San Antonio is one of our favorite places to visit when planning a vacation in Texas. It is a city that is rich in culture, heritage, and history. It is a terrific food city with some of the best Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine you will ever eat. But most importantly, there are multitudes of San Antonio family fun activities for travelers of all ages.
When we first moved to Dallas back in 2012, San Antonio was one of our first road trips. Of course we had to visit the Riverwalk and The Alamo! We also visited the many old Spanish missions that surround the San Antonio area. Once we had children, we continued to visit San Antonio for all the amazing family-friendly activities that are available. What’s best, is there is just so much VARIETY in the types of things to do.
In this review, we will list some of our favorite San Antonio family fun activities. Where possible, we will provide links to discounted or advance purchase tickets. We will provide a list of recommended hotels. And, as always, we will provide some suggestions for some DELICIOUS food! So let’s get to it!
Things to Do In San Antonio
Are you ready to hear about all of the great things there is to do? We are ready to tell you all about it! You’re going to want to plan your trip immediately!
You cannot visit San Antonio without visiting the Riverwalk! Depending on how old your kids are will dictate how long you will spend here. The older your kids, the more you can find to do. There are tons of shopping opportunities and restaurants. One thing that is fun regardless of age are the numerous water taxis you see all around. Hop on one and see the Riverwalk from a whole different perspective.
And don’t worry about falling in…I found out that the water is only about waist deep. And no, I didn’t find out the hard way. One of the water taxi captains told us!
Make it extra fun and book a Combination Riverwalk Cruise and a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour! Get your tickets HERE!!
We LOVE this place. The DoSeum is a children’s museum that perfectly blends learning and education with a dash of creativity. Our boys can spend HOURS here. With exhibits such Spy Station, Innovation Station, Little Town, Force Course and more, there is plenty to stimulate your kids minds and creativity.
They have a small cafe that offers a kid friendly menu of meals and snacks. Their sweets are delectable! After their snack, they can run off some energy at the large outdoor play structure that has interactive elements. Not only will your kids have a great time, but trust us…you will too!!
Check out The DOSeum HERE.
The San Antonio Zoo
Located directly across the street from the DoSeum, a trip to the zoo would be a perfect start to the day before heading over to the DoSeum. Voted the best zoo in Texas, the San Antonio Zoo is over 35 acres of amazing animal exhibits. The zoo boasts a collection of over 750 species!
Their newest exhibit, Africa Live!, highlights their collection of hippos, crocodile, mongoose, okapi, monkeys and more. Other exhibits include an Asian Forest, reptile house, Big Cat Alley, Wild Australia, and many more.
If you are looking to take your visit to the zoo up a notch, the San Antonio Zoo offers some really cool experiences. We think the best ones are the three different “Beastly Breakfasts” they offer. You get there before the zoo opens and enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruits, waffles, coffee and juice alongside the animal. The experience also includes time with the animals’ keeper. The three animal options are giraffe, kangaroo, and hippo. How cool!
Reserve your tickets HERE.
If you are traveling with kids aged 1-12, be sure to have Kiddie Park on your San Antonio family fun itinerary. Open since 1925, this is the oldest children’s amusement park in the nation! Located in the same park as the San Antonio Zoo, Kiddie Park is close to many of the other area attractions.
Parents can ride for free with their children on the carousel and flying saucers, but the remainder of the rides are designed strictly for the littles. The park was renovated and added some modernization in 2009, but the rides are all original from when it opened in 1925. For some parents, there will certainly be some nostalgia as their kids ride the same rides their parents (and even grandparents!) rode before them.
Unlimited ride wristbands are just $14! Get info HERE.
The Alamo is one of the most historic places in Texas, if not America. Whether you are visiting San Antonio for the first time or you are a repeat visitor, adding The Alamo to your itinerary is a must-do. It is perfect for history buffs or those who are interested in learning about events that shaped the great state of Texas and even America.
Admission to The Alamo is always free (but does require a timed entry ticket). To enhance your visit, guided tours are available for a fee. This may be a good choice for those looking to get a deeper understanding of the importance of this monument.
What will visitors to The Alamo see? Cannons, the barracks, gardens, courtyards, the church, period artifacts, and many archeology exhibits are all available for you to see and read about. The story of what happened during the battle of The Alamo signifies bravery and the grit of those who fought for Texas.
Check out info for The Alamo HERE.
Natural Bridge Caverns
The largest and most spectacular show cavern in Texas! The standard tour takes you 180 feet below the surface and you get to explore the first half mile of the cavern. Upgraded LED lighting enhances the tour making everything easier to see and makes everything more brilliant.
For those that are more adventurous, you can add the Hidden Passages Tour or for EXTREME adventurers you can choose the Adventure Tours. These two tours take you well off the standard tour path! One additional add-on is the Bracken Bat Experience. At sunset each summer evening, 20 million Mexican freetail bats emerge from the mouth of a cave!
