Located just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River, not far from downtown, Brackenridge Park has been a gathering spot since prehistoric times (dating back 11,000 years) and has since evolved into one of the most popular family hang-outs in San Antonio. This beautiful park is covered with Live Oak trees and offers visitors dozens of privately situated picnic tables and barbeque pits to choose from. Brackenridge offers three pavilions (available for events), a playscape for children, a softball field, a walking path around the pond, where you'll find all sorts of ducks and other wildlife and, best of all, a charming mini-train that runs right through the park.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: If you have kiddos, Brackenridge Park is a must on a budget, with a pretty little park with ducks, trails and a mini train.
Kimberly's expert tip: As Brackenridge Park also extends into the Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio Zoo and the Sunken Garden Theatre, not to mention its proximity to the family-oriented Witte Museum, it's the ideal place for a day trip!
There were five missions established in the early 1700's. These Spanish missions were more than churches. They became towns with a focus on encouraging the natives to become Catholic in order to be citizens. The Spanish king was able to extend influence outward from Mexico. Four missions are linked on this trail. San Jose, San Juan, Concepcion, and Espada. The fifth was the Alamo. With the exception of the Alamo, all four of the missions are still active Catholic parishes. Beautiful architecture remains almost as it was nearly 300 years ago. Step back into a beautiful history as you tour the San Antonio Missions. Family friendly and educational.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: You can't visit San Antonio without seeing some of their most historic sites.
Kimberly's expert tip: Rent some bikes and enjoy your own bike tour of the missions!
The San Antonio Museum of Art boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near Eastern art in the southern United States. It is also one of the largest collections found in public museums. The size and variety of all the exhibitions is astonishing. Located on the River Walk, the museum is also host to many children during the school year. The vast array of educational information makes it a very attractive place for field trips. The museum hosts over 500 guided tours each year and is appealing to adults seeking scholarly immersion as well as families with young children.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: SAMA is one of the best museums in the entire country in terms of diversity and quality.
Kimberly's expert tip: If you know that you'll be visiting in the future, it is a good idea to sign up for the email list on their website. They send out weekly updates about educational programs, upcoming exhibits and other interesting events that take place on site.
If you're visiting San Antonio for the first time or have not been before, Hemisfair Park is a must see destination spot. Recently renovated, this lush, beautifully landscaped neighborhood park, located in the center of downtown, was originally created for the World's Fair in 1968. Walking this park will not only give you a good workout, but will lead you to some of the best destinations in San Antonio, including the Tower of the Americas, the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Magik Children's Theatre, just for starters. The park is also located directly across the street from La Villita, the historic arts village which is great for shopping!
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: HemisFair recently went through a giant renovation, and is a great place to explore with the family.
Kimberly's expert tip: If you're in the mood for an adventure, take the trolley bus from downtown to the park and then continue on to San Antonio's arts district, Southtown, to see all the great places that San Antonio has to offer.
The new DoSeum Children's Museum sits on 5.5 acres of property and includes 26,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and an additional 39,000 square feet of outdoor exhibit play space. It offers unique exhibits unlike any other children's museum in the U.S., including an interactive robot, a spy academy filled with math challenges, an interactive puppet parade, a musical staircase like in the movie Big, an ADA-accessible treehouse, a children's river and a significant outdoor exhibit area. There's truly something for kids of all ages. Toddlers will enjoy spending time in Little Town, while the six- to ten-year-olds will have fun in the Spy Academy. The literacy exhibit, called Imagine It, is a brilliant interactive story-making exhibit that enables kids to pair fantasy with imagination in order to build a story where they are the real heroes. By using 2D and 3D elements they construct an animated story frame-by-frame. Parents will appreciate that the majority of the exhibits at The DoSeum boast a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus, integrated with literacy and creative arts concepts, for a 21st century learning experience.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: One of the newer museums in the city, The DoSeum is nirvana for kids.
Kimberly's expert tip: Free Kids' Night is every third Tuesday of the month from 6pm-8pm.
