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San Francisco: 7 days with 2 kids. What to do ?

San Francisco: 7 days with 2 kids. What to do ?

Old Dec 16th, 2006, 04:21 AM
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San Francisco: 7 days with 2 kids. What to do ?


We will have 7 full days (from Europe) to Spend in SFO area in January, with 2 kids aged 12 and 6. Any suggestion for activities or sightseeing ? We can consider renting a car for 2-3 days or day trips from SFO.
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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I would take an over all tour of the city so that you know the various areas and point of interest. These are van tours, and your hotel can arrange that. My grandchildren really like the harbour boat tours and to see the city from the water. You can tour Alkatraz (sp?), and you can cross the Golden Gate bridge to see huge redwood trees in Muir Woods. There are several guide books on "San Francisco with Children", so you might like to pick up a copy. You and the children will be in jet lag for the first few days. SO don't plan a lot of walking activities. I'd go to the Zoo...its really wonderful now, and will interest the children and not be too tiring. Getting all of you out into the sun and fresh air is the fastest way to get through jet lag.
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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I vote for the Exploratorium over the zoo. The SF Zoo, while nice, doesn't have anything that different in it than they might see in Europe. Oh, well, except for the pair of grizzly bears that are always fun to watch. But your kids are great ages for the Exploratorium and that area is very pretty.
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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In spite of my screen name, I live in the SF Bay Area and we took our kids every where around here when they were younger.

The weather will be cooler in January, so this might impact outdoor activities, but here's a link with some ideas....

http://gocalifornia.about.com/cs/san...sco/a/kids.htm

And if you like the outdoors, rent a car and drive north over the Golden Gate Bridge, there are things to see in Marin County....

http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/places.htm
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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China Town is fun. I agree with the Exploratorium. You would have time to rent a car and head over the Golden Gate to Sausalito. If the weather is good you could head out to the beach and if you wanted to you could make the "loop". Head out to the beach and then north, end up in Sonoma County and eventually back down HW 101 back into San Francisco..or if you didn't want to go that far you can head back to the highway through Forrest Knolls and Fairfax. San Anselmo is a cute town to walk around and have lunch. You'll need to get some maps and take a look.

You could go out to the Cliff House..wonderful views if not foggy. Not sure if anything "special" is going on at the De Young Museum. Fisherman's Wharf is obvious, The Cannery, Ghiridelli Square..touristy..but that's what you are. Actually, when I lived down there, my husband and I would often go into the City on a Sunday and wander around the area..it made a fun day. Other times we'd head to Golden Gate Park and go to the Aquarium, or rent a paddle boat on Stowe Lake or just drive out to the beach and walk the beach for awhile.

You could hit Carmel and Monterey, but that would probably be better being an "overnighter".
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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thank you all very much.

I like the idea of an overnight in Monterey.

I agree that weather conditions will make the difference, especially the rain !
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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visit the cable car museum and the submarine that is docked in the harbor
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Dear Fabio:

I think you should also include a day or two in Monterey. The Aquarium is world class and in January the Monarch butterflies will still be wintering in Pacific Grove.

good luck and I hope the weather cooperates!!

MY
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 03:58 PM
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Well, a really fun overnight
with your kids can be had up
here in Sonoma County
at Safari West.
http://www.safariwest.com/adventures/

R5

PS-The "big kids" will have fun, too !
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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The Monterey Bay Aquarium website also has links to other places and activities in the area on the following page....

http://www.mbayaq.org/vi/monterey.asp
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Not only did I grow up here, I also took my own kid and my students on many SF field trips.

SO...a few things I guarantee to entertain your kids (& you!):

Get on the cable car at the beginning and ride it all the way to the end. I've never met a kid (including myself) who didn't love that!

Also take them to see fortune cookies being made at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown.

Another vote for the Exploratorium. If at all possible, make a reservation to do the Tactile Dome. It's a total blast!

Take the glass elevator in the Fairmont.

