By Lillian Berman ~ Kid Friendly SF, www.kidfriendlysf.com,
Jessica Hahn-Taylor ~ Hill Babies SF, www.hillbabiessf.blogspot.com
& Rachel Teichman ~ Tots and Plans & OOGIAH, www.totsandplans.com & www.oogiah.com
Originally prepared for a presentation at Farella, Braun & Martell, LLP, San Francisco, Ca.
Aquarium of the Bay: Kids can see underwater & visit the new otter exhibit.
Conservatory of Flowers, GGP: Wonderful permanent & temporary themed flower displays.
Contemporary Jewish Museum: Children’s author exhibits and crafts projects some days.
The Creativity Museum: Technical arts experiences from music to animation. Carousel too.
Exploratorium: A hands-on way to learn about all things science in a great new location.
House of Air: Kids can jump and bounce indoors!
The Randall Museum: Animals to see and a little treehouse structure to climb. Classes too.
Recess Urban Recreation: Lots of space for free play, & classes including art & languages.
Japan Center: It’s great to visit Japantown in any weather, but on foggy and rainy days, a visit to Japan Center is a splendid cultural experience!
Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, GGP. Discover your & your child’s inner botanist.
Crissy Field: Converted from military use to a waterfront park with a marsh, meadow & promenade. Kids can run & fly kites on the beach. Crissy Field Center has programs for kids.
Japanese Tea Garden, GGP: Authentic Japanese garden with bridges to climb and tea to try.
Park Chalet, GGP: This eatery & brewery has an outdoor space for their food and/or your own. Outdoor music & events. Make sure to visit the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden too.
China Beach: This private feeling beach, tucked away in the Sea Cliff neighborhood is perfect for kids. Pack lightly though, you’ll need to walk down a long staircase.
South Beach Harbor: Nice toddler playground along the Embarcadero, grassy area great for dogs, marina view, new building open to public for party rentals and Java House Restaurant.
Bayview Hill: 360-degree views; rare native plants; historic WPA staircases; stroller friendly
Fort Funston: Sunset Trail (0.75 mile; stroller friendly) & Low Tide Loop Trail ( 2+ mile, beach access). A favorite of dog owners. 200 foot high sandy bluffs, view hang-gliders.
Lands End: Impressive views of the Bay and shipwrecks, cypress trees & wildflowers.
McLaren Park: 2nd largest park in SF; dog friendly; 2.7 mile Philosopher’s Way; Louis Sutter Playground and duck pond; stone spiral at the summit of a hill; rope swing
Mt. Davidson: A short hike to the top of this mountain will give you an impressive view of the whole city. Highest point in SF.
Corona Heights: Hike up this mini mountain near Randall Museum & see a panoramic view of the city.
THE EAST BAY
Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Fairyland and Freight & Salvage, Berkeley: Children’s theatre based on favorite books. The Cat in the Hat will be playing live at Fairyland this summer.
The Bladium, Alameda: Soccer, baseball and basketball classes, camps & nights out.
Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland: Real rockets ships and educational playroom, along with a planetarium/movie theatre.
Habitot, Berkeley: Kids can take part in all kinds of make believe, educational play and art.
Junior Center of Art & Science, Oakland: Exhibits and events teach about science, art & history.
Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek: Kids can see animals & learn about rehabilitation.
MoCHA, Oakland: Themed art projects for kids to try out and get creative and messy.
Oakland Libraries: Summer evening events with performances & projects.
OMCA, Oakland: Exhibits, family Friday nights out & Gallery of California Natural Sciences.
Play Cafe, Oakland: Ball pit, dress-up, kitchen & baby play areas. Lots of food & seating. Sticky Art Lab, Berkeley: Wall full of discarded household items waiting to be transformed.
Studio Grow, Berkeley & Danville: Crafting, playing, climbing, story, song & parachute time.
Adventure Playground, Berkeley: Kids can explore and build with discarded building supplies.
Alameda Beaches: Alameda feels like a vacation spot with its beaches & shops.
Children’s Fairyland, Oakland: Charming pre-Disneyland theme park with rides, holiday events, the longest running puppet show in the U.S. & summer overnights.
Cull Canyon, Castro Valley: Clean man-made swimming hole with lifeguards & picnic area.
The Oakland Zoo: Perfect zoo for young kids. A variety of animal exhibits and carnival rides.
