41 Fun Family-Friendly Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids

San Francisco is a city with many attractions and activities, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are dozens of family-friendly attractions in San Francisco that you can enjoy with your kids. Here is the to-do list of fun things while visiting this fantastic city:

  1. Bay Area Discovery Museum

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that allows kids to get up close and personal with nature. There are exhibits for the whole family, including one called “Rainforest,” which includes interactive displays about rainforests and their animals. In the butterfly house, you can see hundreds of butterflies fluttering around! Suppose your little ones love animals or gardening. In that case, they’ll love this place even more: it has a greenhouse dedicated to trees (including California native plants), a herb garden where you can help grow herbs for sale at the cafe/gift shop inside; as well as a science discovery center packed full of hands-on activities like blowing bubbles or designing robots using Legos—and don’t worry if your child doesn’t know anything about robotics yet; they’ll learn something new here too!

  1. Aquarium of the Bay

This is a public aquarium located at Pier 39 in San Francisco, California. The Aquarium is about the aquatic life of San Francisco Bay. The Aquarium of the Bay is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

The Aquarium was opened to visitors in 1992 and features exhibits that explore ocean life from all over Earth’s oceans: freshwater, saltwater or even deep-sea environments like corals! In addition to beautiful displays detailing their ecosystems’ typical behaviours, there’s also a tiny touch pool where you can pet some local sea creatures without getting your hands wet!

  1. House of Air

This is an indoor trampoline park and a rock climbing wall. It also has a skate park, playground, mini golf course and laser tag arena. In addition to the activities, you can choose from a House of Air (there are over 40!). There’s also a bowling alley, roller skating rink and arcade games available for guests who want to play while they’re waiting for their turn on one of the other attractions!

  1. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

This historical park is a beautiful place to visit for children of all ages. There are numerous opportunities for exploring the history and architecture of ships and steering them yourself.

There are multiple activities for visitors, including:

  • Sailing on one of their five historic vessels (the only one open to tourists)
  • Visiting their museum with interactive exhibits about life at sea during the height of America’s Golden Age
  • Playing games like “Wharf Rat” or “Catch That Whale!” at the Maritime Museum’s Pirate Showcase Theatre


  1. Coit Tower

Coit Tower is a 210-foot tower in San Francisco, California. It is a monument to the Volunteer Fire Department and was built in 1933 to honour Lillie Hitchcock Coit, an artist. She lived in the city and helped raise funds for its construction.

The tower has been featured prominently throughout movies such as “Vertigo” and “The Maltese Falcon.” In 2011, this tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior.

  1. Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is a museum of art, science, and human perception. It’s an interactive learning experience that will leave your kids in awe. The Exploratorium is located on Pier 15 at the Embarcadero. It has easy access to many tourist attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf or Ghirardelli Square (if you feel ambitious). The Exploratorium has over 100 exhibits that are open-ended enough for kids to have fun exploring without getting bored. You can go through all the exhibits yourself if you’d like—they’re not too tricky—but we recommend taking advantage of their guided tour program! It’s beneficial if your child has questions about what they just saw or learned from one of their favourite exhibits. The guides will answer them directly, so there won’t be any confusion about what happened during each activity or conversation with another visitor who might want answers too!

  1. Letterman Digital and New Media Arts Center

This museum is home to the world’s most extensive collection of digital media art. This museum has everything from interactive exhibits like “You Are Here,” which uses augmented reality technology to create a piece you can walk through, to live performances like movies and music concerts.

The Exploratorium offers hands-on science exhibits and interactive elements such as “The Great Wave.” This museum allows children ages 5+ to explore topics such as physics, biology, and more!

  1. City Lights Bookstore

City Lights Bookstore is a literary landmark that was founded in 1953. The store was originally a poetry bookstore and remained one of the most important places to visit if you’re interested in reading or writing poetry.

The store is famous for its association with the Beat Generation, and poets like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (who published his books here), Gary Snyder, and many others frequented City Lights over more than five decades.

  1. San Francisco Cable Car Museum

The San Francisco Cable Car Museum is an excellent place for children of all ages. It’s located in the Presidio, a historic military post on the western edge of town that was home to soldiers and their families once. The museum features vintage cable cars and an interactive display area where you can explore how they worked and stories about these vehicles’ history.

