Any recent info on San Francisco with kids (1 with food allergies)

Posted on: Fri, 07/13/2007 - 9:32pm
PinkPoodle's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

My husband has a conference in San Francisco in September and he wants all of us to go. I am wondering if anyone here as any advice on restaurants there or fun things for kids to do. Most of the day hours it will be me and the 3 kids (ages 7, 6, & 2). I'm trying to convince my mother to come with us, so I can have extra eyes/hands to help [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

My DD is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, honey dew melon, cantaloupe melon, and we are still acting as if she is allergic to eggs (she's been outgrowing and most recent CAP/RAST came back negative, but skin is still slightly +, so we're still avoiding eggs for 1 more year).

Any hotel suggestions?

Thanks,
Nicole

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 12:00am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

The area near Fisherman's Wharf is IMO the best place in the city to stay. This gives you access to a lot of interesting things to see and do w/in walking distance. We've stayed at the Marriot, which isn't flashy, but it is quiet and has in-room fridges.
Staying on the wharf also gives you access to several modes of public transportation-- which is [i]the only way to get around[/i] if you are unfamiliar with the city, frankly. I cannot emphasize this point enough. Driving in SF (off the main streets) is not for the faint-hearted-- and parking???
Fugghedaboudit.
Anyway-- you may want to check into getting a CityPass-- which will give you tickets to a number of popular sights (Alcatraz tours, teh Steinhardt Aquarium, the Exploratorium (which is a MUST with kids), and unlimited FREE cable car rides. This is VERY VERY convenient, and there is nothing as neat as riding back down to Fisherman's Wharf at night on the Powell&Hyde line over Russian Hill. The lights of the city are stunning.
Your kids might be a bit young for the Asian Art Museum and the MOMA, because many of the exhibits are not behind protective barriers. But these are also excellent.
If you have any extra time, go up over the Golden Gate Bridge and west to Muir Woods as a family-- it is a spectacular redwood grove which is fully accessible. It will literally take your breath away if you haven't seen giant Sequioa before.
Have an [i]awesome[/i] time.

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 3:21am
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Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

San Francisco is a day trip for us, so I don't have a ton of advice for you on hotels. One of my friends says that the Holiday Inn on Fisherman's Wharf is pretty nice.
I'd completely avoid eating in Chinatown.
My kids enjoy trips to the Steinhardt aquarium, going to Pier 39 and riding on the cable cars. You might also want to check out the Exploratorium, the SF zoo and Zeum.
------------------
Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid)
Joey (7 NKA)
Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now)
Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 2:17pm
PinkPoodle's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

CM & Solarflare-thanks for the quick responses. I'll aim for Fisherman's Warf area for a hotel. A mini-fridge in the room is really a must.
Have either of you been to the Monterey Aquarium? It looks like a 2 to 2.5 hour drive but my older 2 children are very interested in going there (they saw a show featuring that aquarium about 2 yrs ago and still talk about it). I think we might try to stay in or near Monterey the 1st 2 days and then head to San Fran from there.
Thank you for the info about not driving in San Fran, CM! I am used to driving in Boston, which is also a unique experience for anyone not from this area, but I prefer to make vacation time as easy as possible [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I'm leaning toward going on the trip. As anyone on this site knows, food allergies add a whole new dimension to 'travel planning'. This is the reason we go to Disney so often---they make it a little bit easier. I just want my kids to know there are other destinations than Orlando and Southern California [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I'll post again once I narrow down some hotel choices and if/when I make up my mind.
The older 2 (#2 has food allergies) are easy to take anywhere, in terms of their interests....child #3 is in the wild & free toddler stage. She might be more mellow by the time the trip roles around. She would not do so well at a museum with art in reach (unless the intention was for children to touch).
I'm looking forward to seeing the redwoods---never have been to Northern California.
Thanks again,
Nicole

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 11:50pm
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by PinkPoodle:
[b]Have either of you been to the Monterey Aquarium? It looks like a 2 to 2.5 hour drive but my older 2 children are very interested in going there (they saw a show featuring that aquarium about 2 yrs ago and still talk about it). Thanks again,
Nicole [/b]
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is fantastic. It can be VERY crowded - long lines on weekends.....but worth it. I've been there many times (but not for a few years) mainly to photograph the shorebirds. They have a fabulous shorebird exhibit with only a short piece of glass separating the visitors from the birds. There's also a great ray exhibit - I seem to remember that the kids can actually touch the rays. They're in a low pool. And the jellyfish exhibit is great too! Then, of course, there's the main aquarium and the sea otters.
My son and his wife & kids are on their way to California now and will be at the aquarium in a few days. He booked all the hotels on Priceline.com and got some super deals except for Monterey. The best deal he could find for anything decent was $200+ a night.
[This message has been edited by Adele (edited July 15, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/02/2007 - 7:08am
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Joined: 06/07/2004 - 09:00

We did SF last year with my PA son in tow. He's 10. As far as what to do: Exploratorium, Zeum, the Bridge, the cable cars, Pier 39, the Ghiaradellhi factory, there's lots more I can't remember right now. Oh, the Japanese Gardens in Golden Gate park was great and Haight Ashbury was fun for me. And they must go to Coit Tower. We rented a car one day and went over the bridge to Sausalito. Cute town.
Food: Be careful and don't go to Chinatown. A lot of restaurants are very eclectic and try different ingredients. My son loved the I-Hop for breakfast and the Italian restaurant in our hotel was p-nut free. There's a great Diner way over by Pier 6 I think. If you want more details on names, let me know, I'll look it up. I loved that town, though, and so did he!
Quote:Originally posted by PinkPoodle:
[b]My husband has a conference in San Francisco in September and he wants all of us to go. I am wondering if anyone here as any advice on restaurants there or fun things for kids to do. Most of the day hours it will be me and the 3 kids (ages 7, 6, & 2). I'm trying to convince my mother to come with us, so I can have extra eyes/hands to help [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
My DD is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, honey dew melon, cantaloupe melon, and we are still acting as if she is allergic to eggs (she's been outgrowing and most recent CAP/RAST came back negative, but skin is still slightly +, so we're still avoiding eggs for 1 more year).
Any hotel suggestions?
Thanks,
Nicole[/b]

Posted on: Sun, 08/05/2007 - 10:02am
raven's picture
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Joined: 07/23/2007 - 09:00

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is great! My kids love it. It is open until 8:00pm on saturday's and sunday's. If you purchase your tickets online I don't think you have to wait in the long line to get in. I asked a lady that works there when the best times to visit during the summer are and she told me tuesday, wednesday and thursday, but it also clears out nicely at around 6:00 on saturday and sunday. If it were me I would choose the day that they do their live feeding in the outer bay tank. They only do that one on certain days. I believe that they do the rest several times a day. They also have some neat early morning (before the aquarium opens) programs. They cost extra but might be a neat way to see more of the aquarium.

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