San Francisco bay area has many fun places to go, many interesting things to do with kids. Day trips are great for busy families to spend time together without having to book everything ahead of time. We have a great list of day trips for you...
- Point Reyes National Seashore - offers the most breathtaking views of the ocean meeting the land. You can visit Coast Miwok roundhouse; leisurely drive over Inverness Ridge and through the pastoral lands to beaches and to the historic Point Reyes lighthouse; watch elephant seals near Chimney Rock, tule elks on Tomales Point, and migratory gray whales (January through April). Point Reyes is home to over 1000 species of plants and animals. In spring, it is a great place to see wildflowers. In summer, it is a great place for walking on the beach, hiking, camping and horseback riding.
- Angel Island State Park - take a fascinating journey on the TramTours into the Island’s military history and cultural past. You can also take guided Segway Thours around the island, and enjoy spectacular views from 8 miles of traffic-free biking paths suitable for beginners and intermediates. The United States Immigration Station is now open for individual tours starting April 1. Check ferry schedule from Angel Island Ferry or Blue & Gold Fleet, and pack a picnic before you go.
- San Francisco - There are so many things to do with kids in San Francisco, you can plan quite a few day trips.
- SF Zoo, an all time favorite, can easily take a day to explore.
- Take a ride on cable car, lunch at Chinatown and then stop by at the Cable Car Museum.
- Take a stroll around the lagoon of the Palace of Fine Arts, watch ducks and swans, and take in Roman and Greek architecture. Then spend rest of the day digging in science at the Exploratorim.
- Spend a day at Pier 39 - watching sea lions at the pier, visiting Aquarium of the Bay (don't miss the shark feeding), and shopping at many of Pier 39 shops.
- Try out the cool exhibits at Zeum (Children's Creativity Museum), a hands-on arts & technology museum where kids can explore animation, sound & video production, live performance, and visual arts. If you have time left, stop by SF MOMA store to pick up some cool gifts for kids.
- Sign up for nature program at Crissy Field Center. Take a walk around the park and watch sailing or surfing at the East Beach. If you have time left, walk the Golden Gate Bridge nearby.
- Golden Gate Park would be a great place to spend a day even without the brand new California Academy of Sciences, the De Young Museum, the Conservatory of Flowers and the Japanese Tea Garden. Have some fun at the children's playground, paddling or floating above the glistening water of Stow lake, or climb the Strawberry hill.
- Berkeley - Big kids would like Lawrence Hall of Science and little ones would enjoy Habitot Children's Museum. Or spend a day at Tilden Regional Park - hiking, riding mini Steam Train, feed animals at the Little Farm. As for lunch, Cheese Board Pizza on Shattuck is everyone's favorite.
- Oakland - There are plenty of places to take the kids to in Oakland. Try
Chabot Space & Science Center, Museum of Children's Art, and Children's Fairyland. Stop by at SadieDey's Cafe on Telegraph Ave because you've got to eat and kids got to play!
- Half Moon Bay - Half Moon bay is a great place for kids. In addition to its endless beaches, it has great cluster of farms. Interested in petting zoo and pony, train, and hay rides? Visit Lemos Farm! Or pick your fruit at Phipps farm. Kids love it. In the fall, visit great pumpkin patches at the farms.
- Palo Alto - Visit the grand Stanford Campus, admire Rodin's bronzes at Cantor Arts Center and enjoy a outdoor lunch made with organic ingredients. Small kids would love Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo and the whole family can relax in the beautiful Gamble garden.
- San Jose - Tech Museum of Innovation, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, Egyptian Museum & Planetarium are all great places for kids.
- Monterey - Kids love Monterey Bay Aquarium. They can spend whole day just in the aquarium alone! But if you can get them out of the aquarium, be sure to visit the MY Museum - Monterey County Youth Museum, and Dennis the Menace Playground
- Santa Cruz - Warm sand, cool rides, kids will have a lot fun at the Beach Boardwalk. Or you can start at the Roaring Camp and ride a steam train to the boardwalk. That would make train loving kids very happy! Learn about the ocean at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, or spend a day at one of countless beaches.
- Carmel - Carmel beach is big and beautiful, Kids can spend whole afternoon on the beach and then get some gourmet food down the street (Ocean Ave)! Or spend whole day at Point Lobos State Park exploring - animals, birds, tide pools, beaches. Kids would learn so much about California coast and have fun too!
- Spend a day at a local theme park
- Underground cave or a mine - right here in Northern California? Yes, Black Chasm Cavern, California Cavern, Gold Cliff Mine, Moaning Cavern and Sutter Gold Mine are all located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills of California's historic Gold Country, about 2-3 hours drive from bay area. Pack kids into the car and have an adventure. Check out caverntours.com for more information.