Our new series A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will showcase fun itineraries for parents’ and kids’ adventures in different Bay Area neighborhoods. Read up on where to go at the Red Tri website, then look for our window clings to locate Red Tri-approved businesses when you’re on the ground in the neighborhood! All itineraries are meant to keep kids and adults entertained for about four hours.

Noe Valley is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere, and no place more so than 24th Street, the neighborhood’s main artery. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun outing with kids (especially if you want to get some shopping done while you’re there.) As the first in our new series, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, this article will provide a fun, kid-friendly introduction to the neighborhood.

Do: Start your visit to Noe Valley by visiting the Terra Mia Art Studio on Castro Street. Less than a block off bustling 24th, this art studio lets kids and adults pick out and paint their own pre-made ceramics. Studio time costs $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12, and is unlimited. Unpainted pottery lines the walls of the colorful studio space, allowing budding artists their choice of dozens of different styles of cups, bowls, and figurines. The price of pottery pieces is not included in studio time, but most small to medium-sized items are reasonably priced in the $10-$20 range. After painting, objects are glazed and fired by the staff and can be picked up within a few days and taken home for display. Kids will love getting to create a long-lasting art project, and adults will be surprised by how much fun they have exercising their own creativity.

Eat: An hour or two utilizing your creative muscles is enough to work up an appetite. Head over to Barney’s Gourmet Hamburger for their 29 delicious burgers and creamy milkshakes. Classic hamburger stand fare is a winner with young kids, and for adults (who may or may not be watching their waistlines) the restaurant offers a wide selection of vegetarian burgers, salads, sandwiches, and sides. We love the curly fries with homemade ranch! Be sure to sit outside on the patio if the weather is nice.

Shop: While 24th street has great shopping (check out our list of Red Tri approved businesses in the Noe Valley below) it can get a little pricey. Savvy parents should check out the Peek-A-Bootique on the corner of 24th and Castro for cute second-hand and new clothing and toys. Well-organized racks and a friendly staff make shopping here delightful. If you’re looking for a fun place to browse however, we also recommend Just For Fun & Scribbledoodles, an art/stationery/toy/novelty shop on 24th street. Even if you’re not buying, kids and adults will enjoy a stop in this jumbled storefront where educational games sit cheek-by-jowl with wacky novelties, and the free popcorn and sweet-tempered store dog add to the fun.

Play: Once you’ve finished strolling up and down 24th (and be sure there is lots to see that we haven’t mentioned,) and if you and the kids still have the energy, walk up 24th to the Noe Court Playground for some swing and slide action. Kids can wear themselves out on the play structure, while parents rest their feet on the park benches. Or if your kids are old enough, get a family game of HORSE going on the b-ball court.

We hope you have as much fun as we always do exploring Noe Valley. Check out our list of approved businesses in the area for more fun ideas, and let us know about your own Noe Valley adventures in the comments section!

Red Tri Approved 24th Street:

24th Street Cheese Company
The Ark Toy Shop
Just For Fun/Scribbledoodles
Mabuhay Kids
Phoenix Books
See Jane Run
Small Fry’s

Barney’s Gourmet Hamburger
Eric’s Restaurant
Happy Donuts
Mitchell’s Ice Cream Parlor
Noe Valley Bakery and Bread Co.

Billy Goat Hill
Dolores Park Playground
Noe Court Playground
Seward Valley Slides

Noe Valley Music Series/SF Live
Noe Valley Farmer’s Market
Terra Mia Art Studio