Hillsborough Recreation Programs
ADDITIONAL KIDS' RECREATION
Additional Kids' Recreation
(We do not endorse any of the below - they are listed merely for convenience.)
LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARIES
BAY AREA ACTIVITIES
Activities in the SF Bay Area:
Blue & Gold Fleet - Located at PIER 39 in San Francisco, the Blue & Gold Fleet offers Bay Cruises and scheduled ferry service to Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, Vallejo, Alameda and Oakland. Additionally during baseball season they provide ferry service to and from AT&T Park.
Cable Car Museum - In this free museum you can see the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables; you can also see cable car mechanical devices, photos, models, antique cable cars.
Alcatraz Island - Best known as one of the world's most legendary prisons, this island can be reached by ferry from Pier 33. Once there, you can take a (guided or audio) tour, and enjoy gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and great bay views.
Chinatown - The largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in North America. Established in the 1840's, this community offers authentic shops, restaurants and attractions.
Coit Tower - This 210-foot concrete tower on Telegraph Hill (North Beach) has been an emblem of San Francisco’s skyline since 1933. It provides wonderful 360-degree views of the city and bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.
Fisherman's Wharf - This historic waterfront - known for its fresh-cooked seafood outdoor markets - is a popular visitor destination that offers a variety of seafood restaurants, shopping, and land and water tours.
Ghirardelli Square - This entire city block was originally purchased to serve as the headquarters of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Today, you can eat in the restaurants, grab delicious dessert at the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, stay at the Fairmont, and shop in the boutique stores.
Golden Gate Park - In this 1,017 acre park, you can see bison, windmills, rent rowboats and pedalboats at Stow Lake, watch radio-controlled model boats in Spreckels Lake, see botanical gardens (Conservatory of Flowers, Botanical Garden an Strybing Arboretum) and the Japanese Tea Garden, go to museums (De Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences), play on the playgrounds, and much more. No wonder it is the fifth most-visited city park in the United States!
Golden Gate Bridge - Completed in 1937, the bridge's tremendous 746-foot tall towers, sweeping main cables, signature International Orange color, and Art Deco styling is something you need to experience up close. You can walk and bike over the bridge, go on free walking tours, and visit the cafe and gift shop.
Legion of Honor - San Francisco's most beautiful museum displays an impressive collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European art in an unforgettable setting overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its collections include Rodin's Thinker, European decorative arts and paintings, Ancient art, and one of the largest collections of prints and drawings in the country.
Lombard Street - One of America's crookedest streets and found on many tours, this steep, curvy street is lined with beautiful Victorian mansions.
Mission Dolores - This is the only intact building in San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra. Learn about the unique historic, religious, and architectural significance as well as enjoy its tranquil garden and cemetery.
Painted Ladies - Sometimes referred to as "postcard row," the Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street are one of the best-known groups of "Painted Ladies." From Alamo Square park, you can get a great photo of the beautiful homes with the city's skyscrapers in the background.
PIER 39 - In addition to its 14 full-service restaurants, 90+ shops and popular attractions, PIER 39 is home to a 5-acre waterfront park and a 300-berth marina. PIER 39 is known for its spectacular views of San Francisco Bay including the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and Alcatraz, as well as the world famous California sea lions hauled out on K-Dock.
Red & White Fleet - Departing from Pier 43 ½, take a land or sea tour of San Francisco. By boat, view the Golden Gate Bridge and notorious Alcatraz Island, take a sunset cruise, a bridge-to-bridge tour and more. On land, take a Hop-on Hop-off Double decker bus tour of San Francisco or go on an excursion (to Muir Woods, the Sonoma & Napa Wine Country, Yosemite, or Monterey & Carmel).
San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) - San Francisco's Municipal Railway, known the world over as Muni, provides transportation to all points of interest throughout San Francisco via trolley buses, historic streetcars, and cable cars.
Ferry Building Marketplace - Built in 1898, the Ferry Building features for boutique food shops, restaurants, a farmers market (Tuesday and Saturday), and access to the ferries.
Jack London Square - This vibrant entertainment and business destination on Oakland's waterfront offers visitors a variety of stores, restaurants, hotels, a movie theater, the historic "Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon," and the (re-located) cabin in which Jack London lived while he was in the Klondike.
