From free splash pads to ticketed amusement parks, this guide is full of kid-friendly things to do in San Antonio, Texas. Read through and use the map below to find all sorts of fun ideas that your little ones will love.
The hot climate in south Texas = lots of water rides, splash pads, pools, fountains, and marine parks. So be sure that you throw some swimsuits, lots of towels, and a change of clothes in the car. But in addition to summer ideas, we’ll include a bunch of indoor activities for kids in San Antonio (in case you’re reading this in the winter). Have fun!
14 Things To Do With Kids In San Antonio
1. The Splash Park and Playground at Hemisfair Park
This place is AWESOME for young children! Hemisfair Park is an iconic park in the middle of San Antonio that features the tall Tower of the Americas observation tower/restaurant.
If you go to the southwest corner, you’ll find an epic splash park and playground. There are chairs where the adults can lounge while the kiddos run around in the fountains and lots of natural shade.
Once the kids are ready for a break, order some pizza from nearby Dough Pizzeria, one of the very best pizzas in SA.
2. The San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is honestly fun for the whole fam. This zoo is one of the older ones in the US. It was founded in 1914, and it sprawls across 35 acres with more than 3,500 animals.
In addition to normal zoo stuff, like wandering around and seeing the animals, kids can participate in some interactive events, like giraffe feeding and behind-the-scenes tours with hippos.
Also worth noting: once a month, the San Antonio Zoo offers $8 tickets for San Antonio locals. See the full list of Locals Day offerings here.
Cost: Free for children under 2 and under, $17.16 for ages 3-11, and $21.73 for ages 12+.
As the zoo is located in Brackenridge Park, you can pair it with a visit to the Kiddie Park for some classic carnival rides or get tickets to ride the San Antonio Zoo Train that makes stops at the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Witte Museum.
3. SEA LIFE San Antonio
Not to be confused with Sea World… SEA LIFE San Antonio is a fairly new experience that’s located near the River Walk. It’s an indoor aquarium where kids can walk through the check out sea creatures and underwater life.
There’s a fun interactive rock pool (great for little ones), a sea tunnel where you can see fish swimming over your head, and a bay full of 5 different types of stingrays. Be sure to check out the newest addition to the Sea Life family - a bright orange octopus that was relocated to the aquarium in September 2022.
Cost: Free for children 2 and under, $24.99 for ages 3+
4. Brackenridge Park
Not only is this beautiful 343-acre public park park centrally located in San Antonio (making it an incredibly convenient place to bring your kids), it's also a FREE option and packed with so many fun things to do. If you visit some of the nearby options located at Brackenridge Park (like the Japanese Tea Garden, the Witte, or the San Antonio Zoo), you could easily fill an entire day at this beautiful outdoor space.
But if we're strictly talking about Brackenridge Park (and not the entire district where the park is located), here are a few things that you'll be able to enjoy: a playground, picnic areas, bird watching, walking trails, and (of course) the beautiful river that runs through the park.
It's a spacious, peaceful area that's perfect for a family picnic in San Antonio.
We can’t make a list of things to do with kids in San Antonio without mentioning SeaWorld! You probably already know everything about it, but we'll include a few quick facts.
There are three parks in the SeaWorld chain, but the San Antonio location is the largest one, covering over 250-acres. While here, you can enjoy roller coasters and rides, live entertainment, and marine exhibits like the beluga whale and dolphin shows.
Cost: Free for 2 and under, $39.99 - 64.99 for ages 3+ depending on the day of the week.
Next to SeaWorld you'll find Aquatica, an awesome family-friendly water park. It’s different from SeaWorld because Aquatica is an ocean-themed water park, while SeaWorld is more of an amusement park with marine shows and exhibits.
Head to Aquatica for wave pools, lazy rivers, splash parks, and tons of water slides and tube rides.
Cost: Free for 2 and under, $35.99 - $51.99 for ages 3+ depending on the day of the week.
Photo: Michelle H. Yelp
7. Splash pad at the Pearl District
The historic Pearl District is an awesome place for all ages, but kids will love the free splash pad located in the middle of the outdoor area! The Pearl District features dozens of independently-owned restaurants, bars, retail stores, and coffee shops. It’s home to the beautiful Hotel Emma, some of the best restaurants in the city, and an indoor food hall.
But if you’re looking for things to do in San Antonio with kids, be sure to bring a change of clothes and a few towels and let them run around in the fountains. They’re located next to the food hall, so you can grab some food and a beverage and enjoy a meal while the little ones splash around.
