Exploring Downtown San Antonio with Kids
Things to do in San Antonio with kids By Sarah Vernetti
The River Walk in San Antonio, Texas (Flickr: Dawn Pennington )
Thanks to the city’s fascinating history and its abundance of kid-friendly activities, San Antonio, Texas, is a popular travel destination for families. Explore downtown San Antonio with kids, where you’ll find unique historical landmarks, beautiful architecture, vibrant cultural activities, delicious food, and friendly locals. Welcome to Texas!
Take a Tour of the River Walk
No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the famous river walk, the Paseo del Rio. Restaurants, shops, and hotels line the winding stone walkways. Families can explore by foot, or they can hop aboard a river cruise with Rio San Antonio Cruises. These guided tours are a fun way to learn about the city’s history. General admission cruise tickets are $8.50. Discounts are available for children ages 1-5, seniors, military, and Bexar County residents.
Seek Out Historic Architecture
The Alamo (Flickr: Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
Downtown San Antonio is home to beautiful architecture. Perhaps the most famous example is the Alamo, an important symbol of the Texas Revolution. Take a self-guided tour of the main building and then explore the Alamo’s gardens and gift shop. Admission to the Alamo is free of charge.
Next, visit the city’s Main Plaza, which is home to the historic San Fernando Cathedral. Adjacent to this grand, European-style cathedral, you will find the Bexar County Courthouse and its distinctive honeycomb-shaped dome. The courthouse was built in 1897 and has been designated as a Texas Historic Landmark.
If an overnight stay at a historic property is on your family’s agenda, consider the St. Anthony Hotel. Newly renovated, the hotel is set to reopen in March 2015.
Inspire Your Artistic Side
San Antonio Art Museum (Courtesy San Antonio Museum of Art)
The San Antonio Art Museum, located in a former brewery complex, gives travelers the chance to see special rotating exhibits along with a permanent collection that spans the art-historical timeline from Ancient Egypt to Modern America. Among the current temporary exhibits, you’ll find Picasso tapestries (through March 8, 2015) and Pre-Columbian Art (until February 2015). The museum offers a variety of programs geared toward children and families, including the monthly Art Crawl, a guided tour specifically designed for babies/toddlers and their parents. Museum admission is free for children age 12 and under.
Enjoy the View at the Tower of the Americas
Tower of the Americas (Flickr: Nan Palmero)
For spectacular views of the city, head to the Tower of the Americas at HemisFair Park. The 750-foot tower was built as the centerpiece of the 1968 World’s Fair. Today, the observation deck provides visitors with dramatic views and educational murals that describe Texas history. Tickets for the observation deck are $10.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages 4-12, and free for children 3 and under. Discounts are available for seniors and military.
Indulge in San Antonio Dining
Omni La Mansion del Rio (Omni Hotels)
If all of this exploring is making you hungry, you’re in luck. Downtown San Antonio is home to some of Texas’ most delicious food. If you’re in the mood to splurge, start your day with an upscale Sunday brunch at Las Canarias, located along the river walk at the Omni La Mansion del Rio, a beautiful hotel that features kid-friendly amenities like a kids club and babysitting services. For dinner, enjoy a steak at Saltgrass Steak House, or opt for the reliably kid-friendly Rainforest Café. If you need a cold treat, head for the Haagen-Dazs located adjacent to Alamo Plaza.