Hunt for hidden objects, explore a huge nature playground, spot birds and fish, and have a picnic.
Gear up for adventure that delights kids from toddlers to pre-teens. This itinerary includes fun kid-height objects at the Presidio Visitor Center, a touchable 3D map and a spin on “rolly” chairs, the unique Outpost nature playground, and the Field Station for explorers of all ages. Top it off by heading to Crissy Marsh to spy some wildlife followed by a picnic fueled by Presidio Pop Up food vendors at the tables near the Presidio Transit Center. Along the way, we’ll share helpful tips for family fun at the Presidio.
This itinerary includes approximately 0.4 miles of walking and takes 3 to 6 hours — depending on how long you want to keep playing!
Stop 1: Presidio Visitor Center
Stop 2: “Rolly” chairs and 3D map
Stop 3: Outpost nature playground
Stop 4: Presidio Field Station
Stop 5: Crissy Marsh
Stop 6: Presidio Pop Up food
Stop 7: Family Picnic at Transit
Stop 8: Final Stop – Restrooms at Presidio Transit Center
The Presidio Visitor Center has fun for visitors of all ages. You’ll find interactive exhibits, touchscreens, maps, books, and a large model of the park.
Tip: While you explore an exhibit showing the park’s four big regions, kids can look for “Easter-egg” objects placed at toddler-height — each one represents a small bit of Presidio history. How many can you find?
Directions: Exit the Presidio Visitor Center and walk northeast through Presidio Plaza. Keep walking straight until you reach your next stop: the red “rolly” chairs.
These chairs invite you to spin like a top! Look for them in the plaza behind the Presidio Visitor Center. Before you continue your journey, put your hands on the touchable 3D bronze map of the entire Presidio.
Tip: You can find restrooms with changing stations at the bottom of the Presidio Steps in the Field Station building.
Directions: Walk down the Presidio Steps and turn left towards your next stop: the Outpost nature playground.
The Outpost is an outdoor adventure playground (the biggest in San Francisco) inspired by the Presidio’s nature and history. With two acres of space to explore, it’s one of the best playgrounds in San Francisco for kids to climb, balance, and build confidence by freely exploring the world around them. Huge structures with different levels of physical challenge make it suitable for toddlers, preteens, and all ages in between.
Tip: There are seven life-sized replicas of our native Pacific Chorus frogs hidden around the Outpost. How many can you find?
Directions: Just a few steps from the Outpost, you’ll find your next stop: the Presidio Field Station.
It’s our goal to make sure people can enjoy the Presidio’s natural beauty for generations to come. We work to protect native plants and animals while reducing our impact on the environment.
The water features at the Outpost uses fresh water from Lobos Creek, the park’s main water source. The flowing water is stored underground and then used to irrigate plants growing in and around Presidio Tunnel Tops.
The Field Station is a free public curiosity lab where visitors use their senses to investigate real things from around the park. You’ll find books, microscopes, maps, and tools to help spark the whole family’s imagination. Much of the content is also translated into Spanish and Chinese.
Tip: While you’re here, meet the Park and Adventure Guides – youth leaders who facilitate learning and fun. You can also borrow field gear for park adventures, including a Presidio Explorer Backpack filled with a map, magnifying glass, binoculars, and a compass.
Directions: As you exit the Field Station, walk past the all-gender wheelchair-accessible restrooms, and then cross Mason Street at the crosswalk. Turn right on the SF Bay Trail and find the entrance to the Crissy Marsh foot bridge.
At Crissy Marsh, you can see any of the over 300 bird species frolicking, hunting, and flying above the wetlands. Many of these winged wonders live in the Presidio, while others are just stopping here for rest as they make their long journey along the Pacific Flyway.
Tip: As you cross the foot bridge, look down into the water. You might spot some small silvery fish — a favorite snack of the birds that visit here.
Directions: Navigate to your next stop: Presidio Pop Up food trucks and carts.
Pick up your picnic lunch from a rotating array of Presidio food trucks and carts located on Mason Street right next to the Outpost playground. There are also food trucks and carts near Presidio Visitor Center and the Main Parade Lawn . Check out this week’s schedule to see what’s available and where.
Tip: Use the Presidio Pop Up food map to see where the nearest Presidio food trucks and carts are located.
Directions: Walk toward the top of Presidio Tunnel Tops to get to your picnic area.
Enjoy your food at one of the outdoor picnic tables or the tables inside the wind-sheltered patio pavilion at Presidio Transit Center. Tables offer companion seating.
Tip: Picnic tables here are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you prefer to reserve a table, there are tables with companion seating and barbeque grills at the nearby Picnic Place.
Directions: Your final stop is right across the plaza: Presidio Transit Center.
You can find all-gender wheelchair–accessible restrooms inside Presidio Transit Center.
Explore this interactive map to learn about the top 15 places to visit at Presidio Tunnel Tops.
This illustrated guide offers fun ideas for exploring Presidio Tunnel Tops.
Enjoy views of the Golden Gate, bay, and city at Presidio Tunnel Tops, and finish with a picnic.