San Francisco
Family-friendly Activities

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Our most recommended San Francisco Family-friendly Activities

San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

1. San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

Visit the San Francisco Zoo, home to over 2,000 animals and 250 species of plants. Your full-day admission ticket includes access to the Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna. Both zones offer multi-species landscapes with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, storks, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly bear sisters Kachina and Kiona. See how lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Marvel at Penguin Island, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. Admire the Zoo's gorillas in the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Feed and pet the farm animals in the Fisher Family Children's Zoo. Find the historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and 1904 miniature Little Puffer Steam Train. Learn about the fun rides, educational programs, and exciting events for children.

San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

2. San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour non-stop Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. See sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the iconic San Francisco skyline as you go. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you should experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board with food and drink available to purchase.

San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

3. San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

Hop on board a boat and cruise around Alcatraz Island and other sights of San Francisco Bay on this round trip journey. Benefit from a straight-to-the-gate access ticket and informative commentary as you go. Cruise San Francisco Bay and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on a 90-minute narrated tour by boat around Alcatraz Island. Skip the box office line and go straight to the gate with your ticket. See Alcatraz island from the water while listening to accounts of the chilling escape attempts and the notorious criminals that called Alcatraz prison home. Enjoy a cruise with food and drink available to purchase onboard. Cruise full circle around Alcatraz Island, allowing you to view every angle of this mysterious island, which housed famous inmates such as Al Capone, Billy Cook the Killer, and Clyde Johnson, whose escape attempt is legendary. Gain a clear picture of what life in this maximum-security prison was like when it was the most feared institution in the American penal system.

San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

4. San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Hop aboard a sightseeing bus for a tour of the 'City by the Bay' and delve into the fascinating history of San Francisco and its legendary sites, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. The hop-on-hop-off route stops at key points of interest all around San Francisco. Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus. Hop off and back on at your leisure to create your own customized itinerary around the city. Explore 3 routes depending on your ticket purchase. San Francisco City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Explore San Francisco’s famous landmarks on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through the city on an open-top bus and learn about San Francisco's unique history Panoramic Night Tour Board the bus at Pier 41 at the end of Powell St in Fisherman's Wharf to explore the dazzling city of San Francisco at night. Climb up the historic Nob Hill for a stunning close-up view of the magnificent Grace Cathedral. Then, make your way across the grand Bay Bridge for picturesque views of the city skyline from Treasure Island, the site of the 1939’s World Fair. Heading back into the city, continue along the Embarcadero to view the glittering lights on the Port of San Francisco.

San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

5. San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a single boat tour with personal headphone audio included. Explore San Francisco's famous landmarks, history, natural history, architecture, and Native American culture on board this unique bay cruise. During the 90-minute round trip cruise you'll depart from Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's busiest tourist attractions. From there, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate is one of the world's most famous and beautiful bridges, and was at one point the largest suspension bridge in the world. Cruise past Alcatraz Island, once home of one of the world's most infamous prisons, and take the chance to enjoy the stunning San Francisco waterfront. The boat will pass along the harbor before heading under the colossal San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then it's time to head back to the charming city of San Francisco by the sea.

San Francisco: Exploratorium Daytime Admission

6. San Francisco: Exploratorium Daytime Admission

Discover a world of adventure with a full-day ticket to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the only place in the city where you can touch, tinker and play with hundreds of interactive exhibits. The museum is conveniently located at Pier 15 between the historic Ferry Building and Pier 39 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Perhaps the most experimental museum in the world, the Exploratorium explores the world via large-scale art installations, studies of microscopic life, motion, color and light installations, and much more. Spread across six expansive galleries, you can embrace the wild wonders of the world and beyond with exhibits that you can feel, play with, and manipulate. A learning lab for all ages, it’s the best place to immerse yourself in San Francisco’s innovative culture.

From San Francisco: Muir Woods National Monument Guided Tour

7. From San Francisco: Muir Woods National Monument Guided Tour

Discover the coastal redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument on a guided tour from San Francisco, with entry tickets included. Cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge, marvel at California’s wildlife, and enjoy a sightseeing bus tour of Sausalito. Meet your guide in San Francisco to start your experience. Board the bus and drive towards Muir Woods National Monument, where you’ll enjoy 1.5 hours inside the forest. Admire the towering sequoia trees as you wander along hiking trails through the forest. Learn about the region from your guide as you appreciate the surrounding nature. Continue to Sausalito, a coastal city with sweeping views over the bay. Pass the main sights as you drive through the town on your return to San Francisco. If you want to explore Sausalito on foot, you can choose to get off the bus and see the city at your own pace. Afterwards, you'll make your own way back to San Francisco by ferry (tickets not included).

