Staff Picks

From local events and entertainment in San Jose to iconic attractions in the Bay Area, make the most out of your time at Hayes Mansion with our staffs insider tips to enjoying it all.

  • personal items spread out atop a map including magnifying glass and pipe

    Escape the Room at Symbology!

    Feeling up for a challenge? Test your code-cracking skills in one of San Jose's award-winning Symbology Escape Rooms. Growing in popularity over the years among friends and business partners, escape rooms lock you and your team in a room where you have one hour to hunt for clues, solve puzzles, and find the keys to escape the room before your time is up!

    At Symbology, choose from one of two themed rooms. In Wonderland, it will be your task to dig out from under accusations of delusion or risk being taken away by authorities! And in The Vault, pull off a bank heist and steal the crown jewels before you're captured and taken to prison! Can you handle the pressure? Celebrate a birthday, plan an exciting double date, or consider the escape a team-building event. Timed tickets are available online. The faint of heart can rest assured, there is an emergency exit door available at all times.

  • santa figurine with holiday lights

    See San José Sparkle at "Christmas in the Park"

    Watch downtown San José sparkle with the festive sights and sounds of its annual Christmas in the Park. For more than 38 years, 260,000 volunteers have transformed Plaza de Cesar Chavez into a whimsical holiday festival. Drawing visitors from all over the Bay Area, the two-acre park offers 40 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights and a 60-foot Community Giving Tree. Some of the original displays housed in one of the largest exhibits, the Lima Train, include a melting snowman, caroling and wood crafters. Be dazzled by a winter wonderland of lights, songs, and local entertainment, and don't miss the enchanted forest decorated by San José schools, community groups, and businesses.
    Christmas in the Park is a non-profit organization that is supported through fundraising efforts and is free to the public. Take a photo with Santa and cozy up after dark to watch nightly entertainment while sampling holiday-themed refreshments.
  • Monopoly board

    Play Life-Sized Monopoly!

    Have you ever visited a place and wished you never had to leave? Well now’s your chance! Roll the dice in San Jose’s Discovery Meadow and buy property on the world’s largest Monopoly board. Designed and painted for the 1992 San Francisco Garden and Landscape Show, the board measures more than 900-square-feet. It features all the properties, railroads and utilities you may remember, only YOU get to be the pawns. Rent the board before your visit for $300 by contacting the city of San Jose. You’ll get a pair of oversized dice and a specially trained game referee to ensure everyone plays fairly and has fun. If that's not enough, pack a picnic and take the kids across the park to the Children's Discovery Museum. Who said kids get to have all the fun? There's something for everyone in San Jose. 

  • Winchester Mystery House with outdoor landscape

    The Mysterious Winchester Mansion

    The name Winchester has been part of the American lexicon for over 150 years. When her husband William Winchester died, the widowed Sarah Winchester began an architectural project that lasted until her death, in an effort to appease the spirits of those killed by the weapons made by the family company. Those efforts can still be seen in her mysterious mansion, most commonly known as the Winchester Mystery House. Located about 15 minutes from the Dolce Hayes Mansion, the Winchester Mystery House offers tours and access to 110 of the 160 rooms in the curiously designed home. Of course, a place has to earn a name like mystery house, and this one does with features like a window built into the stairs, stairs that lead to the ceiling, doors that open to blank walls, and even rumors of paranormal activity. Mansion Tour tickets also include access to the Victorian Gardens, Historic Firearms Museum, and Specialty Gifts and Antique Products Museum.