Phil Hardberger Park is the amazing creation of San Antonio's Mayor Hardberger, who has an eye for beauty, art and community projects. This classy park, if there is such a thing, is a relatively new 311-acre park located on either side of Wurzbach Parkway between N.W. Military Highway and Blanco Road. Visitors will enjoy the trails, brand new playscapes for the kids, dog parks, picnic facilities and basketball courts. Construction is also underway on a state-of-the-art Urban Ecology Center. It's worth a visit just to see the Makin' Hay Art Exhibit â" giant, fanciful characters made of hay that sit in the center of the park.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Phil Hardberger Park is an excellent place to hike and bike during December and easy to get to from any side of the city.
Kimberly's expert tip: The walking trail is secluded among a large expense of forest and feels like your own private retreat!
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 Things to Do in December because: Explore the newly renovated HemisFair Park, featuring new restaurants and a fun playground for the kids.
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.
San Antonio's Japanese Tea Gardens feels like a set straight out of a movie, something like What Dreams May Come or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The point is, it's a magical and enchanting place, perfect for declarations of love and sonnet writing. The restored garden is a beautiful destination all year long and features a verdant garden and floral display with shaded walkways, stone bridges, a 60-foot waterfall and ponds filled with fat and happy Koi. A whimsically winding walkway encompasses the garden and makes for nice after dinner stroll. If you visit just one of San Antonio's landmarks, be sure to make it this one!
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: The Japanese Tea Garden is an ideal place to go for a walk in winter, especially if you're on a budget.
Kimberly's expert tip: If you're looking to take family photos, this is the place!
One of five missions established in the early 1700's, the Alamo is nearly 300 years old. It is perhaps the most cherished landmark in San Antonio. If you ask around, you will find that all children here and in surrounding towns take at least one field trip to the Alamo as part of their education. Visitors to the Alamo stroll inside and view artifacts preserved in the onsite museum. Texans feel emotion imagining the defenders waking to General Santa Anna's army that fatal morning. The Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836 became the turning point in the Texas Revolution. Due to the stories of cruelty, many were inspired to join the Texian army. Just over one month later, the Mexican army met defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto. Go back in time, take a few photos and Remember the Alamo.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: There's never a bad time of year to visit San Antonio's iconic Alamo.
Kimberly's expert tip: Take your time and plan to spend a couple of hours here. Research and share stories with your children before you visit. This can help them stay more engaged as you tour the grounds.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum is a collections-based institution building upon art and artifacts that tell the vast and multifaceted story of the American West. Located on San Antonio's famed riverwalk, the institution is housed in San Antonio's first Public Library and newly constructed pavilion. The Briscoe Campus consists of the historic Museum building, the Jack Guenther Pavilion and the adjacent McNutt Courtyard and Sculpture Garden. The Briscoe Western Art Museum, named in honor of the late Texas Governor, Dolph Briscoe, Jr. and his wife, Janey, preserves and interprets the art, history, and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs, and public events reflective of the region's rich traditions and shared heritage. Their unique collections include Santa Anna's Sword, Visions of Change bronze sculpture by John Coleman, Pancho Villa's Saddle of leather and silver, a replica of a Western mail stagecoach and much more!
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Get a true taste of Texas history at this historic museum.
Kimberly's expert tip: Check the website for monthly events.
Comanche Lookout Park is a 96-acre public park with an almost five-mile nature hiking trail. The park includes the fourth highest point in Bexar County with an elevation of 1,340 feet. Vegetation includes native ash juniper, Texas and Mexican buckeye, chinaberry, graneno, Lindheimer hackberry and honey mesquite, to name a few. Comanche Lookout is a historic park that was so named because Native Americans used the hill as a vantage point during war or for hunting. The Apache were the first to control the area, followed by the Comanche Indians, who hunted along waterways, including nearby Cibolo Creek. Ruins of a medieval-style stone tower, built by a retired Army Colonel in the 1920's, can still be seen. The park also sports a few picnic tables, but the highlight is the great hill and history of this landmark.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: December is the best time of year to get outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine.
Kimberly's expert tip: One of the few parks in San Antonio with a great hill, perfect for a cardio workout!
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 Things to Do in December because: December is a great month to enjoy this entertainment park.
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.
If you only visit one museum in San Antonio, make sure it's the McNay. Not only do they have a superb art collection, the museum itself is a work of art. This 24-room, Spanish colonial revival-style mansion and its own sizable collection was donated by Marion Koogler McNay, an American painter and art teacher. The museum focuses primarily on 19th and 20th century European and American art and has some impressive pieces by artists such as Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe, Diego Rivera, Mary Cassatt and Edward Hopper. Also, be sure to visit the absolutely stunning interior courtyard, complete with a Japanese-inspired garden and fishpond. It's a nice place to sit and ponder.
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Enjoy the museum grounds as well as the museum in the cool December month.
Kimberly's expert tip: Check the website for current and upcoming exhibits â" they're usually worth the trip!
Just 90 miles from San Antonio lies the second largest batholith in the United States. Enchanted Rock has seen human activity up to 11,000 years ago. You'll enjoy fun and enriching activities like backpacking, camping (primitive also), hiking, rappelling and rock climbing, bird watching, and the stars at night are absolutely amazing! Local legend has it that the Tonkawa Indians named Enchanted Rock because of the sounds they heard coming from the rocks at night. They believed the formation was enchanted. This is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Texas. There is also a cave towards the top of the formation - but beware if you are claustrophobic, it is very cramped and at times you find yourself crawling. Flashlights are a must!
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: December is the perfect time of year to take a hike up to this beautiful vista.
Kimberly's expert tip: If you're camping in the early spring or late winter, it can get windy and cold at night so come prepared.
There's something quite magical about Jazz, TX with its stellar live music, cool speakeasy vibe, out-of-this-world cocktails and incredible food. It simply hits on every note! Located in the basement of the once bottling plant, now a food hall, at the Pearl Brewery, stepping into this jazz joint is like stepping back and forward in time all at once. There's nothing else like it in San Antonio, perhaps, in the entire state of Texas. Doc Watkins is the star of this show - a jazz artist, pianist and singer. When he takes the stage, he lights up the room and sings an array of classic tunes across genres. You can also find some travelling acts here, but there's a primary focus on local, very talented, musicians. Jazz, TX is the purest definition of "dinner and a show!"
Recommended for Things to Do in December because: Visitors from near or far love Jazz, TX, and you can be sure in December, it's one of this city's highlights!
Kimberly's expert tip: Make reservations early to guarantee you get a seat!