Fiesta® in San Antonio: A Guide to Family-Friendly Events

Fiesta® is April 19–29, so grab your favorite colorful attire, lather your kiddos in sunscreen, and hang on to this handy list of family- and kid-friendly Fiesta events! You might be surprised how many there actually are, and each year new ones pop up. 

These tips might also help you survive and thrive during the San Antonio festival known as Fiesta:

  • First, don’t forget that thanks to Fiesta—er, the Battle of San Jacinto—most kids have a school holiday on Friday, April 27.
  • When attending outdoor events (which most of them are), stay hydrated!
  • Make transportation and parking a little easier by using VIA Park & Ride. Check the website for schedules.
  • Tickets for many events, including the parades, can be purchased at The Fiesta Store® on Broadway.
  • For the full Fiesta schedule and all the details, visit the official site.
  • You can watch much of the action from the comfort of your home on KSAT12. They will broadcast all three Fiesta parades. 

Be sure to click on BOTH tabs below for the full list!

April 19–29

Fiesta Carnival, hours vary at Alamodome—Thrills and chills fill the air at one of the best carnivals in the land. Glittering lights, exciting rides, and a wide assortment of foods in the heart of San Antonio make the Carnival a perennial favorite of Fiesta-goers. Game and ride prices vary. Admission is FREE!

Thursday, April 19

Fiesta Fiesta, 4:00–9:00 P.M. at Hemisfair—The official opening of Fiesta 2018. Enjoy live entertainment and greet official Fiesta royalty and special guests. Buy, sell, or trade Fiesta pins and medals at Pin Pandemonium. Join the fun as cascarónes are broken and the crowd proclaims, “Viva Fiesta!” to kick off the Alamo City’s biggest, best festival. FREE!

Friday, April 20

Alamo Heights Night, 5:30–11:30 P.M. at University of the Incarnate Word—Activities will highlight food from some of San Antonio’s leading restaurants and caterers. The family-friendly atmosphere delivers live entertainment on multiple stages and a fireworks display at 11:00 P.M. The carnival midway will captivate kids of all ages with activities such as laser tag, rock climbing, hamster balls, slides, rides, face/hair painting, and more. Multiple free parking and Park & Ride locations. Admission for adults is $12; ages 12–17 is $5; FREE for active duty and reserve military and children under 12.

April 20–22

Fiesta Pops, Friday & Saturday, 8:00 P.M., and Sunday, 2:00 P.M. at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Features the music, dance, and culture of Mexico and Latin America through local talents of San Antonio. This year’s Fiesta Pops brings star power with San Antonio native and favorite, vocalist Sebastien de la Cruz. Enjoy the beautiful sounds of Campanas de America and a colorful corps of dancers with the Guadalupe Dance Company. Tickets $25–81.

Saturday, April 21

Southwest Olympic Fiesta, 8:30 A.M.–2:30 P.M. at Southwest ISD Sports Complex—Southwest Olympic Fiesta is a track and field event featuring students with special needs paired with a “buddy.” This event provides an opportunity for exceptional children and their families to enjoy San Antonio’s Fiesta celebration in an accepting environment. Community information booths are located throughout the venue, offering information to families with children with special needs. There are also many food and carnival booths for the community to enjoy. Proceeds from the booths support participating district clubs and activities. FREE!

Earth Day, 9:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M. at Woodlawn Lake—Come learn how to protect and nourish the earth through live demonstrations, activities, and workshops on going off-grid with solar, water conservation, home energy efficiency, reducing our carbon footprint, vegan living, composting, mulching, improving air quality, supporting bee and butterfly pollination, gardening with Texas friendly plants, urban farming, and more. There will be a junk-to-funk “trashion” show, earth-friendly art activities, environmental speakers, a social bike ride with five blocks of road closure to cars, kid-friendly activities, earth day fitness opportunities, yoga in the park, sale of Texas-friendly plants, sale of vegan clothing and bags, live music by Los Nahuatlatos, and vegan/vegetarian delicious food. FREE!

Zeta Fiesta Track Meet, 9:00 A.M.–1:00 P.M. at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex—Annual track meet for youths ages 5–12 that provides children with an opportunity to develop good sportsmanship and gain a feeling of accomplishment while participating in a healthy multicultural activity. All kids receive certificates of participation and winners receive ribbons. There is a $3 registration fee per participant. Admission is FREE!

Viva Botanica, 10:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M. at San Antonio Botanical Garden—A family-friendly, alcohol-free event that includes hands-on activities, culinary presentations, and the best selection of native plants and trees to take home to adorn your garden. Guests can visit the plant sale from 10:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M. and choose from a variety of more than 200 native specimens. Free with garden admission ($12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3–13 years).

Celebrations of Traditions Pow Wow, 10:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M. at Woodlawn Gymnasium—All who attend have the opportunity to view and participate in the American Indian culture and traditions of dance and music at an official Native American Pow Wow. The pow wow promotes tribal traditions, culture, and the opportunity for native people to gather in celebrating their rich heritage with one another. FREE!

