24 Exciting Things To Do In San Francisco With Kids (2022)

If you’re looking for fun things to do in San Francisco with kids, this Bingo Challenge is a super great way to see the city.

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Whether you’re a local parent or you’re planning a trip to SF with kids, the San Francisco Bingo Challenge is a must do! Get out and explore all of the wonderful family friendly things this city has to offer. These are the top activities for kids in San Francisco.

How to Play

To get started, enter your email address to download your free copy of the Bingo card. You’ll need to keep it handy as you complete each task.

Then, get out and start your family fun search! Find and complete as many of these bingo squares as you can! Complete five in a row and yell BINGO!

Helpful Bingo Guide

1. Hug A Redwood Tree

Hug a redwood tree bingo square for things to do in san francsico with kids bingo challenge

The Coastal Redwood Tree is California’s beloved state tree. They are the tallest living things on Earth! Because these trees thrive in specific foggy climates, they only grow along the Pacific Coast of the United States from Big Sur to Oregon.

Excitingly, there are multiple places in San Francisco to give one of these giants a big hug. Here are a few favorite places to find these trees:

Redwood trees san francisco

2. Hear a Sea Lion Grunt

Bingo square that reads "hear a sea lion grunt" from the things to do with kids in san francisco bingo game

California Sea Lions are some of San Francisco’s most famous residents. You can find them lounging, swimming, playing and barking on the docks at Pier 39.

Pier 39 is located at Beach Street and the Embarcadero in San Francisco, CA 94133.

sea lions resting on barges in san francisco pier 39

3. Dip Your Toe in the Pacific Ocean

blue bingo square that reads "Dip your toe in the pacific ocean"

The water is not usually warm enough to swim in (unless you have a wetsuit) but it’s super fun to get your feet wet in the Pacific Ocean! Some of the best beaches to explore are:

4. Slide Down a Cement Slide

Bingo Square that reads "slide down a cement slide"

San Francisco has some of the most amazing playgrounds, many of which were created with built-in cement slides. You can find the slides at these SF playgrounds:

  • Koret Children’s Quarter Playground
  • Mountain Lake Playground
  • Seward Mini Park

Looking for other playgrounds to explore? Find The Best Playgrounds in San Francisco for Every Childhood Stage.

cement slide at mountain lake playground in san francisco
Cement Slide at Mountain Lake Playground

5. Drink Hot Chocolate at a Local Cafe

Bingo square from things to do with kids in san francisco bingo challenge that reads "drink hot chocolate at a local cafe"

San Francisco is home to lots of incredible local coffee shops. Warm up with a delicious hot chocolate at one of these fine establishments:

6. Say Hi to a Seagull

bingo square that reads "say hi to a seagull"

This one should be fairly easy to do! Seagulls are all around San Francisco. If you’re having trouble finding one, head towards the water in either direction. Pull out a sandwich and wave it in the air. The seagulls will find you.

Don’t forget to say HI!

Seagull on the beach

7. Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Bingo square that reads "walk across the golden gate bridge" for the san francisco things to do with kids bingo challenge

Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the best free things to do in SF! The Bridge spans 1.7 miles, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. On a clear day you can see views of the city, the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Don’t forget your jacket — it’s usually windy!

Because parking is extremely limited on both the San Francisco and the Sausalito side of the bridge, it’s recommended that you take a rideshare or public transportation to get to either starting point.

One great way to see the Golden Gate Bridge is to take the Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Tour. The bus will drop you off and pick you up at Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point in Sausalito. You can catch the double-decker sightseeing bus from any of the 15 stops in the city, and ride it all day with your mobile ticket.

Big Bus San Francisco tickets start at $40.50.

8. Visit the Bison in Golden Gate Park

Bingo Square that reads "visit the bison in golden gate park"

Did you know there are majestic American Bison in Golden Gate Park? It’s true, and you can visit them for free!

Head to the Bison Paddock on JFK drive to see the Bison. Whatever you do, don’t call them Buffalo! Buffalo and Bison are distant cousins in the bovine family and are NOT the same animal. Trust me, they HATE being compared to one another.

The Bison Paddock is located at 1237 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94121.

9. Play a Vintage Arcade Game at Musée Mécanique

Bingo Square from things to do in san francisco with kids bingo challenge that reads "play a vintage arcade game at the musee mecanique"

Visit the Musée Mécanique in Fisherman’s Wharf and play one of over 300 antique arcade games. These privately owned and fully operational games are exciting for the entire family.

10. Ride a Cable Car

Bingo Square that reads "Ride a cable car"

As iconic as the Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars are an absolute must do when visiting San Francisco. These moving National Landmarks are the most exciting way to get up a steep hill!

There are three cable car lines to ride:

  • The Powell-Hyde Line
  • The California Line
  • The Powell- Mason Line

For information on where and how to ride, click here.

11. Eat Ghirardelli Chocolate

Ghirardelli Chocolate was born in San Francisco in 1849 by Italian immigrant Domingo Ghirardelli. It’s delicious in every form, but it’s especially great as hot fudge on top of an ice cream sundae!

You can find Ghirardelli Chocolate at the old plant in Ghirardelli Square near Fisherman’s Wharf. You can also get a Ghirardelli ice cream sundae at Oracle Park where the San Francisco Giants Play!

