’s a 70 percent chance they get discounts that include 15 percent off purchases at participating shops and restaurants, a free signature Santana Row golf umbrella for customers who spend $150 anywhere on The Row and a $20 gift certificate to a participating shop or restaurant for customers who spend $300 on a designated Rainy Day. On all rainy days, customers can pick up a complimentary umbrella to use while shopping and dining and then return it before leaving. www.santanarow.com

Santana Row Opens LavAzza: LavAzza, known as “Italy’s favourite coffee” since 2007, is expanding its presence in the U.S. and just opened its first Bay Area coffee shop/cafe at Santana Row. The shop brings a contemporary and innovative approach to coffee with Espression cafe, a place where customers can experience an extraordinary blend of coffee creations and eclectic dining in an artfully designed environment. The menu ranges from traditional Italian coffee drinks to fresh baked goods, panini sandwiches, chocolate drinks and gelato. LavAzza’s history goes back 110 years when founder Luigi Lavazza opened a small grocery store in Turin, Italy. He is credited with inventing the concept of the blend, the art of mixing coffee of different origins to obtain a flavorful brew. www.espressozone.com/lavazza

Santana Row to Welcome Madewell: This iconic American retailer is scheduled to open in Spring 2013. The 3,500 square-foot shop will occupy a portion of the space that was the former H&M store before its recent move to a larger building. Madewell, established in 1937 as a dry goods emporium, will offer a wide range of effortlessly cool pieces, such as chic yet comfy apparel from chambray shirts, broken-in tees and leather boots to accessories and bags. Madewell’s denim bar serves a menu of current styles, from skinny to bootcut, boyfriend to capri. www.santanarow.com

Attraction Action and Events

Children’s Discovery Museum: On Dec. 15 the museum launches its “Holidays Unboxed” exhibit, featuring cardboard and packing tape as you've never seen them before, curling, bending and folding into wondrous worlds that reach from floor to ceiling (through Feb. 3). On Dec. 23 families can participate in “Big Screen Sundays,” featuring the film “Snowflake Bentley” and an activity inspired by the film. On Dec. 31 kids can celebrate New Year’s Eve Across Time Zones, with Radio Disney and fun games, music and prizes, as well as the chance to make a party hat and New Year’s resolution. They can also participate in a "countdown to noon across time zones" with family hugs, noisy celebration, and the museum's version of the famous Ball Drop in Times Square. On Jan. 12-13 kids can learn about and celebrate the 15th Annual Celebration of Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day party), complete with Rosca de Reyes bread, papel picado crafts, community performers and appearances by the Three Kings. www.cdm.org

Christmas in the Park Opens Nov. 23: Don’t miss the kickoff to this annual tradition, the Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Plaza De Cesar Chavez Park. Each year, the two-acre park is transformed into Christmas in the Park, a holiday fantasy with over 60 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree. Some of the original displays housed in one of the largest exhibits, the Lima Train, include a melting snowman, caroling mice and elf woodcrafters. The Victorian Village is a 25-foot Christmas tree surrounded by the animated Nutcracker Suite exhibit and Santa's Photo Den. Guests enter a winter wonderland of lights, songs and local entertainment while strolling through an enchanted forest of trees decorated by San José schools, community groups and businesses. www.christmasinthepark.com

Downtown Ice Now Open: Adjacent to Christmas in the Park, Downtown Ice is the South Bay’s largest seasonal outdoor skating rink, produced by the San Jose Downtown Association with Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation and Hawaiian Airlines. Skate with your friends and family in a beautiful setting -- the Circle of Palms between the Fairmont Hotel and San Jose Museum of Art – now through Jan. 13. www.sjdowntown.com

Japanese American Museum of San Jose: This unique museum, located in one of only three remaining Japantowns in the U.S., presents “Common Ground: Chinatown & Japantown San Jose,” from now through April 1. The exhibit focuses on the story of Heinlenville, San Jose's last Chinatown, including personal story behind its residents and chronicle their influence on current-day Japantown. www.jamsj.org

Japantown Mural Project: The Japantown Mural Project is a celebration of the vibrancy of San Jose's historic Japantown neighborhood through artworks by 50 local artists. The environment is a barren, undeveloped plot of land that once served as the City of San Jose's Maintenance Yard. Chain-link fencing is now covered with more than 60 large mesh panels of color -- stretching a quarter of a city block along 6th and Jackson Streets in the heart of Japantown. www.japantownsanjose.org  

Japantown Store Opening: Jimbo’s, a new snack shop in Japantown, features Bubbie's Mochi Ice Cream from Hawaii, Marianne's ice cream (Santa Cruz) with toppings, unique hot dog stylings and special homemade Japanese ice cream topping flavors. www.japantownsanjose.org/

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art: This renowned museum will soon install new exhibits, such as the “Amy Kaufman: b + w,” running now through Feb. 9 and featuring large-scale charcoal drawings by this notable Bay Area artist. The “Charles Ginnever: Rashomon” exhibit, which runs Nov. 17-Feb. 16, represents the California premiere of a 15-piece steel sculpture installation modeled for this internationally acclaimed artist’s Rashomon Series. www.sjica.org

