SOURCE: Team San Jose

December 11, 2013 20:25 ET

What's New in San Jose Tourism

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - December 11, 2013) - The days are getting shorter, but the list of destination developments grows longer as San Jose gears up for a busy holiday season and new year. From great hotel, dining and activity packages to new exhibits and convention center facilities, San Jose boasts many reasons to celebrate the holidays and beyond in the nation's 10th largest city -- which recently won accolades for being the best city for happiness (Prevention.com) and ranked among the top cities for the arts (ArtPlaces) and Christmas displays (Essential Travel).

Meeting and Special Event Venues and Sports Mania

San Jose McEnery Convention Center: Home to major public events, visitors can experience the exciting new changes at the San Jose Convention Center, which just completed a $130 million makeover and expansion. The center now offers 169,957 square feet of additional flexible ballroom and meeting room space, increasing the facility's space to 550,000 square feet. www.sanjose.org.

San Jose Giants: With a variety of new ticket plans and Dugout Store merchandise available, fans can get their holiday shopping done with the San Jose Giants. Deals include: The first 25 fans who buy a season ticket package get a Sergio Romo Gnome, while those who purchase $75 or more in the store get two San Jose Giants wine glasses. Parents can give their kid an early jump on the competition by registering them for San Jose Giants' Winter Clinics at a reduced holiday rate. Those who get a holiday gift through the team can even choose to have San Jose Giants' mascot, Gigante, deliver the item to their special someone. www.sjgiants.com.

San Jose SaberCats: Looking for a stocking stuffer for arena football fans? Get the SaberCats Holiday Pak 2014 for $56 which includes four End Zone Club Seats to the home opener on Mar. 23, 2014 and a $20 Fry's Gift Card. Purchase Sideline Club Season Tickets and get a free official SaberCats polo. www.thesanjosesabercats.com

City National Civic: The City National Civic, formally known as the San Jose Civic Auditorium, has a new name and new marquee and exterior signage to complement its recent $15 million renovation elevating the venue to a premiere concert and special event venue. A roster of upcoming headline entertainment, includes: The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses (Dec. 14), Charlie Daniels / Montgomery Gentry (Dec. 15), Tower of Power / War (Dec. 28), David Garrett (Jan. 21), Styx (Feb. 6), Pixies (Feb. 22), Emblem 3 (March 12) and The Piano Guys (June 27). www.citynationalcivic.com

Hotel Happenings

Dolce Hayes Mansion: Guests can book their stay between now and Mar. 20, 2014 at this historic mansion-turned-resort and save up to 50 percent of the hotel's best available rate, including breakfast for two adults and children under 12. www.hayesmansion.com

Hotel De Anza: The Romance Dinner Package starts at $269 and includes: deluxe king room accommodations, breakfast for two, valet parking, sparkling wine with chocolates, and a $75 La Pastaia dinner voucher The Tech Package starts at $199 and includes: deluxe accommodations for two, two tickets to Star Wars Exhibition at The Tech Museum of Innovation, lavish breakfast for two, overnight valet parking, and more. Both available weekends now through Feb. 22, 2014. www.hoteldeanza.com

Hotel Valencia Santana Row: Book two nights for a stay during Dec. 19-30 at this trendy hotel and receive a third night free. This special promotion starts at $189 per room and night and includes: Stylish accommodations for two, continental breakfast for two at Citrus and two coupons for a beverage at Vbar. Offer is available during the following holiday dates: Ring in 2014 in style with the New Year's Eve Hotel Package which starts at $350 per room per night (two people) and includes: contemporary guest room, champagne upon arrival, admission to the New Year's Eve Valencia Gala, grand deluxe breakfast, and a 1 pm check out. www.hotelvalencia-santanarow.com

Moorpark Hotel: This chic Joie de Vivre hotel is offering a Holiday Shopping Package, which starts at $116 and includes 10% off the best available rate, a $25 gift card and early check in and/or late checkout (based on availability). http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/silicon-valley-hotels/the-moorpark-hotel

