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San Francisco with Kids
On the Move
Cable Cars. This one's a no-brainer. But don't miss the Cable Car Terminus at Powell and Market streets, where conductors push the iconic cars on giant turntables, and the Cable Car Museum, where you can see how cable cars work.
Adventure Cat Sailing. Them: playing on the trampoline at the bow of this 55-foot catamaran. You: enjoying a drink and the bay sunset on the stern deck.
F-Line Trolleys. Thomas the Tank Engine fan in tow? Hop on one of the F-line's neat historic streetcars. Bonus: this line connects other kid-friendly sights, like Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the San Francisco Railway Museum.
Sneak in Some Culture
Stern Grove Festival. Enjoying a delicious picnic in a eucalyptus grove, your kids might not even complain that they're listening to—gasp—classical music (or Latin jazz, or opera).
ODC/San Francisco. Best known for its holiday production of The Velveteen Rabbit, the dance troupe also holds other performances throughout the year.
San Francisco Mime Troupe. We know, it sounds lame. But these aren't your father's mimes, or mimes at all. In fact, they're a vocal political theater troupe that gives family-friendly outdoor performances.
The Great Outdoors
Muir Woods. If these massive trees look tall to you, imagine seeing them from 2 or 4 feet lower.
Stow Lake. When feeding bread to the ducks gets old (like that's ever going to happen), you can rent a rowboat or paddleboat.
Golden Gate Promenade. If your kids can handle a 3.3-mile walk, this one's a beauty—winding from Aquatic Park Beach, through the Presidio, to Fort Point Pier near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Aquatic Park Beach. Does your brood include a wannabe Michael Phelps? Then head to this popular beach, one of the few places around the city where it's safe to swim. Many other Bay Area beaches have powerful currents that make swimming dangerous.
Just Plain Fun
AT&T Park. Emerald grass, a sun-kissed day, a hot dog in your hand... and suddenly, you're 10 again, too.
Dim Sum. A rolling buffet for which kids point and pick—likely an instant hit.
Fisherman's Wharf, Hyde Street Pier, Ghirardelli Square, and Pier 39. The phrase "tourist trap" may come to mind, but in this area you can get a shrimp cocktail, clamber around old ships, snack on chocolate, and laugh at the sea lions.
Musée Mécanique. How did people entertain themselves before Wii (or TV)? Come here to find out.
Rooftop @ Yerba Buena Gardens. Head here for ice-skating, bowling, a carousel, a playground, and the Children's Creativity Museum, a hands-on arts-and-technology center.
San Francisco Zoo. Between Grizzly Gulch, Lemur Forest, and Koala Crossing, you can make a day of it.
Learn a Thing or Two
California Academy of Sciences. Dinosaurs, penguins, free-flying rainforest butterflies, giant snakes... what's not to like?
Exploratorium. A very hands-on science museum, including the full-immersion Tactile Dome.
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