The Pearl Brewery is one of the coolest places you can visit in San Antonio. This brewery, established in 1883 and once home to Pabst beer, has recently been transformed from a historic brewery to a thriving multi-use space where you can eat, shop, learn, work and live. The Pearl is situated next to the recent River Walk expansion, so you can catch a tour boat or walk from the Pearl all the way downtown, past the San Antonio Museum of Art and numerous artistic elements that have been carefully built into the landscape. You'll find fine dining to street food restaurants, a great coffee shop run by the Culinary Institute and more. The Culinary Institute and the Aveda School have facilities at the Pearl and both are open to patrons. Every Saturday, the Pearl is host to an amazing Farmer's Market and has become a traditional Saturday event for locals.
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
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.
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.
Travel + Leisure ranked the San Antonio River Walk as the #1 River Walk in America. Also known as Paseo del Rio, this major tourist attraction brings in over five million visitors a year. Delight yourself with a relaxing dinner at one of the numerous restaurants or cafes that line the river. Spice it up by visiting one of the numerous night spots or enjoying the sounds of mariachis and other live music. Adults and children enjoy floating on riverboats piloted by San Antonio's humorous tour guides. The River Walk is the perfect place to hang out with family or sit quietly with your date while you enjoy the sounds of a bubbling waterfall.
If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path, you can't go anymore 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.
Let someone else do the driving! If you're not sure what you want to do because let's face it, San Antonio is one of the biggest cities in America, a Trolley Tour is a great place to start. You'll see several popular San Antonio's sights on these trolley tours without the stress of navigating an unfamiliar city. The tours are eloquently Narrated Trolley Tours and include a tour of the Historic Downtown as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Missions. With ten Trolley stops and dozens of attractions for families to explore, it's a great way to entertain the kids. Packages Available Including Free Boat Ride Tickets.
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.
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!
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.