5 Fantastic Things to Do With Kids in Palo Alto, California

You may or may not know that Palo Alto is located in the part of California that is known as Silicon Valley. This is a nickname for the southern San Francisco Bay area. The “silicon” part of the name refers to all the innovation and creation of silicon chip technology that occurred in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Now people know it as a region where many of the world’s high tech companies make their home.

There are many fun technology and science activities for families with children, but the area boasts other fun attractions.

Consider making plans to stay at The Nest, a boutique hotel in Palo Alto. After a fun day out, you will enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and amenities of this home away from home.

Traveling with children, be they yours or a friend or family member’s, is fun and exciting and can be a little challenging, especially if you are not used to the limitations that can come with kids attention spans and their needs depending on their age.

It is a good idea to make plans to accommodate yourself and the kids, a survival guide is helpful for planning activities for your trip.

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Computer History Museum

Located in Mountain View, California, this museum explores the history of Silicon Valley and allows visitors to interact with many exhibits. You can sit in a self driving car, learn how to code, and see the new iPhone exhibit.

You and your children may want to visit the museum’s website before you go there in person to view their online exhibits. This will give you both an idea of what to expect and prime the interest of your kids.

Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad

Go back in time at this fun exhibit and ride a steam engine train. They also have a 106 year old carousel. Contrasting these machines from a century ago with current science and technology are a great way to show kids how things change and the importance of preserving our past.

The carousel and railroad are located in Los Gatos, California. The train runs through Vasona and Oak Meadow park. Food is available, and you may get to participate in special events like their Pumpkin or Holiday Train depending on the time of year you visit.

Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo

This museum has a wonderful history that began when Josephine O’Hara founded it in the basement of an elementary school. It had the honor of being the first children’s museum west of the Mississippi river.

The junior museum is a great place to get the “wiggles” out. Children can run and play, discover and learn. Some of the exhibits that wait for you to explore include: Tortoise Hill, Clean Green Energy Machines, Bobcat Ridge, Duck Pond, Baby’s Bramble, and Weaverbird House.

Magical Bridge Playground

This playground belongs to a select group of specially designed parks which have the goal of including all children in play. It is inclusive and innovative. Autistic populations, special needs children, elderly persons, visual and hearing impaired, and physically limited persons are encouraged to explore this playground.

Special features such as no barriers, seamless ground cover changes, ramps, bridges and a two story playhouse designed for all, makes for special play and memories. Parents and caregivers will appreciate knowing the playground is fenced off for safety.

Museum of American Heritage

This museum explores history and technology changes over a 200 year time period (1750-1950.) Permanent exhibits include: an early 20th century kitchen, a general store set in the 1920’s, and an automotive repair shop circa 1920’s to 1940’s.

You can also explore the print shop and enjoy the historically restored Ruth Bell Lane Memorial Garden which includes original plants or period appropriate inclusions. You may want to explore the museum’s website before you make your trip. They hold workshops, science samplers, and classes where you can learn about history and new skills.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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