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 50 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. Play with some LEGOs and watch your little builders make amazing brick creations.
2. Even though snow is a rare occurrence in the Bay Area, that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun playing with snowflakes.
3. Practice saying “hola” and “adios” with your kiddos at a Spanish class just for them.
4. Bundle up and head to Haight Street to explore the myriad of shops before grabbing a bite to eat in the park.
5. Beat winter boredom and spend some quality time with your little ones by reading together.
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. Before your kids exhaust your list of indoor activities, head to an art studio for some hands-on creativity.
8. Make a healthy and delicious snack that is just the right amount of sweet.
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. Hop in the car and head south of the city, where hiking, beaches, and a working goat farm are only a short trip away.
14. Can’t make it out to Disneyland this year? Well here’s the next best thing.
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. Learn how to make a hot soup to keep you warm this winter at a cooking class just for your little chefs.
18. Don’t get cooped up! Take a trip to one of the many Cable Car, Aviation or Maritime Museums.
19. Spice up meal time with fun and playful utensils that are sure to make your kids eat their veggies.
20. Planning a trip to the snow this winter? Here are 5 things you can do to get your kids ready to hit the slopes.
21. Venture into Chinatown, where after some searching around, you’ll find a golden treat your kids will love.
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. Prepare for the upcoming spring season by planting a garden with your little green thumbs.
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. On a clear day, head to the park where you can take in stunning views of the city in between turns going down the slides.
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. Lace up your running shoes and take out the littles for a stroller hike.
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. Head out on a winter animal safari and snap a photo before they all leave to beat the chilly weather.
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. While we’ve had a light rainy season here in the Bay Area, that doesn’t mean an unexpected shower can’t surprise us. For those days when you’re stuck indoors, try these great ways to beat your cabin fever.
41. Satisfy your kiddo’s love for all things creepy crawly with a visit to the Insect Discovery Lab.
42. Warm up with a hearty plate of some soul food.
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. Warm up with a few games of bowling–it’s the perfect indoor activity for families.
46. Sing away your winter blues with some kid-approved tunes.
47. Fill up those winter-time bellies with a delicious waffle.
48. On those days when the weather is foggy and chilly, pack up the car and go for a quick day trip north of the city where the weather is almost always sunny.
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.
What are you doing this winter to keep busy and beat the winter-time blues?
photo credit: mikebaird via flickr