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Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
San Francisco CityPASS Family Vacation Deals and Fun with Cable Cars, Sea Lions, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Having a San Francisco CityPASS makes creating an urban family adventure easy. Ride a cable car; walk under sharks, jump on a carousel; taste marvelous taffy chocolates on the wharf; touch sea stars; listen to a pipe organ; cruise the Bay. 

What’s included? Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39, California Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Modern Art, De Young + Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museums or the Golden Gate Park Exploratorium, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise,plus a seven-day MUNI Passport for cable car, light rail and the entire city bus system ties it all together.

Rays, skates, sea stars and urchins.
The Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 combines education and entertainment making it easy to have fun while introducing your children to the world under the sea. The interactive facility focuses on the distinctive ecosystems of the Bay area providing visitors with a unique sense of place. Bonus Points: In the Touch the Bay exhibit, visitors will get the chance to stroll through a series of touch pools which allow visitors to touch live bat rays, leopard sharks, and tide pool animals. Not to be missed: The Under the Bay exhibit includes a moving walkway which takes visitors through two crystal clear underwater tunnels winding under 700,000 gallons of Bay water, and more than 23,000 aquatic animals. 

Walk through the rain forest and reach the stars.
The California Academy of Sciences has tons of exhibits so you are bound to find something for everyone in your family. You can visit Steinhart Aquarium which features 38,000 live animals from around the world, from more than 900 separate species. You can even visit The Swamp to see Claude, a rare albino American alligator. Next stop, the four story living rainforst or the Morrison Planetarium which is the largest all digital dome in the world. Not to be missed: The pass also includes the Kimball Natural History Musuem, the Living Roof and the Coral Reef exhibit. 

Ancient art, cool ceilings and a pipe organ.
Overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, the Legion of Honor is home to an impressive collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European art. It is dedicated to the 3,600 California men who lost their lives on the battlefields of France during World War I. Also in Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum showcases priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific. Bonus Points: Public organ concerts on the Legion's magnificent 1924 Skinner pipe organ are presented on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Just for teens: For families with older children the popular the de Young Friday night series may be just to thing. Enjoy a variety of musical performances ranging from punk, jazz, and opera to avant-garde hip-hop jazz, performance art, artwear demonstrations, and art works made from recycled clothing. 

Science, art, and human perception.
The Exploratorium, located in the Palace of Fine Arts near the Golden Gate Bridge, is an experimental, hands-on museum designed to fire curiosity about science in visitors of all ages. Presented with a uniquely California attitude the place is both energizing and inspiring. Hundreds of exhibits offer visitors the opportunity to touch, look through, pick up, and tinker with – the Exploratorium encourages everyone to let their curiosity be the compass to endless discoveries. Bonus Points: Before you go, log onto the Exploratorium website and check out the remote controlled roof cam for a 360 degree view as seen from the roof of the Exploratorium. Not to be missed: The Tactile Dome is an amazing interactive excursion through total darkness where the sense of touch becomes your only guide. 
Matisse, Brancusi and a podcast. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th-century art. The museum pursues an innovative program of exhibitions, and activities in an attempt to reflect the distinctive character of the San Francisco region. Bonus Points: To enjoy the Museum with your kids view “Making Sense of Modern Art” at the interactive kiosks, located in the galleries and in the Koret Visitor Education Center. Check out the SFMOMA website to access their podcast series entitled Artcasts. Not to be missed: The Koret Visitor Education center hosts daily screenings focused on artists whose work is included in SFMOMA’s collection or exhibitions, multimedia kiosks with interactive programs, a gallery exploration activity, and a Box Studios (a hands-on activity for children). Just for Families: SFMOMA's Family Studio series explores art through hands-on projects for kids; each workshop operates with a different theme. 

Buses, trolleys and cable cars. The Muni & Cable Car 7-Day Pass entitles bearer to ride any Municipal Railway passenger vehicle for seven consecutive days from the date validated on the cover of the CityPass ticket book. The passport is valid on all Muni vehicles including cable cars. A valid CityPASS is good for seven consecutive days’ unlimited use of all Muni services. 

Cruise the Bay any day. The Blue & Gold Fleet is the San Francisco Bay’s largest provider of both ferries and other water excursion services. They offer a range of cruises around the bay, ferries to Sausalito, Tiburon, Alameda/Oakland, Vallejo, and Angel Island. The Fleet also offers numerous tours: San Francisco City Tour, Monterey/Carmel, Muir Woods, Yosemite National Park and even Six Flags Marine World. Bonus Points: Blue & Gold Fleet offers a combination package which includes the Bay tour as well as admission to the Aquarium of the Bay, a unique educational and entertainment facility focusing on the wildlife of the San Francisco Bay area. Not to be missed: See the world famous sea lions seasonally at PIER 39 K-Dock. Just for Kids: The Blue & Gold Fleet Six Flags Marine World package includes a beautiful scenic roundtrip ferry ride to and from Vallejo, and transportation to and from the port at Vallejo to Six Flags Marine World.

San Francisco CityPASS The pocket sized pass booklet includes: Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39, California Academy of Sciences,The Museum of Modern Art, and either the  De Young Museum + Legion of Honor Fine Arts Musuem, or the the Exploratorium, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, plus a seven-day MUNI Passport. Call toll-free 1-888-330-5008 or

Family Vacation Planning Details

Muni & Cable Car 7-Day Pass. (415) 673-6864 or

Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise. Located at PIER 39, west of the marina at Beach St. and the Embarcadero, 2 blocks east of Fisherman's Wharf. 1(415) 773-1188 or

Aquarium of the Bay.  PIER 39, the Embarcadero at Beach Street. (415) 623-5300 or

California Academy of Sciences.
 Golden Gate Park on Music Concourse Drive, (415) 379-8000 or 

Legion of Honor / de Young.
 The de Young is in Golden Gate Park; on the concourse at the intersection of JFK Dr. and Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., while the Legion of Honor can be found in Lincoln Park Golf Course at 34th Avenue and Clement Street. (415) 863-3330 or and

Exploratorium.  3601 Lyon Street. (415) 397-5673 or

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
151 Third Street (between Howard and Mission). (415) 357-4000 or

General text and images provided by and FTF. Bonus points for families researched by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel   Copyright 2017.


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