Things to do in San Francisco this weekend with somebody that can't walk very much?
September 15, 2012 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Things to do in San Francisco this weekend with somebody that can't walk very much?

My Mother and Aunt are in town. Auntie has terrible back pain and cannot walk more than a couple of blocks, which is leaving me a little stumped for things to do with them.

We can get cabs to places, and I am up for pushing her around in a wheelchair. Unfortunately though, she does not have one. Do places like the MoMa have wheelchairs available?

But really, I'd love some recommendations on stuff going on this weekend that require nothing more than sitting down. Theater? Comedy? Cheap will be preferred. Last night we saw Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" at ACT, and all of us enjoyed it.

They're staying downtown, we'd like to keep it relatively central (or at the very least within the city itself).

Both ladies are British, in their 60's, easygoing and quite liberal.
posted by TheTorns to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can go see Rigoletto for free at AT&T park. You just bring something to sit on.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:56 AM on September 15, 2012

Go see a movie at the Castro Theatre.
posted by eugenen at 10:57 AM on September 15, 2012

Seconding Rigoletto, but I'm biased--I work for SF Opera. The production is really lovely, though. Being something warm, it's very chilly in the park at night.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:26 AM on September 15, 2012

You may be able to rent a wheelchair for a reasonable amount of money for the duration of their stay. (You can certainly rent a wheelchair. I have no idea how much it costs.)

I was in a similar situation with my grandad, but he could walk further and mostly it was a matter of getting him to have a sit down, even though he wouldn't admit it. So what we did is not so useful to you.

However, particularly if your mom and aunt don't live in a city, don't discount the possibility that there are restaurants that you take for granted that just don't exist where they live. Six or so years later, my grandad is still going on about the Thai restaurant we went to. Turns out, he quite likes Thai food, but it took 75 years for him to go to a Thai restaurant. (The next time he was in London, he went out of his way to find a Thai restaurant. We're still hearing about how disappointing that was, too.)
posted by hoyland at 11:30 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Apparently, you can rent a wheelchair for free at SF MoMa. When you're looking for information about that sort of thing, the word you want to search for or mention is "accessibility." Most museums and public venues will have a webpage about that sort of thing, or you can call and ask, and they're almost always very friendly and will go out of their way to help make sure that you can visit comfortably.
posted by decathecting at 11:38 AM on September 15, 2012

The de Young and the Exploratorium, similarly, have wheelchairs available for visitors. I checked those to be sure, but virtually every big museum/science center/botanical garden I've been to in the the U.S. has had this amenity.
posted by janell at 11:55 AM on September 15, 2012

The Asian Art Museum is perhaps my favorite museum in the City and is fully accessible by wheelchair. Very close to downtown, with no hills in between. They lend wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis. Bonus: their cafe has awesome food and is affordable!
posted by trip and a half at 12:10 PM on September 15, 2012

My mother has limited mobility. When she last visited San Francisco, my brother and I put her in the car and drove around to see the sights. We stopped at the Buena Vista cafe for an Irish Coffee, and sat at the bar to watch the drinks being made en masse. We drove up to Twin Peaks where she was able to get out of the car and admire the view. Driving through North Beach and Chinatown (Stockton street especially) are very crowded, but interesting views.

After that, a drive north of San Francisco and along the Pacific coast is pretty. You can stop at pretty much any interesting looking food spots along the way. We went to the Cowgirl Creamery for some great cheese.

As everyone else says, pretty much any public attraction will have wheelchairs.
posted by blob at 1:10 PM on September 15, 2012

Most malls have wheel chairs you can borrow from the Concierge desk.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:56 PM on September 15, 2012

Pop her in a GoCar and zip around the city!
posted by apparently at 5:50 PM on September 15, 2012

Take an around-the-island Alcatraz tour. You get on the boat and they take you around the island and tell you about the history of Alcatraz. You sit the whole way, and if the weather is good, it's a lovely, relaxing tour.

My other suggestion is the Hop On/Hop Off double decker bus that cruises around and shows you the sights. You can get off wherever, enjoy an attraction, then cab back to your hotel.

Cruising around randomly in a rental car is also surprisingly fun. There are a lot of weird street signs and interesting things happening on any given day.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:36 PM on September 15, 2012

Ferry tours and cable cars*! And depending on what your destinations are, a MUNI Passport might work just as well as the hop-on buses, or better. They come in 1, 3, or 7 day varieties and include unlimited cable car rides.

*The turntable station at Powell and Market gets really crowded on weekends and afternoons, particularly if the weather's nice, so arrive early! California and Drumm usually aren't as crowded.
posted by clorox at 2:40 AM on September 16, 2012

California and Drumm usually isn't as crowded.
posted by clorox at 2:41 AM on September 16, 2012

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