fun to do kids mission district california   Travel for Kids
  | California | San Francisco
     
   

San Francisco - Mission District

Mission Dolores
  Mission Dolores – The Mission Dolores (Mission San Francisco de Asis) is the oldest building in San Francisco. The adobe structure, with walls 4 feet thick, was started in 1788 and has withstood earthquakes over the years. It's always fun for kids to get a glimpse of San Francisco that's quite different from today.
Mission Dolotes
    Inside the church, look up to see the original California redwood logs, still supporting the roof. The ceiling is painted with bright Ohlone Indian geometric designs. The gilded altars came from Mexico in 1796 and 1810. (To the right of the old Mission is the large Basilica of the Parish church, with lovely stained glass windows of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of San Francisco.)
  Outside the church, don't miss the diorama, showing what the mission looked like in 1791. San Francisco was largely a bunch of sand dunes in the distance. The mission church was surrounded by living quarters for monks and soldiers, shops and storage buildings.
      The charming old cemetery has weathered headstones of the early inhabitants of San Francisco, including the first mayor ("alcalde") of San Francisco. Many of the people came from other countries – Chile, Ireland, Mexico, France. (This is one of the few cemeteries in the city.)
  Mission Dolores Park – Close to Mission Dolores, this large grassy park has a super playground with slides, swings, climbing structures, benches and picnic tables, restrooms. Great place for kids to run around, bring your picnic lunch.
      In summer weekends, vendors with ice cream carts circle the park, balloon guy makes balloon creations, might be a steel band playing.
  Mission Playground – Small playground for little kids on Valencia St. between 19th and 20th St. Water play area, small climbing structures, benches (perfect place to eat ice cream too).
   

Fun food

ice cream
   

Two of our favorite ice cream shops are in the Mission district – Garden Creamery and Bi-Rite Creamery.

    Garden Creamery (20th St.) – Freshly made, all local, organic ingredients for ice cream, pops and ice cream sandwiches, delicious vegan sorbet.
      Bi-Rite Creamery (18th St.) – Ice cream flavors such as"Birthday Cake," sundaes and toppings, vegan flavors (fruit, chocolate coconut), donuts with soft serve ice cream inside, chocolate covered ice cream bars, fruit popsicles.
kids books san francisco mission district
     
The Mystery on the California Mission Trail san francisco mission district kids books  

Bells are missing from the missions, but four kids are hot on the trail, tracking down the thief. Packed with fun facts about the California missions, including "Dangerous Dolores." (Chapter book)

 

     

Before you visit Mission Dolores, read overview of California missions – how they were built (with adobe bricks), mission buildings (a church, workshops, living spaces), and daily life. Historical illustrations and photographs. (Picture book)

 

 
The Spanish Missions of California mission district san francisco kids books
(More children's books on other San Francisco pages)
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