We recently moved to the Los Angeles area and this website will eventually start to shift towards activities in southern California. In the meantime, while we are getting acquainted with our new area, I will be posting some more of our favorite spots from when we lived in the SF Bay Area. One of our favorite playgrounds was the Sue Bierman Playground a.k.a. “The Ferry Building Playground”, because it is located across the street from the Ferry Building.
Accessible via multiple transit lines (E, F, N, KT, J, M, L, BART, 1, 2, 6, 9, 21, 31, 41, 82x, etc.) and a nice central point before or after doing more exploring in the area including the Ferry Building, the Exploratorium (0.5 mi), or possibly Pier 39 after a ride on the E. It is also near an ice skating rink in the winter months.
Our favorite combo was a morning at the playground followed by lunch at the Ferry building, especially when the farmer’s market is open (Tues., Thurs., Sat. until 2 pm). There are also several places for coffee nearby (Blue Bottle, Dandelion, Starbucks, Philz, Paramo, and Sightglass during the farmer’s market) and more places to eat in Embarcadero Center (Onigilly is one of our favorites, but wait times can be long closer to noon).
It is good to bring a sunhat/sunscreen and a jacket, which could be said for most places in San Francisco. When it is in the sun, it is fully in the sun with little shade. However, when the shade of the Embarcadero buildings land on the playground in the late afternoon, it gets chilly pretty quickly.
The closest bathroom is across the street at Port Authority (Pier 1 building) and is clean and rarely crowded. If Port Authority is closed, the Ferry building also has bathrooms, but the lines can be long. The Hyatt is also nearby, but technically for customers – maybe grab a treat from their café.
Sue Bierman playground is fully-gated with only one gate. My favorite playground feature!
There are three main structures: one for younger, one for older, and a spider climber.
There is also a large green field next to the playground, perfect for kicking around a ball. However, this area is not within the gated area, but is a good distance from the busy street.
S loves to climb and the spider climber at this playground is one of his favorites. The kids get a great view of the Bay Bridge from the top!
There are 4 swings total – two toddler swings and two “big kid” swings.
There is also a seesaw and a spinner bowl.
S and his friends love to play pirates, or other imaginary ship-related games, on the smaller boat play structure. It also is a favorite hang-out spot for everyone on a sunny day for the shade it provides.
Fenced In?: Yes, fully gated with one gate
Bathrooms?: Yes, across the street at the Port Authority Building or the Ferry Building
Toddler Swings?: Yes, two toddler swings and two sling swings