Kid-Friendly Activities in San Francisco

Our city may not have sprawling backyards, Chuck E. Cheese or seasonal sports to keep kids occupied like their Middle America suburban counterparts, but who needs any of that when we've got so many other kid-friendly activities in San Francisco? Consider what we have: one of the nation's biggest public parks, world-class museums (yes, even the kind that won't bore children to tears) and huge secret slides you can ride down on greasy pizza boxes. Childhood here might not be traditional, but interesting? Always. Here are our favorite places for city kids--both young and old--to play in SF.

Updated: June 11, 2010

Kid-Friendly Activities in San Francisco

AT&T Park

24 Willie Mays Plz, San Francisco, CA 94107

Baseball games are a cliche American pastime for a reason: They truly are a fun family experience. At a San Francisco Giants game, the kids will be so caught up in the play area and Lou Seal sightings that you may actually catch a few innings of the game.

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

This amazing learning center combines planetarium, natural history museum and aquarium into one spectacularly cool building, making it the destination for an educational family-friendly afternoon in SF.


Pier 15, San Francisco, CA 94111

For a learning experience that's truly hands-on, head to this science-and-art museum, where you can play with robots, study earthquakes and learn about biodiversity through exhibits and activities.

San Francisco Zoo

1 Zoo Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132

Our fog-zone SF zoo may not compare to San Diego's offerings, but kids will still be amazed by their first elephant or giraffe sighting. Just keep them out of the monkey cages--they throw poo.

Stow Lake Boat & Bike Rentals

50 Lake St #STOW, San Francisco, CA 94118

One of the best outdoorsy spots in San Francisco, this gem tucked behind the de Young is a nature lover's paradise. Have a kid-friendly picnic (PB&J, anyone?) at the top of the small island, then rent a paddle boat to get a different perspective on the experience.

Yerba Buena Ice Skating

750 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Few things bring as much simple pleasure as whizzing around the ice on skates, even if you end up with a few bumped knees. For year-round skating in San Francisco, head to this rink in the Yerba Buena Center.