San Antonio Family Activity Guide
Bringing your family to San Antonio? Here are some activities that may be of interest to you (pricing is subject to change – please confirm with attraction).
- Near Convention Center
(less than 1 mile from Convention Center)
- Transportation / Tours
- Further Afield
Near Convention Center
The 18th-century mission church where Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and 188 others waged their last stand against the Mexican army for Texas independence has become a state symbol. The most famous historical site in Texas, the mission has been restored to its original condition and offers tours, relics of the past, and a gift shop with memorabilia for history enthusiasts. Admission is free.
Buckhorn Saloon & Museum/Texas Ranger Museum
The Buckhorn Museum features over 520 species of taxidermy wildlife from all over the world. The Buckhorn’s most prized record holder is the famous ‘78 Point Buck’. The Texas Ranger Museum houses hundreds of Texas Ranger artifacts including revolvers, automatic handguns, sawed off shotguns, and badges. The highlight of the Texas Ranger Museum is Ranger Town, a recreation of San Antonio at the turn of the century. It’s a uniquely San Antonio tourist attraction. Admission to both museums is $18.99 for adults and $14.99 for children over 2.
Built for the 1968 HemisFair in honor of the city’s 250th anniversary, this 15 acre park includes water gardens and a kid-designed wood and sand playground, which includes a castle and space tunnel, as well as the attractions below:
Institute of Texan Cultures
A Smithsonian affiliate, this museum documents the contributions of different cultures and their impact on the history and development of Texas. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children over 2.
The Magik Theatre has been enthralling children with its productions of live stage versions of children’s classic and contemporary literature for over 20 years. During AALL, San Antonio’s professional children’s theater will be performing The Bootmaker and The Elves, an original country western musical by Richard Rosen. Performances are at Friday, July 11 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, July 16 at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 for children over 2 and adults. Children under 2 are free.
Tower of the Americas
The Tower of the Americas is 750-foot observation tower built as the theme structure of the 1968 World’s Fair, HemisFair ’68. The Tower is located in the middle of HemisFair Park and has an observation deck that is accessible by elevator and a 4D Theater Ride. Additionally, there is also a lounge and revolving restaurant, Chart House, at the top of the tower that provides panoramic views of the city. Tickets for the observation deck and 4D Theater Ride are $10.95 for adults and $8.95 for children over 3.
Ripley’s San Antonio
Ripley’s San Antonio features featuring three attractions, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Ripley’s 4D Moving Theater and Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks with than 500 unique wax curiosities from around the world. Tickets can be purchased for individual or multiple attractions. See website for more details.
San Antonio Children’s Museum
The San Antonio Children’s Museum features interactive exhibits designed for ages 2 through 10. Admission is $8 for adults and children over 2.
San Antonio Fire Museum
The San Antonio Fire Museum was formed to preserve the rich historical culture of the San Antonio Fire Department and is perfect for children who love fire trucks and fire fighters. The place features historical equipment and restored vehicles. Admission is a suggested $4 donation for adults and free for children.
Explore San Antonio aboard the Alamo Trolley with an hour narrated tour visiting The Alamo, Hemisfair Park, Tower of the Americas, River Walk, La Villita, Market Square, San Fernando Cathedral, the Mission Trail, King William Historic District and more. Enjoy all-day unlimited reboarding at the Alamo Trolley Hop Stops with your Hop Pass, making Alamo Trolley the easiest and most fun way to see more of San Antonio. The hour narrated tour costs $21.95 for adults and $10.95 for children 4-12. The tour plus the Hop Pass is $25.95 for adults and $12.95 for children 4-12.
Rio San Antonio Cruises
Over 39 stops along the River Walk
Rio San Antonio offers 35 minute informative riverboat tours of the River Walk and also a river taxi service. The Rio Taxi Red provides service to the northern Museum Reach section of River Walk and allows you to cruise on a river taxi through Texas’ only lock and dam system, reminiscent of a mini Panama Canal. Since water elevations at the original River Walk and the new Museum Reach are not the same, engineers installed a lock channel to connect the two. Not only does it make sense, but it’s fun for visitors to get to ride through one.
It takes about three and a half to four minutes for the lock doors to open, let the river taxi in, and close. Once the taxi is in the lock compartment, the water rises about nine-feet before the doors open to continue onto the Museum Reach. The Pearl Brewery complex, a mixed use redevelopment project at the northern terminus of the river taxi, offers boutique shopping and great dining. (see http://atpearl.com/ for more information).
