Whether your child is a toddler or teen, San Francisco offers much more than Fisherman’s Wharf and cable cars for our young visitors to enjoy.
Babies and Toddlers
1. The Marina District and Crissy Field
The Marina’s broad and flat sidewalks make this the ideal neighborhood for a stroll. Crissy Field, a bay front “boardwalk” with Golden Gate Bridge views, is peaceful and quiet, perfect for a napping toddler.
2. Neighborhood playgrounds
Let your toddler run around in one of San Francisco’s 90 secluded playgrounds. If you’re in North Beach, make a pit stop at Michelangelo Playground. Pacific Heights? Head to Alta Plaza Park. Chinatown? Dive into the bustling Willie Wong Playground.
3. Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is San Francisco’s answer to New York’s Central Park. Paved trails lead to great lawns, lakes, and even a bison range. It’s an ideal spot for an urban picnic.
Children under 10
- Golden Gate Bridge from the Presidio
1. The Exploratorium
Build your own robot or create your own light art at The Exploratorium. It’s so much fun, even parents don’t want to leave.
2. Lands End and the Presidio
Well-maintained walking trails take you through eucalyptus groves and past the rocky Pacific coast to reveal jaw-dropping vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge.
3. San Francisco Giants Game
The 2010 World Series Champions play right in downtown San Francisco, making it one of the easiest sports venues to get to. Definitely get seats in the infield to keep an eye on all the sailboats vying for “splash hits”.
1. Candlelight Tour of Fort Point
November through February, the National Park Service hosts evening tours of Fort Point, situated right below the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in the 1850’s and later used to house WWII soldiers, Fort Point’s open-air architecture ensures incredible nighttime views and spooky guests.
Imagine your local Hello Kitty store occupying a department store, and then add in new Sanyo characters, rows of cell phone accessories and comic books, ice cream crepe wraps, and sushi boat restaurants. One of only three Japantowns in the world, this is a must-see.
3. Top of the Mark
Get proper and fancy with lunch or afternoon tea at Top of the Mark. The food and service is top notch, and the 360 degree view from the tallest building on the tallest hill is downright dazzling.
1. The Haight Ashbury
Drop off a bouquet for Jimi, dance to an impromptu music performance, or shop at the renowned Amoeba records, the Haight is still the eccentric heart of San Francisco. Once the epicenter of counterculture, the Haight is now family friendly and lined with funky boutiques.
2. Rock out to live music
San Francisco is home to many iconic music halls, including The Fillmore, The Great American Music Hall, and the Warfield Theater. If jazz is more your style, head to Yoshi’s on Fillmore Street.
3. Street art tour of the Mission District
Since the 1970s, street art has permeated every sidewalk, alley, and public building in the hip Mission District. You can hunt for and find works by Banksy and Shepherd Fairey, in addition to dozens of local artists.
by Maria/Far Out City. Maria plans and publishes San Francisco Bay Area day trips at FarOutCity.com. All photos copyright by 2011 Far Out City.