Whether you’re towing your infant’s buggy, your little one’s Skuut, or skipping alongside your third grader, stroll on over to the sunniest part of San Francisco, Potrero Hill. With its hub along 18th Street, this idyllic family-friendly neighborhood not only offers jaw-dropping views of the San Francisco skyline, but quaint shops, cozy corner cafes and eateries, and parks galore. Wear comfortable shoes as they don’t call it a hill for nothing.

Recess
Photo credit: Recess

Play

Recess
This 3,200-square-foot indoor space in Potrero Hill encourages infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to explore, socialize with their fellow tiny tykes, and romp and play. Parents and caregivers alike will appreciate such amenities as the communal kitchen area—where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or prepare your kiddie’s snacks. Recess offers limited daily drop-in sessions, but encourages their monthly membership with perks including unlimited playtime, weekly moderated playgroups, discounted kids classes, “in-a-pinch” childcare, and even Pilates classes (for grown-ups).

470 Carolina St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-701-7529
Online: recessurbanrecreation.com

Jackson Playground

Photo credit: via yelp Mike C

Jackson Playground
With small swing set, baby slide, and sandpit for the little ones, as well as large play structure and monkey bars for the older kiddos, this playground located at the bottom of Potrero Hill is ideal for tiny tots and big kids alike. And if sports is on your mind, bring your A-game (and your little one’s bat, basketball, or racket) as there are neighboring baseball field, basketball court, and tennis court to enjoy. Pack a picnic lunch and snag one of the tables to enjoy an afternoon at this popular spot in Potrero Hill.

17th Street and Arkansas
San Francisco, Ca
415-554-9527
Online: sfrecpark.org

McKinley Square
A happening spot for kids and pet-owners alike, McKinley Square offers breathtaking views and is a great way to spend the day with your kiddo. There is a fenced-in children’s playground and, for your four-legged friend, a designated off-leash dog park. If you’re feeling adventurous, right next to McKinley Square is the “real” crookedest street in San Francisco (and no, it’s not Lombard!)

20th Street and Vermont
San Francisco, Ca
Online: sfrecpark.org

Potrero Hill Children’s Play Area
With a fire truck-shaped play structure, swings for tiny tots and big kids alike, and spinning rope tower, Potrero Hill Children’s Play Area is a fun way to spend the day. Not to mention the baseball field, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, and picnic and barbeque grills, next time you and the family want to get out and play, head to this community hub in Potrero Hill.

801 Arkansas St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-254-8030
Online: sfrecpark.org

Christopher's Books

Photo credit: Christopher’s Books

Explore

4Cats Potrero Hill
Channel your creativity at 4Cats, an enclave for the creative set, offering a variety of classes for adults and kids alike at their design studio in Potrero Hill. Based out of Canada, and with only three locations in the US, 4Cats’ art studio allows kids to partake in a variety of mediums, from painting to drawing to sculpture, anything to get your little one to express themselves. They offer drop-off art sessions for specific age groups, as well as workshops for the entire family! Even your ‘lil Picasso as young as 2 years old can join in the fun.

Insider Tip: It’s best to visit their website prior to see their complete schedule and register online.

291 Connecticut Street
San Francisco, Ca
415-255-2287
Online: 4cats.com

Christopher’s Books
With their great selection of children’s books, and friendly and welcoming staff, Christopher’s Books is an idyllic locale to enjoy with your little one. This charming bookstore, although small in space, has been a central part of the neighborhood since 1991. Your little book worm will enjoy their assortment of children’s books, while you browse their thoughtfully curated selection of titles, from fiction, non-fiction, to cookbooks, architecture, and more.

1400 18th St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-255-8802
Online: christophersbooks.coms

goat_hill_pizzaPhoto: Goat Hill Pizza

Eat

Goat Hill Pizza
After you’ve worked up an appetite, feel like a local at Goat Hill Pizza, serving San Francisco’s sourdough pizza since 1975. You’ll see why this restaurant is popular amongst Potrero Hill dwellers, especially the kid set. A huge cup crayons is delivered to your table right as you’re seated, and who knows, your kiddie’s placemat scribbles might join the dozens of other placemat drawings from tiny patrons past that adorn the restaurant’s walls. Indulge in any of their signature pizzas, to spaghetti to their huge Chef’s Salad with garlic bread, or even their cheesy meatball sandwich. And if it happens to be a Monday night, take advantage of their Monday “Neighborhood Night,” where from 4-10pm, there’s all-you-can-eat pizza and salad for $12.95 for adults and $6.95 for children ages 5-12 .

300 Connecticut St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-641-1440
Online: goathill.com

Plow
This rustic modern breakfast spot serves up one of San Francisco’s best brunches. The Plow, a large plate of goodness with two lemon ricotta pancakes, crispy potatoes, eggs, and house made bacon or sausage, is a fave. For kids 10 and under, Plow offers their Little Plowers menu, featuring breakfast goodies coined with names like Cayden’s pumpkin pancakes or Papa Joel’s egg-in-a-hole. It’s best to come early and with a small crew, as Plow does not accept reservations and can only accommodate parties of 6 or less.

1299 18th St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-821-7569
Online: eatatplow.com

 

Baked Potrero Hill

Photo credit: Baked

Baked
Cakes, sweets, and treats, oh my! Indulge your kid’s (and let’s be honest – your!) sweet tooth and venture to this Potrero Hill bakeshop. Pick up one of their classic brownies or lemon bars, cookies or cupcakes, or a bag of their famous house-made granola. For a special occasion, treat yourself to their most popular Red Devil cake—their sinful version of red velvet.

1415 18th St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-826-9455
Online: bakedsf.com

Front

Photo credit: Front

Sip

Farley’s
Farley’s, an idyllic San Francisco coffee house, sits at the epicenter of Potrero Hill’s 18th Street corridor, and is a great place to relax with a piping cup of San Francisco-based De La Paz coffee while your little one enjoys a scoop of ice cream. Farley’s has a varied selection of magazines for you to peruse, while their board games will be a hit for the kiddies.  Grab one of the window booths, or snag a spot at the outdoor parklet outside, and watch the comings and goings of the folks of Potrero Hill.

1315 18th St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-648-1545
Online: farleyscoffee.com

Front 
For the coffee purist, head down the hill towards Front. With a more modern, industrial feel, it’s the ideal spot to lounge with your little urbanite. If it’s not too chilly, let your little one hang at the outdoor benches out front while you order one of their signature lattes.

150 Mississippi St.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: frontsf.com

Do you have a family favorite in Potrero Hill?

– Yannina Pacis