Best Things to Do in Fall in San Antonio

Zebras, ghosts and butterflies await you this fall in San Antonio!

The whole city breathes a sigh of relief as fall rolls around in San Antonio. As the weather cools, the city comes alive! It's the best time to explore the city both inside and out, starting with...

The San Antonio Zoo is one of the city's premier destinations. Located just a few minutes north of downtown, it's a fantastic way to spend the day with friends and family, enjoying a wonderland of wildlife, yummy zoo-licious delights and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, all in a beautifully landscaped park. The Zoo is home to a menagerie of awe-inspiring animals such as hippos, giraffes, flamingos, bears, big cats and so much more! 

For a more "wild" outdoor adventure, explore Cibolo Nature Center, a nature preserve that's been open to the public since 1990's Earth Day and showcases 100 stunning acres of Hill Country trails and wilderness as well as educational, entertainment and outdoor activities. 

Read on to find out what other exciting ways to have fall fun in the Alamo City! 


With over 8,000 living animals representing habitats from the Oregon shores to the exotic Indonesian Islands, the San Antonio Aquarium offers folks a whimsical experience of what happens beneath the surface of the water. Parents will appreciate the opportunity to instill a level of respect for our planet's rich aquatic resources. The San Antonio Aquarium has an array (including stingrays) exhibits to wow the most reserved visitors, from Sharks to Tropical fish, Giant Pacific Octopus, a Rain Forest Area, Dinosaurs exhibit and more! Whether you believe in mermaids or not, at The San Antonio Aquarium families can enjoy a rare glimpse of these mythical creatures. Mermaids are on display every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm and don't even mind taking a selfie, just beware of photobombs from neighboring clownfish!

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: For those who don't have time to take a jaunt to Corpus Christi to see the state aquarium, this is the next best thing!

Kimberly's expert tip: Visit the website to find special promotional coupons and save!

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If you only visit one museum in San Antonio, make sure it's the McNay. Not only do they have a superb art collection, but the museum itself is also 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 Fall because: The McNay offers an array of exceptional artwork and collections, all housed in an unforgettable historic mansion.

Kimberly's expert tip: This fall, the McNay will be exhibiting Picasso to Hockney: Modern Art on Stage, which will feature over 120 objects, an "unparalleled treasure-trove of scenic and costume designs."

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One of five missions established in the early 1700s, 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 Fall because: One of the gems of the city, you can't visit San Antonio without visiting this important historical site.

Kimberly's expert tip: The Alamo is at the center of a bunch of great places to explore downtown, so make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to check it all out!

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For active families, there's no better way to spend the day with the kids than exploring the wonderful Alamo city by bike. We suggest heading down to Blue Star Bike Shop, which is just minutes from downtown, where you can rent bikes for a family of four for less than $100/day. You certainly can't say that about other popular family activities like Fiesta Texas. Hop on to the River Walk, which is right next to the Blue Star complex. You should see it, but if you get confused, then feel free to ask for directions from a friendly Texan. Once you're on the River Walk, you can stay on it the entire way as you head north. Take time to meander through the stunning King William residential district, perhaps stop to have lunch along the popular part of the river downtown and then explore the new River Walk extension

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: Although you can hop on rent-a-bikes and scooters all over the city, Blue Star's top-notch bikes will ensure a more enjoyable ride.

Kimberly's expert tip: While at Blue Star, stop in the brewery before or after your bike ride to enjoy some refreshing local brews and bites.

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SeaWorld San Antonio
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

SeaWorld should be on everyone's list when visiting San Antonio, no matter what your age. Although they have some great rides, such as the Steel Eel and Great White rollercoasters, the best reason to go to SeaWorld is for the animals and the animal-centric shows. They have dolphins and stingrays that you can "pet" if you are lucky enough for them to swim by you, a magnificent oceanarium filled with all sorts of creatures, including sharks and giant sea turtles. The shows are outstanding and include dolphins, Beluga whales and sea lions. Oh, and did we mention the penguins? Yes, there are penguins in Texas, if you can believe it!

