San Francisco With Kids: Family-Friendly Fisherman’s Wharf

Known for its rolling hills, eclectic architecture, classic cable cars, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is a well-loved destination for travellers of all types, but many don’t realize just how much there is to see and do in the Golden City that would appeal to kids of all ages.

Family Fisherman's Wharf

From a two-level carousel on the pier for the younger kids, to the insta-worthy Museum of Ice Cream for the tweens, San Francisco is the ideal spot for a sweet summer escape with the family. Here’s where to play in and around the world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf.

Where To Find Family Fun At Fisherman’s Wharf

When it comes to finding family fun in San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf is an obvious place to start. Stroll through Pier 39, and let your little ones take a spin on the vintage two-level carousel. Watch the piles of silly sea lions bark and sunbathe on the marina docks, and stop in at Fog Harbour for the Wharf Fest’s “People’s Choice Award” winning clam chowder, served in a freshly-baked sourdough bread bowl and topped with Dungeness crab – a must-try during a visit to San Francisco.

Family Fisherman's Wharf

Pop into Musee Mechanique, where you can find one of the world’s largest collections of antique coin operated arcade games. Parents can take a trip down memory lane, playing games from their early childhood days, and kids can show off their skills on the more modern video arcade games.

Family Fisherman's Wharf

Give your kids a taste of the modern and contemporary art scene with a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), where you can discover work by artists from around the world, including Frida Kahlo, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, and Julie Mehretu. Stroll through the  outdoor sculpture garden, featuring a thirty-foot living wall, refuel in one of three energizing eateries, and take in incredible views — all right in the heart of the city.

Related: 10 Family-Friendly Adventures To Try In Whistler This Summer

Ghirardelli Square is a hub for shopping and cuisine, where you can spend the day exploring, playing, and tasting your way through some of the city’s top spots. Take your turn at Sub Par mini golf, featuring life-like replicas of key landmarks around San Francisco. Head to Ghirardelli chocolate factory and satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolate fudge sundae, and then pick up some take-home keepsakes from the unique shops offering goods from local artisans.

Family Fisherman's Wharf

If you’re looking for a fun photo backdrop for your Instagram pics, head to the Museum of Ice Cream, where you can take a dip in a pool full of sprinkles, ride on a unicorn against a backdrop of rainbows, and swing on a pink swing in a room full of whipped cream cans, all while sampling various ice cream flavours along the way – a spot that’s sure to please the tweens in your family!


Want to know where to stay while you’re in San Francisco with kids? Read the full story in the May/June issue of WestCoast Families magazine.

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