If you’re looking for some fun activities to do with your kids in San Francisco, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite things to do in the city, from exploring nature to visiting museums. 

No matter what your family is into, we have something for you! So get out and explore all that San Francisco has to offer.

1. Exploratorium 

The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception. With over 600 hands-on exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You can learn about how electricity works, what causes earthquakes, and how vital everyday objects are manufactured by visiting hundreds of displays. 

The weather section, where visitors can witness temperatures and weather patterns from all across the world, the tornado display, and the sounds and colors regions are all must-sees. 

The Exploratorium is also home to the world’s largest sundial, which is definitely worth checking out. It’s a fantastic way for families to spend a day in San Francisco.

2. Aquarium of the Bay 

For families visiting San Francisco, the Aquarium of the Bay is a popular attraction. The aquarium is located at Pier 39’s core and is easily accessible from everywhere in the city.

The Aquarium of the Bay showcases the diverse aquatic life that inhabits San Francisco’s waters. You can read more about the vegetation and animals of San Francisco Bay here. Needless to say, it’s a great activity for kids of all ages.

Visitors can wander through their big walk-through aquarium tunnels and view their large Pacific octopus while watching the jellyfish drift about. Exhibits include a touch pool, where visitors can pet stingrays and sharks, an octopus exhibit, and a jellyfish display. The Aquarium of the Bay is a great place to learn about the ocean and have some fun with your family.

3. California Academy of Sciences 

The California Academy of Sciences is San Francisco’s most popular museum. There are several enjoyable activities for both children and adults. The museum has an aquarium, a planetarium, and a natural history museum all under one roof.

The Steinhart Aquarium is home to over 38,000 animals representing 900 species. The Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit is a must-see for families with kids. It features piranhas, anacondas, electric eels, and more. The natural history museum has a variety of exhibits, including ones on evolution, climate change, and the origins of life on Earth. The planetarium offers immersive shows that take you on a journey through the universe.

There’s also a living roof, which is covered in native plants and helps insulate the building. It’s the ideal children’s museum in San Francisco, and it’s also entertaining for the whole family! To see everything, set aside at least 3 to 4 hours. 

4. Museum & Cable Cars

The San Francisco cable cars will be enjoyed by everyone in your family. These antique treasures roll up and down some of the city’s steepest streets.  The best way to see them is by taking a ride on one!

These antique relics of the city’s history roll down some of the most steepest streets of San Francisco. Photo by Mauro Lima on Unsplash

There are three lines that are still operational. Between Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, two lines run. California Street is served by the third line. All three provide breathtaking vistas and a thrilling journey around the city.

The Cable Car Museum is also a great activity for families. It’s located in the historic cable car barn and powerhouse. Visitors can learn about the history of cable cars and how they work. There’s also a simulator that lets you control a cable car as it goes up and down one of San Francisco’s hills. The Cable Car Museum is the perfect activity for families who want to learn about the city’s history and have some fun at the same time.

5. Dolores Park 

If your kids like playing on the playground, spend an hour or two in Dolores Park. It is located in the Mission Dolores neighborhood. 

This freshly constructed playground provides a safe environment for your children to run about and play for an hour or two. The playground has a climbing structure, swings, and slides. There is also a basketball court, a tennis court, and a soccer field. If your kids are feeling adventurous, they can explore the park’s many hiking trails. And when they’re done playing, they can cool off in the splash pad.

It’s also a great spot for a picnic with the family. This large park is popular with locals and lies at an angle with views of downtown San Francisco. It’s a fantastic way for families to spend time in San Francisco.

6. Muir Woods

Muir Woods is a must-see for families visiting San Francisco. This national monument is located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from the city. It’s a beautiful forest with towering redwoods, some of which are over 800 years old.

There are several easy trails within Muir woods that are great for kids. Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash

There are several easy hiking trails that wind through the woods. The Main Loop Trail is only 0.75 miles and is great for kids. It’s an easy hike with a few gentle inclines. Along the way, you’ll see some of the tallest trees in the world. If your family enjoys nature, Muir Woods is the perfect place to spend a day. You can picnic among the redwoods or go for a hike.

Children under the age of 15 are admitted free. They also demand bookings for both automobile and shuttle visitors. Before you come,  it’s a good idea to check their website for closures and alerts.

Muir Woods is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, so it can get crowded. To avoid the crowds, come early in the morning or on weekdays.

7. Golden Gate Park 

Another enjoyable activity for families in San Francisco is to visit Golden Gate Park.  This large park is over 1000 acres and is full of things to do. It has a botanical garden, a Japanese tea garden, an art museum, and a science museum.

Picture credit: Conservatory of Flowers Official twitter

The Conservatory of Flowers is one of the most popular attractions in Golden Gate Park. This Victorian-style greenhouse is home to thousands of rare and exotic plants. The  Conservatory is also a great place to learn about the ecology of flowers.

Families can also explore the park’s many hiking trails, go for a bike ride, or have a picnic. There are plenty of things to do in Golden Gate Park, so it’s a great place to spend a day with your family.

8. San Francisco Bay Cruise 

The San Francisco Bay Cruise takes you around the bay in 60 minutes.  It’s a great way to see the city from the water. The cruise goes past Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco’s skyline.

You’ll also get some fantastic views of the San Francisco skyline. Another reason everyone in your family will like this cruise is that it’s very affordable.

The Bay Cruise is a great activity for families because it’s educational, scenic, and fun. It’s also a great way to avoid the crowded streets of San Francisco.

9. Pier 39 

Pier 39 is a must-see for families visiting San Francisco. This popular tourist destination is located on the waterfront in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s home to many shops, restaurants, and attractions.

One of the most popular attractions at Pier 39 is the Aquarium of the Bay. This aquarium has over 20,000 animals and is a great place to learn about the ocean. The Aquarium is also home to a touch pool where kids can pet stingrays and sharks.

Your family will also enjoy the many shops and restaurants at Pier 39. There are plenty of places to eat, so everyone in your family will find something they like. And if you’re looking for souvenirs, there are plenty of shops to find the perfect memento for your trip.

Pier 39 is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in San Francisco, so it can get crowded.

10. Children’s Creativity Museum 

The Children’s Creativity Museum is an interactive experience for children of all ages. Kids aged 5 and up may use their Animation Studio to build their own clay characters and bring them to life on screen. 

The museum also has a hands-on music area where kids can create their own songs and play with musical instruments. And in the Young Artist Studio, kids can explore their creativity through painting, sculpture, and other art forms.

The Imagination Lab is a fun place for kids ages 3 to 6 to imagine, create, and share. The Music Studio will appeal to musically-minded youngsters aged 3 and above.


San Francisco is a  great city for families. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. From visiting the Golden Gate Bridge to watching a sporting event, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And don’t forget about the Disney Museum and the Seward Slides! These are just a few of the many things you can do with your family in San Francisco.

Featured Image: Children Creativity Museum Facebook page