fun to do kids embarcadero san francisco california   Travel for Kids
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San Francisco - The Embarcadero

    Exploratorium (Pier 15) The Exploratorium science and creativity museum is our favorite kids' museum in San Francisco, and it's always changing, every time we visit.
exploratorium summer 2024
This summer, newest exhibit is: ExtraOrdinary
How many colors can you see in a yarn installation, face shape emerges from shadows, bird saxophone sculptures, a cloud of light bulbs. Plus “See yourself in a new way,” step into a tornado, genetically created fish, San Francisco landmarks made out of toothpicks and glue! Outdoors, don't miss Fog Bridge (kids can play in the fog), and Buckyball out front.
Everything in the Exploratorium is hands-on – play with colored shadows, see yourself in a mirror upside down, make your own Rube Goldberg machine, power appliances by pedaling, discover light, sound, electricity and magnetism, see under a microscope what lives in San Francisco Bay, and much more.
The museum is fabulous for kids from toddlers to teens, and allow plenty of time to explore the many exhibits. It's a big noisy place, strollers okay, cafes and lockers on-site.
Tip: Use your San Francisco CityPass.
ferry building farmers market
  Ferry Building – Sample the abundance of California fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market. You'll find locally grown boysenberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, avocados, dried fruit, nuts, honey, melons, grapes, tomatoes. Pick up some local cheese, bread or foccacia, fruits, muffins, scones, pastries, cobbler, turnovers, cookies, or fruitbreads, and have a picnic. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Saturday is the largest market, crowded with food vendors, and food to eat al fresco, along the edge of the bay.
ferry map
 

Ride the ferries – From the Ferry Building, take the Golden Gate Ferry to Sausalito or Angel Island.

   

On the bay, you'll see the great container ships coming in through the Golden Gate Bridge, sail boats galore, tug boats pulling barges, pilot boats, and more.

On the ferry trip to Sausalito, the ferry goes right next to Alcatraz Island, with super views.
For a longer ferry ride, go to Angel Island - perfect for a picnic lunch and hike in good weather. Read our blog post: Explore Angel Island
The ferries are a good deal (cheapest cruise around the bay), and one of our favorite things to do in San Francisco.
    Walk along the Embarcadero – The Embarcadero ("wharf") was once a busy port, stuffed with ships loading and unloading passengers and tons of cargo. Today the Embarcadero is a wide tree-lined promenade. You can walk all the way from Market Street at the Ferry Building to Fisherman's Wharf one direction, or the AT& T Park the other way. Between Pier 5 and Pier 9, walk out onto the pier jutting out in the bay – it's a great place for kids to watch the boats go by.
  Playground (Sue Bierman Park) – At the corner of The Embarcadero and Washington St. is a nice big playground with climbing structures, and grass to run around. Bring your picnic lunch.
  Ride the cable car – Pick up the California Street cable car (at the intersection of California and Market Streets) and ride up to Nob Hill.
wells fargo stagecoach
  Wells Fargo History Museum (420 Montgomery St.) – This museum is one of the "hidden treasures" in San Francisco. Wells Fargo bank operated stagecoaches that transported gold from the gold fields.
In the museum, check out the hundred year old stagecoach, bowls of gold flakes, gold coins from the San Francisco mint, gold scales, and strong boxes. Take the reins to drive a stagecoach (start, stop, how to turn), write your ticket, pack your suitcase, feel like a passenger bumpy stagecoach ride, and try sending messages in Morse code on a telegraph key.
The museum is free and open Monday to Friday, 5pm - 10pm.
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