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Welcome to San Antonio, Texas—a vibrant city teeming with history, culture, and adventure, making it an ideal destination for families with kids of all ages. With a mix of iconic landmarks, thrilling attractions, and delightful culinary experiences, there’s no shortage of things to do in San Antonio for everyone in this diverse city.
- San Antonio offers a wide range of activities for travelers of all ages and interests
- Explore the iconic San Antonio River Walk and Go Rio San Antonio River Cruises
- Indulge in nature at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
- Immerse yourself in art at the San Antonio Museum of Art on one of its free days
- Discover wildlife at the San Antonio Zoo
- Engage in hands-on learning at The DoSeum
- Enjoy panoramic views from The Tower of The Americas
- Dive into history at the Witte Museum and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
- Explore San Antonio’s annual events and festivals for fun and festivities
Exploring Downtown San Antonio
Downtown San Antonio is the heart of this bustling city, offering a plethora of exciting attractions and some of the best resorts in San Antonio. From historical landmarks like The Alamo to the picturesque River Walk and breathtaking Tower of the Americas, your San Antonio trip will be filled with unforgettable experiences.
As you explore, you’ll find:
- Amusement parks
- The San Antonio Zoo
- The San Antonio Botanical Garden
- Brackenridge Park
- The Japanese Tea Garden
- Grand bus tours
All within reach. Soak in the beauty of these attractions and embark on a thrilling adventure!
As a symbol of Texas independence, the Alamo is a must-see attraction in downtown San Antonio. This historic site tells the story of the iconic battle in 1836, as visitors explore the Alamo Church, the 300-year-old Long Barrack, and lush gardens. For an immersive experience, visit the living history area where actors bring the Alamo’s past to life.
Skip the line and walk straight into the grounds, museum, and gift shop to make the most of your visit. And while you’re in the area, don’t miss out on the other four Spanish colonial missions:
- Mission San Jose
- Mission Concepcion
- Mission Espada
- Mission San Juan
The Alamo is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the many great free things to do in San Antonio.
The River Walk, an impressive 15-mile long pathway, is an exciting and one-of-a-kind destination in downtown San Antonio. Stroll along the San Antonio River, admiring the scenery and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere that attracts both tourists and locals alike. Experience the thrill of a glass-bottomed boat ride, join a guided 5K run tour, or shop at La Villita.
Explore the following attractions in San Antonio:
- Briscoe Western Art Museum
- Confluence Park
- Historic Market Square
- Food Hall
- The River Walk
These places offer endless fun things to do for the whole family.
Tower of the Americas
Standing at 750 feet, the Tower of the Americas is a remarkable observation tower and landmark in downtown San Antonio. From the observation deck, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the city, making it a perfect spot for memorable photos. Enjoy a drink at the bar, enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant, or experience a thrilling 4D movie ride.
Admission is affordable, with free entry for children 3 and under, and reasonable prices for adults and seniors. Don’t miss out on the Outdoor Family Film Series at Mission Marquee Plaza, where you can enjoy a free, pet-friendly movie screening and pack a picnic for a fun family night out.
Cultural Experiences in San Antonio
San Antonio boasts a rich and diverse cultural scene, offering world-renowned art museums and cultural centers, such as:
- San Antonio Museum of Art
- McNay Art Museum
- Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
- Briscoe Western Art Museum, with its celebration of the American West
- Centro de Artes gallery
Discover these cultural gems and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of San Antonio.
Don’t forget to visit the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, showcasing various aspects of African American life in the city. With so many incredible cultural experiences, you’ll leave San Antonio with a newfound appreciation for its artistic and historical heritage.
San Antonio Museum of Art
At the San Antonio Museum of Art, you’ll discover diverse art collections spanning over 5,000 years. From the spectacular Davis Collection to an entire exhibit of beautifully painted wildflowers, the museum houses a wide range of art to captivate all tastes.
The museum is a great place for families to visit. It offers programs and events such as Wednesday Playdates for toddlers, Art Crawl sessions for babies and Family Days featuring free art-making sessions and performances. With affordable admission fees and free days for Bexar County residents, the San Antonio Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts of all ages.
