The Stanford Park Journal

Notable destinations, events, and happenings in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area.

Stanford Kicks Off Football Season In September

Stanford Kicks Off Football Season In September

September 1, 2023

As the summer heat begins to wane, the excitement in Palo Alto is heating up because September marks the kickoff of the 2023 Stanford football season. Cardinal fans, get ready to cheer for your favorite team as they embark on a thrilling journey to victory.

The September lineup for home games is nothing short of exhilarating. On September 1st, Stanford faces Hawaii in a promising season opener. Then, on September 16th, it's Sacramento State, setting the stage for a clash of epic proportions. Mark your calendars for September 23rd when the Cardinal takes on Arizona in what promises to be a showdown to remember. Finally, on September 30th, brace yourselves for the intense rivalry game against Oregon, where every play counts and emotions run high.

Stanford's biggest rivalry with Oregon always brings the crowd to its feet. The atmosphere is electric, and the stakes are high. Be sure to secure your tickets and don your Cardinal gear as we gear up for an unforgettable September filled with action-packed football! Go Stanford!

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Cool Summer Treats: Ice Cream in Stanford

Cool Summer Treats: Ice Cream in Stanford

August 2, 2023

Looking for a delicious way to beat the summer heat? When it comes to enjoying ice cream, there are several options while staying at the Stanford Park Hotel.

A Stanford institution, Rick's Ice Cream has been serving the community since 1956. This family-owned parlor offers nostalgic flavors like "Old Fashioned Vanilla" and "Strawberry Cheesecake." Whether you're in the mood for a scoop, a sundae, or even a milkshake, Rick’s is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Salt & Straw is an artisanal ice cream parlor that takes creativity to the next level with their innovative and seasonal flavors. Experience taste sensations like "Honey Lavender" and "Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons" that blend sweet and savory in perfect harmony. Take advantage of their ever-changing monthly specials for a surprising and delightful twist.

So, if you find yourself in Stanford this summer, make sure to make a stop for a delightful frozen treat!

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Local Links for Golf Enthusiasts

Local Links for Golf Enthusiasts

July 4, 2023

Looking to play golf while staying at the Stanford Park Hotel? This charming university town boasts an array of pristine golf courses that cater to both seasoned players and enthusiastic beginners.

Just a short drive from the hotel is the Baylands Golf Links, formerly The Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course. Following a redesign, it now boasts 55 acres of native vegetation and wetlands. This public course presents a par-72 layout that combines challenge and natural beauty. With 18 beautifully landscaped holes, it caters to golfers of all skill levels. Immaculate greens provide a smooth and consistent roll, enhancing your putting game. The well-maintained fairways and strategically placed hazards make for an enjoyable and engaging golfing experience.

Stanford University Golf Course stands out as a true gem and is accessible to current Stanford University faculty/staff, students, members, alumni and their guests. This renowned 18-hole course, designed by the legendary William Bell, is a golfer's paradise. Its lush fairways and stunning views of the Santa Cruz Mountains create a serene backdrop for a challenging round.

If you're looking to practice your swing, the Stanford Golf Learning Center and Driving Range is the perfect spot. Situated near the main campus, this public facility features numerous hitting bays and a friendly atmosphere.

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Art and Nature Unite: The Rodin Sculpture Garden

Art and Nature Unite: The Rodin Sculpture Garden

May 29, 2023

Located on the Stanford University Campus, just over a mile from the Stanford Park Hotel, the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden showcases a magnificent collection of bronze masterpieces by the renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin. These alluring artworks, influenced by the French tradition, seamlessly blend with the lush greenery of the landscape, creating a harmonious fusion of art and nature.

Guests are invited to wander through the outdoor gallery, where a captivating collection of modern sculptures awaits, each piece telling its own unique story. As you explore the garden, you'll be immediately drawn to the intricate details and emotional depth of these timeless sculptures. Among the highlights of the garden stands "The Thinker," a powerful figure lost in deep contemplation and "The Gates of Hell," mesmerizing with its exploration of human emotion and struggle.
Visiting the Rodin Sculpture Garden is an immersive experience, inviting contemplation and offering a unique perspective on the intersection of art and the natural world.

