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December 14, 2016

San Francisco Frequently Asked Questions: What Can I Do With My Family When I Visit San Francisco?

What Can I Do with My Family While I Visit San Francisco? Zherr-Anne from the San Francisco Visitor Information Center answers this week's question.

Overview
San Francisco is a very family-friendly destination year-round. Here are some of our favorite spots to check out in the city.

Museums

Perfect for Smaller Children: Children's Creativity Museum
The Children's Creativity Museum is a hands-on art and technology experience for families with kids ages 2 -12. Visitors are invited to explore creativity through programs like clay animation, robot coding, brain teasers, mystery box challenge, music production, and more. www.creativity.org

For Children (and Adults) of All Ages: The Exploratorium
Described as a mad scientist's penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one, the Exploratorium is regarded as the world’s foremost interactive science museum. With more than 600 hands-on exhibits that ignite curiosity and transform the way people learn, visitors of all ages can play, observe and discover. www.exploratorium.edu

Children (and Adults) into Natural History: California Academy of Sciences
Home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and world-class research and education programs, the California Academy of Sciences is one of San Francisco's must-see destinations. www.calacademy.org

PIER 39

Visit the Sea Lions
These wild marine mammals have resided at PIER 39 since 1990, arriving in droves shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (scientists still aren't exactly sure why). Visitors tend to leave with a case of sea lion withdrawals after gazing out at the hypnotic antics of these playful pinnipeds. Thankfully, PIER 39's Sea Lion Webcam allows you to virtually visit them at your leisure. 

Ride the Carousel
Handcrafted in Italy, the San Francisco Carousel is intricately hand-painted with famous San Francisco landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Alcatraz and the popular California sea lions. See all of San Francisco without leaving your horse.

Go Under the Bay at the Aquarium of the Bay
See the Bay up close as you get to know 20,000 of San Francisco's most amazing aquatic animals. Step into a tranquil environment and get lost in the mesmerizing world of jellies, leopard sharks, bat rays and schools of anchovies. www.aquariumofthebay.org

Nature

For the Animal Lover: The San Francisco Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo is an historic treasure with 1,000 endangered and rescued animals representing 250 species on view in 100 acres of lovely, peaceful gardens nestled against the Pacific Ocean. Their mission is to connect visitors with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action. www.sfzoo.org

See Flowers Everywhere: the San Francisco Botanical Garden
With its unique micro-climate, San Francisco Botanical Garden is able to recreate conditions of the high elevation tropical cloud forests of Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Rare high elevation palms, as well as plants from New Zealand and temperate Asia also thrive here. www.sfbotanicalgarden.org

For More Flower Power: The Conservatory of Flowers
The Conservatory of Flowers is a historic San Francisco landmark in Golden Gate Park since 1879, boasting rare tropical flowers and plants from around the world with five distinct galleries. www.conservatoryofflowers.org

Stay tuned for next week's SF FAQ.

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