The Best Things to Do in San Antonio with Kids

mother and 2 young sons in San Antonio

After traveling internationally last summer with a 3 year old and 6 month old, I’ve become a little obsessed with finding adventures a little closer to home. There are so many cities and parks within driving distance of Houston out there just waiting to be explored.

My family chose to go to San Antonio for Spring Break this year, and we had a great time seeing the sights and experiencing everything the city had to offer! Here is some information and tips on a trip to San Antonio with kids.

How to Get to San Antonio from Houston

The drive to San Antonio is just over 3 hours west of central Houston. It’s not a very exciting drive, mostly just I-10 the entire way, so be sure to download a couple of movies on the iPad or take the drive during nap time.

Where To Stay In San Antonio With Kids

Depending on the kind of holiday we’re trying to have, I don’t always like to stay in the most touristy part of the city we’re visiting. However, that’s exactly the kind of holiday we were trying to have with this visit! So, we chose to stay on the iconic San Antonio River Walk, a 5-mile stretch of shops, hotels and restaurants along the San Antonio River.

Let me tell you, it was a hit with the kids! We got a suite facing the river at Hotel Contessa, and my 1 year old and almost 4 year old had a blast people and boat watching. Of course, there is no shortage of hotels and vacation rental homes in other areas of San Antonio as well, including Pearl and King William Historic District.

What To Do In San Antonio With Kids

child walks in San Antonio botanical garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden

As a 38-acre living museum of plants, the garden is a great place to enjoy a beautiful day out in nature. Be sure to check out the Family Adventure Garden, a large area with 15 fun spaces for unstructured and imaginative outdoor play. My son’s favorite was the water feature modeled after a creek bed with rocks for climbing and tunnels for exploring.

child on alligator seat on carousel

San Antonio Zoo

Home to more than 760 species on 56 acres of Brackenridge Park Conservancy, you can easily spend an entire day strolling at the San Antonio Zoo. Pack a lunch, and plan to fit in a miniature train ride and a visit to Kiddie Park, a classic children’s amusement park operating since 1925! The zoo is a must-visit attraction when in San Antonio with kids.

toddler looks at museum exhibit


From tinkering at the Innovation Station to making sound and light come alive in The Sensations Studio, The DoSeum has over 68,000 square feet of dedicated exhibit space for interactive fun and hands-on learning. Little Town was a personal favorite of my family, with child-scaled immersive environments, like a grocery store and airport, for kids to role-play and explore.

Go Rio River Cruises

A must for any visit to the San Antonio River Walk, Go Rio River Cruises run every 15 minutes from several docking stations along the San Antonio River. Learn about the city’s culture, history and architecture from 10am – 10pm daily.

SeaWorld & Six Flags Fiesta Texas

From rides and attractions to shows and presentations, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy for a full day at either one of these parks. We didn’t make it there on our last visit to San Antonio, but I have great memories of visiting both places as a kid.

The Alamo

Of course, a visit to San Antonio wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Alamo. Whether you choose a guided tour or exploration on your own, admission is free but timed reservations are required.

Where to Eat in San Antonio

La Mexicana Mexican Restaurant

While there’s no shortage of delicious and authentic Mexican food in San Antonio, La Mexicana Mexican Restaurant located at 130 Main Plaza was recommended to us by employees of our hotel, and it did not disappoint. We devoured breakfast tacos from La Mexicana every morning of our stay, and even as someone who has lived in Texas for almost 15 years, they are some of the best tacos I’ve ever had.

The Hayden

Part Jewish delicatessen, part South Texas diner, we ate lunch at The Hayden not once, but two times on our visit to San Antonio. Not only does it have tasty menu items for both adults and children, but it is also conveniently located near both The San Antonio Botanical Garden and The DoSeum, so you can grab lunch on your way back to your hotel on the River Walk after a fun morning of exploring!

toddler eating a large slice of pizza

Food Hall at Bottling Department

Our visit to The Historic Pearl in San Antonio was by far one of my family’s most memorable. Once an operational brewery, Pearl is now a vibrant community of shops, restaurants, residential buildings and shared workspace. Head to the Food Hall at Bottling Department and choose from several different food stall options (we got pizza) as well as a full bar. Then, head out to the green space to enjoy as your kids run wild in the grass and splash in the spray park.

mother sits with two young children at restaurant

The River Walk

There are unending options of cuisine to choose from on the River Walk; simply take a stroll and end up wherever your nose leads you. I will say that the majority of restaurants on the River Walk do not take reservations. If you have littles like me and can’t wait around for an hour to get seated, there are a select few restaurants that do take reservations. We made reservations and ate at Paesanos (Italian) and Little Rhein Prost Haus (German) and had great experiences at both. Most hotels also have their own dining options as well, so if convenience is a priority for you, that’s an option worth looking into!

San Antonio has a plethora of great options for activities and exploration from the littlest travelers all of the way up to adults. If a little road trip from Houston is in your future, add San Antonio to your list!

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Sean Watson
Sean was born on a cattle ranch in Colorado and grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She moved to the Texas Hill Country with her parents and siblings after receiving her BA in Psychology from Ripon College in 2010. Starting in Kerrville, and eventually making her way to Fredericksburg, Sean spent the year after college dabbling in both social services and the service industry, never quite finding the right fit, but knowing her passion was in service. While living in Fredericksburg, she also met her future husband, Will, and they both eventually ended up in Austin and started dating a year later. While in Austin, Sean found a passion for the practice of yoga. After her initial 200-hour teacher training with Gioconda Parker, she started teaching in 2012, and less than a year later, it became her full time career. Sean has enjoyed teaching and training both domestically and internationally for almost a decade. Meanwhile, Sean and Will got married in May of 2015 and Will’s job moved them to the Clear Lake area of Houston a few months later. Weeks before their 4 year anniversary, they welcomed son Liam {April 2019}. Sean went from full time to part time yoga teacher and, after March 2020, has been teaching yoga exclusively on the online platform, Patreon. Sean and her family are excited to welcome a second baby boy in January 2022! You can follow her on Instagram @seanellenwatson for adorable family photos, yoga content, and things she thinks are funny.



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