A major metropolis in south-central Texas with rich colonial heritage, San Antonio is packed with things to see and do if you need to entertain the kids. Visit fun-filled educational museums and natural attractions such as the San Antonio Zoo and the Natural Bridge Caverns. Explore the history of San Antonio at the 18th-century Spanish mission known as The Alamo or take the kids on a stroll along the riverfront. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Witte Museum
Located adjacent to Brackenridge Park in Midtown Brackenridge, the Witte Museum is dedicated to natural history, science, and South Texas heritage. Established in 1926, the museum features a permanent collection of historical artifacts and items, textiles and Texan art, photographs, and prints. The Witte Museum is also home to the famed Harry Hertzberg Circus Collection, which features cave drawings, dinosaur bones, Texas wildlife dioramas, and a unique H-E-B Science Treehouse. The museum also boasts an array of traveling exhibits and sculptures by San Antonio-born artists Bonnie MacLeary, and the 20,000-square-foot, Robert J., and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center, which uses the latest museum technology combined with traditional artworks to showcase the legendary history of South Texas.
3801 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209, Phone: 210-357-1900
2.San Antonio River Walk
© Siegfried Schnepf/stock.adobe.com
Comprised of a network of cypress-lined paved paths, lush landscapes and quaint stone bridges that gently wind through the city, the San Antonio River Walk provides a chance to take in the stunning natural scenery and soak up the city views. Running along the banks of the San Antonio River, the San Antonio River Walk symbolizes the heart and soul of the city and winds past several of the city’s upscale hotels, award-winning restaurants, top attractions, and other forms of entertainment. Families with kids shouldn’t miss the Museum Reach, which hosts a range of visual and audiovisual works of art, and diverse terraced landscapes with native plants and the quirky San Antonio Museum of Art.
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3.Rio San Antonio Cruises
GO RIO offers a new and exciting way of exploring San Antonio with narrated tours of the city held on colorful, new barges that cruise along the river. These unique one-of-a-kind San Antonio cruises explore the city from the water with expert guides sharing their knowledge and passion about the city and all of its attractions. GO RIO also offers special tours like shuttle services, chartered tours, and private cruises for up to 40 people, including dinner parties on the river. Tours are held on brand new barges which feature quiet, electric, eco-friendly engines in five bright colors, with comfortable seating, modern restrooms, and large windows that boast beautiful views of the river. There are also unique themed barges for special occasions.
809 River Walk St, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-227-GRIO(4746)
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The Alamo is a famous complex on Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio, which is the site of a renowned ‘crossroads’ in Texan history, such as the first Spanish colonization, the independence of Mexico, and the place where the Confederacy stood its ground. One of the most popular attractions, particularly with kids, is the hallowed ground where a small band of Texans, including David Crockett, James Bowie, and William B. Travis, who held out for just under two weeks against General Antonio López de Santa Anna during the siege. The three men came to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty. Guided tours of the Alamo can be enjoyed where visitors can relive the dramatic 1836 Battle where the Texan Army under Sam Houston shouted "Remember the Alamo!" as it routed Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto.
300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-225-1391
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© Kiddie Park
One of the city’s most treasured institutions and the oldest children’s amusement park in the country, Kiddie Park offers a fantastic way for families to spend a day enjoying some nostalgic and old-fashioned fun. Established in 1925, and restored to its former glory in 2009, Kiddie Park features an old-fashioned Ferris wheel, a handmade carousel, and an array of traditional children’s rides such as Flying Saucers, the Whip Ride, and the Helicopter. The iconic San Antonio attraction also boasts arcade and carnival games, face painting and other fun, as well as lovely areas for private birthday parties and social events.
3015 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78209, Phone: 210-824-4351
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© The DoSeum
The DoSeum is a fun-filled educational museum for the whole family that provides children with a place to learn through inventing, building, creating, making, thinking, and playing with a range of interactive exhibits and hands-on displays. The 65,000-square-foot building features an array of state-of-the-art shows that include a spy academy filled with math challenges, an interactive puppet parade, an interactive robot named Baxter, an ADA-accessible treehouse, and a Children’s River. The museum also boasts a large outdoor exhibit with a shaded play area and tinkling water features.
2800 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209, Phone: 210-212-4453
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7.Institute of Texan Cultures
© Institute of Texan Cultures
Located on the UTSA-HemisFair Park Campus, the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) is a cultural heritage museum that is dedicated to celebrating the many diverse ethnicities that reside in Texas. Established in 1965 by the Texas Legislature, the 182,000-square-foot complex is the primary center for multicultural education in the state and features 65,000 square feet of space that boast a variety of exhibits, displays, educational programs and events such as the Texas Folklife Festival. The center also has a research library that focuses on ethnic and cultural history with more than three historical photos, manuscripts, rare books, and over 700 oral histories.