San Jose Marriott: Epicureans will delight in the "Eat Right, Sleep Tight, Holiday Delight" package, which starts at $209 a night plus tax and includes: luxurious accommodations now through Dec. 30, an appetizer and cocktails for two in Michael Mina's acclaimed Arcadia Restaurant and Tanq Bar and complimentary valet parking (Use Code D60 when booking). The "Home Suite Home for the Holidays" package starts at $214 for the same time frame and includes: accommodations for up to four people in a junior suite, a complimentary in-room movie, a rocky road candy cane popper from Schurra's Fine Confection in San Jose, high-speed internet access, and valet parking. (Use Code YX1 when booking). http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-deals/sjcsj-san-jose-marriott/

Attraction Action

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose: The Children's Discovery Museum, often ranked among the nation's leading kids museums will unveil its new Soundscapes: Orchestrate the Extraordinary exhibition Dec. 21, 2013. The exhibit lets kids experience how everyday objects and materials can be morphed into musical experiences, such as stairs that sing, timber that twangs, and pipes that peal. Ends Feb. 9, 2014. www.cdm.org

"The Halo" Circle of Palms at Downtown Ice, Downtown San Jose: The 32 trees compromising the Circle of Palms -- the location of Downtown on Ice this holiday season -- has become the year-round backdrop for a nightly choreographed light show. Each tree is wrapped in red, green and blue pixel light strings, which are programmed to produce shimmering and cascading patterns. The lights are also synchronized to music, with special shows nightly at 6 pm and 9 pm in the winter. Hours will change for other seasons. www.sjdowntown.com/halo/

Project Los Altos (Inspired by the Winchester Mystery House): Now through Mar. 2, 2014, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley, a multisite exhibition located in the downtown area of Los Altos, a town near San Jose. Through the work of nine global artists, this exhibition explores the history and culture of this innovative region, the community of Los Altos and its surrounding areas, and the distinctive character of each artwork's setting. On view at ten indoor and outdoor locations, Project Los Altos features existing artworks as well as newly commissioned, site-responsive projects, with Jeremy Blake's celebrated Winchester video trilogy. www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572

Winchester Mystery House: Explore the Mansion by moonlight this holiday season, as exquisite, designer trees paint the rooms with a festive glow and holiday music fills the mansion. Encounter many docents along self-guided walk and learn about the history of the mansion along with the more philanthropic side of Mrs. Winchester (did you know that she used to host ice cream socials in her gardens for the local orphanage?). Victorian Carolers, wine tasting, a Hot Chocolate Bar for the young and young at heart, and Santa Photos will be available on select evenings. Dates include Dec. 14, 19-22, and 26-29, from 6 pm to 9 pm. Price: Adults (13-64) - $20; Seniors (65+) - $17; Children (6-12) $15; Children five and under - free. www.winchestermysteryhouse.com

Wining and Dining Deals and Developments

The Blackbird Annex: The renowned Blackbird Tavern in Downtown San Jose just opened the adjacent Blackbird Annex, which offers 2,400-square-foot space for private parties, and arts and cultural events for 20 to 200 people. The new venue will partner with creative urban producers of all kinds and co-host a bounty of public arts events throughout the year. www.theblackbirdtavern.com

Citrus Restaurant: Let your taste buds ring in the new-year with delicious flavors at Hotel Valencia's Citrus Restaurant, where guests can savor an exclusive five-course experience created by Executive Chef Robert Sapirman. The Citrus dinner package costs $160 per person and includes admission to the New Year's Eve Valencia Gala which features a live band and DJ, party favors, champagne toast and a midnight dessert. Must be 21 or older to attend. For more information and reservations, call 408.423.5405.

gZines in the Fairmont Hotel: Find unique holiday gifts at this new Fairmont store, which features fine art and jewelry, vintage items including handbags, small antiques and many one-of-a-kind items. www.gzinessanjose.com

New Downtown San Jose Restaurants: Smashburgers brings its classic burgers, sweet potato fries, avocado chicken clubs, shakes, malts and salads concept to San Jose MarketCenter (smashburger.com). Aloha, e komo mai (hello, come in) offers three generations of Hawaiian- and island-style recipes with food, drinks and entertainment in a casual family atmosphere. Bel Bacio imported Italian coffee (bel-bacio.com) in Little Italy (littleitalysj.com) serves specialty coffees roasted in Naples. Thirst Tea­ customers can quench their thirst with boba teas and snow ice and snack on honey toast and ice cream concoctions.

