Happy birthday! Offering everything from a thrilling nightlife scene to an outdoorsy adventure just minutes from the city center, San Francisco is a fun, festive, and endlessly exciting birthday party destination.

No matter how the birthday person wants to celebrate their special day, the City by the Bay has plenty of activities to choose from to blow out your candles and make a wish.

Celebrate in style with these fun and original San Francisco birthday ideas

Whether it’s eating your way through the city’s fantastic food scene or going on a sightseeing cruise of the Bay Area, you—and all your friends—are guaranteed to have such a great time and so much fun with these San Francisco birthday party ideas.


1 Hike among the redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument 
If you want to spend your special day out in nature, the great outdoors is just a short car ride away.

Roughly 45 minutes across the Golden Gate Strait lies the breathtaking redwood forests of Muir Woods National Monument, with scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and picturesque drives.

Federally protected since 1908, this forest is both a refuge and a laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. Walk among old-growth coast redwoods as they cool their roots in the freshwater of Redwood Creek.

If you’re looking for something closer to the city, the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate National Recreation Area are within 10 to 20 minutes of downtown. With our Muir Woods Redwood Forest and Sausalito Tour, you’ll explore Muir Woods and stop in the quaint bayside town of Sausalito for lunch before returning to San Francisco where even on a foggy day, the views are spectacular with its hillside setting and waterfront location.


bike tour in san francisco

2 Take a bike tour around the City by the Bay
Looking for a birthday activity for an active, sports-loving friend? Going on a sightseeing bike tour is not only a great way to explore the city and see famous buildings and monuments, but all those steep hills will help you get in a workout!

See the city’s best sights on two wheels, like Ghirardelli Square, Haight-Ashbury, and Alamo Square (home of the Painted Ladies houses), or go all out and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge itself.

You will gain a new perspective of the city while getting new ideas about where to go next. There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way at famous sights and hidden gems to capture your big day.



3 Have a birthday picnic at Golden Gate Park or the Presidio
Packing a picnic lunch with a birthday cake, snacks, and drinks and taking it to one of San Francisco’s lovely city parks makes for a perfectly relaxed birthday activity.

Home to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park is a picturesque option close to Haight-Ashbury, while the Presidio offers beautiful bay views and beach access. There is a dedicated picnic area with tables and barbeque pits that can be reserved and while you are there, hop on a paddleboat from the boathouse and explore the lake


4 Go wine tasting in Sonoma
A wine-tour birthday party? Why not! With over 400 different wineries producing varietals like chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon, Sonoma wine country is only an hour north of San Francisco, making it a great option for a birthday party day trip.

The hardest decision you will have to make is choosing which winery to visit! Plan on visiting at least two or three spending about an hour at each. If you tour the vineyards, you will need a little more time. Cheers to another year.


5 Do the ultimate “San Francisco in a day” tour
Playing tourist for the day and visiting the city’s greatest hits can provide a deeper appreciation for the City by the Bay, whether you’re a first-time guest or a long-time resident.

Get out and see the highlights of San Francisco, including going for a bay cruise, taking a cable car ride, and heading up Coit Tower for its city views.

san francisco skyline at night

6 Soak up the nightlife
From drag shows to speakeasy bars, San Francisco has one of the most legendary nightlife scenes on the West Coast. As the sun goes down, an array of craft cocktail bars, dance clubs, stand-up and improv shows, drag extravaganzas, and more provide near-unlimited options for birthday parties.


city cruises in san francisco7 Go on a dining cruise around San Francisco Bay
Two of the best ways to have a birthday celebration are going out for a special meal and doing a fun, out-of-the-ordinary activity, and going on a dining and sightseeing cruise around the bay ticks all the boxes.

Celebrate the special day on a scenic, several-hour cruise around the bay, complete with a delicious buffet meal, plenty of birthday drinks, DJ entertainment, and unforgettable views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Depending on your mood, you could also kick things off on a Signature Brunch Cruise with plenty of bubbly, unwind during a leisurely lunch aboard the Signature Lunch Cruise, or see San Francisco all lit up at night on the Signature Dinner Cruise.

There is nothing like the refreshing breeze blowing through your hair as you toast to another year.


