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25 of the Most Amazing Free Things to Do in San Antonio

However, San Antonio offers a rich blend of Mexican and Tex-Mex cultures with plenty of attractions and activities for the whole family. Whether you’re studying the ruins of the infamous Alamo or listening to mariachi music along the bustling River Walk, there are numerous free things to do in San Antonio.

free things to do in San Antonio

Richard McMillan / Getty Images

1) River Walk

The River Walk, or Paso del Río, boasts a host of lively stores and restaurants lining the San Antonio River in the heart of downtown. Visitors can stroll along the stone path and survey local artwork and vendors to the tune of mariachi players. Furthermore, this gorgeous 2.5-mile long city park connects to several attractions such as lovely Marriage Island, the Arneson River Theater, and the city’s historic missions. 

2) The Alamo

A trip to San Antonio wouldn’t be complete without remembering the Alamo. Fortunately, this excursion is free to the public! The Alamo Mission once stood as a converted fortress that fell in 1836 during the Texas Revolution at the Battle of the Alamo. While many of the original structures were destroyed, visitors can view preserved remnants such as the old chapel as well as an impressive collection of weapons and artifacts.

3) Brackenridge Park

Displaying the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, Brackenridge Park is a public park north of downtown with multiple attractions located in the 343-acre area. This 19th century San Antonio staple houses the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Antonio Zoo, several museums, and more. Guests can also enjoy using its many trails, pavilions, playgrounds, and baseball fields. 

aerial view of the japanese tea garden in San Antonio, Texas, USA

Shiva Shenoy / Flickr

4) The Japanese Tea Garden

This stunning peaceful garden is open and free to the public every day. The Japanese Tea Garden once operated as a rock quarry but was transformed into a fairytale scene in 1919. Complete with stone walkways, a Japanese pagoda, a waterfall, lily pond, and exotic plants, this San Antonio treasure is not to be missed. Also, guests can dine at the Jingu House Cafe for a variety of teas, salads, sandwiches, and Asian cuisine.

5) San Pedro Creek Culture Park

Although the park is expanding, the first phase of San Pedro Creek Culture Park is complete and features interactive art installations to celebrate the creek’s culture and history. Skip along the path to find respite from the sun in the San Pedro Creek and sit on the steps of the 12 Generational Benches of the Plaza de Fundación. Additionally, visitors can take in the stunning mural titled “Rain from the Heavens” along with multiple other impressive art installations.

6) San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Encompassing over 300 years of layered history, the historical park hosts four distinct Spanish missions: Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. Each mission still contains active Catholic parishes and hold regular services. The Missions stand as a representation of South Texan Tejano culture and provide learning experiences for the whole family.

colorful flags over crowds of people walking through Market Square El Mercado in San Antonio, Texas, USA


7) Market Square

Market Square or El Mercado is the largest Mexican marketplace in the United States with over a 100 local restaurants, shops, and vendor stalls. The space is free to walk around and enjoy authentic Mexican and Tejano cultures. Catch one of the Farmer’s Market Food Court live performances or admire the traditional pottery, clothing, artwork, and cuisine. If you do decide to sample, we suggest Mi Tierra’s pastries.

8) Yanaguana Garden

With multiple unique art installations, playgrounds, a splash pad, and over 500 events per year, Yanaguana Garden presents a perfect spot to let loose with your family. Guests can take advantage of free access to games such as chess, checkers, cornhole, and ping pong tables or simply relax on one of the tiled benches. Afterward, indulge in one of the many converted restaurants nearby.

9) Artpace

Artpace San Antonio is a contemporary art gallery and nonprofit residency program for domestic and international artists open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can do self-guided or guided tours in English and Spanish in this downtown space. Distinctive performances, film screenings, workshops, and summer classes are also available.

10) King William Historic District

Named in honor of King Wilhelm I of Prussia (Germany), this 19th-century picturesque neighborhood once belonged to German immigrants who settled in the Texas Hill Country. Tour the lavish Guenther House for breakfast or brunch surrounded by preserved Victorian decor, the San Antonio Art League and Museum, or the Blue Star Arts Complex.

11) San Antonio Art League and Museum

Located in the charming King William Historic District, the SAALM serves as a converted art museum and gallery. Focusing on Texas artists, this 19th-century carriage house possesses over 600 works in varying mediums in its permanent collection. Roaming exhibitions feature local and regional Texas artists. Although you can donate to the museum, admission is free.

Nan Palmero / Flickr

12) The Main Plaza

Once the commercial hub and spiritual center of San Antonio, the Main Plaza or Plaza De Las Islas still stands as a historic marker with 30 significant historical pavers throughout the plaza. Try to find them all! Take in the monumental architecture of the San Fernando Cathedral and view the 24-minute “The Saga” dazzling light show projected onto the Cathedral during the evening.

