What is There to do in San Francisco with Children?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Mariusz Blach, Qingwa, Trubble, Can Balcioglu, Pontus Edenberg
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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San Francisco, named after Catholic monk Saint Francis of Assisi, is one of the most popular cities for tourists in California. Because of its ideal location over the Bay, there are many things to do when visiting San Francisco with children. No matter age or preferences, finding a favorite destination within the city limits will probably take less than ten minutes.

One of the leading attractions for those visiting San Francisco with children is the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, where visitors can climb aboard a series of historic vessels, explore the bay's naval history, and see antique photos of the area. Pier 45 offers families a visit to the past in their unique Musée Mécanique. A must-see for families visiting San Francisco with children, the museum showcases over 300 hundred century-old penny arcade games, all of which are still in operation.

Another great stop for those exploring San Francisco with children is the San Francisco Railway Museum, which showcases antique streetcars. For something more hands-on, try the Cable Car Museum, where visitors are lead underground to see how the haulage cables for the San Francisco cable car system are installed and put to work.


The number one attraction for families visiting San Francisco with children is the Exploratorium, a one-of-a-kind museum with exhibits as varied as "How Does a Muscle Work?" or "The Stuff of Life." The most popular area of the museum, however, is the Tactile Dome, where visitors are forced to navigate a giant pitch-dark labyrinth using the sense of touch as their only guidance.

In the summer, families visiting San Francisco with children can head to the San Francisco Peninsula to enjoy a tour of the bay or to climb Sutro Tower and enjoy great views of the city. Golden Gate Park, one of the most popular parks in the city, houses the California Academy of Sciences, with great exhibits about earthquakes; and Stow Lake, where visitors can rent pedal boats.

To enjoy San Francisco with children, families can also stop by the San Francisco Zoo, where many species in danger of extinction are being bred in an effort to preserve them.


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