San Jose Museum of Art: This acclaimed museum just welcomed the new exhibit “Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting,” open now through May 2. The San Jose Museum of Art is the only West Coast venue for this exhibition, which offers a rare glimpse into the working process of this influential American painter through 13 of his major paintings (including the beach and suburban scenes for which his is famous) and more than 100 related studies. www.sanjosemuseumofart.org

San Pedro Square Market: San Pedro Square Market is a public market located in the heart of Downtown San Jose. The lively Market includes approximately 20 plus unique vendors selling everything from farm fresh vegetables to great sandwiches and beautiful imported kitchenware. The aromas of fresh ground coffee and wood-fired pizza will fill three market halls. The Market will present daily entertainment and showcase beautiful art created by first-rate artists and craftsmen. The heart and soul of project is the historic Peralta Adobe-- the oldest building in San Jose. The Peralta Adobe Plaza will offer outdoor seating where you can enjoy a morning coffee, a fabulous lunch, or an evening concert with dinner or a cocktail.

New Retailers at San Pedro Square Market includes:

  • Little Cheese Shoppe – Cheese and specialty grocery counter. Eclectic mix of products focusing on cheese, charcuterie, and picnic foods. Also  sells sandwiches and cheese boards, great for groups. 
  • Phonomenal – Interesting menu combining pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and aspects of Korean BBQ. Pho is one of the defining staples of San Jose's casual dining scene, we're very excited to have it here at the Market. 
  • Loteria Taco Bar – Tacos and other Mexican staples done with a gourmet twist. Almost every menu item is prepared in-house. A fun, exciting and high-quality new addition to the Market. 
  • Sama Zama – Chef-owned and operated micro-restaurant with an eclectic menu of hand-made soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch and an ever-evolving menu of small plates in the evening. Stop by and check it out, it's truly unique! 

Santa Cruz Mountain Wineries Passport Day: The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association invites wine lovers to enjoy the wineries of this extraordinary appellation, touted by Wine Spectator as “the most underappreciated appellation in the world.”  As a Passport holder, guests can explore the diverse wines and winemakers Nov. 17 for just $45. Most Passport wineries are open 11am – 5pm (please call to confirm), as well as during their regular hours or check scmwa.com/participating-wineries.

Downtown San Jose Hosts First-Ever Santa Run Silicon Valley: On Dec. 16 enjoy a 5-kilometer run through downtown San Jose at the most wonderful time of the year – during the holiday season.  Runners are encouraged to race in holiday garb to add to the fun and festive atmosphere.  Kids 10 and under receive a kid-sized Santa hat with registration.  Racers cross the finish line just as afternoon turns into evening, when beneficiaries Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice glow with the warmth of the season.  For this first Santa Run, registration is limited to only the first 2,000 to sign up.  www.santarunsv.com 

The Tech Museum presents "MythBusters Exhibition": The Discovery Channel’s Emmy®-nominated series comes to life to uncover truths behind popular myths by mixing scientific method with gleeful curiosity and old-fashioned ingenuity in MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition. From now until Jan. 6 try hands-on experiments, watch live myth-busting demonstrations, and explore authentic props and gadgets direct from the myth-busting set. This year’s 01SJ Biennial festival, where art meets technology, recently unveiled "Resolution," a newly commissioned art installation which is now part of The Tech Silicon Innovation Gallery. The commissioned work uses dynamic light compositions from magnetic pixels and encourages visitors to touch and manipulate the exhibit to create their own original arrangements.


Winchester Mystery House: Step back in time and celebrate the holiday season at Sarah Winchester'sTM fabulous, elegantly decorated 160-room mansion. Sparkling lights illuminate priceless art glass windows, garlands, wreaths and candles grace the mantels of 13 fireplaces, and over 30 festive trees are abundantly adorned with hand-crafted ornaments, collected from around the world and created by local artisans. Each tree is designed to complement the room's character and decor, while reflecting the heritage of Santa Clara Valley and the Bay Area. Beginning Dec. 13 the mansion will host special holiday events on select nights. The gardens and gables will glow with thousands of twinkling lights while music fills the air, while the gift shop offers unique items for holiday shoppers, such as vintage toys, exclusive beauty products and jewelry. www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/Christmas.

Transportation Tidbits

Mineta San José International Airport recently announced that, as of Jan. 11, 2013, All Nippon Airways will fly direct between San José and Tokyo, providing Silicon Valley one-stop flights to Asia and the Pacific Rim. www.sjc.org

Team San Jose (TSJ)

This innovative partnership unifies the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Team San Jose manages the San Jose Convention Center and Arts and Entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, San Jose Civic and South Hall. For more information about San Jose and Team San Jose, please visit the new www.sanjose.org.

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Team San Jose (TSJ)

Team San Jose, Inc. is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Our company manages the San Jose Convention Center and Arts and Entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, San Jose Civic and South Hall. For more information about San Jose and Team San Jose, please visit the new www.sanjose.org.