School already seems far behind us, and summer days are ticking away. Three San Antonio kid favorites are featuring fabulous new exhibits to enjoy, so load up the car and check out what The DoSeum, the San Antonio Zoo, and the Witte have to help keep those cries of “I’m bored!” at bay.
The DoSeum: Dream Tomorrow Today
The DoSeum’s Dream Tomorrow Today gives kids the opportunity to look to the future—and see how they can shape it. Leave the past behind and slide through time to a better tomorrow, one that kids can help create themselves thanks to the hands-on, interactive activities included in the exhibit. Kids are invited to “SEE, BE, and DO” the future by designing future cities, shaping community values, and role playing future careers.
The exhibit offers fantastic visuals and fun displays where you can try to guess which materials artists used to create the scenes. Part of envisioning the future is repurposing everyday objects into fantastically creative and colorful upcycled scenes that grab your attention. By repurposing CDs, cassettes, plastic utensils, and more, the exhibit invites kids to think about how objects of the present might be used in the future.
Then you literally slide into the future on a field of fruit. The interactive slide is so fun that you’ll see adults joining in, so let go and slide alongside your kids. The exhibit also lets kids design future cities and explore career opportunities based on what they enjoy, giving them ideas of what their future might hold. Some of the information might be a bit much for the younger set, but great conversation-starters nonetheless.
Using augmented reality, you can see how different community values create buildings, places, and services like hospitals, schools, and more. Kids will see how their values shape the way their city looks and the lives of the people within it—a great thing to talk about as our city celebrates its 300th birthday. To help take the lessons and brainstorming home, there’s a City Lab app and summer challenges for grades K–2 and 3–5.
Dream Tomorrow Today is open through January 6th, so the fun extends beyond the summer, and the exhibit is included with DoSeum admission. Don’t forget that members can enjoy a member-only hour on Sundays at 11:00 A.M., and admission is free on Free Family Nights, the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30–8:30 P.M. During the summer, you can also enjoy Summer Nights at The DoSeum, Wednesday evenings from 6:00–8:00 P.M.
The San Antonio Zoo: Zoorassic Park
Kids are challenged to “Rethink Extinct” as they come face to face with life-sized dinosaurs stomping their way through the San Antonio Zoo this summer, thanks to Zoorassic Park. Of course, dinosaurs are no longer with us, and the zoo hopes that lesson will help everyone understand the importance of conservation so that the animals we enjoy at the zoo don’t meet the same fate as the dinos did.
You’ll find 16 different dinosaurs taking over the zoo. All are animatronic, and a few let you take control and make them move and roar. The zoo guide gives you a map of the dinosaur locations, and each has signage with information about the dinosaur. Save the Tiny Tot Nature Spot for last: you’ll find the king of dinosaurs, T-Rex, facing off with a Triceratops, as well as a dig site (sand) that kids can enjoy.
The Zoorassic Park dinosaur fun and learning is dino-sized on Sundays through July with appearances by Dinosaur George. Always a hit with kids, Dinosaur George will appear 10:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M. each Sunday. A full schedule and more information is available here.
If you’re a zoo member, enjoy early morning dino hours when it’s a bit cooler, thanks to the zoo’s members-only early opening at 8:00 A.M. The real-life residents of the zoo are usually active at that hour, so it’s a fun time to see them as well. The zoo has had a baby boom this spring, too, with several little critters to enjoy.
You can also enjoy the exhibit on Saturday nights during Jungle Boogie Nights, when the zoo is open until 9:00 P.M. with a special admission price of $9.
Zoorassic Park runs through August 26th and is included with your zoo admission.
The Witte: Predators vs. Prey: Dinosaurs on Land Before Texas
Step into a world of life-sized animatronic dinosaurs at the Witte, arranged so that you can see the showdown between predator and prey. The Witte created the exhibit that will ultimately tour other museums, making it homegrown—and a great example of how amazing the Witte’s staff and collections are. It’s always a favorite destination for us, and exhibits like this give us more to enjoy.
The exhibit shows how predators and prey interacted, with nine animatronic dinosaurs in scenes based on fossil evidence—in other words, there are bones that show bite marks and other fossils that helped paleontologists know who ate whom way back when. You’ll also see real fossils and casts of dinosaur bones alongside the animatronic dinos, too, putting everything into a real-world view.
My dino-fiend was delighted to see dinosaurs that aren’t well-known, like the Tenontosaurus and Edmontonia, adding to his frighteningly encyclopedic knowledge of all things dino. And he loved knowing that all of these beasts roamed what is now Texas, so his favorite dinosaur once walked in his favorite state. There’s also a 13-foot-tall T-Rex that leaves little doubt about how easy it would be to make a quick lunch out of those of admiring him.
Even cooler: the exhibit includes an animatronic Deltasuchus motherali. The species was discovered in Arlington, and the Witte’s own Thomas Adams, curator of paleontology and geology, was the lead author of a paper about the find. He’s also who gave the croc its name. That tidbit gave my future paleontologist dreams of what he might discover and name one day.
By the way, don’t miss the Pachyrhinosaurus. Kids—and adults—are welcome to climb on and take pictures.
Predators vs. Prey runs through September 3rd and is not included with Witte admission. General admission to the Witte is free every Tuesday from 3:00 P.M.–8:00 P.M.; however, you do have to pay to see the exhibit. Other museums also offer free admission at various times, so don’t forget to add those to your summer to-do list as well.
Good to know: If you’d like to see both Zoorassic Park and Predators vs. Prey, the Witte and the zoo have teamed up off to offer a combo ticket.
And if you want to make it easy to enjoy these exhibits and more throughout the year, consider becoming members. We love gifting and getting memberships as family presents. It gives us great, affordable go-tos when exploring San Antonio and is a nice way to support the organizations and attractions we enjoy.