We took BART to get there.
And unless riding BART is something your kids do often, then they will probably get a kick out of it. From studying the train map, to putting their pass into the entry gates, to picking seats that went 'backwards', the kids loved the BART train. I had a little bit of frustration when I learned that the discounted child BART tickets can't be purchased at the station, but have to be pre-purchased someplace else. I even checked the BART website before our trip to research route prices, and still didn't see that mentioned. After spending 30 min circling the parking garage for a space, I wan't going to leave to find a 7-11 that offered the child passes, so I paid adult rates for them. Naturally, thought, the kids could care less, and their fun was in no way lessened.
We Took Time To Wander.
The plan for this trip was very open. We wanted to go to Union Square, but otherwise, we explored the blocks right around that area and did some Christmas shopping (very little) in the stores that interested the kids.
We Saw the Union Square Christmas Tree, Menorah, and Ice Rink.
While we only spent a few minutes there admiring it all, but the kids were duly impressed. My youngest was afraid to try the ice skating, so we passed on that this year, but they still had big smiles as they watched some of the skaters while we were there.
There are lots of stands for soft pretzels, but we found a spot in the basement of Macy's across the street from the Union Square Christmas Tree that had lots of tables and seats. I'm sorry I don't remember the name of it. But there were plenty of other food court style eating establishments down there if soft pretzels aren't your thing. Lots of walking on Big City hills was hard on my soft suburban kids and their little legs, so we enjoyed the rest and snack.
I'm not a city girl myself, so I actually tried to steer clear at first from most of these folks. But my kids were drawn to some, and enjoyed their talents, and as it turned out, all the ones we stopped to watch were friendly and smiling, and made the day better.
Are my kids the only ones who go to a new place, only to get super excited by stuff there that is exactly the same as we have at home? We do actually have pigeons in our own town. But somehow, San Francisco pigeons are more exciting.
What other sorts of things do your kids love about a visit to San Francisco?