Roses and Wine

San Jose has two beautiful rose gardens. The Municipal Rose Garden and the Heritage Rose Garden. Both are just a short walk from my neighborhood, The Alameda, near Diridon Station and Shasta/Hanchett. The most widely visited and well-known of these is the Municipal Rose Garden. Maintained by a both the city and dedicated group of volunteers, this beautiful park is frequently the location for wedding and graduation photo shoots. One of my favorite free weekend afternoons is to take a nice stroll down to one of the rose gardens, and then come back and stop into J. Lohr’s tasting room. Located on Lenzen Avenue just a block back off The Alameda, this little gem is a great spot for a free date.


The beautiful fountain at the Municipal Rose Garden. Photo credit: Lisette

J. Lohr is another free neighborhood treat. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, the tasting room offers complimentary tastings to the public. You’ll be shown a comprehensive menu with their full tasting library and will be allowed to pick which five you would like to taste. They also will offer you breadsticks – for those gluten free folks out there, just ask, they have some for us too! Follow them on Facebook or subscribe to J. Lohr’s newsletter to hear about events at their tasting room and learn about their latest releases.


J. Lohr’s tasting room on Lenzen Ave. Photo credit: Lisette

Musical Swings

San Jose has been trying to grow its art scene for a number of years. From “First Fridays” events at art galleries to increased investment in public art, it’s a welcome change. Recently, the city installed a very fun interactive piece of art in Cesar Chavez Plaza, right by the Tech Museum. This fun exhibit allows you to create music by reliving your childhood and enjoying a swing set with strangers. The music is oddly soothing and chimes with each high point of your swing, allowing you to change your pace and impact the music at your discretion. Originally slated to be here for just two months, the swings have been extended and are available for your enjoyment until October 23, 2016.


An adorable family enjoys the swings. Photo credit: Lisette

These swings are great to drop in on while you’re out and about downtown in the evenings. Want a cheap but fun activity for a date? This is a perfect and delightfully free option paired with a walk around downtown, the swings light up, which make them even more beautiful at night. Want to bring the kids? No problem, the swings are family friendly and open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Drop by and check them out while they’re still around!

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Here’s the scoop on the swings. Photo credit: Lisette