801 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-458-2300
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8.San Antonio Botanical Gardens
Kids can get up close and personal with nature at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, which is a 38-acre botanical garden that features several collections and exhibit areas, including formal and seasonal display gardens that include a rose garden, a sensory garden, a water-saving garden and a Kumamoto En Japanese Garden. The gardens feature unusual things to see and do, such as the futuristic Lucile Halsell Conservatory features an underground through a tunnel of soil into the Palm House, which is cut deep into the earth, and the 11-acre Texas Native Trail. Visitors to the gardens can enjoy guided tours, as well as special bird-watching walks and a range of lectures, talks, and other garden-related events.
555 Funston, San Antonio, TX 78209, Phone: 210-207-3250
9.San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is a must for kids and their families with more than 9,000 animals of 779 species calling the zoo. Nestled in an old limestone quarry on St Mary’s Street, the San Antonio Zoo is spread over 56 acres and was one of the first zoos in the country to be ‘cageless.’ The best way to enjoy the Zoo is by taking a ride to the historic San Antonio Zoo Eagle, a miniature train that travels around the Zoo, around Brackenridge Park and along the San Antonio River. The train makes short stops at the Kiddie Park, the Witte Museum, and the Japanese Tea Gardens, and lunch can be enjoyed at the train depot café located next to the train depot gift shop.
3903 N. St. Mary's Street, San Antonio, TX 78212, Phone: 210-734-7184
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Built to host the 1968 World's Fair, which aimed to celebrate the civilizations in the Americas and the cultural diversity of San Antonio, Hemisfair Park is a local historic district of the city of San Antonio. Built on the site of a historic neighborhood, Hemisfair Park features numerous beautifully preserved and renovated buildings and structures in various architectural styles, from simple adobe homes of the Mexican era and exquisite haciendas from the Spanish Colonial Era to elegant mansions from the late nineteenth century. Many of the charming buildings have been designated as State Archeological Landmarks, and visitors to the district can also see structures that were built specifically for the World’s Fair, including the Tower of the Americas, an iconic feature of the San Antonio skyline.
434 S. Alamo St., San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-709-4750
11.The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum
© The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum
Located in Metro Houston Street, the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum is a privately-owned museum that features a unique collection of western-themed artifacts and objects, and an Old West-themed gift store that sells a wide variety of western-style apparel, accessories, items, gifts and more. Established by Albert Friedrich in 1956, the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum features a collection that was initially housed in the Lone Star Brewery before it was passed to Friedrich's heirs who moved the collection to its current location on East Houston Street in downtown San Antonio. Highlights of the Buckhorn Museum include mounted wildlife from all over the world, representing over 520 species of wildlife, including animals from every continent and fish from the seven seas.
318 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-247-4000
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12.Texas Transportation Museum
© Texas Transportation Museum
The Texas Transportation Museum is dedicated to collecting and preserving the rich history of San Antonio's transportation through a collection of artifacts and information. Established in 1964, the Texas Transportation Museum (TTM) has a unique collection of automobiles, engines, model train layouts, and trains that are still operated on the museum’s heritage railroad known as the Longhorn and Western Railroad. Highlights at the museum include an Alamo Model Railroad Engineer's (A.M.R.E.) HO model railroad and a San Antonio Garden Railroad Engineer's Society (S.A.G.R.E.S.) G scale model railroad. Other features of the museum include a display of a custom remodeled caboose and a large outdoor pavilion for private events.
11731 Wetmore Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247, Phone: 210-490-3554
Chocollazo offers a new take on the traditional candy shop with an array of gourmet chocolate treasures, old-school candy, and new-age sweet treats. Owned by chocolatier, Mary Collazo, the candy store and chocolate haven features unusual treats like chocolate bars topped with potato chips and spicy takes on chocolate with flavors like hot hatch chili, balsamic fig, and rose. Signature treats on the menu include Nutella, Strawberry and Banana Crepes, Eclair Trifle Desserts, Homemade Marshmallows, Chocolate Caramel Apples, Giant Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Caramel Corn Sundaes. Chocollazo is open Monday through Saturday.
6313, 4013 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209, Phone: 210-776-3963
14.San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
© duydophotography /stock.adobe.com
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a National Historical Park that preserves four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, which were established as Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity among the local peoples. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park encompasses 300 years of rich history and culture and takes visitors on a journey through four separate mission sites around the park, including Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. All four of the mission sites still contain active Catholic parishes, which hold regular services in the four historic buildings for the public during park hours.