The temperature in the cave is 70 degrees year round. Comfortable shoes are a necessity, closed toe and heel are recommended.
There are also several surface attractions at Natural Bridge Caverns. You can purchase tickets for a zip line and ropes course. They have a tots version as well. Other surface attractions include a maze and gem and fossil mining.
Check pricing for Natural Caverns HERE.
Hopscotch Immersive Art Experience
Hopscotch is a collection of art installations that challenge the traditional definition of art. With a rotating collection of 15 unique exhibits, each exhibit encourages the artist to push into non-traditional mediums. Exhibits are all immersive. Some are more focused on sight and hearing. Some really on physical interaction.
Expect to spend 60-90 minutes inside the exhibits. Children are absolutely allowed, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. When you tell your kids you are taking them to an art exhibit, they may be bummed. But once they experience Hopscotch, their perception of art will totally change!
Check pricing for Hopscotch HERE.
Legoland Discovery Center
What kid doesn’t love LEGO’s? What parent doesn’t love LEGO’s? (probably most parents, especially if you have stepped on one in the dark…) When you visit LEGOland Discovery Center, your kids can play, create, and build to their heart’s content…then leave the LEGO’s behind. Unless of course they convince you to buy that sweet new Star Wars LEGO collectible!
So what is inside LEGOland Discovery Center? A miniature version of San Antonio built with 1.5 million blocks. Builders Workshops. Your favorite LEGO characters in person. A LEGO Racers build and test track. LEGO City play zone. A Virtual Reality experience. A 4D movie experience. And much more…
Check LEGOland Discovery Center pricing HERE.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
Is it cheesy and overly touristy? Yes. Yes it is. Is it worth the admission to see what’s inside? Absolutely! Ripley’s is located directly across the street from The Alamo. Spend a couple hours at the Alamo then mosey on over to view some of the weirdest stuff you will ever see…WHY NOT??
The Ripley’s building actually houses four very different experiences. You can choose to visit just one, buy a two attraction pass, or get a four attraction ticket. Of course getting the four pack gets you the best overall deal. The four attractions are “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”, “Louis Tussaud’s Wax Works”, “Ripley’s Illusion Lab” and “Ripley’s Moving Theatre.”
A visit to Ripley’s Believe it or Not is definitely a fun, goofy, and unique experience when looking for San Antonio family fun. Check out Ripley’s Believe it or Not info HERE.
San Antonio Hotels
San Antonio has many highly rated hotels to choose from. We absolutely recommend staying at a hotel either on or near the Riverwalk. Whenever we stay in San Antonio, we love the convenience of being able to head to the Riverwalk whenever we want a bite to eat or just wander and admire. As usual, we will only recommend highly rated hotels!
Drury Inn and Suites San Antonio Riverwalk– 9.2/10 rating. Free breakfast. Outdoor pool. On the Riverwalk.
Hotel Contessa– 8.8/10 rating. Four star luxury hotel without the four star price. On the Riverwalk. Outdoor pool.
Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk– 8.2/10 rating. On the Riverwalk. Outdoor pool.
Menger Hotel– Historic boutique hotel just steps from The Alamo and two blocks to the Riverwalk. 8.8/10 rating. Outdoor pool.
Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk– 8.6/10 rating. On the Riverwalk. Beautiful rooftop outdoor pool.
Grand Hyatt San Antonio Riverwalk– 8.8/10 rating. On the Riverwalk extension and next to the Shop at Rivercenter mall. Rooftop outdoor mall.
Riverwalk Plaza– 7.8/10 rating. Often the lowest rates for hotels ON the Riverwalk. Outdoor courtyard pool.
Crockett Hotel– 8.6/10 rating. Historic boutique hotel near The Alamo and about 4 blocks to the Riverwalk.
This is a solid selection of outstanding hotels. Most are directly ON the Riverwalk, with a couple just blocks away. Click links to see rates and photos. You will see that despite being on the Riverwalk, many of these hotels are very fairly priced!
Where to Eat in San Antonio
The Cove– Local food with a playscape!
The Friendly Spot– Old school icehouse with large patio and playscape
Incredible Pizza Company– Amazing pizza and a ridiculous arcade! Perfect!
Longhorn Cafe– Arcade games, patios, playgrounds, and kid-approved food!
Magic Time Machine– Face painting, character appearances, science experiments, smoking desserts and more. This place is wild!
Mi Tierra Cafe– The most popular Mexican restaurant and bakery in San Antonio! Open for over 80 years with an incredibly loyal following. The food is amazing.
Plan Your San Antonio Family Fun Trip TODAY!
There is no bad time of the year to go to San Antonio. The weather is great year round. Near the holiday, the Riverwalk is adorned with millions of Christmas lights. They have fun river parades for Halloween, Christmas, and other holidays. Use our guide to help plan your trip, choose your hotel, book your attraction tickets and more! If you have any questions, always feel free to contact us!
Be sure to also check out our Spring Break In Houston article!