15 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco with Kids
November 3, 2023

Break free from the monotonous gigantic feast preparations. There are a lot of fun and exciting events and things to do with kids in San Francisco to celebrate Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving Day is one of the most anticipated holiday event in San Francisco, where people spend time getting ready for that traditional Turkey dinner and other things to do with family, relatives, and friends. Traditionally, parents during this time preoccupy their kids with games and crafts while they are busy setting up the venue and preparing delicious meals for the festivity. But maybe this year, you want to break that traditional routine and celebrate Thanksgiving in San Francisco with your kids by attending a special event happening in the Bay Area.

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San Francisco undoubtedly has a limitless array of options and events to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with your kids. It has many attractions to visit and is also a top gastronomic destination, which means there is no need to prepare for your own Thanksgiving dinner. So, why not skip the long grocery store lines and take a break from those topsy-turvy piles of dishes?

Celebrate Thanksgiving Day meaningfully as you tour your kids around the beautiful city of San Francisco with so many events and fun things to do, then bring them to a kid-friendly restaurant for dinner time! There are a whole bunch of amazing events happening around the Bay Area. Make use of the holiday to a few of San Francisco’s top attractions before heading out to any feasting options, where you can find a traditional meal with turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and all of the fixings.

So, if you are thinking of fun ideas to spice up your kid’s usual holiday routine, check out our top 15 things to do on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco with kids!

Kid-Friendly Events in San Francisco During Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving event in San Francisco
Photo by: Jewish Baby Network (JBN) East Bay

Thanksgiving Celebration

Virginia-McGee Totland
1644 Virginia St., Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone Number: (510) 982-6801

November 19, 2023
Sunday | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join Jen Altman from JBN and Rabbi Steph from Jewish Gateways, for a Thanksgiving-themed morning of singing dancing and making art event in San Francisco Bay Area. The suggested donation for this event is $18 to help cover costs. No one is turned away, so please give what you can. We know babies can be unpredictable, so please show up when you can. You do not need to be a member of any organization to attend this event.

They will be taking photos at the events for future publicity and images will be used without names. If you prefer not to participate, please tell a Jewish Baby Network staff person at the event. Their programs are designed for families with children aged 0-36 months, but bring the whole family. Grandparents and extended family are welcome too.

Pacifica Runners Thanksgiving Fundracer Relay
Photo by: Pacifica Runners

Pacifica Runners Thanksgiving Fundracer Relay

Terra Nova High School Track
1450 Terra Nova Blvd., Pacifica, CA 94044

November 19, 2023
Sunday | 9:00 am – 11:00 am

In the spirit of giving, Pacifica Runners is hosting a fun and family friendly relay event at the Terra Nova HS track to raise money for the Pacifica Resource Center. Participants and their supporters are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Pacifica Resource Center. Team costumes are highly encouraged.
Awards to top 3 teams and best costumes. Sign-In starts at 8:30 am while relay starts at 9:00 am. Teams of 2 to 4 people will run 4 miles (16 laps) around Terra Nova High School track. Awards will be given to the top 3 teams and best costumed team.

Thanksgiving event in San Francisco - SF Turkey Trot
Photo by: SF Turkey Trot

SF Turkey Trot

Golden Gate Park Polo Field
John F Kennedy Dr., San Francisco, CA 94121

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Run your feet before you eat. Or wobble before you gobble. However you phrase it, Thanksgiving “turkey trots” are back! Come kick off a great Thanksgiving with an invigorating fun run or walk in the park — before the parades, football games, and feasting commence. A running event in the gorgeous San Francisco Golden Gate Park has to be the most beautiful and excellent way to start this very early Thanksgiving morning to celebrate with kids.

Costumes are highly recommended, and so is your best silly attitude as you do this event.  The 19th Annual Thanksgiving Run & Walk is one of the fun things to do in San Francisco with kids! This race is limited to only 1,400 participants, so make sure to register early and don’t miss out, as there is no race day registration.

Things to do on Thanksgiving in San Francisco - Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square
Photo by: Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square

Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square

Union Square Ice Rink
333 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone number: (415)-295-1588

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Take your kids to The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square — one of the fun things to do in San Francisco to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Skate through the holidays and enjoy the festivity at the most incredible place to be this fall. San Francisco’s favorite outdoor rink is back with daily ice skating for all ages.

Ranging from the traditional to the eccentric, their entertaining holiday skating events reflect the true spirit of San Francisco and offer something for everyone. A holiday tradition, ice skating in Union Square promises to bring a smile to your face and delight to all who visit—big and small, young and old. General admission is $19 and includes skate rental.

