Best Things to Do with Kids in San Antonio

Take the Kids on Fun Adventures in San Antonio

San Antonio is one of the best cities in the country for some family fun time. There's so much to do here, and the kids can have a blast on any budget. 

If you're looking for some free opportunities, there are several gorgeous and beautiful parks all over the city. Downtown, visit the new San Pedro Creek Culture Park to enjoy a delightful mix of nature, culture and art. It's a great way to help the kids burn off some energy. 

Of course, for maximum entertainment, it's hard to beat San Antonio's kid-centric museum, The DoSeum. While parents and other adults wish they could play too, you must be accompanied by a minor to get in on the fun. With a wide variety of indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits and play spaces, it's an ideal place to let your child's imagination run wild, not to mention your own!

When all else fails, head to the Alamo City's favorite theme park, Fiesta Texas for thrilling rides, shows, food and a rollicking good time. It's guaranteed to earn you some laughter and smiles from the little ones. 




San Pedro Creek Culture Park
Photo courtesy of April Monterrosa

The City of San Antonio invested $125 million dollars into revitalizing the San Pedro Creek and transforming it into the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, which means a beautiful and free destination for visitors to enjoy throughout the year. Located on the western edge of downtown, near the Alamo, is a merging and celebration of this city's nature, art, and culture. The first section opened in May of 2018 and showcases the Plaza de Fundacion and its stunning "Rain from the Heavens" public art installation of custom tile work that adorns a dozen generational benches. Visitors can stroll through this picturesque park, very similar to the riverwalk, and take in their surroundings, which includes a variety of commissioned murals and art pieces that depict the history and culture of San Pedro Creek.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Located downtown, San Pedro Creek Culture Park is one of the city's newest parks and within walking distance to many of the downtown hotels.

Kimberly's expert tip: The ideal place to go for a morning jog or grab a cup of coffee and go for a walk if you're staying in the downtown area.

Read more about San Pedro Creek Culture Park →

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 with Kids because: One of the most stunning destinations in the city, the Garden is full of inspiring ecosystems to explore.

Kimberly's expert tip: The Botanical Garden's culinary garden hosts a number of cooking classes, demos and events throughout the year, for both kids and families. Make sure to check out the website for details.

Read more about San Antonio Botanical Gardens and Conservatory →

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 with Kids because: The San Antonio Aquarium is ideal for little ones, with interactive exhibits and a wide array of sea creatures.

Kimberly's expert tip: For kids that love the world under the sea, your next stop should be the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, which is only a few hours from the city.

Read more about San Antonio Aquarium →

Alamo City Ghost Tours
Photo courtesy of Menger Hotel

San Antonio has a rich history. A vast part of downtown, surrounding the Alamo, was land that was the site of one of the most significant wars. Many many people have seen all sorts of ghosts in San Antonio, including the ghosts of soldiers and their horses. The tour Includes real ghost stories about San Antonio, Texas. They are San Antonio's #1 Ghost Tour, and the only ghost tour that takes you inside the Menger Bar for a drink, which is known for its spooky visitors. They offer two of the most popular ghost tours in San Antonio. Their Ghost Hunts are known world wide as good family entertainment. Ghost Hunting isn't just for kids and family any more!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Ghost Tour offers a unique, if not a little spooky, way to explore the city.

Kimberly's expert tip: If you want to find out more paranormal stories about San Antonio, check out the local podcast, The Paranormal Empath.

Read more about Alamo City Ghost Tours →

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 with giant, fanciful characters made of hay that sit in the center of the park.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: With extensive walking and biking trails, Phil Hardberger Park is a great place for an afternoon retreat if you're staying on the north side.

Kimberly's expert tip: This park has a playground for the kids to enjoy.

Read more about Phil Hardberger Park →

San Antonio
Slab Cinema
Photo courtesy of Slab Cinema

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. Free never felt so fun!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Slab Cinema is a favorite activity for kids and families who love movies.

Kimberly's expert tip: Don't forget to bring a blanket or chair, and pack a picnic basket with some yummy snacks and drinks in case the kids get hungry.

Read more about Slab Cinema →

Located just outside of San Antonio, this wonderland of wild animals is a great way to spend your afternoon, especially if you have kids or just love animals. It's like having a mini Africa in the middle of Texas. How it works: You meander (safely in your vehicle) through 400 acres of magnificent live oak trees, rolling green hills and creek beds where 500 animals from 40 exotic, native and endangered species roam free. You get a free bag of food for the animals with the purchase of your ticket and can buy more if you like. You then throw food to the animals so that they'll come up to your vehicle. In actuality, the animals are so used to getting fed they come up to your car anyway, sometimes blocking the way until you throw them a handful. Beware of the Ostrich, however, as they can be very territorial!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a safe way to check out some of nature's most exotic animals.

Kimberly's expert tip: If you have time, also check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, and make a day of it!

Read more about Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch →

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 with Kids because: SeaWorld is a 250-acre marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park where kids see the wild animals and even interact with them.

Kimberly's expert tip: Although San Jose is the largest of the missions, make sure to stop by the smaller but equally awe-inspiring ones, such as Mission Espada.

Read more about San Antonio Missions National Historical Park →

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Photo courtesy of Six Flag Fiesta Texas

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 with Kids because: Six Flags Fiesta Texas is one of the best and biggest theme parks in the country.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to stay until closing time to catch the fireworks and laser light show! It's like the Fourth of July every night at Fiesta Texas.

Read more about Six Flags Fiesta Texas →

The DoSeum
Photo courtesy of Open Travel

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 art concepts, for a 21st-century learning experience.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: This museum gives parents a chance to do something both fun and educational with their kids.

Kimberly's expert tip: If you're on a budget, you can take advantage of Free Kids' Night, which is every third Tuesday of the month from 6pm-8pm.

Read more about The DoSeum →


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