This summer has been one for the record books in Texas. As a matter of fact, the state of Texas had the hottest summer ever recorded in the history of the United States! Luckily, autumn is just around the corner and cooler temperatures are on their way. Soon the majority of the country will be chilled to the bone and Texas cities such as San Antonio will be pleasantly mild. Book your flights to San Antonio now and start planning your family’s next vacation deep in the heart of Texas. Here are five of our favorite things for families to do while in San Antonio.
The Riverwalk: San Antonio’s Riverwalk is the centerpiece of a thriving downtown area. The San Antonio River, which originates from a spring north of downtown, serves as both a focal point and transportation thoroughfare. Families can walk along the sidewalks flanking the riverbank while visiting a wide variety of shops and restaurants or hop on a boat and explore the area on a guided tour. If you are traveling with young children that don’t have the attention span or ability to keep quite during the narrated tour, the water taxi is a great alternative. It takes guests up river to locations that the narrated tour does not visit and includes a very fun trip through the locks.
The Alamo and San Antonio Missions: No family should visit San Antonio for the first time without a trip to the Alamo. While it is true that the importance of this iconic building will be lost on young children, older children and their parents will appreciate the opportunity to visit a building the represents such an important piece of US history. While the Alamo does receive the majority of the attention, there are four other missions within the National Park system making up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park which deserve a visit. If you only have time for one, I suggest Mission San Jose, the “Queen of Missions.” Kids will love the miniature display of Mission San Jose which is narrated by an audio and visual demonstration, bastion with its round holes formerly used for shooting arrows or muskets at enemies, and complete the Junior Ranger booklet available at the visitor’s center in order to receive an official Junior Ranger badge.
SeaWorld San Antonio: If your kids love rides, shows, and sea life, than a trip to SeaWorld San Antonio is definitely in order. Highlights include feeding seals and sea lions at Rocky Point Preserve, getting a close up view of massive jawed reptiles at Alligator Alley, taking a behind the scenes Dolphin Discovery Tour, and the world famous Shamu show. In between animal experiences, be sure to enjoy thrilling rides such as Journey to Atlantis or Great White. Families visiting after May 2012 have the brand new Aquatica waterpark.
San Antonio Zoo: Home to 3300 animals representing 750 species, the San Antonio Zoo is a wonderful spot to enjoy a few hours enjoying the wildlife. Favorite exhibits include the hippo enclosure which features an underwater viewing window, a Gibbon Forest filled with noisy acrobatic primates, and Lory Landing where kids can feed colorful nectar-loving birds. After a few hours at the zoo, make time to enjoy a picnic in nearby Brackenridge Park.
Brackenridge Park and Kiddie Park: Located just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River, Brackenridge Park is an urban oasis filled with trees, trails, and plenty of great places to snap the perfect family photo. The Japanese Tea Garden is a beautiful place to stroll through and kids are sure to fall in love with the train ride which circles the park. Kiddie Park, the United States oldest children’s amusement park is a fun place for younger kids. Great vintage rides such as the 1918 carousel will delight your children as much as the kids who first rode these rides nearly a century ago.