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San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

London, England
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San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

We are planning a trip to SF from the UK in August with our 4 year old son. Can anyone recommend anything "out of the ordinary" which they think a four year old might enjoy? Also, what do those in the known consider to be the best hotel to stay at with children? And what about eating out? Anywhere to particuarly recommend? We are planning to have 3 full days here before moving on. Is this enough? Many thanks for any advice.

Newbury Park...
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1. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

We recently went up with a 3 1/2 and a 7 year old. They LOVED the city. We stayed at the Best Western Tuscan Inn near FW and found it to be a great location with the kids. Some of there favorite adventures during our trip where:

Day One - Take the Powell Mason Cable Car Line from Fisherman’s Wharf to Chinatown. Bought the all day passport.

GOLDEN GATE FORTUNE COOKIE FACTORY ($4)

sanfranciscochinatown.com/attractions/ggfort…

Here, tucked inside a storefront on tiny Ross Alley, some 20,000 fortune cookies a day are handmade by two women, each manning a conveyor belt of what look like miniature waffle irons. The factory opened in August 1962, and though there are other fortune cookie bakeries in the city, this is the only one where the cookies are still made by hand, the old-fashioned way. Anyone is welcome to stroll in and watch the cookies being made, sample a cookie, and pick up a bag of 40 for $3. The factory is open seven days a week, 7 a. m. to 8:30 p.m.. Admission is free. But if you want to take a photograph - and how could you resist? A sign by the front asks for 50 cents. 56 Ross Alley, (415) 781-3956.

In between Washington & Jackson and parallel to Grant & Stockton

Lunch in Chinatown - they LOVED dim sum - there first experience and they loved all the little plates and tried everything.

Walked to Union Square, they didn't care that much for it.

Took the Powell-Hyde Line to Ghirardelli Square and had a Hot Fudge Sundea.

Hopped on the bus back to our hotel (easy walk but tired kids and we had the pass).

Grabbed clam chowder and ate it watching the sea lions. (too full from lunch and Sundeas).

Day 2

Rode the F-line around towards Union Square and the trolley down to the Cannery (the kids love public transportation).

FIRE TRUCK TOUR - A MUST with kids

(415) 333-7077 - http://www.fireenginetours.com/

San Francisco’s Fun and Only Spectacular Big Red Shiny Mack Fire Engine - The RED HOT way to tour the Bay! Enjoy riding high on our 75 minute tours. Even if you’ve seen these sights before, this is a whole new experience on the Big red Shiny Mack Fire Engine. Authentic Fire gear is provided for your warmth and comfort (and looks great in your photos!)

After that we explored the sumbarine & battleship, my older son enjoyed, my daughter not so much.

Went to Rilpey's - yes TACKY but the kids love it.

Blue Mermaid Restaurant at the Argunat was REALLY good and kids friendly. We had lunch there two days in a row (very unlike us as we love trying new places).

Also, there is a good little breakfast place right by the cable car turn-around at Taylor Street - nothing fancy but coffee, fresh Orange Juice and croissants, bagels, etc..

San Francisco
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2. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

You may wish you check out the Exlporatorium. It is quite popular with kids and adults can have fun as well. There is a lot to see and do.

I would recommend Fisherman's Wharf since you will have a small child. The Argonaut Hotel is very kid friendly and the only hotel I personally would consider at Fisherman's Wharf.

Newbury Park...
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3. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

We skipped the Exploritorium only because mostexhibits are geared towards school age kids. Can't wait to return with older kids though as it sounds wonderful.

Los Altos...
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4. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

Also Zeum by Moscone Center... It has the lovely old carousel there.

London, England
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5. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

thanks to everyone who responded with some great advice. I think my son would adore a tour on a fire engine - sounds very cool!!

Pacific Grove...
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6. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

Do not forget Golden Gate Park, the museum of natural history (or science, or some name that I forgot.)

Pacific Grove...
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7. Re: San Francisco with a 4 year old?!

And the Japanese Tea Gardens