California Travel Articles
Family Fun in San Francisco
Planning a family vacation to San Francisco but not sure what to do once you get there? With these family-friendly activities, you'll have plenty of options for things to do on your trip to the Bay Area.
With its neighborhood charm and world class attractions, San Francisco offers something for everyone, including families. Below are some suggested family-friendly activities for your next trip to San Francisco.
Susan Johnston is the copywriter for Go San Francisco Card, which offers admission to over 45 San Francisco attractions, activities, and more on one easy-to-use smartcard. Numerous of the attractions listed above are included with the Go San Francisco Card.
Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Area Discovery Museum offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for children ages 6 months to 8 years old. The Museum features hands-on art and science exhibits, performances, workshops, and special events. Tot Spot lets younger children explore animal homes and habitats as they walk, roll, or jump on a water-filled pond. Lookout Cove is a two and half acre outdoor exhibit highlighting iconic places in the Bay Area.
- The Charles M. Schulz Museum pays homage to the creator of the beloved Peanuts cartoon. The museum features exhibits centered on Schulz's life and art, including changing exhibits, original cartoon strips, and an outdoor courtyard with sculptures and a Snoopy Labyrinth. It also presents hands-on workshops where children can learn about cartooning, creating characters, and more.
- Exploratorium combines art, science and human perception in more than 650 exhibits about marine and insect life, meteorology, and more. The Tactile Dome, which takes visitors through total darkness with only their sense of touch to guide them, is among the museum's most popular exhibits. Exploratorium offers free admission on the first Wednesday of each month.
- The Golden Gate Park Carousel is a favorite among locals and visitors from around the world. Originally built near Buffalo, NY in 1912, this 92-year old vintage carousel has been in its current location since 1941. Generations of children have been enchanted by carousel creatures like horses, zebra, camels, and more.
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom offers 35 rides, ranging from heart-pounding roller coasters to light-hearted family rides like the Congo Queen. It also features interactions with exotic land animals and majestic marine life, exciting shows, games of skill, and the chance to meet the "Justice League" Super Heroes and the loveable Looney Tunes characters.
- Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences features marine from all over the world: poison dart frogs, box turtles, sea horses, clown fish, and more. Not only can you see (and in many cases, touch!) these fascinating animals, you can interact and learn from aquatic biologists about how they study and care for the animals. The Early Childhood Program features story time and a nature nest where kids can explore plants and animals. Visitors of all ages can watch penguin feedings twice a day at 11:00 am and 3:30 pm.
- The ZEUM lets families explore San Francisco's tech side with hands-on activities in animation, video production, sound production, performance, and visual arts. Kids can experiment with claymation, star in a music video, and explore digital photography. A new exhibit called Painting with Light features a virtual reality game where players navigate through a computer-generated maze projected on the floor. Think you're up for the challenge?
- San Francisco's Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf houses over 275 realistic wax figures ranging from presidents and sports heroes to Hollywood superstars and historical figures. Whether you admire Mohandas Gandhi or Bill Gates, John Travolta or Donald Trump, this museum has it all!