Union Square - This one-block plaza and surrounding area is one of the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons in the United States. Nearby restaurants, grand hotels, as well as repertory, off-Broadway, and single-act theaters also contribute to the area's dynamic, 24-hour character.
Asian Art Museum - One of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings include nearly 15,000 treasures spanning 6,000 years of history, representing cultures throughout Asia.
Bay Area Discovery Museum - The Museum is designed to ignite creative thinking in children (up to age 8). Visit this child-centric, fun museum and enjoy the beautiful location. Visits are free on the first Wednesday of each month.
Beat Museum - The Beat Museum is home to an extensive collection of Beat memorabilia, including original manuscripts and first editions, letters, personal effects and cultural ephemera. (The Beats were writers, artists and thinkers that congregated in 1950s San Francisco)
Cable Car Museum - In this free museum you can see the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables; you can also see cable car mechanical devices, photos, models, antique cable cars.
California Academy of Sciences - It's the World’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum! Come face to face with penguins and piranhas, climb into the canopy of a four-story rainforest, and stop and smell the wildflowers on a 2.5-acre living roof. From the depths of a Philippine coral reef to the outer reaches of the Universe, it’s all inside the California Academy of Sciences.
Cartoon Art Museum - This museum has something for everyone - from editorial cartoons to comic books, graphic novels to anime, Sunday funnies to Saturday morning cartoons. Located in San Francisco's Yerba Buena district, this museum has over 6,000 pieces of original, cartoon, and animation art. Join a book signing, lecture, cartooning class or workshop; you can also mix and mingle with professional and aspiring cartoonists.
Chabot Space & Science Center - Visitors enjoy high-tech hands-on interactive exhibits, displays, and Planetarium shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and life here on earth. Chabot also offers classes, workshops, a Space & Science Camp, and special events. It is great for visitors of all ages who want to discover and learn about space and earth sciences. Located in the East Bay.
Children's Creativity Museum - Formerly "Zeum," this is a hands-on, multimedia arts, and technology museum for kids of all ages. Kids can produce their own media through various interactive, creative processes: animation, digital art, live performance, and music production.
Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose - This Museum has hands-on exhibits to inspire creativity, curiosity, and learning for children.
Chinese Historical Society of America - This museum in China Town is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America.
de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco - The City's largest public arts institution. It has priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, Textile arts, and art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. The de Youg Museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.
Exploratorium - The Exploratorium is a place to explore how the world works. For 40-plus years, they've offered creative, thought-provoking exhibits, experiences, tools, and projects that ignite curiosity, encourage exploration, and lead to profound learning.
Hiller Aviation Museum - This Smithsonian Affiliate museum features over 50 aircraft from more than a century of aviation history. The Museum celebrates the spirit of discovery and innovation of aviation pioneers.
Intel Museum - Located at Intel's headquarters in Santa Clara, visitors learn about the history of Intel and the semiconductor technology. Go behind the scenes in the high-tech world. See what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip factory, and connect with technologies that give us new ways to work, learn, play, and communicate. The museum is 10,000 square feet of fun, interactive learning for children and adults.
Lawrence Hall of Science - Located in the hills of the UC Berkeley campus (offering a great view of the Bay), the Hall provides hands-on learning experiences that inspire and foster learning of science and mathematics for all. See a 3D film, travel the universe through planetarium shows - the exhibits and events are always changing, so visitors always have a chance to see and do something new. Classes, camps, and workshops are also offered.
Lick Observatory - During the daytime (closed at night), visitors can enjoy a view exhibits that explain the reflector and refractor, and take a brief guided tour of the Great Lick Refractor.
Musee Mecanique - At Pier 45, see one of the world’s largest privately-owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines. Visitors can play many of the orchestrions, coin-operated pianos, antique slot machines, and animations.
Napa Valley Museum - Located in Yountville, this museum provides unique experiences to explore the connections between our Valley’s environment, culture, history and creative expression. Learn about the unique geological make-up of the Valley which made it one of the premier wine-growing regions in the world. Discover the Valley’s rich and dynamic history. Lastly, enjoy exhibitions of local and regional artists including painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, film, video and crafts.
