Things to Do in San Francisco with a Toddler

Things to Do in San Francisco with a Toddler
There's no doubt that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is an awe-inspiring sight for tourists and native Californians alike. Walking across it, though, is not an activity geared toward families with toddlers, and neither is a long hike in Golden Gate Park. However, the City by the Bay offers other appealing attractions for children that parents will enjoy too.

Musee Mecanique

The Musee Mecanique will entrance your toddlers with its old-fashioned coin-operated exhibits such as the dancing marionettes and player pianos. Don't miss the miniature replica of an amusement park with a ferris wheel and other carnival rides made of toothpicks. The museum's machines all cost 25 cents to operate. Musee Mecanique doesn't charge admission and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Musee Mecanique
Pier 45 at the end of Taylor Street
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 346-2000
www.museemecaniquesf.com

Lounging Sea Lions, Pier 39

A trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without going to Pier 39 and watching the famous sea lions resting on wooden platforms. Hundreds of sea lions came to San Francisco when Pier 39 was built in 1990 and have been there ever since. These large mammals draw extensive crowds, so it's best time to visit early in the morning. They slide off the platforms to catch herring, wave their flippers and make roaring sounds.

Sea Lions
Pier 39
The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 421-2259
www.pier39.com

Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park

Take your toddler to Stow Lake at Golden Gate Park, and bring plenty of bread to feed the ducks. If you're feeling ambitious, and if there is more than one adult, let the kids help paddle a rowboat. The boat rental center provides life jackets. If you're lucky enough to go in April and early May, you can see the Great Blue herons nesting with their chicks.

Stow Lake
Golden Gate Park
Stow Lake Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
www.sfgov.org/site/recpark_page.asp?id=17796

Article Written By Ellen Kendall

Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.

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