Free concerts in Los Gatos this summer: Vasona Vibrations, Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz

Free Music Series in Los Gatos

Looking forward to those fabulous free summer concerts? So am I! So I’ve combined the schedules of different Los Gatos music festivals: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz, and Fiesta de Artes, as well as some single-day events in a post on my Live in Los Gatos blog. Not all schedules are published, and remember to check the festival web sites for rules, schedule changes, and directions.

Follow this link to get to the free concert schedule on the Live in Los Gatos Blog!

Summer Concerts: Los Gatos Free Music Collage 2023




Halloween Events in the San Jose area

Halloween in San Jose and Nearby

Happy Halloween! Looking for frights, food, or family friendly fun? This year there are more in-person events across Silicon Valley!  Remember to check ahead and read all instructions before you attend any of these events.

Pumpkin Patches

Schools and churches often have patches. Grocery stores and hardware stores are open and regularly have pumpkins for sale, and you might spot a pumpkin or two among the other squash at a farmers market. ABC Tree Farm’s Pick of the Patch Pumpkins is operating per county and state ordinances and have patches throughout the Bay Area. This year, they’re once again offering a pumpkin delivery service within the San Francisco Bay Area, so you can remain home and still participate.

We’re keeping this list strictly Halloween (and pumpkins), however there are plenty of wonderful Octoberfest, Dia De Los Muertos, Diwali, Harvest Festival, and many more seasonal celebrations and activities happening in the Silicon Valley throughout October in addition to these Halloween events.

Halloween events by area in Santa Clara County & Silicon Valley


Magical Glass Pumpkin Patch – Sunday, Oct 23rd 10am – 5pm at Los Gatos High School

Los Gatos Halloween Pet & Kid Parade – Sunday, Oct 30th 3pm – 5pm in Downtown Los Gatos



Succulents and Pumpkins Workshop – Saturday, Oct 22nd 10am

Cloud City’s 2nd Annual Pet Howl-oween Costume Contest – Friday, Oct 28th 6pm

Creepy Crawly Halloween Trick-or-Treat – Sunday, Oct 30th 4pm – 6pm in Downtown Campbell

Westmont High School’s Super-Scary Fright Nights – Friday, Oct 28th & Saturday, Oct 29th every 30 min from 7pm – 9pm



Monster Mash – Friday, Oct 28th 7pm – 8:30pm at the Quinlan Community Center, a party for families with children ages 12 and under

Halloween Lego Workshop by inPlay – Saturday, Oct 29 2pm – 4pm Portal Park Building



Queen’s Pumpkin Patch – Open every day in October

Doggy Halloween Parade and Costume Contest – Friday, Oct 28th 4pm – 6:30pm at the Chamber of Commerce

Witchy Walk-A-Bout – Saturday, Oct 29th 2pm – 4pm in Saratoga Village



Saratoga Blossom Festival!

Blossom Festival - celebrating Saratoga's orchard historyIn April, travel back in time to the early- to mid-20th century and celebrate Santa Clara Valley’s heritage with the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the City of Saratoga’s Blossom Festival.

When the hills of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the surrounding regions were covered with fruit blossoms every year, a Blossom Festival was held with parades, food, games, and theatrical performances. These massive celebrations saw visitors come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the festivities.

When is the Saratoga Blosssom Festival?

This year, the Saratoga Blossom Festival will take place on April 13 from 10am-4pm in the Saratoga Heritage Orchard & Civic Center area.  from 10am-4pm, the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area will be host to a new Blossom Festival. The event is free and family friendly. Children may enjoy kids craft and activity tables and a petting zoo. History buffs can rub elbows with costumed characters from Saratoga’s by-gone-days, see vintage vehicles, motors, and tractors, and swing to a live band playing tunes from the 1930s-40s. Foodies might enjoy gourmet food trucks, prune and apricot tasting (the prize crops of the Valley of Heart’s Delight), and docent-led orchard tours. There will also be artists, craftspeople, entertainment, and more!

Join us in the orchard under a snowfall of pink and white flower petals and celebrate the beauty of the changing season at the Saratoga Blossom Festival!


Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area

13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, CA

April 13th from 10am-4pm, free to all!





