San Antonio is one of the best cities to visit with kids. Find our favorite children’s museums, zoos, family friendly restaurants, and other top San Antonio attractions for kids.
We’re always on the lookout for kid friendly destinations that don’t suck for parents.
Cities and attractions that are enticing for both adults and children. Restaurants that hand us a kid’s menu along with the happy hour specials. You get the idea…
That’s not to say that we don’t love Disney or visit our fair share of toddler theme parks. But we also don’t hesitate to take a cruise, fly to Europe, or visit places like the Biltmore with our kids.
Museums, restaurants, and old cities don’t need to be off-limits to families. Kids love history and culture, too, and what little explorer doesn’t appreciate seeing new places and things.
Related: 35 Surprising Benefits of Family Travel
Our entire family fell in love with San Antonio the first time we visited.
From the rich Mexican influence and history, to the phenomenal restaurants, to the amazing attractions for kids and families, San Antonio ticked all of our boxes.
During our recent trip, we ended up staying twice as long as we intended, and still have yet to see everything San Antonio offers families with little kids. We might have already booked a trip back for next month…
Find our San Antonio family favorites below!
San Antonio With Kids
Top Cultural and Tourism Sights
Should you bring your little kids to a historic battle site?
Given the fact that The Alamo itself is surprisingly small and tours are done at your own pace, The Alamo can be incredibly family friendly. Live demonstrations are also a great addition for older children.
Tower of the Americas
The 750 foot observation tower and restaurant boasts impressive views of San Antonio. Built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the tower is not modeled after, but came before, the more popular Seattle Space Needle.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Just outside San Antonio lies Natural Bridge Caverns, the largest cavern in Texas. Underground passages lead to impressive limestone structures and chambers that are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.
The tour itself is about one hour and while the ground is damp and there are some inclines, it’s a pretty easy trek. Strollers are not permitted inside the caverns but I had no issue wearing our ten month old; our two year old did the entire walk on his own, too.
Children’s Museums and Zoos
The Witte Museum
Where science, nature and culture meet, the Witte presents exhibits on Southwestern land and climate, Mexican influence and Texas/Mexico history, and Texas geology. Our dinosaur obsessed toddler went wild in the dinosaur hall.
The Witte also offers an interactive health and wellness experience, outdoor, hands on displays of solar, wind, and water power, and a treehouse!
The Doseum is all about learning through play. With two floors of interactive programs designed to inspire literacy and learning, it’ll be impossible for little ones not to love The Doseum.
Funny story, I thought it was pronounced doe-seum and when I heard someone recommend the do-seum it suddenly made sense. Should I add a facepalm emoji?
Buckhorn Saloon and Texas Ranger Museum
A saloon..for kids? I don’t see the problem…
The Buckhorn Saloon and Texas Ranger Museum is more than just booze. But sure, you can grab a brew while you peruse the exhibits on Texas wildlife and Ranger history. The museum also features a “Carnival of Curiosities” and circus inspired displays that toddlers and husbands enjoy.
The San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is over 35 acres with more than 3,500 animals. Children two and under are free and can enjoy a designated toddler area, as well.
For parents looking for some extra zoo perks, the San Antonio Zoo carries its own craft beer. It’s not exceptional, but it’s not the worst, either.
Theme Parks in and Around San Antonio
Next to the San Antonio Zoo is Kiddie Park, America’s oldest children’s amusement park. The old-fashioned style carnival rides feel super nostalgic. We were spent from an 80 degree day at the zoo, so we plan to visit Kiddie Park on our next trip.
I know SeaWorlds are controversial. Poor whales…
I included it because SeaWorld also has water rides and roller coasters for kids of all ages. In spring 2020, Texas’ longest and fastest wooden roller coaster will be opening at SeaWorld San Antonio. Plus SeaWorls are apparantly “improving.” Animal experiences, like swimming with dolphins, are still popular.