13) The Quadrangle and Fort Sam Houston Museum

Constructed in 1876, the Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston stood as the original limestone fort structure that hosted housing supplies before the US Army used it as an arsenal. Apache leader Geronimo was once imprisoned here and it is rumored that the deer and other wildlife roaming on the property were brought for the Apaches. Furthermore, visitors can walk around the Fort Sam Houston Museum on base to view the history of the fort dating back to 1845. The fort is still an active military base and animals such as deer and peacocks roam freely. Even though both sites are free, visitors must present a valid driver’s license.

14) Headwaters Sanctuary 

Tucked away within the grounds of the University of the Incarnate Word, this 53-acre nature sanctuary is cared for by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The sanctuary works to restore native wildlife and provide refuge in an urban landscape with educational programs for children and adults. Visitors can also see the source of the San Antonio River, the Blue Hole (also known as the San Antonio Spring or “Yanaguana”).

15) Phil Hardberger Park

One of the many natural landscapes in the city, Phil Hardberger Park has so many options for families wanting outdoor fun. This 330-acre park is home to a nature center, 7.5 miles of trails for hiking, walking, and biking, play areas, and outdoor classrooms. The park connects to the Howard Peak Greenway and is divided by Wurzbach Parkway.  A land bridge is under construction is set to unite the park in 2020, so look up where to park beforehand.

16) Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio

The Holocaust Memorial Museum aims to memorialize victims of the Holocaust by educating guests on the significant historical impact and generational trauma. Guests can take self-guided or guided tours of the four exhibits or participate in workshops and seminars. Although the museum is free to tour, donations are encouraged.

17) Witte Museum

The Witte Museum celebrates Texan history, culture, and wildlife. The permanent collection features historic photographs, artifacts, art, prehistoric cave drawings, dinosaur remains, and more. Additionally, there are revolving exhibits as well as several interactive spaces for students such as the H-E-B Science Treehouse and H-E-B Body Adventure. Note that visitors can tour the museum for free on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The DoSeum/Facebook

18) The DoSeum

The DoSeum seeks to spark kids’ interest in STEM subjects, literacy, and the arts through its interactive exhibits and programs. Bring your kids to play, explore, and expands their minds on every first Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30. Be sure to get tickets at 4 pm at the entrance.

19) The Briscoe Western Art Museum

Western fanatics will enjoy the museum's collection of art, film memorabilia, and historical artifacts representative of the American West. Through paintings and sculptures as well as artifacts from Native Americans and Western settlers, visitors can gain more insight into the lives of earlier generations of Americans. Guests can tour for free on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 9 pm and military families receive free admission at any time.

20) McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum boasts an incredible collection of American and international art from different periods. The permanent collection features over 22,000 works of paintings, sculptures, glasswork, and more from all over the world. There are also numerous revolving exhibits. The museum is free on Thursdays from 4 pm to 9 pm and on the first Sunday of the month from 12 pm to 5 pm. In general, admission is free for guests 19 years or younger or active military service members.

21) San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art’s permanent collection displays domestic and international artwork dating from the Bronze Age to contemporary times. There are also revolving exhibits and events for visitors of all ages. Bexar County residents can tour the museum for free on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 9 pm and on Sundays from 10 am to 12 pm. (Please note, this free admission doesn't include exhibitions.) Children 12 and under can tour for free in general.

Omar Bárcena / Flickr

22) Pearl Brewery

Don't be fooled by the name! The Pearl operated as a brewery from 1883 to 2001 and was then made over into a multipurpose space. Located north of downtown, the Pearl showcases shops, restaurants, the Paseos River Amphitheater, and Hotel Emma. In addition, the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America, as well as many notable institutions such as the San Antonio Business Journal, are located within the area. Be sure to check out the Farmer’s Market on weekends.

23) Free Crafting at Lakeshore Learning

Lakeshore Learning provides free crafting classes for kids ages three and up at the Lakeshore Learning San Antonio location ever. Kids and their parents are welcome every Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm to make crafts and socialize. No reservations are necessary.

24) The Institute of Texan Cultures

The museum serves as a multicultural education center to celebrate the many cultures that have sought a home in Texas. Exhibits, educational programs, and cultural events seek to educate and inspire local residents and tourists alike. Every second Sunday of the month except for June, families are welcome to participate in fun educational activities for free. Each Sunday event has a different theme and incorporates crafts, games, performances, guests, and more.