The DoSeum is an epic 2-story kids' museum that was recently named the best children's museum in the nation by USA Today for 2022.
The museum houses all sorts of hands-on and interactive play experiences including the spy academy, an innovation station, an outdoor play area, and more. Exhibits give kids a chance to play while teaching skills and encouraging imagination and innovation (hello, parents love that!).
While you're here, be sure not to miss Little Town - where little ones can hit up a child-scaled HEB grocery store or stop at a kid-sized Whataburger for a pretend snack. There’s also an awesome Sensations Studios exhibit with lights and sound, bouncing lasers, and mirrors. Kids will play and imagine till they are positively worn out!
The DoSeum offers a number of camps, field trips, and various classes to encourage young minds to pursue the joy of learning.
Cost: Free for children under 1, $14 for ages 1+
9. Six Flags Fiesta Texas and White Water Bay
Listen….this can’t be a list of “best kid-friendly things to do in San Antonio” without mentioning the BIG one: Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Six Flags amusement park is home to seven themed areas: Thrill Seeker Park, DC Universe (home to the 51-meter Superman ride), Los Festivales (one of the original sections from 1992), Crackaxle Canyon (where you’ll find the tallest coaster in the park), Spassburg, Rockville, Fiesta Bay Boardwalk, and White Water Bay (the water park inside Six Flags Fiesta Texas.) They’re all included with the admission price.
10. Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park
These beautiful sunken gardens in Brackenridge Park are an amazing place to bring your kids! You probably won’t make a full day of it, but you could definitely kill 30-45 minutes letting them climb the steps, watch the koi, and marvel at the waterfall.
The history of this space is really interesting and definitely worth mentioning to your kids: the space is sunken because it’s an abandoned limestone rock quarry. In 1917, prison labor was used to shape it into the archways, bridges, and islands that you see today. And in 1919, a local Japanese-American artist lived in the park and raised 8 children. (Yep..crazy!) After the artist died in 1941, the family was evicted and the name was changed to “Chinese Tea Garden” to prevent vandalism during the rise of anti-Japanese sentiment during WWII. The official name was changed back to “Japanese Tea Garden" in the 1980s, but you’ll still see “Chinese Tea Garden” on the sign when you walk in.
It’s a breathtaking and historically significant space. Admission is free for everyone, 365 days a year.
11. Kiddie Park
Located in Brackenridge Park right near San Antonio Zoo, the historic Kiddie Park in San Antonio is a total throwback. It’s America’s oldest children's amusement park, dating back to 1925. But don’t worry…rides have been updated to keep things safe! There’s an old-fashioned carousel, a Ferris wheel, and carnival games like a milk bottle toss.
The Kiddie Park relocated to Brackenridge Park in 2019, but still maintains the old school charm and delight of its original location.
Highly recommend the Kiddie Park as a great place for grandparents to bring their grandchildren to as they can relive some of their own childhood memories of carnival rides and fairs while enjoying time with the grandkids.
Cost: $14 for unlimited rides, or $3 per ride
Photo: Azucena M. Yelp
12. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
It’s a little bit north of San Antonio, but the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a really cool place to bring your kids!
Named one of the 10 best safari parks in the nation by USA Today, the Wildlife Ranch is a great way to burn a few hours in a really unique way. It's an “African safari, Texas-style,” meaning you stay in your car and drive through the 400-acre property while you view more than 500 animals. So you don't have to worry about chasing around your kids as they will stay safely strapped in while being thoroughly entertained.
There's also a covered pavilion available and you can pack your own picnic lunch and bring it into the park.
Cost: Free for 2 and under, $19.99 ages 3-11, $28.99 ages 12+
Photo: Heather P. Yelp
13. San Antonio Public Library
No matter where you are in the country, visiting a public library central branch is typically a good idea. Large cities pour millions of dollars into their library’s architecture, programming, and staff, and San Antonio’s public library is no exception.
SAPL is a center for learning, knowledge, culture, and enjoyment for the city of San Antonio. The 240,000 sq ft Central Library has a Chihuly blown glass sculpture, a children's floor, and a used book store in the basement called the “Book Cellar.”
Note: this library is currently getting a multi-million dollar renovation (including a brand new children's area!), so parts of it are closed.