Ghirardelli Square is a official city landmark of San Francisco.

Ghirardelli Square from the water

12. Sip from the Exploratorium’s Toilet Water Fountain

The Exploratorium is an amazing science museum located on Pier 15. Inside the museum is a water fountain that…. is built in a toilet. Only those brave enough to take a sip from the commode will get to complete this square!

General Admission Tickets start at $29.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids.

13. Visit Claude the White Alligator

The California Academy of Sciences is home to some of the most amazing creatures, including a white alligator named Claude! This incredible museum includes a rainforest, an aquarium, a natural history museum and a planetarium. It’s a favorite among locals and one of the best things to do with kids in San Francisco.

General Admission Tickets start at $36.95 for adults and $29.04 for kids.

More of my local Mama tips for visiting the California Academy of Sciences.

14. Walk or Drive down Lombard Street

Known as the “crookedest street in the world,” Lombard Street is a beautiful place to catch views of the San Francisco Bay. Start at the top of Hyde and Lombard Street and travel down eight sharp turns on the crooked block.

15. See a Replica Model of Disneyland

In the picturesque Presidio of San Francisco is the Walt Disney Family Museum. It’s a treasure chest of Disney memorabilia! Disney fans will love learning about Walt’s early live and the beginnings of the Disney company.

Towards the end of the museum is a 14-foot-diameter hand-crafted scale model of Disneyland. It’s called the “Disneyland of Walt’s Imagination” and captures Disneyland as Walt Disney dreamed it would be.

General Admission Tickets start at $25 for adults and $15 for kids.

16. View the City from the Hamon Observation Tower

The Hamon Observation Tower is located in the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. It’s free to ride the elevator to the top of the tower, where guests can view great panoramic views of the city.

While you’re at the de Young, visit the de Youngsters studio, which is art space for kids ages 3-8 years old with interactive exhibits. The sculpture garden on the outer property of the museum is also free and neat to see.

General Admission Tickets start at $15 for adults and free for children under 17.

Boy looking out of glass window at the hamon observation tower in Golden Gate Park San Francisco

17. Ride a Boat or Ferry in the Bay

There are multiple ferries and boats to take in the iconic San Francisco Bay. If you want to go for a cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and by Alcatraz Island, check out the San Francisco Bay Cruise. With an indoor cabin and an outdoor deck, the Bay Cruise is perfect for families who want to take in the salty breeze and see the city skyline from the water.

Tickets start at $34 for adults and $23 for children.

18. Eat Fruit at a Farmers Market

San Francisco locals get their fresh California produce from our amazing Farmers Markets. Find out what’s in season and support Bay Area farms at any of the SF Farmers Markets. Besides fruit and vegetables, farmers markets are the best place to discover delicious treats, flowers, novelty items and often live performances. You can find them in nearly every district of the city, from the Ferry Building to the Mission District.

For a complete list of Farmers Markets in San Francisco, click here.

Kids of all ages love to ride a carousel. There are four historic merry-go-rounds in San Francisco to choose from:

20. Ride the Skystar Ferris Wheel

The Skystar Ferris Wheel is in Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse, along with the de Young and the Academy of Sciences. It was installed to commemorate Golden Gate Park’s 150th birthday in 2020. Ride 150 feet in the air in a private enclosed gondola! It’s a great way for the whole family to see sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Park.

Tickets start at $15.30 for adult San Francisco Residents ($18 for general public) and $10.20 for San Francisco children ($12 for non-resident children.)

21. Feel a Soft Poppy Flower Petal

The Golden Poppy is California’s state flower. Poppies grow wild in San Francisco and can be found in many places around the city. You will recognize them by their bright orange blooms. Without hurting the flower, gently feel how soft the petals are on a poppy plant.

22. Watch a Model Train at the Randall Museum

The model railroad exhibit at the Randall Museum is a great place to visit with young train enthusiasts. Watch model replicas of real Bay Area trains move from a tiny city to the mountains and back again.

The Randall Museum is a free art and science museum located in Corona Heights. Learn more here.

Boy watching model train at the randall museum in san francsico

23. See a Grizzly Bear at the SF Zoo

The Grizzly Bear is California’s state animal! The San Francisco Zoo has two Grizzly Bear sisters who were orphaned as cubs in Montana. Visit them at 10:30 am to see their daily feeding and learn more about Grizzly Bears during the zoo keeper talk.

The San Francisco Zoo is a champion for conservation and animal wellness programs. It’s an excellent place for kids and adults to learn more about the ways we can protect wildlife.

Tickets start at $25 for adults and $18 for children.

24. Slide down the Giant Coke Slide at Oracle Park

The Coca-Cola Bottle Superslide in the Fan Zone at Oracle Park is one of the many cool things young fans can do at a Giants’ Baseball game. To ride the slide you must be 14 or younger and taller than 36” inches.

The Fan Zone play areas at Oracle Park are open on game days to ticket holders and on non-game days to the community, free of charge!

Things to do with Kids in San Francisco

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What are the best things to do in San Francisco with Kids?

Kids love visiting the Exploratorium, the California Academy of Sciences, the San Francisco Zoo, and the Sea Lions at Pier 39. San Francisco is also home to over 170 playgrounds, many of which are newly remodeled.