Things to do in Downtown San Antonio with Kids

Round up the kids and embrace everything downtown San Antonio has to offer – adventurous history, colorful culture, festive ambiance, spicy cuisine . . . and a sturdy dose of cheesiness to make you feel like real tourists in your own city.  (Stop by a downtown hotel and pick up tourist brochures to get coupons for many of these attractions.)

The Alamo. What more can be said about *the* San Antonio icon and the  #1 tourist destination in Texas? If the kids max out on history, there’s always Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum across the street.

Buckhorn Museum and Texas Ranger Museum. Explore the recently remodeled animal hall (featuring taxidermy wildlife from all over the world) and see Old West relics and memorabilia. The Buckhorn also houses a café, saloon, and arcade. See it on YouTube.

Dinosaur Quest. Nineteen life-size dinosaurs and over 65 prehistoric skulls are displayed under brilliant lighting and with dramatic sound effects. Located inside Rivercenter Mall. See it onYouTube.

IMAX Rivercenter Theater. Don’t forget to get your parking ticket validated for three hours of free parking.

Institute of Texan Cultures. Collections and exhibits share and interpret the rich cultural tapestry that makes Texas what it is today.

Market Square. Visit on the first Saturday of the month for Primer Sabado featuring local entertainment, arts and crafts, children’s activities. FREE.

Mirror Maze. Nerve-racking … and fun! Go at an off time to avoid the crowds.

Paseo del Rio (River Walk). We’re all familiar with the commercial sections, but if you haven’t strolled the entire stretch of the River Walk, do yourself a favor and put on those walking shoes. Entertaining exercise for you and the kids. There’s a lot more to enjoy than you may realize.Maps available on the website.

Rio San Antonio Cruises. The quintessential San Antonio tourist experience, but still fun for residents when the summer crowds thin out and scorching temperatures subside.

Ripley’s Attractions. Three attractions in one location: Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium, Louis Toussaud’s Waxworks, and Ripley’s 4D Moving Theater.

More Ripley’s Attractions. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Guinness World Records Museum, and Tomb Rider 3-D.

San Antonio Children’s Museum. “Move over, kid, and give Mommy a turn!” More than 80 engaging, interactive learning experiences for kids (and adults) to enjoy. See it on YouTube.

Spanish Governor’s Palace. The National Geographic Society has called this landmark “the most beautiful building in San Antonio.”

Tower of Americas. Best view of the city (of course!). HemisFair Park at the base of the Tower offers lots of space (and an amazing wooden playscape) for kids to be kids.

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