The Bay Area has fun activities for the whole family. On your next family adventure, explore penny arcades, carnival-themed restaurants, and these other fun things to do in San Francisco with kids.
By Leila N’Amara
San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Every year, millions of visitors come to the Bay Area to partake in the exciting and fun things to do in San Francisco. Tourists from all over the world venture off into the city to take a selfie at the Golden Gate Bridge, explore Chinatown, and wander in the footsteps of the infamous former prisoners that once lived on Alcatraz Island.
What many first time visitors may not know is that San Francisco is an excellent destination for all ages. There are many things to do in San Francisco with kids that can be enjoyed by the whole family. On your next family vacation skip Disneyland and enjoy all of the family fun in San Francisco.
Book a private electric tuk-tuk tour for your family, and let our local guides show you all of the kid-friendly things to do in San Francisco.
Here are some of our favorite fun things to do with kids in San Francisco
Visit Golden Gate Fortune Cookies
One of our top recommendations of anyone looking for fun things to do in San Francisco with kids takes a visit to Chinatown’s Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, and watch the employees make fortune cookies by hand.
The fortune cookie is native to San Francisco and was invented by Makoto Hagiwara, who was the mastermind behind the beautiful The Japanese Tea Garden.
Taking a visit to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is on our list of fun family things to do in San Francisco because it is an excellent place for kids to learn more about the history of San Francisco, see how they make fortune cookies, and enjoy the taste of freshly baked cookies.
It is free to walk into the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and watch the workers, but if you would like to take a photo, it will cost you .25¢ per picture.
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is in Ross Alley in Chinatown. The alleyways of Chinatown can be a bit tight to navigate with most vehicles, but our electric tuk-tuks fit nicely.
San Francisco Bay Aquarium
The Aquarium is home to plants and animals that live in the San Francisco Bay. Guests of all ages can learn more about the species and the ecosystem as they come face-to-fin with the magnificent sea life.
As you walk through the aquarium, you will be mesmerized by floating jellyfish, sharks, and giant Pacific octopus. Kids can enjoy the hands-on lab where they can touch starfish, baby sharks, and stingrays. The Aquarium of Bay is one of countless San Francisco family attractions that will be the highlight of your trip.
Play at Musee Mecanique
Fisherman’s Wharf’s famous Musse Mecanique is one of the largest antique arcade museums and penny arcades in the world. This antique penny arcade is one of many kids museum San Francisco has to offer its visitors. Your family can spend hours playing classic arcade games in one of San Francisco’s most famous neighborhoods.
You might recognize this popular penny arcade from the scene in the 2001 hit movie, “Princess Diaries” when Julie Andrews beats an arm wrestling arcade game.
Musee Mecanique is a great place to end a San Francisco private tour. Our electric tuk-tuks easily maneuver through this busy neighborhood for convenient drop-offs, and your family can complete the day playing an endless amount of arcade games.
If you are looking for a few things to do in San Francisco at night with family, the Musee Mecanique is open late and comes alive in the dark when all the arcade games’ lights are turned on.
Grab your quarters, and see why Musee Mecanique made our list of things for kids to do in San Francisco.
Mission Dolores Park
Another activity that makes our list of top things to do in San Francisco for kids is playing at Mission Dolores Park.
This park is home to a three-story tall super slide! This park also has an ADA-accessible suspension bridge with unbeatable views of the San Francisco skyline, making it one of many perfect things to do in SF with kids.
For anyone who is looking for things to do in the Mission District, the Mission Dolores Park is located right in the heart of the famous neighborhood.
Our guides love stopping at Dolores Park to allow tourists to see breathtaking views of the city. We’d be happy to extend the stop for families with kids, so they can run around the park and take a ride down the super slide.
There is no entry fee to enjoy what many consider to be one of the best parks in the city, which is why it is one of the best things to do with the family in San Francisco
Visit The Pirate Supply Store
Next on our list of fun things to do in San Francisco for kids is to visit the famous Pirate Supply Store. This San Francisco classic shop has supplies all pirates need. From peg legs to eye patches, you will find everything you need to transform your family into a full pirate crew.
There is no charge to explore the shop, but keep in mind that it’s not the cheapest souvenir store. All proceeds go directly to help fund the writing and literacy efforts of the writing center that shares the building with the shop.
The Pirate Supply Store is in the Mission District. Our San Francisco private tours are perfect for exploring this often overlooked neighborhood. Our electric tuk-tuk tours explore the murals of the Mission District and can easily make a stop at the store so your family can stock up on pirate supplies.
California Academy of Sciences
Another one of our fun things to do in San Francisco during the day is to visit the California Academy of Sciences. Located in the Golden Gate Park, this stunning museum has a four-story rain forest where butterflies openly fly, a planetarium, aquarium, and more.
This interactive learning experience has several fun activities for your whole family and is one of many things to do in San Francisco with a teenager.
Enjoy Swensen’s Ice Cream
San Francisco is home to many artisanal ice cream shops. Taking your family to Swensen’s Ice Cream Shop is one of the top kid-friendly things to do in San Francisco. Swensen’s has been a beloved treasure by locals since they first opened.
If you are looking for things to do with kids in San Francisco be sure to stop by Swensen’s in the Russian Hill neighborhood. This ice cream shop is close to one of San Francisco most famous attractions, Lombard Street. We love taking our private electric tuk-tuk tours to Swensen’s before cursing down the crooked street.
Have Dinner At Straw
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If you are visiting San Francisco with your family enjoy dinner at one of the Bay Area’s unique restaurants, Straw. This family-friendly restaurant is a carnival-themed restaurant and serves favorite cotton candy cocktails, funnel cake, and dought burgers. Your family can pill into an old tilt-a-whirl car and dive into Straw’s delicious dishes.
Our electric tuk-tuk private tours can drop you and your family off here at the end of your San Francisco tour.
Explore The Exploratorium
Our favorite San Francisco children’s museum is the Exploratorium. This hands-on, educational museum is great to take your family to on your next trip to the Bay Area. There are hundreds of exhibits that you can explore that will teach your kids about electricity, earthquakes, sound and more.
Your family can have a fun day going through all of the exhibits at the Exploratorium.
Stop At The Yoda Fountain Outside Of Lucas Film
Any fan of Star Wars will enjoy tossing a coin into the Yoda Fountain at the Lucasfilms Headquarters.
Only the lobby of Lucasfilms is open to the public, but there are life-size Storm Troopers, a 6’6 Darth Vader and original movie posters in the lobby. Guarding the building is a life-sized bronze statue of the Jedi warrior, Yoda and a fountain that you can toss coins into.
While there your family can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the 17-acres that surround the center.
Lucasfilms Headquarters is near the Golden Gate Bridge, in the Presidio. Stopping at this location is a stitch to visit during a San Francisco private tour.
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