San Antonio was recently ranked one of the top 5 kids friendly cities in the US. In addition to the amazing culture and history, there are a number of fun things to do in San Antonio with kids, including theme parks and museums. Of course there’s the beautiful River Walk and we all “Remember the Alamo”, but there are also plenty of engaging museums, parks, zoo, and more. The Witte Museum is my favorite focusing on natural history, science and South Texas heritage. SeaWorld is also a great option for a fun learning experience.
Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade is the ideal family escape. You will be conveniently located near theme parks and downtown so you can explore all San Antonio has to offer. After a day of sightseeing, retreat to the hotel where you can splash in one of two pools or simply unwind in your spacious guest room. The Omni Kids Crew program at Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade caters to our youngest guests. Upon check-in, kids receive a backpack filled with fun items designed specifically for them. Kids also receive milk and cookies delivered to their guest room on the first night.
Nothing beats the location of the Hotel Contessa, San Antonio, as its nestled alongside the Riverwalk, steps away from Marriage Island. Location, ambiance, amenities (and did I mention location?) set this luxury hotel apart. The Four-Diamond Hotel Contessa manages to keep your stay relaxing but still family friendly.
The Hyatt is part of a long and successful line of hotels and resorts, and their location in San Antonio is perfectly located downtown, where you can find amenities, restaurants, live entertainment and more just a stone’s throw away from the actual resort.The resort offers plenty to keep kids entertained, including scavenger hunts, movie nights and special dinner deals for kids.There’s also a great pool and spa located on the roof, and both are kid-friendly.Rooms include amenities like free wi-fi and an included kitchen unit for a great vacation breakfast.
Nestled amid 600 acres of oak-covered hills, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is a luxury haven within a stunning landscape. Explore the area’s most popular attractions, including wineries, SeaWorld, Shops at La Cantera, Natural Bridge Caverns and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Retreat to our hotel for the thrilling River Bluff Water Experience, a nine-acre water park featuring a 1,100-foot lazy river.
After a full day of sightseeing in San Antonio, TX, savor delectable fare at one of our six resort restaurants, or rejuvenate your wellbeing at our luxury spa. Find your respite in upscale accommodations with expansive floor plans, plush furnishings, premium amenities and breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country. An inspiring destination with something for everyone, our resort offers quiet luxury in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
This is Texas’ most visited attraction so of course it is at the top of the list. The tour of the Alamo includes a walk through the remaining buildings and beautiful grounds, several rotating exhibits, a very well-done movie on the history of the Alamo, and a living history exhibit. Without a doubt, the highlight of the mission are the people dressed as soldiers, cooks, doctors and even gamblers who happily speak about their craft and show off their tools.
Children over age 10 will appreciate the history and significance of the site, especially the tales and relics of the epic battle that occurred on these grounds. Activity books are available in the gift shop which are designed to engage younger children while visiting this, the sacred shrine of Texas.
The San Antonio Riverwalk is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions along scenic pathways that flank the river. There always seems to be some sort of festival or arts and crafts show going on during the weekends, including children’s festivals. A fun way to experience the river is on a guided boat tour. 35 minute tours take passengers on a 2.5-mile cruise down the San Antonio River while guides share the history of the river and surrounding area.
San Antonio Zoo
This 35-acre zoo in San Antonio, Texas has more than 3,500 animals ranging across 750 species. It’s a great day out for the whole family. You get to spend time together and also take part in many fun-filled activities. There are many behind-the-scenes interactions with animals which are sure to excite and engage the kids.
The Witte Museum
The Witte Museum is Where Nature, Science and Culture Meet. The Witte features several different buildings with loads of hands-on exhibits. Discover Texas Deep Time in spacious galleries located on a beautiful, riverside campus. Explore dinosaurs, Chili Queens and cattle kings, original Gallery Theater plays and so much more.Popular exhibits include the Texas heritage center, the dinosaur gallery, and the H-E-B Body Adventure.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is a 38-acre living museum of plants, tranquil escape, living classroom, research and conservation facility, and entertainment venue where art and cultural experiences come to life. It is home to a Family Adventure Garden with fifteen adventure provoking themed areas carefully designed to encourage nature play and discovery, families can explore bubbling creeks, thundering ridges, beckoning hills, and sandy shores. The dedicated tumble hill alone can entertain your family for hours.
SeaWorld San Antonio
Families typically have dreams about traveling to some of the more well-known theme-parks in California or Florida. However, the budget and amount of planning required for those can sometimes be too overwhelming. SeaWorld San Antonio is much more laid back and in addition to attractions families can also enjoy close interactions with animals. Little ones will love the Sesame Street themed areas.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Texas’ largest cavern system – and so much more! Take a guided tour (or two!) 180 ft below the surface of the earth, and get up close to this Naturally Amazing place filled with incredible underground chambers and spectacular formations. Natural Bridge Caverns is more than the cavern tours, it’s also home to Twisted Trails, the World’s LARGEST Zip Rails and Ropes Course.
