My family and I just returned from a long weekend in San Antonio. We were in desperate need of a quick escape from the monotony of our daily lives and decided to jump on an opportunity given to us by the VisitSanAntonio.com. They invited us to try out a San Antonio Vacation Experience in exchange for sharing our itinerary with you.
We had an amazing time and were able to discover San Antonio in a whole different way. . . through the eyes of a toddler!
If you’re looking to make some last minute plans for the summer or thinking about planning a family trip for the Fall, here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of a weekend in Alamo City in this three-part series Sight Seeing in San Antonio with a Toddler!
If you’re taking little kids, unless yours are more well-behaved than mine, do them (and yourself) a favor. Plan on making the 5 hour trip its own day. We left around 1pm on Friday, and arrived just in time for dinner. It allowed us just enough time to get settled into our hotel, have dinner, and head upstairs to the hotel’s pool for a little late night swim with our little one. It also made the drive home after a busy weekend a lot more relaxing. You don’t have to worry about rushing around trying to get things packed before heading out the door, and it leaves a little time to do one last thing before heading out of town. For us, that was catching a meal at The Guenther House. (More to come on that in part 3!)
Looking for more tips on traveling with children? Check out these past DMB posts!
- Roadtripping with Kids! You Can Do It!
- Traveling with Kiddos– Secrets to Success
- DIY Travel Activities
The First Day: Seeing the Sights
Of course, everyone’s always eager to get to SeaWorld, but we decided to book our day there on Sunday based on our toddler’s temperament. If we did it our first day there, nothing else would seem as exciting for him, and there was a greater risk of him being overtired the rest of the weekend.
Instead, we decided to spend Saturday visiting the famous (and not so famous) attractions that would be enjoyable for us as adults and entertaining for our 2 1/2 year old. So, what did our day look like?
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch: I’m cheating a little bit on this part because I want you to learn from my mistakes. We headed out to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch about an hour before closing. A smarter person would have thought ahead and realized the animals would be full, but it was a last minute decision for us with time to kill and we paid the price!
Head out to the Ranch in the morning and you’ll have a great time! It’s well worth the price of admission. (Adults 12 & older: $17.50, Children 3-11: $9, Children under 3: FREE)
This 400 acre Ranch is well kept, clean, and there’s plenty to do!
The Drive-Thru is probably the most exciting. Over 20 different types of animals roam on open land. Watch as zebra, ostrich, elk, antelope, and more walk right up to your car and wait to be fed. Of course, be warned that some of the animals can get a little excited by the food which makes up part of the fun!
There’s a petting zoo with pygmy goats and a chance to walk around and view exotic animals like giraffes (including the recently born twin giraffe babies!), lemurs, and a Gibbon ape.
The Alamo: Of course, seeing a little Texas history is a must while in San Antonio. For my toddler, he enjoyed walking around the grounds and exploring the gift shop more than the actual ruin, but make sure to “Remember the Alamo” and book an hour of your time for walking and snapping pictures. (Sorry for the terrible pun, but it seemed called for!)
Tower of the Americas: This sight would be a personal decision and completely based on your child’s age and attention span. The grounds of this World’s Fair building is very close to downtown, and an easy drive to get to. Your child will love the water gardens surrounding the Tower, and will enjoy the long, scenic elevator ride up to the Observation Deck; however, keep in mind, with your ticket to the top you’re also paying for a 4D Theater Ride–not attention appropriate for my toddler. Adults will pay $10.50, Children 4-12 $8.50, and Children under 3 are FREE.
Even in the middle of a Saturday, the Tower didn’t have more than 20 people at the top, and it was a lot of fun letting my little one run around the outside observation deck knowing he wasn’t going anywhere.
San Antonio Children’s Museum: This spot was all about my kid! The Children’s Museum was the PERFECT place to spend a little time unwinding as parents and let our kid just be a kid!
Similar to the old Children’s Museum at Fair Park, this indoor activity center was 3 floors of fun for kids ages 10 and under. Each floor is divided up into various centers that provide a different learning experience. On the Lower Level you’ll find a kids’ sized HEB supermarket, giant bubbles, and paint station.
Then the main floor and second floor consist of more centers; however, it’s designed to look like a giant fort. There’s a kids’ sized model airplane with control tower, a reading room with small nooks for reading, a Victorian parlor with small piano and tea sets, a model bank, and fun “Under the City” tunnels. Then my husbands favorite corner was the “Powerball Hall” where it’s acceptable to rocket launch balls onto targets and send balls shooting through vacuumed tubes!
Tickets are $8 for persons ages 2 and up, but you’ll easily spend 1.5-2 hours here if you have the time!
This was the end of our first day in San Antonio with the exception of dinner, but I’ll get to that in a later post this afternoon! There’s so much more you can add to your day if you feel like some of these activities aren’t a fit for you, but we had a great day without too much stress and didn’t have a single toddler meltdown!
You can also visit SAVE in San Antonio for some great coupons and deals on all the attractions mentioned above as well as others like the San Antonio Zoo, Riverwalk Boat Tours, and more!
Return to Dallas Moms Blog this afternoon for part 2 of this series: SeaWorld!
Do you have an favorite sights for young ones in San Antonio?
**San Antonio Visitor’s Bureau provided us a free weekend stay along with Media Passports to experience San Antonio and bring it back to Dallas. All the locations we visited were our choice,, and we didn’t receive anything for eating at the restaurants other than delicious food! All opinions are 100% my own.
We just came back from San Antonio today and didn’t knew about the Children’s museum. 🙁
If the weather is nice visit Morgan’s Wonderland on the northeast side of town. It’s a wonderful small amusement park built with special needs kids in mind. All kids will have a great time!
The Witte museum also had some fun kiddo exhibits as well.