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Discover the Delicious Wines of the Region

Discover the Delicious Wines of the Region

May 3, 2023

Just a short drive from The Stanford Hotel, there are many excellent wineries, each with its unique offerings and characteristics. What makes this area and wineries special is the unique terroir of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which provides an ideal climate for growing grapes. Three of the most popular and highly regarded wineries in the area are Ridge Vineyards, Picchetti Winery, and Testarossa Winery.

Ridge Vineyards is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is known for producing high-quality, handcrafted wines. The winery has a rich history, dating back to the 1880s when it was first established as a vineyard. Four Stanford scientists rebonded the winery in 1962, thus igniting its modern era. Ridge Vineyards specializes in Bordeaux-style blends, Zinfandels, and Chardonnays. Visitors to the winery can enjoy a scenic drive up to the mountain vineyards, take a tour of the historic property, and taste a variety of wines in the tasting room.

Picchetti Winery is another popular winery located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The winery was established in 1896 and was family-owned and operated until 1976. It reopened in 1997 under new ownership. Picchetti Winery produces a variety of award-winning wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the lawn and taste a variety of wines in the tasting room.

Testarossa Winery is located in Los Gatos and is known for producing premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. The winery was founded in 1993 and is housed in a historic 19th-century building that was once a Catholic novitiate. Visitors to the winery can take a guided tour of the property, taste a variety of wines in the tasting room, and attend special classes to learn more about wine.
Sip and savor these regional delights!

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Stanford Live

April 5, 2023

Stanford Live, a premier performing arts organization, is a beacon of cultural enrichment. It hosts an impressive lineup of music, theater, dance, and spoken word performances. The April calendar features performances by world-class musicians, orchestras, and ensembles, covering a wide range of genres and styles.
Attending cultural events at Stanford Live, Bing Concert Hall is a feast for the senses. The hall's acoustics are designed to provide an unparalleled listening experience, whether you're enjoying a classical symphony, a contemporary dance performance, or a riveting theater production. The breathtaking architecture and design of the concert hall create a visually stunning ambiance that elevates the overall experience.
Attending cultural events at Stanford Live's Bing Concert Hall is a truly enriching experience that nourishes the mind, heart, and soul. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

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Skating in a Winter Wonderland

November 29, 2022

Though temperatures rarely dip below freezing even in coldest months, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the pleasure of winter holiday activities. In the nearby town of San Mateo, you can take advantage of the Bay Area’s largest seasonal outdoor ice-skating rink, open most days of the week, now through January 8, 2023. Located in San Mateo’s Central Park, just 20 minutes by car from the Stanford Park Hotel, the 11,000-square-foot ice skating rink is the perfect open-air venue for an afternoon of family-fun time, a romantic couple’s evening under the stars, or an invigorating addition to your solo explorations around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Skates are available to rent for a small fee. To confirm skating hours for the day you’d like to visit, call 707-253-1324.

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The Arizona Cactus Garden and Stanford Family Mausoleum

September 13, 2022

At Stanford University, just minutes by car or bike from our hotel, the amazing variety and beauty of cacti are on full display at the acclaimed Arizona Cactus Garden, home to more than 500 kinds of cacti and succulents. This unique botanical garden, which is part of the larger Stanford University Arboretum, divides its specimens according to hemisphere, Eastern or Western, with the former comprising an impressive number of jades and aloes, and the latter a representative collection from across North and South America. During your visit to the garden, take a few minutes to see the nearby Stanford Family Mausoleum as well, resting place of the university’s founders and namesake. The stately marble and granite tomb, finished in 1889, is flanked on front and rear by four watchful sphinxes.

