Over time, San Antonio has gained a reputation for being extremely family friendly. From top-notch school districts to a low cost of living and a widespread layout (can you say ‘backyard’?), it’s really no surprise that San Antonio recently landed in Movoto’s “10 Best Cities to Raise a Family in America”. To balance these practical family-friendly features, San Antonio also has plenty of opportunities for adventure and fun. Read more to discover our favorite places for to explore with kids...both young and old!
1. The DoSeum
(Image courtesy of The Doseum)
This brand-new children’s museum opened its doors this past summer and has already generated quite a bit of buzz from kids and parents alike. The DoSeum has managed to fuse hands-on learning with outrageous fun...the best of both worlds! Sitting on over 5 acres of land with over 65,000 square feet of exhibit and play space, this unique museum offers exhibits unlike any other in the US. From the math-focused “Spy Academy” to the three-dimensional literary experience of “Imagine It”, your kids won’t be able to resist the pull of this learning adventure. All ages will have something to enjoy, including adults! To add to its appeal, the museum has occasional “ReDo Recess” nights, where anyone 21+ can explore the exhibits while enjoying adult beverages. Check their events calendar for dates and tickets!
2. San Antonio Zoo
We can’t talk about fun things to do in San Antonio without mentioning The San Antonio Zoo! This is not your ordinary animal exhibit. As the third-largest of its kind in the United States, the San Antonio Zoo is an experience you won’t forget. You and your family will love exploring all 35 acres and 750 species this facility has to offer. Always teeming with exotic life and surprising fun, the San Antonio zoo welcomes over 1 million guests every year!
3. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
So maybe you’re not a zoo person...or perhaps you’re already “been there, done that” and want something a little more unique. If you’re looking for an out-of-the-ordinary wildlife experience, the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch has you covered! This Texas-style “safari” is one of Texas’ favorite family attractions. Sitting atop 400 acres of Texas Hill Country between San Antonio and New Braunfels, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is home to 500 animals that roam freely about the property. You’ll have the experience of seeing over 40 exotic, native, and endangered animal species up close and personal, including the Japanese Sika, Eland, and Damaraland Zebra. As you drive through the ranch’s course, you’re free to roll down your windows and partake in some up-close encounters with these exotic animals! At the end of your safari, you’re free to visit the Giraffe barn, lemur enclosure, or Petting Barnyard.
4. Natural Bridge Caverns
(Image courtesy of Natural Bridge Caverns)
We all know that the San Antonio sits on the crest of the beautiful views and scenery of the Texas Hill Country. But what about the scenery below the surface? As soon as you lay eyes on one of the area’s breathtaking caverns, you’re sure to be astounded. Touring the wide-open caves of the Hill Country feels like setting foot into another world! Over long periods of time, a steady flow of water hollowed out the natural limestone to create these rather mysterious formations. If spelunking interests you, you might want to check out Natural Bridge Caverns! This popular attraction offers a treetop canopy course, zip lines, and an adventure tour of the caverns, where you have the option to explore undeveloped sections of the cave system.
5. Six Flags: Fiesta Texas
Located in the north central section of San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is one of San Antonio’s favorite family activities! Adrenaline junkies will love the thrill of roller coasters like The Rattler and Superman, while young kids and parents can enjoy the more leisurely areas of the park. Six Flags has something new and exciting happening nearly year-round, from the White Water Bay in the hot summer months to December’s Holiday in The Park. If your family loves theme parks, we suggest checking out the deals on membership and season passes!
San Antonio certainly has no shortage of theme-park entertainment! SeaWorld is a classic area attraction that’s sure to surprise and delight you and your family. Not only is this location the largest of all three SeaWorld parks...it’s also the world’s largest marine life adventure park! This 250-acre facility displays an incredible wealth of marine life, including sea lions, killer whales, dolphins, belugas, and more. And not only does SeaWorld give you a chance to look at these beautiful animals up close...you and your family can jump right in the middle of the action with themed rides, interactive shows, multiple restaurants, and seasonal fun.
7. Alamo City Ghost Tour
In the spirit of the season, we thought we’d include something a little more off-beat to this list. Older kids and parents might enjoy the spooky, fun experience of the Alamo City Ghost Tour! Participants are led through historic parts of downtown, mostly surrounding the Alamo, where ghosts and apparitions have supposedly been spotted. Each participant even gets to carry around “ghost hunting” equipment. Part history lesson, part paranormal science, and part ghost-story, there’s nothing like this adventure!
8. The Magik Theatre
Since its first curtain call over 20 years ago, The Magik Theater in downtown San Antonio has brought imagination to life for over 1.5 million people. Currently in its 20th season, this unique children’s theatre adapts and performs a wide variety of children’s literature into live shows. And not only are these shows a blast to watch...they’re educational! Available with every production is a comprehensive study guide that can be used in either the classroom or at home. Among other special events, summer camps and acting workshops are also available. Check out Magik’s tickets and show schedule for more information!
9. Traders Village
Traders Village, located in the southwest corner of the city, is a complete shopping and entertainment experience. According to their website, Traders Village is: “a swap meet, treasure hunt, shopping complex, county fair, and festival attraction all rolled into one.” This complex features rides for kids and thrill-seekers, plenty of themed and seasonal events, and over 1,000 vendors!
10. A Basketball Game
(Image courtesy of CBS Sports)
If you’ve ever spent significant time in San Antonio, you know that a good basketball game brings everyone together. This city’s love for The Spurs is a force to be reckoned with! If you’re able to afford it, the excitement and camaraderie of a Spurs basketball season is unparalleled. If you can’t afford to take your family to a Spurs game, check out UTSA’s basketball schedule! Tickets are extremely affordable, and the spirit of the game is still incredibly enjoyable.
11. Brackenridge Park
While theme parks and crazy ghost tours are exciting and different, sometimes all you need is a well-kept, beautiful park. Spanning over 300 acres, Brackenridge is located at the base of the beautiful San Antonio River and houses the San Antonio Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and way more. Just a short walk away from the San Antonio Riverwalk, Brackenridge is a little piece of the Hill Country in the middle of the city. After you’ve done the Riverwalk, your family can run around the wide-open spaces, enjoy a picnic, walk the trails, or enjoy the playground equipment.