Joe Diaz / Flickr

25) Murals

The San Antonio Street Art Initiative's mission is to encourage local artists to make street art to beautify the city. The initiative also spreads awareness about the cultural significance of street art overall. There are countless vibrant murals that reflect local culture. Check out permanent art spots like under the highway at St. Mary's Street and Quincy or the Essex Modern City Murals on Essex Street.

Explore the Free Gems of San Antonio

San Antonio offers a variety of activities for outdoor lovers, history buffs, art enthusiasts, and more. Which of these free things to do in San Antonio will you try on your next trip?


30 Fun Free Things to Do in San Antonio, TX — Places to Go for Free!

Named after Saint Anthony of Padua, a Portuguese priest, San Antonio is the first chartered civil settlement and oldest municipality in Texas.

About 32 million tourists fly or drive to San Antonio for its famous River Walk, mission trails, Hispanic and Native American culture, and verdant scenery.

Surprisingly, the excitement-filled destination that is San Antonio isn’t just for travelers with deep pockets!

There’s a treasure trove of fun free things to do in San Antonio, TX, waiting for wanderers on a tight budget.

For a vacation filled with unforgettable glimpses to the past without the worry of paying a single admission fee, here’s a guide that takes you all over San Antonio and beyond — for free.

1. River Walk

River Walk

849 E Commerce Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 227-4262

The historic San Antonio River, documented and named since 1535, has seen many waves of settlements and battles. Today it is a charming five-mile tourist attraction.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

The River Walk is San Antonio’s premier destination for sightseeing, shopping, dining, and celebrating. Sometimes known as Paseo del Rio, the San Antonio RiverWalk is lined with trees, shops, restaurants, hotels, and museums, connecting many of the attractions in San Antonio.

Expert Tip

The River Walk comes to life in bursts of lights and colors with festivals such as Fiesta Noche del Rio, Fiesta de Las Luminarias, and many others. Check their calendar to witness one. There might be something scheduled right this weekend.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Grand Hyatt San Antonio

Related:Best Things to Do in San Antonio

2. The Alamo

The Alamo

300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 225-1391

The Alamo today is the site of a battle that happened between Texians and Mexicans in 1836. It was first known as the Misión San Antonio de Valero when the mission was established in 1718.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Looking for free activities in San Antonio? The Alamo’s 30-minute self-guided tours incur no fees or charges.

The Alamo played a major part in the birth of San Antonio and had an interesting transition from being a Spanish mission church to a military garrison that served five different armies. If you’re curious about San Antonio’s nickname being Military City USA, the Alamo is your answer.

Expert Tip

Reserve your visit to explore the iconic church at no cost. To give you an idea about what lies ahead, there are exhibits, a Phil Collins collection, a courtyard, and a plaza at the Alamo showing you glimpses of the Texas Revolution.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hotel Emma at Pearl on the Riverwalk

3. Brackenridge Park

Brackenridge Park

3700 N St. Mary’s Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 207-7275

Created in 1899, the Brackenridge Park currently spans 343 acres of enchanting public space.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Brackenridge Park was built as a charming haven for San Antonio locals and should be enjoyed by the city’s visitors too.

Home to iconic San Antonio attractions and playgrounds, pavilions, walking trails, and baseball fields, Brackenridge Park offers you much of the free fun in San Antonio.

Expert Tip

If you’re into watching bards, head over to the southeast of the park along Avenue A and you’ll see a wealth of species flying free among the trees. Meanwhile, history buffs will also love the park’s historical structures and prehistoric significance.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk

4. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

2202 Roosevelt Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78214-2715
(210) 932-1001

What is now San Antonio was born through the establishment of missions in 1718. Through the course of 13 years, Franciscans built five mission complexes along the San Antonio River, four of which are part of today’s historical park (the fifth being the standalone Alamo).

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Setting foot on this historical park is retracing the footsteps of the Spaniards and Franciscans in the 1700s. The area is a stretch of nine miles along the river, with the four historical missions completely in-tact. These are the Missions San José, San Juan, Espada, and Concepción.

Expert Tip

Start three miles south of downtown to see Mission Concepción, and then two and a half miles farther for Mission San José. Three miles beyond is Mission San Juan. Farthest south is Mission Espada. Each mission provides access to Wi-Fi for the audio guides.

Picnic tables and parking areas are also available at each mission. Best of all, this entire experience is actually one of the top free stuff to do in the city! If you’re after educational experiences but are on a budget, this is it.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Omni La Mansion del Rio

5. San Antonio Museum of Art

San Antonio Museum of Art

200 W Jones Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 978-8100

Located downtown, the San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in what was the Lone Star Brewery from 1886.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

SAMA is actually the only encyclopedic museum of fine art in South Texas, so if you’re an art junkie, you shouldn’t miss this activity. If you’re both an art enthusiast and a Bexar County resident, you get to tour this gem for free on certain hours!

