Kid Friendly San Francisco

This week, I am in charge of a six year old girl named Crystal. Yesterday we walked all the way from Bush St. to Fisherman’s Wharf, where her mom works in the old c|net building.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is how unfriendly San Francisco is for children. As with everything, it’s mostly people that screw it up for us all. There are plenty of public parks and playgrounds in the City, and it all depends on where you go. If you go to a playground in the Tenderloin or even the one at City Hall, you’re going to have urban problems like used needles and sketchy characters hanging around. Luckily for us, the closest park is across from Grace Cathedral on top of Nob Hill. Not only is it one of the cleanest parks I’ve ever seen, it usually has a lot of children playing there.

Yesterday we went to one of my favorite kid friendly places, the cable car museum. Not only is it free, I haven’t met a single child who doesn’t adore the cable cars. Crystal was astonished that this was the place that powered every single cable car in San Francisco, and if we hadn’t been on a schedule she would have asked to stay there all day.

There are a lot of child friendly restaurants in San Francisco. The unfortunate part about this is that they are usually in the parts of the city that are heavy tourist areas — and this means they are expensive. Last night’s meal was courtesy of the Rainforest Cafe. A really big surprise at the Rainforest Cafe was Sunshine the Clown, a local San Francisco clown that specializes in balloon animals and speaking almost entirely in rhyme. I’ve had dealings with Sunshine before, when I helped out with an event that she was hired for. Sunshine is easily the shortest person I know, being about 1 inch taller than the legal definition of a “little person”. She’s a wonderful person, even if clowns are a little bit scary to me.

2 Comments so far

  1. anna (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

    that nob hill park was the one with tons of tiny dogs, which are a form of kid entertainment! My nephew is *still* talking about the cable carmuseum. As his mom says- he enjoys stuff that he can see working. It’s like the perpetual motion machine in front of the tech museum in SJ, you can stand there for hours watching it.

  2. Matt R. (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

    As a former employee and current customer with kid at Ella’s Restaurant, they’re good at accommodating kids–and nice about it. Avoid the weekend brunch, though, because of the long wait. Weekdays are easy. Located at 500 Presidio Ave. @ California.

    Look, the only things not kid-friendly about this town are the economics of keeping a budget here and the public school system (not to say that there aren’t GREAT teachers and administrators in the system; blame mostly the whacked-out, in-fighting school board for not advocating neighborhood schools).

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