San Francisco is one of those places I can visit a million times. There is so many things to do in San Francisco with kids you will always be exploring something new. We find ourselves visiting San Francisco quite often as my husband, a devout San Francisco 49ers fan since his days as a kid growing up as a kid in Lake Tahoe, loves to check out a game with the family every year. If you are wondering what to do in the city by the bay, we have a long list of activities and attractions to help you narrow down your choices. Let’s check out some of the best attractions and activities that you and your kids will enjoy in San Francisco!
31 Things To Do In San Francisco with Kids + Our 5 Absolute Musts
31 Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids
1. Museums of Illusions San Francisco – New for 2020!
There are a lot of fun things to do at Fisherman’s Wharf and a local favorite is Museum of Illusions San Francisco. This museum takes an interactive approach to art, where you can pose and interact with the technicolor fantasy dreamland around you. You can hang from the side of a skyscraper, experience a lava eruption, and even escape a horde of blood-thirsty zombies. This experience isn’t just for kids—it’s for everyone: parents and friends will have a blast, too! It’s a perfect place to capture a ton of unique selfies or videos for Instagram, Facebook, or Tik Tok. Located at 55 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94133,
Open seven days a week from 10am – 10pm. Purchase tickets by
calling 888-386-5585 or visit https://sfillusions.com/ticket
2. Golden Gate Bridge & Bay Bridge (Must-Do!)
The Golden Gate Bridge is as iconic to the west coast as the Statue of Liberty is to the east coast. We highly recommend taking a tour of this bridge, as well as the Bay Bridge, which lights up at night.
3. Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory
If you are already visiting Fisherman’s Wharf and you want to fulfill your sweet tooth, we recommend heading down to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. It’s one of the best places in the city to get both delicious Ghirardelli chocolate and ice cream. The grounds are beautiful, it’s a great place for the kids to walk around and then finish off the day with a delicious sundae. What else can you ask for?
4. Golden Gate Park
One of the best places to spend an afternoon in San Francisco is Golden Gate Park. Here you can visit an array of museums, relax on one of the many hills, or take a ride around on some segways!
5. Ride a Cable Car or Visit the Cable Car Museum (Must-Do!)
If you want a unique way to ride around San Francisco, we recommend hopping on one of the cable cars! You can even visit the Cable Car Museum to learn a bit more about San Francisco’s transportation history.
6. See the Sea Lions at Pier 39
When you head over to Pier 39, make sure to take some time out to watch the Sea Lions! They’ve been housing down at the pier since 1990. This is an easy & free thing to do in San Francisco with kids!
7. Alcatraz Tour
For history buff families, the Alcatraz Day Tour provides a step back in time to experience one of the most legendary islands on the west coast. This old military prison, which isn’t in operation anymore, was once one of the most notorious prisons in the United States.
8. 7D Experience & Mirror Maze
If you head to Fisherman’s wharf there are a ton of fun things to do for kids. The 7D Experience in San Francisco offers fun for the entire family. Here you can experience the thrill of an interactive shooting gallery, roller coaster, and maze of mirrors, all in one, cutting-edge building. But our favorite, was the mirror maze. It is only $5 per person and you find ourselves lost going through a crazy mirror maze. I often frightened myself by thinking I was walking into someone, when it turned out to just be myself. This is such a fun thing to do in San Francisco with kids.
9. Aquarium of the Bay
The Aquarium of the Bay is located on Pier 39. It is home to more than 20,000 different marine animals, and is a wonderful place for you and your kids to experience the magic of the ocean.
10. AT&T Park Tour – or Check out a Giants Game
AT&T Park is one of the most legendary baseball parks in the country, and it offers tours for both adults in kids. We recommend taking a tour, though if you happen to be there in the spring, you can try and catch a Giants game!
11. Bay Voyager
The Bay Voyager offers visitors a legendary way to explore the landmarks of San Francisco. With over 300 years of maritime experience from the family, you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views of San Francisco in a unique way.
12. Beach Blanket Babylon
Beach Blanket Babylon is one of the world’s longest-running musical revues and one of the most exciting San Francisco attractions. Seeing a show is a wonderful thing to do in San Francisco for families with kids who enjoy musical theater.
13. Big Bus Tours – San Francisco
The Big Bus Tours offers another exciting way to see the city. From the stunning bays to big hills, you can hop on and off at any time.
