Passionate About San Antonio
and the Moms Who Live Here

A Family’s Guide to Visiting San Antonio with Kids

Family Guide
¡Bienvenidos a San Antonio!
So you’ve booked a family trip to San Antonio, Texas’s #1 Tourist Destination, but have no idea where to begin your planning? Look no further! Welcome to Alamo City Moms Blog’s kid-friendly visitor’s guide to San Antonio.

San Antonio is a city rich with culture and entertainment—perfect for those searching for a destination that the whole family can enjoy. Our weather is enjoyable (almost) year-round, and we welcome over 31 million visitors a year!

Getting Around

In San Antonio, the best way to get around with a family is by car. Downtown is pedestrian-friendly, but attractions can be spread out. And if you plan to visit attractions outside of downtown, a car is a must. If you are within driving distance, bring your own car along. If you are flying in, cars can be rented from the airport rental location.

My Tots Travel offers visitors to San Antonio the ability to rent equipment such as car seats, strollers, cribs, and highchairs.

For kids who are proficient on two wheels, San Antonio B-cycle is a wonderful option for getting around town. B-station bike stands dot central and downtown San Antonio, and bikes can be picked up and dropped off at various B-stations as you make your way across the city.

Where to Stay

Downtown

Omni La Mansión del Rio :: On the nicer side, this gorgeous, historic hotel offers rooms that overlook the River Walk. It was originally built in 1852 as a school and still includes some of its original structure.
112 College Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Sheraton Gunter :: With quick access to the Majestic Theater and the River Walk, the Sheraton Gunter’s old-world charm combines with recently renovated rooms for a wonderful downtown location.
205 East Houston Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Menger Hotel :: Just steps from the Alamo, the Menger Hotel feels as though you’ve just traveled back in time. Built in 1859 and the location where Teddy Roosevelt formed the Rough Riders, this hotel is rich with history. The Menger also holds the unofficial title of “The Most Haunted Hotel in Texas,” with 32 reported spirits!
204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205

Residence Inn San Antonio Downtown/Alamo Plaza :: For a more budget-friendly option, the ability to cook some of your own meals in the mini-kitchens, and extra space with suite-style rooms, try the Residence Inn.
425 Bonham Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Central San Antonio

Hotel Emma :: Opening in summer 2015, we can’t wait to see what Hotel Emma at The Pearl will offer San Antonio guests!
136 E. Grayson, San Antonio, TX 78215

Farther Afield

JW Marriott Resort & Spa :: We’ve offered a number of reviews on the JW Marriott, but simply said, this hotel is amazing! It is located a pretty good distance north from most San Antonio attractions and 21 miles from downtown San Antonio, but many families stay at the JW Marriott for the hotel amenities alone. Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this location here and here.
23808 Resort Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78261

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.06.42 PM

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa :: Step into a true western experience at this extremely family-friendly resort. This hotel is on the west side of San Antonio, 21 miles from downtown, and a quick two miles from SeaWorld.
9800 Hyatt Resort Dr., San Antonio, TX 78251

What to Do

Downtown

San Antonio River Walk :: Stroll along one of San Antonio’s wonders. This river that curves through San Antonio is lined with restaurants, hotels, shops, museums, walking and running paths, and attractions. We recommend hopping on a river barge.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
Runs through downtown San Antonio

The Alamo :: “There’s no basement in the Alamo!” Arguably our top tourist attraction, no trip is complete without a visit to the Alamo—plus, it’s FREE! Stroll the grounds, visit the church, talk to the knowledgeable docents, or schedule a tour. Open 9:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M. or until 7:00 P.M. in June, July, and August.
Local Tip: Visit on the first Saturday of each month for a free interactive living history event.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205

Buckhorn Museum :: A historic saloon with animal exhibits, The Texas Ranger Museum, a cafe, and a gift shop.
318 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX 78205

Institute of Texan Cultures :: A museum dedicated to the cultures that have shaped San Antonio. Interactive displays and history permeate the exhibits.
801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78205

