28 Best Things to Do in San Jose at Night

Lara Mega

Lara Mega - Head of Content

Published: August 8, 2023

Hi there! I'm Lara, and as a San Jose enthusiast, I'm excited to share with you my top recommendations for an unforgettable night in this vibrant city. Get ready to explore the best of San Jose's nightlife, from trendy bars to live music venues, and make the most of your trip by planning ahead. Enjoy your time in the city!

things to do in San Jose at night

As the sun sets over San Jose, California, the city transforms into a playground of excitement and entertainment.

Downtown San Jose, known for its vibrant nightlife, becomes the epicenter of after-dark activities. From trendy bars and restaurants to music venues and cultural attractions, there's something for everyone seeking a memorable evening adventure.

From sipping innovative cocktails to exploring art galleries under the moonlit sky, prepare for an unforgettable nocturnal journey through this dynamic town.

Join us as we unveil 28 best things to do in San Jose at night, with a focus on downtown and its captivating nightlife.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Winchester Mystery House

Top Choice Hotel

Fairmont San Jose

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Mild weather, fewer tourists; ideal for sightseeing.

Average Temperature

Warm and mild weather in San Jose, California.

Transportation Options

Bus, light rail, commuter rail, ride-sharing, cycling, walking.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Explore the iconic Tech Museum of Innovation, where you can delve into the fascinating world of technology and get hands-on with cutting-edge exhibits.

Indulge in the local food scene by visiting San Pedro Square Market, a bustling food hall offering a plethora of culinary delights, from artisanal pizzas to international street food - perfect for a food lover's adventure.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes.
  2. Lightweight and breathable clothing.
  3. Sunscreen and sunglasses.

What Not to Miss

  1. The Tech Interactive
  2. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
  3. San Jose Museum of Art
  4. Winchester Mystery House
  5. Santana Row, Municipal Rose Garden

What to Avoid

  1. Peak hours traffic
  2. Crime-prone areas
  3. Lack of public transportation options

1. Walk around San Jose center

San Jose Center

Immerse yourself in the energy of downtown San Jose as you take a stroll through its bustling center.

This pedestrian-friendly area is filled with charming streets, stunning architecture, and a vibrant atmosphere that comes alive at night.

Admire the twinkling lights, explore unique shops, and soak in the city's cultural ambiance.

Whether you're on your own or with friends, a leisurely walk around the San Jose center is the perfect way to kick off your nocturnal adventure and discover the hidden gems of this captivating place.

2. Join the San Jose Bike Party

San Jose Bike Party

Hop on your bicycle and become part of the lively San Jose Bike Party, a thrilling community event that takes place on the third Friday night of each month.

Decked out in colorful lights and accompanied by music, this group ride offers a unique way to explore this city after dark.

Experience the camaraderie, feel the cool night breeze, and witness the city from a different perspective.

Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or just starting, the San Jose Bike Party promises an unforgettable and exhilarating adventure for riders of all levels.

3. Explore San Pedro Square

San Pedro Square

Indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of San Pedro Square, nestled on San Pedro Street.

Take a stroll through the area, where you'll find a myriad of restaurants, cafes, and bars that come alive at night. Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure, from gourmet cuisine to local food trucks serving up delicious bites.

Enjoy live music performances, sip on craft cocktails, and embrace the lively ambiance of this popular gathering spot.

Whether you're looking for a casual evening with buddies or a romantic night out, San Pedro Square is sure to delight your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

4. Have fun at West Wind Capitol Drive-In

West Wind Capitol Drive-In

Experience a nostalgic night out at the West Wind Capitol Drive-In. This classic drive-in theater offers a unique and entertaining way to watch movies under the stars.

Gather your friends or loved ones, grab some snacks, and settle into the comfort of your car as you watch the latest blockbusters or timeless classics on the big screen.

Feel the excitement build as the sun sets and the movie begins, surrounded by the enchanting ambiance of the drive-in.

With a snack bar offering delicious treats and a laid-back atmosphere, West Wind Capitol Drive-In guarantees a memorable evening of cinematic delight.

5. Discover Santa Clara Street

Santa Clara Street

A visit to Santa Clara Street is one of many things to do in San Jose at night. It's one of the bustling thoroughfares of the downtown.

Take a stroll and admire the architectural marvels that line the street, showcasing the city's rich history and modern charm.

Santa Clara St is also home to numerous restaurants and cafes, where you can savor delicious cuisine, enjoy refreshing drinks, and experience the lively atmosphere of the town.

Whether you're seeking culture, shopping, or culinary delights, Santa Clara St is the top destination that promises an unforgettable evening experience until the wee hours.