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: SeaWorld is always at the top of the list for a family-fun destination place with sea life, rides, food and fun on offer.

Kimberly's expert tip: SeaWorld offers a great discount when you book a Hotel Package, including lodging, park admission and more.

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Phil Hardberger Park

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 Fall because: Phil Hardberger Park is a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, with secluded walking trails, forest areas, public art and a playground for the kids.

Kimberly's expert tip: The walking trail is secluded among a large expense of forest and feels like your own private retreat!

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The Cave Without a Name is a natural, living cavern with over two miles of interconnecting cave systems. Filled with amazing Stalactites and Stalagmites, it is 66 degrees year-round. Visitors enjoy a tour of the six main rooms and the walkways are easy to navigate. The cave has been open to the environment for thousands upon thousands of years as evidenced by some of the prehistoric finds inside. It was used as a moonshine distillery around 1920 which is one of the first documented exposures to humans. It was abandoned and later rediscovered by three boys in 1935.

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: The Cave Without a Name is a completely unique experience, getting to explore an ancient, untouched cave.

Kimberly's expert tip: While you're out in the Boerne area, take some time to explore this historic small town, which offers great shopping and dining opportunities, such as Cypress Grille.

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13th Floor Haunted House
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Whether you're a Halloween enthusiast or a newbie, the 13th Floor Haunted House offers frightfully delightful experiences! Located downtown, the Haunted House sometimes feels like it will never end (which may be a good thing!) and takes you through various spooky and (playfully) horrifying rooms with well thought-out props and themes, from a haunted hotel to torture rooms. It's a labyrinth filled with monsters and not-too-real nightmares. Expect plenty of jump scares, very dark rooms, strobe lights, disturbing noises, mist and some tight and enclosed spaces. After the Haunted House, there are more thrills in store for you. 13th Floor also features Escape Rooms where you have a set time to figure out clues to inventive puzzles. You can also try your hand and arm at ax throwing. Hopefully, a skill you won't need, but it's still fun to see if you can hit the bulls-eye!

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: For a real thrill, the 13th Floor Haunted House offers the best chills during the fall.

Kimberly's expert tip: Although the Haunted House is only open until the beginning of November, the Escape Rooms and ax throwing is open year-round.

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One of Boerne's most delightful attractions is the Cibolo Nature Center. Tucked amidst huge sycamore trees along the Cibolo River, the CNC boasts marshes, a butterfly habitat, wildlife and several hiking trails. In June 1997, the center lost many trees to a large summer storm. 15 inches of rain fell on the community. The resulting flood exposed dinosaur footprints on the Boerne Lake spillway. A careful replica of the tracks was made and positioned next to the gazebo at the nature center before the tracks were buried by water or vegetation again. This is a favorite exhibit amongst children. These days the center is host to school field trips, bird watchers, and nature lovers in general. The center hosts seminars on wildlife, bats, and even astronomy.

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: Cibolo Nature Center is a magnificent place to connect with nature, whether you have the whole family or are looking for a romantic excursion.

Kimberly's expert tip: They offer guided group tours and hikes, which can make for a fun option for large families or business outings.

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San Antonio likes to lead the way in all things and the zoo is no exception. Parents magazine ranked the San Antonio Zoo as one of the Top 10 Best Zoos for Kids. It is also the third-largest zoo in the nation so there is plenty to see. Home to over 8,500 animals, the zoo is open 365 days a year, rain or shine. There are plenty of places to grab a cold drink or a bite to eat as you spend the day exploring. The San Antonio Zoo is about 10 minutes from the downtown area. We recommend you bring your sunscreen as you explore this friendly animal world. Your kids will want to stay awhile.

Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: Newly renovated, Hemisfair is a hub of activity with access to a number of this city's attractions.

Kimberly's expert tip: Visit the website to find out more about their exclusive zoo experiences, including behind-the-scenes, get up-close and family-friendly rides.

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Meet Kimberly Suta

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations,...  More About Kimberly