*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pier 39, Alcatraz Cruises, The Exploratorium, and The California Academy of Sciences but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. I’m proud to be working with them to help spread the word about 7 Fun Family Activities in San Francisco. I have been compensated with complimentary admission for my time and to supply an honest review.*
When you think of San Francisco, “family-friendly” is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Well, we found out on a recent family vacation that is definitely not true. San Francisco is a treasure-trove of family activities. Check out these 7 Fun Family Activities in San Francisco!
1. Pier 39
From Sea lions to carousel rides to delicious restaurants, Pier 39 is a destination within itself in San Francisco! Head over to the pier, grab some lunch or dinner and shop until your heart’s content.
Or hop a ride on the famous Pier 39 Carousel.
If that is not enough fun for you, there is even an aquarium and a 7-D experience at Pier 39. There is definitely enough to do for an entire afternoon of family fun. Get some great savings with the Pier 39 Passport to Savings – HERE.
Do not, I repeat do not, forget to catch a glimpse of the sea lions that have taken residence at Pier 39. They have been living there since 1990! Crazy loud and boisterous and the kids will love them.
I totally underestimated how much our family would love Alcatraz. It is definitely one of our favorite activities in San Francisco. I always like to plan something educational when we travel if possible and I felt like my kids were at the perfect age to understand and experience Alcatraz.
We booked our tickets well in advance through Alcatraz Cruises. I highly recommend doing this. When we arrived at 9 am to check in for our tour they were already sold out for the entire day!
The tour is self-guided with headphones, so you can do it at your own pace and pause the tour when and if you need to. We were all so interested and loved every minute of our tour of Alcatraz.
Located at Pier 15 in San Francisco, The Exploratorium is a fun place for families to explore science, art, and experiments.
With lots of exhibits to engage kids of all ages. Let the kids wander about and “explore” at The Exploratorium.
4. Cable Cars
Catch a ride on San Francisco’s Historic Cable Cars. I promise there is no experience more thrilling than hanging from the side of a cable car as it speeds through the streets of San Francisco.
Without a doubt, we definitely underestimated how much there is to do at the California Academy of Sciences. We visited for only a few hours in the afternoon but could have easily spent the entire day.
The California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum all wrapped into one. Do not miss exhibits include the rainforest and the African Penguins. Totally our favorites.
If you love ice cream then this is the place for you. With experiences like a cookie carousel and a swimming pool full of sprinkles, there is sure some fun to be had at the Museum of Ice Cream complete with ice cream treats along the way.
The Museum of Ice Cream is a bit pricey so if you are on a budget then you might want to skip this one.
And if you haven’t had enough ice cream yet, Ghirardelli’s is literally a chocolate lovers dream come true. There are multiple locations across the country. We visited the location in historic Ghirardelli Square.
Ghirardelli’s has a large menu of a variety of chocolate concoctions, so there are plenty of options to choose from. You can even catch a glimpse of how this yummy chocolate is made.
Because the kids will now have a sugar rush, be sure to check out the nice little courtyard with some games outside for the kids to let off some steam.
If you are vacationing in San Francisco, here are some other helpful posts.