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Santa Clara, Family Vacation Ideas – A Mystery House, Tech Space, and Snoopy. Santa Clara California Intel Museum KidsSan Francisco’s South Bay area is a family friendly, easy paced area where families can share time without long lines and schedules.

The advantage of making the South Bay area a family vacation base is obvious – no lines, free parking, great restaurants, and easy access to San Francisco or Monterey for a day adventure. I have compiled a short list of Santa Clara family vacation perks. At the top of the list is free science for fun.
Share the tech space with your kids. Sleek, shinny, and very cool, the Intel Museum in Santa Clara, California is an ideal spot to learn about the science of computers including microchips and the future of technology. Just drop in and get an idea of what it is like to be inside a highly automated silicon chip factory. The museum offers 10,000 square feet set for interactive learning. Learn what ants and transistors have in common. Discover the difference between petaflops and teraflops. Assess the importance of bunnysuits, ingots, and Moore's Law. Here’s the deal: There is no charge for admission or parking. (Intel Museum 2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95054. (408) 765-0503 or

Explore with Me Docent Tours. The de Saisset Museum of Art and History offers visitors to the area a glimpse of Santa Clara’s evolving community personality depicted through art and history. The painting and sculpture collection includes works primarily from the modern and contemporary eras including one of the most important collections of video art in the entire Bay Area. Bonus points: To enjoy the museum join one of the “Explore with Me Docent Tour” led by a Santa Clara University student intern. The tours encourage visitors to engage in active looking and to share their thoughts with the group. Best of all, no prior knowledge of art is required. (500 El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95053. (408) 554 - 4528 or Santa Clara California Central Park Feeding Pigeons with Kids

Join a family art day. Triton Museum of Art showcases contemporary and historical works featuring artists of the Greater San Francisco Bay area in an atmosphere where curiosity, experimentation, and spirited dialogue are encouraged. The staff is committed to providing exceptional programs in the creation and understanding of art for all ages. Family Art Days are free and held on Saturdays throughout the year. The imaginative day- events offer families an environment to create art and explore the galleries. Bonus points: The facility includes a delightful seven-acre sculptural garden. Here’s the deal: Admission is free to exhibitions and many events and parking is free.  (Triton Museum of Art 1505 Warburton Ave. Santa Clara, CA 95050. (408) 247-2438 or

See the Earthquakes. Attending a professional soccer can be great fun for young soccer players and Santa Clara offers just the spot. Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara University is home to the San Jose Earthquakes. Bonus points: In addition to scheduled seasonal play the Earthquakes also offer a half-day soccer camp for boys and girls of all skill levels and abilities. Skilled coaches instruct young participants in using age-appropriate technical and tactical exercises. (

Explore the house that never ends. Why not share something quirky with your kids? The story of Winchester House is a bit bizarre and the house matches the story. Winchester Mystery House was imagined and built by Sarah Winchester heiress to the Winchester Repeating Rifle fortune. She was a turn-of-the-20th-century woman who believed in spirits. Her mansion in Santa Clara became a building project of unprecedented proportions, with stairs that led nowhere, secret passages, and a séance room. Wait for it! Each fall this is the location of Winchester Mystery House®‘Fright Nights’ complete with a 40-minute spine-chilling maze plus a  ‘Flashlight Tour’ with shock appeal. (525 S Winchester Blvd‎. San Jose, CA 95128. (408) 247-2101 or's great america Theme Park Snoopy's Home in Santa Clara, CA 

Vacation with Snoopy & friends. California's Great America is the only combination theme and water park in California and is also the location of Planet Snoopy and home to the main dog – Snoopy plus Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Sally. The amusement complex features KidZville with 18 rides and attractions for parents and kids to enjoy together as well as thrilling rides - Flight Deck and Vortex. Family rides include Carousel Columbia and Barney Oldfield Speedway perfect for sharing with young ones. The complex also showcases Broadway-style live entertainment ideals for all generations. The park is open from April through the end of October each year. (4701 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054. (408) 986-5866 or 

Location on the planet. Santa Clara is located in San Franciso’s South Bay area at the center of Silicon Valley and is bordered by San Jose, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

Make it happen. More details about the area may be found at the Santa Clara website. Here’s the deal: Santa Clara CVB offers discounted tickets to California’s Great America, Winchester Mystery House and the Eartquakes’ games. Tickets may be purchased from the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau at 1850 Warburton Avenue in Santa Clara, 4 1/2 miles east of California's Great America theme park. 95054. For more details go to Santa Clara Vacation Savings 

Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images by Santa Clara CVB. Copyright updated 2017.