San Francisco: 3-Hour Early Bird GoCar Tour

8. San Francisco: 3-Hour Early Bird GoCar Tour

If you want to experience the sites most visitors never see then fold up your map, put away the guidebook and jump into a GoCar. Zip all over town in one of San Francisco's iconic yellow cars with the help of GPS-guided tour technology. Your clever talking car navigates and shows you the way – but that’s not all. As you enjoy the drive, it takes you to all the best sites, recommends restaurants, cracks jokes and tells the stories that bring a destination to life. The early bird special is a unique offer for those willing to wake up before the crowds begin to congregate. Start your tour at Fisherman's Wharf. Your GoCar allows you the freedom to choose your own route - simply follow one of the provided maps or make your own itinerary as the patented GPS-driven tour guide follows along with your route and keeps pace along the way.  Wind down the world-renown Lombard Street, the most crooked street on the west coast. Explore the city's most famous parks like the Presidio, Crissy Field, and Golden Gate Park, the site of the famous Summer of Love. Snap incredible photos of the Pacific Ocean along Highway 1 and Ocean Beach. Park underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and cross on foot and navigate away from the crowded tour buses beneath the China Town Gate. See the sites, enjoy the Californian sun and choose your own adventure as you explore the city on your own terms.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Catamaran Cruise

9. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Catamaran Cruise

Experience the beauty of San Francisco Bay on a round-trip catamaran cruise. Take in San Francisco's breathtaking skyline as you sail by Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Feel the breeze and keep a look out for sea lions. Admire your surroundings from a protected viewing area, or live on the edge and stand on the canvas trampoline nets with the waves beneath your feet. Pick up a helpful navigation guide providing information about San Francisco's landmarks as you sail past many of them. Make this experience complete by taking the helm from the captain and steering the catamaran yourself. This sail is the perfect activity for kids as well as kids at heart. The captain and crew are always there, happy to snap a photo or answer your questions about the sights of San Francisco. If all this excitement makes you hungry or thirsty, you’ll find snacks, soda, beer, and wine available at the cabin's snack bar.

San Francisco Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

10. San Francisco Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

Explore the largest Chinatown outside Asia on a 3-hour food tour of San Francisco's Chinatown, and discover a maze of alleys off Grant Avenue and Stockton Street, where traditional techniques that date back centuries are still practiced. See food markets and local restaurants, with a surprise around every corner. Watch artisans making Fortune Cookies by hand, and enliven your senses with new flavors, smells, and aromas. Your guide will help you search out authentic crafts and pottery, explore exotic produce, and learn about herbs and teas from the very people who know them best. Uncover the hidden secrets that only intrepid locals know about. As you taste and see everything from Dim Sum to fortune cookies, teas, incredible antiquities, rare and unique musical instruments, and authentic cookware, you'll know you've really experienced Chinatown. Marvel at statuettes and ritual objects that are literally thousands of years old. Visit a music center where you'll see musical instruments you've never seen before. Try different types of Dim Sum from the oldest Chinese bakery in San Francisco. Go to one of the city's oldest cathedrals, and look inside a Buddhist temple.

Frequently asked questions about San Francisco Family-friendly Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

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What people are saying about San Francisco

We lived in the San Francisco area for most of our lives, but moved to be close to our kids and grandchildren ten years ago. We wanted to our city again but with the hassle. This tour was great. Just seeing all the old neighborhoods again brought back so many memories. A memorable day.

I took my 22 year old son and my Mother with me to the San Francisco Zoo! It was was wonderful. A very good walk with a lot of cute animals to see. There were a few animals missing but for the most part we were pleased to be able to have the experience!

I waited far to long to go exploring! I wish we would of gotten there sooner. We got there at 2:00 and it closes at 5:00. I would get there when they open at noon, so you have plenty of time to play,imagine,tinker,explore,and, much more

It was the most enjoyable part of our trip to San Francisco. The views were incredible and we were given lots of time to take epic pictures that will last a lifetime, from angles not available on land.

Great 1hr cruise! takes you from pier 39 to the outskirts of the bay underneath the golden gate bridge. Then it circles back around alcatraz island before porting back in. Best bang for your buck.