Outdoors & Recreation Field Trips

30 Best Playgrounds in San Francisco (According to Red Tricycle!). With more than 100 playgrounds in our 47 square miles (well, technically 46.9 but who’s counting?) there’s plenty of places for city kids to play with views of the city and views of the bay. From the hilltops of Bernal to Eureka Valley to the Civic Center, we’ve rounded up our top picks that will have you climbing to the top of the slide to take in that view of the Golden Gate Bridge yourself. Swing on!

Conservatory of Flowers. The Conservatory offers Bay Area students free guided tours for 3rd-5th grade classes and free self-guided visits for TK-12th grade school groups, preschools, and college classes.

EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park. The EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park is an educational community center that uses sustainable on-site power, water and wastewater systems. Nearly every feature of this facility is designed to educate the public about renewable energy, pollution and greenhouse gas reduction, wastewater treatment, sustainable building materials, rainwater harvesting, and the green economy. 

Fort Point. From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay following California's Gold Rush through World War II. Join a free history tour to learn about the soldiers' lives at Fort Point, the Fort's unique architecture, the defenses of the Golden Gate, and lots more. 

Free National Park Shuttle Trips. The San Francisco Public Library, National Park Service, Presidio Trust, and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy have teamed up again in 2019 to provide FREE shuttles from library branches to national park sites. Be sure to sign up in advance. Families and all ages are welcome!

Garden for the Environment. Garden for the Environment is a dynamic outdoor classroom with demonstration areas covering a wide variety of topics. Nature exists in the middle of the city and the organization’s one-half acre garden shares space with thousands of plants, birds, and bugs.

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The Golden Gate National Parks are extraordinary classrooms for connecting students with our history, culture, and natural environment. In partnership with the National Park Service and other community organizations, the Parks Conservancy offers a variety of resources and programs designed for educators looking for creative ways to expand their curriculums.

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Bring the enormous appeal of the Ocean to your class to teach science, art and language arts. Sanctuary education programs offer science field trips, classroom programs, exhibit discovery experiences, student field monitoring opportunities, teacher workshops and resources.

Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco. The Japanese Tea Garden provides visitors from around the world with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty, tranquility and harmony of a Japanese-style garden in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Mission Bay Parks. Mission Bay Parks has acres of clean, safe and friendly parks, including shoreline parks and parks specifically for kids.

San Francisco Beaches. The strange thing about our beaches is that even though the city is surrounded by water on three sides, residents tend to forget they even exist at all. Check out this list of Thrillist’s favorites.

San Francisco Botanical Garden. From guided walks and Children's Garden programs for school groups to summer field trip programs, the Garden is a vital resource for schools, community groups and families in search of  immersive educational experiences in the natural world.

San Francisco Parks & Open Spaces. San Francisco has 3,413 acres of open space in parks managed by the City’s Recreation & Parks Department. Get out of the concrete jungle and reconnect with nature!

San Francisco Rec & Parks Department Recreation Centers. With 25 terrific multi-purpose Recreation Centers conveniently located throughout the City there are tons of opportunities to get out & play, even if Karl the Fog is making your favorite playground cold and gloomy.

San Francisco Rec & Parks Department Swimming Pools. Set up a pool day for your program at one of Rec & Park’s nine swimming pools! (Hint from the kiddos: there is a super cool slide at the Hamilton Rec Pool…).

The Presidio. The Presidio serves as an active outdoor classroom for students and teachers. Drawing on the natural and cultural heritage of the park, the park's programs offer authentic, real-world learning that support 21st century skills.

Are we missing something? Let us know! Email info@dcyf.org