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The Best Family San Antonio City Guide!

San Antonio City Guide

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A city rich in history, bursting with culture yet embracing the future, we are excited for you to hear all about the incredible Texas city of San Antonio! One of the most visited cities in Texas, San Antonio offers so much to do with the family - from museums, to galleries, incredible food and plenty of historical attractions!

We just love San Antonio and all it has to offer. Its electric energy will excite and inspire, which is why we're excited to share our San Antonio City Guide featuring our "Top 9 Family Attractions", so you can find out about this exciting Texas destination!

Make sure check out our lovingly put together San Antonio City Guide, so you know exactly how to plan your adventurous and exciting family day out in this vibrant Texas city!

Main Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

In this San Antonio City Guide, we list our top 9 things to do with kids plus some fun things to do that were designed JUST with those little ones in mind!

We know budgets are always a factor when traveling with children, so also in this San Antonio City Guide we share some incredible FREE things to do that won't break that bank account!

Getting around San Antonio without a car is simple, so we share some tips to help you navigate around the city car-free, AND we share some really fun facts about the city that might just surprise! 

If you want to explore a bit further out for the day, our San Antonio City Guide shares one of our favorite day trips (which is really close by and is SO fun for kids!), plus we let you in on some famous faces who call San Antonio home.

So whether this is your first trip saying "Yes, take me to San Antonio"! or maybe you have lived in the city all your life but never took the time to see what it really has to offer and you think "What is there is to do near me in San Antonio?", then keep reading because we have the top 9 things to do in San Antonio plus so much more!

Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

Did you know that San Antonio is actually one of the OLDEST Spanish settlements in the entire state of Texas? It also happened to be the LARGEST city in Texas for decades! Spanish explorers arrived in 1718 when the mission San Antonio de Valero was established. 

Once Mexican independence was achieved in 1821, the Anglo-American settlers started to move into the area. It was in 1836 that these Anglo-American settlers gained control of the state during the conflicts that obtained independence for the Republic of Texas. Then in 1845, Texas was annexed by the USA, and formally became a state.

Prior to all of these events, it was likely the Payaya Indians who lived near the San Antonio River Valley when Europeans arrived, with many tribes living in the region in the thousands of years even before them.

One of the most iconic battles in Texas, and even US history is the Battle of the Alamo, taking place between February 23 and March 6, 1836. This battle was part of the Texas war for independence from Mexico.

It was in 1835 that a group of Texan volunteer soliders decided to occupy The Alamo in defence. Then, General Santa Anna arrived with an army in the thousands, yet the small number of Texan soliders (including the famous Davy Crockett) stood their ground for 13 days until the Mexican army overpowered them. 

The strength and bravery of these 200 or so men who didn't flinch at an army of thousands became a symbol of resistance to oppression and enduring struggle for independence (which they did win later)

It was during the Mexican-American War (1846 - 1848) that the saying "Remember The Alamo" became iconic. 

Today, San Antonio thrives. It's a city that proudly embraces its history, and celebrates the many cultures and traditions within its population. 

Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

San Antonio has something for everyone - from museums, to outdoor space, nature, adventure, wildlife and fun for the adventurous!

Love animals? Great! Places such as the famous San Antonio Zoo or San Antonio Aquarium are for you, with not only some incredible creatures from all across the globe, but you can also enjoy a number of encounters and tours to make your day just that little bit more WILD.

Do you have kids who just LOVE to learn through play? Make sure you visit attractions such as The DoSeum where it's all about hands-on learning perfect for those curious kids. 

Is it thrills and spills you want? If so, you might just want to make a beeline for places such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas, where even the brave might feel challenged! Even those with disabilities can enjoy their own thrills at Morgan's Wonderland - the ultimate inclusive theme park!

From strolling the vibrant River Walk, to walking through history with a visit to the King William Historic District, and everything in between, San Antonio really does have your family day out covered!

Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

San Antonio is a BIG city, but don't let that put you off enjoying the city if you don't have a car! 

First, have you noticed the impressive San Antonio River that runs through the city? Well, THAT is a great way to see the sights! 

Go Rio San Antonio Cruises allow you to experience water transportation in a whole new way! The whole family can relax on their colorful barges as they take you down the river through downtown.  All the while, drivers will offer narrated tours and point out all those unique San Antonio landmarks - a learning experience too!

The cruises also include a shuttle service for pick-ups and drop-offs at a number of downtown dock locations hourly. 

Fancy staying on land? The City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop -Off bus is another great option to see the city.  Here you can explore San Antonio on a fun Double Decker tour bus, perfect for all ages. The tours will take you downtown to San Antonio’s most popular landmarks, and they begin every 20 minutes with pick-up stops such as the Alamo, the River Walk, and Market Square. Just pay onboard or pick up a ticket online ahead of time!

From double decker buses to bicycles, if you want to have a bit more control of timings (and enjoy some exercise!) a great option is Pedego electric bike rental. They can be found next to the Witte museum, with bike paths that can take you to places such as Brackenridge Park, San Antonio Zoo, and the Japanese Tea Garden! A Pedego is just like a regular bike – just better! You can pedal normally or get power when you need it. You have the freedom to conquer hills with ease. It will feel like being a kid again!