McNay Art Museum
The McNay Art Museum offers:
- A beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion
- An incredible collection of classical, modern, and contemporary art
- Theatre art and sculpture
- Guided Adult Tours, allowing visitors to explore the art with a knowledgeable staff member.
These engaging walking tours can be booked for ten or more private groups, with the option to customize the tour experience by selecting from a list of different offerings. Visitors can take advantage of different foundations hosting free admission to the McNay every Thursday and Sunday, making it a great way to spend time in San Antonio.
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is a vibrant multi-use facility that celebrates and educates about Chicano/Latinx art, history, and culture. The center’s museum gallery showcases original works by local Texas artists and traveling exhibitions from other institutions.
Experience vibrant exhibitions of handmade art and captivating shows at their very own theatre space, or attend panels featuring renowned artists, paired with champagne receptions. Centro de Artes, part of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, offers free admission to the public, making it one of the most rewarding free things to do in San Antonio.
Adventure and Outdoor Activities
San Antonio is a haven for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Here are some activities you can enjoy:
- Visit Phil Hardberger Park for exciting programs on planting, vegetable gardening, wildlife, and themed storytimes paired with guided nature walks.
- Go tubing, canoeing, and fishing in the Guadalupe River.
- Explore the Dino Safari at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.
For thrill-seekers, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the San Antonio Aquarium, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark are sure to provide endless excitement. And for a unique experience, try indoor skydiving at iFly San Antonio or exploring nature at Headwaters Sanctuary.
With so many amazing outdoor activities, your San Antonio adventure is only limited by your imagination!
Natural Bridge Caverns
Discover Texas’s largest commercial caves at the awe-inspiring Natural Bridge Caverns. Take a tour guide and explore the developed portion of the cave. Or, embark on an Adventure Tour to get a feel for its untouched, wild side. Above ground, a thrilling ropes course with exciting zip rails awaits, along with an intriguing maze and the opportunity to uncover your own fossils and gems.
A visit to Natural Bridge Caverns is a truly unique and unforgettable experience for the whole family.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Experience the excitement of Six Flags Fiesta Texas, a popular amusement park in San Antonio. With amazing family rides and adrenaline-pumping roller coasters like:
- Iron Rattler
There’s something for everyone at this thrilling theme park.
The park also offers a water park, Hurricane Harbor, for those looking to cool off during the hot Texas summers. With affordable admission fees and endless entertainment, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a must-visit for families seeking fun and adventure.
San Antonio Zoo
At the San Antonio Zoo, you’ll encounter:
- Exotic animals
- Family-friendly activities suitable for all ages
- Unique behind-the-scenes experiences with hippos or sloths
- Up-close encounters with giraffes
Discover the John & Greli Less Butterfly Rainforest, splash around in the Go Wild! Explore the creek and uncover the wonders of the Tiny Tot Nature Spot. Enjoy the Discovery Play and get hands-on experience with nature’s beauty. With a San Antonio – City Explorer Pass, you can enjoy a whopping 45% off ticket prices to the zoo, making it an affordable and exciting family outing.
San Antonio offers a variety of family-friendly attractions that cater to kids and adults alike. Some of these attractions include:
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas, which offers thrilling rides and entertainment
- SeaWorld San Antonio, where you can experience captivating marine life and shows
- The DoSeum, an interactive museum with exhibits designed for children
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center, which features LEGO-themed attractions and activities
With these options, there’s no shortage of fun and excitement for the whole family in San Antonio.
With so many amazing attractions to choose from, visiting San Antonio with kids promises to be an unforgettable adventure.
SeaWorld San Antonio
Discover marine life, thrilling rides, and entertaining shows at SeaWorld San Antonio. This exciting marine life park offers roller coasters, water rides, and live shows featuring captivating sea life, including beluga whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Take part in unforgettable in-water interactions and luxurious VIP tours to get an insider’s view of this amazing park, as well as the nearby Sea Life San Antonio.
With affordable admission fees and free entry for children 2 and under, SeaWorld San Antonio is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and thrill-seekers alike.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Ignite your child’s imagination at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, an indoor playground filled with LEGO-themed attractions.
- Explore Miniland San Antonio
- Experience a 4D Lego cinema
- Go on two thrilling rides
- Enjoy a huge Lego play zone, perfect for hours of creative fun.
