Managing Alcatraz with Kids
Alcatraz: the island prison that housed Al Capone and many other famous criminals. This place is crowded but completely worth it. The ticket includes a ferry ride across the bay so it's really a hit with the kids. Prepare yourself for a lot of walking and hills.
First things first, make your reservation online ahead of time. Tickets sell out months in advance especially during the summertime, so book early. They take reservations up to 90 days beforehand. Tickets: $46.35/adult $31.50/kid, night tours are a tad more expensive (and scary!).
No matter which tour you select, show up to Pier 33 about a half hour early. Take the ferry out to the island and use the audioguide. Be sure you are wearing good shoes this day. You’ll be hiking a ton. Bring a coat and then another spare coat because it gets cold, especially during the summer when the fog rolls in.
Strollers on Alcatraz are a pain due to the uneven terrain, so best to bring a baby carrier. See that big hill right as you get off the ferry? We call that hill Heart Attack Hill because my grandfather once had a minor heart attack while climbing it. He was ok. Hopefully your coronary arteries are healthier than his were.
Speaking of coronary arteries, there’s no good food on Alcatraz, so pack snacks and perhaps a lunch. We like to get to-go sandwiches from Boudin’s before getting on the ferry. You’ll be spending about 1-2 hours on the island. Don’t skip the audioguide! It’s well done and really brings the place to life. Some people call Alcatraz an overpriced tourist trap, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the price and hassle to get there. The history is fascinating and the views are spectacular.