Happy Hollow

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, January 3, 2007 1:13 PM
Where the heck is Happy Hollow you might ask? It's a small children's ride park and petting zoo in San Jose's Kelley Park. We were up at my parent's house with the munchkin for Christmas and (my) Mom suggested we kill the afternoon of Christmas eve there along with my little sister.

I'd been there once while in college on a lark. I was looking forward to the choo choo train that cruises around Kelley park over towards the San Jose Historical museum (cool place with a streetcar if you ever have the chance). Unfortunately, the train was gone due to maintenance problems according to the guy at the entrance. But there was still enough to do for a couple of hours with a 1 year old.

The park was built in the early 60's so the foliage was wonderful. It is more of a park with kids rides and a petting zoo than anything else. It has a couple of merry-go-rounds (OK OK...one of them was a carrousel with sea creatures), a car ride, a strange dragon train with rubber tires that steered itself along a concrete path, and a whole collection of 1960's playground equipment that you never see anymore (probably because of lawsuits).

We let the tyke stretch his legs at the playground before taking him on anything. After a couple of somersaults down the spiral slide and a spill on the sidewalk, we hit up the kiddie rides. The most memorable was the larger carrousel. It was Tommy's first on the up and down animals (Dad holding on). He figured out that he could wave at Mom every few seconds right away and he was practically waving the entire time.

We spent a couple hours exploring and attended the Old King Cole puppet show just before leaving (which was really cool by the way). We grabbed a couple of decent burgers and a T-shirt on the way out. Total damage with a AAA discount for 3 adults, food and a T-shirt? About $50.

We never did make it to the petting zoo but I suspect we'll check that out last time. The park needs a little TLC, but according to the information guy, the park will get an overhaul in 2008. I hope they do it without upsetting a lot of the charm. Nice little place, but they could use a few more rides...and most definitely a cho choo!

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