Are you looking for a family friendly adventure in Fisherman’s Wharf? Follow this fun-filled itinerary and get the inside scoop on a dozen fun things to do by the waterfront that will keep your curious kiddos and the entire family happy.
With endless nooks and crannies to explore and stunning views around every corner—Fisherman’s Wharf is the picture-perfect place to be.
Top picks on this action-packed itinerary include kid friendly museums, sweets, treats, and eats, the sea lions of Pier 39, a mirror maze, and the Flyer Thrill Zone. These are just some of the many options where your kids can play, get their adventure on, and of course snap some great photos to send to their friends back home.
1. Umbrella Alley
757 Beach Street
Open daily 10am to 6pm
Suggested Donation: $3-5 per admission | FREE for children under 12
Looking for fun, interactive murals for the family’s Instagram feed? You won’t want to miss Umbrella Alley in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s an explosion of dazzling color with every square inch plastered with paint, even on the ground, and it’s free to enjoy!
Nestled between two buildings on Beach Street, Umbrella Alley is one of the coolest alleyways in San Francisco — it’s where you’ll find the California Dreaming, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, and Summer of Love Monarch Wall featuring a majestic 3D butterfly, and brightly colored balloons and umbrellas suspended throughout the entire enclosure.
2. The Cartoon Art Museum
781 Beach Street
Open daily (except Wednesdays) 11am to 5pm
Cost: $5-10 per admission | FREE for children under 5
If your curious kiddos love solving mysteries, head on over to the Cartoon Art Museum and help Commissioner James Gordon search for clues around the Batman exhibit to find where The Riddler is holding the Bat-Family hostage! Can your kiddos answer The Riddler’s trivia questions and bring the Bat-Family home before suppertime?
With its floor-to-ceiling glass exterior, the Cartoon Art Museum is located just steps away from Ghiradelli Square, Hyde Street Pier, and the Cable Car turnaround.
The museum’s library is also a fun room to show the kids. It’s emblazoned in cartoons, some new and some old school that are sure to awaken your inner child.
You can also leave the kids watching cartoons on the TV while browsing the art.
3. The Codmother Fish & Chips
496 Beach Street
Open daily (except Wednesdays) 11:30am to 7pm
Cost: $10-20 per meal
Next up is an eatery that’s proven to be a local favorite in Fisherman's Wharf. The Codmother Fish and Chips brings traditional British fish and chips combos alongside tasty fish tacos and San Francisco soup staples like Dungeness crab and clam chowders. Additionally, you'll find six variations of French fries, such as the Crazy Fries topped with garlic and Baja sauce, and the Real Stink Fries with garlic and melted parmesan cheese. The atmosphere is colorful and inviting—and has ample outdoor seating and a patio with enough legroom for kids to run around and play.
4. Ben & Jerry’s
475 JEFFERSON STREET
Open daily 10am to 11pm
Cost: approx. $5 per serving
If there’s anybody out there who loves ice cream more than we do, it’s kids. Stop by Ben & Jerry’s at the Argonaut for some award-winning ice cream offered in various cones, cups, and sundaes, and go for a stroll alongside Pier 39 and Alcatraz. Go ahead, give it a swirl, or add rainbow sprinkles with gummy bears and M&Ms.
5. Musée Mécanique
Pier 45, Shed A
Open daily 10am to 8pm
Part museum, part arcade, and all fun, Musée Mécanique is one of the world's largest collections of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade artifacts. Your kiddos will absolutely love playing with any of their 300-plus machines—from turn-of-the-century hand-cranked music boxes to modern video arcade games. This is a trip down memory lane. It is a chance to show your children or grandchildren what you did for fun when you were their age—before video games or perhaps before television. For those of you who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is a chance to remember Playland at the Beach, Sutro Baths, and the Cliff House.
6. Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum
145 Jefferson Street
Open Thursday thru Monday
Cost: $30 per admission
Experience the world-famous Madame Tussauds from Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco! It’s fun for the whole family. No ropes or barriers – get close to your favorite stars! Photograph and mingle with A-Listers, challenge your sports heroes, hop on stage with your favorite pop stars and get up close with a range of fun, interactive experiences with the world's best-known personalities. So, who do you want to meet?
7. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
175 Jefferson Street
Open daily 11am to 6pm
Cost: $15 per admission (ages 12+) | $10 per admission (ages 3-11)
Get ready to experience the excitement of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!—where the unbelievable comes alive right before your eyes! Kids will marvel at hundreds of unusual artifacts and get hands-on with amazing interactives. Venturing through themed galleries, adults and children alike will become immersed in curiosities, incredible art, animal oddities, pop-culture memorabilia, interactive games, and stories of people and places that are incredibly hard to believe, but undeniably true!
8. The Fudgery
Open daily 11am to 8pm
Cost: approx $5 per serving
Keep your taste buds on their toes by indulging in some delicious fudge from The Fudgery in Pier 39 which boasts a variety of candy apples, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and bananas, all made fresh and on the premises. Also, enjoy handmade pralines, chocolate-covered pretzels, and nut clusters, as well as salt-water taffy and freshly roasted nuts. This shop will satisfy your sweet tooth!
9. Sea Lion “Sealebrities”
Open daily 11am to 8pm
Where else in the world can you eat fudge and watch the sea lions play? One of the coolest things about visiting Pier 39 is indulging on delicious fudge made from scratch and then romp on over Pier 39’s K-Dock to watch the Wharf’s sea lion “sealebrities” put on a show.
Adorable, playful, and “sonically spirited”, these sealebrities are Pier 39’s most iconic attraction.
10. Lorenzo’s Pizzeria
Pier 39, 2nd Floor, Building M
Open daily 11:30am to 9pm
Cost: approx. $15-$25 per pie
If your kids are hungry for some quality pizza pies, Lorenzo’s Pizzeria has got you covered with everything from Classic Italian Pizzas to Detroit Style Pans. Lorenzo’s has one of the best waterfront views of the bay, and a full bar too, including draft beers, wine, and cocktails.
11. Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze
Open daily 10:00am to 9pm
Cost: $10 per admission (ages 6+) | FREE for children under 5
Head into Pier 39’s Mirror Maze and work as a team to get through the challenge. With heart-pumping music and high-tech lighting, this is one of the things to do in Fisherman’s Wharf with kids. The Mirror Maze is tricky and fun all at the same time. You will see infinite reflections of yourself throughout the maze which makes it more difficult to find the route to the end. Your curious kiddos will run into dead ends, walk-in continuous circles, and get stuck in corners as you navigate your way through it. It's fun, entertaining, and a different experience each time through.
12. The Flyer Thrill Zone
Pier 39, 2nd Floor, Building Q
Open daily 10:00am to 9pm
Cost: $5-30 per activity
Come aboard this flying theater and feel the unparalleled sensation of flying and riding through San Francisco's most iconic and breathtaking landmarks. Experience motion seats, live-action, and computer-generated imagery to simulate flight. In-theatre special effects create a sweeping experience for all your senses. Launch over the Golden Gate Bridge, barrel down Coit Tower, zoom through Lombard Street and Chinatown, and soar through the Redwood National Forest.
A thrilling and inspiring attraction for children of all ages, The Flyer is a perfect introduction to San Francisco and beyond. With two ride options, guests can either fly through San Francisco on “The San Francisco Flyer” or begin a cross-country flight on “Wings Across America.”