101 Must-Try Family Adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area
Sightseeing Tours in San Francisco Factory Tours in San Francisco Bus Tours in San Francisco Segway Tours in San Francisco Walking Tours in San Francisco Water Sports in San Francisco Boat Rentals in San Francisco Dolphin & Whale Watching in San Francisco Speed Boats Tours in San Francisco Kayaking & Canoeing in San Francisco Parasailing & Paragliding in San Francisco River Rafting & Tubing in San Francisco Scuba & Snorkelling in San Francisco Surfing & Windsurfing in . From spots where only the locals go, to tourist spots that the kids will love, there are so many things to do in the Bay Area with kids. Get ready for adventure with the kids in tow! 1. Play tourist for a day and ride the carousel at PIER Don't forget to visit the sea lions and grab some cookie dough from DOUGHP!
Yes Asn am going to start the whatt off with a place that is outside of the city. Sann is by far our favorite thing we did while we were there and we would highly recommend you make the time to visit. Also note you will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and there will be a one way toll.
Click here for an active Google Map. You walk through these magical woods wifh with gigantic Redwoods and you can just feel and sense what nurses need to know power of Mother Nature and how beautiful she is. Kids of all ages will love walking among these beautiful giants. It was so interesting that this oasis is just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When you are there you feel like you are hundreds of miles away from it all! When To Visit: Any time of year and any how to write a late note for school of day. We went right before they were going to close and it was really cool to see the sun setting through the trees. But I doubt you could pick a bad time of ddo to go.
How To Visit: You have to plan a little ahead for this trip since you have to purchase your parking spots online before you show up. We were there in the offseason so we could get a time slot for later the grancisco day. But we have heard during high season summer or weekends you may need to get your time slot days in advance. Another option for the nature lover or if you are looking to get out of the city. Take note, with traffic and the distance this could be an all day event to visit.
But if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, this is your escape. The drive out is famkly and once you are there the views of the coastline along the Pacific Ocean are pretty epic. Look ahead and plan to visit on a day that the lighthouse is open. They also have a visitor center with a small museums and rangers on staff to help make recommendations on what you should do while there based on weather and what is open and closed.
When To Visit: The Visitor Center closes at 5pm on some days so be sure to check the hours as you will fwmily to stop to get a map and look around the museum there. Also check on what days the lighthouse is open so you can make the walk down! You also want to take rush hour into consideration — and just known there is always traffic in San Francisco. Click here for a working Google Map. We then headed out to Frwncisco Woods. It is an iconic place and well worth a visit. If you want to see it from the water, be sure im check out the Bridge to Bridge tour!
How To Visit: If you drive be prepared for a steep toll — but you only francicso to pay it one way so that is good! Your kids will love the Bay Area Discovery Museum and it is in a great location.
You are right by the Golden Gate Bridge — you can see it while you are exploring the museum. You can also walk what kind of audio card do i have in famipy parking lot and get some fun pictures with the museum in the background. They also had lots of great activities for the kids including indoor and outdoor options. It was a little bit on the younger side our 11 year old was a little too old but he still found things to do.
When To Visit: Check hours — they normally close at 5pm and also check for events going on and if you can go during an event there will be more people, but also more to do.
It is a beautiful location on the water that use to be a famous bathhouse. The bathhouse is no longer there, but you can walk on the grounds and walk through some of the ruins. It is a beautiful area and another way to get a little but outside of the city and all the fun and craziness there.
They also have a really cute gift shop. When To Visit: A sunny day famipy be great. But we went when it was overcast and it was still beautiful. How To Visit: There is a parking lot on site so you should be able to get a spot in the parking lot and then get out to walk around.
Here is an activity that is in the heart of city life! An always busy area that is filled with shops and entertainment! Iin has a really cool vibe and look and feel to the area and some fun shops and restaurants you will want to check out. We walked through the Pier area and checked out a few shops before sitting down to eat.
Be aware down here as it is an area known for things like this tto happen. You can also go to a look out over the San Francisco Bay where you can see Alcatraz or if you planned ahead I am so not good at planning ahead you can take a boat ride out to tour Alcatraz! I am really disappointed that we missed it. Next time! And if you want to keep exploring head over to Fisherman Wharf for more restaurants and stores.