Photo: Warren C. Yelp
14. San Antonio Botanical Garden
While you could definitely enjoy this as a fun adults-only activity in San Antonio, a visit to the San Antonio Botanical Garden is a great option for kids, too.
It’s a 38-acre urban oasis in the city. There’s a Family Adventure Garden with an awesome splash area and tons of unique spaces that encourage unstructured play. On Tuesdays, the garden offers a 30-minute Little Sprouts Hike with a different lesson each week. And there’s even a children’s vegetable garden for ages 7-16.
The Botanical Garden offers lots of beautiful free space for kids to just run around and be kids.
Cost: Free for 2 and under, $13 for ages 3-13, $16 for ages 14+.
Photos: Annette Kennedy Art
15. Morgan’s Wonderland
This is the world’s first ultra-accessible theme park and a must-visit if you’re in San Antonio with kids. Individuals of any age or ability are welcome to explore, climb, play, and learn in their 25-acre park. There are more than 25 accessible rides, playscapes, and interactions. In addition to the theme park, there’s an adjacent ultra-accessible water park called Inspiration Island.
Created by a dad who wanted a place where children with or without disabilities could all play together, Morgan’s Wonderland is a true gem that kids of all ages will enjoy.
Cost: free for guests with special needs and children 2&under, $13 for children ages 3-17, $19 for adults. They also offer dual park admission if you’d like to visit both the amusement park and the splash park.
16. The Witte Museum
The Witte Museum was established in 1926 and it’s still one of the coolest things to do with kids in San Antonio! It’s an interactive museum focused on Texas nature, science, and culture, so you get a little bit of everything (which is great for families with diverse interests.)
Visit the permanent exhibitions (the HEB Body Adventure, a multi-level adventure spread across four floors, is a must try!) as well as rotating ones. In recent years, they’ve included outdoor survival skills (with an indoor zipline!), fantasy creatures, and The Power of Poisons, a cool exhibit on poisonous plants, dart frogs, and toxic caterpillars.
Cost: free for 3&under, $10 for ages 4-11, $13 for seniors, $14 for ages 12+
17. Magik Theatre
One of the best things about this professional children’s theater is that the plays are all geared toward families and kids (in content and duration!) so you don’t have to worry about your little ones getting bored with a 3-hour show.
The Magik Theatre holds family friendly performances year round at their main theater, including sensory-friendly performances for children with special needs. They also regularly send traveling troupes to schools and other special events around the city so kids who may not otherwise get to experience the theater can still be exposed to the performing arts by a professional and well regarded organization.
Located in Hemisfair Park, this is a great one to tag on to other fun things to do in the area, like the free splash pad, dinner at Dough, or a trip up the Tower of the Americas.
Cost: about $17-25 per ticket. They also offer occasional “Pay What You Wish” performances. See website for details.
18. The Twig Book Shop
This darling indie book store at The Pearl is a sweet place to visit for kids and adults of all ages. Little ones will love the weekly story time, which happens every single Friday morning (and extra story times in the summer!)
By the way, they also have author appearances and book signings for the big kids and adults in your family. If you have a family full of readers, definitely stop at The Twig Book Shop.
19. Tower of the Americas
If you want your kiddos to get one of the best views of San Antonio, take them up to the top of the Tower of the Americas where you can view the city from the 750-foot tall observation platform. Once you're back on the ground, you can go see a Texas-themed 4D movie and visit the gift shop with San Antonio souvenirs and a Build A Bear workshop.
Cost: free for children 3&under, $12 for children ages 4-12, $13 for seniors and military, $16.50 for adults.
20. Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns are REALLY cool for school aged kids (the cave isn’t great for strollers, so if you’re visiting with really little ones you should plan on carrying them.) Explore Texas’ largest show cave with guided tours illuminated by world-class lighting, or experience the many other activities like an outdoor maze, a rails and ropes course, and treasure mining.
Cost: prices fluctuate, but it’s about $18 for children and $30 for adults.
21. LEGOLAND Discovery Center
If you’re in San Antonio with kids and you have a Lego fan with you, plan a trip to this ultimate indoor Lego playground. Attractions include a 4D lego cinema, two rides, and a large Lego play zone where kids can both build and climb. The highlight of the Legoland Discovery Center is Miniland San Antonio, a replica of the city of San Antonio made entirely out of Legos!
Note: you can get a combo ticket and pair this with entrance to SEA LIFE San Antonio which is right next door.
Cost: Free for children 2 and under, $27 for ages 3+