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Presidio Kids: Summer Fun for Families in the Presidio

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Category Kids and Family; Entertainment and Culture

If you’re searching for fun activities to keep the wild ones occupied and entertained this summer, look no further – we’ve got you covered in the Presidio. From getting the little ones reading to heading out on a nature scavenger hunt, these are our favorite free and low-cost family offerings happening all summer long.

1. Take a StoryWalk

Presidio StoryWalk

A StoryWalk is a creative way for children and their families to enjoy the park on a family-friendly, accessible trail while reading an adventure at the same time. Pages of a children’s book are put on signs and placed along the trail. Walk along the trail and read the story, step-by-step and page-by-page!

This year, you’ll find Bikes For Sale, written by Carter Higgins and illustrated by Zachariah OHora, I Wrote You a Note written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd, and Where’s Rodney?, by Carmen Bogan. Visit the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s StoryWalks page, or stop by the Presidio Visitor Center (open daily 10 am to 5 pm) for a map of the StoryWalk trails in the Presidio. Good for kids aged 2 to 8 years.

2. Pitch a Tent at Rob Hill Campground

Rob Hill Campground

As one of the only campgrounds in San Francisco, the Presidio’s Rob Hill is the perfect place to escape the dense urban landscape for the woods. Sleep under the stars, take a stroll on one of the Presidio’s 24-miles of hiking trails, and roast marshmallows at the fire pit while never actually leaving the city.

Lots of weeknight spaces are still available. Visit our website to learn how to make a reservation.

3. Go Geocaching – Available All Year

Geocaching in the Presidio

Geocaching is treasure hunt enjoyed by people all over the world. A dozen geocaching sites are right here in the Presidio. Kids and families can use a smartphone to locate hidden boxes and stories in special nooks and crannies of the park. This year, we have five new geocache locations – including one at the Presidio Visitor Center. Be sure to charge your phone before you arrive! Good for kids aged 4+ years.

4. Check Out a Presidio Explorer Backpack at the Visitor Center

Presidio explorer backpack

Kids can transform into a nature enthusiasts with the Presidio Explorer backpack. It contains an adventure map and cards that guide you to fun discoveries – wildflowers, creatures, and more – all around the park. It’s also packed with tools, like a magnifying glass, binoculars, and compass to help you along the way. Good for kids aged 5 to 12 years.

What you need to know:

  • Drop into the Presidio Visitor Center (210 Lincoln Boulevard) daily from 10 am to 2 pm to check out a free backpack. Supplies are limited, so you may want to reserve one in advance by calling (415) 561-4323. One backpack per family/group.
  • Give yourself two hours for your adventure. Backpacks MUST be returned by 4:30 pm.
  • Travel around the park on foot or on the free PresidiGo Shuttle.

5. Learn to Bike in the Park – All Year

YBike Learn to Ride Program

If the kids are itching to learn how to ride a bike, the Presidio has two free ways to get them rolling.

The YBike Learn to Ride Program, co-sponsored by the Presidio YMCA, is offered at Presidio Picnic every 1st Sunday through October.

For those kids who already know how to bike, take them on a Family-Friendly Bike Ride where a Presidio Park Ranger and a Presidio Trust guide will lead them through a 4-mile, gently-paced bike ride. Rides are offered on three Saturdays in summer 2019: June 22, July 13, and August 17, from 10 to 11:30 am. Visit the Presidio calendar for details.

6. Take a Free Community Shuttle from Your Library to the Presidio

Free Community Shuttle to the Presidio

Back by popular demand, in summer 2019 you can join a park ranger on a free shuttle to and from the Presidio!

On June 15, leave from the Mission Branch Library and head to the Presidio’s El Polín Spring. On July 27 leave from the Chinatown Branch Library and head to the Presidio Visitor Center. And on August 17 leave from the Portola Branch Library and to join the Presidio Bike Parade.

The full schedule and instructions for signing up are on Library-Park-Shuttles.Eventbrite.com.