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Roy Kepler’s Literary Revolution

August 5, 2022

In the 20th century, forward-thinking booksellers in the Bay Area led a paperback revolution, making the new 35-cent mass-produced books available to the public. One of these booksellers, Roy Kepler, founded Kepler’s Books in 1955, and the shop soon became a favorite haunt of students, professors, intellectuals, artists, musicians, and political agitators. Today, Kepler’s remains a bulwark of culture in Menlo Park and a leader in the possibilities of a truly communally engaged bookstore and literary arts foundation. To learn more about the history of this legendary Bay Area literary institution, check out the official Kepler’s website, and consider dropping by to peruse the shelves, attend a reading, or participate in one of the many other fascinating programs at Kepler’s that enrich art and culture here in Menlo Park.

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Family Fun at the Central Park Summer Concert Series

July 11, 2022

A different set of performers will grace the stage each week, entertaining concertgoers with a wide range of genres, including rock, pop, R&B, soul, disco, funk, and a whole lot more. Bring a blanket to spread out on the lawn, take a complimentary plate of food provided by concert organizers, and let the music carry you away. Worried your kids might get restless? No worries there since this event also features a Kids Fun Zone to keep the little ones occupied. The Central Park Summer Concert series is held every Thursday from 6-8pm through August 11, and admission is always free. To ensure the best possible parking experience, try to arrive before 5pm.

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A Magical Evening at the Dragon Productions Theater Company

June 13, 2022

Next up at the Dragon Theater, on Saturday, June 11, from 8:30 – 10pm, you’re invited to join professional prestidigitators Meriam Al Sultan and Fred Lee for Close Up and Personal: Magic from the Heart, an evening of close-up magic that will delight and mystify. In addition to being a masterful sleight-of-hand artist, Fred is also an expert storyteller who interweaves his wizardry with tales both funny and frightening of his time performing for folks in the U.S. Army. Though the show might not be appropriate for young children, it’s perfect for teens and adults alike. For more information on this and other upcoming performances, check out the official Dragon Productions Theater Company website.

Address: 1430 Koll Circle, Suite 107, San Jose, CA 95112

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Shopping the Stanford Way

May 6, 2022

But did you know that Stanford’s campus is also the site of Northern California’s finest open-air shopping mall? The Stanford Shopping Center houses over a hundred outstanding stores, including Ann Taylor, Apple, Banana Republic, Burberry, Coach New York, Hermès, J. Crew, Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Ray Ban, Sephora, Tiffany & Co., Zegna, and more. Looking for a major department store? Try Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, or Nordstrom. How about a bite to eat? No problem. With over two dozen cafés, restaurants, and other eateries, there’s something to satisfy every appetite. In addition, the beautifully manicured grounds, adorned with elegant fountains and sculptures, make the Stanford Shopping Center a delightful spot for an afternoon stroll, even if you never break out your credit card.

Address: 660 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

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Touring the Campus of Stanford University

April 8, 2022

During your stay with us, we encourage you to take an hour to stroll amid the stunning Romanesque architecture and meticulously manicured grounds of our namesake university. Among the many notable sites, you’ll definitely want to check out the Main Quad, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead; the Memorial Church, whose stunning interior mosaics will convince you that you’ve been transported back in time to the heart of the Byzantine Empire; the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, where you can contemplate artwork ancient, modern, and contemporary; and the many different gardens. Those are just a few highlights. For more information, see the university’s self-guided tour map here. In addition, though the Visitor Center is not currently open to the public, staff are stationed at the front entrance weekdays from 9 am - 1:30 pm to answer questions, distribute maps, and offer assistance.

Address: 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

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Art Amid the Gardens: Menlo Park’s Allied Arts Guild

March 15, 2022

Today, the Guild is home to over a dozen studios and shops, where local artists and artisans make and sell a wide variety of unique items, including drawings, paintings, etchings, sculpture, furniture, jewelry, apparel, and more. The Guild’s authentic Spanish colonial style architecture features sultry red roof tiles, sweeping archways, and ornate wrought iron flourishes. Peruse the three Spanish gardens: first the Court of Abundance, then Cervantes Court (named for its mural of the groundbreaking novelist), and finally the Garden of Delight (a.k.a., the Blue Garden). Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Blue Garden Café, which specializes in light organic fare, and consider purchasing a memento at the Artisan Shop, which donates proceeds to Stanford University’s children’s hospital.

