Looking for more fun activities on a budget? Here are some ways to score discounts:
The San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park is free as long as you bring proof of residency. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and make the perfect backdrop for a picnic. There are also plenty of geese, ducks, turtles and fish to keep the kiddos entertained.
In addition to their fantastic free mommy and me group for infants, Carmel Blue is offering a discount to first time participants of their Friday Music Jiggle Jam. Just use the promocode “momboard” to join the music fun for $10!
Discover and Go is a partnership between the San Francisco Public Library and local museums to provide you with free tickets to museums and attractions. Some of the popular attractions such as the California Academy of Sciences require you to book a spot months in advance and only allow you one free ticket per year while others are available for free multiple times a year. All you need is your SF library card to log in and get booking!
Free Trial Classes
Most of the baby gyms, music classes, and indoor playspaces offer free trial classes you can take advantage of. While this isn’t a complete list of places, check out: My Gym, Gymboree, Peekadoodle, Recess, Day One, and Music Together.
Joining the Golden Gate Mother’s Group gives you access to lots of free and discounted activities, and an opportunity to meet other mommies for regular playdates. On Thursday afternoons you can visit Peekadoodle or Recess for free, plus you can take advantage of extended free trial periods at both indoor playspaces. They also offer a whole month of a free trial class at Gymboree. Visit their site for a full list of partners and discounts.
La Petite Baleen is a swim school with multiple locations throughout the Bay Area. They offer free swim classes for all babies under 6 months. You just have to pay the one-time $25 membership fee.
Little Lane is like Class Pass for kids activities. You sign up for a subscription to Little Lane and then you can attend a few classes per month (depending on your subscription level) and often times it works out to a discounted price for those classes ($10/ class).
A lot of the costly museums around the bay are actually super affordable if you get a membership to one that you’ll attend often. Many memberships also get you a discount at partner museums or even free entrance to a museum outside the bay area. Memberships tend to be around $150 per year.
Recess now offers a membership for babies 0-6 months that has no monthly fee! Just pay the $50 registration fee and you can attend their weekly music classes and age based playgroups and connect with other mamas and papas.
SF Recreation centers offer affordable drop-in and multi-week classes. Often times the per class cost is under $10 if you sign up for a series of classes. They have toddler arts, music, swim, and gym classes. Lots of classes fill up quickly so keep an eye on the registration windows.
STEMful is a new playspace located in Bernal Heights focused on cultivating a profound interest in science, technology, engineering and math in children at a young age. Although their workshops and classes are for older toddlers, their drop-in playspace starts at 1 year old. Playpasses cost $6 per day for 1-4 year olds!