Another one of many good websites:
http://www.gocitykids.com/?area=199

I do urge you to get out of the city, too, as many have already suggested.

Also, even in the winter, our beaches are fun for kids & beautiful for adults.



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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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the Jelly Belly factory is east of SF. great tour, lots of fun
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 07:51 PM
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The JellyBelly Factory is in Fairfield along I-80. Their website is http://jellybelly.com/Cultures/en-US...+Fairfield.htm

It would take about 90 minutes each way (from SF to Fairfield and back to SF).
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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In addition to the great suggestions you've already gotten...I'll add two that my 10 and 12 year old kids loved this summer when we visited.

Walk down steps behind Coit Tower - someone help me here. Can't remember the exact street name...maybe Greenwich? It's the stairway/drive that goes down from Coit to the Embarcadero area. Really cool to see how cottages can be perched on these hills and the kids will love the parrots who live there.

Tonga Room, Fairmount Hotel - totally touristy but my kids wished we had had dinner there (instead of just cocktails) it was so fun for them. Indoor rainforest complete with surprise rain showers every half hour.

It's a great city!! Have a blast.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Lots of good ideas -- I like Exploratorium, Chinatown, Cable Car ride -- I would add, get down by the Embarcadero, maybe ride the street car from one end to other -- wonderful vistas for walking and viewing. Restaurants, a farmers market at the old ferry building some times/days. My guys at younger ages also liked poking around Fort Point (under SF side of GG Bridge) and Presidio -- if you head up to Marin or look around the Marina, it would be easy to go to Presidio and drive by George Lucas's complex which again might interest the kids (it's a drive by, not a tour). Lots of great views and space on Presidio though.

Muir Woods (huge redwoods)and Sausalito are great stops across the GG Bridge when you rent the car. Overnight in Carmel would be a nice change of pace.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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ccrosner, is this what you're referring to?

"A cluster of houses from the 1860s and 1870s is at 228 and 224 Filbert and across the way on the two pedestrian lanes, Darrell Place and Napier Lane. As of this writing the dates of the Napier Lane houses are: No. 10, 1875; No. 15, 1884; No. 16, 1872; No. 21, 1885; No. 22, 1876, and No. 32-34, 1890 but remodeled (Woodbridge and Woodbridge 1992: 51).

Old Telegraph Hill is preserved most completely in the Filbert Street Steps and Napier Lane. On the Filbert Steps, the most eye-catching house is the one at 228 Filbert Street. Built around 1873, this house is an expression of a rather simple "Carpenter Gothic" style, with bargeboard, finials, and Gothic arches reduced to straight lines over the windows (Olmsted and Watkins 1969: 63)."

Good idea!
Also, of course, there's Lombard Street, which is always a kick for kids!
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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If it's not raining, I would add that most visitors seem to enjoy walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. There are parking lots on both sides and you can walk as much or as little of it as you want.

If you're visiting Golden Gate park, the Japanese Tea Garden is a nice place to stroll and have tea. Be sure to have the kids try to climb the semi-circular bridge.

I second the Muir Woods and Monterey Aquarium suggestions -- both are wonderful. Muir Woods is a good half-day trip. I would spend a few days in the Monterey area and not try to make the Aquarium a day trip, if possible, as it is a long drive.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 03:04 AM
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Yes, Lucie V, it's the Filbert Street steps I'm referring to! Definitely fun.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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You might consider staying a couple of nights near Monterey or Carmel, taking in the Aquarium and visiting Point Lobos State Park.

In San Fran, take the Alcatraz Tour and visit the Cartoon Museum.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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wow !!! what a great help from you all !!! thank you very much !
It seems it is very easy to fill these 7 days, but now I wish I could stay 3 weeks !!! but I can't this time !!

Places like Exploratorium is just the right place I was looking for !!
I am confident that cool weather will not be as cold as here.
I will summarize all the places you mentioned and will pick them up once we are there according to the weather conditions !!
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