6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214, Phone: 210-534-8875
15.Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is an amusement park in San Antonio that offers a wealth of family-friendly fun for adults and children of all ages from adrenalin-pumping rollercoasters to gentle teacup rides. Originally built to be a destination musical show park that focused on the musical culture of the state of Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas now spans 200 acres and offers a variety of rides, roller coasters, themed entertainment shows, and more hidden behind a rock quarry wall. The park’s iconic ride is the iconic Scream, which can be seen from outside the park. Other thrill rides include Batman, Boomerang, and Goliath, and family rides include Gullywasher, Waverunner, and Whistle Stop. Six Flags Fiesta Texas also offers a range of restaurants and concessions, souvenir shops and more.
17000 IH-10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257, Phone: 210-697-5050
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16.San Antonio Fire Museum
© San Antonio Fire Museum
Located a few steps from the Alamo, the San Antonio Fire Museum celebrates the 160-year-old story of the city’s fire department and how it has grown from buckets to modern equipment. Owned and operated by the San Antonio Fire Museum Society, the San Antonio Fire Museum is set within the old Central Fire Headquarters, Fire Station No.1, and SAFD Shops a short way from the Riverwalk. The museum features a variety of fascinating exhibits and displays that highlight the history of the fire department, including an EMS display, fire trucks, antique fire apparatus and artifacts dating back to the mid-1800s, documents and photos, and a small theater showing short videos of the history of the Fire Service. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.
801 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-390-7236
17.Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia
© Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia
Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia is a landmark Mexican café and bakery in Market Square, El Mercado that serves classic Mexican cuisine, freshly made margaritas and live mariachi music in a bright and vibrant setting. Established in 1941 by the Cortez family as a casual three-table café at El Mercado, the family-friendly bistro is still serving fantastic food and drinks in an inviting atmosphere with gracious hospitality and welcoming service. One of a family of similar restaurants, which have been managed by generations of the Cortex family, Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia now seats over 500 and promises an unforgettable evening of Mexican fun.
218 Produce Row, San Antonio, TX 78207, Phone: 210-225-1262
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18.The Magik Theatre
© Alexander Zhiltsov/stock.adobe.com
The Magik Theatre is a professional resident repertory theater company that stages extraordinary theatre and educational experiences in a beautifully preserved theater that dates back to 1895. Founded in 1994, The Magik Theatre has presented more than 160 main-stage and touring shows to children and their families with the aim of encouraging and nurturing love and understanding of theatre and literature. The theater has a second venue known as Magik Performing Arts Center which provides 5,000 square feet of additional space for performances as well as outdoor activities and hosts The Magik Theatres for the Very Young initiative, which connects youngest students to art and literature.
420 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-227-2751
19.San Antonio Public Library
© San Antonio Public Library
The San Antonio Public Library changes lives through the transformative power of information, imagination, and ideas. For more than 110 years, the award-winning San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) has been a vital center for free learning, knowledge, communication, culture, and enjoyment within the City of San Antonio and all Bexar County residents. The Library system is comprised of a world-class Central Library, 29 branch libraries and a library outlet at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Collections include an extensive collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks as well as physical items such as printed books, CDs, and DVDs. All locations are hubs for Wi-Fi broadband access and provide access to computers and other digital technology. The San Antonio Public Library also offers programs to serve the needs and interests of the community, including workshops for all ages that support early childhood literacy, education, culture, economic development and more.
600 Soledad, San Antonio, TX 78205, Phone: 210-207-2500
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20.The Twig Book Shop
© The Twig Book Shop
Located at the former Pearl Brewery on the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk, the Twig Book Shop is a veteran indie store that sells a variety of books from award-winning classics to newly released books for adults and children. The bookstore also features an excellent Texana collection which draws history buffs from afar, and hosts readings from local and international authors and poets, and other literary events. The eclectic bookshop is also a favorite gathering spot for school groups, book clubs, and conferences and is open seven days a week.
306 Pearl Pkwy #106, San Antonio, TX 78215, Phone: 210-826-6411
21.Denman Estate Park
Denman Estate Park is a 21-acre public park in northwest San Antonio that offers a variety of outdoor recreation for families to enjoy. Once part of the estate of attorney and philanthropist Gilbert J. Denman Jr., the park features a beautiful Korean monument in the form of a pavilion that was gifted to the people of San Antonio from the city of Gwangju in Korea that was designed to facilitate business and cultural friendships between the two cities. Other park amenities include grassy and shaded picnic areas, picnic benches and tables, a half-mile walking trail, a labyrinth for children to explore.
