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Visiting Alcatraz With My Kids

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Last Updated on June 26, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

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When Chris and I first did this tourist must-do in 2012 or so, we checked it off our list and didn’t really plan to go back. It was really interesting but crowded and not our favorite thing. I knew I wanted to take the kids back and see it with them, but I think both of us were bracing ourselves for something fairly difficult.

The day was so much more fun than I expected it to be. Sometimes, seeing a place through the eyes of your kids makes it pure magic. I firmly believe this is what makes Disney so successful. 🙂 But that is for another post!

I was worried the kids would not be able to do the walking audio tour and it would be tough. I carried Grace in an Ergo carrier and we had Harrison in a stroller. Harrison ended up getting a headset but didn’t really listen. It was more to help him feel included. The older three (ages 10-5) did remarkably well with the audio tour. They were plenty entertained and found it fascinating. They were not lost from us in the crowd. The building itself is fascinating and they do a great job with the tour, even though it is crowded.

The ferry ride over is really short- I thought it would be about 20 minutes but it was closer to about seven. I took the big three kids upstairs with me (and Grace on my back) so they could see the island as we approached. That did mean we were last off the ferry and Chris had to wait for us a bit. They serve some snack foods, but it is such a quick ride I didn’t think that was necessary.

On the island, we started with the movie, which is a pretty standard and a good idea. It is a mini-documentary about the island and its history. After, we wandered a little bit before starting the audio tour. The views are incredible of the city and it was a wonderful, sunny day.

The kids were a bit tired and whiny waiting for the ferry back, but overall it was really fun. Much more fun than we had expected! We went and had In and Out for dinner since it was one of our last days in North Cal.  Some fun memories were made!

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