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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

San Francisco's Top 10 Places to Take or Act Like a Kid

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge MO RIZA/FLICKR

Life is hard enough without a screaming, running away, randomly pooping, peeing, puking, money-sucking companion at your side, whether it be your child, multiple children, or Chris Daly. If you've been feeling spread a little thin lately, we're here to help. Below are the top 10 places you can nourish your inner child, or entertain your real one(s).

(Key: Poot! = Take your toddler, Toot! = Take your kids, or Woot! = Take yourself!)

10. Urban Recess (Poot!)

Urban Recess
  • Urban Recess

A haven for new parents and nannies of teeny tots, Urban Recess provides a safe, contained and well-padded play space for children any age under four. A membership provides priority access in the mornings and on rainy days, in addition to guided play sessions, childcare resources, and unlimited access to the space during business hours. Test out Urban Recess by signing up for specific classes, like messy art or toddler chef, or by purchasing day passes. Extra cool points for hosting Uni and Her Ukulele, Thursdays at 10 a.m.

9. GoKart Racer (Toot! Woot!)

This one is a little bit out of the city, and is mostly for the big kids, but we had to throw it in there, cuz gosh darnit, it's a good time.  It's a well-known and completely made-up fact that 25 percent of all romantic comedies include a go-kart scene in which the estranged parent makes up for lost time with their angsty teen by racing them around and around a track for hours.  Get some quality time in with the kids, or the ball n' chain, without actually having to talk to them! Seriously though, these little engines go fast and will ease your carpool commute pain.  The good folks on staff care about your safety, but they want you to go fast and have a blast, too. Bring your driver's license and your need for speed.

8. Pump It Up! (Poot! Toot!)

  • Pump It Up!
Pump It Up! is a birthday party idea from heaven. A building full of bouncy houses, a staff full of energy and spunk, and a dining area full of pizza, Pump It Up! makes planning your kid's birthday as simple as uploading pics of them on Facebook. (You should really scale back on that, by the way.) Choose from themes like Pirate Quest, Superhero Training Camp, or a Glow Party, pick your cuisine, and start inviting your guests. Pump It Up! doesn't only specialize in birthdays though. It does field trips, fundraisers, and team-building adventures too, as well as letting the grown-ups play on the bouncy houses, so bring socks!

7. SCRAP (Toot! Woot!)

One man's junk is another man's D.I.Y.-Etsy-Pinterest submission dream! SCRAP (Scroungers' Center for Reusable Art Parts) is a mecca of creative reuse. Any arts and crafts installment, lemonade stand, or clothes-from-curtains project you can dream up, SCRAP will have the materials for you, and often at a ridiculously cheap price. An entire day can be spent here digging through fabric samples, old art class illustrations, recycled bottles the size of a pinky, canvases, and paint. In addition, SCRAP holds workshops that can teach you, and possibly your more mature off-spring, how to make fabric covered books, collage with recycled glass, or prepare for Day of the Dead. Super duper kudos for SCRAP's huge support of Bay Area teachers too.

6. SF Zoo (Poot! Toot! Woot!) 

Who doesn't love the zoo? Well, besides PETA. Anyway, the SF Zoo is a shining example of a zoo with over 250 species, and inspiring stories of rescue and conservation. Don't miss feeding time at the lion and tiger dens, which is a roaring good time. The zoo also has a huge playground, a petting zoo, and even nightlife festivities for non-literal party animals.  Pro tips: Bring cash for the train ride and rent a wagon, for the love of God.  Trust us on this one.  Look, penguins!

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Jamie McKenzie


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