The Back Bar: David Nevin, owner of The Rock Shop, plans to bring new energy to San Jose nightlife by bringing in live rock and DJ music back to newly opened The Back Bar, which is located next to Club Miami in the trendy SoFA district.

Shopping Specials

New Retail Stores at Santana Row: Santana Row, San Jose's more accessible answer to Rodeo Drive, boasts these new stores: Blue Illusion is a new women's clothing boutique which opened in late November featuring a popular selection of French-inspired fashion. From enhancing a room, refreshing a wardrobe or inspiring a memorable experience, C. Wonder offers a wide assortment of beautiful, versatile and spirited products for all areas of its customer's life. Amsterdam-based fashion brand Scotch & Soda recently opened its first South Bay to offer high-quality clothes and accessories for men and women. www.santanarow.com

New Retail Stores at Westfield Valley Fair Mall: Located near Winchester Mystery House and Santana Row, this leading mega mall just opened: Japan's leading fashion retailer, UNIQLO, just invaded San Jose with their forward thinking high-quality casual apparel; Mezlan offers the finest in men's dress and casual shoes that elegantly express old-world craftsmanship and quality; Torrid, Hot Topic's entry into the plus sized market, has moved out of Valley Fair and into San Jose MarketCenter to offer those who prefer trendy and edgy styles. Cheer on the 49ers in new gear by hitting up the new 49ers Team Store. www.westfield.com/valleyfair/

Shopping Deals at Santana Row: Rainy Day Rewards (Now through Mar. 31, 2014) offers guests discounts when there's a 70 percent or greater chance for rain. Deals include 15 percent off purchases at participating shops and restaurants, a free signature Santana Row golf umbrella for customers who spend $150 anywhere on The Row and a $20 gift certificate to a participating shop or restaurant for customers who spend $300 on a designated Rainy Day. "Shop, Enjoy & Give" at Santana Row lets guests buy a $10 passport every Tuesday in December from 6 pm to 8 pm with proceeds helping the Second Harvest Food Bank. Shoppers get a signature Santana Row wine glass and a passport to the participating Santana Row shops, spas and restaurants which are offering appetizers, cocktails/wine and exclusive shopping discounts. www.santanarow.com

Transportation Tidbits

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC): Southwest Airlines, SJC's largest carrier, will expand its daily nonstop flight service from Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) to four destinations effective Apr. 8. 2014. Southwest Airlines will add one daily nonstop flight each to Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Orange County bringing the daily flight schedule to Denver to four, 10 daily flights to San Diego, three to Seattle and nine to Orange County. Southwest Airlines currently offers 70 nonstop departures per day from Silicon Valley to 12 cities. In addition, Alaska Airlines will begin service between SJC and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) effective June 12, 2014. Alaska Airlines currently operates from SJC serving 11 markets -- Boise, Los Angeles, Portland, Reno, Seattle, four Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu, Kona, Lihue and Maui) and two popular Mexico destinations (Cabo San Lucas and Guadalajara) -- with 130 weekly nonstop flights. Learn more at flysanjose.com.

As part of its strategic goal to offer many only-in-San Jose offerings, SJC recently welcomed the openings of: Santa Cruz Wine Bar (next to gate 23 in Terminal B) which offers bottled wines from Santa Cruz Mountain vintners and other local wineries; CJ Olson (next to gate 20 in Terminal B), the retail store for the popular local CJ Olson Fruit Stand, which has been in the same location for many years in Silicon Valley, originally called "The Valley of Heart's Delight". Learn more about these and other holiday shopping opportunities while traveling through SJC at flysanjose.com.

Team San Jose (TSJ)

Team San Jose, Inc. is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Our company manages the San Jose Convention Center and Arts and Entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, City National Civic and South Hall. For more information about San Jose and Team San Jose, please visit the new www.sanjose.org.

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