I love the holidays. There are lights and cheer on every corner of San Francisco. Visitors come to town, school’s out, and family is all around. Whether it’s entertaining guests or getting cooped up energy out, here are some of my favorite ways to spend the day.
Best part, all are free.
1] Slide the day away!
Grab an old piece of cardboard and the kids and make your way to the Seward Slides. These concrete slides are built into the side of the hill and have been around for more than 40 years. Pro tip, if you’re looking to go a little faster put a piece wax paper between the cardboard and the slide. [more info]
2] Tour the lights
Put on your shoes and head out for an early evening urban hike (or bus / drive if you prefer) take a tour of the awesome holiday light displays around the city. From Ghirardelli Square to the San Francisco Zoo, it’s one heck of a view! [more info]
3] Find your fortune (cookie)
As we near a new year, it’s the perfect time to find out what good fortune is in store for 2016. Whether you believe in the wisdom of the fortune cookie or not, it’s still fun to visit Golden Gate Fortune Cookies and read the words on that tiny little white paper. And, hey, it’s educational too. How does the fortune get inside the cookie? Go find out. [more info]
4] Zip, Twirl, Glide!
Stop by Union Square or Justin Herman Plaza and watch the skaters glide about. There are skaters of every level from amateurs clinging to the side of the rink to fancy-footed experts twirling about in the middle — all are fun to watch. (Ice skate rentals are available if you want to give it a go.) [more info: union square + jh plaza]
5] Step inside City Hall
City Hall sits there at the helm of our Civic Center. It’s grandeur and often changing lights are hard to miss. But if you have never stepped inside, you’re missing a lot. The outside is spectacular, but the inside is something to behold. Did you know that the dome is the fifth largest in the world (and that there are actually two domes)? Swing left after you head inside to take a look at the replicas. Oh, and while you’re there, take a look at the clock — can you figure out what’s unique about it? [more info]
6] Scavenger hunt
There are items hidden all around the city. Go find them. Geocaching is like a giant scavenger hunt that anyone can play. Although it’s created to use with technology / GPS it’s way more fun if you rely on just your wits. So check out the website, uncode some riddles, and start the hunt. There are 948 things to find around San Francisco — so you probably don’t have to go far to find one. [more info]
7] See great art
Brew up a cup of cocoa, grab a coat, and wind your way through the alleys of the Mission. Although this city is full of great museums, this free outdoor art is amongst the best San Francisco has to offer. Just maybe, they’ll inspire you to get in touch with your creative side next year. [more info]
9] Visit a museum (for adults + kids)
The Cable Car is the first moving national historic landmark — how cool is that? Drop by the Cable Car Museum and learn how it all works. You can even watch the giant cables turn, moving the cars up and down the hills of San Francisco. [more info]
10] What’s your favorite holiday activity?