Planning a Visit to San Antonio Texas?
We’ve been to visit a few times, love to stop in Waco, where you can easily spend a half or a full day and enjoy some great places to Eat, Things to do, and do some Shopping.
If you like a hard copy of ideas, we love this read: Backroads & Byways of Texas: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions
We’ve got our best Things to do, Tips on Places to, Shop and Eat and most importantly places to visit and things to do in San Antonio for you and your Kids (from little kids all the way to teens – there are options for family fun for all).
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Where to stay?
Many of these options have free cancellation and special offers right now!
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa this one seems to be a huge favorite among local Moms in Plano with it’s great pool, beach areas and it being a stunning property. It has private bungalows too and different types of room configurations to suit your family.
La Cantera Resort is also a great option and it has suites available too.
Vrbo has some great options also, if you prefer to stay in your own space.
Things to do in San Antonio with Kids
We love the fact that you can book various attractions and theme parks online with discounts, and recommend ARes for discounted pricing on San Antonio Attractions.
You may find a Groupon deal too!
If you are visiting multiple spots, look at these two options to save money and time by buying a Pass ahead of time:
From $78 – get the Go San Antonio Explorer Pass
Save up to 40% on admission to your choice of 3, 4 or 5 top San Antonio attractions for one low price with a Go San Antonio Explorer Pass. Pay nothing at the gate and choose as you go from lots of included attractions.
Choose 1 of the following Premium Attractions including:
– Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour
– SeaWorld® San Antonio Single Day
– iFLY Indoor Skydiving 2 Flight Package
– Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Choose 2-4 of the following Attractions:
– Buckhorn Saloon and Museum and Texas Ranger Museum
– San Antonio Museum of Art
– City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour (24-Hour Ticket)
– SEA LIFE San Antonio Aquarium
– Mad Dogs British Pub
– Legoland Discovery Center San Antonio
– Extreme Escape Live Action Games – Stone Oak
– Tejas Rodeo Company
– San Antonio Zoo
– K1 Speed San Antonio
– Witte Museum
– Rio San Antonio Cruise Ticket
– Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Tomb Rider 3D or Guinness World Records Museum
– Tower of America
– The Amazing Mirror Maze & The Laser Vault Challenge
– Exploring Downtown San Antonio Brewery Tour
Seaworld & Aquatica
Location: Seaworld San Antonio and Aquatica: 10500 Sea World Dr, San Antonio, TX 78251
You can spent 2 days at Sea World, it was great. Double check if you can do the Swim with the Dolphins with kiddos if they are youngSarah, Plano, TX.
Tickets and Packages:
Annual Passes are also a good option and maybe cheaper than a day pass, depending on the Special Offers available. The dining plan is $20 extra per person and offers good value – you can you buy food every hour and the package includes entry, dessert and beverage.
You can book several hotels with SeaWorld passes which are heavily discounted with ARes via this link
Pay the extra $15 per ticket for reserved seating during the shows so you don’t have to wait in long lines and end up in the splash zone! Best money we spent!Lisa, Frisco, TX
Sea World is actually good for Toddlers and Preschoolers because there is a splash pad area and a new sea turtle exhibit. You can feed the seals. They also have a dedicated children’s area called “Bay of Play” that is themed around Sesame Street. Any toddler should be able to get on 2 rides for sure, the Big Bird Ferris wheel, and the Carousel. If you do go, make sure to go to the side that’s “Discovery Point” go see the dolphins and sharks first!
The Aquatica pass is so worth it. I recommend going to both parks but on separate days so you are able to enjoy both of them.Tracy, Dallas, TX
For up-close animal encounters, both SeaWorld and Aquatica offer a variety of programs with beluga whales, sea lions, penguins and more.
Water Parks around San Antonio
Aquatica – this local Water Park is connected to Seaworld and often parents combine both and get a combo pass. They have Slides of all types and Splash pools! You can save $9 on a day pass here
For another Water Park option, check out Splashtown San Antonio – with over 50 Rides and attractions. It is open Weekends only and Season passes are available, which usually save you money.
Zoos and Animals
Within the city, you’ll find San Antonio Zoo – where you can feed a giraffe by hand and create one-of-a-kind family memories – open year round. It’s not the most popular zoo in Texas, but it is an easy close-by option. You get one free visit with a Pogo Pass
Located just south of New Braunfels (and a place to stop on-route or on your way home) check out Animal World Zoo and Snake Farm. Both of these are very popular with local Moms who have paid a visit.
If you are heading to Downtown San Antonio, you’ll find most of the museums, great restaurants and historical markers nearby.
San Antonio Museums
Hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 12 noon – 5pm
Location: 3801 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
Famed for being where Nature, Science and Culture meet, you’ll find a variety of great exhibits and programs for Kids and Adults of all ages.
Doseum is San Antonio’s Museum for Kids.
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm. Check their website for member hours.
Location: 2800 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
Suited for Kids aged 0-10, with an adult accompanying them, they can explore the Museum and learn along the way. They can try their hand at being a spy, let their imaginations run wild or enjoy their own Town and Grocery store.
If you are a member of the Perot Museum and have an ASTC membership that allows you to get into the Museum for free.
San Antonio History and Culture
Build into your plans a trip to The Missions if you like castles or church ruins.
Location: 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214
This is a great place to walk around with the Kids to soak up some history. In the 18th century, Spanish priests established these five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River to serve as the center of an ethnically diverse society.
Today, the missions – walled compounds encompassing a church and buildings where the priests and local Native Americans lived – represent the largest concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America.
