Whether it’s because of the vast outdoor space or the bustling city streets, navigating San Francisco with kids can be a daunting task. We’ve scoured the city and surrounding Bay Area to find the best activities for families to do, whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor to the area. Here are 100 different options—from the Mission to Napa Wine Country—that will help your kids fall in love with the San Francisco Bay Area.

photo: Kate Loweth

1. Play tourist for a day and ride the carousel at Pier 39. Don’t forget to visit the sea lions!

2. All aboard! This list for little train lovers gives you the inside scoop of where to ride the rails around the Bay Area.

3. Plan a picnic day at these spots with million dollar views and grass for the kids to run, run, run!

4. I scream, you scream, we all scream for this epic list of ice cream spots from SF to the South Bay.

photo: Kate Loweth

5. Get your STEM fix at these museums where science is all around you.

6. There’s more to Monterey than the aquarium. Find out all the best spots there and in nearby Carmel and Pacific Grove when your road trip down south.

7. Take a break from the library and go to story time at the botanical garden, bookstore or museum nearby.

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8. How are Jelly Beans made? Learn about where all your favorite treats come from at these local food factory tours.

9. It’s time to celebrate! Book your next birthday at these favorite birthday locations and leave the party planning to the experts. Bonus: we’ve got even more options if you are in the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay.

photo: Bar SZ Ranch

10. Hit the hay at these local farms where you can spend the night.

11. Spend some time on the islands—Alcatraz and Angel Island, that is. A quick ferry ride will get you there to learn all about the history of these amazing spots in San Francisco Bay.

12. Pint-sized Picassos and mini Monets will love these art centers where you can drop in for a day of inspiration.

13. There’s never a bad time to eat donuts. Grab the giant one from Bob’s Donuts or one from another of our favorite donut spots.

We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym, Berkeley

photo: Kids Gym Berkeley

14. Don’t let the weather get you down. These indoor playspaces are the place to be when the rain falls.

15. Get the family dining together with these meal delivery services that make your job easy.

16. Camping doesn’t have to be a summer-only activity. Book a weekend at one of these glamping spots that offer campfires without having to pitch your own tent.

17. The best things in life are free especially when you get a free day at your local museum. Or visit one of these museums that are ALWAYS free!

18. Speaking of free, there are loads of free things to do, right in Golden Gate Park.

photo: SAJJ Mediterranean

19. Take a walk on the wild side with these kids menus for adventurous eaters.

20. Make your way to wine country and bring the kids! These wineries are all set up to welcome the whole family, tots included.

21. Reduce and reuse. These consignment shops are the place to be when your kid is growing like a weed.

photo: CuriOdyssey

22. Meet some animals up close and personal at these 20 wildlife centers.

23. Get in some after hours time at your favorite aquarium or museum where you can spend the night.

24. Get your goggles on and dive in to one of these indoor pools that are open year round.

25. San Francisco has some of the most epic playgrounds around. Start checking off our list of 30 favorites.

photo: Kate Loweth

26. Cast your fishing line at these local lakes and piers where dinner is waiting.

27. Dine on dim sum. We’ve got all the hot spots where dumplings are king.

28. Where’s the only place you can visit an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum, all under one “living” roof? Our California Academy of Sciences guide is all you need to make the most of your visit.

29. Grab some eats at Off the Grid and explore all that the Presidio has to offer (think abandoned batteries, in-city camping and the Lucasfilm Headquarters).

30. Take some time to smell the roses at these botanical gardens.

31. Save your pennies and spend the day at the Marine Mammal Center, Bay Model and other local (and free!) hot spots.

Daiso

photo: Anita Chu

32. Visit Japan without getting on a plane. You can get all the ramen, taiyaki and Sanrio you want in San Francisco’s Japantown.

33. Spend the afternoon exploring these bike paths and bike parks that are perfect for the tiny two-wheelers.

34. Hop on a cable car and explore all that Market Street has to offer. Get the insider’s scoop here and save some time for a slice at Delarosa.

35. Make some time to meet the lemurs at the San Francisco Zoo. We’ve got your insider’s guide here.

36. Make your next meal out a memorable one (in a good way!) at one of these themed restaurants where there’s more than just burgers and fries.

37. Every kids deserves a spot where they feel welcomed. These playgrounds and playspaces offer resources for special needs kids so that they can join in the fun with their peers.

photo: Sprouts Cooking Classes

38. Kids, the dinner is on you! Let the kitchen pros teach them the ropes at these local cooking classes.

39. Plan an epic visit to Tahoe in the summer or when the mountains are covered in snow. North Lake Tahoe and nearby Reno offer even more adventure so plan to stay a while!

40. Take the tots to work with you (and actually get something done) at these work/play spaces where the WiFi is strong and the kids are entertained.

41. Head to Corona Heights and check out the newly-renovated Randall Museum. Bonus, admission is free!

photo: Kate Loweth

42. Visit the shore at low tide and explore the sea urchins, sea stars and crabs that live in our coastal tide pools.

43. Visit CuriOdyssey, climb the dragon-themed playground at Coyote Point and enjoy the uniquely-delicious waffles at Eggettes when you visit San Mateo.