This is a great museum for families! Built on the banks of the San Antonio River, the Witte is considered San Antonio's foremost museum. With a four story tree house and dinosaur bones, kids are hooked as soon as they arrive. The tree house itself features endless hands on science related activities and a ride on a 'Sky-cycle' 15 feet in the air! Adults appreciate the Texas art and in May 2012, an extraordinary South Texas Heritage Center opened. Long term exhibits include dinosaurs and mummies among other fascinating collections. The Witte will often host special events and exhibits that are an additional fee on top of the museum costs. Ask the staff to tell you about the most current featured exhibits to help you determine whether or not you want to add this to your regular museum ticket price and tour.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Witte is a premier destination, with plenty of exhibits that the whole family can enjoy.
Kimberly's expert tip: Take the train from right outside the San Antonio Zoo to the Witte Museum. It stops right outside the museum and will pick you back up on your way out (during operating hours).
If you want to find the oldest dance hall in the Lone Star State, you'll have to make the trip back in time to this tiny community right outside New Braunfels. Gruene Hall has been in continuous operation since 1878, and over the years folks like Lyle Lovett, George Strait, and Robert Earl Keen've played to packed houses. During the day, Gruene is a favorite of history buffs and antique hounds, who scour stores like Cactus Jacks and Black Swann for everything from old bottles and battered signs to European furniture and arrowheads. There're also a few places to cool your heels, most notably Janie's Table, known for their Hill Country-style.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: For a little afternoon getaway, Gruene offers a true taste of Texas Hill Country life.
Kimberly's expert tip: Consider renting a house on the river to take full advantage of this lovely little community.
Southtown, San Antonio's arts district which abuts the King William District, one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city, is a prime site-seeing location. In Southtown you'll find local arts and local artists. Galleries line the main thoroughfare, Alamo Street, with Blue Star being one of the coolest places to visit. Blue Star not only has a contemporary arts center, but restaurants, bars, shops, theatres, more galleries and lofts which are inhabited by, you guessed it, artists. In recent years, this district's been booming with some of the most unique gift shops, restaurants, bars and businesses in San Antonio. It's beloved by locals, who think of Southtown as a small town within the big city. You may not call it home, but once you see it, you'll wish you did!
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Southtown is home to fabulous restaurants, bars, shops and more, not to mention a residential part of the riverwalk.
Kimberly's expert tip: Be sure to check out the residential part of the Riverwalk in this neighborhood. It's a gorgeous stretch of the river lined with all types of trees and other vegetation. You'll most likely be greeted by some hungry ducks so bring some bread!
If you're a thrill seeker, you cannot visit San Antonio without stopping off at Fiesta Texas, one of the best entertainment parks in the country. Located on 200 acres of what used to be a rock quarry, this theme park features teeth-chattering rides, great shows, and incredible attractions, plus White Water Bay water park for cooling off during the hot summer months. Although Fiesta Texas used to be geared more towards the Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny, Fiesta Texas has now become the place to go for thrill rides. They have some of the most spine-tingling roller coasters you'll ever ride, including the Rattler and Superman Krypton Coaster.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Fiesta Texas is the number one destination for fun, from rides to games and entertainment!
Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to stay till the end of the night to catch the fireworks and laser light show! It's like the Fourth of July every night at Fiesta Texas.
San Antonio's Botanical Gardens is one of the prettiest places to see in the city. This extraordinary 33-acre facility showcases plants from desert regions to equatorial rainforests, some of which are housed in individual, climate-controlled glass environments surrounded by a sunken courtyard and tropical lagoon filled with aquatic plants. Specialty collections include epiphytic plants, desert cacti and succulents, equatorial tropicals, palms and cycads, tropical fruits, ferns and aroids and insectivores. The Gardens, which always strive to connect people to the plant world through experience, education and research also features a children's garden, a Japanese garden and even a garden for the blind. .
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The gardens replenishes your mind, body and spirit with a vast array of environments to explore.
Kimberly's expert tip: Try to make it to one of their Foodie Cinema events!