can experience one of the finest, uniquely San Francisco interactive
days at this superb science museum. They’ll learn all about their senses
and how they work, as well as delve into all the laws of physics
through first-hand experiments. The top draw, however, is the Tactile
Dome, a totally dark sphere in which you feel your way along, touching a
range of sensorially stimulating objects and textures .
San Francisco Zoo
encounters with farm animals at Family Farm, and visits with zoo
babies, which may include gorillas, snow leopards, rhinos, or alpacas,
make this a must-do for the youngsters. Although perhaps not the biggest
or best zoo in the world, its attention to top-quality children’s
programs, such as the many feeding times and the creepy-crawly insect
denizens, make it one of the tops for budding zoologists. The whole
landscaping of the place, from quirky castles to natural habitats, is
also designed for maximum fun .
Crazy Castle, San Francisco Zoo
Part of Golden Gate Park’s California Academy of Sciences,
the Steinhart Aquarium is a big hit with kids. The darkened corridors
are filled with softly glowing tanks in which some of the weirdest
creatures on the planet disport themselves. Then there’s the Touching
Tidal Pool if kids want to get up close and personal with their finny
friends. At Fisherman’s Wharf, UnderWater World gives an even greater
undersea experience, with walk-through transparent tunnels surrounded by
elaborate complex, aimed both at entertaining kids and spurring their
creativity to the max, is part of the greater Yerba Buena Center.
There’s a wonderful old-fashioned carousel, a labyrinth, a studio where
they can script, produce, and star in their own videos, art studios and
galleries, plus lots more to keep them busy and productive all day long.
Ages 5 to 18.
above the city, in Corona Heights Park, this small, welcoming complex
is primarily a petting zoo, with farm animals, raccoons, reptiles, and
birds. But it also offers hands-on experience with woodworking, pottery,
painting, theater, photography, model railroads, storytelling,
gardening, and more. The aim is to teach children respect for nature and
Rock” is always a hit with older children, particularly boys, who
relate to the grim, quasi-military aspects of the place. The wildness of
the island’s natural beauty, as well as the ferry ride out and back,
will also delight. Smaller kids might find it a bit frightening .
Bay Area Discovery Museum
hands-on museum is aimed directly at children. Kids will be able to
enjoy an under water sea tunnel, an art studio, a science lab, an
engineering lab, the “Maze of Illusions,” and a media center.
557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito
415 339 3900
Open 9am–4pm Tue–Fri, 10am–5pm Sat–Sun; closed public hols & last two weeks in Sep
Golden Gate Park Playground
the southeastern corner of the park, kids will love the old carousel, a
treehouse, and some great swings, slides, and other kid-driven rides.
In the summer, there are often Punch and Judy shows to tickle and
delight children of all ages .
Golden Gate Park playground
Angel Island State Park
ideal place for a full-day family outing. You can picnic, swim, hike,
kayak, camp, or take the tram tour that goes all around the island, with
a guide who points out sites of historic interest – dating from the
days when the place was a rather forbidding immigrant clearing station .
Angel Island State Park
as a lively, high-tech, multilevel amusement arcade for adolescents, so
far the only thing that seems to have clicked is the superb cinema
complex. Here you can see the latest Hollywood blockbusters with full
digital sound effects amped up to the highest possible level. Otherwise,
darkened rooms, designed for checking out the latest video games, are
largely abandoned by the teens who were supposed to be flocking.