7735 Mockingbird Ln, San Antonio, TX 78229
22.El Paraiso Ice Cream
© El Paraiso Ice Cream
El Paraiso Ice Cream is a neighborhood café that has been creating and serving delicious ice cream, paletas, and fruit bars since 1984. The bright and cheerful restaurant was the original paleta company in San Antonio and is famous for their homemade frozen concoction desserts with flavors inspired by the rich cultures of Mexico, Guadalajara, Aguascalientes, and Zacatecas. El Paraiso Ice Cream also makes and sells delicious ice cream and fruit bars which are prepared using simple and natural ingredients such as fresh fruit and milk with no added preservatives. El Paraiso Ice Cream is open seven days a week.
1934 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201, Phone: 210-737-8101
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23.San Pedro Springs Park
San Pedro Springs Park is a 46-acre park in Bexar County and the oldest in the state of Texas. Once the original site of the city of San Antonio and home to the Payaya Indian village known as Yanaguana, San Pedro Springs Park is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Swiss landscape designer John J. Duerler in 1864, and later renovated between 1897 and 1899, the park features a swimming pool, softball and tennis areas, a gazebo, a skate plaza, and a children’s playground, the San Pedro Playhouse and the San Pedro Library, and modern restrooms.
2200 N Flores, San Antonio, TX 78212, Phone: 210-732-5992
24.Toyota Motor Manufacturing - TMMTX Experience
The Toyota Motor Manufacturing - TMMTX Experience is a unique experience for automobile lovers and motorheads. The experience includes a tour of Toyota’s 2.2 million square foot manufacturing plant and visits all sections of the manufacturing line, including the Body Weld Shop, the Plastics Shop, and the Paint to Assembly section. Visitors can watch computer-controlled robots weld stamp steel pieces together using state-of-the-art technology and see overhead conveyors transport the trucks to the assembly where they take shape. Tours are guided by experts who highlight the foundations of the world-renowned Toyota Productions System and give insight into the world of Toyota Motor Manufacturing.
1 Lone Star Pass, San Antonio, TX, Phone: 210-263-4002
25.Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park is a 423.1-acre state park on the shores of Lake Texoma in Grayson County. Located northwest of Denison, Eisenhower State Park was opened in 1958 and is named after the 34th U.S. president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born in the nearby town of Denison. The park offers a wealth of recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, water-skiing, picnicking, and camping. Several nature programs are offered throughout the year, and there are excellent bird-watching and wildlife observation around the lake. Public facilities in the park include picnic sites, campsites, children’s playgrounds, a recreation hall, an amphitheater and open-air pavilion for special events, a boat dock and lighted fishing pier, a 10-acre ATV/mini bike area, and more than 4 miles of hiking and biking trails. The park is also home to the private Eisenhower Yacht Club.
50 Park Rd 20, Denison, TX 75020, Phone: 903-465-1956
25 Fun Things to Do in San Antonio with Kids of All Ages
- Witte Museum, Photo: Witte Museum
- San Antonio River Walk, Photo: Siegfried Schnepf/stock.adobe.com
- Rio San Antonio Cruises, Photo: dfikar/stock.adobe.com
- The Alamo, Photo: CrackerClips/stock.adobe.com
- Kiddie Park, Photo: Kiddie Park
- The DoSeum, Photo: The DoSeum
- Institute of Texan Cultures, Photo: Institute of Texan Cultures
- San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Photo: photojo88/stock.adobe.com
- San Antonio Zoo, Photo: Ahmed/stock.adobe.com
- HemisFair Park, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, Photo: The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum
- Texas Transportation Museum, Photo: Texas Transportation Museum
- Chocollazo, Photo: Chocollazo
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Photo: duydophotography /stock.adobe.com
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Photo: yuriybojan/stock.adobe.com
- San Antonio Fire Museum, Photo: San Antonio Fire Museum
- Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia, Photo: Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia
- The Magik Theatre, Photo: Alexander Zhiltsov/stock.adobe.com
- San Antonio Public Library, Photo: San Antonio Public Library
- The Twig Book Shop, Photo: The Twig Book Shop
- Denman Estate Park, Photo: Tim/stock.adobe.com
- El Paraiso Ice Cream, Photo: El Paraiso Ice Cream
- San Pedro Springs Park, Photo: hookmedia/stock.adobe.com
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing - TMMTX Experience, Photo: visoot/stock.adobe.com
- Eisenhower State Park, Photo: jnovack7/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
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