Pixieland Amusement Park, Concord: Vintage style amusement park with lots of rides.
Roberts Regional Recreation Area, Oakland: Redwoods, all-access play area, grass & pool.
Berkeley Marina: Paved path for biking, running and walking.
Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland: Lots of trails, along with a playground and amphitheatre.
Lafayette Reservoir: Fishing, boating, biking, skating and walking. Check daily schedule.
Lake Merritt, Oakland: Great paved path for biking, running and walking. Waterbirds.
Lake Temescal Recreation Area, Oakland: Lake, picnic areas & playgrounds.
Tilden Park, Berkeley: 2,079 acre park, 39 miles of trails, merry-go-round, Lake Anza, train ride & feeding farm animals.
THE NORTH BAY
Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito: Hands-on art, science & environmental education museum. Classes, events, outdoor play spaces & performances.
The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito: Visit the center that rescues and humanely treats ill, injured, or orphaned marine mammals, and returns healthy ones to the wild. Free admission.
Playland Sausalito: Jumpy houses, indoor play area for ages 6 & under.
Play-Well Marin Activity Center, San Anselmo: Engineering & physics education through building with LEGO blocks.
Blackie’s Pasture, Tiburon: Sports fields, walking & biking path. Picnic areas & playground.
Brentwood Fruit Picking: A variety of farms to pick and buy fruit from seasonally.
McNears Beach, San Rafael: Fishing, swimming pool, picnic area & snack bar.
Old Downtown Windsor: Kid friendly, charming old-style downtown in the wine country.
Terra Linda Pool, San Rafael: Pool day getaway. Playground & shallow kiddie pool.
Train Town, Sonoma: Quarter scale railroad on four mile track, miniature town & petting zoo.
Safari West, Santa Rosa: Take a ride through animals living in the wild, and even camp out too. Book reservations online for visits or lodging.
Schoolhouse Canyon Park-Camping at Russian River, Guerneville: Perfect car camping under redwoods, across the street from the Russian River.
Angel Island: Island mountain in the bay, historic Immigration Station and Nike missile site; 5 mile perimeter trail; switchback trail to top of Mount Livermore
Bolinas Beach Loop: 1-mile loop through quaint downtown to beach and back; accessible during low tide
Muir Woods: Redwood forest (some trees over 600 years old); Redwood Creek watershed; 6 miles of trails, some stroller friendly
Mt. Tamalpais: 2,571’ peak, great views, 50 miles of trails, Bootjack Picnic Area, East Peak Visitor Center, Mountain Theater
THE SOUTH BAY
C is for Craft, Palo Alto: Drop-in time and classes for old fashioned crafting & LEGO playing.
CuriOdyssey Museum, San Mateo: Experimental wildlife center for children & families at Coyote Point.
Didalidoo, San Bruno: Indoor playspace for ages 0-4. Lots of space to climb, roll & slide.
Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo: Hands-on science exhibits & outdoor zoo with tortoises, raccoons & bobcats. A climbing area too.
San Jose Discovery Museum: Kids will learn about jobs, cultures and books while pretending.
U-Me: Open play areas for climbing, and classes all day including story time, dance and art.
Coyote Point Park, San Mateo: Picnics, playgrounds, bay swimming, CuriOdyssey Museum, windsurfing and boating.
Burgess Pool, Menlo Park: Sunny swimming, playground, grassy areas.
Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto: Community horticulture foundation. Free entry to gardens.
Parkside Aquatic Park, San Mateo: Bay beach, boating, playground, picnic tables.
Town of Pacifica: Beaches, parks, farmer’s market, playgrounds & horseback riding.
Costanoa, Pescadero: Picnicking, spa, lodge, camping, cabins & restaurant.
Gilroy Gardens: Horticulturally based, beautiful family theme park, great for young children.
Crystal Springs Regional Trail, San Mateo: 15 miles of trails, Sawyer Trail is flat and paved, reservoir views, sunny, 600 yr. old Jepson Laurel tree, Pulgas Water Temple
Mori Point, Pacifica: 32-acre wetland and coastal scrub, ocean views, beach, marsh with red-legged frogs
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, off Hwy 35: 3,000+ acres, 10.4 miles trails, excellent wildflowers, ridge location, oak trees, rolling hills, long views, headwaters for two creeks
San Bruno Mountain, Daly City: 2,378 acre park, 360-degree views, bogs, ravines, long views, unique fauna