Then, if it's regular transporation you want, San Antonio have the VIA Metropolitan Transit, with bus routes around the city and to popular attractions, with very reasonable ticket fares!

For more information, check out VisitSanAntonio.com

If there is one place in San Antonio that you HAVE to head to, it's The Alamo.  This iconic historic site was where the infamous Battle of the Alamo took place: a key event in the Texas Revolution - as we know from earlier in this city guide, it was a battle that lasted only 13 days!

Today, you can visit The Alamo and really is the feature of San Antonio. Not only has it been immortalized through the history books, but also a number of songs and films celebrating the inspiring story of those who fought and defended within it.

A true representation of the Texas spirit. 

Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In San Antonio

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In San Antonio Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In San Antonio

1The DoSeum

The DoSeum is SO much more than just a children's museum. It's a place where curious and playful kids can come together and explore, play, learn and enjoy hands-on fun all in the one, safe place!

This playful and popular museum features exhibits, programs, camps, classes, AND field trips covering topics in the arts, sciences and STEM - all encouraging kids to learn through having a great time AND it's one of the premier children's museums in the country!

Image Credit: The DoSeum

San Antonio Zoo is not only a WILD day out for the family, but it's also an amazing experience for kids where they can come face to face with some of the world's most incredible creatures, AND learn about how the zoo is ensuring a future for wildlife.

Open year-round, this San Antonio favorite also offers a host of experiences, including a Zoo Train, behind the scenes tours, animal feeding, a carousel and even the chance to eat breakfast with the animals too! Time to walk on the WILD side! 

Image Credit: San Antonio Zoo

Meet San Antonio's OTHER residents with Ghost City Tours! Their All Ages tour is perfect for families as they take you around San Antonio's most haunted and spooky locations, sharing the stories of the past and who still might be walking the streets!

Taking a ghost tour is also a great way to see parts of the city you might not normally visit. Their knowledgable tour guides can also share the fascinating history of the city, so there is so much to get out of these family friendly experiences! (If you're brave...!)

Image Credit: Ghost City Tours

Why not spend a day at San Antonio's most visited museum - The Witte Museum! This popular museum inspires all who visit to shape the future of Texas through inspiring and transformative experiences in nature, sciences and the arts. 

The fascinating exhibits allow kids to immerse themselves in the wonders of the state - past, present and future - offering them an invaluable learning experience right in the heart of San Antonio!

Image Credit: Witte Museum

Are you ready to experience the WORLD's steepest dive roller coaster? Yes? Then you best head on over to Six Flags Fiesta Texas then! Here you can enjoy all the thrills you can handle on their many exciting and thrilling coasters!

But don't worry, Six Flags Fiesta Texas have plenty of gentle thrills for the younger members of the family, with plenty of family and kids rides, along with fun entertainment that will really fill your day with fun! A visit to the iconic Six Flags is a must for any visit to San Antonio!

Image Credit: Six Flags

Make a SPLASH on your next family day out in San Antonio with a visit to SeaWorld! This iconic marine park doesn't just have a host of amazing sea creatures for you to meet, but they also offer wildlife experiences, thrill rides, shows and even waterpark fun!

SeaWorld is where kids can come face to face with some of the most beautiful creatures of the oceans, whilst having a day of thrills and spills, and all the excitement they could want! Are you ready to take on SeaWorld? Let's go!

Image Credit: SeaWorld

Discover the wonders of the oceans and SO much more at San Antonio Aquarium! Not only can kids come face to face with some amazing creatures of the deep, but they can also meet Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Tortoise and even feed Lorikeets!

San Antonio Aquarium also offer a host of fun experiences to make your day out extra special, from walking the plank into shark filled waters, snorkelling with stingrays or exploring behind the scenes of the aquarium to discover what really goes on in a morning! Great family fun for all ages!

Image Credit: San Antonio Aquarium

Morgan's Wonderland is an amazing experience for everyone, as its the very first ultra-accessible theme park! Here, those with and without disabilities can enjoy the entire park, with wheelchair friendly attractions and rides that have been designed with special needs in mind. 

Families can enjoy the Wonderland Express train, ride the fun carousel, spend time on the playground, take on Pirate Island and sit back, relax in Sensory Village and enjoy the entertainment throughout the park! It makes for a truly special and completely inclusive family day out for all!

Image Credit: Morgan's Wonderland

Urban Air Adventure Park is where fun meets flight as kids can spend the day LITERALLY bouncing off the walls! Here, kids of all ages can enjoy indoor adventure filled with thrilling attractions that will challenge their body AND their mind - and they are so much more than a trampoline park!

From dodgeball, to battle beams, obstacle courses, climbing walls, Sky Rider, a slam dunk zone and even a tubes playground, there are plenty for those active kids who want to challenge friends, or just challenge themselves!

Image Credit: Urban Air

Famous San Antonians!

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford was an iconic American actress who started her career as a dancer, before signing with MGM in 1925 and becoming one of Hollywood's most prominent movie stars.

