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 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: Fall is the perfect time of year to go on a self-guided tour of the missions. Pack a picnic and make a day of it!
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 Things to Do in Fall because: This charming arts district abuts one of San Antonio's oldest neighborhoods, King William and is simply one of the most interesting sites in SA.
Kimberly's expert tip: A great neighborhood to take in the views and sample the shops, bars and restaurants, including our new favorite, Little Em's Oyster Bar.
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.
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: The San Antonio Zoo is one of the city's best destinations for kids and families, especially during cooler months.
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.
What's better than an outdoor movie? A free outdoor movie! And thanks to Slab Cinema, which provides free movie watching experiences all over the city of San Antonio, you have the opportunity to enjoy popular films, often several times a month. Slab Cinema started in 2004 and has been a favorite family activity ever since. From The Little Mermaid to War Games and even a Coen Brothers triple feature which includes Raising Arizona, Big Lebowski and Fargo, Slab Cinema pops up at the coolest, iconic venues, ranging from the San Antonio Museum of Art (at Confluence Park) to Hemisfair Park and even the Alamo. On the Southside, they've been playing movies on a restored drive-in screen at Mission Marquee Plaza. Typically, the movies tend towards family-friendly flicks, but the content varies, so be sure to check out their website to see what's coming up. Bring a blanket or chair, maybe a cooler with some drinks and snacks and you're set for the evening. Often the venues have food trucks or access to nearby restaurants, in case you don't have time to prepare. Free never felt so fun!
Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: Slab Cinema offers couples a great inexpensive date night option where snuggling is encouraged.
Kimberly's expert tip: Slab Cinema is the perfect fall event for enjoying the cooler weather! The movie starts approximately 15 minutes after the official sunset time.
If you're visiting San Antonio for the first time or have not been before, Hemisfair Park is a must see destination spot. This lush, beautifully landscaped neighborhood park, located in the center of downtown, was originally created for the World's Fair in 1968. In recent years, it's become home to San Antonio's largest arts exhibit known as Luminaria. 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 Fall because: HemisFair is home to some new places to relax and enjoy life, including the incredible new urban wine bar, Re:Rooted 210.
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.
If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path, you can't go any more obscure than this amusement park for the eyes underneath the earth. This natural phenomenon made up of 140 million-year-old rock formations is one of the top attractions in Texas and offers a great opportunity for kids to learn and have fun simultaneously. You can explore this beautiful and historical cavern system by the light of a cave lantern, pan for precious stones, take a leap of faith from the Canopy Challenge, go caving on one of their many adventure tours or at the very least enjoy nature on the original Discovery Tour.
Recommended for Things to Do in Fall because: This premier destination is offers a stunning look into the magical world underground.
Kimberly's expert tip: Look into their Hidden Passages Tour for a chance to explore underground chambers featuring rare and beautiful formations.
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 Things to Do in Fall because: SABOT offers 38-acres of stunning plants, flowers and trees, a tranquil escape from the day-to-day.
Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to leave time for lunch at the Botanical Garden's excellent on-site restaurant!
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.
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 Fall because: Fiesta Texas is the number one destination for fun, from rides to games and entertainment!
Kimberly's expert tip: For fall, get ready for Fright Fest, with 21 horrific attractions, including a collection of 10 new Haunted Houses.