A kid’s heaven, good for all ages. Bébé will love the gigantic aquariums with tens of colorful fishes, an open pool with manta rays and sharks swimming by, the tropical forest with its butterflies flying around you and its parrots. And in case you need further convincing, the place has a fantastic indoor playground with a miniature forest and ship. Also a great refuge if its cold or rainy out. Location: 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, (415) 379-8000.
Hope astride any of the shiny, colorful animals perched atop this one hundred year old wooden carousel and watch as you and Bébé are transported into fairyland. For even more fun ways for Bébé to work out that afternoon energy, spend some time at the playground alongside the carousel. You will find there playing structures, slides, swings and a gigantic rope spider net for climbing. Location: Martin Luther King, Jr and Bowling Green Dr, San Francisco, (415) 861-0778.
Peekaboo Factory is home to an enormous indoor play structure complete with tunnels, bridges and slides. There are two play areas, one for infants and toddlers, and one for juniors. As with all indoor playplaces in the city, expect crowds in inclement weather and over the summer months! Also check out their “date night” offer, which will allow You to have fun for once. Location: 2 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, (415) 702-6638.
A hands-on multimedia museum with unique activities, including an imagination playground where kids are free to organize their own play area; imaginative play encouraged here! Broken up into four “labs” (imagination, tech, innovation, and community) as well as an Animation and Music Studio, Bébé will learn to manipulate digital images, create an album cover for a music video and perform in their own! Parents with kids under 5 can take advantage of “early bird” drop-in activities, including music and story time. Location: 221 4th St, San Francisco, (415) 820-3320.
Kids of all ages will find an activity perfect for them at the zoo. The little ones will love being outdoors, with an endless amount of visual stimulation from the moment they enter the gates. Watching the older kids hopping on the steam train, seeing the animals, and spending time in the petting zoo. And of course the older kids will love the hands-on visits with the goats and sheep in the petting zoo. And the whole family will enjoy the animals, including the giraffes, ostriches, lions, penguins, bears, hippopotamus, and kangaroos. Location: Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway, San Francisco, (415) 753-7080.
Take a ride on these historical old-fashioned street cars, traveling up and down the steep streets of San Francisco. A great activity for kids around age 10 and up, it feels like being on a ride in an amusement park, and is a great way to see the city.
An ocean of green smack dab in the middle of the city, Golden Gate Park offers plenty of family friendly activities, such as paddle boating on Stow Lake, or following the family adventure map in the Botanical Garden. Don’t forget to check out the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, and the Bison Paddock, not to mention the dozens of playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, and trails. The park is a fabulous oasis for a full day of activities with the whole family!
Mommy & Daddy Fun
Every so often, you may leave bébé to, shall we say, enjoy the company of his in-laws, (or a babysitter) while you take advantage of some much needed bonding time with your other half. Parenting is arguably the hardest job in the world, so don’t miss the opportunity to have a little fun, or some (however fleeting) R&R. Post up at a spa, followed by a little treat from one of the best watering holes around.
The city’s most heavenly bath featuring: three different saunas, one steam room, a jacuzzi, a hot bath and a cold plunge. For the ultimate in relaxation, get a massage, facial, wrap or scrub, lounge in one of the tv rooms and/or sunbathe on the rooftop with stunning views of the San Francisco skyline. Because an afternoon spent sweating and bathing can be hard work, the on-site bar will provide craft beers and Scandinavian inspired healthy snacks. Location: 748 Innes Ave, San Francisco, (415) 206-9000.
Go get your “out of the ordinary” fix in this revived Speakeasy, a place where locals used to come get drinks during the prohibition era. The bar is playing around the “speakeasy” theme, keeping light very dim, prohibiting the use of phone and promoting a low tone conversation. The place is organized in different areas. Go to the “Wilson and Wilson” room for innovative craft cocktails. Try one of the “Cocktail menu,” an interesting meal of cocktails. Make sure you have eaten before. Location: 501 Jones St, San Francisco, (415) 346-1735.
