Travel


Things to do in Chinatown San Francisco with kids

chinatown san francisco things to do in chinatown with kids

My San Francisco street style: blue plastic hoop earrings / lipstick / blue scarf (other colors avl)  / black faux fur coat / black tee / small PVC tote / skinny jeans / spring nail polish / plastic bracelets (hidden by coat) / street sneakers (so comfy!)

It’s ski week! My husband has a big conference this week at work, so he wasn’t able to take time off for a family vacation. Instead, we are having a staycation! When I was a kid, my mom always took me into the city to explore, shop, and get out of Marin. She grew up in San Francisco, so she has always preferred it to the suburbs. My husband grew up in the Bay Area too, so he also has many memories of heading into the city with his family. Ours kids always have such busy schedules, so it is a rare occasion that we can throw everyone in the car and drive an hour north into San Francisco; but we did it!

My mom always took me to Chinatown as a kid. We loved getting dim sum, shopping in the stores, and walking up and down the streets. She always knew which jewelry stores had good deals, and which ones to stay away from. I have such fond memories of spending time here with my mom growing up. I am so happy we can pass those memories along to our children!

There are so many fun things to do in Chinatown San Francisco with kids. Of course, to fully enjoy everything Chinatown has to offer, it is best to time your trip correctly; or you could end up in a giant mob of tourists. I’m going to give you some tips so you can enjoy San Francisco’s Chinatown just like a native San Franciscan.

How to enjoy Chinatown like a local

lunar new year chinatown san francisco

When you visit San Francisco, the best time to go is when other people are not going. Ski week in February is a great time because all the locals are in Tahoe, and the tourists don’t think to visit. The hotels are less expensive, and everything is a lot less crowded. As long as you don’t mind 50 degree weather, February is a fabulous time to visit San Francisco. October, November, January, and March are great times too.

If you cannot visit during the off-season, always hit the tourist spots on a weekday. All the locals from the suburbs come in on the weekends, in addition to the tourists, making Saturday and Sunday almost unbearable during the busy season. I want you to enjoy our beautiful city!

Arrive early: The early bird catches the worn for a reason! My mom taught me from an early age to always get into the city before the stores open. Once 10am hits, the whole world appears on city streets. If you can get into the city before 10am, you will park easily, and maneuver around a lot easier; especially if you would like to check out the city’s street art.

Chinatown street art

san francisco wall art san francisco street artthings to do in chinatown with kids

The street art in Chinatown is always evolving. This dragon wall mural is absolutely stunning, but it sits one block above where a staircase used to be painted with really cool quotes. You can see it in this 2017 post. My kids always love those stairs, so it was one of our first stops when we arrived in Chinatown. Alas, they were painted over with grey paint. Thankfully we looked up and saw this beautiful dragon mural! Fingers crossed it doesn’t get hit with graffiti!

In addition to the dragon mural on Grant Ave., there are many other murals on side streets off Grant. If you like to snap photos for the ‘Gram, this will be your heaven. In the photo at the bottom of this page, you can see part of another mural on the corner of Grant and Sacramento.

You will also find carvings, statues, and other forms of art throughout Chinatown. Many of it will be reflective of the Chinese culture, while other works are local American/San Franciscan art. In addition to art, there are always red lanterns strung across the street. They are so pretty!

Of course, you can’t spend your entire day looking at street art. One of the must-do’s in Chinatown is to eat dim sum! My absolute, hands-down favorite dim sum restaurant is Peninsula Seafood. They are located one block off Grant on Jackson. Go early like a local! If you arrive before 11am you have more of a chance of grabbing a table without waiting too long. On a busy summer day, expect to wait an hour for a table. If you arrive when there is a wait, it is worth it! The food is delicious. They have the best Har Gow, and Shu Mai-be sure to eat them!

You cannot visit Chinatown, or San Francisco in general, without checking out the Cable Car Museum. It is located at 1201 Mason street. Again, go early when they open around 10am. It is a tourist attraction and can get super busy. It’s a short visit, but the kids will love it; and you will too!

Do you like fortune cookies? The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is a must-see when you visit Chinatown San Francisco. You can see how fortune cookies are made, and you can eat them too! Yum! It’s very touristy, and as locals, we only go once in our lifetime on our own-we also go when someone is visiting from out of town. That being said, you have to go at least once in your lifetime; and the kids will love it! After all, kids love fortune cookies-and us adults do too. haha. It’s located at 56 Ross Alley.

Lastly, you cannot go into Chinatown without shopping! Look for cheap jade (which is usually dyed but who cares), inexpensive jewelry, cheap fans, and decor. It’s a fun place to find Chinese decor, jewelry, and clothing, which is inexpensive. If a store seems expensive, skip it. You can buy expensive jewelry and clothing elsewhere; the stores in Chinatown are for tourists. Look for bargains and things priced under $20. The kids will love getting a souvenir-and you might too!