Fiesta de los Niños, 10:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M. at Port San Antonio—This is a party for the “pint-sized folks.” Children can enjoy games and rides in a safe, alcohol-free environment. Parents can enjoy music and dance performed by some of San Antonio’s finest entertainers among plenty of food booths. Don’t miss the Sombrero Loco parade at noon—a kids’ parade that winds its way through Port San Antonio’s Town Center. FREE!

Mission Reach Flotilla Festival, 11:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M. at San Antonio River Mission Reach—Flotilla is known for the following fun features: Flotilla paddle and costume contest/parade, watercraft decorating contest, fabulous music, delicious local food vendors, arts and crafts mercado, and activities for kids. This event is designed to bring awareness to the newly developed Mission Reach ecosystem restoration and recreation project of the San Antonio River including more than 15 miles of hike and bike trails, pavilions, and other outdoor recreation amenities the Mission Reach has to offer. FREE!

Piñatas in the Barrio, 12:00–10:00 P.M. at Plaza Guadalupe—Features live entertainment, delicious food, and fun for the whole family. 2018 will prove to be a spectacular year with the unveiling of the “Barrio’s Largest Piñata,” San Antonio’s record-sized piñata! Rey Feo will crown the Senior Citizen King and Queen of the Barrio at this official Fiesta event. Admission and parking are FREE!

April 21 & 22

Fiesta Arts Fair, Saturday, 10:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M., and Sunday, 11:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.—An intimate, two-day event that offers art lovers and collectors an opportunity to purchase high-quality contemporary and traditional art and crafts from approximately 115 artists and exhibitors. The Fair also includes live regional music, Fiesta foods and beverages, and a hands-on children’s art area. Admission is $15 for adults at the gate (two-day entrance); $5 for children 5–12; FREE for children 5 years and under.

Sunday, April 22

Fiesta de la Familia, 11:00 A.M.–8:00 P.M. at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church—Celebrating its 25th year, this is a family-oriented event with no entry fee, food, beverages, games, a live/silent auction, and music for your enjoyment. FREE!

Deco District Arts and Music Festival, 12:00–8:00 P.M. at Deco District—This outdoor, boutique-like festival offers dozens of performances by local and national musicians of all ages, a diverse food and drink menu, local art vendors, and community spirit for all to enjoy. One of the stages is dedicated to Network for Young Artists and other local youth-centric organizations. This event highlights the cultural, economic, and social vitality of the Deco District. FREE!

A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, 3:00 P.M. at Rancho del Charro—Explore the distinctive culture that upholds deep-rooted customs, tradition, and family as a way of life. This family event features food, drinks, pony rides for the kids, Ballet Folklorico performances, and live Mariachi music. The 2018 Rey Feo LXX will be honored on April 23, and King Antonio XCVI will be honored on April 30. Gates open at 1:00 P.M. Admission is $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 6–12. Cash only.

Monday, April 23

Texas Cavaliers River Parade, 7:00–9:00 P.M. at San Antonio River Walk—Each year hundreds of thousands of people line the banks of the San Antonio River to view the most unusual parade in America: the Texas Cavaliers River Parade. This year’s parade, entitled “Magnificent Missions,” promises an evening of family fun with live music, celebrities, and lights. More than 45 festively decorated floats sponsored by local community organizations and military installations drift down the River. King Antonio XCVI reigns over the evening’s festivities and gives a Texas-sized welcome to the enthusiastic spectators along the winding route. The money raised through the parade is donated to children’s charities in our community through the Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation. Tickets are $14–$26.

Tuesday, April 24

Children’s Texas History Forum, 9:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M. at Casa Navarro—Event is held at Casa Navarro, the home of Jose Antonio Navarro, a Texas patriot, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, elected representative, scholar, statesman, rancher, and merchant. The theme this year enhances the ongoing Tricentennial Celebration of 300 years of Texas history by featuring the flags that flew over Texas during those years. Reenactors and hostesses dressed in period clothing will present these flags in an interactive approach with the children. Many of these presenters are direct descendants of those who once hoisted these historic flags and will include Navarro, Canary Islander (Travieso), Seguin, George, Hamm, Walker, and Lancaster descendants. Registration is required. To register, contact Mary Ann Oliver by calling (210) 824-0277 or emailing [email protected] FREE!

Fiesta Especial Celebration Day, 10:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. at Alamodome, Parking Lot C—A community-based education program and carnival experience for children and adults with disabilities to participate in along with their schools, programs, and families. Advance registration is required, and no general admission will be allowed at the entrance gate. FREE!

April 25–28

Fiesta San Fernando, 11:00 A.M.–12:00 A.M. at San Fernando Cathedral—Each year the cathedral hosts a celebration of family, food, and fun. Live entertainment daily and beautiful arts and crafts booths for your enjoyment. Take part in a Fiesta event rooted deep in the city’s history, where “fiestas” started more than 260 years ago. FREE!