If you’re planning a summer vacation (when many school districts offer field trips), make sure to get there early—the crowds tend to be huge! Otherwise, families with little kids might not get some quiet relaxing time.

  1. Baker Beach

Baker Beach is a great place to go for a walk or to play in the sand. This beach is also home to some of California’s most famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands.

The beach is popular for swimming, boating, fishing, running or bike ride. It is one of San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks.

  1. Gingerbread Victorian at the Fairmont San Francisco

If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous, family-friendly activity that’s also kid-friendly, the Gingerbread Victorian at the Fairmont San Francisco is worth checking out. The hotel was built in 1893 and restored to its former glory with original furnishings and decorations.

The hotel offers two restaurants: Zuni Café & Bar (a fusion restaurant) and Carriage House Restaurant (set in an authentic 19th-century carriage house). Both serve delicious food made from scratch using fresh ingredients available at local farms or farmers’ markets. You can also order takeout from either restaurant if you’d like!

If you want something different than what your kids are used to eating, try some of their homemade ice cream treats—there are many flavours available, including chocolate chip cookies n’ cream flavour! They will love trying them all out!

  1. Julius Kahn Playground and Clubhouse

Julius Kahn Playground and Clubhouse is a playground for children in San Francisco, California. It’s located near San Francisco Bay and is a great place to play with your kids or friends. The playground has lots of fun things like slides, swings, and slides!

  1. Children’s Creativity Museum

The museum is one block away from SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art), which is a good starting place for families. It’s also on the F Line if you’re using Muni or BART train service.

The Children’s Creativity Museum is just a block from SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art). It’s also on the F Line if you’re using Muni or BART train service. The museum’s working hours are till 8 pm, and free admission for children under 5!

  1. South Park

South Park is a large public park in the centre of San Francisco, California. Geary Boulevard bounds it on the north and east, Post Street on the south, and Stanyan Street on the west. The park began as a sandlot occupied by African American workers who built houses for themselves adjacent to the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks (now Union Square) in 1867. In 1871 it was renamed “South Park” after nearby South Park Street was built but later changed to its original name as “South Park Hill”.

The park’s name has changed over time: initially, it was called South Park Hill, but after acquiring more land from several landowners during 1893-1894, this changed again to become one contiguous piece of property with no dividing corridors between parcels (as opposed to being split into multiple sections).

  1. Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is a beach on the Pacific Ocean in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s known for its surf, sand, and sunsets.

Ocean Beach is located in the Sunset District, west of the Great Highway (Bay shore Boulevard) and east of Lincoln Way (Beach Street). The name “Ocean” comes from its proximity to San Francisco Bay—it faces towards it!

  1. Lands End Trail Hike

Lands End is a 2.5-mile hike on the Marin Headlands that takes you to the top of Lands End, a peninsula at the east end of Marin County. The trail is moderate in difficulty but suitable for all ages, but older kids may want to bring a walker or wheelchair as there are some steep inclines along the way! It’s also great for dogs—and even strollers if you’re travelling with one! Free parking at these locations, so feels free to bring your car if you need it (or bike instead).

  1. De Young Museum

The De Young Museum is located in Golden Gate Park and is free to enter. It’s open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday.

The museum features art from across periods, including Egyptian artefacts, Greek statues and Roman mosaics. You can also find sculptures by Michelangelo or Rodin that were once housed at the Palace of Versailles (the French royal Palace). There are paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn or Van Gogh, as well as works by Picasso, Picabia, Matisse and Warhol!

  1. Spreckels Lake

Spreckels Lake is a reservoir in San Francisco, California, United States, built-in 1912, named for sugar magnate Claus Spreckels. The pool has a capacity of 10,000 acre-feet and covers 517 acres (208 hectares).

The lake is fed by two streams: Mill Creek and Wiggle Creek, which both drain into Alcatraz Creek as it flows northward toward San Francisco Bay. The dam was constructed between 1907 and 1909 by the Pacific Improvement Company with help from William Pomeroy Anderson, who developed plans for Spreckels Dam on his initiative without any financial backing from either Claus or his family.

  1. Stow Lake

Stow Lake is a small lake in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. It is the oldest artificial lake in the city and was built by damming a natural creek that ran through Golden Gate Park. The lake’s water flows from its source at Stow Lake Drive into Hyde park Creek and then into Richardson Bay before reaching Belvedere Lagoon via Arguello Boulevard.