Institute of Texas Culture
The Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) is a museum operated by the University of Texas San Antonio celebrating and preserving the stories of the groups of people who helped make Texas what it is today. The museum does a really nice job of introducing all the people groups who moved into Texas, and the effects they had on the culture here. It’s not just Spanish influence- there were also French, Lebanese, Belgian, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, German, Wendish, Czech, Jewish, Hungarian, English, Irish and Scottish settlers! Everyone came to Texas! In addition to telling the stories of the immigrant groups, there’s also an exhibit on the American Indians.
The DoSeum is much more than a children’s museum. It’s a place where interactive fun and hands-on learning come together—a place where minds are always at play. They are dedicated to providing engaging hands-on experiences where Kids Play to Learn and Adults Learn to Play.The DoSeum offers exhibits, programs, camps, classes, and field trips designed for all learners, encouraging young minds to explore the joy of learning through connections to STEM, the arts, and literacy.
Brackenridge Park, a 343 acre park located near the San Antonio Zoo, is a great place to spend the afternoon. The San Antonio River winds through the park which features tree lined paths, playground, and a miniature train that takes visitors on a 3.5 mile loop around the park.
This park is an ideal place for a picnic or family photos on the scenic bridges. Brackenridge Park is also home to lovely Japanese Tea Gardens. The gardens feature shady walkways, attractive horticultural displays, and a 60-foot waterfall.
If you are planning to visit San Antonio with kids, you may consider getting a San Antonio Explorer Pass. This pass can help you save up to 45% on attractions, and you have the choice of purchasing a pass with three, four, or five San Antonio area attractions. There are lots of popular spots included (including most of the top attractions in San Antonio), so you can customize based on the experience you want to have.
The Alamo gets busy with school groups and tourists, so go first thing in the morning.
In San Antonio, the best way to get around with a family is by car. Downtown is pedestrian-friendly, but attractions can be spread out. And if you plan to visit attractions outside of downtown, a car is a must.
For younger children, be sure to bring a stroller. Activities like the River Walk, strolling around downtown, SeaWorld, and others can leave little legs tired. Shop my favorites here.
My Tots Travel offers visitors to San Antonio the ability to rent equipment such as car seats, strollers, cribs, and highchairs.
Sometimes it’s nice to have an adults night out. Time Out Sitters, San Antonio’s premiere babysitting service, offers CPR-trained, background-checked babysitters for locals and visitors alike.
The Mystery at the Alamo by Gertrude Chandler Warner (Ages 7-10)
Good Night San Antonio by Adam Gamble (Ages Baby-3)
San Antonio and the State of Texas: Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know by Kate Boehm Jerome (Ages 8-11)
Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story by John Jakes (Ages 6-9)
The Mystery of the Alamo Ghost by Carole Marsh (Ages 8-11)
The Alamo from A to Z by William Chemerka (Ages 4-8)
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (Rated PG)
Eternal man-child Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) travels across the country, including to the Alamo in San Antonio, to search for his stolen bicycle. The comedy was director Tim Burton’s first feature film of his career. According to Kathy Rhoads, former director of the San Antonio Film Commission in the 1980s, she helped facilitate the trip downtown for Burton, Reubens, producer Bob Shapiro and director of photography Victor Kemper. The scenes actually featuring San Antonio add up to 20 seconds of the final film.
Miss Congeniality (Rated PG-13)
Actress Sandra Bullock stars as Gracie Hart, an FBI agent who goes undercover as a pageant contestant to stop a domestic terrorist from bombing the event. In the scene that features San Antonio the most, Gracie performs in the talent portion of the pageant in front of the Alamo.
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (Rated PG)
The OSS Junior Headquarters in this 2002 children’s movie was shot at the San Antonio Central Library downtown and Six Flags Fiesta Texas was featured in the movie’s amusement park scene
Selena (Rated PG)
The iconic 1997 biopic Selena is the story of Texas-born Tejano star Selena Quintanilla, from her humble beginnings to her booming career up until her death. Catch her speaking at Central Library, singing in front of the Alamo and driving down Somerset Road in this flick.
Cloak & Dagger (Rated TV-14)
With small snippets of San Antonio’s landscape throughout the film, the Alamo City still proudly claims Cloak & Dagger as a very SA production. You’ll see shots of the Sunken Gardens, River Walk and other random downtown spots – including the Tower Life building – throughout the 1984 film. Davey Osborne, whose mother is dead and father doesn’t spend enough time with him, and his imaginary friend, a secret agent, are on the run when they come into possession of a spy group’s secret plans.
Blank Check (Rated PG)
You’ll recognize Six Flags Fiesta Texas in this 1994 film. A youngster ends up with a check for $1 million and, obviously, goes ahead and spends it as a young boy would. But, there’s a catch – a group of gangsters are chasing him – and the check.
The Getaway (Rated PG)
Shot throughout Texas, San Antonians can spot Sunset Station and the River Walk while watching this 1972 flick. The film follows a recently-released ex-con and his loyal wife as they go on the run after a heist goes wrong. Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw star as the criminal couple.
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