Playdate (credit: Thinkstock)
With year-round mild weather, outdoor playdates in San Francisco are one of the best ways for both kids and parents alike to socialize and enjoy some fresh air. The city is home to a myriad of wonderful playgrounds for anyone from the young toddler to a playful adult looking for a pickup game. Grab the kids, some snacks, and friends and head out to one of San Francisco’s best playgrounds for a playdate. For the rare rainy day, check out some of San Francisco’s indoor playgrounds.
Alta Plaza Park
Jackson and Scott St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
Nestled in Pacific Heights, the Alta Plaza Park playground contains separate play areas for both younger and older kids. The playground is completely fenced, with a soft-footing underfoot. The whole gang can play in this 12-acre spot, which has everything from basketball and tennis courts to an off-leash dog area for Fido. Stroller accessibility is available from Jackson and Scott Streets, or for the more mobile, take the stairs and be rewarded with some of the best views in the city. Onsite bathrooms are available.
Golden Gate Park
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bowling Green Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94117
The Koret Children’s Quarter Playground in Golden Gate Park has been a local favorite since its opening in 1888. The playground has a variety of structures and materials on which children may play, ranging from climbing ropes to a concrete slide. Also on-site is an historic carousel, rides on which may be purchased for just $1 per child or $2 per adult. The Children’s Quarter is stroller accessible, has bathrooms, and plenty of picnicking spots. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase at the hot dog stand.
19th and Linda St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
The smaller 2-acre Mission Playground is located adjacent to the only city-run outdoor pool in San Francisco. The play area for the younger set is fenced in, and has clean bathrooms right nearby. The playground contains a good range of equipment including swings, slides, and a climbing structure. For the more sports-oriented play date, the check out the park’s basketball and tennis courts or soccer field.
Mission Dolores Park
19th and Dolores St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
A popular spot for festivals and events, the 16 acre Mission Dolores Park is home to the Helen Diller Playground. The rubber footing play area has features to entertain kids of all ages, including a giant metal slide that can accommodate a whole group of people at once. There are swings, climbing walls, a sand box, and plenty of smaller slides for the littler kids. Bathrooms are available, and for those not interested in packing a picnic lunch, there are plenty of kid-friendly eateries in the surrounding area.
750 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s busy Yerba Buena center, the Children’s Garden Play Area has been recently renovated and provides an outdoor oasis in this busy urban center. The playground flooring is padded and lends plenty of safe space for practicing walkers and more experienced running older kids alike. The play structure is geared for kids over 4, and includes a large slide and expansive climbing equipment. Make a day of it with a visit to the adjacent ice rink, carousel, or Children’s Creativity Museum.