Fall Festivals & Events in Silicon Valley

  • 01 of 04

    How to Celebrate Fall in Silicon Valley

    Fall festivals and events in Silicon Valley
    KidStock / Getty Images

    The fall harvest season is almost here and lots of seasonal festivals and outdoor events are coming up. Looking for things to do this autumn? Click through the arrows above for the most comprehensive guide to fall festivals and events in San Jose, Silicon Valley, and the Santa Cruz area. 

    Dates and details are subject to change, so please check the official event websites for more information. 

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    SEPTEMBER 2016

    Luna Park Chalk Art Festival, Backesto Park, San Jose, CA | September 19, 2015
    Cassie Kifer

    Millbrae Art & Wine Festival, September 3-4

    What: Downtown Millbrae hosts a Mardi Gras-style Labor Day celebration featuring live music, a juried show with 250 professional artists showing their latest handcrafted wares, festive food and drink, wine, craft beer, and more.

    Where: Broadway Avenue between Victoria and Meadow Glen, Millbrae, CA


    San Jose Mini Maker Faire, September 4

    What:  A family-friendly celebration of creative makers, inventors, tinkerers, and artists. An offshoot of the annual global Maker Faire festival in San Mateo--find out more information in this post.

    Where: History Park, 1650 Senter Rd., San Jose, CA 


    Coyote Valley Family Harvest Feast, September 10

    What: A free, family-friendly festival celebrating local foods and open space, sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. This year’s theme is urban agriculture and there will be local farmers on hand to sell locally-grown produce and host workshops on gardening and growing food. There will...MORE also be local food, musical acts, and entertainment. Admission is free.

    Where: Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, 550 Palm Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA


    Los Altos Hills Hoedown, September 10

    What: An old-fashioned family harvest festival including traditional arts and crafts, a farmers market, and free entertainment for the whole family.  The event will highlight textile demonstrations, quilting, knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, soap making, and puppet making. Fresh pressed apple cider from DeMartini and Hidden Villa Farm.

    Where: Westwind Community Barn, 27210 Altamont Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA


    Mountain View Art and Wine Festival, September 10-11

    What: A food, art and wine festival in downtown Mountain View.

    Where: Castro Street (between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue), Mountain View, CA


    Fiestas Patrias, September 11

    What: The Bay Area’s largest celebration of Mexico's Independence Day.

    Where: Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose, CA


    Antique Auto Show, September 11

    What: A celebration of antique vehicles sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Model T Club. Over 200 stock antique autos, fire equipment, bicycles, and motorcycles of all makes from the late 1800s to 1945. 

    Where: History Park, San Jose, CA


    Bark in the Park, September 17

    What: An annual festival for people and their dogs. It's the largest dog festival in America, drawing 15,000 dog lovers each year and over 3,900 dogs. The event features pet agility competitions, pet costume contests, food trucks, pet-friendly exhibitors, and animal rescue groups. Find out more information in this post.

    Where: William Street Park, William and South 16th Street, San Jose, CA


    Luna Park Chalk Art Festival, September 17

    What: An annual art festival featuring extravagant chalk art creations on the sidewalks of this San Jose city park. The event features food, performances, and art displays. Find out more information in this post.

    Where: Backesto Park, San Jose, CA


    Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival, September 17-18

    What: An art and wine festival featuring the work of local and regional artists with over 170 art booths, 25 community groups serving delicious food favorites, four vintners pouring fine wines, micro-brewed beer, live entertainment, and games and events for kids.

    Where: Central Park, Santa Clara, CA


    Greek & Middle Eastern Festival, September 17-18

    What: A traditional cultural marketplace, fun games for the kids, arts & craft, live entertainment, folk dancing and most importantly--food!

    Where: St James Orthodox Church, Main Street, Milpitas, CA


    Viva Calle SJ, September 18

    What: A free one-day “open streets” event that temporarily closes miles of San Jose streets to cars, allowing residents to walk, bike, skate, play, and enjoy the streets as a temporary public park.  Find out more information in this post.

    Where:  The route will stretch from Japantown through Downtown San Jose into Willow Glen. See the website for the event’s route map.

    Website: http://www.vivacallesj.org/

    International Children’s Festival, September 24

    What: A multicultural family festival featuring traditional dances, performances, arts and crafts, children’s activities and food. Admission is free.

    Where: Discovery Meadow (Woz Way and San Carlos), San Jose, CA


    Saratoga Russian Festival, September 24-25

    What: A celebration of Russian and slavic food and culture.

    Where: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 14220 Elva Ave., Saratoga, CA


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  • 03 of 04

    OCTOBER 2016

    Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival
    Miramar Events

    Los Altos Fall Festival, October 1-2

    What: A fall downtown festival featuring 150 artists & craftspeople, live entertainment, food stands, a children’s area with scarecrow contest, games, pumpkin pie eating contest, classic cars, craft beer & wine. 10am to 5pm. Admission is free.

