TGIF: How to keep busy and wind down across Santa Clara County this weekend

Grace Goes on an Adventure

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One of the best ways to unwind is getting out in nature. Santa Clara County has 28 county parks with things for everyone in the family.Edwin Gonzalez/Unsplash

With more mask mandates in place as COVID-19 case numbers increase, it can feel as though we may backtrack to the days of the early pandemic. While it's important to stay cautious amidst the increasing caseload from the Delta variant, it's further important to take care of yourself, mentally and spiritually.

As such, what better to take care of yourself than with weekend activities?

In accordance with county health officer Sara Cody's mandate — put in place on August 3 — you will need to bring your mask along with you. But don't let some fabric keep you from enjoying all that the weekend has to offer as you soak up the last rays of summer!

Taste a bunch of different offerings in downtown San Jose's food halls

One of the best things about food halls is that you have a ton of great and delicious options all under one roof. In San Jose, two food halls have taken on the downtown market over the last decade: San Pedro Square Market and SoFA Market.

At San Pedro Square, you have your pick from 13 different eateries, from fresh seafood and gourmet sandwiches to mouth-watering sushi and Peruvian dishes. Just down the street, on First Avenue, SoFA offers a more intimate experience with just seven eateries, including local favorite Habana Cuba. Both food halls offer outdoor seating, but you will be required to wear your mask at indoor spaces while ordering. Come hungry!

Hit up a drive-in movie

Movie theaters have reopened in various capacities across the country, with many requiring masking while indoors. But, as we learned during the pandemic, it sometimes feels better to go with the old and familiar — i.e., the drive-in.

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Your view for the weekend — now, should you pick "Jungle Cruise," "Suicide Squad," or "Free Guy"?Jona/Unsplash

There are only a few drive-ins left throughout the county, with the most common option being West Wind Capitol Drive-In, with tickets starting at $8.75 for adults. This weekend, the drive-in will be showing seven new movies, with options for a mellow or more action-packed evening.

Grab some outdoor brews at a local brewery

There are so many amazing breweries throughout the county that it can be hard to just pick one — so maybe a beer crawl is in your near future!

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Drink responsibly, as you make your masked way through a Santa Clara County brewery crawl.Bodhan Stocek/Unsplash

Grab your drinking buddies and start with Out of the Barrel — with locations in both San Jose and Campbell — and indulge in their rotating selection of drafts, cans, and bottles on the outdoor patio. Then, head to Hapa's Brewing Company, in both Los Gatos and San Jose, for a flight of four beers, before rounding out the night with a beer stein (and pretzel) at Stein's in Mountain View. Drink responsibly!

Cackle to some of the greats at a local comedy show

The Bay Area comedy scene may be slightly less pronounced than Brooklyn, Los Angeles, or Chicago — but that doesn't mean you can't find great places to laugh your way through the weekend.

This weekend, the San Jose Improv will feature Pete Lee — currently featured on TruTV's Greatest Ever — for five shows, and two improv groups will face off at ComedySportz. Just over the hill, locals and visitors alike can enjoy one or more sets on the second weekend of the 8th annual Santa Cruz Comedy Festival.

Lace-up your hiking boots for one of Santa Clara County's 28 parks

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Make sure to wear the right shoes for your hike!Dayne Topkin/Unsplash

One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is lace up my hiking boots and hit the trails — and there's no shortage of places to go throughout the county.

We recommend San Jose's Almaden Quicksilver for an enjoyable and fairly quick hike for the whole family or Milpitas's Ed R. Levin for a bit more of a challenge. Of course, remember to bring your water, sunscreen, and mask — and some packable snacks — to make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Follow Grace on Twitter for more Bay Area updates: @grace_m_stetson.

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Hi there! I'm Grace Stetson, an affordability correspondent and freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I recently moved back to my hometown after a few years of living in Chicago, IL, and Brooklyn, NYC, and there's a lot more to see than I originally expected. With that, I'm going out and about from as far south as Monterey to as far north as Marin to find you the best hidden gems, backwoods trails, and delicious eats across the Bay. Come join me on this adventure!

Sunnyvale, CA
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