Let’s stimulate 2019 the year of event gifts instead of more toys! There are tons of things to do with kids in the Bay Area and these clear perfect endowments for under the tree. Scroll through to find options for all the teenagers on your index!

photo: Kate Loweth

For the Train-Obsessed

Plan a epoch out with your little train lover by lead over to one of these spots where the instruct is king. We specially like taking the F Market streetcars to visit the always-free SF Railway Museum that’s right across from the Ferry Building. There’s tons to do in the area and the views are unbeatable.

Or, foreman south to go the railway through the redwoods aboard the trains at Roaring Camp. In addition to their popular anniversary studies, you can get transfers to razz the railway with Thomas in the summer.

For the eventual train lovers end, book at night at Railroad Park Resort which allows you devote the night in a vintage caboose! Siskiyou County is full of teach history and outdoor ordeals for all ages.


photo: iFly

For Adventure Buff

If your little ones live life on a constant adrenaline high, you will definitely be their BFF when you give one of these endows designed to get their nerves pumping.

Head past Sacramento to Rocklin and spend the day at Quarry Park Adventures. Soar across the ravine on the zipline, balance on the ropes course and experiment your backbone on the cliff wall. We have the full dollop here.

Soar over San Francisco when you go on The Flyer at PIER 39. This simulated flying event will have you flying to new meridians! Make a period of it and call some of our favorite PIER 39 spots while you are there!

Soar to brand-new statures at iFLY Indoor Skydiving where babies senilities three and up can experience the feeling of skydiving. Flights take place in an indoor breath passage with an instructor there to assist. Be sure to add on the high-pitched fly option for the full event. Feeling extra magnanimous? Flight School is a great option for kids 4-16 who want to hone their skills in the passageway with one-on-one instruction.

For the family that recreations today, try your luck solving the puzzle at The Escape Game SF. We extremely like The Playground and Gold Rush for those bringing boys along.

Experience the boast of indoor rock climbing at Planet Granite. Book young adults/ offspring belay instruction where you can learn the skills to adult the rope for your child while they practice with staff. Then come together for the last portion of your lesson to work on your skills as marriages. Bay Area points are in San Francisco, Sunnyvale and Belmont.

A season pass to Six Flags or California’s Great America is a gift that impedes on dedicating all time long. Bonus: your season pass recipient can even bring you at a dismissed pace on adopt days!

photo: Marine Mammal Center/ Adam Ratner

For Animal Sweetheart

Whether your pint-sized people wish pandas or parakeets, they will be positively thrilled to explore any one of these places from SF to Monterey that cater to those who love animals.

A visit to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito is always free and full of data concerning how the centre for human rights extricates and refurbishes marine mammals like harbour closes and ocean lions. 45 -minute docent tours and behind-the-scenes suffers are available( for a fee ). Gift your little ones the good feelings that come with adopting one of the rescued swine at the center and supporting the center’s mission to return these swine to their natural environment. Your recipient will receive a personalized rescue certificate( downloadable for last-minute endowments) with the animal’s rescue history. Add on a stuffed animal or work to go along with your endow.

Memberships to the San Francisco Zoo, Oakland Zoo and the California Academy of Science are a great way to coach babies about animals and support the work of these organizations. Memberships come with perks like early admittance, free parking and discounts on special platforms. For a fully-immersive experience, choose one of the overnight alternatives offered at all three and realize the swine after dark!

Little ones will specially cherish a membership to CuriOdyssey in San Mateo. A family membership is $145 and will get you access to exclusive member nights, guest passes for friends and free parking when you call. Qualifying pedigrees can take advantage of the Family Membership for All program, which includes free daily admission or a $35 participation for participation of Golden State Advantage EBT/ CalFresh/ SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, Medicare or Healthy Kinfolk.

Head south to Monterey and plow the kids to a period at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Meet the octopuses, squid, cuttlefishes and nautiluses in the Tentacles exhibit and then head over to the Kelp Forest exhibit for feeding period when a diver hand-feeds sharks and other animals that lives there. Aquarium membership allows you to skip the lines and access the swine during special members-only hours.

Check out this list of other wildlife midsts to find one near you that would be perfect for your experience gift.

photo: Kate Loweth

For History Buffs

For adolescents with constant questions about how life was like before they were born, pick one of these endows and blow their minds.

Book your gang on an Alcatraz Cruise and enjoy a skipper across the Bay to the legendary island that was a Civil War fort, a military prison and one of “the worlds largest” notorious federal penitentiaries in U.S. record. Tour the cellhouse, hear the stories of life inside from real captives and feel the strength of a confinement breakout from correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island. Spend as much time as you’d like on the island before you timber the ship to skipper back to Pier 33. Bonus: Local citizens can take advantage of their BOGO promotion on hand-picked dates.

The USS Hornet is a big aircraft carrier docked in Alameda that is full of history. Bring the adolescents for a visit and tour the ship on your own and then continue below deck with a docent guiding you. Add on a move in the flight simulator to see what it was like for pilots to land on an aircraft carrier. Looking to really knock their socks off? Reserve a recognize for your gang to sleep overnight on the ship’s original recruited sleeping quarters as part of their Live Aboard program. For more historic ship and boat expedition notions, check out this post.

Learn about the City by the Bay as you tour downtown on a motorized cable car. Visit city landmarks like Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill and Alamo Square Park. There are three stops along the way where you can get out to explore and ask questions of your tour guide. The expedition ends with a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge where you will learn how this engineering wonder was improved across San Francisco Bay during the depression and was initiated in 1937.

