Summer Festivals In and Near Silicon Valley: Art, Wine, Food, Dancing and More!

Art and Wine FestivalsArt and wine lovers, music enthusiasts, and foodies there’s a great season of festivals ahead in the Silicon Valley area!  Here’s a list of many of the nearby art, wine, food and street events which are sure to please!  Below please find there when, where and what for the 2015 season.   Enjoy the bountiful entertainment opportunities that await in Santa Clara County and close by. Remember, not all of these events are free entry, some are not family friendly, and parking can sometimes be tricky, so do your research and read up on the attached links before you visit!

May 16-17, Oxnard, California Strawberry Festival

May 24-25, San Ramon, the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival

May 29-31, San Jose, Japantown, 1st annual J-Town Film Fest

May 29-31, Foster City, 44th annual Arts & Wine Festival

June 5-6, San Jose, Downtown, the 8th annual SubZERO Festival

June 5-7, Menlo Park, 35th annual Nativity Carnival

June 6, Bonny Doon, 13th annual, Bonny Doon Art & Wine Festival (a benefit – must be 21 or older to attend, tickets online)

June 6-7, Sunnyvale, 41st annual Art & Wine Festival

June 17, Menlo Park, Summer Block Party

June 20, San Jose, Downtown, 34th annual Fountain Blues Festival

June 22, San Jose, Willow Glen, 18th annual Dancin’ on the Avenue

June 26-28, Oakland, 40th annual Montclair Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival

June 27, Oakland, Montclair Beer and Wine Celebration (an addition to the Montclair Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival)

Continue reading for more Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area Art & Wine Festivals! (more…)

Drop off expired, unused medicines today with drug disposal program sponsored by the DEA

Got drugs?Tomorrow between 10am and 2pm, you have the opportunity to dispose of old and unused medicines at a variety of locations. Sponsored by the DEA, this is a nationwide event called the Take-Back Initiative. Many police stations are accepting meds. For the list of drop off locations near you please click the link below:

Drop off spots in San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell and nearby

Here’s some info on the Los Gatos location:




J Lohr Wine Tasting Room in San Jose: worth a visit!

J Lohr Wine Tasting Room in San Jose (about 2 miles from downtown SJ)Awhile back, a Realtor friend, Colleen Kulikowski, was visiting from the Buffalo & Niagara Falls area of New York. Together we attended the California Association of Realtors conference in San Jose, CAR EXPO, where we enjoyed some great sessions and at which I was a panelist one day on social media and real estate blogging.   I very much wanted her to see more than just the inside of a conference center, though, so in the evenings and days before and after we saw some sights along the coast and went wine tasting in Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Monterey and central San Jose at the fabulously convenient J Lohr Tasting Room.

At J Lohr Wine Tasting Rooms, you can choose from available wines which ones you'd like to tryAs we  walked up to the door, I volunteered to pay for our tasting – just before noticing that it’s at no charge!  This is pretty rare today in Santa Clara County, Monterey County or Santa Cruz County wineries.  (When a tasting is free I always buy a bottle anyway if I enjoy the wine, and normally I do.)

Our hostess was very nice and gave us a printout of what could be tried that day and explained that we could select 6 and then she would “put them in order”.  Colleen and I prefer different types of wines so had little overlap in our selections – it was great to have so much variety.We both liked a number of wines and both made purchases (so they did ok on the free tasting by us). (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!




Free E-Waste Drop Off Events in Campbell & Los Gatos Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday July 23rd, e-waste items will be taken by West Valley Collection & Recycling at no cost in two locations from 9am to 2pm:

  1. The Los Gatos United Methodist Church – 111 Church Street, Los Gatos, off Main Street by Los Gatos High School
  2. Campbell Church o Christ – 1075 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell. Entrance around back, please enter on Hedegard Avenue

What can be accepted: TV monitors, computers, laptops, DVD and CD players, printers, scanners, vacuum cleaners, electronic toys and games.

What cannot be accepted: sorry, no kitchen appliance or light bulbs.




WildwoodStock 2010 Free Music in Saratoga, CA, August 8th

Stop by downtown Saratoga’s Wildwood Park (20764 4th Street off Big Basin Way) on Sunday 8/8/2010 from noon to 6pm to enjoy an afternoon of free music plus activities & entertainment for kids, including an appearance by a magician!  A variety of bands will be onstage, and Saratoga’s own Mike Gurley will be performing too.

This is a benefit for the Susan G Komen breast cancer research fund, so will be a live auction and donations would be very much appreciated.