Top Activities for Families at the Presidio of San Francisco This Summer
The Presidio of San Francisco is a great place to keep your little ones occupied and entertained, especially in the summer months. From reading to a nature scavenger hunt, here are some of our favorite free and low-cost family offerings to enjoy in the Presidio.
Take a StoryWalk
A StoryWalk is a creative way for children and their families to enjoy the park on a family-friendly, accessible trail while reading an adventure at the same time. Pages of a children’s book are put on signs and placed along the trail. Walk along the trail and read the story, step-by-step and page-by-page. This year, you’ll find "Bikes For Sale," written by Carter Higgins and illustrated by Zachariah OHora, "I Wrote You a Note," written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd, and "Where’s Rodney?," by Carmen Bogan. Visit the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s StoryWalks page or stop by the Presidio Visitor Center (open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for a map of the StoryWalk trails in the Presidio. Good for ages 2 to 8.
Pitch a Tent at Rob Hill Campground
As one of the only campgrounds in San Francisco, the Presidio’s Rob Hill is the perfect place to escape the dense urban landscape for the woods. Sleep under the stars, take a stroll along the Presidio’s 24-miles of hiking trails, and roast marshmallows at the fire pit without ever leaving the city. Lots of weeknight spaces are still available. Visit the Presidio online to learn how to make a reservation.
Geocaching is a treasure hunt enjoyed by people all over the world. Available all year long, a dozen geocaching sites are in the Presidio. Kids and families can use a smartphone to locate hidden boxes and stories in special nooks and crannies of the park. For 2019, there are five new geocache locations, including one at the Presidio Visitor Center. Be sure to charge your phone before you arrive. Good for ages 4+.
Check Out a Presidio Explorer Backpack at the Visitor Center
Kids can transform into nature enthusiasts with the Presidio Explorer backpack. It contains an adventure map and cards that guide you to fun discoveries, like wildflowers, animals, and more, all around the park. It’s also packed with tools, including a magnifying glass, binoculars, and compass, to help you along the way. To get started:
- Drop into the Presidio Visitor Center at 210 Lincoln Blvd. any day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to check out a free backpack. Supplies are limited, so you may want to reserve one in advance by calling (415) 561-4323. One backpack allowed per family/group.
- Give yourself two hours for your adventure. Backpacks MUST be returned by 4:30 p.m.
- Travel around the park on foot or on the free PresidiGo Shuttle.
Good for ages 5 to 12.
Learn to Bike in the Park
If the kids are itching to learn how to ride a bike, the Presidio has two free ways to get them rolling. The YBike Learn to Ride Program, co-sponsored by the Presidio YMCA, is offered at Presidio Picnic every first Sunday through October. For those kids who already know how to bike, take them on a Family-Friendly Bike Ride. A Presidio Park Ranger and a Presidio Trust guide will lead them through a four-mile, gently-paced bike ride. Rides are offered on three Saturdays in summer 2019: June 22, July 13, and Aug. 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Visit the Presidio calendar for details.
The Presidio is easily accessible via the free PresidiGo Shuttle or San Francisco's Muni system. For more information on family fun in the Presidio, visit the Presidio online, or in-person at the Presidio Visitor Center.
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