What's Open and What's Closed on Columbus Day

The Monday holiday means many—but not all—banks and government offices are closed, and many shops are open, particularly to have sales.


Columbus Day, a nationally recognized federal holiday, is observed on Monday, Oct. 8 this year. 

Columbus Day remembers Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’ long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the “New World." The voyage was victorious when land was first spotted on Oct. 12, 1492.

The day is also considered a celebration of Italian heritage, as well as a huge shopping day in the U.S. 

Macy'sSears, and Best Buy are among many local chain stores that will feature storewide sales on Monday. Amazon will have a Columbus Day sale online.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is responsible for making the holiday a federal one in 1937.

But Columbus Day ain't what it used to be, when school kids had Oct. 12 off and government offices closed down. First, the date-observed got moved into the Monday holiday cycle, meaning the Monday closest to the Oct. 12 date would be observed. With school schedules being what they are, many opted to drop Columbus Day in favor of getting more flexibility elsewhere in the school calendar. And Santa Clara County workers had that holiday taken back.

So, what things are open and closed locally on Columbus Day?


Banks (many customer service phone lines are open) 

Federal offices

Los Altos Hills Town Hall 

Santa Clara County Superior Court

California Court of Appeal

California Supreme Court

U.S. Postal Service 


Los Altos City Hall  

Santa Clara County offices 

All public schools serving Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents are open

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will operate on a regular schedule.

The Santa Clara County Library District, including Los Altos and Woodland libraries, will be open (including a League of Women Voters session on the state ballot propositions 7 p.m., in the Los Altos Library).

Mission Trail



Most malls and supermarkets will be open.


Tell us: What are your plans for Columbus Day? 

daria October 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Christopher colombus should not be considered a hero. When in fact he is a villian. This jerk that gets a holiday is a murderer, theft, rapist,and deserveS no holiday


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