Address: 75 Arbor Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025

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A Romantic Getaway to Remember

February 8, 2022

With our Romantic Getaway Package, in addition to the plush featherbedding and other luxurious amenities perfect for cuddling up with your sweetheart, you’ll enjoy a bottle of sparkling wine; an assortment of hand-crafted chocolates; s’mores kit for two (to be roasted over our enchanting outdoor firepits); complimentary priority upgrade, if available; and complimentary 2 P.M. late check-out. What’s more, gourmet dining is only a few steps away at the Menlo Tavern, serving fine American cuisine every evening from 5 to 9 P.M. in an atmosphere of casual elegance. The bar, which boasts an extensive list of fine wines, beers, spirits, and craft cocktails, is open daily from 4 to 10 P.M. This Valentine’s Day and all year long, the staff of The Stanford Park Hotel are eager to make your stay a romantic getaway to remember.

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The Museum of American Heritage: Technological Innovation from Benjamin Franklin to Frank Sinatra

January 13, 2022

Set in the historic Williams House, which was designed by acclaimed architect Ernest Coxhead and completed in 1907, MOAH features a lush period-appropriate garden and four permanent exhibits: a 1930s “modern” kitchen, a 1920s Chicago general store, a 1920s – 40s autobody garage, and a fully functional print shop. In addition to the permanent museum displays, there’s always at least one rotating exhibit. Let Us Entertain You: Amusement from Earlier Eras, on view now through February 13, showcases shifting forms of home entertainment from the phonograph forward. Will you have what it takes to master the greatest video game of all time: Pong? Stop by the Museum of American Heritage to find out.

Address: 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

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The Many Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

December 9, 2021

Annual Holiday Organ Recital

Sunday, December 12, 1:30 – 2:30 PM
Stanford Memorial Church, 450 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

Acclaimed Stanford University Organist Dr. Robert Huw Morgan has long delighted audiences with his groundbreaking performances of J.S. Bach. This December, you can join him for an afternoon of sacred music at Memorial Church, one of Stanford University’s most architecturally-stunning institutions.

Winter Solstice Night Bike Ride

Tuesday, December 21, 6 – 8 P.M.
Departing from Peet’s Coffee, 367 State Street, Los Altos, CA 94022

You’re invited to go on this 18-mile bike ride from Los Altos to Christmas Tree Lane in Paolo Alto. Brisk temps and a fast pace are sure to get your heart pumping, and the radiant decorations of Christmas Tree Lane will warm the heart of even the most hardened grinch.

Roaring into 2022: Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Bash

Friday, December 31, 2021, 7:30 PM – Saturday, January 1, 2022, 1 AM
Silicon Valley Capital Club, 50 West San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Just a half-hour drive from our hotel, the Silicon Valley Capital Club is perched 17 stories above downtown San Jose and affords gorgeous sweeping views of Silicon Valley. With substantial appetizers, a live band, dancing, cocktails, and champagne in store, this Roaring 20s party is the perfect way to ring in the new year.

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SnowFest 2021: Bringing You the Best Deals on Cutting-Edge Gear

November 4, 2021

Though autumn has only just begun, winter sports devotees are already fantasizing about icy temps and first snowfall. On Sunday, November 14, from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., SnowFest 2021 returns to Sports Basement in nearby Redwood City, giving you the chance to peruse and purchase all the latest boards, bindings, boots, skis, apparel, and other gear at deep discounts from top brands like Arbor, Burton, Flux, Helly Hansen, Oakley, Roxy, and many others. Representatives of more than 40 winter athletic brands will be in attendance to answer all your questions, and you’ll also be able to enter a raffle to win amazing prizes. Athletes of all ability levels will find something to make this season on the slopes that much sweeter. Once you’ve taken advantage of all the wintry deals, head back to The Stanford Park Hotel, where you can kick back and warm yourself with a signature craft cocktail from Menlo Tavern.

