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Trips with the Grandparents

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Places to Go > Trips with the Grandparents



Bay Area outings with visiting grandparents

Dec 2008

I am looking for recommendations for things to do in the Bay area over Christmas. My parents are coming from Canada and are staying at our (very small) house with us. They are in their 80s and somewhat restricted in the amount they can walk, but I need to play cruise director and entertain them during their stay. The house will be cramped so I would love to be out as much as possible with them and my 2.5 year old. Help! Don't let me stay stuck in my house with my parents! I'll go nuts!


I recommend the Academy of the Sciences in Golden Gate Park. It is fun for all ages, with benches for resting (although I could always use more). Both my kids loved it, and I saw many older folks enjoying themselves. My 2 1/2 year old was scared of the 3D bug show because it was too loud, but your parents could watch it while you explore if your child doesn't like it. The first two minutes looked really good.

We also enjoy taking the ferry from Jack London Square to Pier 41. We then visit the sea lions and the small aquarium there (my kids love fish). Or you could just look around and have lunch. The ferry is about 45m ride, but there is a lot to see, so it a favorite adventure for my kids, while being restful for adults.

Have fun! Love to Sightsee in SF


A few ideas that are fun for kids, parents and grandparents:

How about the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito? Fun for kids and spectacular views for the parents. Plenty of parking and not too much walking for the grandparents (you could even drop them in front and then park).

Lawrence Hall of Science - again, fun for all ages, spectacular Bay Views.

Steam Trains and carousel in Tilden Park-evening visits during the holidays are festive

Botanical Gardens

If your little one can handle a sit-down experience, high tea at one of the hotels in San Francisco might be fun, though a bit pricey. Palace Hotel has a fun one.

Take a drive/walk around San Francisco, Marin Headlands, Muir Woods.

Take a ferry ride on the bay.

Take a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Have fun! bay area parent


Some ideas: you could take the ferry to San Francisco (with a little visit to Ferry Plaza) and/or Marin. Go up to Tilden Park and ride the steam train or visit the merry-go-round or Little Farm. Maybe ''play tourist'' and take a bus tour of San Francisco? Look for holiday concerts, particularly kid-friendly ones. Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights. Go to a playground with comfy benches, or one of the indoor play cafes like Tumble and Tea. Go to a cafe for hot chocolate and people-watching. Go to the library for storytime. Remember, they will get a kick out of just spending time with the grandkid. Enjoy and good luck!
I have a toddler and elderly parents and in-laws too. Here are some of our activities when they have visited:

Muir Woods. You don't need to go on a hike, just the boardwalk area and listen to the docents. Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on the way there or back.

UC Botanic Garden or Tilden Park Botanic Garden, if they can walk a bit.

Tilden Park Steam Train, Carousel, Little Farm and Nature Area. Or even just one of these at a time for shorter outings. Be sure to bring celery or lettuce with you to the Little Farm. Parking is pretty easy. If you haven't been there, Do a pre-visit run with your child so you'll know how much walking is involved. I don't think your child will mind.

Take your child and parents to Children's Fairyland and Habitot.

My MIL wanted to go shopping, so I took them for brunch and shopping at Ikea. She loved it.

Looking forward to the other responses. L


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this page was last updated: Dec 16, 2008


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