City view (Chinese)
Bébé will love the choreography of food carts in constant motion around the restaurant, not to mention the dumplings atop those carts, made with the freshest ingredients! Try the Shanghai, any of the shau mai, and the pork bun for the biggest bang for your buck. The prices are low, the atmosphere lively (important when you’ve got a vocal, wiggly little one) and the food is, in a word, delicious. Follow it up with a trip to the Willie Woo Woo playground (Sacramento St and Hang Ah st) just a few blocks away so bébé can get that post-lunch energy out. Location: 662 Commercial St, San Francisco, (415) 398-2838
Yummy Yummy (Vietnamese)
Cheap, fast, fresh and DELICIOUS. Bébé will love tasting your soup’s rice noodles and the friendly, engaging staff. You will love basically every item on the menu (in particular, numbers 8 and 126 with peanut broth are my husband’s favorites). Location: 1015 Irving St, San Francisco, (415) 566-4722.
The perfect location for bébé to discover Mexican food. The restaurant designed a menu special for him: quesadilla, rice, beans, ague fresco and ice cream. Bébé will love playing with the menu that doubles as a canvas and the crayons given upon arriva.l. You will love being in an ethnic restaurant with your little one, and maybe even taking the time to savor a margarita-Why not? Location: 2031 Chestnut St, San Francisco, 415-346-1966.
Rigolo Café ( French and American)
A great place for breakfast and lunch. Bébé will love the coloring books, the erasable boards, the kids’ books and the malleable wax sticks given upon arrival. You will love the convenience of a kid’s menu, and the opportunity to sample delicious French food such as cocottes, mussels or the charcuterie board. Location: 3465 California St, San Francisco, (415) 876-7777.
Sunset Reservoir (Brewery/Restaurant)
A mom-owned gem in the Outer Sunset, this super kid friendly brewery and restaurant is every parents’ dream: the ability to relax in a bar while your kids run around. Bébé will love the menu just for him and You will love the local craft beers and amazing dessert menu. Location: 1735 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, (415) 571-8452.
Park Chalet (Brewery/Restaurant)
Bébé will love crawling or running around the backyard and you will love the very large sample of craft beers. All the family will enjoy the very convenient location in front of Ocean Beach, at the West end of the Golden Gate Park. A perfect place to relax after a day spent San Francisco’s great outdoors. Location: 1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, (415) 386-8439.
A life saver to give bébé some fresh food during your trip. It can be so hard, specially with littler kids to find some fresh food when you travel around. Fresh Baby Bites is not a brick and mortar restaurant, but a fresh baby food maker that will deliver wherever you want in the city. They have different kinds of %100 organic gourmet puree such as celery root, squash with lemon basil or carrot squash and bone broth. They offer fruit, veggie, protein mix as well as snacks like empanadas, cheese and brownies. Check their website for a full menu and delivery options.
Air bnb $
Bébé will love having more room to play than in a hotel room, (which can often be pretty tight for a family of four). You will love the price/space ratio and the fact that bedtime doesn’t mean you and your partner have to sit in the dark while bebe sleeps. There are countless Air bnb rentals available in every neighborhood in the city, in varied price ranges and sizes; from sleek modern spaces to classic San Francisco Victorians for that extra special San Francisco experience.
If you have more than two kids, or if, like me, it is hard for you to get some sleep with your little one in the same room Air bnb is the perfect solution for you. Remember to plan ahead if bebe is still sleeping in a crib, as unlike hotels, Air bnb spaces are unlikely to provide a travel crib so don’t forget your pack n play.
Bébé will Iove the heated pool, and the milk and biscuit afternoon snack, you will love the convenience of the daily breakfast, being in a quiet part of town, yet very close to all the main attractions of the city. Location: 3100 Webster St, San Francisco, (415) 921-5520.
Bébé will love the pool, the kid-friendly location, and you will love the baby sitting service, the friendly staff, and being within walking distance to lots of attractions. Location: 555 North Point St, San Francisco, (415) 563-1234.
A charming elegant toy store. Most of the items here come from France, and are adorably European. Take a trip to this store and challenge yourself not to buy everything Location: 858 Cole St, San Francisco, (415) 504-6980.
Toys of all kinds can be found here, from the family puzzle to the pre-school games, great for gifts or to amuse bébé on your trip.
A stylish clothing brand manufactured in San Francisco. Created by a group of three French moms, Les Petits Carreaux offers elegant and simple clothes for kids ages 4 to 12.