6. Taste the bliss at the Vintage Wine Bar

Vintage Wine Bar

Indulge in an evening of sophistication and fine flavors at the Vintage Wine Bar in San Jose.

Located downtown, this cozy and elegant establishment offers a remarkable selection of wines from around the world.

Sip on exquisite wines, savor artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, and let the cozy atmosphere envelop you as you engage in delightful conversations with buddies or loved ones.

Whether you're a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy the occasional glass, the Vintage Wine Bar provides a refined and enjoyable experience for all who appreciate the blissful marriage of wine and ambiance.

7. Play Arcade Games

Sugarloaf Entertainment Arcade

Relive the nostalgia of arcade gaming at San Jose's exciting venues that offer a wide selection of classic games, including the iconic Pac-Man.

Challenge your people to a round of Pac-Man, where you navigate the maze, gobbling up pellets while avoiding the colorful ghosts.

Beyond that, you'll find a plethora of other beloved arcade games, from pinball machines to racing simulators, ensuring endless fun and entertainment for everyone.

So, grab a handful of quarters and get ready to unleash your gaming skills at one of San Jose's fantastic arcade destinations.

8. Participate in a Night Tour

Night Tour

Experience the captivating charm of San Jose after dark by participating in a night tour that unveils the city's hidden treasures.

Explore the enchanting streets and witness the architectural wonders adorned with beautiful lighting. Learn fascinating stories and intriguing facts as you delve into the city's history and local legends.

Whether a walking tour or a guided bus excursion, night tours in the city promises an unforgettable adventure, allowing you to see the city in a new light and create lasting memories.

9. Explore Sports Bars

Rookies Sports Lodge

Looking for an exciting way to spend your Thursday night? Head to one of the city's lively sports bars and immerse yourself in the thrilling atmosphere of sports fandom.

These venues are the perfect spots to catch live sporting events, whether it's a thrilling football match, an intense basketball game, or a highly anticipated baseball showdown.

With big screens, delicious food, and a wide selection of beverages, a sports bar offers a vibrant and energetic setting to experience the excitement of the game.

So, grab your friends, don your team's colors, and get ready to cheer on your beloved athletes as you enjoy a night filled with good company and memorable moments in a sports bar.

10. Drive around Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley

Embark on a captivating journey through Silicon Valley by hopping in your car and cruising through its scenic roads.

As you drive, marvel at the impressive campuses of tech giants like Google, Apple, and Tesla, which have shaped the world we live in.

Immerse yourself in the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates the region and soak in the unique blend of nature and technology that defines Silicon Valley.

A drive through this legendary valley offers a glimpse into the forefront of innovation and sets the stage for an unforgettable adventure.

11. Visit California Theatre

California Theatre

Located in the downtown neighborhood, the California Theatre is a must-visit destination for culture enthusiasts. Just a short walking distance from other downtown attractions, this historic theater offers a splendid venue to experience captivating performances.

Step inside and be greeted by the grandeur of its architecture, adorned with ornate details and a majestic auditorium.

From opera and ballet to concerts and theatrical productions, the California Theatre hosts a diverse range of performing arts that cater to various artistic tastes.

Delight in the talents of renowned artists and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of live performances.

12. Visit Bowlero San José

Bowlero San José

For a night of fun and entertainment, head over to Bowlero San José, a popular hotspot in the city. This lively venue offers an array of activities, including bowling, arcade games, billiards, and more.

Gather your friend group and challenge each other to a friendly game of bowling, complete with neon lights and upbeat music.

Engage in some friendly competition in the arcade section or showcase your billiards skills.

What sets Bowlero San José apart is its outdoor seating area, where you can relax, socialize, and enjoy the pleasant San Jose weather while sipping on refreshing beverages.

13. Enjoy the Night Sky at the Bay Area

Bay Area

Escape the city lights and venture to the Bay Area to witness the breathtaking beauty of the night sky. Find a serene spot along the coast, away from the urban hustle, and gaze upward.

As darkness falls, the stars and constellations reveal themselves in a mesmerizing display.

Take in the tranquil ambiance, listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean, and let the vastness of the universe captivate your imagination.

The Bay Area provides a perfect setting to connect with the celestial wonders and find peace under the shimmering canopy of stars.

14. Listen to Live Music

Art Boutiki Music Hall

Listening to live music is one of the many things to do in San Jose at night, and you can experience the energy of live entertainment in San Jose's thriving scene. From intimate music venues to large-scale concert halls, the city offers a diverse array of options to suit every taste.

Lose yourself in the soulful melodies of jazz bands, rock out to your favorite bands, or groove to the beats of talented DJs.

The live entertainment scene in San Jose is alive with performances that will leave you captivated and energized. It is one of the activities in California that you shouldn't miss.