Location: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
You can do this in under 20 minutes, it’s all walkable and free to visit. For Elementary kids, you can get a children’s book about James Bowie, Davey Crocket, and Sam Houston at the library to give more context to what they see. It’s one of the must-visits for a first time things to do in San Antonio.
Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum – Everyone knows about toilet humor … but toilet art? This unusual museum in San Antonio is full of more than 1,000 toilet seats adorned with cassette tapes, shells, magnets, light switches, flags, and just about anything else you can imagine. All of this is the work of Barney Smith, a retired master plumber who started using toilet seats for art because they reminded him of plaques used to mount hunting trophies. Over the years, Smith’s collection took over his garage that eventually became the museum. If you want to visit, you’ll need to make an appointment.
Admission is free, but donations (even of toilet seats) are welcome.
A legendary place to check out is the Guinness World Records Museum in San Antonio, an amazing attraction full of fantastic feats and outright outlandish oddities from around the world.
Inside the city, the Japanese Tea Garden, Brackenridge Park and San Antonio Zoo are very close to each other – there’s a train from the Brackenridge park that takes you around all and I heard it’s really fun.
San Antonio Botanical Garden – Stop and smell the roses, take a nature walk, and admire historic houses when you visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden, a popular attraction in San Antonio.
Get on the River with GO RIO River Walk Cruises in San Antonio – Discover San Antonio’s vibrant culture and rich history and take in all the fascinating sites of the San Antonio River Walk
Want to explore some Caves?
You have three options: in addition to Natural Bridge Caverns and Cascade Caverns you can also look into Cave without a Name, they’re a few miles apart outside Boerne
Cave without a Name is a smaller cavern in Boerne that’s right outside San Antonio. You can get advanced tickets (with free cancellation) and skip the line
Location: 325 Kreutzberg Road, Boerne, TX 78006
For Toddlers and smaller kids, it is small enough for him to walk around in and not as daunting of a task like Natural Bridge Caverns. If you have a baby, they should be worn in a carrier.
Cascade Caverns is a great spot for Camping, Trails and Wildlife along with hourly tours within the Caverns for small groups of 4-8 people. This is ideal for small kids.
Location: 226 Cascade Caverns Road
Boerne, TX 78015
These are Texas’ largest Caverns with subterranean cavern tours and a treetop height adventure course. Explore and see massive and even delicate formations formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. It is not stroller friendly, so a baby carrier would be needed.
Above ground you can try the 5,000 square foot Amazn’ Ranch Round up Maze, take to the skies on the world’s largest and tallest outdoor Ropes and Zip-line course, Twisted Trails they have a mining excursion where you can pan for gems and fossils.
Discovery Tour – 9am – 5pm
Tours depart every 10-40 minutes starting at 9 AM. Final tour departs at 5 PM.
Discovery Village Mining Company – 9am – 6pm
Save over $10 on each ticket!
Combine your visit to the Natural Bridge Caverns, with this remarkable wildlife safari in Texas at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, set on 400 acres of rolling hills and creek beds just north of San Antonio.
Get outside and hike
Discover a few of the Texas state parks near San Antonio, including Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area and Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site.
Unique Places to visit in San Antonio
Just across from the Alamo, discover the Amazing Mirror Maze in San Antonio, the largest mirror maze in Texas and one the most unique attractions in San Antonio and the Alamo Plaza.
Face your fears at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure in San Antonio, a haunted house in the Alamo Plaza where garish ghouls and things that go bump in the night lurk.
Journey into the ancient tomb of Anubis and vie for the high score at Tomb Rider 3D, a thrilling interactive attraction located in San Antonio’s Alamo Plaza – great for older kids!
Get a Combo Ticket for the Guinness World Records Museum – Ripley’s Haunted Adventure – Tomb Rider 3D Ride – Alamo Plaza Attractions Pass and save!
The Tower of the Americas is the tallest building in San Antonio and an exciting tourist destination, with amazing views, fine dining, and entertainment inside.
Or for an adrenalin rush, head to Six Flags Fiesta Texas San Antonio and save over $36 on tickets!
Places to Shop and Eat in San Antonio
The Market Square in San Antonio is the largest Mexican market in the U.S., with over 100 shops, world-famous Mexican restaurants, and fantastic annual events.
You can stroll along the San Antonio Riverwalk with Kids – it’s safe and easy anytime – day or night.
Our Recommended Picks for Eating Places
The Cove, featured on Diners Drive in and Dives – just make sure you go in the restaurant side and not the laundry mat or car wash side, lol! There is a little playground too, and they grow a lot of their own produce outback – live music and awesome burgers
Location: 606 W Cypress St, San Antonio, TX 78212
We love the Pearl Brewery area, fun to walk around and tons of restaurants.
Location: 303 Pearl Pkwy, San Antonio, TX
Bill Miller BBQ is GREAT fast food. 3 locations in San Antonio.
Mi Tierra for Mexican. San Antonio is famed for it’s great Mexican food. Located at: 218 Produce Row, San Antonio, TX
Big Lou’s Pizza: Huge Pizzas – renowned in the area! 2048 S WW White Rd, San Antonio, TX 78222
Lulu’s Bakery – famed for it’s 3lb Cinnamon Roll. Located at: 918 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
Schilo’s German Restaurant downtown. Great German food but absolutely don’t miss their amazing house-made root beer. Located at: 424 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Stoneworks – American food. 2 locations in the city.
Sam’s Burger Joint is also a Moms’ favorite. Located at: 330 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
We hope you got a ton of tips and are planning a fun trip to San Antonio, TX. Be sure to share your favorite places and tips with us and we will pass them on!