Features & Columns

NYE2020: Gotta Go

Intro | Family Fun | Date Night | Zoom Together | Gotta Go | Early Bird | Party of One

TAKE A STROLL: Santana Row is especially festive this time of year.

It may seems like 3,000 days since last New Years' Eve, but think of all the things you've done this year: you can now write "proficient" next to Zoom Video conferencing on your resume. You learned just how often you touch your face—and that it's too much. And you probably learned a new skill, like how to make sourdough while working from home and guiding the little ones through distance learning. Finally, it's time to bid 2020 adieu, and you refuse to do it in the same house you've been shut into for most of the year. Don't worry! Even during the pandemic, you've got options.

Ghostly past
Nothing could be more appropriate for burying this year than a quick hike past the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum and the row of historic houses to the historic Hacienda Cemetery. Visit Jenny Danielson's grave and join in on the local tradition of bringing Jenny flowers or a small gift.

If the graveyard's not your thing, visit the ghosts in the Winchester Mystery House's gardens and grab lunch at Santana Row. Remember your masks, and call ahead for takeout.

The Bright Lights

For some kid-friendly and Covid-safe fun, grab dinner to-go and hit West Wind Capitol Drive-In, for a showing of A Muppet Christmas Carol, or a grown-up film, like Better Watch Out and Freaky.

As the day winds into darkness get under those bright lights!

Hit up Mattos Orchard Lights, at 1545 Stone Creek Dr. in San Jose. A hidden gem on the Mattos family apricot orchard, the light show is free for drive-through or a leisurely, socially distanced stroll. Fun fact: Mattos also put together the light display for this year's Christmas in the Park drive-through, but if you haven't already gotten your ticket, it may be a lost cause; that event is more packed than indoor restaurants in New Zealand.

If Mattos didn't have enough twinkle to start the new year right, take a cruise through Willow Glen, even if you were just there to see the ghoulish decorations, because what's more bougie than Halloween in Willow Glen? Christmas in Willow Glen. And the light displays along all the streets perpendicular to Willow—including the larger-than-life, slightly terrifying reindeer on Glen Eyrie Road—will be up well into 2021.

Sweets and tears
Cap the night off with desserts, like hand pies from Sweet Dragon Bakery so you can shove some carb-and-butter goodness into your face as the ball drops. That way, if you happen to shed a tear of relief as you leave 2020 behind, at least you'll have a hand pie to catch it.