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Things To Do With Kids in Palo Alto

Welcome to Palo Alto, the home of Stanford University, tech giants like HP, PARC, and Tesla Motors, and a number of unique boutique shopping centers. Visitors interested in the history of tech will be enthralled by the Stanford Dish Radio telescope and the HP Garage attraction. Bring the family and explore Palo Alto’s many arts centers, museums, and unique dining establishments. Plus, outdoor adventurers will love the kid-friendly hiking trails, marshland nature preserves, and other famous Bay Area landmarks. Here’s how to turn your next family trip to Palo Alto into an unforgettable journey.

The top family-friendly attractions in Palo Alto include aquariums, history museums, and the state of the art Apple Campus. Begin your trip with these activities for kids in Palo Alto:

  • Venture to Fisherman’s Wharf for discounted admission to Aquarium of the Bay
  • Explore the history of modern computer at the Computer History Museum
  • Ride the trains at Sonoma TrailTown Railroad
  • Drive to nearby Cupertino to tour the Infinite Loop building at the new Apple Campus
  • Rent a paddleboard and explore the open waters at El Granada

Parents will love cruising by the big tech companies in Palo Alto, some true Silicon Valley landmarks, while the kids will enjoy the many interactive exhibits. For kid-friendly activities that delights all ages, try the following:

  • See a live performance at Stanford Theatre, where you can experience Hollywood’s golden age
  • Swim, kayak, and camp out at Shoreline Lake
  • Explore a deeply shaded redwood forest when you visit Portola Redwoods State Park
  • Watch local performers live out their dreams onstage for the community at Palo Alto Players
  • Take an Instagram-worthy photo with the Google Android Lawn Statues in Mountain View

A trip to Palo Alto is can be cheaper than you think when done right. Try the following affordable activities for kids:

  • Take a tour of Forh, The Rengstorff House, a fully restored Victorian mansion
  • Explore sculpted sandstone and forest at Castle Rock
  • Climb to the top of the 285-foot Hoover Tower on the Stanford Campus
  • Ride the bikeable trails at Rancho San Antonio Preserve
  • At Don Edwards San Francisco Bay, learn about owls on a family bird walk
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Treat the kids to an afternoon of kid-only fun. Head to the ice cream shop or explore an arcade. Here are fun things to do with kids in Palo Alto:

  • Play Fruit Ninja, Hyper Shoot, Paw Patrol, and more at Area 151 Arcade
  • See how strong your swing really is at Golfland USA
  • At CREAM Palo Alto, load up on milkshakes, baked goods, and ice cream
  • Find your new favorite toy at Ambassador Toys
  • Play the Super Prize Wheel at OJ Arcade
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Bring a whole group to Palo Alto for the ultimate California experience. Explore a nature preserve or visit an interactive museum. Try these kid-approved group activities in the city:

  • Bring the group to Russian Ridge Preserve to see raptors, red-tailed hawks, and golden eagles
  • Hike the Los Trancos Trail at Foothills Park, often called a nature lover’s paradise
  • At Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, attend the Flapjacks & Railroad Tracks Pancake Breakfast
  • Learn about the history of autonomous vehicles at the Computer History Museum
  • Celebrate sweets with cones from Scoop Microcreamery

See whether your kids are gifted with the same tech-genius as Steve Jobs at any of the history museums in Palo Alto. Otherwise, the zoo and art museums are good places to start. Here are the best educational activities for kids in Palo Alto:

  • At Junior Museum & Zoo, explore historic animal exhibits
  • Visit the Museum of American Heritage, discover inventions that shaped the United States
  • Head to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, explore ancient artworks
  • Discover fascinating local history at the Palo Alto History Museum
  • See firsthand how far computing has evolved at The HP Garage, where the first HP computer was built

Dance those wiggles away or learn your favorite guitar rift at any number of musical and performing arts classes in the city. Try the following creative experiences in Palo Alto for kids:

  • Take a kids-friendly hip hop class at Existence Thru Art
  • Hone your acting skills during a hands-on acting class at the Children’s Theater
  • Try ballet, jazz, hip hop, or tap dance lessons at dance connection
  • At Create it Ceramics and Glass Studio, paint your own pottery
  • Twirl your way to highly disciplined ballet technique at Luna Dance Studio

Though the weather in Palo Alto is temperate year-round, cloudy days can happen. Don’t let the grey get you down. Instead, explore these exciting indoor attractions with the kids:

  • At Winchester Mystery House, take a tour of Sarah Winchester’s peculiar mansion
  • See one of the oldest board games in history at Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
  • Explore space at NASA’s Ames Visitor Center
  • Perfect your swing at the indoor miniature golf inside Subpar
  • Allow the kids to learn and play inside Wund3rkid play space