So grab your friends, head to a local hotspot, and immerse yourself in the magic of live music and other exciting forms of entertainment that this vibrant city has to offer.

15. Have fun at Aloha Roller Rink

Aloha Roller Rink

Get ready to roll and embrace the vibrant atmosphere at Aloha Roller Rink in San Jose. This lively venue offers a nostalgic experience where you can glide and groove to your heart's content.

Whether you're a seasoned skater or a beginner, the rink provides a fun-filled environment for all skill levels.

Enjoy themed nights, special events, and even roller disco parties that add an extra touch of excitement to your skating experience.

With friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere, Aloha Roller Rink is the perfect place to create memories, make new friends, and have a fantastic time.

16. Explore J Town

San Jose Japantown

Venture into J Town, also known as the San Jose Japantown, and discover a neighborhood rich in history, culture, and culinary delights.

Go to boutique shops that showcase traditional crafts, art galleries featuring contemporary works, and specialty stores offering unique Japanese products.

Immerse yourself in the cultural festivities and events that take place throughout the year, including the Obon Festival and the Cherry Blossom Festival.

J Town is a vibrant neighborhood that offers a captivating experience, allowing you to connect with the rich heritage and traditions of the Japanese community in San Jose.

17. Sip on a drink at Five Points Bar

Five Points Bar

Relax and soak in the laid-back ambiance at Five Points Bar in San Jose. This popular establishment offers a cozy outdoor seating area where you can unwind and sip on your favorite drink.

Whether you prefer craft cocktails, local beers, or fine wines, the bar has a wide selection to please every palate. Take a seat amidst the charming outdoor setting, surrounded by the buzz of conversation and the gentle breeze.

Engage in lively discussions with buddies or strike up a conversation with fellow patrons as you enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

With its inviting outdoor seating, Five Points Bar provides the perfect setting to enjoy a drink, socialize, and unwind in the heart of San Jose.

18. Laugh at the ComedySportz


Check out ComedySportz in San Jose for a dose of hilarious comedy acts in a lively and entertaining atmosphere. As you step into this renowned comedy club, be prepared to be entertained by talented improvisational comedians who will leave you in stitches.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening filled with delicious drinks, quick thinking, and uproarious laughter.

The interactive nature of ComedySportz ensures that each show is unique, as the comedians engage with the audience for an unforgettable experience of performing arts.

Whether you're attending with friends, on a date, or flying solo, ComedySportz guarantees a pleasant and laughter-filled evening that will have you leaving with a smile on your face.

19. Take a Walk along Santana Row

Santana Row

Take a stroll along Santana Row, an upscale outdoor shopping and dining destination in San Jose.

As you walk through this vibrant boulevard, you'll be surrounded by a blend of European-inspired architecture, stylish boutiques, and top-notch restaurants. Admire the beautifully landscaped promenade, lined with palm trees and outdoor seating areas.

Explore the chic shops, from luxury brands to local boutiques, and indulge in a variety of culinary delights offered by world-class restaurants.

Enjoy the lively ambiance, music, and occasional art exhibits that add to the allure of the Row.

20. Discover Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Discover the wonders of ancient Egypt at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. Step into a world of captivating history as you explore the impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits.

Marvel at the intricately carved statues, delicate jewelry, and elaborate sarcophagi that offer a glimpse into the artistry and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.

Learn about the fascinating rituals, mythology, and daily life of this ancient civilization through interactive displays and informative presentations.

With its vast and meticulously curated collection, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum provides an immersive experience that transports you back in time, offering a deeper understanding of one of the world's most intriguing ancient cultures.

21. Explore SoFA District

SoFA District

Nestled in downtown San Jose, the SoFA District is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood that offers a unique blend of art, culture, and creativity. Take a stroll through the streets lined with colorful murals, street art, and eclectic shops.

Explore the numerous art galleries that showcase local artists' works, from contemporary pieces to avant-garde installations. Indulge in the culinary delights of the district, with a wide range of cafes, restaurants, and eateries offering diverse cuisines.

Immerse yourself in the artistic atmosphere, attend live music events, and experience the district's lively energy.

The District is a great place to discover hidden gems, support local businesses, and embrace the artistic spirit of San Jose. It's one of the many things to do in San Jose at night, at any time of year.

22. Enjoy yourself at Enso Bar

Enso Bar

Located in the heart of San Jose, Enso Bar offers a delightful experience where you can enjoy a wide selection of beers and delicious food.

Pair your drink with mouthwatering food options, ranging from gourmet burgers and tasty appetizers to flavorful salads and delectable desserts.

Whether you're meeting your buddies for a casual gathering or looking for a relaxed spot to unwind, Enso Bar provides the perfect setting to savor great beer, indulge in tasty bites, and create memorable moments in the vibrant city of San Jose.

