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Best Things to Do with Kids in San Antonio

From Roller Coasters to Interactive Exhibits Just for Kids!


San Antonio is a family town, through-and-through. There are very view places that aren't family friendly, but here are some favorite options for squeezing the most fun out of the day with the fam! 

The DoSeum packs a lot of fun into a two-store space. This two-story children's museum is packed full of safe and exciting ways for kids to learn and explore through interactive exhibits and creative programs. Not surprisingly, the adults tend to have just as much fun as the kiddos, but there's only one way to find out.

Of course, it's hard to beat Fiesta Texas when it comes to bringing a smile (and lots of laughter) to everyone's faces. As one of the top family destinations in the United States with exceptional rides, shows and attractions, it's always a must when visiting San Antonio with friends and family. 

Grab a couple of bikes and a picnic and venture out to McAllister Park, located in central San Antonio, for a budget-friendly day of fun in the sun. There are plenty of trails to get (safely) lost on, and be sure to bring a camera for deer and other wildlife sightings. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 


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HemisFair Park
Photo courtesy of Hemisfair Park

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 with Kids because: HemisFair Park recently got a makeover and is a great place to take kids of all ages on an exploration of San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: Stop in at Dough Pizzeria for dinner before or after taking the kids to the top of the Tower of Americas for the best view of the city!

Read more about HemisFair Park →


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 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: Make sure to get in a ride (or two) on the new Texas Stingray, the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in Texas!

Read more about SeaWorld San Antonio →


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: San Antonio's Missions offer kids a unique opportunity to see how life was once lived so many years ago.

Kimberly's expert tip: Rent some bikes and enjoy your own bike tour of the missions!

Read more about San Antonio Missions National Historical Park →


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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 with Kids because: The San Antonio Zoo is one of the best in the United States, with so many chances to explore both local and exotic wildlife.

Kimberly's expert tip: The Zoo also offers twilight tours, so you can see what the animals do after dark.

Read more about San Antonio Zoo →


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 with Kids because: The Cave Without a Name is full of magic and wonder and a great place to cool off in the warmer months.

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.

Read more about The Cave Without a Name →


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: The Botanical Garden has so many delightful and inspiring places to explore and even a dedicated children's play area.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to check out the culinary gardens near the front entrance, where they often have on-site cooking classes.

Read more about San Antonio Botanical Gardens and Conservatory →


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.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Witte is a thoughtfully-curated family-friendly museum that always features the most interesting and unique exhibits.

Kimberly's expert tip: Take the train from right outside the San Antonio Zoo to the Witte Museum. It stops right outside the museum and will pick you back up on your way out (during operating hours).

Read more about Witte Museum →


McAllister Park has a lot to offer, chief among them; it has the best trails for bike riding in the city, but be careful as it's easy to get lost here! Although smack dab in the middle of the city, it feels like you're on a retreat. This park offers some of the most beautiful vistas and stunning variety of vegetation. It's a great place to take your camera for some scenic shots. McAllister is also a popular family spot as it has a multitude of baseball fields, soccer fields, rugby fields, multi-purpose fields, a children's play area, dog park, fitness stations, almost 200 picnic tables and fifteen miles of both hard and soft trails.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Active kids will love walking, running and biking around McAllister Park. It's a diverse and beautiful place to explore.

Kimberly's expert tip: This is a great place to go off-roading with your bike.

Read more about McAllister Park →


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: With all the great rides and adventures, Fiesta Texas is always a sure bet to make the kids happy.

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.

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 6 pm-8 pm.

Read more about The DoSeum →


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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

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