In 1945 she won the Best Acress Academy Award for her work in Mildred Place.

Image Credit: Public Domain

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez is an iconic American filmmaker, famous for his debut film El Mariachi costing only $7,000 and launching his career.

His films include Sin City, Spy Kids, Desperado and Alita: Battle Angel

Image Credit: Life After Movies

5 Fun San Antonio Facts

5 Fun San Antonio Facts

Impress your friends with your amazing San Antonio knowledge!

  • The very first buildings in the entire nation to feature air conditioning were in San Antonio!
  • Out of all the amazing cities in Texas, San Antonio receives the most visitors!
  • The popular drink Gatorade was developed and created in San Antonio, by a local man named Robert Cade!
  • San Pedro Park is not only the oldest park in the state, but the second oldest park in the entire nation! Filled with history, the park was used as a POW camp during the Civil War. 
  • The famous El Mercardo market is largest Mexican market outside of Mexico!

Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In San Antonio

Explore the San Antonio River Walk!

Explore the San Antonio River Walk!

The San Antonio River Walk really is a highlight when visiting San Antonio! Spend the morning or afternoon strolling along the lush riverside paths lined with stunning Cypress trees, soaking in all the history and atmosphere of this San Antonio oasis.

The San Antonio River Walk isn't just a stroll through the trees. Here you can walk past restaurants with tables seating right on the path's edge, take a peak inside the many shops you'll find, and even visit a museum or two! A highlight to any San Antonio day out. 

Image Credit: San Antonio River Walk

Brackenridge Park

Brackenridge Park

Brackenridge Park is SO much more than just a park. Here the landscape holds 12,000 years of documented prehistoric interaction - and that includes humans - with the San Antonio River. Given that, this 120-year old park feels like a short life in comparison, but it does make for a great day out in San Antonio!

Set across 349 acres, Brackenridge is also home to San Antonio Zoo, the Japanese Tea Garden, a number of museums plus all that park fun families love! Kids can enjoy playgrounds, trails, baseball fields and so much more!

Image Credit: Brackenridge Park

The Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden

We mentioned the Japanese Tea Garden can be found with Brackenridge Park, but it's so great we thought it deserved it's own mention! This free admission garden houses over 90 years of history, and is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Once a rock quarry, this now Japanese oasis features waterfalls, waterways, an island, stone arch bridges, lily ponds and exotic plants - the perfect budget friendly family day out in San Antonio that might just inspire!

Image Credit: SA Parks Foundation

Visit Historic Market Square

Visit Historic Market Square

Historic Market Square (also known as El Mercado) is actually the largest Mexican market in the entire USA, so get ready for a fasciantingly historic and cultural experience! Market Square is home to over 100 local vendors, restaurants and shops, so the whole family really is in for a treat. 

Historic Market Square is where the culture of San Antonio really does come to life. Why not pick up some local merchandise before grabbing a tasty Mexican snack and sit back as the live entertainment kicks in. It's so much more than just market stalls. It's history, it's culture, it's tradition - it's San Antonio. 

Image Credit: Market Square SA

Discover King William Historic District

Discover King William Historic District

The King William Historic District can be found south of downtown San Antonio, and there is such a rich history for the family to explore! The land was once farm land belonging to Mission San Antonio de Valero, before being divided out to Indian families, until the 1860s when the land was divided into the streets you see today.

Today, you can see some impressive Victorian houses, perhaps stay in a historic B&B, pick up some traditional foods or visit some inspirational art gallieries. Transport yourself back in time on your next family day out in San Antonio!

Image Credit: VisitSanAntonio.com

‘Texas Eats’ Episode 1: Tex-Mex in San Antonio

A Fun Day Trip From San Antonio!

A really easy day trip from San Antonio is to a charming and historic oasis midway between San Antonio itself and Austin - we're talking about New Braunfels!

New Braunfels is only about a 30 minute drive north of San Antonio within Texas Hill County and here you will feel worlds away from city life. Your day can be filled exploring unique shops, sipping tea in quiet cafes, whilst you can learn all about the fascinating New Braunfel's German history through the city's museums and unique walking tours.

Image Credit: Play In New Braunfels

New Braunfels was founded back in 1845 by a German Prince no less! The city was named after Prince Carl's hometown of Solms-Braunfels, and immigrants were encouraged to settle in Texas, with the first German immigrants arriving into Galveston in 1844. 

Over the following years, New Braunfels thrived and by 1850 it was the fourth-largest city in the state! In 1852 the first newspaper was established, and today retains that charming German history and architecture that inspired the city's founding and growth.

Don't miss a visit in November when you can experience "Wurstfest" - an annual German-style sausage festival!

Today, New Braunfels has so many things to do for the family, with the most famous being the Schlitterbahn Waterpark which is HUGE! So why not spend the day making a SPLASH in this charming year-round Texas destination.

Here’s our top 4 New Braunfels things to do:

We hope you found this content useful! Please share with your friends, and if you have any comments, or want to let us know what we can do to further help you find fun days out with the family, then just email our team at [email protected]!

Let's get the family adventure started!

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