Thursday, April 26

Family Fiesta, 5:00–9:00 P.M. at Colonial Hills United Methodist Church—Fun for kids of all ages in an alcohol- and smoke-free environment. This popular event has been providing laughter and excitement for over 27 years and features food, inflatables, train rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, a balloon clown, cascarones, regalia, and games for all ages. An entertainment stage operates throughout the evening providing shows with puppets, cloggers, mariachis, and CHUMC’s contemporary Christian music praise bands. Parking and entertainment are free. Some attractions and food cost $1–6. Admission is FREE!

Battle of Flowers Association Band Festival, 6:30–9:30 P.M. at Alamo Stadium—The 80th annual Band Festival will feature choreographed music presentations by more than 30 local high school bands. Marching bands and color guards will participate in the famous “Parade of Bands” while being judged on marching, musicality, and crowd appeal. In between the two Parade of Bands, two to three feature bands will perform their winning UIL competition routines, followed by an awards ceremony. Concluding the evening, more than 5,000 students will take to the field and join together in a mass band presentation, performing a medley of songs and showcasing their music and color guards in tandem to a fantastic fireworks finale. Admission is $5–8.50.

Friday, April 27

Battle of Flowers Parade, 9:30 A.M. at Parade Route (Begins at Grayson & Broadway)—The Battle of Flowers® Parade honors the heroic spirit of the patriots of the Alamo, commemorates the victory of San Jacinto, and celebrates the diversity and heritage of Texas and our nation. The Battle of Flowers Parade holds the distinction of being the first celebration to be held in Alamo Plaza and is considered the founding event of Fiesta San Antonio. The parade has run each year since 1891, except during World Wars I and II. Tickets are $12–25.

Saturday, April 28

Fiesta Pooch Parade, 7:45–11:00 A.M. at Alamo Heights Swimming Pool—Spend a Saturday morning with your favorite human on a 2.6-mile walk through the tree-lined streets of Alamo Heights, presented by Therapy Animals of San Antonio. Come early for exhibits and presentations; then the ever-popular Canine Costume Contest starts at 8:15 A.M. (you must be registered to enter). Advance registration is $25 for individuals and $30 for families.

King William Fair, 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M. at King William Historical Neighborhood—A family fair with art and craft vendors, live music and dance on five stages, food and beverage booths, a Kids Kingdom play area, and a small but quirky parade, all on the streets of the historic district with its stately homes and gracious gardens. Admission is $15 for adults; children 12 and under are FREE!

United Way Kids Festival, 11:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. at Lockwood Park—More than 65 booths (nonprofits, school districts, and city services) will provide information, activities, and entertainment focusing on the celebration and promotion of early childhood development. There will be a large variety of activities offered for children of all ages. Kids Festival will have an event stage hosting numerous entertainment acts along with mascot characters. City officials will welcome participants and attendants throughout the day. FREE!

Fiesta Flambeau Parade, 6:45–10:00 P.M. at Parade Route (Broadway)—Now in its 70th year, the 2018 parade theme is “Three Centuries…One City” to continue San Antonio’s Tricentennial commemorations. It is the largest illuminated night parade in the country. The parade lights up the streets of downtown San Antonio along the 2.6-mile route and is viewed by an estimated 750,000+ spectators and another 1.5 million television viewers. Leading the parade this year is The University of Texas Longhorn Band, followed by spectacular themed floats; marching units; local, out-of-town, and out-of-state bands; dance groups; and equestrian units. Tickets are $16.50–30 depending on location on parade route. Tune into KSAT12 or for live coverage.

Apri 28 & 29

Festival de Animales, 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M. at San Antonio Zoo—Celebrate the animals, culture, and food of Latin America in this two-day event. This event highlights the animals native to South and Central America, as well as the zoo’s conservation efforts in these areas. Also, take a culinary tour of the tastes of Latin America at select zoo restaurants and pop-up booths. Free with general admission.

Sunday, April 29

San Jose Mission Fest, 10:30 A.M.–11:00 P.M. at Mission San Jose—A Southside tradition for generations, an estimated 10,000 people will be in attendance. Festival begins with an outdoor Mariachi Mass at 9:00 A.M. Great food, entertainment, children’s corner, carnival, county store, treasures and trinkets, and plenty of fun. Musical entertainment will include performances by various Tejano, Conjunto, jazz, and county artists. Free parking. No outside containers allowed on all church and national park premises. Bring your lawn chair. Admission is $5 beginning at 4:00 P.M.; children ages 12 and under are FREE.

Festival de Cascarones, 1:00–8:00 P.M. at Texas A&M San Antonio—Celebrate the final day of Fiesta San Antonio with Texas A&M University. Now in its seventh year, the culmination of the city’s most vibrant celebrations of culture will take place at one of the fastest growing universities in the state. Live music, food, games, and fun for the whole family! Enjoy a musical performances by Secondhand Serenade. Parking and admission are FREE!

A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, 3:00 P.M. at Ranch del Charro—Explore the distinctive culture that upholds deep-rooted customs, tradition, and family as a way of life. This family event features food, drinks, pony rides for the kids, Ballet Folklorico performances, and live Mariachi music. The 2018 Rey Feo LXX will be honored on April 23, and King Antonio XCVI will be honored on April 30. Gates open at 1:00 P.M. Admission is $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 6–12. Cash only.

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