44. The summer months mean one thing—county fair time! Check out this list of our favorite county fairs where you can see the rodeo, ride the Zipper and dine on funnel cakes.

45. Get out and explore the local waterways the best way you can, on a kayak.

46. Looking for a gift of memories instead of more stuff? Check out our recs of experience gifts for Bay Area kids.

47. You don’t have to wait for camping season to enjoy s’mores for dessert any day of the week.

48. Grab a gift at one of these independent toy stores.

49. Don’t let lack of childcare make you skip your workout. Bring the babe along to these parent/child fitness classes.

50. Mendocino Farms and their epic eats have made their way to the Bay Area and we could not be more thrilled.

51. Bring Fido along when you dine out at one of these dog-friendly eateries.

52. Date night, done! Drop the kids off at one of these spots where dinner and entertainment are included.

photo: Kate Loweth

53. Strap them in the strollers and hit the trails at these hiking spots that are good for the littlest hikers.

54. Get the guppies in the water at these favorite swim lesson spots.

55. The East Bay is loaded with awesome parks. Pick a new one and hit the slides!

56. Settle in with a good book at one of our favorite independent bookstores.

57. LEGO lovers unite! This list of LEGO resale shops is your holy grail.

photo: Kate Loweth

58. San Francisco’s first bike park is pretty epic, check out McLaren for yourself.

59. Eat this now: Curry Up Now offers a family take-out meal that’s delicious and a good deal as well.

60. With miles of coast to choose from, you’ll need this list of the best swimming beaches for the next sunny day.

61. In the summer it is berry season and in the fall apples are king. Pick a bunch today!

62. Lace up your skates retro-style at these local roller rinks.

63. Explore Berkeley’s Fourth Street on your next visit to the East Bay.

64. When Karl the Fog rolls in, warm up with a bowl of tasty soup.

photo: Kate Loweth

65. Pitch your tent at these campsites where you can hear the crashing waves as you curl up in your sleeping bag.

66. Find your mama tribe at the new parenting space, The Open Nest.

67. Tiny dancers will love this list of classes just for them.

68. Road trip time! Spend some time exploring these 10 California road trips.

photo: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

69. Check out Bill’s Backyard, the awesome outdoor discovery area at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

70. Grab your kids some free grub at these restaurants where the shorties eat free.

71. Splash around in these amazing urban fountains.

72. Another way to get wet—head to these nearby lakes for a day on and in the water.

photo: Kate Loweth

73. Dress up in your finest and plan a tea party.

74. Look to the stars and learn about the world beyond our atmosphere at these stargazing spots.

75. Calling all groms! These totally rad skate parks are ready for you.

photo: Kate Loweth

76. Take a spin on these carousels, there’s even one that has an Alice in Wonderland theme!

77. Chase some waterfalls and let the kids explore on these amazing waterfall hikes (that are at their peak after springtime rains arrive).

78. Every day is taco Tuesday at these spots that know how to do the taco just right.

79. A warm summer night is the perfect time to enjoy these outdoor movie nights. Don’t forget to pack the popcorn!

80. Do a double good deed: clear your house of clutter and donate the toys that are cast aside. You’ll thank us later.

photo: Kate Loweth

81. Make your way south and follow our recs to get the most out of your next road trip to LA.

82. Make some mom (and dad) friends at these local playgroups.

83. Everyone knows that brunch is the best meal of the day. Bonus, these spots open super early so you don’t have to wait until mid-day to get your brunch fix.

84. Second Sundays are family days at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center. Make some art as a family!

85. Say cheese in front of these cool walls that will send your family pics to the next level.

Holmes Cruffin

photo: Anita Chu

86. Have the kids tried all of these iconic San Francisco desserts? What are you waiting for?

87. These stroller hikes are perfect when you want to get the kids out for some fresh air.

88. Make your way to Monterey and use our insider’s guide to get the most out of your Monterey Bay Aquarium visit.

89. Every spring this amazing book fair comes to Berkeley. Bookworms, mark your calendars now!

photo: Carleigh Lowe

90. The Outer Sunset isn’t just for surfers anymore. Check out this neighborhood guide to learn what’s happening in this fun SF neighborhood.

91. Make your way to Mendocino to kayak, horseback ride on the beach and explore the gorgeous coastline just north of San Francisco.

92. and 93. Deck the kids out in some trendy styles from head to toe at Whoa Dude! Tween and teens will love the cool, casual style at Orange Bird in Hayes Valley.

94. Got grandparents in town? Spend some time exploring these spots with them.

95. Cheers! These kid-friendly bars are perfect for dining out with friends and kids.

photo: John L. via yelp

96. If the days are warm and the kids want to get wet, head to one of these amazing splash parks.

97. It’s always the perfect day for pizza and we have a list of the perfect pies here.

98. Batter up! These local batting cages will let your tune up your swing in no time.

photo: Kate Loweth

99. Dining with views of the Golden Gate Bridge? Yes, please! This list has all the best outdoor dining spots.

100. Stock up on sweet treats at these local candy shops.

—Kate Loweth