Kid’s City Guides

We are all about making budget travel with children manageable and fun.

San Francisco With Kids: What To Know Before You Go

San Francisco With Kids: What To Know Before You Go

SF With Kids

San Francisco is a super fun place to visit with kids because all the adults here are really kids at heart. The high rents here kick most families out of living in the actual city, but there are plenty of families that come in from around the area to play!

You’ll find tons of outdoor stuff and plenty of beautiful views. Make sure to get out of the touristy section of the city to see San Francisco how the locals do and you will definitely fall in love!

Stroller or Baby Backpack?

Stroller all the way, unless you live and die by baby backpacks. I've found that I can fit my strollers on public transit if I don't go at peak times. Most SF moms use them for everything from grocery shopping to carrying all their supplies for the day. Just accept that at some point you will be straight-arming your stroller up some hills!

Where to Stay:

San Francisco is notoriously expensive. If you can, see if you can work out a home exchange. If not, here are some good Airbnbs that hopefully won’t break the bank!

Book in Advance

The two things I would book in advance are: Alcatraz (sells out months in advance, see our Alcatraz guide), Basically Free Bike Rentals (usually they have bikes even without reservations, but best not to take the chance). I would also check the Castro Sing-Along schedule to see if there are any shows during your stay in SF. It’s worth it to see Moana or Frozen with a whole theater of adults who are singing along.

Books/Movies to Prep For Your Trip


  • Mrs. Doubtfire. A SF classic and you can visit the house!

  • The Princess Diaries. Still don't know how Mia's mom afforded that apartment, but it's a fun view of SF.

  • The Age of Adeline. SF through the past 100 years.

  • San Andreas. Maybe watch this one after you get home cause it might make you not want to go.

  • Ant Man: Dumb movie, cool setting.

  • Full House: Really just the intro. The rest of the show was filmed on a soundstage in LA.

Kid’s Books:

  • This is San Francisco by Miroslav Sasek. A kid's book that actually gives a great overview of the city.

  • Larry Gets Lost in San Francisco by Micheal Mullin

  • San Francisco: A Book of Numbers by Ashley Evanson

  • This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggars

To get yourself further organized, see our itineraries and tips for arrival for this amazing city. We have plans for babies/toddlers, elementary school-age kids, and teens and adults.

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