And with the Go San Antonio Explorer Pass, you can enjoy admission to LEGOLAND Discovery Center and many other attractions at a discounted price.
Visit the DoSeum, an interactive children’s museum designed to inspire learning through play. The museum is dedicated to instilling a love for knowledge in young minds. They offer amazing camps, field trips and various classes to get children excited about learning.
Explore exciting exhibits like the spy academy, an innovation station, and an outdoor play area. With affordable admission fees and complimentary entry for children under 1, the DoSeum is a must-visit destination for families seeking educational and entertaining experiences.
Food and Drink Experiences
Savor the flavors of San Antonio with unique food and drink experiences, such as:
- Indulging in delicious Tex-Mex cuisine
- Sampling local craft beers on a guided San Antonio brewery tour
- Embarking on a culinary adventure with Food Chick Tours.
From authentic sources. Tex-Mex dishes at El Milagrito Cafe to innovative Latino-Asian fusion cuisine at Botika, San Antonio’s food scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself.
Indulge in delicious Tex-Mex cuisine at local restaurants and eateries throughout San Antonio. This exciting fusion of Mexican and American flavors combines traditional Mexican ingredients with American-style cooking techniques for a truly unique flavor experience.
Some of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in San Antonio include:
- Rosario’s Mexican Restaurant y Lounge
- Rio Rio Cantina
- Original Mexican Restaurant
- Costa Pacifica
- Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar
All of these restaurants offer mouthwatering dishes that showcase the best of Tex-Mex cuisine.
San Antonio Brewery Tours
Sample local craft beers on a guided San Antonio brewery tour. Some of the best breweries in San Antonio include:
- Second Pitch Beer Co.
- Künstler Brewing
- Roadmap Brewing
- Weathered Souls Brewing Co.
- Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
- Alamo Beer Company
- Busted Sandal Brewing Company
- Freetail Brewing Co.
All offering truly amazing beer.
Learn about the brewing process and enjoy an exciting insider’s view of the city’s craft beer scene while sampling delicious local brews. With comfortable shoes, a valid ID, and a plan for stress-free transportation, you’re all set for a memorable brewery tour experience.
Food Chick Tours
Embark on a culinary adventure with Food Chick Tours, offering private food tours to some of the city’s best eateries. Some of the restaurants included in the tour are:
- Gino’s Deli @ Stop & Buy
- Maverick Texas Brasserie
- Panfila Cantina
- Southerleigh Fine Food And Brewery
- Bakery Lorraine at the Pearl
Food Chicks. Tours will take you on a gastronomic journey through San Antonio’s diverse dining scene.
In addition to food tours, Food Chick Tours also offers delightful private cooking classes, wine tastings, and beer tastings for those looking to expand their culinary skills and knowledge.
Day Trips from San Antonio
Venture beyond the city limits with exciting day trips from San Antonio. Here are some options:
- Explore the picturesque Texas Hill Country
- Relax and swim at Krause Springs
- Follow the historic Mission Trail to visit the four other Spanish missions in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
From charming towns and wineries to natural swimming holes and historic sites, these day trips offer unforgettable experiences and a chance to see more of the beautiful Lone Star State.
Texas Hill Country
Explore the picturesque Texas Hill Country, known for its wineries, charming towns, and natural beauty. Visit Wildseed Farms, the largest and most beautiful wildflower farm in the United States, or sample delicious wines at Bingham Family Vineyards and Hilmy Cellars.
The Texas Hill Country offers a perfect escape from the city, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and vibrant culture of this unique region.
Relax and swim at Krause Springs, a natural swimming hole and camping area with beautiful gardens and waterfalls. This hidden gem is perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot Texas day or a leisurely afternoon spent exploring the lush gardens and listening to the soothing sounds of the waterfalls.
A visit to Krause Springs promises to be a memorable and rejuvenating experience for the whole family.
Follow the historic Mission Trail to visit the four other Spanish missions in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
- Mission Concepcion
- Mission San Jose
- Mission San Juan Capistrano
- Mission Espada
These fascinating missions, along with the iconic Alamo, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region.
Experience the beauty and tranquility of these historic sites as you journey along the Mission Trail.
