When our little guy was 10 months old, we traveled to San Francisco. It was a great family trip and we didn’t let having a little guy hold us back. We did as much as we could to soak up the city. I had been to SF a few times prior to this trip for work, but it was my husbands first trip, and our first big trip with our little guy.
We really wanted to go to Alcatraz, and really weren’t sure how accommodating it would be for a baby. Well, we did the visit, and it is accommodating! There are a few limitations… but overall it’s a great experience for the entire family.
We packed a full diaper bag, snacks, formula, water, a baby carrier and our travel stroller. We did bring layers (as that’s exactly what San Francisco is known for), but seeing as you’re on the water it’s a bit cooler than in the city, so I recommend to bring a little blanket for the baby/toddler. (we had to improvise with my scarf).
Toddlers up to the age of 4 years are free – so we only had to buy 2 tickets. We bought tickets for the 9:10am tour. How it works is you book for your departure time, but you can leave the island at any time.(While you wait in line for the boat, there are washrooms and a changing area for babies.)
The boat has a snack bar and washrooms. The ride was about 10-15minutes long.
Once on the island, there is a talk about what you can see and a few explanations about what you’ll have access to. There is a washroom right as you got off the boat and onto the island, but the changing table is in the handicapped stall, and seeing as that’s the only washroom until you get up the hill, you may have to wait a bit for your turn. Not that big of deal really, but good to know.
As for the actual grounds, we used our stroller everywhere without any issue really. There are hills, and it’s a good incline, but again… totally manageable if you walk with your baby in a stroller on a daily basis. (Thank goodness for Cardio Pousette!)
As for the tours, they are self guided and we took lots of breaks for snacks for us and baby! There are a few benches and places to sit here and there, but it’s a jail… so these spaces are in the former library and kitchen. Our little man napped and took it all in. Very relaxing.
We also took the baby carrier so we were able to alternate between the stroller and the carrier so that out little guy had an opportunity to be held as well. Anything to keep the little guy happy!
We are so happy we went to Alcatraz as it is extremely fascinating and full of history. As mentioned, I had been to SF prior to this trip and I am so glad we finally did this attraction. I now fully understand how Alcatraz is always sold out! It’s actually that good!
Final thoughts: Yes, Alcatraz is totally manageable with a baby! So enjoy and explore! Take your time, and it will be a fun time for everyone! Don’t forget to get a little something in the gift shop!