San Jose Convention Center – Things To Do With Your Team

The San Jose McEnery Convention Center, more commonly known as the San Jose Convention Center, is an often-bustling hub of activity situated in San Jose, California, the heart of Silicon Valley. If the San Jose Convention Center is where you and your team are travelling to next, you can all look forward to an enjoyable experience in one of the most unique cities on the West Coast.

While at the San Jose Convention Center, you and your team will be at the center of San Jose’s downtown area, thriving with fantastic attractions, beautiful urban parks, and plenty of appealing dining options. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy your time spent at the convention center too.

Although it opened in 1989, replacing a convention hall of the same name at the City National Civic, then known as the San Jose Civic Auditorium, the San Jose Convention Center certainly doesn’t show its age, thanks to an extensive renovation and expansion project that took place in 2013.

The 550,000-square-foot convention center now features over 150,000 square feet of divisible, column-free exhibit space; two ballrooms; 31 meeting rooms; and banquet facilities capable of accommodating approximately 5,000 people. The San Jose Convention Center’s South Hall, a metal-framed fabric structure opened in 2005, adds another 80,000 square feet of exhibit space, for a joint total of 245,000 square feet throughout the entire facility.

An interactive sculpture, Idea Tree by South Korean architect Soo-in Yang, located in front of the entrance to the convention center, makes for a great first stop as you and your team venture out in search of all the amazing things there are to see and do while in San Jose.


Things to Do

The Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Museum of Innovation, or The Tech for short, is a Silicon Valley landmark that’s a great place to get a glimpse into what goes on at one of the most innovative places on Earth.

With 132,000 square feet of captivating exhibits throughout three floors, The Tech is one of the nation’s premier science and technology museums. Through fun, hands-on experiences and one of a kind educational programs, The Tech is sure to inspire and amaze everyone in your group.

In addition to a variety of exhibits focusing on topics such as energy efficiency, health care, robotics, and genetics, The Tech also features a 280-seat IMAX dome theater that’s the largest in the West, along with more conventional museum amenities like a gift shop and cafe. 201 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113


Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Just down the street from The Tech is another popular Downtown San Jose attraction that’s a great place to spend some time outdoors with your team during your time at the San Jose Convention Center.

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Situated on just over two acres, the Plaza de Cesar Chavez hosts a variety of events like live musical performances, cultural festivals, food festivals, and arts and crafts fairs, attracting visitors year-round.

The Plaza de Cesar Chavez also becomes the home of the city’s official Christmas tree when the holiday season comes around.

During the summer months the plaza’s water fountain becomes a popular attraction for young children looking for a fun way to cool off. 170 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113


Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Since opening in June 1990, the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose has welcomed over eight million visitors and has become one of the most prominent and respected museums of its kind in the nation.

With interactive exhibits and educational programs focusing on science, humanities, performing arts, health and physical fitness, and more, this award-winning museum is a must-see San Jose attraction if you’re visiting the San Jose Convention Center with a team of young children. 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110


Monopoly in the Park

Built in 1992 as part of an exhibition for the San Francisco Landscape and Design Show, Monopoly in the Park is more than just your typical game of Monopoly; in fact, it’s much more.

Monopoly in the Park is a larger than life version of one of the world’s most popular board game, complete with a 930-square-foot custom-made granite Monopoly board; giant scale replicas of game tokens, house pieces, and hotel pieces; and of course, a giant set of dice.

Best of all, since this Monopoly in the Park is nestled in the heart of Discovery Meadow, a beautiful park located directly next to the Children’s Discovery Museum, you and your team can pair your visit to this whimsical San Jose attraction with a stroll along the park’s trails, which run adjacent to the Guadalupe River. 330 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95110


City Hall

As it turns out, one of San Jose’s most interesting attractions is one that you would probably least expect to be: City Hall. The most recent incarnation of the City Hall of San Jose opened to the public in 2005, replacing the former City Hall which had been in use since 1958.

The new City Hall complex is a sight to behold, featuring a large, 18-story tower with total 550,000 square feet of space to the east; a three-story wing that houses the council chambers to the west; a 10-story, centrally-located domed rotunda; and a large plaza opening onto Santa Clara Street framed by a curved wall.

While the rotunda and courtyard are the most popular aspects of the complex, the tower is worth paying a visit to as well. Although the 18th floor of the tower is not accessible to the public, you and your team can still take an elevator ride to the 17th floor, which boasts unforgettable views of the surrounding area, especially during sunset. 200 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113


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Places to Eat

Original Joe’s Restaurant

While the Original Joe’s Restaurant that’s located in San Jose isn’t the “original” Original Joe’s, it’s been a San Jose institution for over 50 years nonetheless. Established in 1956 by the Rocca Family, Original Joe’s has served as a cornerstone in an ever-changing city by consistently providing diners with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and great food, of course.

Since Original Joe’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you and your team can visit any time of day to enjoy a delicious meal in one of San Jose’s most iconic restaurants.

Their menu has a wide variety of foods, but mostly features Italian-American cuisine served with a traditional San Francisco flair. Just a few of the signature dishes at Original Joe’s include “Joe’s Special,” a hearty breakfast meal of ground chuck sautéed with onions, spinach, and eggs; and meatballs that are as big as a baseball. 301 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113


Bo Town

When it comes to getting a lot of food for not a lot of money, not many cuisines can compare to the hearty portions and reasonable prices that are synonymous with Chinese food.

One of the best places for you and your team to get your fix of satisfyingly savory Chinese food while in San Jose is Bo Town. Bo Town is a Chinese restaurant conveniently located within walking distance of the San Jose Convention Center. They offer delicious authentic Chinese cuisine like dishes served in special clay and fire pots, sizzling platters, and specialties such as egg foo young and bean curd. 409 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113


Back A Yard

Get a taste of the islands in the heart of Downtown San Jose at Back A Yard. Back A Yard is a popular local joint serving up Jamaican and barbecue cuisine made with only the freshest and most flavorful herbs and spices.

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Items that you’ll find on the menu at Back A Yard include jerk chicken, BBQ meats, sandwiches, salads, soups, and more, along with delicious sides like rice and beans, fried plantains, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. 80 N Market St, San Jose, CA 95113


Original Gravity Public House

Although the primary draw for many patrons visiting the Original Gravity Public House is their 35 rotating taps of incredible beer, cider, and mead as well as their “small but mighty” bottle selection, you and your team are sure to enjoy their unique culinary offerings.

On the menu at Original Gravity Public House is locally-produced and house made sausages nestled in a bun and topped with your choice of sauerkraut, grilled onions, candied jalapenos, bell peppers, or pickles; French fries cooked in decadent duck fat; and artisan grilled cheese sandwiches. Their menu also includes vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free offerings as well.

One bite of their delicious, hearty food is all it will take for you and your team to discover why Original Gravity Public House is a favorite spot among San Jose locals. 66 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113


As the unofficial capital of California’s Silicon Valley, San Jose is a city that has contributed great strides to technological innovation.

The innovation that has taken place in San Jose is not limited to just technology however. Many of the attractions and eateries that can be found there are wholly original as well, meaning that your team’s trip to the San Jose Convention Center will be one unlike any that you’ve been on before.