5 Family Friendly Things to do for Super Bowl 50

The Super Bowl is almost here! It feels like everyone and their mother is on their way to San Francisco for a week of parties and of course the big game. However you feel about the game coming to town, its here and its happening, bringing an estimated 1 million people along with it. If you are one of those folks interested in staying as FAR away from all of this as possible, you're not alone (here are a few tips on how to accomplish that). If you want to check out what's happening with your kids in tow it can be done. I've done some digging and come up with some fun activities for the entire family in and around the Super Bowl over the next week. As always, please use the links provided to double check the information and plan ahead before trekking downtown. Have fun!


Animal Planet's magnificent version of the big game is the Puppy Bowl, played every year with pups up for adoption from local agencies. While the Puppy Bowl that airs next Sunday is filmed elsewhere, this year sweet pooches will take a mini field outside the Ferry Building. Be warned, all these pups are up for adoption so unless you want to take home a puppy, try to resist!

Puppy Bowl Café
Gott's Roadside at the Ferry Building

Super Bowl City
Feb. 4-6 11am to 8pm
Feb. 7 11am to 3pm

The café is also live streaming at Animal Planet Live TV during open hours, and some cool virtual reality videos of the puppies "practicing" that you can watch on your desktop or mobile. 

 Children's Creativity Museum

A new exhibit, Serious Fun, opens Jan. 30 and it's all about games! The animation studio will let kids create their own stop motion Super Bowl themed videos, along with all the usual fun exhibits. Children's Creativity Museum is great for kids of all ages—definitely check it out during this exhibit or any other time!

Children's Creativity Museum
221 4th St. (at Howard)
Open Wed-Sun 10am-4pm

Admission: $12 for Adults, Kids 2 and under free

Saturday Night Lights 

 Photo courtesy  TheBayLights.org

Photo courtesy TheBayLights.org

As a special treat to the city before the crush of visitors arrives, Super Bowl City is opening a weekend early to coincide with the relighting of the Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge! There will also be a fireworks show and a concert by Chris Isaak, all on Jan. 30.

Saturday Night Lights
Super Bowl City
Sat. Jan 30th at 7:25pm

 Super Bowl City


This is the main hub of activity in the city and the reason why traffic will be screwed through Super Bowl Sunday. Admission to Super Bowl City is free. There's a ton of stuff going on here this week, including lots of concerts on the City Stage and shows on the Fan Stage (be sure to bring ear protection for the little ones!). A few notable shows include:

  • Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir on Sun. Jan. 31st from 3-4pm
  • OneRepublic on Fri. Feb. 5
  • Alicia Keys on Sat. Feb 6.  

LOGISTICS: Here is the official list from the NFL of what is NOT allowed inside Super Bowl City. It doesn't say anything about strollers or diaper bags but does say bags over 18" by 18" are not allowed, so if you have a smaller bag you might want to bring it just in case. There is a screening process in place so expect someone to go through your stuff. 

NFL Experience

 Photo courtesy  NFL Experience

Photo courtesy NFL Experience

If a theme park dedicated to football sounds like your idea of a good time, then you want to check out the NFL Experience at Moscone Center. Unlike Super Bowl City this is NOT free: tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for kids 12-2, free for kids 2 and under. You can purchase on Ticketmaster or at the Moscone box office. There is also a fast-pass option if you want to meet some VIPs and get stuff signed. There is a Play60 area for the kids to try on football gear and try passing, kicking, obstacle courses and more, but some of these activities are only for kids 6 and older. It's not super clear so don't promise your four-year-old she can try on the pads until you confirm on site. There are also lots of activities that you can only access if you have signed up for the Fan Mobile Pass via the Road to 50 app (available on iOSAndroid and Windows).

I noticed the event only had three stars on the Ticketmaster website—not a good sign. Lots of the reviews for last year's event in Phoenix complained about long lines for the kids activities, so keep that in mind if you plan to go. My advice? Arrive early if you can.

NFL Experience
Moscone Center North & South Buildings
747 Howard St at 4th St

Saturday, January 30: 10AM - 10PM
Sunday, January 31: 10AM - 8PM
Monday, February 1: 3PM - 10PM
Tuesday, February 2: 3PM - 10PM
Wednesday, February 3: 3PM - 10PM
Thursday, February 4: 3PM - 10PM
Friday, February 5: 3PM - 10PM
Saturday, February 6: 10AM - 10PM
Super Bowl Sunday (February 7): 10AM - 2PM

Please check the NFL Experience website for the latest details. All this information is subject to change!

LOGISTICS: Just as with the Super Bowl City, the area around Moscone will be a traffic nightmare. Take transit or plan to walk and park. Here is the list of prohibited items, and as with Super Bowl City there will be lots of security. 

Getting There (and out) 

A few words on getting around: PLEASE spend some time mapping out your strategy to get to and from these spaces. Here is a map of road closures and detours in place through Feb. 7. Virtually every street in the Financial District and Embarcadero is impacted in some way, the same for Muni lines. If you're planning to take kids you need to figure all this out in addition to navigating the crowds, security and everything else. Pack your patience and some extra snacks!! 

What are your Super Bowl plans, with or without kids? Are avoiding it all or joining in the activities?