I hadn’t been to the Bay Area since I was a child, so when my great aunt hinted that we should visit, I jumped at the chance. I really don’t know why it’s been this long since I reconnected with my family in the Oakland and Union City area, but I’m glad I finally took the opportunity. It was also a perfect time for Victoria to meet family members she had never met before, like her great, great grandfather! In just one short weekend we were able to see and do so much in San Francisco. We did splurge on a couple of meals, but mostly our trip was affordable. We found that San Francisco has plenty of things you can do without spending a lot of money. The most costly expenses were typically parking (if you wanted to be close to the attraction) and dining. Luckily my great aunt hosted us so we didn’t have to pay for lodging and our flights were purchased with credits we had from canceling our Puerto Rico trip last year. Today I’m sharing cheap family-friendly things to do in San Francisco!
Cheap things to do in the Bay Area with kids:
- Visit Ghirardelli Square and get your free sample. We also purchased chocolate but you can save by sticking to the samples.
- Drive or walk down Lombard Street (the Crooked Street).
- Walk through Boudin Museum. See how the sourdough is made!
- Walk around Pier 39, soak in the view of Alcatraz and say hello to the seals. Take in the street performances at Fisherman’s Wharf. We paid $10 to ride the carousel at the pier.
- See the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city from the Marin Headlands. Drive, walk or ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Picnic at Golden Gate Park. We stopped to admire the bison. I loved people-watching as people ran, walked, and just hung out.
- Hike Muir Woods. (You do have to pay admission, but kids age 15 and younger enter free. Save by bringing your food and taking the shuttle or carpooling.)
- Search for the Full House facade house. I had no idea this was a different house than the Painted Lady, but it was cool to see.
- Hang out Alamo Square in front of the Painted Ladies. We visited the city on an absolutely gorgeous weekend. People brought their snacks and drinks and took in the views from the park.
- Walk around Chinatown. You don’t need to buy anything, just take in the sights, sounds and smells. We visited before the new year; it would have been nice to catch the celebrations.
Have you visited San Francisco? Also, are you a “Full House” fan? I pretty much had the theme song in my head the entire time.