NASA-Ames Visitor Center - Take a self-guided tour of a variety of NASA-Ames exhibits. See a moon rock, spacecraft mission models, a shuttle cockpit simulator, and more.
Oakland Aviation Museum - Located at North Field of the Oakland International Airport, this aviation museum has over 30 vintage and modern airplanes (civilian and military) and other displays that highlight noted aviators and innovators.
Oakland Museum of California - Its collections— over 1.9 million objects including seminal art works, historical artifacts, specimens, and photographs—and its programs explore and reveal the factors that shape California character and identity.
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology - With over over 210,000 global archaeological, biological and ethnographic objects, visitors gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for numerous cultures and their contributions.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Plamentarium - Rosicrucian Park has five acres of beautiful grounds, and includes a world-famous Egyptian Museum, Rosicrucian Planetarium, Peace Garden, Labyrinth, Alchemy Garden and Research Library.
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles - The Museum is the nexus for fiber artists, art lovers, collectors, quilters, and crafters who share a passion for fiber art and a deep commitment to its preservation and evolution.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - The first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th-century art, its current collection includes over 29,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts. SFMOMA is closed for expansion; it will open in 2016.
San Jose Museum of Art - SJMA is the preeminent modern and contemporary art museum in Silicon Valley. It is a cultural hub for nearby residents, a space for personal reflection, a gathering place for creative thinkers, and a source of vibrancy for the city. It also offers a unique store and cafe.
S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien - This Liberty Ship is a rare survivor of the 6,939-ship armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day, and is one of only two currently operational World War II Liberty ships afloat (out of 2,710 built during the war). Now a museum moored at at Pier 45, visitors can view almost the entire ship.
The Tech Museum - This hands-on technology and science museum is for people of all ages. Explore over 250 interactive high-tech exhibits, watch a movie in the IMAX Dome Theater (8 stories high and 13,000 watts of wrap-around digital surround sound), and visit the gift shop.
USS Hornet Museum - This Navy aircraft carrier of the Essex class served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and recovered astronauts as they returned from the Moon (Apollo program). Now a museum in Alameda, visitors can see aircraft from 1940-1980, an Apollo exhibit, and take a self-guided tour of the ship.
USS Pampanito - This World War II Balao class submarine completed six war patrols from 1944 to 1945. It is now a museum; visitors can take a guided tour through the submarine while learning about its history.
Walt Disney Family Museum - Located in the Presidio, this museum features the life and legacy of the iconic Walt Disney. Visitors can also enjoy exhibits (over 200 video screens throughout the gallery), and a variety of classes, screenings, and talks.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Located in San Francisco, this multi-disciplinary contemporary arts center features visual arts, performancing arts, and film and video that celebrates local, national, and international artists and the Bay Area's diverse communities.
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California's Great America - Located in Santa Clara, this major amusement park offers thrill rides, family rides, live entertainment, and special events. The Boomerang Bay water park is included with the price of admission! Visitors enjoy a day filled with thrills and fun.
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo - Located in San Jose, the park provides visitors with child-oriented (target age is 2 to 10 years old) amusement rides, puppet shows, interactive play areas, educational programs, and a nice little zoo.
Children's Fairyland - This park delights children and their parents with whimsical storybook sets, gentle rides, friendly animals, and inspired live entertainment. With almost 40 storybook sets, kid-size rides, friendly animals, and 10 acres of gardens, the park delights visitors of all ages, but especially those under age eight.
Paramount Theatre - Oakland's Paramount Theatre is one of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. Today, it is the home of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Oakland Ballet, it regularly plays host to R&B, jazz, blues, pop, rock, gospel, classical music, as well as ballets, plays, stand-up comedy, lecture series, special events, and screenings of classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Era.
Pixieland Amusement Park - Located in Concord, this family friendly amusement park is designed for little kids (ages 1 to 10) to have big kid fun! They can ride a mini train, airplanes, cars, tea cups, a carousel, a frog hopper, and a roller coaster.
Raging Waters - Located in East San Jose, this is one of the three largest water parks in California. Attractions include a wave pool, endless river, and family raft ride. Thrill seekers can drop vertically from a trap floor, race speed slides, and splash into deep waters. Younger kids have dedicated kiddie play areas that feature waterfalls, tiny tot slides, and zero-depth entry zones.