Stow Lake’s unique history makes it an ideal place for children to explore! Children can play on its banks as they walk around or sit down for lunch with their parents. They can even fish here if they have permission from an adult who knows how to catch fish (they may need help).

  1. California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a beautiful place to visit with kids. It’s located in Golden Gate Park, just outside San Francisco, on the city’s western edge. You can get along by car or public transportation, and it has plenty of parking spaces available nearby.

An adult must accompany children under two years old at all times while inside the museum—but if you have older kids interested in learning about science, they will probably love some fun science education opportunities!

Some people say this museum should be one of your stops when visiting San Francisco because it offers indoor and outdoor exhibits (like those found at other museums). At the same time, some people may find these attractions boring for adults; many others consider them perfect family-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy together!

  1. Koret Children’s Quarter Playground

The Presidio is the place to bring your kids to a fun and beautiful park. The Children’s Quarter Playground is located on Crissy Field in San Francisco, California. It’s called a playground because it has lots of fun climbing structures for kids who love to climb!

The Children’s Quarter Playground features multiple areas with different themes, such as “underwater” or “lava flows”, that are great for toddlers and teens who need something different from traditional playgrounds. There are also lots of places where they can explore on their own while still having safe access paths, so they don’t get lost in between all those cool things!

We loved seeing how excited our son was when he went down into one of the caves (which were just big enough for him). He could see everything around him but had plenty of room so no one else would crowd him out either—a great feature!

  1. In Chan Kaajal Park

Chan Kaajal Park is located in the Castro District, one of San Francisco’s most popular neighbourhoods. It’s named after the late Supervisor Harvey Milk and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists. The park is an exceptional place to relax and enjoy the scenery while enjoying family time together.

  1. Castro Theatre

The Castro Theatre is a historic, landmark cinema in San Francisco, California. It is located at 429 Castro Street between Market and 18th Street in the Castro District.

The theatre was part of the ill-fated 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition by architects Arthur Brown Jr. and John Craig Eaton for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE). The opening night film was Whoopee! Starring Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand, this was followed by other silent films made before 1920 like A Fool There Was or Kate Chopin’s short story “A Rebours.”

  1. Helen Diller Playground at Dolores Park

If you’re looking for a place to spend the day with your kids, Helen Diller Playground at Dolores Park is one of the best options. The playground has plenty of slides, swings and other fun activities that keep kids busy for hours!

The playground is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm every day except Christmas Day (when it closes at 1:00 pm). And if your group has more than 15 people, you can reserve an entire park section through their website or by calling 415-621-7000. They also have birthday parties available on specific days during peak season—check out their website for more information on scheduling one!

The best part about Helen Diller Playground? It’s free! No admission fees or reservations are required; just show up when it opens and enjoy yourself!

  1. The Randall Museum

The Randall Museum is a non-profit organization and public museum located in San Francisco. It’s also one of the best family-friendly attractions in the city!

The museum is situated in Golden Gate Park, a short walk from City Hall and has lots of free parking nearby. If you have animal-loving kids or they are fond of history, this museum will be right up their alley!

The Randall Museum features exhibits focusing on natural history, emphasizing science and technology. Human history emphasizes art, war; peace through conflict resolution; community involvement projects such as food banks and clothing drives for homeless people (they even have a children’s area where families can bring snacks). There are also programs available for school groups throughout the year, including field trips here too!

  1. Seward Street Slides

Seward Street Slides is a great way to get from one part of town to another. It’s a fun way to get some physical exercise and an excellent way to see the city from a different perspective. If you’re looking for some sun on a cold day, this is a great place too!

  1. Urban Putt

Urban Putt is a mini golf course in San Francisco that’s easy to get to and play. It’s a fun activity for kids, and it’s great if you’re looking for something fun to do with the whole family while they visit the city.

There are 18 holes on this course, so it’s perfect if you want to ensure your whole group gets a chance at playing all of them! You can also play as many holes as possible before time runs out; there are no restrictions on how long each round lasts or what number of employees must be present at any given time (although some might prefer fewer people).

The café has delicious food options, including burgers and fries made from local organic ingredients such as organic wheat berries grown by local farmers who practice sustainable farming methods.

