Bay Area Children’s Activities

While the Bay Area offers many destinations for young children, at times, nothing beats the cost and convenience of a local park or library. However, if you are looking for a different experience, here are some interesting places to visit.


  • Mount Diablo State Park. If you can handle twisting mountain roads, a trek up to the Mount Diablo summit offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The park also features campsites for those looking for an overnight, outdoor experience. Rock City is a wonderful hiking trail that meanders through large rocks with wind-carved tunnels.



Los Altos

  • Helix by Exploratorium. Small science museum for young children. The interactive hand-on exhibits should keep young minds occupied for 1-2 hours.


  • Fairyland. 10-acre playground with farm animals near Lake Merritt. Reasonably priced, but somewhat dated.
  • Oakland Zoo. A wonderful, smaller zoo with a newer children’s zoo exhibit.

Palo Alto

  • Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. Small museum with educational activities for young children. Zoo has a variety of small animals. Good 1-2 hours of entertainment.


  • Año Nuevo State Park. Great place to view elephant seals. Grab a bite from the rustic beach towns nearby and get some exercise as you hike out to the coast.

Redwood City

  • San Mateo County History Museum. Delightful museum with hands-on exhibits for children. Learn about the history of the San Francisco Bay Area from the time of the Native Americans to 19th and 20th century life.

San Carlos

  • Hiller Aviation Museum. Features a rich collection of aircraft, including planes, helicopters and experimental vehicles, which span from the days of the Wright Brothers to planes of more modern vintage.

San Francisco

San Jose

Santa Cruz


  • Bay Area Discovery Museum. Interactive exhibits and fun playground near the Golden Gate Bridge. Suitable for young children.