Family-Friendly Activities for Parkmerced Residents

Even though San Francisco is only 47 square miles in size, it packs an enormous amount of activity within its borders. With such an abundance of places to visit and things to do, whittling down the options can be taxing. We are here to help you find the best family-friendly activities and locations near the vibrant Parkmerced apartments. Here are some of our favorite destinations.

Lake Merced Park

Picturesque Lake Merced is essentially the backyard for Parkmerced residents. The 600-acre park is set around the stunning, square-mile lake at its center. Paved paths and trails wind around the lake and through the woods, so all ages can enjoy walking, hiking, and biking. In addition, canoes and rowboats are available for rental; spending a few hours—or even the whole day—out on the water is always an option.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is one of the largest and most-visited urban parks in the United States. At over 1,000 acres, it encompasses a wide assortment of picnic areas, playgrounds, and lakes, as well as trails for hiking and biking. Set up a picnic, let the kids run around a bit, or maybe go for a quick family hike. This massive green space with an abundance of fresh air is only 3.5 miles north of Parkmerced.

San Francisco Zoo

The SF Zoo boasts 100 acres and more than 1,000 different animals are sure to keep children of all ages engaged. In addition to housing endangered species like the red panda and black rhinoceros, the zoo currently boasts a penguin island; a lemur forest; a gorilla preserve; a savanna filled with zebras, giraffes, ostriches, and others; a grizzly gulch—which is exactly what it sounds like—and a children’s petting zoo. If your child loves animals, the SF Zoo is an absolute must.


Gialina is a small, kid-friendly pizzeria only minutes from Parkmerced. It serves Neapolitan favorites like the “Amatriciana,” which is made of pancetta, chilies, pecorino, and an egg, as well as more inventive creations like the fiery “Atomica,” topped with tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, chilies, and mozzarella. Both kids and adults will be more than satisfied with the menu options.

Gateway Kitchen

Gateway Kitchen is only five minutes from Parkmerced, and it has been serving delicious and fresh Filipino food to local residents for a long time. It is a no-frills, kid-friendly restaurant that can provide alternative options to mainstream fare: the fried pork chops are famous throughout the area. The staff has a reputation for being extremely friendly and courteous, and the atmosphere is always lively. For the young, culinary adventurers among us, this is the place!

Junipero Serra Playground

Every family needs to get back to basics in a great neighborhood playground, and Junipero Serra is just the place. Only a short walk from Parkmerced, this playground is covered in unique jungle gyms, slides, and swings, and it also features a tennis court, basketball court, and baseball diamond. It is large enough for some good, old-fashioned running around; it is rarely crowded; and it is simply a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours.