Even on vacation, kids need time to play. So why not take a play break in one of San Francisco’s playgrounds?
Golden Gate Park’s cherished Children’s Playground, the first children’s playground in a public park in America, was recently renovated to comply with ADA requirements. There are several other playgrounds within the park: Fulton Playground, Kennedy Dr. at Ninth Ave.; Panhandle Playground, between Oak and Fell streets; and Mother’s Meadow, Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. near 19th Ave.
Other neighborhood playgrounds include the Chinese Recreation Center located at Washington and Mason streets, Portsmouth Square at Kearny and Clay streets, North Beach Playground at Lombard and Mason streets, Mountain Lake at Lake and Ninth Ave., the Rooftop at Moscone Center at Fourth and Howard streets, and Nob Hill’s Huntington Park at California and Taylor streets. The Marina Green and Crissy Field, along the waterfront in the Marina offer picnic areas with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the background.
AT&T Park, South Beach, has a number of ticket packages available to keep baseball affordable for families.
• The Knothole Gang is the Giants right field wall which contains open archways, where fans can walk up and watch the game free of charge.
• The Giants Kids’ Meal is one of the best deals in the ballpark – which includes a hot dog, drink, carrots and a toy for $5.50.
• The Giants allow food to be brought into the ballpark, enabling families to save money on food and beverages while at a game.
• Autograph Sundays is every Sun. after batting practice, two players sign autographs for the first 200 kids 16 and younger in line in Section 125/126 and Section 104/105.
AT&T Park is not only a place to see a Giants baseball game, it boasts a playground within the ballpark called the Coca-Cola Fan Lot, located on the Promenade Level, behind the Left Field Bleachers. This interactive play area offers slides located inside the 80-foot Coca-Cola bottle made of Alaskan Cedar, to Little Giants Park where kids can play baseball and adults can admire the original artwork on the walls of the mini-park, created by local illustrator and artist Halsted Craig Hannah. Fans can also visit the Build a Lou Seal Store by Build-A-Bear Workshop® and create a plush Lou Seal or one-of-a-kind Giants bear. While in the Fan Lot, fans can also get a close look at one of the world’s largest baseball gloves (26’x32’x12’), a replica of a four-fingered vintage 1927 glove.
Levi’s® Landing – the ballpark’s signature right field wall and arcade, is just 309 feet from homeplate. The 25-foot high wall is the shortest in all of baseball and has become the distinguishing feature of AT&T Park. The arcade section, which features seven rows of seats and standing room locations, is a favorite viewing location for fans.
There is also a miniature AT&T Park whiffle ball park so the younger generation of Giants fans can play their own game. That area is open during baseball games and on the weekends from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. beginning April.
For more information, visit http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/attractions.jsp.
For San Francisco Giants information contact 415-972-2000 or visit www.sfgaints.com.
To join one of the daily ballpark tours, call 415-972-2400 or book tours online.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is San Francisco’s largest park, covering 1,013 acres. Take a picnic, try fly fishing, see the buffalo, rent a bike or skates or play golf. Visit the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden, pedal a boat on Stow Lake, or visit the de Young Museum and the new California Academy of Sciences – all in the expansive Golden Gate Park. For Golden Gate Park information call 415-831-2700 or visit http://www.sfgov.org/site/recpark_page.asp.
For San Francisco Botanical Garden Arboretum information, visit www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.
For Conservatory of Flowers information, visit www.conservatoryofflowers.org.
For the California Academy of Sciences, visit www.calacademy.org.
The Presidio of San Francisco was once the most important military post on the West Coast. Over the span of 200 years, three flags flew over the base — Spanish, Mexican and American.
The Presidio’s 1,491 acres of prime real estate next to the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay have some of the best views in town. And there’s so much more to experience, including miles of hiking trails; signed bike routes; hidden picnic sites with lavish backdrops of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands and Pacific Ocean; eucalyptus and cypress groves; cannons dating from the late 1700s; a pet cemetery; abandoned barracks where Indian fighters once slept; and guided walking tours through historic military ruins, artillery batteries and the National Cemetery. A 20-page guide to the two-mile Ecology Trail highlights the Presidio’s oldest redwood trees and Inspiration Point and includes pages for children to journal their own experiences.
Rangers with the National Park Service also lead free tours at Fort Point, a four-tiered brick and granite fortress built between 1853 and 1861, tucked under the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The reclaimed wetlands and grassy knolls of Crissy Field, located along the shoreline of San Francisco Bay not far from the Exploratorium, offer picnic tables, walking paths, viewing areas and a schedule of energetic family-friendly activities in the Crissy Field Center. Using the ocean as a classroom is the province of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary visitor center, which guides groups through more than 1,200 miles of open ocean surrounding the Farallon Islands off the Golden Gate.