25 Best Things to do in San Antonio (TX)

25 Best Things to do in San Antonio (TX)

San Antonio 1

Planning a Visit to San Antonio? There are some great places to stop on your Road Trip down there, including a visit to Bucee’s, of course!

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 little kids all the way to teens).

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Our Full Disclosure is available.


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.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort is very close to Sea World and very family friendly with a great pool area and kid activities in the evening. Many Moms love this resort too.

AirBnB 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 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

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:
– Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour
– SeaWorld® San Antonio Single Day
– iFLY Indoor Skydiving 2 Flight Package

Available Seasonally
– 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

From $34.95

Grab a Pogo Pass for Central Texas

Save 30% on this Annual Pass covering Austin, San Antonio and Waco. Download the app and use it at the gate for access.

Choose 1 of the following Premium Attractions:
– Witte Museum
– San Antonio Zoo
– San Antonio Aquarium
and another 13 Sports Games, Fun Venues and Entertainment venues.

There is a Summer Sale right now on the Pogo Pass! Be quick to get another $5 off the Plano Moms price of $39.95

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 young

Sarah, Plano, TX.
Seaworld San Antonio

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

With Toddlers and Preschoolers, you can do Elmo, see all the sea animals and three shows.

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

aquatica san antonio map

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.

More: 9 of the Best Water Parks in Dallas Fort Worth


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.

Kids on riverwalk

Museums

Witte Museum

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’re members of the Perot Museum and have an ASTC membership that allows you to get into the Doseum for free.


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.

Alamo

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 aged 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.

Update for August 2020: The Alamo is temporarily closed, but Alamo Plaza is still open for visitors to take photos at the historic site. Be sure to stop by some of the businesses in Alamo Plaza for the full experience. 

The Alamo is currently undergoing an exciting transformation to preserve the historic site.

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.


Get outdoors

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?

caverns san antonio

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

Natural Bridge Caverns

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.

Hours:
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!

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio

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.

Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo credit FB
Photo Credit: Animal World Facebook

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.

More: 23 of the best Nature Trails and Hikes in DFW

Unique Places to visit

amazing mazes
Photo Credit: Amazing Mazes Facebook

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 San Antonio and save over $36 on tickets

Places to Shop and Eat

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 Lous San Antonio Pizza
Big Lou’s giant table-sized pizza to share. Photo Credit: Big Lou’s Facebook

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!

Related Links:

The World’s Best Waterpark, Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels

Our Travel Texas Guide

45 Lakes and Beaches you can drive to from DFW

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