Attractions Open on Thanksgiving Day

Things to do with kids on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco - Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay

Pier 39, Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone number: (415) 623-5300

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Aquarium of the Bay is open on Thanksgiving Day but with limited hours. You can find it at the entrance to Pier 39 on the eastern side of the district. All day long, you can watch their playful jellyfish swim around their tanks, walk through the tunnels within the aquarium, or touch a starfish. It’s one of the best things to do with kids to celebrate Thanksgiving in San Francisco.

The first exhibits in the museum show the smaller animals and plants living near the top of the water in SF Bay. As you continue the tour, your visit takes you deeper and deeper into the water, where more of the larger plants and animals live, including starfish, sharks, and other interesting creatures.

Things to do on Thanksgiving in San Francisco - California Academy of Sciences
Photo by: California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone number: (415) 379-8000

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Explore your world from the heart of Golden Gate Park — an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one Living Roof. California Academy of Sciences is a perfect stop and a wonderful experience for the entire family on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate with many fun things to do in San Francisco. They are open on a special hour from 10 am to 3 pm. 

Two new exhibits are ready for you to explore, and nearly 40,000 animals are eager to reunite with you. You can stop by and say hello to Claude, the rare white alligator, walk through the 4-story Osher Rainforest, or visit the Steinhart Aquarium. You are required to have a ticket before you arrive.

Celebrate Thanksgiving in San Francisco - Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco
Photo by: Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco

Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco

75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone number: (415) 752-1171

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 9:00 am – 4:45 pm

Visit one of the oldest Japanese Tea Garden in the country this Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco along with your kids. It is definitely a beautiful and relaxing setting on the eastern side of Golden Gate Park. Inside, you will find beautiful blooming flowers, a gorgeous drum bridge, a historic pagoda, a Zen garden, and so much more.

You can also spend extra time enjoying tea or a meal in the on-site teahouse. Once you enter the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, you’ll see trails that lead in several directions. All the trails weave through and circle the park – so each one will take you by its many attractions.

The Japanese Tea Garden does not officially offer tours, but you can visit on tour with the SF City Guides. Their tour is free and is offered daily at 1 pm.

Thanksgiving event - San Francisco Botanical Garden
Photo by: San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco Botanical Garden

Golden Gate Park, 1199 9th Ave., San Francisco, CA, 94122
Phone number: (415) 661-1316

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

The weather is usually lovely in San Francisco on Thanksgiving, and it’s a fun thing to do with kids walking around the colorful Botanical Gardens. This 55-acre gem houses over 8,000 kinds of plants from around the world. You will find them in Golden Gate Park, and admission is free all day long. With a large variety of plants and blooming schedules, you can enjoy this attraction any time of year. 

Another great thing about the Botanical Garden in San Francisco is that the walking trails are large and mostly flat. The gardens are also well laid out with plenty of signs, so it’s easy to get around. San Francisco’s unique Botanical Garden inspires visitors with the extraordinary diversity of rare and unusual plants that can be grown in coastal California.

Twin Peaks
Photo by: Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

501 Twin Peaks Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone number: (415) 831-2700

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 5:00 am – 12:00 am

Another fun attraction that opens all day on Thanksgiving Day is Twin Peaks. Located in the geographical center of San Francisco with an elevation of about 925 feet (282 m), Twin Peaks offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the city, the bay, and the ocean beyond. You can climb to the top of one or both peaks or soak in the views from the parking lot nearby.

From the top, you will get some of the best views of the San Francisco Bay Area. From the viewing area next to the parking lot at the top, you can see many of San Francisco’s landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Transamerica Building, downtown skyscrapers, and Market Street. Expect strong winds as you hike among plants such as coyote brush, lizard tail, pearly everlasting, and lupine.

Thanksgiving Dinner in San Francisco

Celebrate Thanksgiving in San Francisco - Boho Thanksgiving Celebration
Photo by: Boho

Boho Thanksgiving Celebration

3321 Steiner St., San Francisco, CA
Phone number: (415) – 374 7518

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Boho gets into the holiday spirit with a divine Thanksgiving dinner menu. There is no better way as to gather with your family and friends and share good food. Boho is grateful for your love and support. Their chefs are going to cook an amazing dinner (traditional and not) so everyone can satisfy their cravings.

Dessert to go from their bakery is mandatory, each guest will get a mouthwatering pecan pie (individual pastry) or a French macaron – petite “thank you” from Boho Petite. The restaurant is small, please book your reservation in advance. They will be serving Thanksgiving Meal from 12 pm until 9pm with last reservation at 8:15pm.