The 30,000-item collection inside spans over 5,000 years of culture and history from all over the world, dating from the Bronze Age to the contemporary era.

Expert Tip

If you’re here on the first full weekend of the month, you get to enjoy free general admission if you’re not a Bexar County resident!

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hotel Emma at Pearl on the Riverwalk

6. King William Historic District

King William Historic District

1032 S. Alamo Street
San Antonio, TX 78210-1110
(210) 271-3247

In the 1840s, a wave of wealthy German merchants settled in the 1790s irrigated farmlands owned by the Mission San Antonio de Valero (now known as the Alamo).

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

The arrival of these Germans birthed a luxurious neighborhood populated by ornate mansions exhibiting Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate architecture. If you’re a historical fiction enthusiast, you’ll find yourself yearning to live in one of these gorgeous houses.

Expert Tip

Stop by every mansion you see for pictures. It’s totally free! Along the streets are cafes and art galleries, some of which host lively, family-friendly events.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Marriott Plaza San Antonio

7. San Antonio Art League and Museum

San Antonio Art League and Museum

130 King William Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
(210) 223-1140

Speaking of museums at the King William Historic District, the San Antonio Art League and Museum is one that you shouldn’t skip, especially because admission is totally free!

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

SAALM is actually the oldest arts organization in San Antonio that currently calls an 1800s carriage house its home. Featuring a large collection of Texan art across various disciplines, all free to view, SAALM is definitely a worthy visit.

Expert Tip

Check their online calendar to see what’s up in their galleries. There could be shows and demonstrations where artists create their works live. These are all still free!

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hilton Palacio del Rio

8. Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

3853 N. St. Mary’s Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 559-3148

What used to be an abandoned limestone rock quarry donated by the 1899 president of the San Antonio Water Works Company was transformed into a charming Oriental garden in 1918.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

The city invited a Japanese-American artist and his family to move into the garden in 1919. During their residence, the family opened the Bamboo Room, now the Jingu House Cafe, where you can enjoy the flavors of Japanese cuisine.

Expert Tip

Because of its idyllic scenery, the tea garden is frequented by tourists, particularly lovers. If you’re traveling with your significant other, the Japanese Tea Garden is among the top free places to go in San Antonio for couples looking to be wed or to renew their vows.

The garden also has a poignant story to tell, so relish your time here and learn about the family behind it.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter

9. Market Square

Market Square

514 W. Commerce
San Antonio, TX 78207
(210) 207-8600

The area where the Historic Market Square is located dates back to 1730, when the king of Spain gave it as a gift to the first Spanish settlers of San Antonio. Since its early years, locals have been selling food and wares here, creating a lively, colorful marketplace setting.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

This market greets you with a rainbow of buntings, walls, souvenirs, and performers like it’s a dance number in a musical. To the locals, the historic Market Square is not just any marketplace but a living, breathing tradition that everyone should experience.

Expert Tip

If you ever plan to bring home a souvenir from this vacation, the Historic Market Square tops all the free attractions to visit in San Antonio for unique, cultural items.

On the right dates, the historic Market Square features the most interesting free events in San Antonio, where your purchase of mementos will be accompanied by memories of colorful dancers and singing mariachis.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:The Westin Riverwalk San Antonio

10. The DoSeum

The DoSeum

2800 Broadway
San Antonio, Texas 78209
(210) 212-4453

The DoSeum opened in 2015 with the goal of providing accessible learning to low-income San Antonio families through exhibits, programs, and camps designed for children.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

At DoSeum, children get to be artists, storytellers, engineers, scientists, or entrepreneurs in child-scaled worlds of make-believe. Even you will enjoy each interactive exhibit filled with technology, art, and science as your child eagerly explores them through curiosity and play.

Expert Tip

When it’s raining or cold, take the little ones to DoSeum and watch them enjoy all the incredible free things they have to offer. On the other hand, when the weather’s perfect, there’s also fun to be had outdoors.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Wyndham Garden River Walk Museum Reach

11. Pearl Brewery

Pearl Brewery

303 Pearl Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 212-7260

Looming in the background north of downtown San Antonio is the majestic Hotel Emma, which was previously the titular brewery complex from 1883.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Aside from the fact that this was founded as a brewery district, which obviously means watering holes and wineries abound, the Pearl District is also a historic marvel and cultural hub. Buildings from the 1800s were repurposed to house various restaurants, offices, and touristy shops.

