updated Sept. 6, 2016
Bay Area Discovery Museum 557 McReynolds Rd., in East Fort Baker, (415) 339-3900. Tu-F 9-4, Sat-Sun 10-5. $10, 62+ & 1-17 $8. Free on 1st W of month 9-4.
This activity-oriented, hands-on museum designed especially for children 6 months to 8 years old is especially nice as a rainy day outing. Themed areas include a Tot Spot for toddlers, where they can splash in an outdoor flume and crawl through several padded indoor rooms; an Art Studio with sections for both older kids and younger ones; Lookout Cove outdoor play area featuring Bay Area icons; a Wave Workshop where kids can explore waves in an experimental setting; San Francisco Bay Hall with an “underwater” tunnel and play fishing boats. The excitement is contagious, and parents find themselves being pulled along from one activity to another by their eager children. Visitors can also explore the outdoor area immediately surrounding the museum. Good advice: Arrive early, bring a lunch, stay late. “Shall we move on?” was always met with a firm, “No,” from our 18-month-old. Note: the cafe is currently closed; changing tables are found in the men’s room here, too.
image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers