Happy belated one year of Covid-19! It’s hard to believe we’ve been in this for a year already. I’ve been completely absent on here, but it’s been hard to keep up with life lately. My house is a complete mess all the time, we’re in the process of moving, and I’m still over here studying for my exam. But even with the hectic moments of life, we still prioritize going on our family adventures. Since we’re still in the pandemic, we’ve still been distancing ourselves from seeing friends and family, but we’ve managed to compensate fun by finding new things to do as a family.
This time last year we were all quarantined at home so I’m sure this year more families are wanting to get out even for a little bit. One thing the pandemic has made me realize is that we’re so blessed to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I know someone families ares still not traveling outside of the area or state so I wanted to curate a list to share of our favorite places in the greater Bay Area. Whether you want to plan a staycation or day-trip, these are all places and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Explore Golden Gate Park
One of our most favorite things in San Francisco is Golden Gate Park. While it may not be as large as Central Park in NYC, it still has so much to do for the whole family. Right now the park is home to the SkyStar Wheel. But even without this fun new ride, there’s so many museums and gardens to visit. One of our favorite things to do is visit the Conservatory of Flowers and have a picnic. If you’re more of an active adventurer, rent a paddle boat and explore Stow Lake or bring your bikes and ride around the entire park. The fun is endless!
Check-Out Street Art
From the mural alleys in the Mission District like Clarion Alley to random street art in North Beach (like the one pictured below), San Francisco is the home to so many amazing artists. A new favorite we checked out is the new Umbrella Alley in Fisherman’s Wharf. Make an afternoon out of visiting these murals by also visiting Ghirardelli Square and Aquatic Park while you are there. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to stay-up-to-date on their operating hours for the week.
Go for a Hike
To get your kids out and enjoying the outdoors, take them on an urban hike in San Francisco. While the City is known for it’s touristy wharf and shopping downtown, an off-the-beaten path activity to do is to go on a hike. Our favorite family friendly hike is at Lands End. If you’re hiking with littles, you can bring a stroller here, just be aware of the inclines.
Visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum
This museum is a favorite for kids of all ages. The Bay Area Discovery Museum has something to do for babies up to elementary school kids. There are great outdoor exhibits that have been open for a few months and now indoor exhibits are open as well. Just be sure to reserve your tickets ahead of time.
Check out Muir Woods
To get a real breathe of fresh air, we love to pay a visit to Muir Woods National Monument. Nestled in the hills of Marin County, you can really disconnect from everything at Muir Woods. There are different trails for hikers of different levels. This is another place you can easily bring a stroller. Although if you want more of a “real” hike, I’d suggest bringing your little one in a carrier. The more advanced trails really take you through the woods on unpaved paths. If you plan to go here, you must make a reservation.
Explore Point Reyes
Ever wonder where people take those pictures with the row of Cypress Trees behind them? If you have, then you must take a visit to the Point Reyes National Seashore. Not only is it home to the Cypress Tree Tunnel, but you can take in breathe-taking views of the Pacific Ocean, visit a lighthouse, and eat delicious cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. And when you’re hungry, stop in the quaint town of Point Reyes Station for lunch.
See the animals at the Oakland Zoo
While I love San Francisco as my hometown, I will admit that the superior zoo in the Bay Area is the Oakland Zoo. Hidden in the hills of Oakland, we love this zoo not only for the animals, but for the amazing views of the Bay. Our kids most favorite thing to do is ride the Gondola up to their California Trail. We recently visited during their evening event, but visiting during the day is equally as fun. Because of the pandemic, admission is with reservation only.
Visit Cornerstone Sonoma
And for parents who need a little wine in their lives, you get a little wine, a picnic, and garden for your littles to explore when you visit Cornerstone Sonoma. If wine isn’t your drink of choice, you can also find a restaurant and cafe for coffee, teas, and sodas. With the pandemic you might want a little adult time with some wine, but if you’re like us and don’t have anyone else to watch your kids, this place is a good option to get a mix of fun for everyone.
Take a Train Ride
What kid doesn’t love trains? Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton, CA is our favorite place to go for a train ride. There are other smaller trains in the Bay Area made specifically for kids, but the train rides here are great for adults too. There are two train route options to choose from. One train rides take you through the Redwood Tree forests, while the other takes you through the forests to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Like all the other activities on this list, reservations are required to visit.
Have a Beach Day
And last but not least, nothing says Spring Break better than a visit to the beach! While the weather in the Bay Area isn’t hella warm in the Spring, it’s nice enough to enjoy a beach day. We don’t tend to visit many of the beaches in the Bay Area because most of the beaches closer to our home get chilly and foggy, but we found our favorite beach in the Bay Area at Capitola Beach. We love the beautiful “colorful homes”, the beach was clean, and it’s walking distance to Capitola Village. If you’re looking for a staycation destination, book a beach rental in this adorable town!
And whatever you decide to do for Spring Break, don’t forget your masks and your hand sanitizers! And keep 6 feet apart from those outside of your household. Happy adventuring!