By Alex Eisenhart, @AlexOnTransit
Christmas in the Park @ Plaza de Cesar Chavez in Downtown San José: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Downtown San José. The annual Christmas in the Park festivities kick off on Friday, November 23 (the day after Thanksgiving), with a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. This year’s seasonal event is available to the public through December 25 and features activities scheduled throughout the month, including an Ugly Sweater Party, Dog Day, Breakfast with Santa and a weekly movie night every Saturday at 6 p.m. leading up to Christmas. For those taking Caltrain to the event, you can either walk about 20 minutes to the plaza from San Jose Diridon station or hop on a Mountain View-bound VTA light rail and get off at the Convention Center Station.
International Gem & Jewelry Show @ San Mateo County Event Center: If you’re looking for a Black Friday shopping event that doesn’t require camping out overnight in front of a shopping mall, the Peninsula offers a three-day long alternative holiday shopping opportunity from November 23-25 at the San Mateo County Event Center in San Mateo. In addition to pearl necklaces ideal for clutching whilst engulfed in heated political arguments over the holiday dinner table, the International Gem & Jewelry Show offers a wide range of beautiful products along with free jewelry cleaning and maintenance tips. While there is an admission fee, you can skip out on the $12 parking fee by taking Caltrain. The event center is less than a mile away from the Hayward Park and Hillsdale Caltrain stations. You can also take the SamTrans ECR or 292. Keep in mind Caltrain will be operating a modified schedule on November 23, referenced in the article below.
Caltrain and SamTrans to Adjust Schedule for Thanksgiving Holiday: Caltrain will operate alternative schedules for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 22, and the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 23. SamTrans will operate its regular Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day and regular weekday non-school day service the day after Thanksgiving, giving consumers more travel options for the busiest shopping day of the year.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22: Caltrain will operate a holiday schedule between the San Francisco and San Jose Diridon stations, with shuttle service to and from the Tamien station. Train service will not operate south of San Jose Diridon. The schedule will include two northbound and southbound Baby Bullet trains. SamTrans will operate its regular Sunday service, which is less frequent than the weekday schedule and does not include routes that specifically serve schools or do not operate on a normal Sunday.
Day After Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23: Caltrain will run a modified schedule between the San Francisco and San Jose Diridon stations. The modified schedule includes one round-trip train between Gilroy and San Francisco, with modified shuttle service between the San Jose Diridon and Tamien Caltrain stations. SamTrans will operate its regular weekday non-school day service schedule.
Please note the administrative offices of the San Mateo County Transit District, which manages Caltrain and SamTrans, will be closed on Thanksgiving, and the day after Thanksgiving. Caltrain and SamTrans customer service is available on Thanksgiving 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the day after Thanksgiving 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.