Travel | Family fun

Magical San Francisco: Top 10 Adventures with Kids

A San Francisco mom of three shares her kid-tested best of the city, from beaches to trolleys, museums and ice cream

Golden Gate Bridge, Kristin Scheel

Ten years ago, when I made my backward migration to San Francisco from the Pacific Northwest, I couldn’t understand why anyone with kids would live here. The city seemed overwhelming, and where were all the brunch places with baskets of toys? Since then, with three kids in tow, I’ve learned the shortcuts. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, on a picnic with the Golden Gate Bridge or the Bay Bridge in the background, you can’t help but feel pinch-yourself lucky. Here is our family’s top 10 list of San Francisco’s can’t-miss places and their sweet just-for-kids pairings.

Bi-Rite Creamery, Kristin Scheel1. Dolores Park + Bi-Rite Ice Cream

San Franciscans don’t take beauty for granted; they live every sunny day as if it could be their last. Sundays in Dolores Park can be glorious. The iconic hillside park in the Mission district creates a natural amphitheater overlooking the city. Even on busy days, you can find a spot to throw down a blanket and become part of the mix. The imaginatively redesigned new playground with soft sand play area and a steep slide is no less of a scene for kids, and the view from the mini Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular. Not for the faint of anything.

Pair with: At the corner of the park, at Dolores and 18th Street, is ice cream hot spot Bi-Rite Creamery. Bi-Rite ice cream routinely makes the city’s list of foods to eat before you die. After only a few weeks in the neighborhood, my kids learned to go to the soft-serve window to avoid the line. On Saturdays, the flavor is vanilla/chocolate swirl.

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