A day out with the kids as a single parent can be challenging on weekends or holidays, here is a suggestion which can be an adventure for the family and that is, riding the local trains. If you live in San Francisco or any where in the Bay Area where BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is easily accessible, you should learn about the route of MUNI’s L Taraval line and its many points of interest accessible from it. (However, after paying the fare on MUNI, a transfer/receipt will be generated and you should keep it with you at all times as they levy a hefty fine on all passengers who can not produce a receipt when asked by MUNI police).
Starting at the Embarcadero station, get off at the Powell Street station and walk around Union Square, which is the hub of downtown's shopping district. Get back on the L train, continuing outbound to the Castro district, (this might be a good time to talk with your children regarding tolerance with respect to the gay community). Walk down Castro Street from the MUNI station which is located at the corner of Market and Castro. You must stop at Hot Cookie for the best cookies ever, be advised however, some of their treats are anatomically shaped. Then down to Cliff’s Variety Store, which is a fun and unique hardware plus crafts store. The Castro Theatre is on this block which features current and classic films. Do NOT miss the opportunity to go see a film at this beautiful landmark theatre and all its splendor, where an organist plays before the start of each film. Then, back on the L continuing outbound.
The next stop should you choose to disembark is West Portal station, located at the foot of West Portal Avenue. This street is full of shops and restaurants, where there are many choices of kid friendly eateries. After a nice lunch, head back onto the L outbound once again, continuing to the 46th Avenue and Taraval stop, get off and walk a few short blocks to Ocean Beach. This is where the L stops traveling on Taraval, and turns down 46th Avenue to the end of the line. At the end of the L line you will be just one block from the San Francisco Zoo which is, of course, a favorite destination for all ages. The L train is easy, affordable and a great way to spend the day in San Francisco with your children without breaking the bank and relax while exploring the City.