San Francisco: Five great places to take the kids

If you're planning a family holiday in this Californian city, be sure to check out these highlights.

Al Capone was among the inmates at the jail on Alcatraz Island, a short ferry ride from San Francisco. Photo / San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau
Al Capone was among the inmates at the jail on Alcatraz Island, a short ferry ride from San Francisco. Photo / San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau

Ride the cable cars

The city's distinctive cable cars have dealt with San Francisco's fearsome hills since 1873.

They run seven days a week, with special schedules on weekends. Three cable car routes operate - Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde and the California St lines.

Children's Creativity Museum

This is an interactive art and technology museum. Its mission is to nurture the 3Cs of 21st century skills: creativity, collaboration and communication, inspiring kids to imagine, create and share in the multimedia environment. Interactive labs encourage children to design, invent and create using materials and resources such as clay, Photoshop and musical equipment.

Aquarium of the Bay

The 4645sq m aquarium is nestled in the shadow of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill on Fisherman's Wharf. Its focus, unsurprisingly, is water, boasting 100m of tunnels holding 2,650,000-litres of bay water that sustains approximately 20,000 animals, ranging from octopuses to 3m-long seven-gill sharks.

Alcatraz

Now a national park, Alcatraz is the landmark of the bay that is steeped in history. Children will be fascinated by the claim that during the jail's 29 years of operation on Alcatraz, no prisoner successfully escaped, and interested in the stories of inmates such as Al Capone, and the American Indian occupation.

It's a pleasant ferry ride across to The Rock. Though the prison is impressive, make sure you take some time to look at the island's flowers, birds and the views back to San Francisco.

Fire engine tours

A 75-minute ride in an open-air fire truck takes 14 passengers on a return trip tour of San Fran's sights beginning at Fisherman's Wharf then going to the Presidio, past Fort Point at the base of Golden Gate Bridge then to Sausalito across the bay. Children (and adults) can feel the part wearing authentic fire gear on the Shiny Red 1955 Mack Fire Truck.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com for more on visiting San Francisco.

- NZ Herald

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