    Where: Third and Main Street, Los Altos, CA


    Holiday Makers Market in the Park, October 1

    What: A holiday art and craft market featuring the work of local artists. Held on the first Sunday in October, November, and December.

    Where: Santana Row, San Jose, CA


    Little Italy Street Festival, October 2

    What: Authentic Italian cuisine, local bands and traditional Italian entertainment, children's activities, artisan Italian arts & crafts, and more.

    Where: Little Italy, San Jose, CA


    C2SV Music Festival, October 6-8

    What: A celebration of technology and music in Silicon Valley. This festival includes tech and music industry panels, lectures, interactive demos, and live music performances.

    Where:...MORE California Theater (345 South First St, San Jose) and other locations in the South First Arts District, Downtown San Jose, CA


    Pumpkins in the Park, October 8

    What:  A fall harvest fair with activities for the whole family. Events include a pumpkin patch, costume swap, costume parade, carnival games, and more. Admission is free.

    Where: Discovery Meadow (Woz Way and San Carlos), San Jose, CA


    Bacon Festival of America, October 15

    What: A festival celebrating America’s favorite food: Bacon. The event features several food trucks selling food crafted with bacon. Tickets are available on the website.

    Where: Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose, CA


    Pacific International Quilt Festival, October 13-16

    What: A celebration of the art of quilting featuring 160 vendors offering machines, quilts, textiles, quilting supplies, books, sewing related craft items, kits, clothing and much more. The quilt show consists of competition entries and special exhibitions.

    Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA


    Silicon Valley African Film Festival, October 14-16

    What: A showing of feature films, shorts, and animations from new and emerging African filmmakers.

    Where: Community School of Music and Arts, Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA


    Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, October 15-16

    What: The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is one California’s most famous fall festivals, featuring the world-championship winning biggest pumpkin of the year, fall food and activities, live music, games, and more. Find out more information in this post: Guide to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

    Where: On Main Street between Miramontes and Spruce Streets in Half Moon Bay, CA


    Fall Furry Flurry Fun Event, October 16

    What: A dog-friendly festival to celebrate pets and raise money for local animal rescue organizations. Pet-friendly 5k walk, games for pets and kids, pet costume contest, and more.

    Where: Los Gatos Creek County Park, Los Gatos, CA


    San Jose International Short Film Festival, October 20-23

    What: A celebration of creative short films from around the world.

    Where: CineArts at Santana Row - San Jose, CA


    The United Nations Association Film Festival, October 20-30

    What: An international documentary film festival featuring  global films on the topics of human rights, the environment, protection of refugees, famine, homelessness, racism, disease control, women's issues, children, universal education, war and peace.

    Where: Various locations in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and San Francisco, CA


    Campbell Con Pop Culture Festival, October 29

    What: A one-day pop culture convention celebrating comic books, movies, Fantasy & Sci-fi, superheroes, collectibles, cosplay, and more.

    Where: Campbell Community Center, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell, CA


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  • 04 of 04

    NOVEMBER 2016

    The Niles Canyon RailwayTrain of Lights
    Moyer Photos (moyermk) / Flickr CC by 2.0

    Fall Open House and Train Show, November 5-6

    What: The annual fall open house for the South Bay Historical Railroad society at the historic Santa Clara train depot. The event includes model railroad layouts, railroad artifacts, tours of the historic tower, an all-day lunch counter, bluegrass music, & more. Admission: Adults (18+): $5; Children: free.

    Where: South Bay Historical Railroad Society, 1005 Railroad Ave., Santa Clara, CA


    Holiday Makers Market in the Park, November 5

    What: A holiday art and craft market featuring the work of local artists. Held on the first Sunday in October, November, and December.

    Where: Santana Row, San Jose, CA


    Letters to Santa at Santana Row, November - December

    What: Write a letter to Santa and get a reply! Drop off your letter to Santa in the mailbox outside of the Santana Row concierge office, and get a reply from Santa in time for Christmas. Each letter must include the child’s name and mailing list, and it must be dropped in the box by...MORE December 10.

    Where: The Concierge office (near the garage between Sino and Left Bank Brasserie), Santana Row, San Jose, CA

    Jingle Fest Craft Fair, November 19-20

    What: One of the South Bay’s largest handmade events with over 100 local artisans and designers from across the Bay Area. Shop the curated selection of crafts with workshop, food and drinks, music, and meet Santa Claus. Admission and parking is free.

    Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA


    San Jose Harvest Festival, November 25-27

    What: Arts and crafts show featuring over 24,000 handmade pieces of jewelry, ceramics, pottery, art, toys, and more. The event includes entertainment, prizes, and food. Admission: Ticket price varies.

    Where: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA


    Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights, November - December

    What: A one-hour long trip on an antique rail coach that’s been decorated with holiday lights. The trains make a nighttime hour-long trip from Sunol to Niles and back, playing holiday music along the way. Admission: Ticket price varies.

    Where: Sunol Depot, 6 Kilkare Road, Sunol, CA