Top 10 places in San Francisco to visit for family with toddlers

My son is a very active child and I try to find places for him to visit over the weekend. And though I have scoured the web to find some good places for him, I don’t always find good places that suit my 3yr old’s taste. So after finding some good ones, I thought I should share with all of you.

  1. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo: This one is an ideal place for toddlers and like. The place has a carousel, small rides that are perfect for kids, a small roller coaster, and a small collection of zoo animals. The collection is not too big but enough to grab the toddler’s attention for a few hours. It also has a small petting zoo that provides the right environment for kids to shed their fear of animals. There is also puppet shows through the day that are great for 3 year old kids and even older kids.
  2. Lawrence Hall of Science: This place is great for kids with a scientific slant. There are lots of fun experiments, puzzles and building events to keep kids engaged. Although my three year old likes the outside sand boxes more than the inside experiments, I try to take him here atleast once in a few months to expose him to them. There is also a small room where they keep some animals and my son had the opportunity to touch a ball python there. He was very excited and did a great job feeling the scales.
  3. Roaring camp: This is one of the best places to take my son. He is very interested in trains and although I am from India (where I have seen plenty of trains), riding this train with my 3 year old is very entertaining and satisfying. The train has 2 paths, one through the redwood forest and the other one through the boardwalk. We have always gone on the forest train and it has always been great.
  4. California academy of Sciences: Cal academy of sciences is a wonderful science museum. There are lots of exhibits that are captivating, not only for a toddler but even for adults. They have exhibits on dinosaurs, earthquakes, whales, and they also have a very nice aquarium and a rainforest display. The rainforest display have a lot of beautiful butterflies. You always end up wishing one will land on you.
  5. Exploratorium: This is another science museum which is very suitable for kids. While some of them are very age appropriate, some are more suitable for older kids. So it is suitable for kids from toddlers to older kids. You can visit the museum on a free day and see if it is suitable for your family.
  6. Monterey Bay Aquarium: This is a great aquarium for kids. The displays are so huge and so beautiful that you want to keep visiting it. The jelly fish display alone is amazing and has so much variety. It is a must see for all kids, even toddlers.
  7. Oakland Zoo: My son loves zoos. But at the same time, not all zoos are worth it. Oakland zoo doesn’t fall in that category. This zoo has a great display of giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers, koala bears, etc. The best part is the cable car ride, which takes you over the animals and you can see the bison’s exclusively only through this ride. My son loves this cable car ride and while we feel scared for him, he is fearlessly peering over the animals.
  8. San Jose Rose Garden: This is a great place for the young ones to burn off some energy. While the little ones are running, the adults can soak in some quality time amongst roses. The rose displays are beautiful and the park is vast. One can easily spend atleast 2 hours here and my son usually sleeps on the car ride home. Perfect ending to a perfect day.
  9. Christmas in the Park: This is a great place to visit during Christmas time. The adorned Christmas trees and park decorations are beautiful. The whole place is lit with numerous many Christmas lights and there is palpable energy that totally rejuvenates you.
  10. Corn Maze: If you like puzzles and corn, this is the place for you. Open during fall season, this place is brimming with kids and adults alike. We loved going through the maze and even though the little one didn’t solve any puzzles to wade the maze, we all had fun.

I hope the above list works well for you as much as it worked for my family. Hope you enjoy the visits and share your experience with me.

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