Los Gatos Holiday Activities Guide (2023)

Los Gatos Holiday Activities Guide (2023)

With the holiday season fast approaching, the town of Los Gatos prepares to host a spectacular array of events that infuse warmth, cheer, and a festive spirit into our town. From the twinkling lights adorning the streets to an eclectic lineup of holiday events, an undeniable sense of community and joy fills the atmosphere. Whether you're a long-standing member of our close-knit community or exploring Los Gatos homes for sale, these events promise an immersive and festive experience! 

Holiday Winter Celebration & Tree Lighting

Location: Downtown Los Gatos - Town Plaza Park
Date & Time: Friday, December 1st | 5pm-7pm

Mark your calendars for a magical evening at Town Plaza Park on Friday, December 1st, as Los Gatos ushers in the season with its beloved Annual Holiday Winter Celebration. Embrace the holiday spirit with a winter wonderland light show and winter-themed activities. Stay for the timeless tree lighting ceremony at 6pm and keep an eye out for a special appearance by Santa Claus himself!

Los Gatos Children’s Christmas & Holidays Parade

Location: Downtown Los Gatos
Date & Time: Saturday, December 2nd | 11am-1pm

Experience the town bursting to life with festive cheer at the 67th Annual Los Gatos Children’s Christmas & Holidays Parade on Saturday, December 2nd, from 11am to 1pm. The celebration features captivating performances from Los Gatos High School, Fischer Middle School, Dartmouth Middle School, and many more! The parade route starts at the corner of Almendra Ave and North Santa Cruz Ave, journeying south along North Santa Cruz Ave to Main Street and concluding at Church Street. Plan ahead for road closures, parking, and to secure the best viewing spot! Click here to explore this year's parade lineup!

Makers Market - A Holiday Craft Fair

Location: Old Town Center - 50 University Avenue Los Gatos, CA 95032
Date & Time: Sunday, December 3rd | 11am-5pm

On December 3rd, explore the Makers Market, a special holiday craft fair taking place in the Old Town Center of downtown Los Gatos. Local artisans showcase handcrafted jewelry, artisanal candles, organic body products, captivating artwork, exquisite glasswork, and more. Enjoy live musical performances by Ian Acredolo and Mike Annuzi while browsing!

Fantasy of Lights 


Location: Vasona Lake County Park
Date & Time: December 5th to 30th (Closed December 25th) | 6pm-10pm

Embark on an enchanting journey at the 25th annual Fantasy of Lights at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos. Running from December 5th to 30th, immerse yourself in this mesmerizing drive-through experience showcasing over 50 themed displays illuminated by eco-conscious LED lighting. Admire the grandeur of a towering 90-foot Christmas tree and encounter animated exhibits, including charming penguin gatherings, thrilling pirate scenes, and even a basketball-pro Santa Claus! Prepaid tickets are required for entry, purchase your ticket here!

Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad Holiday Train

Location: Oak Meadow Park - 233 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Date & Time: December 7th to 30th (Select Dates) | 6pm-9pm 

Experience the magic of the season aboard the 22nd annual Holiday Train at Oak Meadow Park! Travel through a section of the spectacular Fantasy of Lights exhibition nestled within Vasona Lake Park.

Be sure to stop by the snack shack from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for delightful sweet treats and hot beverages! The proceeds from the event will benefit the operations of the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad. 

Holiday Carriage Rides



Location: Downtown Los Gatos (Check-In at Grocer & Goddess)
Date & Time:
December 7th to 23rd (Select Dates) | 5pm - 9:15pm

Starting December 7th, downtown Los Gatos welcomes back the cherished Holiday Carriage Rides. Experience a serene 15-20 minute journey amidst the magical ambiance, as horses dressed in delightful holiday bells gracefully traverse along North Santa Cruz Avenue. Your ticket includes complimentary hot chocolate and holiday cookies to enjoy during the ride. Secure your tickets here.

The Nutcracker

Location: McAfee Performing Arts Center
Date & Time: December 19th to 21st | 7pm

Prepare to be amazed by the Los Gatos Ballet's talented performers in this year's spectacular rendition of The Nutcracker. This timeless holiday classic will come alive from December 19th to 21st at 7pm at the McAfee Performing Arts Center. Witness captivating dance sequences accompanied by live music from the San Jose Youth Symphony. Experience Clara's adventure as she conquers the Mouse King and enters the palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Reserve your tickets here in advance to take part in this magical holiday tradition!

Santa Cruz Holiday Train Lights

Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - Neptune’s Kingdom
Date & Time: November 24th - December 23rd (Select Dates) | Select Times 

Embrace the holiday cheer aboard the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train, a beloved seasonal tradition that brightens the streets of Santa Cruz. Departing and returning in front of Neptune’s Kingdom on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, this hour-long excursion promises a mesmerizing journey. This enchanting ride features a visit from Santa Claus, delightful servings of hot cocoa and hot-spiced cider, alongside engaging winter-themed activities. Check the availability for your preferred date and time here.

Winchester Mystery House 

Location: Winchester Mystery House - 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Date & Time: Every Saturday from November 25th - December 30th | Select Times

Experience an enthralling blend of eerie Victorian charm and festive cheer at the renowned Winchester Mystery House this holiday season. The historic landmark is decked out in beautiful holiday decorations, welcoming guests to discover the mansion's seasonal offerings. 

Reserve your spot for the Holiday Candlelight Tour—an immersive, open-house-style evening that allows exploration through the mansion's eclectic halls. 

After your tour, stop by the 5th Annual Menagerie Holiday Oddities & Curiosities Market. This exceptional market offers an array of treasures, from antiques to handcrafted wonders like taxidermy, natural science displays, and distinctive collectibles. Open every Saturday from November 25th to December 30th, between 12pm and 9pm, it's your chance to uncover truly original finds.

Ready to celebrate in Los Gatos? 

Whether you're drawn to the dazzling lights of Fantasy of Lights or captivated by the artistic creations at the Makers Market, there's something for everyone to cherish this festive season. Don't miss out on these incredible festivities that infuse the town with the spirit of the holidays. When you’re ready to make Los Gatos your home for annual holiday experiences, the Amy McCafferty Team is here to help with your move. Contact us to get started. Happy Holidays!

Please refer to the official event pages linked in this blog for any changes or updates before attending as event information is subject to change.

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