Address: 202 Walnut St, Redwood City, CA 94063

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A Visit to the Cantor Arts Center

October 22, 2021

One of the easiest—and most exciting—ways to do this is a visit to the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford’s primary hub of artistic appreciation and a home to over 5,000 years of fresh perspectives in art. 

From a renowned collection of Rodin bronze sculptures to paintings from 17th century Italy, the pieces on display at the Cantor Arts Center are as diverse and thought-provoking as they are beautiful to look at. Alongside the year-round collections, seasonal exhibitions curated by the dedicated staff at Stanford provide glimpses into new and exciting frontiers in the art community. The temporary exhibition “Paper Chase: Ten Years of Collecting Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Cantor” is on display until January 30, 2022 and features a range of never-before-seen acquisitions, including works by major artists from all over the world, from Mexico to Mali.

The Cantor Arts Center is free for all guests and officially open at 100% capacity. Reserve your all-day ticket today!  

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The Charming Cacti of Stanford University

September 2, 2021

At the Arizona Cactus Garden, located on the nearby campus of Stanford University, you can explore a marvelous variety of cacti and succulents, some of which have been imported from far-flung corners of the world. The approximately 500 specimens in 58 beds are divided into two main categories: Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. The Eastern Hemisphere plants include jade plants, aloes, and various succulents native to Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Western Hemisphere plants comprise cacti from regions spanning the Americas. The Arizona Garden is free and open to the public every day. One visit and you’ll never think of these prickly plants quite the same way again.

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Kepler’s Books: A Community-Based Vision for the Future

August 6, 2021

Back in the 1950s, peace activist, Roy Kepler founded the shop, which quickly became a gathering ground for Bay Area poets, intellectuals, artists, university students and faculty, and other devotees of counter-culture. Musical acts like the Grateful Dead and Joan Baez not only performed at Kepler’s, but also dropped in on occasion to discuss literature, politics, and art with the eclectic bohemian clientele. Since moving to its current location in Menlo Park, Kepler’s almost had to close its doors permanently, but the community would not allow it. Thousands came out to demonstrate in support of the bookstore, which was quickly reopened and revitalized with a plan for the future. Now, Kepler’s is divided into two entities, the community-owned, for-profit Kepler’s Books & Magazines and the non-profit Kepler’s Literary Foundation, which regularly hosts interviews, seminars, workshops, and other special events with authors, artists, and others who seek out new ways to help the arts flourish here in California and across the world.

Address: 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

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The Central Park Summer Concert Series

July 5, 2021

This July, we recommend taking in a free outdoor performance at the wildly popular Central Park Summer Concert Series in nearby Fremont, just a short drive from our hotel. Thousands of revelers will sprawl out with friends and family on the lush grounds of the Central Park Performance Pavilion to hear groups like Caravanserai, the Santana-tribute band that’s now garnered its own cult following; Pop Fiction, a group that will have you singing along to all the greatest pop hits from Frank Sinatra, to Michael Jackson, to Katy Perry; and Jukebox Heroes, a Bay Area sensation that’ll get you on your feet and dancing like a maniac in no time. And that’s just a small sample of what’s in store Thursdays from 6 to 8 P.M., now through August 3. The Performance Pavilion is located in Central Park, next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538.

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Road Trip Republic

June 4, 2021

Embark on an adventure that leads to Silicon Valley, and experience a getaway where the journey is truly part of the destination.

Visit California has created the Road Trip Republic, which outlines incredible routes for road trips around the state, with itineraries suitable for anywhere from 1-10 days.

More than one of the itineraries can lead you through Menlo Park. Take a detour to explore Silicon Valley and Stanford’s historic campus from the “Majestic, Magical Highway 1” route, which starts in San Francisco and leads all the way down to SoCal. Best of all, our Bay Area location also puts the Wine Country routes at your fingertips.

Let the open road lead you to relaxation. Pick a route or craft your own, and we’ll look forward to hosting you during your journey.