Six Flags Fiesta
If you’re looking for a full size, action-packed theme park, Six Flags Fiesta might be more your speed. In addition to the popular thrill rides, Six Flags Fiesta has one of the world’s tallest pendulum rides. No thanks, though.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort
Just outside of San Antonio in New Braunfels is Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort. Schlitterbahn’s original section grew out of the banks of the local river, which was used to feed water tubes and chutes. Today, the resort has four parks, accessible by tram, and impressive water and amusement rides.
Things To Do On The San Antonio Riverwalk With Kids
Walk the Riverwalk
Walking the San Antonio Riverwalk is understated, but such a great experience if you’re visiting with kids. Children love exploring leisurely, rather than on their way to something you picked out as an adult.
Our kids were fascinated with the waterfalls and the old bridges.
Elevators are available, though not at each bridge crossing. If bringing a stroller, consider leaving it behind or looking up accessibility first. Also be mindful of the fact that there are no railings as you walk the Riverwalk.
River Boat Cruise
Touristy yes, but when in San Antonio…
We pretty much booked the cheesy boat ride because our toddler kept asking to ride the boat. He then proceeded to throw a fit during the boat ride unless he had his tablet. It’s okay, though, because you can buy wine for your river boat cruise.
The history was worth the $13/ticket that we paid and it was great to have a chance to see the entire Riverwalk.
Kid Friendly Restaurants in San Antonio
The San Antonio Riverwalk offers dining options from high end restaurants to quick and themed eateries. While most of the restaurants are family friendly and offer children’s menus, I’m highlighting a few not to miss restaurants to visit with kids while in San Antonio.
The Rainforest Cafe
You don’t go to The Rainforest Cafe expecting to have one of the best meals of your life. But I can’t say that my meal was bad. The mai tais didn’t suck, either. Most importantly, my kids were happy to “eat in the forest” and get a break from TexMex.
The San Antonio brick and mortar location offers a full donut inspired menu. Based on the flagship Austin based food truck, everything is centered on, in, and around a donut. I literally don’t know a single kid (or adult) who wouldn’t swoon over it.
Ice Cream and Candy
There’s quite a few ice cream and candy joints to keep your kids happy and feeling spoiled including Justin’s Ice Cream Co., Riverwalk Candy & Chocolate, Mr. Ice Cream, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate.
Grown ups can indulge, too.
More Family Friendly Tours in San Antonio
Have you been to San Antonio? What would you add to this guide? Where are your favorite family friendly destinations?
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My hubby and I were talking about San Antonio the other day. We have a friend that retired there and wondered, what’s so special? Texas is on the top of hubby’s list for us to retire to. Mine is Florida, fyi lol
Still, though, I had no idea all of this was in San Antonio. What a cool city! I know this is written towards family’s but I love great TexMex, historical places, museums, zoos, and all that good stuff. Adding San Antonio as a city to explore in Texas in the future.
I thought I’d feel indifferent about living in TX but we’ve found so many great places around us! San Antonio is our favorite so far..and I freaking love TexMex. I’m hoping to do a full restaurant post eventually…and it’s basically all TexMex!
It’s a good spot to retire. My #1 is coastal South Carolina but it’s not exactly cost conscious. FL seems like a much better choice!
What an awesome post! I had no idea San Antonio was this cool. I want to see the Natural Bridge Caverns and I’m impressed by your 2yo!
I totally thought the same about Doseum when I first read it and now feel how obvious the correct pronunciation is. I’ll do it.??♀️
You cracked me up when you wrote toddlers and husbands will enjoy the carnival of curiosities. Haha!
I spied Kathy’s comment and I too love TexMex. I can’t wait for your restaurants post!!?
Thanks Lauren! Natural Bridge Caverns were AMAZING, you definitely have to make it there one day. I was so surprised to see how fun San Antonio was for all of us. We’re going back in February and I literally can’t wait.
Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought it was doe-seum ??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️ Right, it’s so obvious but nope, I missed it ??.
I basically travel with three children…my actual kids and my husband! I’m working on that restaurant post.. hopefully it’ll be out soon!