Le Colonial
Photo by: Le Colonial

Le Colonial

20 Cosmo Place, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone number: (415) 931-3600

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Transport your next Thanksgiving celebration to an exotic paradise reminiscent of days gone by. Delight your family in the timeless elegance of 1920’s French Colonial Vietnam. Highlighting the best of Vietnamese cuisine with the modernization of the menu to highlight current dietary trends with plant based dishes, Gluten free menu, Lamb chop curry, Vegan Mushroom Pho and much more from our ever changing menu.

With Over 35 years of cooking Vietnamese food with 16 years in Viet Nam, their GM and Executive chef Geoffrey Deetz has prepared the menu to feature the best of Vietnam’s fine dining in a Romantic French Indochine inspired restaurant. Their menu will take you all over Viet Nam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang and Nha Trang to name a few.

One Market Restaurant
Photo by: One Market Restaurant

One Market Restaurant

1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone number: (415) 777-5577

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 11:30 am – 9:00 pm

Get to celebrate the holiday and things to do with kids in this upscale Thanksgiving dinner from One Market. Enjoy a three-course meal including appetizers of butternut squash soup, caramelized pear, and arugula salad or baby beet salad, a main course of roasted diestel turkey, spit-roasted Berkshire pork loin or pan-seared king salmon, and a dessert option of chocolate bread pudding, apple hand pie, or pumpkin tart.

One Market has been at the forefront of San Francisco’s food scene, combining farm-to-table concepts with culinary precision, service, and incomparable ambiance. Conveniently located at the foot of Market Street downtown (directly across from the Ferry Building and just blocks from the Bay Bridge), One Market is easily accessed by foot, car, or public transit.

Thanksgiving Day Buffet at International Smoke
Photo by: International Smoke

Thanksgiving Dinner at International Smoke

301 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone number: (415) 660-2656

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Bring your kids and the whole family for some things to do to celebrate Thanksgiving with International Smoke’s Thanksgiving Dinner in San Francisco. Guests will be able to sample Smoke classics and seasonal favorites such as the Chilled Shellfish, Black Truffle Caesar, Autumn Kale Salad, Pumpkin Soup, Ayesha’s Jalapeño Cornbread, and Roasted Cauliflower for starters.

They also have carving stations including Roasted Turkey, Cedar Grilled Salmon, Wagyu Prime Rib, and St. Louis Style Pork Ribs. The sides menu include Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, San Francisco Sourdough Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, and Hand Tossed Mac & Cheese. Desserts comes with Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cobbler, and Dark Chocolate Parfait.

Thanksgiving Premier Dinner Cruise
Photo by: City Experiences

Thanksgiving Premier Dinner Cruise

Pier 3, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone number: (888) 467-6256

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Make this holiday truly special with a Thanksgiving dinner cruise in San Francisco. The package includes a 2.5-hour cruise on the San Francisco Bay, a delicious holiday buffet dinner with freshly prepared entrees, salads, and desserts, and spectacular views of the city skyline and local landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge!

Come together with your friends and family, and enjoy all the festive trimmings with San Francisco’s incredible views from the water. Meet up place is at Pier 3, on the Embarcadero at Washington Street. Your cruise will board at the South Gate (on the right side of the pier when facing the water), near the white overhang. This activity is truly one of the best things to do on Thanksgiving in San Francisco with your kids and the whole family.

Zingari Ristorante
Photo by: Zingari Ristorante

Zingari Ristorante

501 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone number: (415) 885 -8850

Nov. 23, 2023
Thursday | 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Dine on turkey or ossobuco as you sip your martini with your family and friends on Thanksgiving. Zingari Ristorante Ristorante is offering a four-course menu for $105(++) per person. Service starts at 12:00pm with last seating at 10:00pm. Zingari has been recognized as one of the best restaurants ‘Where to Eat Out on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco’ by SF Eater.

Children eat a la carte, and should you opt for music with your meal, you can reserve a spot at one of the piano room’s two dinner seatings. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan selections are available.​

Things to do on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco with Kids

Thanksgiving is a beautiful time to bond with your kids and the whole family, share a sumptuous meal, and be thankful. After a family day’s out, you can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner without having to do all the work in the kitchen. The past year has been a lot, so why not take advantage of the fact that all these attractions and restaurants are back?

There are just so many things to do on Thanksgiving in San Francisco with kids to celebrate and enjoy the holiday together!

San Francisco offers so many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our things to do in San Francisco with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in San Francisco? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region and our highly recommended seasonal blog posts.

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