The Top 5 Things to Do for Affordable Family Fun in San Antonio
Can we all agree that vacations are necessary? It’s no secret that we’re all in need of a break from the daily grind and a chance to cut loose a little as a family. And after what felt like an 8-month-long start to the year, you’re no doubt already eager to plan your summer getaway.
That’s where we come in. Tripbound is all about keeping your stress levels low and saving you time and money while matching you with a perfect family vacation.
So if you’re looking for a destination to serve as your host for a memorable escape and save an arm and a leg on expenses (especially during the warmer months), look no further than San Antonio.
WHAT TO DO?
1. Set your sights on historic landmarks.
The Alamo — this Texas landmark is free* to explore! The Alamo’s story is bigger than Texas. It started as a mission working on converting Coahuiltecan bands to Catholicism. Then, Spain took it over. And when Mexico declared independence from Spain, the Alamo shifted its allegiance.
Next up, the Texas Revolution. Texas won independence from Mexico and joined the U.S. The Alamo then served as a military depot for the Army until it moved on and built Fort Sam Houston. And today? Today, you get to take it all in — a story even the best film-maker wouldn’t be able to come up with on their own.
Although many people stop venturing after they’ve seen the Alamo. So, instead, choose to continue your exploration by visiting the sites of four other missions at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
*Tripbound Traveler Tip: Be sure to get your America the Beautiful pass to cover the costs!
2. Stroll the nearby River Walk.
There’s nothing you can’t see or do on this 15-mile-long waterway. Located below street level, and just steps from the Alamo, the River Walk is undoubtedly the most popular way to get around the heart of San Antonio. Stroll along the winding pathway (but be sure to count your steps because you’d be surprised by how much ground you’ll cover) or stretch your budget a little to sit back and relax on a guided boat tour.
And when you need to sit down to cool off (and you will), you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect seat to enjoy local food, yummy drinks, and fantastic entertainment.
3. Explore local architecture & street art.
Brackenridge Park — they call it a “park,” but is it really? This 343-acre known landmark is full of more than grassy stretches to run and playgrounds to climb. In fact, Brackenridge Park is home to the Japanese Tea Garden and the San Antonio Zoo. And if there’s anything we know that kids in your travel crew will love, it’s a zoo full of all their favorite animals!
But after they stop to say hi to the giraffes, refuel and head to the Japanese Tea Garden. A combined effort from the city and private parties, the Japanese Tea Garden is a part of Brackenridge that you don’t want to miss. With absolutely stunning views, waterfalls, koi ponds, incredible Japanese architecture, and exotic plants in every direction you look, this garden isn’t something that you can find just anywhere.
San Fernando Cathedral — dating back to the 1700s, San Fernando Cathedral has always been at the heart of San Antonio. Not only is it the longest standing church building in all of Texas, but it’s just as relevant today as it was nearly 300 years ago.
Today, the Cathedral serves as the unforgettable backdrop for The Saga — a unique video art production covering over 7,000-square-feet of light, color, and visual narration. In short, it’s a free event in the Main Plaza that you must see.
The Pearl District — an area featuring the renovated Pearl Brewery that has been converted into a bustling city center. Here is where you’ll find even more boutique shops, restaurants to choose from, and fascinating architecture.
San Antonio Murals — looking to brighten up your Instagram? Carrie Colbert will guide you across the city to the best murals in town! Send greetings from San Antonio at Wall #20 or have the kids pose in front of the rainbow zebras at Wall #22.
4. Catch a movie by moonlight.
During the summer months, catching a free evening movie at Travis Park, the San Antonio Museum of Art, or even the Mission Marquee Plaza is a summer staple! Plus, you guessed it – the screenings are FREE and open to the public.
Just be sure to bring some lawn chairs, a blanket, and pack your own dinnertime picnic and favorite movie snacks to save even more cash (that is, if you can resist the urge to purchase delicious grub from any of the on-site food trucks – especially at Travis Park!).
5. Purchase a GO San Antonio Pass.
Places like Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the San Antonio Zoo, or SeaWorld San Antonio may not necessarily be considered “affordable” to some. But the GO San Antonio pass can help you and your family save up to 45% on combined admission versus paying on-the-spot at the gate.
How easy is it to use? Easy! Buy a 3, 4, or 5 pass (based on the number of attractions you want to explore), download the app, and use it as your entry ticket when you get there to each attraction. Plus, if you wish to have it all ready to go before you start the trek to San Antonio, you can — the pass is valid for 30 days after purchase.
WHERE TO EAT?
Now, we know what you may be thinking – with all these fun free things to do, we’re going to work up one heck of an appetite.
No problem! One of the best parts of this Texas city is the food! With incredible local tastes and a variety of options, you’ll have no difficulty finding something for any time of day and any craving.
- Rosario’s: you can’t come to Texas and not have Tex-Mex on your must-have dining out list! The puffy chicken and beef tacos (off the menu), smoky salsa, and enchiladas are some tasty choices.
- The Barbecue Station: a no-frills local wood-smoked barbecue restaurant with sides made fresh each day!
- Supper: this fantastic breakfast spot serves up options like avocado toast, grapefruit and rosemary beignets, buttermilk pancakes, and french toast.
- The Longhorn Cafe: be prepared for a bit of a wait when venturing to this popular cafe! But it’ll be well worth it when you sink your teeth into the Original Big Juicy™ burger.
- Honchos: just when you need a sweet treat, Honchos – The House of Churros calls your name! Choose from a filled churro with your preferred sauce, mini churros, or even a frozen churro with vanilla ice cream.
WHERE TO STAY?
Here’s why we think you’ll love staying at this resort in particular:
- It’s set in a fantastic location. You can walk to the start of the River Walk right from the resort! But there’s also a resort shuttle you can hop on if you have little legs in your travel crew.
- You’ll have access to a private balcony or patio from your—and every—spacious suite-style Two-Bedroom Deluxe unit at the resort, starting as low as $153 a night!
- There’s a rooftop pool and hot tub, which provides stunning views of downtown San Antonio.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly escape for the whole family this summer, there’s no doubt that San Antonio (with all its free things to do) is the perfect destination. Packed full of exciting attractions, historic landmarks, and irresistible charm (oh, and dare we say mouth-watering food), it’s everything your travel crew needs and wants in a vacation.
So what do you say?
Let the team here at Tripbound help you plan and book a stress-free summer escape filled with affordable family fun in San Antonio!