San Francisco is a cultural kaleidoscope of neighborhoods, museums, activity centers, galleries, restaurants, shops and more… Navigating through the options of possible itineraries can be a daunting task with the kids under toe. That’s why we asked our mom and dad scouts where they go in the city to foster their children’s curiosities while maintaining their sanity. The result is today’s post: A roundup of kid-friendly culture spots and activities in San Francisco:
Learning about other ethnicities, the colors and tastes and sounds are all part of the San Francisco experience. Bringing the children to this neighborhood will spark a lot of questions about what their eyes behold. Chinatown in San Francisco is home to the largest Chinese population outside of China, this destination is sure to provide an authentic experience for your crew.
Also, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the city on March 7, 2015 you will be witness to the most elaborate Chinese Parade perhaps worldwide. A grand San Francisco tradition since the times of the Gold Rush, this extremely popular parade can be seen in person or viewed on television. You’re kids will be blown away by the 268’ Golden Dragon float, that involves a crew of over 100 men and women carrying the beautiful beast through the streets.
No stop to San Francisco is complete without riding on a trolley car, but what about actually delving into the real story behind these iconic choo-choos? The Cable Car Museum is free to enter and it’s a great place to spend a chilly morning or afternoon with the young ones. Here you’ll discover the workings of the cable cars, including all the various mechanical devices, historic photographs, and the area's first cable cars.What’s more, this museum is the actual plant that powers the cable cars. That’s right, you can show the kids that all these machines are responsible for making those the cable cars zoom around the town.
3. Croatian American Cultural Center and Events
Another wonderful opportunity to teach your children about the rich history of San Francisco is through a visit to this cultural center. Here you’ll learn through images and oral stories about the San Francisco Waterfront, where a community of immigrants from the Dalmatian coast settled and established coffee houses, restaurants, shops, and other businesses—making the area what it is today. This unique center has two big events during the year: In October the Croatian Heritage Festival and every President’s Day weekend the Tamburitza Festival takes place—both are filled with food, folk dancing, music, games, and more.
4. The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
This long-standing cultural center is a leader in promoting Latin American culture through local, national, and international activities and programs. You really should check out their website before coming to San Fran to see if your children may participate in an event or workshop. Besides educational programs, there is an art gallery, a small shop, and plenty of music, food, and dance festivals going on throughout the year. Volunteering is also an option, if you’d like to share that experience with your children as well.
The Children’s Creativity Museum was an easy one to add to the kiddie cultural mix. Most parents agreed that you’d be in good hands here on a rainy day in the city. This hands-on kid’s museum encourages creativity in all facets of life. Exhibits are based upon new ideas in technology and multimedia arts, providing an unforgettable experience for your crew.
In just one visit to San Francisco and you will understand WHY this city is so fascinating: culture! And there really is no excuse to not delve into the various niche communities of San Franwhen visiting with your family: from Croatian cookies, to Chinatown floats, to red trollies, to Latin salsa dancing…there is so much to see, do and learn! We hope you’ll add any new spots to our family travel guide and share the cultural love!