Kristin Farmer gives you some fun suggestions of where to take your kids in San Francisco for a fun, cultural adventure.
San Francisco’s Exploratorium is a smorgasbord of creative experimentation for kids. Part of the Palace of Fine Arts, this large, two-story warehouse provides a variety of educational inventions, ranging from floating beach balls to a sand conveyor belt to a huge tactile dome. Kids are able to explore science concepts such as electricity, energy, light, sound, and motion.
The San Francisco Zoo is a spectacular place to take kids, and it has recently completed renovation to make it one of the best children’s zoos in the country. New additions include a meerkat and prairie dog exhibit and a petting zoo so kids can interact directly with animals.
The Walt Disney Family Museum. The museum details the life and works of the famed animator with both permanent and rotating exhibits. Features include early drawings and movies, music listening stations, and a 13-foot model of Disneyland.
The Randall Museum of San Francisco is located in the center of the city. This favorite gives kids a large variety of activities including a scale model of a caboose to climb on. The urban rail exhibit lets kids guide their train through models of San Francisco landmarks.
San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay may be smaller than San Francisco’s notable California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but that makes it ideal for younger kids who don’t want to walk as far. It also has a series of undersea tunnels that can be explored by foot or on moving sidewalks. The petting pools let little ones touch anemones, starfish, rays, and small sharks. For an additional $10, you can explore the catwalks above the tanks. Call in advance to book spots and for additional information.
Just across the Bay Bridge, you’ll find the Oakland Museum of California. This is a great place to make learning history fun for kids. The large chalkboard entrance encourages visitors to write their answers to a topical question, draw a picture, or just scribble their name. Rotating art exhibits bring the courtyard to life. Inside the museum are galleries for Art, History, and Natural Sciences. On Family Sundays, they offer events such as storytelling and arts and crafts.
Alcatraz: While you may wonder whether taking children to a former prison is a good idea, there is plenty to offer for children. Just keep in mind that they may be interested in different aspects, such as the ferry ride, the views of surrounding towns, the abundance of birds and flowers, and the island’s steep hill.
The Asian Art Museum is the largest museum in the Western World dedicated exclusively to Asian art and culture. The permanent collections span 6,000 years and more than 40 Asian countries.
About the author: Aces Kristin Farmer has many roles in her life: family member (mother, daughter, sister), friend, business executive, and role model for women. Aces Kristin Farmer is also a fearless advocate for individuals with autism. Her dedication and commitment to service make her an inspiration for many.