Expert Tip

You can now stay at the lovely Hotel Emma and enjoy a welcome margarita upon check-in. Industrial equipment from the centuries gone by were turned into vintage-chic decor or functional pieces.

This is actually a common theme not only in the hotel but also throughout the district, from the Bottling Department to the Pearl Stable. Explore this Victorian industrial charm by browsing through the district’s shops, restaurants, bars, and farmers market this weekend.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hotel Emma at Pearl on the Riverwalk

12. Institute of Texan Cultures

Institute of Texan Cultures

801 E César E. Chávez Boulevard
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 458-2300

The Institute of Texan Cultures is the whole state’s main center for education on the various cultures that make up Texas.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Texas is actually home to people from all over the world who bring and celebrate their respective cultures here, contributing to the multicultural identity of the state. Established in 1968, the ITC offers exhibits, programs, and events to educate guests about the locals of Texas.

Expert Tip

Come here on the second Sunday of any month for fun educational activities you can enjoy for free. These Sunday events involve crafts, games, and cultural performances.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Menger Hotel

13. Phil Hardberger Park

Phil Hardberger Park

1021 Voelcker Lane #4
San Antonio, TX 78248
(210) 492-7472

Brought the entire outdoorsy family along with you? Take them to Phil Hardberger Park for free fun in San Antonio, particularly in a lush natural landscape.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

If exploring the great outdoors is a prerequisite everywhere you travel, Phil Hardberger is the place for you. Enjoying the walking and biking trails, play areas, programs, fitness classes, dog parks, wildlife sightings at Phil Hardberger is totally free for everyone!

Expert Tip

There are no eateries and drinking fountains around, so bring your own snacks and water and enjoy picnics at designated areas. There are also no trash cans, so pack trash in and pack trash out. This actually helps the park preserve its natural heritage.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Omni San Antonio Hotel At The Colonnade

Related:Best Beaches Near San Antonio, TX

14. Yanaguana Garden

Yanaguana Garden

434 S Alamo Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 709-4750

Since 2015, Yanaguana Garden has been offering families a confluence of art, nature, and outdoor entertainment.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Yanaguana is a 4.1-acre community park in the Hemisfair District, featuring art installations, play areas, a splash pad for everyone, outdoor games, colorful lights, and outdoor eateries. Visitors across all ages seek Yanaguana for a free respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Expert Tip

Yanaguana hosts over 500 free events in the park, such as workout sessions and storytelling activities. Check out their calendar to catch one. Who knows? There could be one this weekend.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Mokara Hotel & Spa

15. San Pedro Creek Culture Park

San Pedro Creek Culture Park

705 Camaron Street
San Antonio, TX 78207
(210) 302-3652

Bexar County, the San Antonio River Authority, and the City of San Antonio came together in 2015 with a common vision and goal: create a world-class linear park for the preservation of San Pedro Creek.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Located on the western edge of downtown San Antonio, San Pedro Creek Culture Park is a beautiful escape from the Texan sun, where you can be surrounded by interactive art, architecture, nature, and local history.

Expert Tip

Start from the westernmost area of the park to step back in time to the earliest part of San Antonio’s history, which was thousands of years before European colonization. Discover the birth and rebirth of civilizations as you head eastward.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

16. Witte Museum

Witte Museum

3801 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 357-1900

Witte Museum was started by Ellen Schultz, a botanist and high school teacher in the 1920s.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Enough about Spanish colonization. What was the area of San Antonio like before Europeans arrived? Witte Museum takes you further in history to show you the prehistoric landscape and civilization of precolonial San Antonio until its present-day resulting culture.

Expert Tip

Programs, events, and demonstrations make this experience even more memorable. Witte Museum hosts cooking camps, art workshops, activities involving cocktails, and many more surprises.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:The Emily Morgan Hotel – A DoubleTree by Hilton

17. Briscoe Western Art Museum

Briscoe Western Art Museum

210 W Market Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 299-4499

Along the banks of the historic San Antonio River Walk stands the Briscoe Western Art Museum, whose exhibitions, educational programs, and public events feature the region’s Old West heritage.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Surely you know by now how both Hispanic and Native American culture and history greatly influenced San Antonio. Let’s not forget, however, the formerly phenomenal Wild West culture, which was the result of the blend of both cultures.

Experience the vibe of this bygone era at Briscoe, with the featured artworks and artifacts inside.

Expert Tip

Tour for free if you come by on Tuesdays from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Their educational events are particularly stellar, so check their calendar to witness one.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio

18. Murals


1906 S Flores Street
San Antonio, TX 78204

San Antonio’s huge outdoor gallery first started in 2018 and is working diligently toward creating the largest of its kind in Texas.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Through social media, art has been given due importance by the youth. This multi-artist open-air gallery, which is the largest outdoor gallery in the Northwest, makes a lovely background for OOTDs to amp up anyone’s Instagram game.