Give a membership to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose and your mini mummy-lovers will go wild. Learn how the pharaohs lived and how their belief in the afterlife mold their burial patterns. Museum members 17 and younger can participate in the Junior Archaeologist training program for free, which includes behind-the-scenes training and hands-on learning experiences.

photo: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

For Theater Admirer

If your little one is destined for “peoples lives” on the stage or simply experiences a good musical, a period at the theater can be a fun gift option. Get dressed up, experience some hot chocolate at interlude and get swept apart to a faraway shore!

The hot ticket this celebration season is the two-part appearance Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Make it a era in the city with dinner in between the matinee and evening actions.

Bay Area Children’s Theater gratifies to little ones with their had indicated that have meaningful themes and shorter lead meters. Grab tickets for upcoming presents like: A Year with Frog and Toad, Construction Site on Christmas Night and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. With renditions in Berkeley, San Francisco and Sunnyvale, you can catch one near you!

In San Jose, Sesame Street Liveis coming in early January and Les Miserables in April.

There are tons of Nutcrackers and other holiday shows this time of year that make a great gift for babies.

photo: Curiodyssey

For Puzzled Minors

If you are looking inspire creativity and invention in your babies this festivity season, the authorities have quantities of museums that render time that. Plan a day there or opt for a year-long membership to really get the creative liquors flowing.

The peninsula is home to CuriOdyssey, a non-profit discipline museum and zoo where kids can explore technical phenomena through continue. Head farther south to San Jose where you can find the Children’s Discovery Museum and their outdoor exhibit, Bill’s Backyard. Older adventurers will adoration spending a day at The Tech Interactive where you can experience an shake, hear what you’d look like with someone else’s attentions and control a real robot. Read more here.

In San Francisco, the Children’s Creativity Museum offers an inventive art and technology know “for childrens” ages 2-12 and their families. Pier 15 is home to The Exploratorium–a museum that will challenge your taste while you are engaging in scientific invention. Check out their Curious Contraptions exhibit for some real “how did they do that? ” inspiration.

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge is the Bay Area Discovery Museum where imaginations can run wild. With exhibit gaps specially-designed for girls 0-10( and the Tot Spot limited to just crawlers through toddlers ), the BADM is a particularly good hand-picked for little ones. Teenagers of all ages will enjoy a tour to the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. A tour to the Planetarium there will get children thinking about life beyond our planet.

For a full list of STEM-inspired discerns around the bay, look here.

photo: MOCHA

For Little Master

Foster a cherish of art and give the gift of a stay to a neighbourhood prowes museum. Many offer special kids curricula or, better yet, are designed just for children!

Bring you crew to visit Golden Gate Park’s de Young Museum where they have a free-to-everyone playspace: the de Youngsters Studio. Special family programme is available on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m .. After visiting the museum, explore the other free offerings in Golden Gate Park.

The Museum of Children’s Arts in Oakland has been fetching the artistic artworks to East Bay kids for over 27 years. Your mini Monet will desire their weekday drop-in art program where they can explore the season’s theme utilizing many different media. Or make art with the whole family when the third Saturday of each month wreaks a brand-new task like dragon dolls and disguise making.

For some paint-all-over-your-hands artistry knowledge, we love the Messy Art Lab. Not simply does it keep the mess out of your home but it takes originality to a entire other position.

For more theories for drop-in art knowledge, check out this list.

photo: Kate Loweth

For Kids Who Want to Learn a New Skill

An experience gift is a great opportunity to let adolescents try a brand-new act. Give a few months of tasks and they might never want to stop!

Cooking castes can be tons of enjoyable and bonus, you get out of dinner duty! They uncover kids to ingredients and foods “theyve never” tried before and get them to go beyond chicken nuggets and pizza. A dance class can help kids to focus, work together and develop their listening sciences. Gymnastics years help build coordination and strength, plus they are great for tiring adolescents out!

photo: Hotel Zephyr by Kate Loweth

For Any Bay Area Kid

An overnight on the town is pretty much the prototype of merriment for teenagers of any senility. Plan a staycation in San Francisco and the children will go gaga at the idea.

PresidioBook a night at the Lodge at the Presidio and explore all that this area has to offer genealogies. You’ll enjoy complimentary wine and cheese in the evening and a cozy outdoor ardour oppose for rib s’mores.

Union Square/ DowntownSpend some time in the heart of the city at the Westin St. Francis, the only hotel situated right in Union Square. Holiday cartons that include cable car travels and free dining for kids are available.

Take a walk through Chinatown to the historic Sentinel Building for lunch at the carnival Cafe Zoetrope. You’ll feel like you are in a quaint cafe in Italy at this Francis Ford Coppola gem that responds to massive meatballs on bowls of spaghetti, thin-crust pizza with every exceeding under the sun and chocolate mousse that will send you over the edge.

The Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco hotels both present Skate, Shop and Stay Container for those looking to add ice skating and browsing to their staycation plan. This parcel gets you three ice rink tickets, free buffet breakfast for teenagers five and under, and 15% off at Bloomingdales. Take the kids to the Cityscape parlour for a Shirley Temple and an epic belief of the city!

Fisherman’s WharfFisherman’s Wharf contains a number of great hotels that allow you to stay right in the action. The Argonaut Hotel has the Neptune’s Package with free breakfast for four, cable car surpass for the full epoch, a PIER 39 offering multitude and special offerings for teenagers. Hotel Zephyr offers a massive courtyard with tournaments and shell opposes to keep everyone busy.

Spend the day at the Exploratorium, dine some seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf, go the cable cars, visit PIER 39, indulge in a giant-sized sundae at Ghirardelli Square and watch the Bay Bridge light up the sky. It’s a light the children will never ignore!

–Kate Loweth


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