What a beautiful weekend! In case you missed it, last week's plan was
- Visit Fort Point
- Walk the old Torpedo Wharf and see what people are fishing for. Grab a drink at the Warming Hut
- Fly a kite or have a picnic at Crissy Field
I had no idea how busy it would be at Fort Point or the Presidio. Beautiful day along with a number of events, which I guess brought everyone out. We ended up leaving late in the morning and got stuck in some traffic through the Presidio, got as far as the Torpedo Wharf, and turned around after having no luck parking.
After finding some parking by the main post and a bathroom stop at the Presidio Officers Club, we tried to make our way down to Crissy Field on foot but found our way blocked with all the remnants of the Doyle Drive construction. Following a cool drink at the Disney Museum Cafe and our picnic lunch on their veranda overlooking the Main Post, we decided to go see their Dali exhibit. It’s always good to have a Plan B. Did you know that they show movies in the basement included with your museum entrance? They had the Sword and the Stone playing, unfortunately we ran out of time.
This week finds us back in San Francisco again but, my plan is to cover spots all over the Bay Area. There are so many great things to pick from, it’s hard choosing just one. Next week will find us down the peninsula!
Also, let us know if you go. We would love to hear about your trip. Simply reply to this e-mail.
Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com
1-2-3 Things — Junior Rangers at the Maritime Museum
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
Visit the old ships at the San Francisco Maritime Museum
Earn your Junior Ranger badge and get sworn in by a Park Ranger
Stroll down to Pier 45 to the Musée Mécanique and try your hand at the antique games
We've done this trip a few times, most recently a couple months back. Aquatic Park is just far enough from all the touristy stuff so you can enjoy a nice day looking out at the water without having to deal with all the crowds.
The Maritime Museum is actually a series of locations in this area. There is the Bathhouse Building where you can see colorful WPA murals in the lobby between 10AM and 4PM daily. You can also go on the Hyde Street Pier were the historic vessels are kept. And there is the Visitor Center on the corner of Jefferson and Hyde (not far from the cable car turn around), which is where you can find some bathrooms.
Currently the only fee is $5 per adult to go onto the ships at the Hyde Street Pier, supervised kids under 15 are free. Starting October 1st, 2015 the fee is going to double to $10 per adult. Might be a good time to pick up an annual pass (currently $20) if you plan on coming back. Here is the list of historic ships you can visit: http://www.nps.gov/safr/learn/historyculture/historic-vessels.htm.
Pick up your Junior Ranger book first from the Visitor Center, the ticket booth, or the Maritime Museum. Go on back to the visitor center to get sworn in when you are done (and you get a cute little badge).
Originally part of Playland at the Beach and previously located at the lower level of the Cliff House, the Zelinsky collection is a for-profit interactive museum consisting over 300 20th century arcade games. Entry is free and you pay to play. Most games are a quarter with a few going for a little bit more. You can also find an array of photo booths here, and Laughing Sal who used to greet visitors to the Fun House at Playland. We usually change $20 to quarters and just wander around for an hour or so having fun all around. My kids love the fortune tellers, I think because they get a little card to take home. If you see a guy cruising around the place on skates, he’s the owner.
Aquatic Park Pier (points A & B on the map)
The municipal pier itself is in desperate need of some love and attention. The National Park Service is aware of this (and it looks like it’s going to be a really expensive project). You will notice parts of it are fenced off now for safety. Still, it’s a lovely walk along the pier with a great view of the city and the bridge when you get to the end. This is a great spot to catch the sunset if it’s that kind of day. It’s also fun to see what people are fishing for as you walk along. Try and spot a swimmer or two in the little harbor.
- If you get there early, and if you are lucky, you can find street parking adjacent to Fort Mason or at the end of Van Ness at the foot of the Aquatic Park Pier.
- There is paid parking around, but just be careful of the rates, they add up quickly.
- If you don’t want to drive, you can take the F-line to the Musée Mécanique and just start your day there. Or why not take this opportunity and ride the cable car there for a splurge?
- You can find bathrooms in the Maritime Museum building, in Ghirardelli Square, or over by the In and Out burger on Jefferson.
- If you’ve been walking a bit, why not stop for a foot massage at one of the machines at the Musée Mécanique?
- Take a walk over the hill to Fort Mason. Have a walk around the piers. Look for the Bufano Statue in the Fort Mason Great Meadow. (http://www.artandarchitecture-sf.com/76.html) You can find many of Bufano’s statues all over the city and Bay Area. Have you seen others?
- It’s a bit of a splurge (and a big tourist attraction), but why not go split a Banana Split at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop. You can see the process they use to make chocolate (although all of it there is for show) and have a treat for all your efforts. (http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-original-ghirardelli-ice-cream-and-chocolate-shop-san-francisco)
- Go see the stern of the Galilee in the parking lot at Fort Mason, read more of its story here:
- Did you notice the boarded up train tunnel under Fort Mason? There are plans to reopen it and extend the F-Line streetcar through to the parking lot of Fort Mason.