The Pirate Store at 826 Valencia and various great ice cream spots. Our closest peddler of frozen goodness is Humphry Slocombe’s, but there is also La Copa Loca (our favorite) and Bi-Rite Creamery next to the Mission District’s biggest park, Dolores Park (worth a visit for its own merits). In addition to ice cream getting tacos is a fun, delicious and ageless treat, and Taqueria San Francisco is awesome and dangerously close (try the fish tacos).
To quickly burn off some kid steam there is Precita Park not far, and a little parklet just around the corner on 24th St alongside our terrific local organic grocer!
Embarcadero Piers, Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge:
If you are up for a longish meandering stroll you could begin at the San Francisco Farmer’s Market for breakfast at the Ferry Building (on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Sample all the fruit. Ask the farmers about their produce.
The Exploratorium is on one of the Piers not far from Pier 39 where they can see the sea lions, ride the carousel, and eat crab. You can end exploring the old Boats at the Hyde Street Pier around aquatic park. (another alternative is to begin downtown and take the cable car up and over the hills to Hyde Street Pier and walk back towards the Exploratorium).
Further along (probably a separate outing, frankly) you can get hot cocoa at the Warming Hut at Crissy Field. Then walk out on the pier for a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge (and then walk across… but it is a serious R/T hike with little ones!)
If you head downtown to Union Square go to the Westin St. Francis at Union Square and ride the glass elevators – you’ll look out over the whole city. Ride the Cable Cars, good seats are up front, and the kids can sometimes ring the bell. Visit the Fortune Cookie Company in Chinatown to see how they are made.
Not quite around the corner from the rest of it, a few blocks away you can visit San Francisco City Hall. It is actually pretty nice, and they have a decent tour you can take
Museums, Sports and Parks:
Go to a Giants game – we frankly don’t have a taste for baseball, but the park is quite nice and the food is remarkable for a sporting venue.
Visit the SFMOMA, the San Francisco Zoo, the marine themed Exploratorium or the CA Academy of Sciences.