How To Visit: There are parking lots and structures all ij downtown, but they are expensive. You could take a bus, the cable cars, or an Uber and you will fgancisco likely be better off. If you are looking to get out in nature without having to leave the city then check out Faamily Gate Park. The park is huge!! They had a slide that you needed a cardboard box to sit on so you could slide down it!
So San Fransisco and so cool! The San Francisco Zoo is a great zoo that is filled with animals that di and your kids will enjoy seeing. Qith also have a great park for the kids to play at. You could spend a whole day here looking at the animals and playing at the park.
With a quick break to grab a bite to eat. How To Visit: There is a large parking lot so you can park right by the Zoo and walk in. They have so many different activities to do with the kids.
We could have stayed all day. Then once you are done you can head outside to play at the park. How To Visit: What to do with family in san francisco will have to find somewhere to park.
There are parking franvisco around, but be prepared that you may have to walk a little ways. Take a walk to check out this cool zig zagging street known as the crookedest street! You can drive down it but being able to walk it meant we could take it slow and take in the views.
Plus you get to walk up francsco of the steep streets that San Francisco is known for. How To Visit: Best to walk to it — there is some street parking around there.
Just be prepared for the steep incline! This was quite the experience! You literally felt like you could be in China. There was so much activity and so many people. With fish and food just hanging from everywhere. The vibe was so energetic. Then we found the fortune cookie making store so we walked down an alley and there it was. Women sitting making fortune cookies by hand.
It was cool to watch and see. Check out sam park right in the middle of San Francisco. There framcisco big familj areas to hang out or you can head eith the super kid friendly playground to let the kids play.
The Park is also within walking distance to Pizzeria Delfina and Bi-Right Ice Cream both recommended to us by locals — more on these below. How To Visit: You can drive and park along the street but be aware that windows get broken out all the time — there is shattered glass lining the grass by the road.
We did go this route and parked our car here and walked over to the park for an hour or so and everything was OK. But something to keep in mind. I wish we would have done it. My recommendation would be to ask at the hotel and have them give you directions to ffamily best place to pick it up. If I am understanding it correctly you would have about a 1 mile walk from the Westin to the Financial district and then fancisco could tl up the California line there.
We also heard great things about the California Academy franisco Sciences which is also a natural history museum located in Golden Gate Park if your kids are into Science be sure to check it out! Or if art is more their thing check out the De Young Museum. The grass covered roof is unique!
The Escape Game is always a great family activity. We took our crew to the one in Chicago and had an awesome time! You get locked in a room and work together to solve clues and riddles to help you escape.
The staff famoly you through video and provides fammily through a TV screen to help you sam if you get stuck. The rooms all have different themes, what to do with family in san francisco you can go back more than once and have a totally different adventure.
Check out the Escape Game San Francisco! There really is no shortage of things to do in San Francisco!
2. Aquarium of the Bay
From theaters to museums to a ton of parks and beaches, there are a lot of fun things to do in San Francisco with kids. Now, I could make the sale by mentioning just a couple of places ahem, Golden Gate Bridge or Alcatraz , but how is that going to help you plan a vacation?
But this museum has a host of activities that makes it one of the top things to do in SF. What to do: It has a range of indoor and outdoor experiences. Kids of all ages will find something to amuse them. And that ranges from six-month-old children to those who are 10 years old.
One of the specialty items is the Lookout Cove which is a 2. It is located on the historic waterfront of Pier 39 and offers a ton of marine life for people of all ages to explore. What to do: There are more than 20, marine creatures to keep the kids busy. The focus is on local aquatic life. It is in an old airplane hanger.
What to do: Everything is on a trampoline. And when traveling with family, this is the kind of place you want to go to because there is a lot of stuff to do with children. What to do: Check out the historic fleet at Hyde Street Pier. You will find the likes of three-masted cargo ships and paddle steamboats docked here. The beach is sandy and the Aquatic Park is a great place for the little ones to spend playtime.
You can get to the top through an elevator and get a stunning panoramic view of the city from the top. So choose your timing wisely. What to do: Apart from riding the elevator, you should also be on the lookout for murals at the base of the tower.
They give you a peek into life in California during the Depression. Recommended Hotel Nearby: St. Regis San Francisco. San Francisco, CA This is a museum of science, technology and arts all under one roof in the bay area.
What to do: The Embarcadero is filled with hands-on exhibits that let children experience walking into a tornado and build electrical circuits on their own. Now, you can also go online and take the learnings forward with the many classes organized by the museum. This one is dedicated to Star Wars fans. The grounds nearby have a meadow, a lagoon and sitting areas too for when you need to catch your breath. They are also a perfect spot for a picnic or to do reenactments.
This is a literary landmark and is one of those SF activities that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart. What to do: You will find a large collection of historic cable cars. There are photos, mechanical displays and also a shop where you can get souvenirs.
It is run by a nonprofit that is devoted to preserving the history of the cable car. There are tables, grills and more available at the east end of the parking lot. What to do: Apart from the fact that the northern end of the beach is for clothing-optional sunbathers, this is a pretty good place to chill with your kids and maybe build some sandcastles. This beach is a perfect place for some family fun. You should keep an eye out for porpoises.
You are, after all, in San Francisco. Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Drisco. And it is decorated with lights, frosting and edible bricks. What to do: Hundreds of gingerbread sticks come together with royal icing on top of the gingerbread house which is filled with hundreds of pounds of candy. There are a lot of family-friendly activities here which will keep you coming for more.
Children will love the interactive wet sand play sculpture and climbing equipment, while adults can relax to views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais. What to do: This is the local version of the Luxembourg Gardens. It encourages creativity and allows you to put it to good use. What to do: Children are free to make animations in their preferred style. They can also try their hand at inventing something totally new. It was renovated recently to include more entertainment options that appeal to the new generation and their parents.
You will also find cement walkways where you can stroll and take in the breeze. The cold water is inviting almost throughout the year but beware of the currents. Related: Best Beaches in San Francisco. What to do: The hike is along 2. Plus you can turn around any time and enjoy a lovely day out in the open. What to do: From warrior masks to sculpture gardens, there is a lot to explore here. If you take the elevator, you can head to the observation tower and get a stunning view of the city.
There are also free classes and guided tours here on Saturdays. What to do: If you go to the lake, you will find many of them with their remote-controlled yachts. Pack a picnic and wait till the sun sets, the view is pretty spectacular. Did I mention this is next to Monterey Cypress trees? Stow Lake is in the heart of Golden Gate Park and you can rent any kind of boat and take it for a ride. Prepare to kick back and have a good time. This is a great place to get an in-depth understanding of science for yourself and the tots.
It is also located in the Golden Gate Park. What to do: The California Academy of Sciences has a stunning aquarium and a fascinating planetarium. It debuted in and has been a source of entertainment for kids and grown ups ever since. What to do: It has a lovely lawn area, an outdoor stage and also a performance space. If you want a little exercise, head to the adult fitness equipment area. Kids can amuse themselves in the play area which also has an interactive water plaza.
What to do: You can get action in the form of sing-alongs and theater classics. You could also go there during the day with the kids and let them loose at the playground in the Eureka Valley Recreation Center. The sunny weather of California makes this playground a favorite among children and their parents. The place is filled with swings and bouldering rocks. It has hands-on exhibits, live animals and art experiences that will entertain and educate visitors of all ages.
So it packs quite the historical punch. What to do: True to its name, the main attraction are two concrete slides which have proven to be a thrilling ride for teenagers and adults.
If you wear sturdy pants and get a piece of cardboard, the slides will turn into wonderland. A lot of them are modeled after popular locations in San Francisco. Whether you want to play or get a photoshoot done, this is a great place for the whole family.
You could also just choose to leave the children to play while you get a drink and relax. Here, you will find a woodworking and design studio that anyone above the age of two can enter.
What to do: To satiate your artistic needs, all you need to do is get a punch card, put on an apron and go into the studio. You are likely to get an orientation into some traditional ways of creating something stunning. You can also sign up for a camp all through the summer.
When you start to get a little hungry, head towards Cortland Avenue where you will find a delicious array of bakeries and kid-friendly restaurants. The cliffs are steep and they meet the shoreline making for a perfect landscape to take in. The kids can chase the waves and splash around for as long as they want. Except, the undertow can get dangerous so no swimming please. You can also watch hang-gliders take off here. The annual 10 million visitors are proof this is one piece of architecture which is beyond just utilitarian.
What to do: Here, you could take a hike or walk or bring a bike. If none of that appeals to you, sit back and enjoy the view. It is pretty spectacular. You can purchase interactive merchandise or check out exhibits telling the history of the place. Walk around and discover herbal remedies or get a sample tea at one of the tea bars. David Reeve April 6, Related Articles.
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