Winter in the Bay Area can get downright chilly and especially during the rainy winter weekends, we tend to shift into frantic mode trying to drum up activities to keep the kids busy and engaged. Instead of trying to rely on your lackluster memory of what day of the week is free to the public at the Academy of Sciences, which neighborhood coffee shop is toddler-friendly, and the story time schedule at your local library (after all, who can remember such details?!), we’ve made your life a bit easier by listing our favorite 57 things to do with kids in the Bay Area this winter, all of which will keep the little ones entertained, happy, and of course, warm and dry.
1. Craving a good story away from the bustling winter winds? Head to one of the Bay Area’s plethora of regular story readings for kiddos of all ages.
2. Indulge in some indoor delights at Playland at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco to get up close and personal with a miniature scale of the amusement park from another era.
3. And, while you’re there, if it’s a nice day out, go take a walk through Golden Gate Park.
4. Bundle up in your scarves and coats and feed your family’s appetite for the avant garde at the Albany Bulb, feature art fit for Burning Man.
5. Grab a chalkboard and get creative with your little ones through a lost medium from your cozy home.
6. Art, culture and history abound at the De Young Museum. Be sure to check out the observation deck for stunning views of the city, rain or shine.
7. Explore a town rich in history as well as stores ripe with post holiday shopping.
8. Take advantage of the non-tourist season and head to The Palace of Fine Arts for fun and food with the entire family.
9. Make a wild discovery and take some time to experiment at The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo.
10. Or if you’re thinking of something more high-brow, bring the kiddos to SFMOMA for some classy artwork.
11. Make dinnertime easy with a quick, hearty, and easy crock pot recipe.
12. Grab a wind breaker and some mufflers and head to Mill Valley for gorgeous scenery and exceptional food.
13. Stay inside and build a Cork Snake, the perfect stormy day activity!
14. Is it still raining and you and your little one have built twenty Cork snakes? Try the Rainy Day Umbrellas.
15. Warm up with the exciting lights and sounds of The Pacific Pinball Museum!
16. Rescue your family from the winter cold and take everyone to family friendly high tea.
17. Winter means a ton of time spent indoors. For a change of pace, go check out the Bay Area’s newest play space for kids.
18. Don’t get cooped up! Take a trip to one of the many Cable Car, Aviation or Maritime Museums.
19. Winter doesn’t always mean stormy and dark in California, but sunny days are coveted. Make them memorable and head to Angel Island!
20. Spend the afternoon in the family friendly side of The Haight.
21. Stay in the east bay and enjoy all the winter events in Oakland’s Chinatown.
22. Leave Jack Frost at the door and let the rich history of San Francisco’s famous restaurants keep you and the kiddos entertained.
23. It may be gloomy and cold in San Francisco, but the people at Pie Ranch down in Pescadero invite you to stop by and get connected with your food and cut the rug.
24. Tired of tea? Get wired and melt away the frostbite with some coffee from a few kid friendly Bay Area coffeehouses.
25. Bay Area play spaces are great places for the kids to chase away winter blues and cabin fever.
26. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the family can’t go ice skating. Take everyone to the Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center, San Francisco’s only year round ice rink.
27. Experience winter overseas without moving an inch and go to San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.
28. Bundle up and take a trip to Pt. Reyes Station for the well rounded food and fun that the kiddos crave.
29. Looking for an easy day trip in our own backyard? Try one of these 15 day trips waiting for you and your little ones in the Bay Area this winter.
30. Dry off while you explore everything from the stars to the swamps at the Academy of Sciences.
31. If it’s sunny and warm during winter, it must be a great day to go to Golden Gate Park and rent a boat at the new and improved Stowe Lake Boat House.
32. If weather permits, grab a sweatshirt and head to 24th street in San Francisco’s Mission District for a cultural experience.
33. Burn off the last of those holiday calories with the little ones and explore the Hidden Stairway Walks of the Bay Area.
34. The months can be cozy in the Bay Area, especially in San Francisco, but take a trip to Palmisano/Airport Park in Novato for a change in pace and temperature.
35. Head to Petaluma this winter for a fun and mellow getaway with the whole family.
36. It’s important to keep those little minds warm this winter, so visit an itsy-bitsy museum that’s the perfect size for your little thinker.
37. Stay dry and bring out the little botanist in your tyke and take everyone to the Bay Area’s coolest living museum.
38. Nothing keeps kids warm like the excitement of seeing their favorite Disney characters in person. Swing by this iconic museum for a dose of Disney magic.
39. No zoo or farm animal enjoys the wet winter weather, but you can get hands-on with some wildlife center critters that thrive indoors all year long.
40. Replenish yourselves with some heart healthy Soul Food.
41. Hayes Valley is a neighborhood for kids in San Francisco — see what it has to offer with its restaurants, shops, and much more.
42. Rainy day blues? We have an easy cure with some kid-friendly winter crafts.
43. And, if you’re itching for more creative (and indoor!) fun this winter, check out our favorite mom and dad craft blogs for kids. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
44. Stretch your body and your mind with some yoga just for kids.
45. Scoop (or should we say, scope) out San Francisco’s newest ice cream and soda fountain shop. Who says you can’t enjoy a sweet treat in the winter?
46. Mom and Dad need their fun too. Try checking out the Dog Patch for your next date night.
47. Fill up those winter-time bellies with a delicious waffle.
48. Take a Saturday and expose your kiddos to some small town charm, right in our own backyard.
49. Make sure your little ones are ready for the downpour — check out these rain boots that will keep little feet stylish and dry.
50. The holidays have passed, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t give back to local charities year round.
51. Stuck inside and need a good laugh? Click here for some I’m going to cry from laughing so hard fun.
52. Be one step ahead of the style game come spring by outfitting your kiddos in some stylish spring outfits.
53. What better way to pass the day than by baking some homemade goodies. Check out our tips to get the kids baking.
54. Snow has finally arrived in Tahoe. Take advantage of the winter wonderland by spending a weekend at this premier destination.
55. And, if your kids have never slapped on skis before, don’t worry. We’ve got 5 great tips to get your little ones plowing down the mountain in no time.
56. Say goodbye to the winter chill with this hearty veggie soup recipe that kids love.
57. We know winter means that your kids are probably tired of the same brown bag lunches you’ve been packing for the last few months. Switch it up and try one of these quick and easy lunch ideas.
What are you doing this winter to keep busy and beat the winter-time blues?