  1. The Butterfly Joint

The Butterfly Joint is a great place to take kids. It’s a unique and educational experience that teaches you about butterflies but also the life cycle of caterpillars. This place is an oasis in San Francisco with beautiful indoor gardens filled with plants and butterflies! You can spend hours learning about these creatures while they are feeding on nectar from their flowers.

If you want your kids be learning more than just how pretty they look or what colours they come in, then The Butterfly Joint should be at the top of your list!

  1. Bernal Heights Park

Bernal Heights Park is a 17-acre park in San Francisco, California. It lies in the Bernal Heights neighbourhood, part of the more extensive Mission District. Cesar Chavez Street bounds the park to the north, San Jose Avenue to the east, and Ellsworth Street to the south.

The park features sports fields for soccer and football, playground equipment for children, and picnic areas with tables and grills. A dog run where dogs are allowed off-leash, several hiking trails (including one that connects all five parks within Bernal Heights), and a mural painted by artists from around the world, selected through an open call process in 2010, belong here. Two picnic shelters with tables and benches under tall trees, two community gardens providing fresh produce year-round, and educational activities such as cooking demonstrations from local chefs!

  1. Fort Funston

Fort Funston is a California State Park located in San Francisco. It’s one of the best few places to visit with kids because it offers nature and fun. You can relax on the beach, hike or just enjoy some peace!

Fort Funston is also known as “the city’s front yard” because it offers stunning views of downtown San Francisco from its summit at 1,145 feet above sea level. The park has many trails for hikers to explore, including short loops around the base of Telegraph Hill or longer routes. These take you past art installations such as sculptures by artist Tom Otterness who created them during his residency at Fort Funston between 1999-2003 (they’re still there today!). If you don’t feel like walking, go ahead and rent bikes from Bike & Bean next door – they’ll give them out free if anyone wants one, but riders must adhere to posted speed limits within town limits only!

  1. Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County. It’s also one of the most popular destinations in San Francisco. It has been ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The bridge was designed by Robert McCullough, chief engineer on many projects, including Hoover Dam and Hoover Dam Bridge (which still stands today). His design called for two towers connected by an arch-shaped span with cables suspended from each tower below. To build this structure without using explosives or other methods that might damage ecosystems around it required innovative engineering techniques at that time—and they worked!

  1. China Town

Chinatown is one of the oldest and finest neighbourhoods in San Francisco and has been home to Chinese people since 1848. It’s located on Grant Avenue, between Bush and Kearny Streets, in the northern part of the city. This is one of the densely populated neighbourhoods in America—it has more than two hundred thousand residents!

Chinatown also has some fun things to do with kids:

  • Kids can get their picture taken with one of many characters who visit daily at different times (like Winnie the Pooh)
  • Or they can ride through Chinatown on a double-decker bus that will take you around all its sights for only $2 per person!
  • Check out some sweet treats at any bakeries around town selling delicious treats like almond cookies or egg tarts—you’ll never miss another meal again!


  1. USS Pampanito

USS Pampanito is a WWII submarine famous for its role in the Battle of Guadalcanal. It sank Japanese ships and annihilated Japanese aircraft. It’s also one of only two surviving submarines from World War II.

The USS Pampanito National Historic Landmark is in San Francisco’s Hyde Street Pier. It has been on display since 1947 when it was moved to its current location from Mare Island Naval Shipyard during Operation Crossroads nuclear testing. This self-propelled submersible has been preserved in a museum since then. However, it can be rotated into position so that visitors can see inside while they’re still outside on dry land!

  1. Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument is a redwood forest in Marin County, California. The park was established in 1890 and is home to more than 2,000 giant sequoia trees — the largest living organisms on Earth.

Muir Woods has many things to offer families, including hiking trails that take you through the forest or along its numerous streams and lakes. You can also bike or walk over 400 miles of paths through this fantastic place! There are many picnic areas where you can relax under shady trees after spending time outdoors enjoying nature with your family.

Suppose you’re looking for some wildlife encounters while visiting Muir Woods National Monument. Don’t miss out on seeing deer roaming around their natural habitat at dusk (and maybe even catching a glimpse of an elusive bobcat). If it’s a hot day, consider taking advantage of one of its many indoor attractions: there’s an aquarium at one end of each trail; if nothing else, try renting kayaks from nearby Sausalito, so everyone gets out into nature together!

