- Type: Museums
NileGuide Expert Says:
Best kids' museum for art, architecture, and general creativity
NileGuide Expert tip:
Go early in the morning before the crowds arrive.
If you just can't stand the thought of one more trip to PIER 39 or Fisherman's Wharf and are looking for something else to do with your kids (infants to 8 years old), check out this museum. Located on 7 1/2 acres in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area at Fort Baker, the museum offers spectacular (jaw-dropping even!) views of the city and Golden Gate Bridge (you're literally at the northern base of the bridge) and is also the ultimate indoor-outdoor interactive kids' adventure. Tot Spot is tops for crawlers and toddlers (up to 42 in.); Lookout Cove is a 2 1/2-acre outdoor area with a scaled-down model of the GGB that kids can add rivets to, a shipwreck to explore, tidal pools, and lovely site-specific art; Art Studios splits kids into age groups 5 and under and 6 and older; and the Wave Workshop re-creates the habitat under the GGB. There's even a small cafe that serves yummy, organic food far better than typical family-friendly fare. Remi Hayashi, a California Culinary Academy grad, is at the helm here, serving up Niman Ranch hot dogs, fresh sandwiches, panini, and pizzas plus a host of snacks. One thing to note: If you're here alone with two kids of different ages, it can be difficult to navigate, as they do keep the little ones separate from the older ones in the Tot Spot. If you explain your situation, they'll give your older one (12 and up) a "Tot Spot Helper" sticker, and let them in, but they won't be allowed to play and will have to stick by you. But if it's a nice day, you can spend the whole time in Lookout Cove with both kids, have lunch outside, and still feel like you got your money's worth.
- © Frommer's 2013
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