El Mercado Market Square :: This three-block outdoor plaza with shops, food, and produce allows San Antonio visitors the chance to take a piece of our city home with them. The largest Mexican market in the U.S., El Mercado often features mariachi musicians, Mexican dancers, and Hispanic festivals.
514 W. Commerce, San Antonio, TX 78207

Ghost Tours :: Bring San Antonio spirits alive with an evening ghost tour—a great way to see downtown, learn about our history, and have a little spooky fun! There are a number of ghost tour operators in San Antonio, including Sisters Grimm Ghost Walks or Bad Wolf Ghost Tours.

City Siteseeing San Antonio Double-Decker Open-Air Bus Tours :: A great way to cover the highlights of downtown, double-decker bus tours are hop-on/hop-off, pay-when-you-board tours. With San Antonio’s amazing weather, these tours offer visitors the chance to see the city while also providing a way to get around town.

Central San Antonio

The DoSeum :: Opening in June 2015, San Antonio’s newest attraction promises to be a must for families visiting the Alamo City. The DoSeum will feature 65,000 square feet of indoor exhibits, plus 30,000 square feet of outdoor exhibits and activities. For those planning a summer visit, definitely add The DoSeum to your plans.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
2800 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

Pearl Brewery :: With local shops and unique San Antonio restaurants, the Pearl Brewery is a wonderful way to get a feel for San Antonio.
Local Tip: Head to the Pearl Farmers Market on Saturdays between 9:00 A.M.–1:00 P.M. to grab fresh coffee or bite to eat and enjoy the morning like a local.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
303 Pearl Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78215

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.34.38 PM

San Antonio Botanical Garden :: You can’t beat a gorgeous day outside at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Boasting 38 acres of beautiful foliage and landscaping, with plants native to Texas and from around the world, SABOT has a number of special exhibits perfect for little minds throughout the year.
555 Funston Place, San Antonio, TX 78209

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.13.56 PM

San Antonio Zoo :: Our zoo was established in 1914. Open 365 days a year, the Zoo is home to over 9,000 animals representing 750 species of animals. It offers special encounters every day for guests to get up close and personal with the animals. The Tiny Tots area is perfect for the littlest guests.
Local Tip: Arrive early to get a good parking spot and avoid the crowds. Late in the day is also a great time to beat the crowds.
3903 N. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78212

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.10.29 PM

San Antonio Zoo Eagle Train :: All aboard! Making its way through beautiful Brackenridge Park, the Zoo Eagle Train offers riders a 20-minute trip with stops at the Witte Museum, Kiddie Park, and the Japanese Tea Garden. Perfect for younger visitors, but older children will also enjoy the ride. The Train can be ridden regardless of whether you are visiting the Zoo, but ticket purchases are required either way.
Local Tip: Bring bread or crackers and feed the ducks in Brackenridge Park before or after your train ride.
Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, TX 78212

Japanese Tea Garden :: Step into another world right here in San Antonio. Admission is free, and pets on a leash are welcome as well.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
3853 N. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78212

Kiddie Park :: America’s oldest children’s amusement park takes you back in time to the 1920s with historic rides and reminders of a life without electronics, blinking lights, and lasers.
3015 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

The Witte Museum :: Currently undergoing a major renovation and transition, the Witte will be visually stunning once complete. Even with the construction, the Witte is worth the visit. The HEB Body Adventure is great for older kids and allows them to explore how our bodies work and how diet and exercise can make a positive influence. Special exhibits are always impressive, and you can learn about Texas history and wildlife.
3801 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.08.37 PM

Other Attractions

SeaWorld :: SeaWorld San Antonio is know for Shamu, shows, sealife, and swimming! With a variety of water-based shows that kids and adults alike will enjoy, you can make a whole day out of your visit by including Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, which is open March–September. Make sure to check SeaWorld’s website for days of operation, as they do vary with the season.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
10500 SeaWorld Drive, San Antonio, TX 78251

