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Best Things to Do with Kids in San Antonio

Dolphins, tubing and the wild, wild west await you & the kiddos!


You know South Texas is always struggling to stay cool, so if you're looking for some fun activities for the kids to enjoy in San Antonio, read on! 

From SA, you're not far from a few different rivers. You can bring the whole family to the Guadalupe in New Braunfels, which is about a 30-minute drive, for swimming, camping, kayaking, rafting, paddleboarding and, of course, tubing. If you're just going for the afternoon, you can head over to Rockin' R River Rides, grab some tubes and hop on the river for a fun, relaxing float! 

Folks from all over the country come to San Antonio for SeaWorld and here's why! Not only do they have amazing rides, but the shows featuring the most stunning ocean wildlife are always just jaw-droppingly delightful. The kiddos love sitting upfront and getting splashed by dolphins and killer whales. It's educational, exciting and simply an unforgettable family excursion! 

Back in downtown San Antonio, for those little ones still dreaming of life as a cowboy or cowgirl, make sure to take them to the Briscoe Western Art Museum for a window into the real culture and history of the American West. Yeeha! 

 

 


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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 →


River Walk
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta


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 nightspots 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.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: With so many cute shops, great food and things to see and explore, the River Walk is a child's wonderland!

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to go for a boat ride to get the full experience and learn a little bit about San Antonio's rich history.

Read more about River Walk →




Just 90 miles from San Antonio lies the second largest batholith in the United States. Enchanted Rock has seen human activity up to 11,000 years ago. You'll enjoy fun and enriching activities like backpacking, camping (primitive also), hiking, rappelling and rock climbing, bird watching, and the stars at night are absolutely amazing! Local legend has it that the Tonkawa Indians named Enchanted Rock because of the sounds they heard coming from the rocks at night. They believed the formation was enchanted. This is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Texas. There is also a cave towards the top of the formation, but beware if you are claustrophobic, it is very cramped and at times you find yourself crawling. Flashlights are a must!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Active kids will love racing to the top of Enchanted Rock. The trip and the hike make for a perfect family day trip!

Kimberly's expert tip: If going on the weekends, make sure to arrive early as the park fills up quickly.

Read more about Enchanted Rock State Natural Area →


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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 virtual tours. Check out their website for details.

Read more about San Antonio Zoo →


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Natural Bridge Caverns


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 with Kids because: Natural Bridge Caverns is full of magic and wonder and a great way to keep cool in the hotter months.

Kimberly's expert tip: Look into their Hidden Passages Tour for a chance to explore underground chambers featuring rare and beautiful formations.

Read more about Natural Bridge Caverns →




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 treehouse 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 Museum is one of the most kid-friendly and family-friendly museums in San Antonio with lots of interactive fun.

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 →




There were five missions established in the early 1700s. 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: 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 →


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 put your belongings in a locker before going on the rides.

Read more about SeaWorld San Antonio →




In South Texas, it's a given: When the temperatures reach over 100 degrees (sometimes as early as May!), it's time to grab a tube, load up your ice chest, and jump in the river. Usually, someone also brings a waterproof sound system to play authentic Texas music so the 2-6 hour floats down the river are relaxing and entertaining. Rockin' R River Rides rents tubes with or without bottoms. Their motto is "Remember our bottom will save your bottom." If you aren't ready to sit in a tube, try a '1 Man' raft or a '2 Man' raft. They look like inflatable kayaks. Also, they rent larger rafts for up to 6 people and your ice chest.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Few activities are more fun for the kids than riding the Guadalupe River.

Kimberly's expert tip: New Braunfels is also packed with great shops and restaurants, so go early to give you time to explore.

Read more about Rockin' R River Rides →




The Briscoe Western Art Museum is a collections-based institution building upon art and artifacts that tell the vast and multifaceted story of the American West. Located on San Antonio's famed riverwalk, the institution is housed in San Antonio's first Public Library and newly constructed pavilion. The Briscoe Campus consists of the historic Museum building, the Jack Guenther Pavilion and the adjacent McNutt Courtyard and Sculpture Garden. The Briscoe Western Art Museum, named in honor of the late Texas Governor, Dolph Briscoe, Jr. and his wife, Janey, preserves and interprets the art, history, and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs, and public events reflective of the region's rich traditions and shared heritage. Their unique collections include Santa Anna's Sword, Visions of Change bronze sculpture by John Coleman, Pancho Villa's Saddle of leather and silver, a replica of a Western mail stagecoach and much more!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Briscoe is an exceptional and well-curated museum featuring the great American West and a fun yet educational opportunity for the kids to enjoy.

Kimberly's expert tip: Check the website for monthly events.

Read more about Briscoe Western Art Museum →


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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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