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9 Family-friendly things to do in San Francisco

9 Family-friendly things to do in San Francisco

These family-friendly things to do in San Francisco cover the best San Francisco attractions that you can enjoy with children of all ages.

San Francisco is among the biggest cities on the United States’ Pacific coast. It’s a very lively and modern city located in the northern part of the state of Carolina. San Francisco’s weather is some of the best in the world, meaning temperatures can stay quite comfortable. The city is known for the diversity it showcases through its food.

When it comes to culture, San Francisco is very diverse. It has prominent shopping districts and San Francisco attractions to explore, such as the ancient cable cars and wine country. There’s a lot residents and tourists can do in San Francisco. Discussed below are eight exciting things to do in San Francisco.

Family-friendly things to do in San Francisco

family-friendly things to do in San Francisco

Explore the Bay Area

San Francisco Bay is among the world’s first-class natural harbors, with Alcatraz, Yerba Buena, Angel, and Treasure Islands lying in it and multiple bridges connecting its western and eastern shores.

If you’re a water sports enthusiast, you can rent a wake boat and other wakeboarding essentials to wakeboard at the rivers and lakes surrounding the Bay area. You can also enjoy kayaking, surfing, and other watersports. Attractions to visit in the Bay Area include:

  • Safari West
  • Tilden Regional Park
  • California’s Great America
  • Winchester Mystery House and more
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is the final stop on your road trip from Texas to California

Visit the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco’s Golden Bridge is a beauty to behold and one of the many attractions to explore. There are various ways to enjoy this beauty and its surroundings, including:

  • Staying at the Cavallo Point: This is a luxurious resort replete where visitors can enjoy beautiful views, cooking lessons, evening wine receptions, morning yoga, and guided hikes.
  • Exploring the Golden Gate Recreational Area: It’s an expansive public land with beautiful spots. You can go hiking at the Tennessee Valley Trail, visit the Sutro Baths ruins at the Lands End, or go for a hiking adventure via the hilly headlands
  • Riding over the Golden Gate: The bridge, which is almost two miles long, is ideal for a thrilling bicycle ride. You can rent a bike to enjoy an exciting ride
San Francisco Cable Cars

Ride on a cable car

Riding on a cable car is a unique San Francisco experience you shouldn’t miss and a great way to travel around San Francisco. To ride these cars, you must buy a ticket, with one ride costing $8 regardless of the time of the day and your age. There are designated stops for cable cars where you queue and wait.

TIP: You can ride the cable car to the top of the Zig Zag Street in San Francisco and then walk down the iconic street.

Also, you have three cable car lines to select from and tour some of the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco, including:

  • Powell-Mason
  • California line
  • Powell-Hyde

Go wine-tasting

California is a top wine region, with San Francisco offering international and local wines. To sample old favorites and discover new wines, you can visit the following wine-tasting rooms:

  1. The Winery Collective: It’s a private wine bar that features a rotating wine selection from the country’s best small-production wineries
  2. Maritime Wine Tasting Studio: This unique atmospheric wine bar offers a great wine selection by the bottle and glass. It also provides a range of charcuterie and cheese plates to go with your wine
  3. Treasure Island Wines: It’s a family-operated winery on Treasure Island. It produces a small, perfectly created wine range, which is all available for tasting and purchasing at the onsite tasting area

Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

The SFMOMA is among San Francisco’s greatest treasures and houses a collection of over 50,000 works. It builds an engaging visitor experience through globally renowned permanent collections, continually rotating exhibits, and interactive public programs.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is one of the U.S.’s most significant contemporary art centers and the West Coast’s first of its kind. The museum has several curatorial departments that showcase different exhibits and art forms, including:

  • Media arts: SFMOMA houses a comprehensive collection of media artworks (time-based) such as film, video, sound, live performances, and online and computer-based programs
  • Architecture and design: Besides being an architectural gem, SFMOMA has one of the most remarkable architecture and design collections in America, including works of product design, architecture, graphic design, and furniture
  • Contemporary art: This collection displays art pieces from around the globe reflecting today’s modalities, major issues, and formal concerns
  • Photography: It’s one of the museum’s powerful suits because it holds thousands of photography works from inception to date

When you visit the San Francisco Museum, you can see the following:

  • Permanent collections
  • The Pritzker Center of Photography
  • Bay Area Walls
  • Temporary exhibitions

Go to the Oracle Park

Oracle Park, a baseball-only stadium, is home to the San Francisco Giants and the City’s most prominent professional sports site. Oracle Park tours are available throughout the year and are perfect for fans of all ages. During a behind-the-scenes tour, you will visit areas that only coaches and players go to, including:

  • Giants’ Dugout
  • The field
  • The press box
  • A luxury suite

During the baseball season, you can enjoy public and pregame tours where you see players warm up and visit various ballpark vantage points.

Private tours for varying group sizes can also be organized, from corporate group occasions with customized scoreboard messages to birthday-themed events. You can buy tickets online early for pregame and public tours because they might sell out.

The Giants baseball isn’t the only attraction to Oracle Park; there are things to see and explore, such as the most unusual things to do in San Francisco.

  • The Vault
  • Fan Lot
  • Giants 4K video board
  • Public House
  • China Basin Park
  • Wall of Fame
  • Hall of Bobbleheads

Explore the San Francisco Zoo

The San Francisco Zoo is a captivating destination that houses over 1000 animals and offers fascinating experiences for all animal lovers; tourists, and locals. During a day at the zoo, you can:

  • Go to the Giraffe Lodge: At 3:45 p.m daily, zoo visitors enter the Giraffe Lodge for a close look at some of the world’s largest animals
  • Get into the open aviary: Here, you’ll see beautiful birds, anaconda, and sloths
  • View the rare Mexican gray wolves: These tiny wolves are almost extinct, which makes their presence in the zoo very important. Each of them is named after a popular musician
  • See experts at the animal resource center (ARC) in action: Visiting the Koret ARC lets you experience how trained volunteers and zookeepers care for the animals. You’ll also learn about the different conservation efforts the zoo takes part in
  • Take a walk through the Lumer forest: It’s the most extensive outdoor lemur habitat and the only enclosure that allows lemurs to climb big trees all through the exhibit
best San Francisco attractions

Visit the California Academy of Sciences

San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences is situated at the heart of Golden Gate Park and offers transformative experiences. It provides multiple exhibits and galleries to explore, including:

  • Morrison Planetarium: This 75-foot mimics the planet Earth’s tilt. Inside it, you’ll learn all the latest discoveries and universe theories.
  • Osher rainforest: When you enter this rainforest, you’ll find over 1600 live animals and plants housed in the 90-foot glass dome. This forest is the biggest of its kind around the globe. The Osher rainforest imitates the Amazon habitat and is filled with animals like Amazonian fish, Amazonian tree boas, and over 200 free-flying birds.
  • Steinhart Aquarium: The aquarium is home to almost 40,000 live animals, constituting over 900 distinct species, which makes it one of the most biologically disparate and interactive aquariums around the globe. Here, you see flashlight fish, coconut octopuses, a Philippine coral reef, and more
  • Kimball Natural History Museum: It looks at life’s past, present, and future on earth with interesting hands-on exhibits plus many specimens on view. There’s a lot to do in this museum, including comparing wild animal fossils, learning about the powerful influence of color on animal behavior, and more  

Things to know before you go to San Francisco

San Francisco is an amazing city with many breathtaking attractions and sights. Familiarize yourself with the exciting things to do on your next trip to San Francisco.

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