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Northern California’s Best Open-Air Shopping

May 11, 2021

Just a five-minute drive from our hotel, the Stanford Shopping Center is NoCal’s premier open-air shopping and dining destination. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to explore 140 unique stores, including Apple, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Cartier, Coach, Hermes, J. Crew, Kate Spade, Kiehl’s, Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Tesla, Tiffany & Co., and many more. Flagship department stores include Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. If you work up an appetite while shopping, they’ve got you covered there too, with eateries ranging from ultra-casual to high-end. After you grab a bite, you can get right back to shopping or instead stroll through the gorgeous gardens with their pristine fountains and inspirational sculptures.

Address: Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

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Back to School at Stanford

April 8, 2021

We highly recommend taking advantage of Stanford’s guided tours, which are free and offered daily at 11:30 and 3:30 during the academic year. Your tour will introduce you to several of the best-known and most beautiful spots at the university, including the Main Quad, which is the historic center of campus, and the Memorial Church, whose interior Byzantine design is utterly breathtaking. You’re also welcome to stroll at your leisure, marveling at the pristine Romanesque architecture, exploring art from antiquity to today at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, contemplating existence alongside The Thinker and other iconic statuary in the famous Rodin Sculpture Garden, or ascending 285 feet to the observation platform of Hoover Tower, where on a clear day you can see as far as San Francisco.

Address: Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

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The Year of the Ox

February 1, 2021

Chinatown San Francisco typically stages the most spectacular New Year celebration outside of Asia. The streets resound with the beat of a hundred drums, the sky is aglow with thousands of firecrackers, and more than a million revelers join together to marvel at the procession of costume-clad children, ferocious lion dancers, and the one-of-a-kind 268-foot Golden Dragon, operated by a hundred martial-arts trained experts.

Instead this year, there will be a televised special and a few smaller events open to the public, including the chance to see floats up close and life-size statues of oxen placed around town, similar to the “Hearts in San Francisco” art installation. No matter how you choose to celebrate, we wish you a very happy and healthy Chinese New Year!

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Reawaken Your Childlike Sense of Wonder at the Museum of American Heritage

January 4, 2021

Whether you’ve kept that childlike curiosity aflame over the years or would like to rekindle the spark, the Museum of American Heritage is the perfect place to visit during your stay with us. Located in the historic Williams House, just a quick 10-minute drive from the Stanford Park Hotel, the Museum of American Heritage fills 11 rooms with fascinating gadgets electrical and mechanical from the 1750s through the 1950s. Six rooms are devoted to permanent exhibits, which include an early 20th-century kitchen and general store, an early auto workshop and garage, and a fully operative print shop. The other five rooms are dedicated to the museum’s rotating exhibits. Check out their website to see what's showing during your stay in Menlo Park. 

Address: 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto, California

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Northern California's Ultimate Shopping Destination

November 10, 2020

With over 140 world-class shops, including high-end retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus as well as many local favorites, the Stanford Shopping Center has something to suit everyone’s taste. Dining options also cover a wide range — you can keep it casual at Gourmet Franks, which serves the best tasting all-beef, chicken, and turkey hotdogs this side of the Rockies, or you can opt for a more elegant lunch experience at Terrain Garden Café, brought to you by James Beard award-winning chef Marc Vetri. Dinner favorites include Cantonese Asian fusion restaurant Yucca de Lac and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. And even if you leave your holiday shopping list at home, you’re still sure to enjoy the gorgeous gardens, fountains, and sculptures that make Stanford Shopping Center a unique and memorable experience.

Address: Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

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Take A Virtual Tour of Stanford University

October 7, 2020

Free guided tours of the campus are available every day at 11:30 and 3:30 during the academic year, but you can easily take a 360° guided video tour of the Stanford University campus online. During your virtual campus walk amid the exquisite Romanesque architecture and lush greenery, marvel at the dazzling Byzantine designs that adorn the interior of Stanford Memorial Church, or ascend 285 feet to the top of Hoover Tower, where the panoramic view stretches all the way to the San Francisco skyline on a clear, sunny day. Art lovers will be delighted by the two dozen galleries at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, which features major works from antiquity to today, and the Rodin Sculpture Garden will instantly transport you to Paris with iconic sculptures like The Thinker and The Kiss.

