National Parks / Natural World in SAN JOSE with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, San Jose has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around San Jose, California offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of San Jose itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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    (21 miles) Boulder Creek

    Stretches from sea level to over 2000ft above and terrain ranges from almost tropical canyons and raging waterfalls to sparse and almost arid slopes. There's certainly scope for some terrific ...

  • Henry Cowell Redwood State Park

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    (23 miles) Felton

    Giant trees up to 285 feet tall and 16 feet wide, plus nature centre, hiking, biking, fishing and more.

  • Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

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    (24 miles) Hayward

    Experience the unique environment in this San Francisco Bay salt marsh, with an interpretive center, family programs and nature!

  • Capitola Beach

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    (26 miles) Capitola

    One of the most popular beaches on the West Coast, this Californian beach is perfect for water sports, beach fun and family adventure!

  • Seabright State Beach

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    (27 miles) Santa Cruz

    A long and simple sandy beach which stretches from the Boardwalk to the Santa Cruz Harbor. Good for sandcastling, shallow paddling and traditional beach days.

  • Oyster Bay

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    (30 miles) San Leandro

    An astonishing diversity of wildlife can be seen at this shoreline park under development just south of Oakland International Airport. Marsh hawks, black-shouldered kites, red-tailed hawks, and ...

  • Redwood Regional Park

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    (35 miles) Oakland

    Kids can experience the magic of this hidden redwood forest whose 1,830 acres are ready to be explored - an amazing natural wonder in California for the family to enjoy.

  • Muir Woods National monument

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    (53 miles) Mill Valley

    Contains 6 miles of trails in 30 to 90 minute loops as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding parks. Free Discovery Pack available for kids, plus public programming at the ...

  • Garland Ranch Regional Park

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    (58 miles) Carmel

    This park is home to a variety of landscapes that occur at elevations from 200 to 2000 feet. From the willow covered banks of the Carmel River through the cottonwood-sycamore stands of the old ...

  • Micke Grove Regional Park

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    (61 miles) Lodi

    A fun park with a carnival, museum, formal gardens, softball fields, water play features, horseshoe pits, several children’s playgrounds and an 18 hole disc golf course! Phew!

  • Petrified Forest

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    (93 miles) Calistoga

    Step back in Time, over 3 million years, and follow the trail of majestic petrified redwood giants arrayed before you in a fascinating grove in beautiful California wine country

  • Effie Yeaw Nature Center

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    (94 miles) Carmichael

    Self-guided trails through 100 acres of beautiful Californian nature, with wildlife and learning opportunities for the kids!

  • Old Faithful Geyser of California

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    (95 miles) Calistoga

    Come visit the show of California's Old Faithful Geyser, a spectacular, nature-directed performance. The stage, walled by thick bamboo and plumed pampas grass, appears as an innocent pool of shallow ...

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • The Tech Museum of Innovation

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    (1 miles) San Jose

    Find the innovator in you at this Tech museum in San Jose, where challenges, hands-on exhibits and themed galleries offer a fascinating learning experience for kids - that's fun!

  • Children's Discovery Museum

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    (1 miles) San Jose

    Learn through fun and exploration at this creative and exciting Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose. It's a great way to understand the world!

  • The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

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    (2 miles) San Jose

    Explore and experience the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on show in western North America! A fascinating and historic family day out in San Jose!

  • Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo

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    (15 miles) Palo Alto

    A great little museum and zoo, with over 200 lives animals, and fascinating hands-on exhibits so kids up to 9 years can learn, create and explore - all in Palo Alto!

  • Dublin Heritage Park and Museums

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    (25 miles) Dublin

    Step back in time into Dublin's fascinating history, with original 1800's structures and a 10-acre park.

  • Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

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    (26 miles) Santa Cruz

    Offers a diverse ranging of changing exhibitions generally suitable for the whole family but with principles perhaps best appreciated by over 4s.

  • Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia

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    (30 miles) Burlingame

    See the World's Largest Pez Dispensing Machine, an example of every Pez dispenser made, unique exhibits of other classic toys and more at this museum of memorabillia! Plus Toy and Banned Toy Museums.

  • Oakland Aviation Museum

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    (32 miles) Oakland

    West Coast aviation history comes to life at this fascinating museum in Oakland with actual aircraft on display, as well as simulators and and interactive play area!

  • Oakland Museum of California

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    (38 miles) Oakland

    A fascinating Californian cultural experience where families can explore various art exhibitions, as well as delve into Californian history and natural sciences.

  • Childrens Creativity Museum

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    (41 miles) San Francisco

    San Francisco's arts and technology museum for kids of all ages with hands on fun learning exhibits.

  • The Cartoon Museum

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    (42 miles) San Francisco

    .The Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms. This unique institution houses approximately ...

  • San Francisco Railway Museum

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    (42 miles) San Francisco

    The San Francisco Railway Museum celebrates the history of rail transit in San Francisco and explores its significant impact on the quality of urban life in this great city throughout its storied ...

  • The Randall Museum

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    (42 miles) San Francisco

    The Randall Museum offers a unique haven where children and adults can explore the creative aspects of art and science and make discoveries about nature and the environment by direct participation in ...

  • Habitot Childrens Discovery Museum

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    (42 miles) Berkeley

    Series of engaging physical, role-play, imagination and learning settings ideal for families of kids 1 to 5 years.

  • San Francisco Cable Car Museum

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    (42 miles) San Francisco

    Overlooking the cable car workings themselves, the museum features three 1870s cars plus a wealth of memorabilia.

  • Madame Tussauds San Francisco

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    (43 miles) San Francisco

    Spend the day with all your favorite stars in the new San Francisco wax museum!

  • Ripley's Believe It or not Museum

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    (43 miles) San Francisco

    The weird and the wonderful comes together over 10,000 sq ft filled with the strange, the unusual, and the unbelievable!

  • Musee Mecanique

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    (43 miles) San Francisco

    A stunning collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines, all in working order! Great fun in San Francisco!

  • Maritime National Historical Park

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    (44 miles) San Francisco

    Historic boats by the pier, tours, events and activities, plus visitor centre with maritime heritage showcase and Junior Ranger Program activities.

  • Bay Area Discovery Museum

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    (47 miles) Sausalito

    Kids can have fun with hands-on art, science and environmental exhibitions for 6 months to 10 years, plus live performances, and special events - all in San Francisco!

  • Monterey County Youth Museum

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    (51 miles) Monterey

    My Museum is a fun role play in Monterey for inquisitive and curious kids, with role play structures, and realistic environments perfect for the imagination!

  • Childrens Museum of Stockton

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    (53 miles) Stockton

    The Stockton Children's Museum is located in downtown Stockton, across from the Deep Water Channel and the Waterfront Warehouse. It is one of the most exciting places to visit in this part of the of ...