When you think of San Francisco you might think of steep hills, seafood, shopping, and nightlife. You may not exactly think "toddler-friendly" but there is so much that you can do with a toddler in the city by the bay. We recently took a trip to San Francisco and my son had the time of his life! One of the nice things about traveling to San Francisco with a toddler is that you can easily entertain a little one without spending a whole lot of money. Almost everything on this list is free or under $20 and toddler approved!
Coca-Cola (Giants) Fan Lot
The Coca-Cola fan lot is open year-round and it's FREE on non-game days (included with your ticket on game days).
What toddler doesn't love chocolate? And there's even ice cream!
There is a lot happening at Fisherman's Wharf but the highlight for my son was the ships. There's even a submarine, the USS Pampanito, that you can tour. You can opt for the paid tour or just enjoy looking from the pier. Most toddlers will be in awe just looking at the ships, so you can save your money!
If your little one is a fan of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, this will be the highlight of his little life. Be forewarned, though, it's not exactly cheap (currently $7 a ride).
Cable Car Museum
A free option for experiencing the San Francisco cable cars is to go to the Cable Car Museum!
Golden Gate Park
I had not been to the Golden Gate Park since I was a child and I did not realize that there is so much to do. The highlights for my son were the windmill and the bison! You could easily spend an entire day there. so, pack a lunch and stay awhile! (Or eat at one of the restaurants.)
The Golden Gate Bridge
Take a drive across the bridge, your little one will love it!
Golden Gate Park Beach
San Francisco Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is home to over 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals and is FREE for kids 3 and under!
Maritime National Historical Park
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is conveniently located by Ghirardelli. There is a museum but there is also plenty of room for your toddler to run in the grass while you enjoy the beautiful ocean scenery and Hyde Street Pier.
The Musée Mécanique is located in Fisherman's Wharf and has antique arcade games, some that date back as far as 100 years! We spent quite a bit of time at the museum and spent less than $5 on games as there was plenty to keep my little guy entertained. (Including going outside to look at the aforementioned ships!)
Cruise Around the Bay
The reason for our trip was actually because my sister got married on the Hornblower. While this was a bit of a lengthy trip (three hours) and a little bit expensive, there are shorter cruises to choose from that are more toddler and budget friendly. My son did very well on our dinner cruise ride and is still talking about it one month later! Check out this site with different San Francisco cruise options.