The San Antonio Street Art Initiative, the artist-led organization behind it, has completed almost 50 murals and supported over 30 local artists.

Expert Tip

Start at the junction between South PanAm Expressway and St. Mary’s Strip for the most number of murals. Then head straight north to St. Mary’s for more.

Whether you’re here for the art or you’re here for the Gram, checking out the murals by the San Antonio Street Art Initiative is among our favorite cheap activities to take part in.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hotel Havana

19. Lakeshore Learning

Lakeshore Learning

327 Northwest Loop 410 #103
San Antonio, TX 78216
(210) 340-0504

Started in 1954 by one Ethelyn Kaplan, a single mother, Lakeshore Learning started as a toy store and soon began catering to teachers’ needs. Aside from being a retailer of top-quality educational materials for children, Lakeshore Learning now also offers activities and programs.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

If you’re wondering where to get free stuff in San Antonio, TX, there’s a lovely family-friendly experience waiting for you at Lakeshore Learning. Visit on Saturdays for free crafts and learning events!

Expert Tip

You may be here for free things in San Antonio, but do remember there’s a wealth of fun educational supplies available for purchase at Lakeshore Learning to continue the learning at home with your kids.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Crowne Plaza Hotel San Antonio Airport

20. McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum

6000 N New Braunfels Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 824-5368

The McNay Art Museum was founded in 1954 and is the first modern art museum that opened in the entire state of Texas.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Modern and contemporary art may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the McNay Art Museum houses the finest collections of contemporary artworks in the southwestern region of the United States, featuring more than 22,000 objects!

Expert Tip

The beauty at McNay doesn’t end inside. The museum sits on 23 acres of gorgeous landscaping, offering colonial architecture, fountains, lawns, and a Japanese-inspired garden and fishpond. Enjoy beauty indoors and outdoors for free!

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hilton Garden Inn San Antonio Airport South

21. Quadrangle and Fort Sam Houston Museum

Quadrangle and Fort Sam Houston Museum

1405 East Grayson Street
Building 16
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
(210) 221-1886

Fort Sam Houston has been around since 1845, keeping within its walls the stories of war and conquest. On the other hand, the quadrangle was constructed in 1876 as the Quartermaster Depot and Headquarters.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Get to know more about the story behind San Antonio’s nickname, Military City USA. Fort Sam Houston features artifacts, images, and stories on San Antonio’s military history, while the quadrangle is curiously home to deer and other wildlife that roam freely on the property.

Expert Tip

This historical gem is completely free to experience, but do bring along valid picture IDs to secure entry.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio

22. Artpace


445 N Main Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 212-4900

Linda Pace founded Artpace in 1995, occupying what was once a Hudson automobile dealership.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

While the previously mentioned art museums focus on Texan art and culture, Artpace supports artists from all over the world in the creation of new art across several forms: paintings, music, films, murals, and many more!

Expert Tip

If you’re coming in October, you can witness Chalk It Up for yourself. It’s an annual citywide celebration where artists fill Houston Street downtown with chalk drawings!

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Best Western Premier Historic Travelers Hotel Alamo/Riverwalk

23. Headwaters Sanctuary

Headwaters Sanctuary

4503 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 828-2224

The Headwaters Sanctuary spans 53 acres within the University of the Incarnate Word.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Headwater Sanctuary is home to the source of the iconic San Antonio River, which is the Blue Hole or the San Antonio Spring. This spring is symbolic to both indigenous peoples and Christians, with water being a spiritual life-giving element of the earth.

Expert Tip

Enjoy nature in its pristine state as you weave through the sanctuary’s trails and learn about San Antonio’s native plants and animals through exploration and interpretive signs along the way.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Best Western Plus Downtown North

24. Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio

Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio

12500 NW Military Highway
San Antonio, TX 78231
(210) 302-6807

Advocated by the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, this memorial museum opened its doors in 2000 through efforts that started in 1975.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio is a highly important site, one that serves to remind us about the horrors of war and racism. Due to the importance of Holocaust education and awareness, docents tour thousands of guests around the museum every year for free.

Expert Tip

If you’re easily triggered by traumatic events, it’s best to prepare yourself. The free tours involve a movie, activity, and a Holocaust survivor’s testimony.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hyatt Place San Antonio Northwest/Medical Center

25. Main Plaza

Main Plaza

115 N Main Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 225-9800

Originally called Plaza de las Islas in the 1730 plan for San Fernando de Bexar, the Main Plaza of San Antonio is considered the cultural and historical heart of the city.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Being San Antonio’s cultural hub, the Main Plaza hosts family-friendly programs, events, and musical performances for free to the public. To complete your cultural experience, food trucks are also around every day serving local snacks.