14. Blue & Gold Fleet
The Blue & Gold Fleet is a unique way to explore the bay. From sunset cruises to round trip excursions to Alcatraz, there are tons of ways to take advantage of this exciting attraction.
15. California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a scientific and educational institution that is located within the heart of Golden Gate Park. Here families can explore numerous exhibits from the planetarium to the rainforest.
The Exploratorium at Pier 15 is somewhat of a museum, though more of an exploration of science, art, and human perception. Here you and your children can explore a wide variety of experiential exhibits.
17. Fat Tire Tours – San Francisco (Must-Do!)
If you want to explore San Francisco in the most organic way possible, we recommend checking out the Fat Tire Tours. It is the best two-wheeled way to get around the city. We have been on Fat Tire Tours with the kids in many cities and San Francisco is definitely an amazing place to check them out!
18. Hobnob Tours
The best part about San Francisco is that it is so compact, you can almost walk the entire city. The Hobnob Tours offer an easy walking tour of Nob Hill, Union Square, Chinatown, and the Financial District.
19. Hornblower Cruises & Events – San Francisco
If you’re feeling fancy one night, the Hornblower Dinner Cruises and Yacht Charters offer a customizable way to dine on the water. It’s the best way to celebrate a birthday or other special event.
20. Madame Tussauds SF
Ready to get up close and personal with some of your favorite celebrities? Head on down to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in San Francisco to check out one of Pier 39’s greatest attractions.
21. Enjoy the Boudin Factory at Fisherman’s Wharf (Must-Do!)
The Boudin Factory at Fisherman’s Wharf cooks up some of the best bread bowls and clam chowder that the west coast has to offer. It is a staple of San Francisco and a must-see for diners. We probably visit Boudin every time we visit San Francisco. It is pretty irresistible and definitely the best sourdough bread you’ll ever have. If you haven’t taken the tour, it is a pretty good little tour and it only costs $2.
22. Red and White Fleet
The Red and White Fleet offers bridge to bridge cruises, sunset cruises, bay cruises, and more. It is a wonderful way to explore the waters around San Francisco.
23. San Francisco Private Segway Tours
There is no quirkier way to get around San Francisco than with a segway tour. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf, these little, two-wheeled machines can take you just about anywhere.
24. San Francisco Sailing Company
Hoist the sails for a day of fun on the water with the San Francisco Sailing Company. Open since 2004, it is one of the most family-friendly charters in the Bay Area.
25. San Francisco Segway Tours – Electric Tour Company
The San Francisco Segway Tours is another segway company in San Francisco that offers private, group, and scavenger hunt segway tours. They have ten different departures throughout the day that you can book from their website!
26. San Francisco Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo is the best place in the Bay Area for the family to enjoy nature. With tons of animal exhibits and spectacular gardens, it is a must-visit for animal lovers.
27. Speedboat Tour (Must-Do!)
If you are looking for the ultimate high-speed way to take on the San Francisco Bay, look no further than the Rocketboat Speedboat Tour. It is one of the most thrilling ways to experience San Francisco with the kids! We really enjoyed our tour. You get a great view of AT&T park and the kids loved the water hitting them (yes, you might get slightly wet).
28. The Bugster Experience
The Bugster Experience offers a funky and quirky way to explore San Francisco in a VW Bug. Just rent one of these little vehicles and get the family on board for an exciting personal tour.
29. The San Francisco Dungeon
The San Francisco Dungeon is more or less a time capsule than a dungeon. It includes a 60-minute journey through the history of San Francisco, from the Gold Rush to Alcatraz and beyond. We really enjoy the dungeon tours. We did our first dungeon tour in Edinburgh and while they are a bit creepy they are very fun.
30. The Walt Disney Family Museum
For serious Disney fans, the Walt Disney Family Museum gives families a way to explore the life and legacy of Walt Disney. It is located in the Presidio of San Francisco in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
31. Wheel Fun Rentals San Francisco
Wheel Fun Rentals is a bicycle rental spot that provides a GPS-guided tour of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is an exciting way to get some exercise while learning about the rich history of the city.
Bonus – Go to a 49ers Game
While technically in Santa Clara, I had to mention our favorite team the San Francisco 49ers. We love going to the game, the crowd is fun, they have an interactive area for the kids and of course, we get to root on our favorite team.
Now, Go Enjoy San Francisco with Your Kids!
There are just about a million things to do in the wonderful city of San Francisco. We hope that our list has given you a little inspiration for your family trip.
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