17 Outdoor Things to Do This Winter with Kids

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One of the perks about living in the Bay Area is that winter is a pretty awesome time to be outdoors— you can take the kids to the beach one day and play in the snow the next day! Plus, there’s always fun to be had in Golden Gate Park or amazing waterfall hikes (that are really flowing this year!) nearby to explore. Scroll through to find some of our favorite family activities for when the temps top out at an oh-so-frigid 60 degrees.

Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, there are widespread closures to slow the spread of Covid-19. We’re doing our best to keep all of our stories and calendar up to date. Stay safe! 

Cal Academy

1. Visit Cal Academy’s brand new outdoor playspace, Wander Woods where hands-on playing is encouraged—crawl through a log, build a den, run through a maze and more!

2. Celebrate MLK Jr. Day with the kids with a march or service project.

3. Check out some of our most famous wildlife. The Bay Area has tons of great spots for seeing what the sea lions, whales and elephant seals are up to. 

Christine Lai

4. We love Winter Lights which are lit up in Peacock Meadow at Golden Gate Park through February.

5. Get outdoors for a hike! Whether its a stroller workout hike, an all-access hike for wheelchairs and strollers, a hike with the littles or our top winter hikes we’ve got you covered from Marin to Santa Cruz.

6. San Francisco has some of the most epic playgrounds around. Pick a sunny day and start checking off our list of 30 favorites like the recently-updated Panhandle Playground.


7. It’s newt season! Also called orange-bellies, these adorable amphibians emerge during the wetter months of winter but just look, don’t touch—these guys are poisonous! Join a guided newt hike in Berkeley, Briones Regional park or in San Ramon.

8. Burn off some energy by letting little groms warm-up and drop-in at one of these cool skateparks.

9. Craving some snow? These spots nearby are great for tubing and sledding  or check out our Tahoe winter guide. 

San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge

10. Winter is a great time for birding! Join a guided walk at Black Diamond mines, Bodega Bay, in San Rafael or in Hayward.

11. See the Bay from the water. There are tons of opportunities to try kayaking with the kids and a warmer winter day can be the perfect choice. 

12. Check out the new Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City.

13. Take the kids out for a drive-in movie .

Kate Loweth

14. Check out the ladybug migration in Redwood Regional Park. They are there in full force for the next few months.  

15. Visit the shore at low tide and explore the sea urchins, sea stars and crabs that live in our coastal tide pools.

16. Hike and read a story book at the same time at Presidio’s Story Walk.

17. Take a family farm walk at Farm Discovery. 

—Christine Lai & Kate Loweth

featured photo by Yan via pexels 


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