Roaring Camp Railroads - In the Santa Cruz mountains, climb aboard a train and enjoy a one-hour, 3.25-mile ride through towering redwood groves; conductors narrate the history of the railroad and the Roaring Camp depot. The steam engines date from 1890 and are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines that are still providing regularly passenger service in America.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - This classic seaside amusement park features more than 34 rides and attractions. There are many scream-inducing thrill rides, gentle kiddie rides, casual restaurants, gift shops, games, indoor arcades, and miniature golf...and the beach and ocean are steps away.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - Located in Vallejo, this 135-acre animal theme park also offers pulse-pounding roller coasters and gentler options for young children. Walk-through a tunnel teeming with sharks, put on a wetsuit and swim with dolphins, see Bengal and Siberian tigers, an Asian elephant, endangered African penguins, Pacific walruses, and more. With more than 30 rides and 10 shows, visits here are action packed.
Waterworld California -This water park in Concord features pools, slides, rides, and more.
Aquarium of the Bay - Located at Pier 39, the aquarium provides a window to the distinctive ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay. The aquarium features over 50 sharks species, and also has skates, bat rays and thousands of other animals including eels, flatfish, rockfish, Wrasse, Gobies, Kelpfish, Pricklebacks, Ronquil, Sculpin and Sturgeons.
AT&T Park - With its breathtaking views and classic design, baseball fans flock to AT&T Park to watch the FANTASTIC San Francisco Giants! Tours are available.
San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers - This is a beautiful Victorian greenhouse and botanical garden that houses a collection of rare and exotic plants in Golden Gate Park.
Filoli Center - This 654-acre estate is a California State Historic Landmark and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its grand Georgian mansion showcases early twentieth-century architecture; the ever-changing gardens offer visitors the chance to enjoy the scerene beauty and to learn about the estate's renowned horticulture practices.
Hakone Japanese Gardens - Nearly a century old, Hakone is the oldest Japanese and Asian estate, retreat, and gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Its 18 acres of magnificent beauty are nestled in the verdant hills of Saratoga overlooking Silicon Valley.
Lindsay Wildlife Museum - Located in Walnut Creek, this family museum is one of the oldest wildlife rehab centers in the United States. Visitors can go eye-to-eye with 50 species of live, non-releasable, native California animals. The on-site wildlife rehabilitation center treats nearly 6,000 injured or orphaned wild animals each year.
Marine Mammal Center - Nestled in the Marin Headlands, the Marine Mammel Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals who are injured, ill, or abandoned. Through docent-led tours, audio tours, and school programs, the Center expands knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and inspire their global conservation.
Montalvo Arts Center - Located on 175 acres in the Saratoga foothills, the Center features a Mediterranean-style villa, Gallery exhibitions, concerts, literary readings, and special events. visitors enjoy its free concerts, gardens, and hiking trails.
Monterey Bay Aquarium - Rated the #1 aquarium in the world by TripAdvisor, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world's richest marine regions. More than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species fill 34 major galleries. With nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean.
Oakland Zoo - This 100-acre zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals - birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. The zoo is nationally known for its excellent elephant exhibit (allowing their elephants to roam freely).
Preservation Park - Visitors enjoy viewing the sixteen restored historic Victorian homes that are arranged to resemble a late 19th-century Oakland neighborhood. The park has manicured lawns and lush plantings, and Victorian park benches and street lamps.
Ruth Bancroft Garden - The first garden in the United States to be preserved by The Garden Conservancy, this outstanding 2.5-acre garden of xerophytes (dry-growing plants) contains more than 2,000 cactus, succulents, trees, and shrubs that are native to Africa, Australia, California, Chile, and Mexico.
San Francisco Zoo - The zoo has over 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and invertebrates.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center - The Center offers hands-on immersion into the world of ocean exploration and discovery. With a 20,000-square-foot visitor center, guests can touch a shark, explore the latest discoveries in ocean science, and take in the spectacular Monterey Bay.
University of California Botanical Garden - Located in the Berkeley Hills of Oakland, and established in 1890, this 34-acre garden has over 13,000 different kinds of plants from around the world arranged by region. It is one of the most diverse plant collections in the United States, and is famous for its large number of rare and endangered species. Visitors also enjoy beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay.