One of the most diverse and beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco boasts several unique, engaging, and educational places to visit with children. Each of these ten locations could be a full-day excursion that is sure to be fun for the whole family.
10 Things to Do with Kids in San Francisco, CA
1. San Francisco Zoo - At the zoo, you can take a train ride, pet farm animals in the Children’s Zoo, or see animals from all over the world. Check out monthly free days and Children’s Zoo programs. Bring layers in case it gets windy near the ocean!
2. Bay Area Discovery Museum - At this outdoor museum, kids can climb on a boat, do an art project, or play in the toddler space. The museum has a striking view of San Francisco, and most of the activities are located outdoors. Check their online calendar for special programs, like story time, art labs, or nature classes.
3. California Academy of Sciences - At this multi-purpose science center, you can touch a sea star, walk through the rainforest, or watch a penguin feeding. It is a rainforest, aquarium, natural history museum, and planetarium all in one. It is definitely worth a yearly membership.
4. Golden Gate Park - In this gorgeous city park, you can walk around the Botanical Gardens, row a boat at Stow Lake, see bison grazing in the paddock, visit the Butterfly Garden at the Conservatory of Flowers, look at art in the De Young Museum, sip tea at the Japanese Garden, or go on a carousel at the Koret Children’s Quarter.
5. Exploratorium - This hands-on science center on Pier 15 has exhibits featuring human moods and senses, electricity and magnetism, living systems, time and motion, and landscapes. This place is paradise for the budding young scientist. Best for ages 5+.
6. Randall Museum - This free children’s museum, which appreciates donations, offers the chance to pet a rabbit, see a snake up close, or watch a model train. Saturdays are the best day to visit to see the Animal Talks and The Train Room, or to participate in a woodworking or clay-making children’s program.
7. Crissy Field - At this park on the waterfront, you can rent a bike, fly a kite, or snack at the Warming Hut, all while enjoying the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Bring layers in case it gets windy. Watch for the surfers, kitesurfers, and sailboats.
8. Tilden Regional Park - In this beautiful park in Berkeley, you can walk through the Botanical Gardens, feed animals at the Little Farm, visit the Environmental Education Center, take a ride on the steam train, go on the merry-go-round, or walk around Lake Anza. Don’t forget to bring some lettuce and celery to feed the farm animals!
9. CuriOdyssey - In this science museum and zoo, you can listen to Animal Talks, see native animals, or play with wind tunnels. It is located thirty-minutes south of San Francisco in Coyote Point Park, where you will find a large playground, a marina, picnic areas, and a beach. It’s a great place to go to escape the SF fog!
10. Aquarium of the Bay - This aquarium on Pier 39 is located on the tourist side of town. You could spend the day walking along the waterfront and visiting the aquarium. Walk through clear tunnels to see marine animals up close, get your fingers wet in the touch pools, and learn about the marine life that lives in the bay.
A visit to this magnificent “City by the Bay” will sure to entertain the whole family. Not far from San Francisco, you can see Redwood Parks, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite. Northern California is a perfect place to explore nature and enjoy outdoor activities.