View Full Version : SF-what to do with kids
08-01-2009, 12:14 AM
We have a stopover in SF and will be staying at an airport hotel. The hotel is on the public access so we can go play outside some. We have stayed there before and it worked out fine
I've got 3 kids. Eldest is 9 and pretty self sufficient. Oldest twin is 4.5 years old. Shes active. Youngest twin has some special needs, can be extremely mobile without any concept of safety and is not very verbal. Longer distances require a stroller. May also have my 80 year old mother visiting with her husband. China Wife may get the day off for some therapeutic diamond shopping. We will have an SUV to get around in.
Given all the above, any suggestions on things we could do? outdoor with good weather and indoor for bad. Looking for something easy and convenient.
I would love to do Muir Woods but that might be too much for a monday.
Outdoor - Children's playground at Golden Gate Park. Oooh yes. I loved that place when I was a kid.
Indoor - Exploratorium!!!
08-01-2009, 12:44 PM
Indoor Exploratorium all the way. Unless youngest twin is gets overstimulated by crowds, etc. However everything in there is meant to be grabbed, banged, jumped on, etc, by children.
Quieter but still fun, is the Aquarium of the Bay (http://www.aquariumofthebay.org/) at Pier 39 -- it has a shark tunnel where you are in a clear tube and they swim over your head, and touch tanks. There's parking nearby.
Nearby is the Jeremiah O'Brian, a WWII Liberty ship. Its not the greatest for strollers though and there are some steep stairs. Still, you can sit in the gun chair on the deck and aim the big gun at Oakland. :D
08-01-2009, 08:23 PM
Is the exploratorium ok for 4.5 year olds? Not sure if I can handle 3 kids there if my wife doesn't join.
Anyone have a suggestion for something that's closer to SFO? We certainly don't have to go to SF itself or even the 'best' most famous places.
I think the Exploratorium would be fine for 4.5 year olds. I know my parents used to take me there when I was that age. I agree that managing three kids there would be pretty tough, though. When is this? It almost never rains in California in the summer (winter is a different story), so if this is anytime in the next few months, I wouldn't worry too much about a need for an indoor plan.
I can't think of anything interesting for anyone of any age near SFO. Anything thrilling in San Bruno that I've totally forgotten?
08-02-2009, 01:27 PM
I'm not sure what you want either. Are you NOT interested in the typical tourist stuff but only want to entertain your kids? On the premise that you want to stay out of the city, may I offer Coyote Point Park (http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov/vtour/map2/access/CoyotePt/CoyotePt.htm) in San Bruno, on the bay (10 minutes away), or Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (http://www.fitzgeraldreserve.org/) in Moss Beach, on the ocean (30 minutes)? It has been years since I've been to either place but I've heard good things about them.
The paper had a list of 103 things for a kid (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/category?blogid=46&cat=1656&o=10) to do in SF before growing up (scroll down). It is oriented for locals but has some good suggestions. The Mommy Files (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/index?) in the Chronicle/SFGate has other suggestions.
You'll be staying in San Mateo County, so you can research/Google/map any suggestions. Muir Woods is in Marin County, about an hour away with traffic, although much closer in mileage. You would have to pass through the city to reach it, so I'm unsure if your objection to the Children's Playground in GGPark and the Exploratorium is based on mileage or driving through the city. Both are excellent suggestions- you can easily spend the day at Golden Gate Park and not spend a dime. Dress in layers! The weather can change from cold and foggy to warm and sunny in a block.
What are the kids' interests? That will make it easier to make suggestions.
08-02-2009, 02:20 PM
Dress in layers! The weather can change from cold and foggy to warm and sunny in a block.
China Guy is an old Bay Area native who went expat to Asia, so he knows the area. I just don't think he usually had a horde of bambinos trailing after him when he was prowling the Mabuhay Gardens back in the day ;).
CG - the Academy of Sciences has been extensively remodeled since the last time you were around ( I'm guessing, unless you were around very recently ). Crowded as hell generally, absurdly pricey and fewer old timey museum displays. But the remodeled aquarium is worth a look and the enclosed multi-story rainforest exhibit with its butterflies and brightly colored birds flitting about is fairly cool. Also abundant parking now beneath the old concourse.
A remodeled Asian Art Museum is also across the way, but I can imagine that being a bit much for the twins.
08-02-2009, 05:13 PM
Gotcha Tamerlane - think more of things for locals than tourists.
The zoo, Ocean Beach, and GGPark in SF. Hmm, I don't know about SM County, don't have kids of my own. Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/list/the-kid-zone-oakland) has lists of things to do with kids.
I love the Academy, been there several times since it opened; used to volunteer at the old Academy years ago. I really miss the fish round-about and old tidepool.
08-02-2009, 11:05 PM
Thanks Tammerlane. Yep, tryng to figure out different scenarios. Definately not looking for tourist spots for the sake of being a tourist. Be there in 2 weeks for just 2 nights.
It's more like if I have a 2 hour window and herding the bambina's on my own. Coyote Point might be pretty good for that actually.
If we've got more time and my wife is also joining us, then we can do more. Fitzgerald Marine reserve would appeal to my eldest (and the twins would enjoy it too). Eldest also wants to see some big trees, hence Muir Woods although that's further away. Muir Woods is flat and an easy walk as I recall. Just about perfect to tucker out everyone so they sleep for the 15 hours home the next day. :)
08-19-2009, 07:40 AM
Just a quick thank you for the suggestions. The Coyote State Park was a winner. Had a great 2-5 year old play area and 5-12 year old playground, including a big ol' honking slide that was a big hit with all 3 bambinas. It was sheltered from the wind, although I got some sunburn. We didn't explore the whole park as it is quite big but it was freaking cold on the shore with the wind howling across the bay.
It was only about 2 miles from our hotel.
08-19-2009, 10:18 AM
When I saw this thread title my first thought was "Science Fiction", so I was going to suggest growing them in tubes and educating them with robots.
08-19-2009, 10:36 AM
The twins are 4.5? When did that happen?
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