City Vacations

Free Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids

Last updated 11th May 2018

Looking for things to do with kids that won’t break the bank? We found eight free things to do in San Francisco on your next weekend getaway or family vacation.


Walk a Golden Mile

Walk or ride a bike across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge; there is no charge to do so. The bridge is 1.7 miles each way, and it does get quite windy and chilly so be sure to layer up.

Lombard Street, San Francisco

Or Walk a Crooked Mile

Actually, it’s not a mile, but it is crooked. Take a walk along the “crookedest” street in America, San Fran’s famed Lombard Street. (May we suggest starting at the top of the hill and working your way to the bottom versus the reverse?) You can also drive along the street, but be prepared for traffic.

Sea lions bask in the sun at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Bark at Sea Lions

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf waterfront and famous sea lions that live on Pier 39 are on full display daily, with no cost for visitors. It does tend to get crowded, and avoid the restaurants in this area; it can get pricy.

Listen to the Sounds of Summer

From April through October, free band concerts are offered every Sunday at Golden Gate Park. Free Sunday concerts are also offered at Stern Grove in the summer.

Drive-Thru Sightsee

Follow San Francisco’s scenic 49-mile drive, which was created in 1938 in anticipation of the World’s Fair. Wanting to show off their city, the route passes around some of the city’s best views and attractions.

Tour Iconic Neighborhoods

Local historians volunteer to lead daily one- to two-hour tours of San Francisco neighborhoods, such as Chinatown through the Public Library. There are often more than one city guide tours offered each day and plenty of choices; check the Public Library schedule.

California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum.

Take a Spin Around the Planet

One of the top museums in San Francisco, the California Academy of Sciences, offers four free Sundays per year. Be sure to check the calendar to see if one of those may be during your planned visit. The museum is located in Golden Gate Park.

A Birthday Freebie

In honor of Walt’s birthday on December 5th, the Walt Disney Family Museum is open for free to visitors on that day (unless it falls on a Tuesday, when the museum is typically closed, so it is held on Dec. 4, instead). Located in San Francisco’s Presidio, you can also explore this military base.


Written by Lissa Poirot