Discover Exciting Indoor Activities in San Francisco

San Francisco is the perfect place for finding thrilling indoor activities to keep you entertained and engaged. Here are some fantastic indoor activities that you can explore in San Francisco in a bad weather.

indoor activities sf

List of top 11 indoor activities in San Francisco

  1. Exploratorium
  3. Urban Putt
  4. Alcatraz Island
  5. Madame Tussauds
  6. California Academy of Science
  7. Bowling
  8. Church of 8 Wheels
  9. Japanese Tea Garden
  10. House of Air
  11. Musée Mécanique

1. Exploratorium 

The Exploratorium is a unique, hands-on museum that offers an interactive science learning experience for people of all ages. The museum features exhibits that explore various scientific principles and phenomena, including electricity, color perception, and sound waves. Admission costs vary depending on the exhibition you choose to attend and is conveniently situated at Pier 15 along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, offering an exceptional bay side experience.

2. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

This museum is a must-visit for art lovers. The SFMOMA features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary artwork from famous artists such as Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, and Andy Warhol. The SFMOMA is located in downtown San Francisco and can be accessed via BART or MUNI buses. Parking in the area is limited, but visitors can opt for bike parking or pay for daily parking at nearby

san francisco indoor activities

3. Urban Putt

This mini-golf course is perfect for a fun night out with friends or family. The indoor course is designed to mimic the streets and buildings of San Francisco and offers an exciting golfing experience. The entry fee is reasonable, and there is also a bar and restaurant within the facility. Urban Putt is located in the Mission District and can be accessed via MUNI buses. Parking is limited but there are a few street parking options available nearby.

4. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco’s top attractions. The indoor museum showcases the history of the island and the infamous prison. Visitors can learn about the island’s wildlife and ecology, the prison’s famous inmates, and take a guided tour of the prison cells. Entrance fees vary depending on your age.

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay and can be accessed by ferry. Parking options are limited, so visitors should plan ahead if they wish to drive. There are also a few private tour companies that offer transportation to Alcatraz from the city center.

indoor activities in san francisco

5. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is a famous wax museum that features lifelike wax representations of famous personalities such as Barack Obama, Meghan Markle, and Tony Bennett. Visitors can take photos with wax figures of their favorite stars, and there is also a 4D cinema experience. Entry fees vary and the museum is located in Fisherman’s Wharf and can be reached via public transportation. The museum offers a wide variety of interactive experiences including “Starring You” sessions, where visitors are cast as famous celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley. There is also a green-screen photo booth to take home memories of your visit.

6. California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a museum and research institution dedicated to studying and understanding the natural world. The academy features exhibits that explore the earth’s ecosystems, outer space, and marine life in the aquarium. Admission fees vary depending on the exhibition you choose to attend. It also offers a variety of educational programs and activities to bring science to life.

7. Bowling

San Francisco is home to several bowling alleys that offer indoor recreation for people of all ages. From classic alleys like the Presidio Bowl to the upscale Lucky Strike, there are plenty of options for bowling enthusiasts. You can rent bowling shoes, buy snacks and drinks, and enjoy a game or two with your friends. Prices vary depending on the number of people playing and the timing of the visit.

indoor activities san francisco

8. Roller Skating at Church of 8 Wheels

In the heart of San Francisco lies a one-of-a-kind experience that marries history with recreation, offering an exhilarating twist to traditional indoor activities. The Church of 8 Wheels, once a sacred space, has transformed into a vibrant roller skating rink, infusing an iconic architectural marvel with the spirit of movement and fun. Nestled within the city, this unconventional venue invites locals and visitors alike to lace up their skates and glide across the smooth wooden floors, basking in the echoes of the church’s past while embracing the joyous energy of roller skating. Amidst stained glass windows and ornate details, skaters of all levels whirl and twirl to lively tunes, creating a dynamic ambiance that’s both nostalgic and electric. The Church of 8 Wheels stands as a testament to the city’s penchant for repurposing spaces, offering a thrilling haven for those seeking a unique indoor adventure in San Francisco.

Usually, the doors are open Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check their event calendar for more details.

9. Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is a traditional Japanese garden located in Golden Gate Park. The garden features traditional Japanese architecture and a tea house that serves tea and snacks. The entry fee to the park varies.

10. House of Air

House of Air is an indoor trampoline park that offers visitors a unique bouncing experience. The indoor trampoline park features multiple trampolines, dodgeball, and a giant foam pit. Entry fees vary depending on the activity.

11. Musée Mécanique antique arcade

The Musée Mécanique is a fascinating and beloved attraction in San Francisco. It’s a vintage arcade museum located at Fisherman’s Wharf. This place is filled with an extensive collection of antique arcade games, mechanical musical instruments, and other historic penny arcade machines. Visitors can experience a nostalgic journey through time by playing these old-fashioned games, from fortune-telling machines to early pinball and mechanical dioramas. The museum holds a remarkable array of machines dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, offering a unique glimpse into the history of entertainment and gaming. Admission to the museum is free, and visitors can play the games by using coins or tokens, which can be purchased on-site. It’s a fantastic spot for both kids and adults to enjoy a retro gaming experience in San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf area.

Common FAQ’s about the Indoor Activities in SF

Where can I go indoors for free in San Francisco?

If you’re seeking indoor activities in San Francisco that come with no admission fee, consider visiting the Cable Car Museum. Here, you can delve into the rich history of San Francisco’s iconic transportation system. The exhibits include vintage cable cars, detailed models, and mechanical displays that illustrate the inner workings of the cable car system. Another option is the Mexican Museum, where you can explore an extensive collection of Mexican and Latino art, spanning pre-Conquest art to contemporary works. This museum offers free admission, allowing you to enjoy a cultural escapade without spending a dime.

How many days do you need to enjoy San Francisco?

To fully experience the diverse array of indoor activities and attractions in San Francisco, a trip lasting at least five to seven days is recommended. This duration allows ample time to explore the city’s iconic landmarks, indulge in its culinary delights, experience its vibrant arts and culture scene, and participate in the indoor and outdoor activities it offers. However, the exact number of days can vary depending on individual preferences and the pace at which you wish to explore the city.


San Francisco is a bustling city with plenty of indoor activities to engage with, regardless of the weather outside. Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, you’re sure to find something in this city to your taste, from museums and galleries to bowling alleys and trampoline parks. So, next time you’re in San Francisco, try one or multiple activities listed above, and you’re sure to have a great time.

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