Save us from watching Free Willy again
November 11, 2006 6:24 PM   Subscribe

What do you do with kids on a weekend evening (in the bay area)?

We've already seen all the kids' movies (even the awful ones), hit Dave & Busters and Chuck E Cheese. The zoo, museums, Alcatraz and libraries are closed by 5. We've spent the rest of the week (and previous weekends) in, playing board games, watching family movies. We're all getting a little stir crazy and could use some out of the house fun.

We also live in a city (SF) that has a notoriously low number of families with kids. None of our friends have kids and they're out. Or hanging in watching movies that the kid simply can't partake in.

She's seven, we're in our early 30s and are more geeky than sporty. We've got a scary stack of board games and game systems. She's too old for baby stuff. She's precocious and cynical but is certainly not into pre-teen stuff. It's important to us that all of us enjoy the activity at least at some level.

What do you do on a Saturday night and have a good time when you're kidded?
posted by Gucky to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
Isn't there an ice rink/bowling alley/carousel thing by the Metreon/Convention Center open at night? Any of those activities could be fun (along with an adventure on MUNI to get there).
posted by mathowie at 7:00 PM on November 11, 2006

Why not going "out" and taking the kid along?

High-end restaurants such as Chenery Park are friendly to kids.

San Francisco has child-friendly Wine bars(!)

Play your board games at a coffeehouse such as Muddy Waters on Valencia (I always see kids and their parents late at night)

Go Bowling in the Presidio. Go make a bonfire at Ocean Beach.

that's just off the top of my head...
posted by vacapinta at 7:25 PM on November 11, 2006

Apologies in advance that most of my suggestions are food oriented.
Chenery Park is great, and I think they even have a Tuesday night Kid's night. Other restaurants that are great are:
Cha Cha Cha, on Mission st. (and 19th I think)
Foreign Cinema, which has a stunning kid menu (and my favorite food for adults) They also show cool movies outside, and have drive-in movie speakers at the tables. My kids love this feature.
St. Francis on York and 24th, for a good time diner feel, the best fries in SF and a vintage candy and trading card collection that will knock your kids socks off. Great malteds too. My sons always insist on sitting at the counter.
The Bistro Annex on Valencia and 23rd (can you tell I lived in the mission?)
My twin 7 year olds have eaten at each dozens of times and have very adventurous palates.
The metreon complex above Moscone is great. Bowling, Ice Skating, reasonable food, and the carousel. I've done all that with my kids.

About the time when my kids were born, the owner of a local bar had a kid too, (I think there was a mini baby-boom in the mission in 99/00) and implemented a "Friday Baby Happy hour": parents with an infant drank for 1/2 price from 5-7. For a brief period, the place was packed on friday nights with grateful parents socializing with a bar full of bemused infants.
posted by asavage at 7:44 PM on November 11, 2006

Oh, and if she's a precocious child you might take her also to a play or symphony or modern dance (I know the Alonzo King Lines Ballet closes tonight at Yerba Buena).
posted by vacapinta at 7:47 PM on November 11, 2006

Zeitgeist is fairly kid-friendly earlier in the evening.
posted by padraigin at 8:49 PM on November 11, 2006

Make apple pie from scratch. Seriously. Takes about 2 hours, start to finish, there's wonderfully good stuff to eat at the very end, very educational for kids, and easy.

You do this, the kids will remember it for a long, long time.
posted by paulsc at 10:06 PM on November 11, 2006

"For a brief period, the place was packed on friday nights with grateful parents socializing with a bar full of bemused infants."

Holy cow. That sounds like the worst idea ever. I hope they required the parents to take MUNI or BART home instead of driving!

I've seen people stagger out of a bar with a baby in a car seat before drunkenly driving away. It was really kind of scary, and hell yes I called the cops.

If I had kids, I'd take them stargazing. Show them where the constellations are with a telescope. Give 'em some paper and a pencil and see if they want to draw the cosmos.
posted by drstein at 1:11 PM on November 12, 2006

How about the Musee Mechanique at Fisherman's Wharf? I know FW is a nightmare, but the MM is pretty much the most wonderful thing in SF (as a native), and totally appropriate for a 7 year old.
posted by YoungAmerican at 10:01 AM on November 13, 2006

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