If you’re traveling to San Francisco with youngsters in tow, you’ll find a variety of places to keep the kids entertained during your vacation. From awesome aquariums to mind-blowing museums, this city knows how to entertain guests of all ages with its family-friendly attractions.
Aquarium of the Bay
Home to approximately 20,000 animals found along the San Francisco coastline, Aquarium of the Bay makes a splash with visitors young and old. Guests can get up close to several different aquatic species, such as jellyfish, green moray eels, sevengill sharks, and California’s state fish, the orange garibaldi.
The aquarium also features playful North American river otters in its popular “River Otters: Watershed Ambassadors” exhibit. For a truly hands-on experience, be sure to visit “Touch the Bay” where guests can touch a variety of sea creatures, including juvenile bay rays, sea stars, and even sharks!
California Academy of Sciences
Nestled in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is a must-visit destination for families. This enchanting science museum is a treasure trove of exciting and educational activities that will captivate kids of all ages.
Inside, young explorers can embark on an adventure through the rainforest, discover exotic plants and animals, or dive into the mysteries of the deep sea in the Steinhart Aquarium.
For budding astronomers, the Morrison Planetarium offers a chance to journey to the stars, while the interactive exhibits provide hands-on learning experiences.
San Francisco Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo is a fantastic destination for families. With over 2,000 animals from around the world, the zoo is a haven of learning and adventure sure to delight kids of all ages.
Young animal enthusiasts can get up close and personal with creatures ranging from playful lemurs to majestic big cats. The zoo’s carefully designed exhibits provide a chance for kids to explore different ecosystems, such as the African Savanna or the South American Tropical Rainforest.
With beautiful gardens, a historic carousel, and even a steam train winding through the park, a day at the San Francisco Zoo is sure to be filled with wonder and adventure, making it a must-visit spot.
Children’s Creativity Museum
The sky’s the limit at the Children’s Creativity Museum, which features hands-on workshops and exhibits designed to nurture creativity. Visitors can learn how to make a stop-motion animated movie in the Animation Studio; write code while programming a robot, or navigate mazes and complete other challenges in the Tech Lab.
When it’s time to rest those creative juices, take a spin back in time on San Francisco’s most historic carousel. Hand carved in 1906, the carousel is located just outside the museum in Yerba Buena Gardens.
Just a short drive from San Francisco, Muir Woods National Monument is an incredible place for kids to explore. Towering redwood trees, some of which are over a thousand years old, create a magical forest setting that will leave children wide-eyed with wonder.
The well-maintained trails make it easy for little legs to traverse this enchanting landscape, and the gentle streams offer opportunities for refreshing pit stops and even a little splashing.
The interactive visitor center allows young adventurers to become Junior Rangers by completing fun and educational activities. With its natural beauty, serene ambiance, and countless photo opportunities, Muir Woods is the perfect destination for families seeking a peaceful day of exploration.
For families seeking an educational and entertaining experience for their little ones in San Francisco, the Randall Museum is a hidden gem that’s not to be missed. Tucked away in the heart of the city, this dynamic museum offers a wide range of hands-on activities and interactive exhibits that cater to the curious.
Whether it’s exploring the resident live animals, diving into the fascinating world of science, or engaging in creative arts and crafts projects, the Randall Museum has something for everyone. Children can revel in the joy of discovery through classes, workshops, and special events that encourage learning through play.
At the Exploratorium, children are encouraged to explore their curiosity about the world around them. The Exploratorium boasts over 600 exhibits, like the popular “Shadow Box,” which temporarily freezes a person’s shadow on a phosphorus wall. The museum houses six main galleries, each focusing on a different area of exploration.
You’ll find interactive exhibits ranging from human behavior to the science of the San Francisco Bay.
Plan a trip to San Francisco with your family to discover why it’s the perfect place to vacation with your kids.
Have you been to any of these amazing places? Tell us about it!