Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Fun at Happy Hollow

First costumed goat encounter at Happy Hollow
Today marks the start of Happy Hollow's annual October celebration, Fall Fun at Happy Hollow. On Fridays through Sundays from October 9th until November 1st, Happy Hollow will be decorated for Halloween, and will have several special events on tap. We've visited during Fall Fun every year of Toddler X's life, so here's a little preview of what you'll find there:

The Crooked House Meadow. A portion of the Crooked House Meadow is fenced off for a little Halloween carnival of sorts. There are games, crafts, two bounce houses, face painting, a dress-up area, and even a little pumpkin patch (last year we won a pumpkin by spinning the wheel!).

The happy pumpkin winner!

Many of the activities are toddler-friendly, including a separate bounce house for younger kids, though some of the art activities and games won't be doable for a toddler without parental assistance.

Mmm...tasty art project!
There is also a nice little area set up for storytime if you need some rest.

The Stage in the Crooked House Meadow. During Fall Fun, Happy Hollow hosts a bunch of cool performances on the stage in the Crooked House meadow.
We caught one of the Fall Fun animal presentations last year and it was really cool -- if I recall correctly, there was a skunk, a crocodile, and many other crawly creatures. In addition to the animal presentations, they have a packed schedule of performers, ranging from toddler favorites like Andy Z (Friday, October 9 and 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.) and Sean's Music Factory (Friday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m.) to musicians, drums and circus shows. Check out the full schedule of performances here.

The Maze. The usual sunken maze in the middle of Happy Hollow is transformed into a corn maze of sorts. Toddler X loves this maze normally, and is always thrilled with this transformation. There are only two entrances/exits, so if you have another adult with you, station one at each and let the kids run themselves ragged in the pathways in between.

Decorations. There are decorations up in many parts of the park, including by the Crooked House, that make for fun Halloween photo ops. The park isn't heavily decorated (like Disneyland or Gilroy Gardens), and in most parts you wouldn't even know it's Halloween, but there's enough to make it feel seasonal.

  • Location: Happy Hollow is located at the intersection of Story Road and Senter Road in San Jose, adjacent to Kelley Park. A map can be found here.
  • Parking: There are two parking lots associated with Happy Hollow, the old one accessible from Senter and the new one accessible from Story. We prefer the new one, which is spacious and has bathrooms -- the old one gets very crowded, and the lines for the parking pay stations get a bit absurd. Parking is $10 for a day pass, or $80 for an annual pass (which also lets you park at Almaden Lake Park and Alum Rock Park -- it's been a good deal for us in the past). You can also park for free on the street near the San Jose Giants stadium and walk to the park, but it can be a bit of a hike, especially with a tired toddler at the end of the day (definitely bring a stroller if you plan to do it).
  • Admission: Admission is $12.95 for everyone 2-69 years old. Seniors are $9.95 and kids 1 and under are free. There are discounts for AAA members, and I believe military and other groups as well. If you plan to visit 3 or more times in a year, definitely consider a membership. All the Fall Fun activities and performances are included with admission, with the exception of face painting and the pumpkin patch. If you wear a costume any day between October 9 and October 31, you get $2 off admission!
Let me know if you have any questions, and happy toddling!

(Does your toddler still need a costume? Check out the wide array at Amazon! Thanks for shopping via my affiliate links.)

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