Gilroy Garlic Festival

GGF_2015_Flameup_3Greet the morning with the sweet smell of fresh Garlic in the air – the Gilroy Garlic Festival is back!

If you’ve ever caught the vivid aroma of the stinking rose early in the day it’s likely a breeze coming over the southern Santa Clara County city of Gilroy, the Garlic capital of the world. Whether you love or hate the pungent allium, this herb is a favorite for many foodies in Silicon Valley and around the world.

Gilroy celebrates their favorite bulb one weekend of the year during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the last weekend in July. This year it’s back for the 38th annual event held on July 29, 30, and 31, 2016. So what to should you expect from “summer’s ultimate food fair?” Food, food, food, fun, shopping, music, and more!

Gourmet Alley is “all about the food” – classics like garlic bread, garlic fries, calamari, scampi, and sausage are available at the booths, and at the end aisle, watch the Pyro-Chefs stoke up five foot tall blazes from their frying pans. Weird food lovers will enjoy a plenitude of flavors from other booths around the festival, including free samples of garlic ice-cream, alligator and buffalo meat, or ice cream in a half cantaloupe. There’s also the range of standard festival food stalls, beer, wine, coolers, and non-alcoholic chilled drinks.


Willow Glen Wine Walk

How does an afternoon of fine wines, springtime sunshine, and a stroll through a charming old downtown sound? Good? Well then, you might be interested in visiting Downtown Willow Glen during this year’s Spring Wine Walk!

Willow Glen invites you to “Sip and Stroll the Avenue” on Saturday, April 12th from 2pm to 5pm. Attendees will receive a wristband, wine glass, and a map to guide you around the day’s tasting locations.

Tickets are currently available online through Eventbrite for $30 per person and, if available, tickets will be sold on the day of for a bit more ($45/ person). Grab your friends and go for the group price ($30 in advance per person for a group of 10+).



Be sure to read through the links below for check-in information, parking instructions, and more.

Information and Ticket Purchasing:

Downtown Willow Glen event page:




Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival This September!

Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival this weekend!On Saturday, September 16th, the 37th Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival begins! On Saturday from 10AM – 6PM and on Sunday from 10AM – 5PM, make the most of the end of summer with arts, festival food, wine and beer, live entertainment on three stages, open house at City Hall, a passport stamp game, and two childrens’ venues: Kids Kingdom and Toddler Town!

For more information on the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival, please visit the event page on Santa Clara City government’s website. Use links below to quickly navigate to different areas within the event page.

Don’t forget to plan for sun and expect higher than average traffic. Bring extra sunscreen, water, and clothing to keep the sun off you in the late summer heat! It should be tons of fun! See you there!

Panning on strolling the booths? Shopping opportunities abound! Check out the list of artists and the map of booths on the festival’s Artist page.

Going for the performers? See the lineup of musical talent at the festival page. Enjoy live music and more at the annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival!

Going for a glass of the good stuff? Find the list of vintners and breweries with available beverages, open hours, and where to find water (stay hydrated!) through this link.

Interested in a pancake breakfast by the boyscouts? Or want some fried up food to pair with your beverage? Check out the food page here.

Need directions? Use the Google map to find directions from your house to Santa Clara Central Park.


Related reading: 

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos (art & wine festival)




Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

This upcoming weekend, Aug 22-23, 2015, 10am to 6pm, is the annual Palo Alto Festival of the Arts along University Avenue, featuring over 300 artists’ booths!  Additionally, there will be 60 chalk artists along Tasso Avenue.

Things to know:
Admission is free.  Please bring your own bags or totes to carry your purchases as Palo Alto now bans vendors providing customers with plastic or paper bags.  Parking may be a challenge (disabled parking available in city lots, others must find street parking), so the use of public transit is very highly encouraged.

Many thanks to the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring this very popular happening!



To get all of the details on this fun Silicon Valley event, check out these websites:   (check out the Festival Passport option – good deals!)




Great time of year to visit Villa Montalvo

Villa Montalvo, the former estate of Senator James PhelanIf you haven’t been to Villa Montalvo and the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga recently, this is a great time of year to head over and take in the lovely grounds – and perhaps take in some live music, family theatre, or other art on display, too.