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The Anderson Collection: The Art of Post-WWII America

February 3, 2020

Over the past half-century, Bay Area family Harry W. Anderson, Mary Margaret Anderson, and Mary Patricia Anderson Pence have meticulously assembled one of the most breathtaking modern and contemporary American art collections in existence. At Stanford University, located about 5 minutes by car from the Stanford Park Hotel, you can view this astonishing collection that encompasses a wide variety of media and movements from WWII to today. Acclaimed abstract expressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Jackson Pollock are particularly well represented, along with groundbreaking contemporary artists like Sean Scully, Terry Winters, and Julie Mehretu. The Anderson Collection at Stanford University is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M., with extended hours on Thursdays from 11 A.M. to 8 P.M. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. Admission is always free.

Address: 314 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305

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Our American Gadgets: 200 Years of Innovation

January 6, 2020

Starting in the mid-18th century, the Industrial Revolution reshaped life as we know it, giving rise to new means of manufacturing and a shift toward ever-greater mechanization in the workplace and, later, at home. Though these changes mostly began in Great Britain, the U.S. was quick to follow. If you’ve ever felt a sense of awe or insatiable curiosity while staring at the now everyday products of technological innovation—clocks, cameras, TVs, typewriters, radios, and such—then Palo Alto’s Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) is the place for you. Just 10-minutes by car from our hotel, the MOAH is an intimate 11-room museum devoted to all gadgets mechanical and electronic that emerged in the US from the mid-eighteenth through the mid-twentieth century. The MOAH’s permanent exhibits include a fully operational print shop, an early auto garage, and a replica of a 1920s-ear Chicago general store. Through February 16, you can also enjoy the current temporary exhibit, Cointraptions: Classic Coin-Operated Machines. The MOAH is located in the historic Williams House, an impressive example of Tudor Revival architecture designed by Ernest Coxhead and built in 1907 for Dr. Thomas Williams. The enchanting Williams House Gardens are also open to the public.

Address: 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto, California

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The Menlowe Ballet’s It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker

December 2, 2019

Since 2011, the Menlowe Ballet has dazzled Bay Area audiences with performances that blend traditional and contemporary styles, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the art of dance, from the most ardent lovers of classical ballet to the as-yet uninitiated and even a bit skeptical. If you’ll be staying at the Stanford Park Hotel this December, we highly recommend you check out the Menlowe Ballet’s It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker, on stage at the Menlo-Atherton Center for Performing Arts December 13 – 15 and 21 – 22. This adrenaline-pumping performance brings together two Christmas classics, Frank Capra’s family-favorite film It’s a Wonderful Life and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s world-renowned ballet The Nutcracker. The two-hour production is set in the 1940s with spectacular period sets and captivating character-driven drama. The unique score combines Tchaikovsky’s original music with the work of one of the few modern composers truly worthy of his company, the inimitable Duke Ellington. This show is great for kids and adults alike, so bring the whole family down to the Menlo-Atherton Center for Performing Arts, just a 12-minute drive from the Stanford Park Hotel.

Address: 555 Middlefield Rd, Atherton, CA 94027

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Menlo Park’s Family-Friendly Halloween Festivities

October 7, 2019

Every year, on the Saturday before Halloween, Menlo Park hosts Halloween Hoopla, a family-friendly celebration of everyone’s favorite day for ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and of course, candy. Kicking off the festivities at 11 A.M. on Saturday, October 26, a spooktacular parade will make its way through downtown Menlo Park to neighboring Fremont Park. After the parade, kids will be invited to trick-or-treat at participating businesses in downtown Menlo Park and enjoy crafts, carnival games, and a magic show in Fremont Park. You can also drop by the Onetta Harris Community Center of Menlo Park from noon – 3 P.M. for the annual Spooky Carnival, which has been delighting kids for over a decade with snacks, games, face-painting, a costume contest, and much more. Once your little ones are thoroughly exhausted from a day of play, head back to the Stanford Park Hotel, where the kids can enjoy their candy and you can treat yourself to a delicious craft cocktail at the Menlo Tavern.

