The City by the Bay can be a great place for family travel thanks to a number of museums and other places children will enjoy visiting. The area also has a number of family-friendly hotels that can help make for a fun visit. Here are some activities to consider.
Biking on The Golden Gate Bridge
One great way to see San Francisco is on a bike. A good option for those travelling with children is to do a guided tour. Bike and Roll offer the Bike the Golden Gate Bridge Tour, which takes visitors through various sites around the Fisherman’s Wharf/North Beach area of the city before the highlight – riding across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
The bridge is a safe place to ride since the bike lane is completely separated from the automobile lane by a fence, and there is a large fence on the waterside as well. There are plenty of opportunities to stop along the bridge to take pictures and admire views of the San Francisco skyline.
The tour finishes with a coast down into Sausalito, where bikers can hop aboard a ferry and ride back to the city. The tour takes 2-4 hours, depending on how fast riders want to go. About 60 minutes of that is actual bike riding, for a total of about 9 miles. There are some hills, but even if children aren’t able to fully ride up them, they can walk their bikes up, as the guide’s goal is for everyone to enjoy the day, not to get done by a certain time.
Aquarium of the Bay
San Francisco’s aquarium is conveniently located next to Pier 39 in the Fisherman’s Wharf area and can be the focus of a day spent in that part of the city. The aquarium is home to over 20,000 marine animals, many of which can be viewed from below the water when walking under 300 feet of clear glass tunnels or directly touched in the Touch the Bay exhibit.
Two recommended programs are the “Feed the Sharks Tour” or the “Behind the Scenes Tour,” where families can walk on the catwalks above the tanks and learn about what it takes to care for the animals.
California Academy of Sciences
Located in Golden Gate Park, the Academy can be a great part of a day at the park. The Academy has a variety of amazing exhibits, highlighted by a 4-story rain forest. The entire exhibit is contained in a 90-foot diameter glass dome. Guests enter on the ground floor and then gradually work their way up into the treetops. In addition to the plants and animals, there are also free-flying birds and butterflies throughout the exhibit.
Other options at the Academy include an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum.
To call the Exploratorium, a science museum where kids can learn and see exhibits sells the entire enterprise shortly. It’s also an exploration of art and human perception that has interactive activities, programs, and events. For example, those who try the “Tactile Dome” will have an interactive experience in total darkness where their sense of touch takes over to help guide them.
San Francisco abounds with kid-friendly activities, many of which are located in parts of the city that are exciting to visit. Families travelling to the Bay Area can choose from outdoor, interactive, and museum experiences.