Entertaining kids in San Francisco is easy. There are always so many things to do in San Francisco with kids. If you are looking for ideas of what to do in San Francisco with children, here is our pick of all the best San Francisco attractions for kids.
Sea Lions on Pier 39
Pier 39 is one of the most famous sights in the whole of San Francisco and a fun one to visit with kids. Here you have restaurants, a carousel, many (touristy) shops and what tends to be the highlight of a San Francisco trip for many a little explorer: sea lions!
Catch a Cable Car
San Francisco iconic cable cars are family friendly. Several lines criss-cross the city and will help you negotiate the steep hills that make San Francisco’s landscape so distinctive. The most scenic cable car will bring you to China Town, Lombard street (said to be the crookedest street in the world) and famous Ghirardelli square.
The Exploratorium is a fantastic hands-on museum for kids of all ages. Packed with interactive exhibits, it is the perfect place to spend a rainy day and to challenge little (and not so little) explorers.
The museum is designed to make you question perceptions and views of the world and it truly makes you stop in your tracks! The Exploratorium is suitable for kids of all ages and has an area specific for toddlers.
Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge
One of the best ways to enjoy the Golden Gate Bridge is by bike. Bike rental shops dot the city and many offer family bikes ranging from adult bikes with child seats to children’s bikes. When considering whether to get kids their own bikes, bear in mind that the bridge is long and often very windy! Unless you have a confident cyclist, a child seat is recommended.
Golden Gate Park
Stunning Golden Gate Park is the perfect place to spend a day in nature without leaving the city. Here you will find large green lawns for free play, gorgeous playgrounds, museums, the beautiful Japanese gardens and cycling paths.
Fire Engine Tour
If you have a pint size fireman in your family, you cannot miss this tour! Limited to 14 participants, this tour will make you see San Francisco from an unusual point of view: the top of a fire engine. Fun!
Located in San Francisco Bay, infamous Alcatraz is an easy day trip to take with kids of almost all ages. The boat ride takes about 15 minutes and has both an indoor area and a deck.
Once on the island, be sure to stop at the visitors centre, where you can pick up an activity booklet for children. Advance booking essential.
San Francisco Playgrounds
San Francisco is generous with playgrounds. They can be found everywhere in the city and offer respite from the often exhausting San Francisco hills. Fantastic San Francisco playgrounds can be found in the many city parks.
Sea lovers will enjoy a morning at the Bay Aquarium. Located on Pier 39, the aquarium is a great place to learn about the marine environment of San Francisco Bay and surrounding area. The aquarium is a big hit with kids thanks to the many tanks and the 3-D movie theatre.
Pier 45 in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf is home to two historic war vessels. Little adventurers will love the opportunity to board a real submarine here, the USS Pampanito. This submarine participated in several missions during WWII and is now a floating museum.
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