23. Catch a show at Tabard Theater

Tabard Theater

Immerse yourself in the world of performing arts at Tabard Theater, a beloved venue in San Jose.

From thought-provoking dramas to side-splitting comedies and enchanting musicals, Tabard Theater presents a diverse range of productions that cater to all artistic tastes.

Sit back in the intimate theater setting and let the talented actors, singers, and dancers transport you to new realms of imagination.

Whether you're a theater enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable night out, Tabard Theater promises an unforgettable experience filled with the magic of live performances.

24. Walk around Almaden Blvd

Almaden Blvd

Take a stroll along Almaden Boulevard and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling street during the weekend.

Browse through boutique stores, uncover unique treasures, and indulge in some retail therapy.

Enjoy the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from charming cafes, and take a moment to savor a delicious meal at one of the many dining establishments.

With its energetic vibe and eclectic mix of offerings, a walk along Almaden Boulevard provides a delightful opportunity to explore, shop, dine, and experience the local flavor of San Jose.

25. Have a Date Night over a Delicious Dinner at a Hotel

Hayes Mansion

Elevate your date night experience by enjoying a delicious dinner at a hotel in San Jose. Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure as you indulge in delectable food and sip on refreshing beers.

Choose from an array of restaurants within the hotel, each offering a unique dining experience.

Relish in expertly crafted dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients, paired with a carefully curated beer selection to complement your meal.

The weekend provides an ideal time to unwind in this great place, savor great food and beer, and enjoy a memorable date night at a hotel in San Jose.

26. Have a drink at Cafe Stritch

Cafe Stritch

Unwind and enjoy a refreshing drink at Cafe Stritch, a popular spot in San Jose known for its relaxed atmosphere and diverse beverage menu.

Whether you're a beer enthusiast or simply looking for a place to unwind with a drink, Cafe Stritch has you covered.

Choose from their selection of craft beers, featuring both local favorites and unique brews from around the world.

Sit back and sip on your chosen beer, soaking in the laid-back ambiance of the cafe.

27. Try axe throwing


Experience the thrill of axe throwing, a unique and exhilarating activity that combines skill and precision.

Test your aim and unleash your inner lumberjack as you throw axes towards wooden targets, aiming for that satisfying bullseye.

You can measure your success in metric and imperial units, axe throwing offers a thrilling challenge for all.

With expert guidance and a safe environment, this sport provides a memorable and exciting experience that is sure to leave you feeling like a true champion, regardless of the measurement system you use.

28. Get Spooked at Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

Prepare to be spooked at the legendary Winchester Mystery House, a hauntingly beautiful mansion built by Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Winchester, the heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Explore the enigmatic corridors and winding staircases of this architectural marvel, known for its intriguing design features and rumored paranormal activity. As you wander through the house, you'll encounter staircases that lead to nowhere, doors that open onto walls, and secret passageways that seem to defy logic.

Learn about the captivating story of Sarah Winchester, who believed she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles and built the house as a perpetual construction project to appease them.

Whether you're a believer in the supernatural or simply fascinated by history, a visit to the Winchester Mystery House promises an eerie and unforgettable experience.

FAQs: The Best Things to Do in San Jose at Night

Let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about things to do in San Jose at night.

Does San Jose have nightlife?

Yes, the San Jose nightlife scene offers a variety of options to enjoy drinks and entertainment. From trendy cafes and breweries to lively clubs and lounges, there are plenty of venues to socialize, unwind, and sip on your favorite drinks while immersing yourself in the city's life at night.

Where do people go out in San Jose?

People often go out to popular areas like downtown, specifically areas like Santana Row, San Pedro Square, and the SoFA District. These areas offer a range of bars, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues, making them ideal destinations for a night out in the city.

What can I do at night in San Jose?

You can explore downtown and visit vibrant areas like San Pedro Square for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Enjoy music, catch a show at a theater, or simply take a relaxing stroll to soak in the city's vibrant atmosphere.

How can I spend a day in San Jose?

You can spend a day in San Jose by visiting popular attractions like the Tech Museum of Innovation. Explore charming neighborhoods such as Japantown or Willow Glen, indulge in diverse culinary experiences, and enjoy outdoor activities in parks like Almaden Lake Park or Guadalupe River Park.

Summing up: The Best Things to Do in San Jose at Night

As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do in San Jose at night.

Downtown and its vibrant nightlife offer an array of unique and exciting experiences for visitors and locals alike. From exploring the lively streets to enjoying live entertainment at different theaters, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Venture out at night and discover the hidden gems, vibrant energy, and unforgettable moments that await you in this dynamic city.

Get ready to explore fascinating nightlife of San Jose.