  1. Pier 39

Pier 39 is a popular tourist destination in San Francisco, and it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon with your family. The pier is home to many attractions that make it fun for everyone—including the Aquarium of the Bay, which houses over 200 species of fish!

In addition to these fun activities, you will also find yourself within walking distance from multiple historical sites such as Fort Mason and Fisherman’s Wharf. These areas are great places for families with young children because there are plenty of things they can do here on their own while mom or dad relaxes at one of these attractions. If you’re looking for something even more active (like visiting Alcatraz), we recommend checking out this list!

  1. San Francisco Bay Cruise

The Bay Cruise is a great way to see San Francisco from the water. You’re taken on a narrated tour of the bay, including views of Alcatraz Island and Angel Island and some interesting facts about each area. The Bay Cruise also takes you through Fisherman’s Wharf to get an up-close look at some of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, including Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square.

When you next visit this beautiful city, take advantage of all its family-friendly attractions!

  1. Oracle Park

Oracle Park is the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. It’s also an excellent place for kids to play and run around because it has a fantastic playground with lots of fun things to do! You can take free tours inside Oracle Park, giving insight into how they make their famous concession foods like seafood chowder and hot dogs! Suppose that isn’t enough excitement for your family. In that case, there are free games every weekend, special events like concerts by famous musicians, or even a petting zoo full of cute animals.

Oracle Park offers plenty of other entertainment options, too: there’s parking nearby if you want to go on any adventures after your visit; there are restaurants nearby where families can relax after spending time together at this great ballpark; don’t forget about all those attractions available near Oracle Park such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum & Wax Museum (an interactive museum featuring unique exhibits), The Hetch Hetchy Visitors Center which features exhibits about Yosemite National Park & surrounding areas including Mammoth Mountain Ski Area; even if none of these attractions sounds interesting enough for your family today then perhaps tomorrow might yield better results?

  1. The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts is a former public arts school and museum in San Francisco, California. It is situated on the western edge of Golden Gate Park at Lincoln Way East and Fulton Street. The structure was built in 1914 and originally housed the California Midwinter International Exposition and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE). It currently houses the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The building was designed by Timothy Lanyon, who won a design competition against 1,700 entries. Construction began in April 1913 but took almost two years to complete. Then, later on the three-story Beaux-Arts building was completed by 1915.

The Palace of Fine Arts was one of the last structures built in Golden Gate Park. It is the only structure in the park that survived the Great Depression and two World Wars. In 1970, it was enlisted to the National Register of Historic Places. The Palace is a popular spot for locals and visitors who enjoy its many attractions such as theatre shows, concerts, art exhibitions and open-air movies.

  1. Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is a mountain in San Francisco that has two peaks. It’s located at 814 Summit Rd., and it’s a tourist attraction for those who enjoy hiking and seeing the view of San Francisco. The hike to Twin Peaks takes about an hour, but it’s worth it! You can also catch some great pictures from there if you’re looking for some natural beauty or just want to relax after an intense day out on vacation.

  1. Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in San Francisco’s Presidio, a former military base turned national park. It’s dedicated to the life and work of Walt Disney. The museum has been open since 2002 and offers an interactive experience for kids interested in learning more about their favorite cartoon characters or movies.

The museum has exhibits that connect with popular stories or themes from the past 100 years, including ones on Mickey Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh. There’s also a section dedicated to different art types that feature works by famous artists, including Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe (born just outside Leesburg). Thus, allowing visitors plenty of opportunities to explore different aspects of art history while learning about them simultaneously!

  1. San Francisco Cable Car System

The San Francisco Cable car system is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It can be accessed from Market Street, between Montgomery and Powell Streets, or at Powell and Market Streets.

The cost to ride these cars varies depending on what time you go and where you want to go. It costs around $5 for an adult; $3 for children under 12 years old; free if they’re accompanied by an adult who has purchased a ticket (the same price applies). You can also buy day passes or multi-day tickets that allow unlimited daily rides until your access expires or until 4 pm, whichever comes first. These passes are only sold at the cable car station inside Union Square itself. Still, they don’t need any additional purchases besides purchasing a general admission ticket to enter Union Square – which happens when entering its gates!

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