Seasonal Events and Festivals
Experience the vibrant spirit of San Antonio through seasonal events and festivals. Some of the exciting events and festivals in the city include:
- Free movies in Travis Park
- The Texas Cavaliers’ River Parade
- Candlelight Concerts
- Fiesta San Antonio
There’s always something exciting happening in San Antonio.
Immerse yourself in the local culture and join the citywide celebrations that showcase the unique charm and energy of San Antonio, as experienced by San Antonio locals.
Fiesta San Antonio
Join the city-wide celebration of Fiesta San Antonio, a 10-day festival featuring parades, live music, and cultural events. This annual event celebrates San Antonio’s vibrant history and culture, with attractions such as the Fiesta Flower Show, Fiesta Oyster Bake, Taste Of New Orleans, and the Fiesta Carnival.
Experience the lively atmosphere and make lasting memories at this exciting festival that unites locals and visitors alike.
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Experience the excitement of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, a premier event showcasing Western heritage and entertainment. With attractions like the Great American Petting Zoo, Cowboy Boot Camp, and the Swifty Swine Pig Races, this event offers fun for the whole family.
Enjoy thrilling rodeo events and immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of the American West at this unforgettable annual event.
Holiday River Parade
Witness the dazzling Holiday River Parade, a festive event featuring illuminated floats and live performances along the River Walk. This annual celebration brings the spirit of the holiday season to life, as the riverbanks are lined with twinkling lights and spectators eager to catch a glimpse of the enchanting parade.
A visit to the Holiday River Parade is a magical experience that will leave you with lasting memories of San Antonio’s festive spirit.
From iconic downtown attractions and cultural experiences to thrilling adventures and family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone in San Antonio. With its rich history, diverse culinary scene, and vibrant festivals, this bustling city offers endless opportunities for entertainment and discovery. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned San Antonio enthusiast, there’s always something new to explore in this captivating city. So pack your bags, gather the family, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Texas!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I spend 3 days in San Antonio?
Stay at a hotel in San Antonio and you can explore for three days with a CitySightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour, a visit to The Alamo and the San Antonio Zoo, a stroll along the free Riverwalk, and exciting museum visits at Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, the Witte Museum, and the Texas Ranger Museum. Plus, don’t miss the Pearl Brewery and the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden – all for free!
Discover the city’s rich history and culture with a visit to The Alamo, the San Antonio Zoo, and the Texas Ranger Museum. Take a stroll along the free Riverwalk and explore the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, the Witte Museum, and the Pearl Brewery. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden for a unique experience. Enjoy all of these attractions for free!
What activities does San Antonio have?
San Antonio offers a wealth of activities, from visiting the Alamo to watching sea life at the River Walk and exploring the historic Missions. No matter what type of activity you’re looking for, you’ll find something fun to do in San Antonio.
Is San Antonio River Walk worth visiting?
The San Antonio River Walk is a unique and picturesque area with restaurants, shops, hotels, and museums. It’s a must-see for visitors to the city, offering an enjoyable morning stroll or evening riverside dining experience.
Definitely worth visiting!
How do I plan a perfect day trip?
Create a perfect day trip by choosing a destination within driving distance, taking advantage of public transportation, packing light and bringing snacks and drinks, planning an itinerary, timing your trip, and wearing comfortable clothing.
Start by researching destinations that are within a few hours of your home. Consider taking public transportation to your destination, as it can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Pack light and bring snacks and drinks to keep you energized throughout the day.
Once you have chosen a website, you have chosen a brand.
Are there any free attractions in San Antonio?
Yes, there are plenty of free attractions in San Antonio such as the Alamo, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and various museums during free admission hours.
These attractions offer a great way to explore the city without breaking the bank. Visitors can learn about the city’s history, culture, and art without spending a dime.
San Antonio is also home to a variety of outdoor activities.
About the Author
Justin Abbate is a passionate traveler and explorer, having journeyed to diverse destinations from the historic streets of Italy and Greece to the breathtaking landscapes of Australia. Born in Scottsdale, Arizona, his wanderlust has taken him to hidden gems like Nice, France, where he spent a summer, and to renowned spots in Switzerland, Germany, London, and beyond. As the Account Director at Single Origin, Justin combines his love for travel with his expertise in digital strategy. Dive into his articles as he shares captivating tales and insights from his global adventures.