From the beautiful River Walk to the historic Alamo to the family-friendly theme parks and museums, there are lots of things to do in San Antonio with toddlers. Having recently visited with our kids (including our 2-year-old toddler), here’s our guide to the best things to do in San Antonio with toddlers!
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Best things to do in San Antonio with Toddlers
Our kids love spending time in San Antonio exploring its parks, museums and sights. We traveled around San Antonio using a mix of our rental car, walking and the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus. We loved the sightseeing bus as it allowed us to escape the afternoon sun when our kids were tired – check prices now
1 | San Antonio River Cruise
With many of the best sights located along the San Antonio River, a river cruise is one of the best ways to explore the city. Visitors can choose between two types of river cruises:
- Narrated sightseeing cruises: these half-hour sightseeing cruises are a great way to discover San Antonio
- River shuttle: the river shuttle connects Downtown with Museum Reach and there are stops all along the route. It’s a great way to navigate some of the best San Antonio sights.
- Sightseeing and shuttle: we did both with our shuttle and cruise ticket – check prices now!. There is also an option to include the Tower of Americas observation deck with the shuttle and cruise – check prices now!
2 | San Antonio River Walk
One of our favorite things to do in San Antonio with toddlers, the River Walk is a 15-mile walking path lined with shops, restaurants and sights that runs alongside the San Antonio River.
The River Walk passes through Downtown, Mission and Museum Reach:
- Downtown: the Downtown stretch of the River Walk is colorful and busy and full of restaurants, shops and bars. The Alamo, one of the 5 Missions that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the San Antonio Missions, is easily accessible from the Downtown River Walk.
Things to do in San Antonio with toddlers: we love strolling along the Downtown section of the River Walk in the late afternoon and early evening when it is most family friendly.
The Arneson River Theater is an outdoor theatre located on the Riverwalk Downtown. It’s a really unique venue with the San Antonio River and the Riverwalk path passing between the stage and the audience.
It’s a lovely spot to watch the boats pass by or to catch an open-air movie or performance with kids.
- Mission: south of the Downtown section of the River Walk, the Mission stretch includes 4 of the 5 Missions that make up the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site. It covers the area with Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, Mission Concepción and Mission San José.
- Museum Reach: some of the best museums in San Antonio are accessible from the River Walk at Museum Reach. The Witte Museum and the DOSeum, both excellent for toddlers, are along here, as is the San Antonio Zoo, Pearl Brewery and the San Antonio Museum of Art. You can also reach Brackenridge Park, which is home to another of our favorites, the Japanese Tea Garden.
3 | The Alamo
Spanish priests established five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River in the 18th Century. The Alamo was the first mission to be founded in San Antonio. The site is of huge historical significance and was the location of the Battle of the Alamo, where an army of 200 defended the Alamo during a 13-day siege during Texas’ war for independence from Mexico.
The Alamo is part of the San Antonio Missions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with the Alamo, the Concepción, San José, San Juan and Espada Missions are all included in the listing.
The historic battle canyon and the 50,000 Lego piece reconstruction of the Battle of Alamo were highlights for our toddler and there’s plenty of outdoor space in the 4.2-acre site.
4 | Legoland Discovery Center
Legoland Discovery Centre is a toddler dream with millions of Lego bricks, a construction-themed indoor play zone, a Lego replica of San Antonio and a Duplo building village.
Located in the Shops at the River Center, the Legoland Discovery Center is easily accessible from the River Walk and is a great stop for families with younger kids – check prices now!
5 | Japanese Tea Garden
Tucked away in Brackenridge Park next to the San Antonio Zoo, the Japanese Tea Garden is a beautiful oasis of lush greenery and water features.
Things to do in San Antonio with toddlers: the Japanese Tea Garden is built on a rock quarry so there are quite a lot of steps to navigate. Our 2 year old loves climbing steps and had a great time but it’s worth bringing a carrier if you think you’ll need it!
6 | San Antonio Fire Museum
Run by retired San Antonio firefighters, the San Antonio Fire Museum is a hidden gem for toddlers in the city. The antique fire trucks are amazing to see and the highlight for our toddler was sitting in the driver’s seat honking the horn! The museum houses lots of interesting memorabilia and there’s a fun little kid’s play area which our 2-year-old didn’t want to leave!
Things to do in San Antonio with toddlers tip: we spotted the San Antonio Fire Museum across from our hotel, the Residence Inn San Antonio (a great choice with toddlers), and ventured in with our 2 year old fire truck fan! He absolutely loved it!
7 | The DoSeum
The DoSeum is a fantastic children’s museum in San Antonio with exhibits focusing on STEM, language arts, and creativity. There are lots of toddler-friendly exhibits with a Little Town, a Spy Academy, a Sensations Studio and outdoor activities including digging, climbing, bubbles and a butterfly garden.
8 | San Antonio Cathedral
The San Antonio Cathedral is the oldest church in Texas and was founded in 1971.
The church itself is beautiful but it’s the church exterior that will win over a toddler – on 4 evenings a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday), the exterior of the church is illuminated as part of a sound and light show, San Antonio – the Saga. Colorful images detailing the history of San Antonio are projected onto the cascade of the church in a magical display.
9 | Buckhorn Saloon
The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum is the oldest saloon in Texas. It’s steeped in history and some of the original decor remains.
The Texas Rangers Museum, with artefacts from the oldest state law enforcement division in the United States, includes a recreation of San Antonio in the early 1900s and a replica of the Bonnie and Clyde getaway car.
The bustling saloon is fun to experience and our toddler loved both it and the attached souvenir shop – check prices now!
10| Witte Museum
For everything Texas, stop by the Witte Museum which focuses on nature, science and culture. The highlight for toddlers is sure to be the dinosaur gallery with its huge dinosaur fossils and the H-E-B Body Adventure with its awesome tree house and beautiful gardens.
11 | Essex Modern City
Essex Modern City is an outdoor mural gallery set on a former pallet manufacturing site. There’s lots of really cool street art and it is an awesome spot for some cool pics.
12 | San Pedro Springs Park
One of the oldest parks in the United States (Boston Common is the oldest), San Pedro Springs Park is an awesome stop with toddlers in San Antonio. The park, which is best visited in summer, is home to a natural spring swimming pool surrounded by ancient oak and cypress trees. There’s also a great playground.
13 | Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island
Morgan’s Wonderland is a fully accessible theme park in San Antonio and it is only a 15-minute drive from Downtown. The entire park and all the attractions are accessible and every ride is suitable for toddlers.
Some of our favorites include the Ferris wheel, the splash area, the playground, the sensory village, the carousel and the off-road adventure.
14 | Historic Market Square
Home to the largest Mexican market in the United States, Market Square is a vibrant marketplace featuring indoor and outdoor vendors. You can find everything from souvenirs to jewellery and pottery along with margaritas and delicious food! There’s often live music and performances which makes for a great atmosphere and a fun afternoon in San Antonio.
15 | Kiddie Park
The oldest amusement park in the country, Kiddie Park is an old-school amusement park with traditional toddler-friendly rides. There’s a lovely selection of rides for toddlers, including a Ferris Wheel, a carousel and a boat ride. Our 2-year-old loves everything about Kiddie Park and, if you have younger kids, you can join them on most of the rides.