Indoor Activities in San Francisco and the Bay Area: 10 Top Picks

The Bay Area is one of the liveliest and most dynamic places in the world. International and local tourists flock to San Francisco every year to experience the unique culture of Northern California. While there’s plenty to see and do outdoors, sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. Since you live in one of our California communities, there are many indoor activities in San Francisco and the surrounding area that you can enjoy year-round.

A woman enjoys the indoor activity of playing the piano

1. Discover the History of San Francisco Sourdough

If you’re a lifelong learner, you will love discovering how Boudin Bakery keeps the heritage of San Francisco sourdough bread alive. Situated in Fisherman’s Wharf, this 166-year-old bakery invites people of all ages to tour its facilities and take part in the magic that is breadmaking. You can even roll up your sleeves and knead some dough before slurping up a warm bowl of clam chowder in the restaurant.

2. Explore Local Flavors at a Wine Tasting Room

NorCal is known as the wine country of North America, and fortunately, you don’t have to spend a day touring Napa Valley to taste great local wines. At the Winery Collective in Fisherman’s Wharf, you can try different varieties from local wineries in the area, but you can also stop by Chateau Montelena in Union Square or the JAX Tasting Room in SoMA when you’re in those neighborhoods.

3. Spend a Day Window Shopping in Union Square

One of the first ideas that comes to mind when you think of indoor things to do in San Francisco is probably window shopping. Union Square is the ultimate destination for this in the city with the nine-story Westfield San Francisco Centre offering endless opportunities to dine and shop. Plus, exploring the boutiques and eateries in this mall will help you stay active without having to venture outside in inclement weather.

4. Experience Broadway Magic at the Orpheum Theater

While this activity takes some planning, it’s worthwhile to keep an eye out for Broadway shows playing in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theater. Schedule this outing for the winter when you can expect the weather to make you want to stay inside.

San Francisco sees many of Broadway’s biggest hits come through the Orpheum Theater, but many other venues near the Civic Center feature Tony Award-winning plays and exciting performances. This is a great activity to do with older grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

5. See the Warriors or the Sharks Play

The Bay Area boasts numerous professional and college sports teams, all of which are more than happy to strut their stuff for your viewing enjoyment. While the San Francisco 49ers play outside, two other professional teams have indoor venues. Catch a Golden State Warriors basketball game at the Chase Center or a Sharks hockey match in San Jose at the SAP Center. 

6. Encounter Local Sea Life at the Aquarium

The compact nature of San Francisco’s urban setting means there are dozens of museums and exhibits you can explore on any given day. Aquarium of the Bay is one of the most popular attractions for people seeking indoor activities. Not only will you get to see jellyfish and sea anemones on display, but you’ll also encounter many local sea creatures that live around the peninsula and the Bay Area.

Some of the other top museums in the area are:

  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Asian Art Museum
  • The Contemporary Jewish Museum
  • Museum of the African Diaspora
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum

If you have to stay inside and you want to engage with something interesting and intellectual, you cannot go wrong with a museum visit.

7. Embrace Your Inner Child at the Exploratorium

If you have young children in your life and want to connect with them by doing something fun indoors, visit the San Francisco Exploratorium at Pier 15. This cutting-edge museum features more than 600 individual exhibits, most of which have a hands-on learning component. From walking the fog bridge to playing with color and light, you can easily spend an entire day immersed in science and art. 

8. Get Your Steps in With a Game of Mini-Golf

Add a little whimsy to your day by playing a game of mini-golf at Urban Putt in San Jose. Originally located in the Mission, the upscale and high-tech business brought indoor mini-golf to San Francisco ten years ago and will take over a new space this year. With holes inspired by iconic San Francisco landmarks, you will truly enjoy getting out of the house to play a lighthearted game or two on a rainy day.

The Conservatory of Flowers - a great indoor activity in San Francisco.

9. Stop and Smell the Roses at the Conservatory of Flowers

When you’re missing nature but don’t want to hike or walk in the rain, spend an afternoon at the Conservatory of Flowers. One of the best-kept secrets of indoor activities in San Francisco, this greenhouse made of wood and glass is the oldest operating facility of its kind in the country. Wander through five unique exhibits and experience the beauty of the tropics indoors on a cold and wet day.

10. Practice Self-Care at an Authentic Japanese Onsen

For more than 50 years, Kabuki Springs has welcomed guests to Japantown to experience an authentic onsen alongside other wellness rituals. Self-care is always a great option for those days when you need to unwind but stay inside. Pamper yourself with a DIY sea salt scrub before soaking in the hot pool and add a massage to your care package to complete the experience.

Take Advantage of Indoor Things To Do in San Francisco

Keep a list of indoor activities in San Francisco and the surrounding areas to use when you need to switch up your everyday routine. Museums, performances, and sporting events can enrich your life with knowledge and new perspectives. Whichever of our Elder Care Alliance communities you live in, we offer a wide array of activities, both in-house and away, that will keep you active all year round so you can love the life you live. 

For help or more information contact us or schedule a visit at a location today.