Christmas in the Park : A Drive Through Experience

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Christmas in the Park : A Drive Through Experience

 December 15, 2020

With the restrictions in place due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, entertainment venues are having to adapt quickly and the annual Christmas in the Park in San Jose, California was no exception.  Christmas in the Park is normally being held at Plaza de Cesar Chavez for a free walk through experience with ice skating and carnival rides.  There couldn’t be any rides or ice skating rink this year, but Christmas in the Park expanded the experience into a drive through a new location at History Park.

At just twenty dollars ($20) per car, he Christmas in the Park drive through experience is the least expensive holiday drive-through event I have found in California so far and well worth the price of admission. 

We purchased our tickets for early in the evening on Sunday, November 29, 2020.  The organizers immediately ran into issues with a very long line to enter the event causing major traffic backups in the neighborhood.  We arrived 15 minutes before our ticketed arrival window to give us extra time (they were honoring late entries due to the traffic delays), and we still waited approximately 50 minutes to have our ticket scanned, then it was another 15 minutes to enter through the first actual light display.  The experience is separated into two parts.

The first part is begins with a light tunnel and the path winds around with various light displays.   You exit this part with another light tunnel, then you drive around to the historic building section of the park which is much larger than the first section. 

You’ll find most of the fan-favorite animatronic displays in the second part, and the historic buildings are also decorated with wonderful light displays.  The Christmas trees decorated by various groups and companies was expanded to individuals and families this year due to low Christmas tree sales/adoptions.  The trees were difficult to see from the car, but I did have a few favorites.  Santa was also there to wave to you, and though you are not supposed to stop your car, there were several short stops as people wanted a longer look at Santa. 

We are located in Los Angeles but love to make a visit to San Jose to see Christmas in the Park (we are usually attending a convention when it’s happening.)  I really enjoyed the Christmas in the Park drive-through experience, and I’ll attend again whether it returns to a walk-through experience or continues as a drive through event. The walk through experience is focused on the hundreds of decorated Christmas trees and some animatronic displays, but the drive through experience is very focused on light displays.  The drive through experience doesn’t allow you to stop and enjoy the displays or Christmas trees, and trying to take photos while driving is dangerous even at 3 mph. (This is the reason for the blurry photos!)  Walking through the displays enable you to stop and look at displays on both sides of the sidewalk and really look at the ornaments on all of the trees.

Tickets for Christmas in the Park 2020 must be purchased in advance, and tickets are currently sold out until December 26, 2020.  The event runs through January 3, 2020 so buy your tickets today!!