The Best Family Fun Activities at the Presidio

Getting to the Presidio Picnic has been on my list of summer goals for weeks. We’ve been focused on the picnic, but we’d never thought about spending a full day in the Presidio until we learned that the family-friendly activities extend well beyond food trucks and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Archaeology in the city. There is an live archaeology dig going on to excavate El Presidio de San Francisco, the Spanish-colonial site buried just below the ground in front of the Presidio Officers’ Club. Watch the archaeologists on their long-term project during limited hours every Friday and Saturday through October 21. There’s an open lab on Wednesdays, where archaeologists are on hand to answer questions as they clean, catalogue, and study artifacts.

Learn to ride a bike. Finding spots to learn to ride a bike in the city can be hard. Also, teaching kids to ride a bike can be physically and emotionally exhausting, which makes a free learn to ride class led by the Presidio YMCA a dream come true.

Take a hike. The trails are nearly endless around the Presidio, putting people deep into nature despite the urban surroundings. This is really only if you like hiking. I’d rather be on a picnic blanket with the dog.

Eat well. Actually, skip the picnic blanket, you can find me and my dog at Arguello, one of renowned Chef Traci Des Jardins’ restaurants. Dogs are welcome on their patio, which is a gorgeous, sunny place with water for the dogs and chips and margaritas for their owners. Heaven. Their food is heaven. Go for brunch, go for happy hour, just go, and enjoy the freshest, most flavorful tortillas you have ever eaten. Taco Tuesdays feature three tacos for $10 and pitchers of margaritas for $28! Holla!

Arguello isn’t Des Jardins only Presidio spot – the Commissary is nearby, with a Open Kitchen series allowing diners to watch guest chefs work up close.

Eat more. If you’re still hungry, there’s Presidio Twilight, which is a lot like the picnic, but at night and with bonfires. Bring your kids and dogs because there is room for all.


For the latest events at the Presidio, check out their website or stop by the Presidio Visitor Center to learn about the history of the area and the complete activities schedule.

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