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Theater for All at the Dragon Productions Theatre Company

September 2, 2019

A quick 15-minute drive from the Stanford Park Hotel, Dragon Productions Theatre Company of Redwood City has been delighting audiences with bold, innovative performances for years. The theater’s current main stage production, Hickorydickory, runs through September 29 and, as the name suggests, is centrally concerned with a question of time: “What if we all had a literal internal clock that counted down to our time of death?” Protagonist Cari Lee’s internal clock has broken a spring, stranding her interminably at age 17. Meanwhile, her daughter, who has just reached the same age as her mom, faces the opposite problem, as it seems her time is just about up. By turns funny and tragic, Hickorydickory is a touching tale of mortality and family devotion. Dragon Productions Theatre Company prides itself on accessibility, so even if you have mixed feelings about theater-going in general, we strongly recommend you give this extraordinary company a chance.

Address: 2120 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063

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AutoVino: A Uniquely Californian Experience

August 5, 2019

What could be as quintessentially Californian as a glass of wine or a relaxing drive through the gorgeous countryside? AutoVino, a one-of-a-kind facility here in Menlo Park, combines these two defining aspects of California culture—fast cars and fine wines—in an experience like none other. Behind AutoVino’s curiously industrial façade, you’ll discover one of the most celebrated wineries on the West Coast, with a tasting room to please your palate every Saturday and Sunday from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. Delicious wood-fired pizza, prepared onsite, provides the perfect culinary complement to these exclusive vintages. So that accounts for the vino—what about the auto? In addition to being a world-class winery, AutoVino is also a storage facility for collectible cars, which means you’ll have the chance to peruse Aston Martins, Bentleys, Ferraris, and more as you sample the fruits of elite California viticulture.

Address: 205 Constitution Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025

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An Evening of Music in Central Park

July 1, 2019

If you’re looking for family-friendly outdoor entertainment this summer, we highly recommend the Central Park Summer Concert Series, which takes place in the nearby city of Fremont against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Elizabeth. This summer’s roster includes Caravanserai, a soulful Santana tribute band (July 11); Jukebox Heroes, which covers a wide array of billboard hits from across the decades (July 18); Joel the Band, bringing you all the classics of the one and only Billy Joel (July 25); Rachel Steele, an acclaimed local country music singer-songwriter (August 1); Long Train Runnin’, which pays tribute to the hits of the Doobie Brothers (August 8); and East Bay Mudd, the nine-piece R&B/soul ensemble that’s thrilled Bay Area audiences for more than 15 years (August 15). All concerts are free and are held on Thursdays from 6 – 8 P.M. Pack a blanket and picnic lunch, and get ready for an invigorating evening of music by the water.

Address: Central Park, next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538

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The Allied Arts Guild: An Oasis of Art in Menlo Park

June 3, 2019

Inspired by the art guilds they visited during their European travels, Delight and Garfield Merner were determined to establish a similar guild for the benefit of talented local artists back home in California. This vision became a reality when, in 1929, the Merners purchased 3.5 acres on the outskirts of Menlo Park and very quickly transformed them into the thriving Allied Arts Guild that welcomes you today. During your visit, you’ll marvel at the architecture of this bohemian oasis, adorned throughout with tiles and other objet d’art imported from Spain, Morocco, and Tunis. Stroll through three authentic Spanish gardens: The Court of Abundance, which greets you as you approach the main building; Cervantes Court, which boasts a dazzling mural of the eponymous author; and The Garden of Delight, or The Blue Garden (Delight Merner felt blue was the ideal color for exterior decoration, as it perfectly complements the verdant foliage). The guild comprises more than a dozen shops and studios dealing in one-of-a-kind handmade items crafted by local artists and artisans. You’ll peruse paintings, drawings, sculptures, etchings, jewelry, clothing, furniture, and much more. Savor a healthy, organic lunch at the Blue Garden Café, and be sure to drop by the Artisan Shop, where proceeds benefit the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University.

Address: 75 Arbor Rd at Cambridge Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

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