Fun Things to Do with Your Kids in San Francisco

Looking for Fun Things to Do with Your Kids in San Francisco? We’ve got you covered. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, from museums and parks to zoos and aquariums, we have all the best attractions for families on this list. You won’t be able to get bored here!

Explore our city with your family by checking out these amazing places that are perfect for a day of exploring. And don’t forget about all the delicious food options available too! There’s something for everyone in San Francisco.

Note to our readers, we try to keep things as up to date as possible, but things change all the time. Please contact the venue directly before visiting. Check here for the most up-to-date San Francisco COVID Information.

Fun Things to Do with Your Kids in San Francisco

Pier 39

Spend a day exploring Pier 39 with your kids to find sea lions and beautiful views. And don’t forget about Ghirardelli Square- it has excellent chocolates as well as lots more delicious food options for everyone on this list so you won’t be able to get bored here!

Golden Gate Bridge

This iconic structure spans across San Francisco Bay, linking San Francisco with Marin County just north. The views are absolutely breathtaking, especially at sunset when you can watch the sky change colors right before your eyes. You can drive, take a bus, walk or bike along both sides. For a great family photo opportunity, stop by the Golden Gate Bridge and get some beautiful shots.

Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is a science museum that educates and connects kids, parents, teachers, grandparents and more. The Exploratorium is now located inside Pier 15 at the foot of Market Street, with three times as much space and 1.5 acres of outdoor free space.

Go on a Tour

Go on a bike tour or take the double decker, Hop on Hop Off Tour with your family and explore San Francisco’s neighborhoods. 

Farmer’s Markets at the Ferry Marketplace

The markets offer fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, meats and eggs from small regional farmers and ranchers, many of whom are certified organic. A wealth of other products include regional artisan specialties such as breads, cheeses, and jams.

China Town in North Beach

Visit Chinatown for some authentic Chinese food that will make your taste buds tingle!

Fisherman’s Wharf

Spend time at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can get fresh seafood or take a boat out onto the bay. 

San Francisco botanical gardens

San Francisco Botanical Garden is a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, showcasing more than 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.

San Francisco Zoo

The mission of San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is to Connect people with wildlife, inspire Caring for nature and advance Conservation action. It’s a great place to go for kids of any age to see animals from all over the world!

Open 365 days a year, San Francisco Zoo is home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals in 100 acres of majestic and peaceful gardens located directly on the Pacific Coast.

Alcatraz Island

Experience what it would have been like on Alcatraz in 1868 during its years as a prison by taking this self-guided audio tour of one of America’s most notorious penitentiaries. Take a ferry ride to Alcatraz Island for an interesting history lesson and stunning views of San Francisco.

Conservatory of Flowers

Whether you’re a native San Franciscan, a visitor from another side of the world, or a classroom of budding botanists, the Conservatory of Flowers offers an intimate up-close experience with rare and endangered plants unlike any other.

Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay partners with The Bay Institute to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay, from the Sierra to the sea. Their passion and our work are locally-focused, but have a broad impact that touches upon every major challenge facing our global environment.

Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco Bay’s Aquarium. They are passionate about providing fun and unforgettable encounters with our natural world in ways that ignite both wonder and conservation. They do this from our 50,000 square foot building at the heart of San Francisco’s history and culture. They are nestled in the shadow of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill on Fisherman’s Wharf at PIER 39, along the City’s “Walkable Waterfront.”

They also own a research vessel and partner with several boat fleets to take our conservation, education and research out on the Bay.

Aquarium of the Bay is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco.

California Academy of Sciences

An aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one Living Roof.

49 Mile Scenic Drive

The 49 Mile Scenic drive was created in 1938 by the Downtown Association to highlight the city’s beauty and to promote it as a tourist destination. The route was also created as a way for visitors to see San Francisco while they were here for the Golden Gate International Exposition from 1939-1940.

Musée Mecanique

One of the world’s largest privately owned collections of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade artifacts. You can play with any of our 300-plus machines in their original working condition.

We will take you on a journey from turn-of-the-century hand cranked music boxes to modern video arcade games. This is a trip down memory lane. It is a chance to show your children or grandchildren what you did for fun when you were their age. Before video games at home, perhaps before television, perhaps what you remember sitting in your grandparent’s parlor.

Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden provides visitors from around the world with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty, tranquility and harmony of a Japanese-style garden in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Originally created as a “Japanese Village” exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the site originally spanned about one acre and showcased a Japanese style garden.  When the fair closed, Japanese landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara and superintendent John McLaren reached a gentleman’s agreement, allowing Mr. Hagiwara to create and maintain a permanent Japanese style garden as a gift for posterity.  He became caretaker of the property, pouring all of his personal wealth, passion, and creative talents into creating a garden of utmost perfection.  Mr. Hagiwara expanded the garden to its current size of approximately 5 acres where he and his family lived for many years until 1942 when they, along with approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans, were forced to evacuate their homes and move into internment camps.  When the war was over, the Hagiwara family was not allowed to return to their home at the tea garden and in subsequent years, many Hagiwara family treasures were removed and new additions were made.

Today, the Japanese Tea Garden endures as one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, featuring classic elements such as an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden.  Cherry blossom trees bloom throughout the garden in March and April.

Walt Disney Family Museum

Find animation, innovation, and inspiration in the remarkable life story of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a distinctly American legacy that transformed the entertainment world. Located in the scenic Presidio of San Francisco, the museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that features contemporary, interactive galleries with state-of-the-art exhibits narrated in Walt’s own voice alongside early drawings, cartoons, films, music, a spectacular model of Disneyland, and more.

Trails at The Presidio

The Presidio is a national park, historic site and military base that includes about 698 acres of land. The parks include many trails for walking, biking and running with magnificent views of San Francisco Bay Area.

Ride the Cable Cars in San Francisco

This is not your typical mode of transportation but it does have some great benefits! Riding a cable car allows visitors to take in all that San Fran has to offer including the beautiful views of the city. When you hop aboard these rolling landmarks you’re climbing hills the same way San Franciscans did in the 1870s. 

Check out Lombard Street, known as the “Crookedest Street in the World

A San Francisco icon and one of the city’s most popular attractions. It features eight hairpin turns that lead to more than half-a-mile of crooked roadway, with stunning views at every turn!

Children’s Creativity Museum

Children’s Creativity Museum is a hands-on, multimedia arts & technology experience for children 2-12. The Children’s Creativity Museum extends the conventional idea of play by inspiring kids to imagine, create and share in our multimedia environment. With every visit, children are invited to create a unique media or art project that reflects and celebrates their creativity.

Bay Area Discovery Museum

Fun, hands-on STEM and Art experiences that develop 21st century skills for children 0-10.

San Francisco Fire Department Museum

Small, free museum exhibiting antique fire engines, helmets, extinguishers & other SFFD memorabilia.

Need some ideas on places to go? Check out these fun for kids city guides!

About South Bay Mommies & Daddies Admin 251 Articles
South Bay Mommies & Daddies (SBMD) is a community platform for parents & family-friendly local businesses. We bring you information on Local Events, Community News, Opportunities to Give Back, What to Do, Eat, Shop & more! Our Facebook group is a place to ask questions and share your ideas and tips on all things local. It takes a village! SBMD offers a variety of advertising opportunities including group advertising, as well as digital marketing and social media services. Please contact us for a media kit on advertising or our consulting services.

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