VIA Streetcar Service
Three VIA Streetcar routes (Red, Blue and Yellow) serve most of the popular destinations in downtown San Antonio. Look for the VIA Streetcar stops throughout downtown and you can expect a streetcar to arrive within 10 minutes. Streetcar service is available seven days a week. The hours of service for each route are posted on the stops. Fare is $1.10 one way or $4 for a day pass.
3700 N. St. Mary’s
3.3 miles from Convention Center
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Brackenridge Park is a 343 acre public park in Midtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. It was created in 1899 from land donated to the city by George Washington Brackenridge. Attractions within the park include Japanese Tea Gardens, the Sunken Garden Theater, a golf course, playgrounds as well as the attractions below:
Brackenridge Eagle Miniature Train
3700 N. St. Mary’s
3.3 miles from Convention Center
The best way to get around Brackenridge Park. Since 1956, the train has wound its way through the park with stops at the Witte Museum, Kiddie Park, and the Japanese Tea Gardens. Tickets cost $3.50 for adults and children over 3.
San Antonio Zoo
With over 3500 animals representing 750 species, San Antonio Zoo features Africa Live!, a butterfly exhibit, a reptile house, and the Tiny Tot Nature Spot. Admission is $12.50 for adults and $9.50 for children.
The Witte Museum is dedicated to natural history, science and South Texas heritage. The permanent collection features historic artifacts and photographs, Texas art, textiles, the Hertzberg Circus Collection, dinosaur bones, cave drawings, Texas wildlife dioramas. The four-story H-E-B Science Treehouse provides children with an interactive science experience. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children over 3.
Adjacent to Brackenridge Park and served by the Brackenridge Eagle Miniature Train, Kiddie Park is the oldest children’s amusement park in the country, established in 1925 and renovated in 2009. Kiddie Park has preserved its 1920’s style by maintaining all of the original rides including the old-fashioned ferris wheel and famous hand-carved Herschell Spillman carousel. Tickets can be purchased for each ride or an unlimited ride band for $13.00
Billed as the “the world’s first ultra accessible family fun park,” Morgan’s Wonderland is a 25 acre amusement park that caters to children and to adults with special cognitive and physical needs. Attractions include a carousel, an 8 acre lake with catch and release fishing, an off-road adventure ride, a miniature train, a sensory village, a sand play area, a water play area, a musical garden, a variety of swings and playgrounds including the Butterfly Playground and the Pirate Island Playground. Morgan’s Wonderland is a unique and wonderful adventure for younger children. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children over 2. Individuals with special needs and children age 2 and under are admitted free.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Central Texas has many amazing caves and Natural Bridge Caverns hasaily guided tours allow guests to explore large underground chambers and see huge formations. The largest room is bigger than a football field. The basic Discovery Tour lasts about 75 minutes and admission is $19.99 for adults and $11.99 for children 3-11. For information on other tours, please see their website.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Park
Adjacent to Natural Bridge Caverns, Natural Bridge Wildlife Park is a 400-acre drive-through safari park with over 50 species of animals from all over the world. Admission is $17.50 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11.
SeaWorld features several thrill rides along with a number of animal shows including One Ocean, the current show featuring Shamu, the killer whale. Sesame Street’s Bay of Play provides tamer rides for preschool and early elementary ages. Aquatica is SeaWorld’s attached waterpark. Aquatica is not included in your SeaWorld San Antonio admission, but SeaWorld admission is required for entry to Aquatica. Regardless of whether you plan to visit Aquatica, you may want to bring a change of clothes if you plan to sit in the splash zone at animal shows, ride Rio Loco or splash in Bay of Play’s fountains. Single day admission to SeaWorld is $64.00 for adults and $54 for children 3-9 and single day admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica is $87.00 for adults and $79.99 for children 3-9. Be sure to check their website for advance ticket purchase discounts.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
A 200-acre theme park with roller coasters, thrill rides, games, activities, performances, fireworks and White Water Bay, a water park complete with water slides and wave pool. Be sure to bring a change of clothes if you plan on visiting White Water Bay. Opening in 2013, Iron Rattler is the newest of their 8 roller coasters. While full priced admission is $63.99 for adults and $48.99 for children under 54” (children 2 and under are free), be sure to check their website for current promotions and discounts.
Texas Transportation Museum
This museum houses a collection of motor vehicles ranging from fire engines to chuck wagons. Cars range from a 1924 Model T truck to a 1963 Lincoln Continental. In addition to a variety of model railroads, the Museum features a full size railroad, the Longhorn and Western Railroad, and rides are included with admission. The Museum is only open on Fridays (9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – no train rides), Saturdays and Sundays (10:00 AM to 5:00 PM). Admission on Fridays is $6 for adults and $4 for children (2-12). Admission on Saturdays and Sundays is $8 for adults and $6 for children (2-12).