8 Take a tour of the city’s best foodie spots
From fresh seafood to traditional Chinese dishes to boundary-pushing Michelin-starred restaurants, San Francisco’s food scene is one of its top draws. If the guest of honor is a foodie, you can’t go wrong with eating your way around the city.

Pop into restaurants and eateries throughout several of the city’s best foodie districts, like Chinatown and North Beach, sampling dim sum, tacos, seafood stew, and much more, all while learning about the multicultural population that gives San Francisco its diverse culinary culture.


9 Explore Alcatraz Island 
Tour the historic island and visit the world-renowned Cellhouse as you step back in time and experience the legendary island that has been a Civil War fort, a military prison, and one of the most notorious Federal penitentiaries in U.S. history.

alcratraz island

Celebrating your birthday in San Francisco

Looking for somewhere to host a birthday party rather than looking for something special to do? City Cruises has you covered! Our fleet of luxurious vessels are essentially floating venues, ready to host your party or celebration. Who can say that they got to have a birthday party on a yacht?  You won’t only be the talk of the town, but the talk of the seas! Surrounded by friends and family, you can cruise through San Francisco Bay, taking in the breathtaking views and sights, food, drinks, entertainment, and of course, cake. City Cruises will take care of all the small details focusing on giving you a personalized celebration for your budget and party size, allowing you and your guests, to focus on the fun.

Marking another trip around the sun with a celebration? San Francisco has something for everyone—and City Experiences is here to help you have the best birthday ever, with fun tours, outings, and so much more. Ready to book your birthday celebration? Fill out this form and an event planner will contact you.

FAQs – Birthday Fun in San Francisco (2024)

Why is City Cruises a great option for celebrating a birthday in San Francisco in 2024?
City Cruises in San Francisco offers a unique and scenic way to celebrate birthdays, providing stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz, coupled with excellent dining and entertainment.

What types of birthday cruises are available with City Cruises in San Francisco?
City Cruises offers a variety of birthday cruise options, including brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises. They also offer themed cruises for special occasions, providing a festive and memorable birthday experience.

Can City Cruises in San Francisco accommodate large birthday groups?
Yes, City Cruises can accommodate large groups for birthday celebrations, offering spacious boats with ample seating and facilities to ensure a comfortable experience for everyone.

What kind of dining experience can I expect on a City Cruises birthday cruise in San Francisco?
Expect a sophisticated dining experience with a selection of gourmet dishes, freshly prepared on board. Options range from buffets to seated multi-course meals, with vegetarian and special dietary options available upon request.

Are there entertainment options on City Cruises for a birthday in San Francisco?
Many City Cruises offer entertainment options like live music or DJs, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere suitable for birthday celebrations.

How can I customize a birthday cruise with City Cruises in San Francisco?
City Cruises offers customizable packages where you can choose your menu, and entertainment and even decorate the space to suit your birthday theme or preferences.

Do I need to book in advance for a birthday celebration with City Cruises in San Francisco?
It is advisable to book in advance, especially for larger groups or specific dates, to ensure availability and ample time for any custom arrangements.

What unique birthday activities can I find in San Francisco?
San Francisco offers unique birthday activities like exploring Alcatraz Island, enjoying a picnic at Golden Gate Park, taking a cable car ride, or visiting quirky museums like the Exploratorium.

Can I book a private dining experience for a birthday in San Francisco?
Many restaurants in San Francisco offer private dining experiences perfect for birthdays, with menus ranging from gourmet cuisine to local specialties.

What are some good outdoor birthday party locations in San Francisco?
Outdoor enthusiasts can celebrate at locations like Crissy Field, and Dolores Park, or rent a boat for a day out on the San Francisco Bay. As well as on a City Cruises deck!

Are there group-friendly activities for celebrating a birthday in San Francisco?
Group-friendly activities include group bike tours across the Golden Gate Bridge, team-building experiences like escape rooms, or attending a sporting event or concert. And of course aboard a City Cruises boat!

What unique birthday celebration options does City Cruises offer in San Francisco?
City Cruises in San Francisco offers dining and sightseeing cruises around the bay, including brunch, lunch, and dinner options with stunning city views.

How does celebrating a birthday with City Cruises in San Francisco enhance the experience?
Celebrating with City Cruises offers a unique blend of scenic beauty, fine dining, and entertainment, making for an unforgettable birthday celebration on the water.

Original Post Date: December 20, 2022