10 Playdate Ideas For a Rainy Day in San Francisco

It’s raining outside and you are itching to get out of the house with the kids before you all go mad. These 10 playdate ideas will save you, read now!

1. Puddle Jumping

The first and the easiest solution is to use this rainy day for the purpose it was intended for: getting wet! Put on your galoshes and rain gear and head outside to simply run and jump in the puddles. Most kids love to do this and would be thankful for the chance to get wet, muddy and happy.

Location: Anywhere! Preferably in a park.

2. SF Public Branch

The library has many locations and activities for the kids. Besides books there are also children’s corners for brain and motor skills, table games, puzzles and even learning computer games. The library even hosts events, classes and exhibits. Checkout the library’s schedule here!

3. Bowling

Some people think that this type of activity is just for adults. Last month we were invited to a kids’ birthday party to the Sea Bowl in Pacifica. It was interesting to watch the youngest guest who was only 3 years old be able to participate with the 6 year olds!. Sea Bowl provides a special mobile mini-slide to put in front of the bowling row so that all the child has to do is just slide the ball down. How fun! I researched the “kid-friendly bowling centers in SF” and came up with a few suggestions.

4. The Movies

Our kids love going to the movies. For 4 and 6 year old boys we usually go for animated shows but we can also go for a family movie. There are many apps for cinema scheduling. We happen to love Fandango. It’s a really useful app with a very user-friendly interface. You can search for the movie title you like, time, location, reserve your specific seats and buy your tickets immediately. There is a small fee but it’s well worth it to be able to reserve your seats ahead of time.

5. Indoor Play Areas

If I were a magician I would build indoor playgrounds in every ‘hood of San Francisco. I would have them operate until 8pm., especially for those cold and dark winter days when kids centers shut down at 4.30 pm and you don’t know how to make it through the rest of the day with your kids. Here are our favorite indoor places to go:

  • Peek-a-Boo Factory: has two play areas, one for ages 0-3 and the other for ages 3-10. Snack bar included. Entry fee is $12 per child.
  • Peekadoodle: also has two areas. Price is $25 for a family day pass. Huge bonus is the beautiful cafe that provides a healthy menu for adults and kids. They also make tea, coffee and amazing CAPPUCCINOS!
  • Recess: this place is good for crawlers, walkers and runners. An all-day pass is $30 per child, siblings are $10. They also have a snack bar and coffee.
  • Play Haven: has everything for artistic kids and for those who like physical activity. $14 for kiddos and $7 for siblings.

6. California Academy of Science

We live in Inner Sunset so this place is our Plan B activity for cold or rainy days. Don’t ask me how many times we have visited The Shake House from the Earthquake exhibition. It’s never too much to go to the Aquarium, Planetarium, to go on the Living Roof or to spend time at the Naturalist Center. The Academy is open 365 day a year. Entrance tickets are $36 for adults and $26 for kids ages 4 -11.

7. House of Air

This place is for super active kids, especially for those who like to jump on the trampoline. The air junior zone is for ages 3 – 6 and there is an age 7 and up zone. Price for 1 hour session is $18.

8. Walt Disney Museum

The name says it all… no explanation needed! This place is all about cartoons & animation. Free for kids 5 and under, 6 -17 years old is $15and adults are $25.

9. Exploratorium

One of SF’s gems, this place has exhibits about geology, energy, color, food, culture, chemistry, the mind, navigation, time and more. Kids 3 & under are free, kids 4-12 are $20 and adults are $30.

10. Try a new cafe!

A rainy day is a perfect reason to try something new or visit a cafe you’ve never been to. Here is a list of child-friendly cafes in SF. Unfortunately Park Chow closed about a month ago…we really miss this place. 

  • Hot Chocolate! Wet and cold weather goes perfectly with hot chocolate. Here are the best hot choc places in SF.
  • Tea! What do kids know about Alice in Wonderland? What do they know about tea? What do they know about the importance of drinking tea? Here is a list of good tea places where you can teach your kids all about the Mad Hatter. Instead of the now closed Secret Garden Tea house, there is a new cute place called Sip Tea Room.

“Bad” weather doesn’t mean you have to have a bad day. Rainy weather is a good chance to try something new and unusual. Have fun in the rain!

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