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.09.27 PM

Morgan’s Wonderland :: A unique San Antonio gem, Morgan’s Wonderland is a theme park that everyone can enjoy! Designed for children with special needs to have a place to play alongside other children, Morgan’s Wonderland has rides, water play, sensory activities, train rides, and so much more.
Find more information from Alamo City Moms Blog about this destination here.
5223 David Edwards Drive, San Antonio, TX 78223

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.08.09 PM

Six Flags Fiesta Texas :: For thrill-seekers, Fiesta Texas is the place to be. They have rides that are suited for younger kids as well, and during the hot summer months, don’t forget your swimsuit to cool off in the water park.
17000 IH-10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257

Where to Eat

There are a number of places to eat in San Antonio, but we’re letting you in on a little secret: where the locals go to eat great San Antonio food!

Chris Madrid’s :: Consistently ranked as one of the top burgers in Texas, you cannot go wrong with a little over-indulgence at Chris Madrid’s. We recommend the Cheddar Cheezy, or for a little flair, try the Tostada Burger.
1900 Blanco Road, San Antonio, TX 78212

2013-03-08_1362763937

Smoke Shack :: In Texas, we like our BBQ smoked—and Smoke Shack does it right.
3714 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.10.05 PM

Rudy’s :: Nothing beats Texas BBQ like eating off of a butcher paper plate!
Original location: 24152 W. IH 10, San Antonio, TX 78257

La Fonda on Main :: Tasty margaritas, a beautiful patio, and Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine that is muy delicioso!
2415 North Main Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78212

Alamo Cafe :: Warm tortillas and true Texas queso—need we say more?
14250 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78232

Schilo’s :: Head to this downtown staple for lunch and make sure you order the homemade root beer.
424 E. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78205

Breakfast Tacos :: In San Antonio, breakfast comes in the form of deliciousness wrapped in a tortilla. You can find some of our favorite breakfast tacos while you’re on your way to our destinations at:
– El Charro de Jalisco 150 Valley Hi Dr., San Antonio, TX 78227 (near SeaWorld)
– TacoTex 15104 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, TX 78232 (near Morgan’s Wonderland)
Las Palapas 8005 Callaghan Rd., San Antonio, TX 78230 (near Fiesta Texas)
– Taco House  6307 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, TX 78216 (near Brackenridge Park)
Taco Palenque 1002 NE Interstate 410 Loop, San Antonio, TX 78209 (near the Witte Museum)
Taco Taco Cafe 145 E Hildebrand Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212 (near the San Antonio Zoo)

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.11.38 PM

Don’t miss our lists of Kids Eat Free & Cheap in San Antonio and Top Kid-Friendly Restaurants in San Antonio.

Off the Beaten Path

If you have a few extra days and want to get out into the hill country, some of our favorite day trips include:
Boerne, Texas
– Tubing down the Guadalupe River or Comal River
Schlitterbahn in New Braufels
Gruene, Texas
Shopping, eating and wineries in Fredericksburg
Natural Bridge Caverns
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
Tejas Rodeo

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 9.06.13 PM

Tips

Don’t miss these amazing coupons to a number of San Antonio attractions, hotels, shopping venues, and dining opportunities from visitsanantonio.com!

For younger children, be sure to bring a stroller. Activities like the River Walk, strolling around downtown, SeaWorld, and others can leave little legs tired.

Sometimes it’s nice to have an adults night out. Time Out Sitters, San Antonio’s premiere babysitting service, offers CPR-trained, background-checked babysitters for locals and visitors alike.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Rocks, Gravel, Sand, and Water: How to Pack More Fun into Summer | Alamo City Moms Blog - April 20, 2015

    […] in a new way by exploring downtown on foot, going to a new-to-you park or indoor playplace, or being a tourist in your own city. Eat at a restaurant you’ve never tried before—maybe even one where your kids can eat for […]