The villa was built for Senator James Phelan in 1912, who willed it to the people of the State of California to be an arts center.  And so it is today, not just a lovely Italianate estate on 175 acres, but a place to enjoy a wide variety of art forms. Last weekend my family and I visited there (these images were from a sunnier day recently!) and enjoyed seeing the artwork in the lawn, in cryptic (poetic) signs along the roadway, and noticed a wide array of tempting events coming up soon.

Amateur photographers will find many scenic subjects for their art (but please note that professional photography is not allowed without permission).  Also please note that picnics aren’t allowed, unfortunately, but there are some opportunities for dining on site.

Montalvo Arts Center Grounds

There are a couple of venues for concerts at Montalvo.  Best known is the large, gracious lawn that spreads out in front of the Villa.  (In the ’90s I remember seeing Peter, Paul and Mary perform there on a glorious summer day!)  It’s a very slight hill, which makes for a wonderful, natural amphitheatre.

Given the natural and architectural beauty of this place, it is a highly prized location for parties and weddings, too. (more…)

Summer’s cool but Silicon Valley entertainment is hot!

The summer of 2011 will go down as one of the coolest in decades for Silicon Valley (or, as my hairdresser joked, “summer was canceled“).  Live entertainment goes on and daytime productions are more comfortable than usual so get out there and enjoy the offerings in the west valley areas of Los Gatos, Saratoga and San Jose before we finish out the warm season!

Free music in Los Gatos:

Did you know that the town of Los Gatos features three different concert series each summer?  There’s Music in the Park (Sundays), Jazz on the Plazz (Wednesdays) and Vasona Vibrations (Saturdays).  I posted every concert date/time and info on each venue on my Live in Los Gatos blog.  See the entire list of the free summer music in Los Gatos here (there are 10 still to go!).

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos – art and wine festival

An annual tradition in Los Gatos each summer is the Fiesta de Artes on the Civic Center Lawn (on Main Street near Los Gatos High School) and this year it’s back on Aug 13 & 14 2011. Running from 10am to 6pm both Saturday and Sunday, this is a much beloved Art & Wine Festival (the only one in Los Gatos).  Visitors will enjoy loads of musical entertainment, a variety of food and wine, and more than 150 vendors.  Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, the Fiesta de Artes has been a part of summers in Los Gatos for over 30 years.  Come on out and enjoy!

For more information, please visit

Shakespeare in Silicon Valley

Take in some of the magic of the bard!  The Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival runs through August 6th – this year the offerings include Macbeth (we saw it opening night – well done!), Twelfth Night and Charley’s Aunt.  Check out showtimes and other info on the website at  or get tickets online:

Another venue with Shakespeare is Shady Shakespeare, up at Sandborn Park in the hills over Saratoga.  This year’s run began just a couple of days ago and continues through early September. What’s playing?  Henry V and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Read more at

And finally, you can view Shakespeare at Montalvo this year, as Shakespeare Santa Cruz comes over the hill to perform.  (If my memory serves me correctly, they used to do so at the Paul Masson Mountain Winery in Saratoga in the 80s and early 90s – at least I recall taking in some of Shakespeare’s plays there in my younger days!).  This series runs only in September and includes The Comedy of Errors plus a more contemporary show, Danny Scheie.  (As always with Montalvo, this is not the most affordable of the venues – but the setting is lovely.)  Learn more at

Looking for a weekend getaway in the San Francisco Bay Area?  Consider Los Gatos or Saratoga – great dining, shopping and entertainment year round, but never more than in summer!




At the Pruneyard in Campbell July 27, Michael Jackson tribute band, Foreverland!

Portera Common Community CelebrationSilicon Valley residents, mark your calendars!  Plan to be at the Pruneyard in Campbell to listen to the Michael Jackson tribute band, Foreverland!

The band will be onstage Wednesday, July 27th, starting at 6pm, to help raise funds for Portera.  This is the 3rd annual event and it promises to be a lot of fun!

Since this is a fundraiser, donations of food, gently used clothing and cash are very welcome.  Please read all about the event on the downtown Campbell website.