Things to do with kids in San Francisco

California is a great place for families and children, and San Francisco is one its most child-friendly cities. Not only is there great weather, but there's also a plethora of fantastic attractions and activities to keep the little ones busy.

When the sun is out, visit world-renowned landmark Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy the sights, or even take an electric bike tour over the bridge. Not your typical theme park, the Gilroy Gardens are great for a picnic or a stroll and there is a great deal of space for kids to run around and let off some steam. There are also breathtaking views from the Panoramic Wheel and there are even a few rides for the younger ones to enjoy. Fisherman's Wharf is also a great day out and be sure to head to Pier 39 where there is plenty for kids to see and do.

When the weather is bad head out to some of the exciting museums such as the Exploratorium, the Children's Creativity Museum or the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Exploratorium photo

Exploratorium

Named San Francisco's best museum, the Exploratorium is a fun, quirky museum of science, art and human perception that features some 650 'please touch' exhibits. Located inside the…

Exploratorium

Named San Francisco's best museum, the Exploratorium is a fun, quirky museum of science, art and human perception that features some 650 'please touch' exhibits. Located inside the Palace of Fine Arts, many of its exhibits are created by visual and performing artists as well as scientists and educators. Exhibits such as the off-site Wave Organ, a unique sonic exhibit that is located on a nearby piece of land jutting out in the San Francisco Bay, can be found nowhere else in the world. It is one of San Francisco's most popular museums, drawing over 500,000 people each year, with attractions such as its three-dimensional pitch-black Tactile Dome inspiring many visitors to approach challenges in a very different way. The Exploratorium frequently has fun, interactive Thursday night events for adults.

Website www.exploratorium.edu

Aquarium of the Bay photo

Aquarium of the Bay

The Aquarium of the Bay features 300 feet (91m) of crystal clear acrylic tunnels through which over 20,000 aquatic animals can be viewed. The aquarium offers visitors the opportuni…

Aquarium of the Bay

The Aquarium of the Bay features 300 feet (91m) of crystal clear acrylic tunnels through which over 20,000 aquatic animals can be viewed. The aquarium offers visitors the opportunity to come face-to-face with the Bay's largest predator, the seven-gill shark, as well as touch leopard sharks, skates, rays and sea stars. The Aquarium hosts nearly 600,000 visitors every year and provides free classes and tours to the Bay Area school children annually, making it a wonderful San Francisco attraction for families.

Website www.aquariumofthebay.com

Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum photo

Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum

Visitors at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum can be mystified and thrilled at the rare, the bizarre and the totally unexplained in the many interactive and state-of-the-art e…

Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum

Visitors at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum can be mystified and thrilled at the rare, the bizarre and the totally unexplained in the many interactive and state-of-the-art exhibitions throughout the museum. The Marvelous Mirror Maze and the Impossible Laser Race are also worth the time. This is a must for families travelling with kids in San Francisco.

Website www.ripleys.com/sanfrancisco

Oakland Zoo photo

Oakland Zoo

Boasting a menagerie of over 300 wonderful animals, the Oakland Zoo is a must for animal lovers and children. Highlights include a children's park, picnic area, wildlife theatre, c…

Oakland Zoo

Boasting a menagerie of over 300 wonderful animals, the Oakland Zoo is a must for animal lovers and children. Highlights include a children's park, picnic area, wildlife theatre, carousel and a miniature railway. The children's zoo allows kids the opportunity to get close to the animals and even pet them. There's also a small rides area, and a cafe and souvenir shop.

Website www.oaklandzoo.org

Randall Museum photo

Randall Museum

The Randall Museum, also known as the Science and Nature Museum, provides plenty of enjoyable and exciting learning opportunities and experiences for children of all ages. The muse…

Randall Museum

The Randall Museum, also known as the Science and Nature Museum, provides plenty of enjoyable and exciting learning opportunities and experiences for children of all ages. The museum also features animals, such as birds, mice and snakes and children can even get to handle these critters as part of the educational experience. Workshops and programmes are also available to children and adults.

Website www.randallmuseum.org

Children's Fairyland photo

Children's Fairyland

This ten-acre entertainment park on the shores of Lake Merritt features carousel rides, puppet shows, friendly animals and displays of story-book sets from well-loved characters su…

Children's Fairyland

This ten-acre entertainment park on the shores of Lake Merritt features carousel rides, puppet shows, friendly animals and displays of story-book sets from well-loved characters such as Johnny Appleseed, Peter Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland. Children of all ages will love a trip to Children's Fairyland, where they can let their imaginations run wild. However, the park may give parents a precious reminder of their own childhoods, and all the wonder that came from believing in fairy tales.

Website www.fairyland.org

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