Have a blast when you visit Chinatown in San Francisco! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

things to do in chinatown with kids


What to wear on an airplane

how to dress on an airplanewhat to wear on an airplanecomfortable travel clothing

wearing: silver hoop earrings / lipstick / black jersey jacket c/o SOMA / blue stripe tee c/o SOMA / black and white infinity scarf c/o SOMA / black crop leggings c/o SOMA / black satchel / silver nail polish /

Have you ever wondered what to wear on an airplane? Maybe you travel a lot and are looking for something new and comfortable for your next flight. Or perhaps you haven’t traveled recently and need to replace your Pan-Am bag and blue suit? Well, I have found the most comfortable clothing for flying! It’s SOMA Intimates new Style Essentials collection!

Long flights sometimes drive me a little bit crazy because I am trapped in a tube, who knows how high above the ground, for five to six hours. It is really boring. I can’t go for a run, I can’t jump and down, and I feel stuck in my seat. Since I am stuck in a seat, which isn’t exactly comfortable, I always need to make sure my airplane attire is as comfortable as possible. Thank goodness for SOMA Intimates Style Essentials collection!

The SOMA Intimates Style Essentials clothing is extremely soft. Their clothing is so soft and comfortable, sometimes I forget I am in street clothes and not wearing pajamas! haha

I love these cropped leggings for travel. They are really soft and easy to wear. They allow me to get as comfortable as possible in my airplane seat; and that’s quite a feat! This blue tunic tee is super soft and comfy, it’s great for being comfy at home, travel, or anytime you want to wear something which is no-fuss. You may recognize this black jacket, it’s my current go-to cover up. This jersey jacket is really soft and the perfect weight for fall weather. It’s great on foggy days and perfect for air travel. Love!

You can find more comfy air travel options from SOMA Intimates online at Soma.com.

Shop my airplane travel outfit from SOMA Intimates:

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

*special thank you to SOMA Intimates for sponsoring this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

comfortable airplane outfits


35 Years Bold Chico’s trip day two

Welcome to my Chico’s trip recap day two! If you missed day one, you can read all about it here.

The second day of the Chico’s 35 Years Bold trip was jam-packed with activities. We started our day out at Chico’s headquarters. Their headquarter’s is so dreamy! It’s Florida, so they had a beautiful pond near the gate to their campus, and the buildings were designed in nostalgic brick. It looked like a pretty place to work!

Chico’s gave us a tour of their campus, and filled us in on the history of the founders, and the company. There are beautiful antiques and a beachy vibe when you walk into the reception area of the building. There is nothing cold and corporate-like about it! What a fun place to work!

Our tour included backstage access to their entire design process from start to finish. You can see an artist designing a new print for a future collection, which I am not allowed to name, in one of the above photos. It is incredible to know that Chico’s prints are all hand-painted, in-house, by real artists!!

After getting a sneak peek at several future collections, forecasting mood boards, the fit process, and a couple of top secret collections, we were treated to a catered brunch. The brunch was delicious, and when we were done, we chatted with Chico’s executives about everything from marketing to design to shopping. It was so much fun to give feedback and share ideas with Chico’s decision makers!

Brunch eventually came to an end, and Chico’s brought us out to Sanibel Island where the very first Chico’s store is located. It was incredible to see the first store in it’s original location, complete with original fixtures and antiques. The store was incredible; and two stories!

So, what happens when eleven bloggers are armed with gift cards in a Chico’s? Well, a whole lotta shopping, that’s what! I came home with a black and white dress, and two belts. My new dress will make an appearance on the blog in the near future-so stay tuned!

Outfit I wore to Chico’s headquarter’s and shopping:

After shopping, we enjoyed a yummy lunch and then headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up before dinner.

We started the evening off with a beautiful dinner inside the hotel’s ballroom. I found Tonya from The Real Chic Life had chosen the same dress as me for the evening. She looked fabulous! I love how she paired it with this necklace. The beads in her necklace really captured the colors in the print and looked amazing. Hmmmm, ideas for next time I wear it!

It was really fun twinning with her, after all, great minds think alike; amiright?! This dress is amazing, and it’s part of Chico’s pre-fall collection, so I plan on styling it differently as we move into the fall season. I am going to wear it with western style boots at fashion week in September. It’ll be a fun look!

Outfit I wore to dinner and the sunset cruise:

After dinner, we all walked across the street for a beautiful, ninety-minute cruise around Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. The cruise was so pretty, I sat on the top level of the boat the entire time drinking in the beauty of the area. The sunset was incredible, and there were dolphins swimming along with our boat!! That was SO COOL!

One of the big takeaways from the trip was that we should always be living our best and boldest life. Chico’s is all about being bold, and enjoying life. When I was in my 20’s I always wore professional black ensembles and went for a conservative look. The older I get, the more I realize life is too short to follow fashion rules and blend into the background. It is time to shine; and be bold! So let’s raise a glass and cheers Chico’s on 35 years of living bold!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy