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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


Year in review 2018

black white scarf dress

The end of 2018 is almost near! Last year, I made separate posts for my favorite moments, nail polish, and outfits. I thought this year it might be more efficient to condense everything into one post. It was a fun, and crazy year! There were a lot of fun moments, trends, and styles. This post will reflect on my favorite post from each month. Why remember the tough times from the 2018? Let’s focus on the fluffy and fun!

Without further ado, here were my favorite moments from each month during 2018.

January

san jose style bloggers

Twinning with Dawn! This was such a fun post. We had a blast running around Santana Row taking photos. My daughter played photographer and she had so much snapping our pictures. She even told us where to stand, and what to do! You can see the original post here.

February

Braving the cold weather in February at New York Fashion Week with my friends! This photo was taken on National Pizza Day, I mean, why in the world would fashion week get in the way of pizza? I hope we can celebrate this delicious day again in 2019; at the same place! You can see my NYFW antics here.

February was more than just fashion and work, it was family fun time! OK, so that means I have TWO favorite moments from February, can you blame me? This snow-filled family vacation in Tahoe was a blast! You can read about it here.

March

round bag trend spring 2018

I went a little crazy in March, and accumulated a few new bags. My favorite was this cute little round one from Brahmin. I wore it all spring and summer; I still reach for it despite the warm weather color! I can’t wait to rock it again this spring. You can read about it here.

April

In April, Dawn and I hosted a fun-filled event at the Chico’s store at Santana Row. It was so much fun! You can read about it here.

May

May was a fun, fashionable month. That being said, attending the Go Red fundraiser with my friend Laura was definitely the highlight. It was fabulous to learn more about heart health, while giving to a great cause. Plus, I won 49er tickets in the silent auction! Love! You can read about the event here.

June

soma cool nights summer pajamas

This family vacation was so much fun! When school was over, my family went up to Tahoe for a few days to unwind. While in Tahoe, I worked on a blog post which included my daughters. We had so much fun working together; it felt like a game instead of work! My girls were so happy to be part of the blog, plus, they fell in love with SOMA pajamas and keep asking me to get them more pairs. SOMA gained two new fans through this collaboration, and I gained a valuable bonding experience with my daughters which helped teach them about work ethics. Thank you SOMA! You can read the post here.

July

ten sushi seattle things to do in seattle with kid

July was a crazy month! While a lot of sadness clouded July due to a death in the family, I am forever grateful for this family trip to Seattle which took my mind off things, and gave our family a much-needed form of relaxation. You can read about our favorite places to eat here, and fun places to go here.

August

August was so much fun! While there were many personal and professional moments to reflect on, the Chico’s trip to Florida was definitely the highlight of the month, if not the year. I met so many fabulous women on this trip, and I learned so much about the design process at Chicos’s headquarters. This was such an amazing trip, please take a moment to read about day one, and day two, here.

September

fall outfits ideas

These photos were taken a couple weeks after my surgery. I love all of the colors, and remembering how I powered through the day to visit with my friend Dawn, and snap a few photos. You can see the original post here.

October

personalized gift ideas special gifts

My favorite post in October had to be this beautiful pendant. I love how it is personalized to reflect my children. You can read the original article here.

November

One of my favorite things to do with my children, is teach them the importance of giving back to the community. It was so much fun working with my daughters and adidas to bring my love of volunteerism to you. You can read about it here.

December

grey faux fur coat san jose street style

It’s a little hard to pick something from December considering the month is not over yet, but I decided to go with this soft and cozy faux fur coat. I wear it all the time, and my daughter took these photos; which turned out amazing! You can read about it here.

That was it! What were your favorite moment in 2018?

Thank you for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


The season of giving is here

wearing: blue hoodie sweatshirtblack long sleeve tee with “21” on the back c/o adidas / black and pink long sleeve tee c/o adidas / blue teepants c/o adidas / Superstar Shoes /

My children are growing up in bubble. I will admit it. They live in a comfortable home, with plenty of food on the table. If they want a new dress, or a new pair of shoes, I can buy it for them. My older girls have their own phones, and all three of my kids have their own iPad’s. They are privileged, and it is hard to tell them that they are privileged, because they don’t understand what that really means.

When my kids turn on the television, they see sitcom’s with families living in nice homes, with plenty of food and fashionable clothing. They don’t see kids who live in homes where the power has been turned off because the parents don’t have enough money to pay the bill, or worse, they don’t see kids living in tents because their family doesn’t have enough money to put a roof over their head.

In order to help my kids understand that what they have, and that they should not take it all for granted, I ensure they are exposed to the community at large. I need to make sure they understand the importance of giving back to the community.

Once my daughters entered middle school, I started doing volunteer work with them around Silicon Valley. I thought it was important for them to understand how many people are in need, and that if we work together, we can help them. You don’t always have to donate money, donating time is just as important.

My daughters have learned a lot through volunteering for the community. We have put together care packages for deployed troops, made corsages for Mom’s with children who have cancer, assisted with an event at a local museum, worked in a food pantry, harvested food for a food bank (yes, we picked fruit from trees!), worked on school fundraisers, and much more! They have learned that not everyone has their health, people put their lives on the line for the freedom of others, and there are people who don’t have money for food.

Volunteering has opened their eyes to the world outside their bubble in our affluent, suburban town where many people are concerned with buying new cars, remodeling their homes, and investing in the hottest new start-up. Through volunteer work, my daughters are seeing the big picture; not everyone has access to things we take for granted which are basic needs; food, clothing, and shelter.

When we are working hard harvesting food, making things for people in need, and more, we need to be comfortable! Thankfully adidas supports people giving back to the community, and they create the perfect, comfortable clothing to help use be as efficient as possible. I love their comfortable pants which help me bend down and move around when I am volunteering. It would be hard to work in anything else!

The holiday season is during the coldest part of the year. Many people are freezing and in need of more help than ever. Please take some time to find a place in your community this holiday season that could use your time. There is no greater gift, than the gift of time.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

 

*thank you to adidas for sponsoring this post