Me and my husband love going out. However, finding fun things to do in San Francisco with kids can be difficult.
We have a sort of unspoken rule of spending a day out doing something different at least once a month, and we’ve kept that up almost flawlessly since we got together (barring trips and other major forces, like parenthood or business meeting with my San Francisco SEO customers).
After we had our oldest James, (now a 6yo unstoppable question machine) that routine took a hit. But we were able to keep up the tradition more or less, and as little J grew up, it became once more the norm.
Then came Ashley (now an adorable little monkey whose favorite sport is imitating big brother) and being honest having two children to manage made the whole “let’s go out tonight” kind of a stressful proposition for a while.
However, we began seeing a trend amongst our friends, losing touch with the outside and kind of disappearing when they became parents. We were determined not to let that happen to us, so we took the issue head-on and found ways to make it work. Nowadays, we are back to our pattern of leaving the house at least once every other week, and the whole family has a blast.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not always easy!
When you have kids, finding a place you can all enjoy and spend a good time can be such a tiresome proposition, that it is really easy to give into the temptation of just staying in and watching something on Netflix (again).
But we’ve found that with a little planning and some scheduling, family outings are much more manageable and fun, and are definitively something that brings us all together especially when we go out to restaurants in San Francisco Downtown. So, in an effort to help you, new-ish parents out there, I thought I could get you started with a list of a few fun things to do in San Francisco with kids so that you can begin setting up an outing right away!
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Ok, ok. First entry requires you to cross the golden gate, which admittedly can be a bit of a hassle, but I promise you, it is so worth it! The Bay Area Discovery Museum is packed with activities and exhibitions (both indoors and outdoors) for kids from 6 months to 10 years old. Your kids are bound to find most of it fascinating (James loves the Lookout Cove, a two-acre outdoor area filled with tide pools, gravel pits, shipwrecks, and caves), and you’ll be entertained exploring the things from their eyes and socializing with other parents.
Now, keep in mind that much of the museum is outside, so I recommend going there on a lovely day to get the most of it.
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Well, this is an easy sell. Just mention your kids they’ll be able to do things like stepping inside a tornado, and you’ll probably have them begging you to take them to this place. The Exploratorium is basically a museum of science designed to captivate kid’s and adult’s attention alike, learning while having fun in the process.
There are a lot of kids around so they can play and enjoy the exhibits amongst each other, while you probably will end up doing the same with other parents there.
This is for those looking for something indoors and that have a little bit older kids. Located in San Francisco’s Crissy Field, the House of Air well deserves an entry on a fun things to do in San Francisco with kids list. I mean, you remember how fun it is to jump on a mattress or trampoline? Well, here’s a building chock full of ‘em. Enough said.
You basically go there to jump, and there are a few activities like trampoline dodgeball that might be more suitable for older kids like I mentioned. But I’ve seen they have classes for kids 2.5y and older. You won’t believe I met one of my oldest San Francisco web design client here who was hanging out with his kid. That’s cool!
I don’t know about your kids, but mine are obsessed with Star Wars. Oh, and so is my husband btw, and this location is home to Lucas Films.
Get greeted by a life-size sculpture of Yoda before going in the lobby or surrounding areas to observes the customs and suits from the movies. There are a lot of green spaces ideal for a picnic, including a lagoon and meadows, and the Star Wars memorabilia will probably give your kids (and most than some adults) a lot of time to ogle in joy.
Well, that should be more than enough to get you going for now!
Remember, the key of going out with kids resides in planning ahead, so take an hour and plan an afternoon outing with the kids to one of these places and I guarantee you’ll all love the experience. Then rinse and repeat.
Who knows? OTT might be the best thing that ever happened to you.