Expert Tip

Looking for costless thrills to witness in San Antonio tonight? The historical San Fernando de Bexar Cathedral is the adjoining church of this traditional Spanish plaza.

Since 2014, this cathedral has been hosting a famous jaw-dropping lights show on the nights of Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays! The free 24-minute show depicts the colorful history of San Antonio.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Best Western Alamo Suites Downtown

Related:Fun Things to Do in San Antonio at Night

26. McAllister Park

McAllister Park

13102 Jones Maltsberger Road
San Antonio, TX 78247
(210) 207-7275

Located right in the middle of the city, the 976-acre McAllister Park feels like an oasis. The park was named after former San Antonio mayor, Walter W. McAllister.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Offering you the best free trails for biking and walking, complete with wildlife roaming free, McAllister Park is a wonderful escape from the noise of the city.

Beyond the 15 miles of hard and soft trails amidst the wide variety of lush vegetation, the park also has sports fields, a playground, fitness stations, and almost 200 picnic tables.

Expert Tip

If you brought the furry members of the family along, McAllister Park also has a 1.5-acre dog park near its Starcrest entrance.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites San Antonio-Airport North

27. Hot Wells

Hot Wells

5503 S. Presa Street
San Antonio, TX 78223
(210) 912-5868

Celebrities of yore used to frequent this bath house and hotel in its heyday. Hot Wells still stands proudly but as historical ruins today due to the same tragedy haunting it again and again.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

If you thought San Antonio’s historical ruins stop at the Missions, the Hot Wells bath house turned hotel turned school will give you another glimpse of San Antonio’s history, albeit in a more recent era. Interestingly, fires caused every change of the building’s function.

Expert Tip

The ruins have been available for free public viewing since 2019, but only the grounds can be accessed and the ruins are cordoned off. There are reader boards in plaques all around the area though, to tell you the story of the building’s misfortunes.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Embassy Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base Hotel & Spa

28. Slab Cinema

Slab Cinema

San Antonio, TX 210-212-9373
(210) 212-9373

Since 2004, Slab Cinema has been providing free outdoor movies all over the city of San Antonio.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Several times a month, Slab Cinema pops up at iconic venues all around San Antonio, such as the San Antonio Museum of Art, Hemisfair Park, Pearl District, or even the Alamo. Check out their monthly schedules to catch movies you like and get free tickets.

Expert Tip

Though seating may be provided in the venue, it’s best to bring your own, whether that’s a folding chair, blanket, or a small inflatable bean bag. Some venues also have food trucks and restaurants, but if you’re really on a budget, bringing your own snacks is welcome too.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Home2 Suites By Hilton San Antonio At The Rim, Tx

29. San Antonio Fire Museum

San Antonio Fire Museum

801 E Houston Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 390-7236

Just three minutes away from the Alamo is the original Central Fire Headquarters of San Antonio, where a museum that honors the bravery of San Antonian firefighters since the 1850s is currently housed.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Discover how firefighting looked like centuries ago in San Antonio, which began in 1854 with a group of 20 young local volunteers. This museum features early fire trucks, antique firefighting equipment, photos from the yesteryears, and uniforms and interactive apparatus for kids.

Expert Tip

Come over on the first Tuesday of the month for free admission. Kids under three, on the other hand, can always come in free.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Grand Hyatt San Antonio

30. Cibolo Nature Center

Cibolo Nature Center

140 City Park Road
Boerne, TX 78006
(830) 249-4616

Wondering what to do if you’re leaving San Antonio? Just a short drive north, Cibolo Nature Center is a haven for nature lovers, history buffs, and paleontology enthusiasts seeking fun free things to do in San Antonio, TX.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Since Earth Day in 1990, Cibolo has opened its doors for the public to witness four Texan ecosystems, dinosaur footprints, a scenic creek, boardwalk views, wildlife, and more surprises all in one visit.

Expert Tip

If you’re here on a Saturday, there’s a nearby farm that hosts a weekly farmer’s market. Bring home fresh produce while you enjoy garden views, music, yoga, and community events or workshops.

Recommended Hotel Nearby:Comfort Inn & Suites Texas Hill Country

Map of Free Things to Do in San Antonio, TX

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30 Free Activities to Do in San Antonio for 2021

Free Things To Do In San Antonio
30 Fun Free Things to Do in San Antonio, TX — Places to Go for Free!
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Fun Free Things to Do in San Antonio, TX

Welcome to San Antonio, Texas where there are plenty of shopping strips and free spots to enjoy your day out. It can be tough to find something free and worthwhile in a lot of places, but not in this city. From visiting the Alamo to walking down the river walk, this epic city provides us more free fun than we give it credit for.

San Antonio  is full of plenty of daytime and nighttime spots that will leave you wanting to explore more of the city. Take a look at our list below of some of the best free fun things to do in the area, and get ready to explore this Texan city where diverse cultures come together to give it the rich personality it’s known for. Whether you love a calm walk or an amazing display of art, this city has it all.

San Antonio Riverwalk

Explore the San Antonio River Walk

Location: 849 E. Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

The San Antonio River walk is probably the most famous activity to do on our list. As the top tourist destination in the area, you’ll find thousands enjoying a peaceful stroll while watching the boat rides and stopping along the way for some of the best food you’ll find in the city. The whole strip is filled with gorgeous vistas, stores, and lots of great restaurants. The River Walk is San Antonio’s most festive spot during every major holiday, and is a fantastic place to go out and celebrate holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, and the New Year in style. There, you’ll see the river walk light up during the night and get you into the holiday spirit.

Visit the Alamo

Location: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205

Not too far from the River Walk is the Alamo. This is the historical ground for the Battle of the Alamo between Texas and Mexico in the late 1800’s. It’s a great place to take your family and learn about the rich history of the state of Texas. This historical landmark has been known to host some great Texan events. You can also admire the great architecture, coy fish in the streams, and much more.

Visit Brackenridge Park

Location: 3700 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212

Brackenridge Park is a composite of many attractions in San Antonio. It’s home to the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden, Botanical Garden, San Antonio Zoo, and more. Although visiting some of these spots may cost a few bucks, you can still enjoy a nice walk in the park and enjoy the scenery for free. It’s a great area for bird watching, hiking, or biking if you’re into enjoying nature. Brackenridge Park also hosts some fun events from time to time. You’ll love going out and discovering more about the San Antonio community at this park!

San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden

Visit the Japanese Tea Garden

Location: 200-414 Alpine, San Antonio, TX 78212

If you are looking to see some beautiful sights, you’ll want to visit the Japanese Tea Garden. Over the years, donations have helped create this beautiful site in San Antonio. It features an amazing waterfall and some of the most beautiful sights you will find in South Texas. There are also plenty of exotic plants that add to the beauty of the garden. The Japanese Tea Garden is the perfect setting to go out on a romantic walk, family trip, or photoshoot. You’ll be amazed with everything this garden has to offer with no additional cost to you.

Visit San Pedro Creek Culture Park

Location: 705 Camaron St, San Antonio, TX 78207

This is definitely a spot you will want to visit next time you’re around the downtown area. The San Pedro Creek Culture park is a place where culture, beauty, and art collide in San Antonio. We recommend you start by taking some time to admire the beautiful creek the project is located on. You’ll also love seeing the many structures and various arts you’ll find throughout the park. San Pedro Creek Culture Park is also home to precious wildlife that will help you take in the true beauty of the creek and surroundings you’ll come across.

Visit the Phil Hardberger Park

Location: 13203 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216

With the constant upgrades being done, Phil Hardberger Park is a place you’ll want to add to your list of places to visit. The area is filled to the brim with plenty of gorgeous scenes full of heritage. This park is also destined to become one of San Antonio’s more popular attractions, and we know that you’ll enjoy the family events at the park.

You can also enjoy the fitness and nature programs offered at the facility. It’s a great way to stay active and have a great time in the San Antonio area for free!

San Antonio Mission

Visit the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Location:6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214

The San Antonio Missions is one of the history-rich landmarks in town. Take your time exploring the grounds, full of beautiful art and artifacts from the original missions. The missions also hold some great events where you can enjoy various fun and educational activities, including yoga, free tours, and much more.

The missions are all connected by the San Antonio River and you’ll also find some trails that are perfect for a stroll to take in the sights.

Note: Keep in mind that each mission is about 2.5 miles from the next.

Visit the ArtPace Downtown

Location: 445 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78205

The Artpace is the place to be if you’re an art fanatic or love modern culture. It’s a place where some of the best art in the city is on display for the community. Some of the works of art you’ll find were made by famous artists from all over the world, and is home to nine artists throughout the year. Three of the artists are native Texans, another three are from other parts of the United States, and the final three can be from anywhere else in the world. Now isn’t that something! The Artpace is a fantastic way to experience how this mix of culture can produce tremendous art for the community, so don’t miss out on the chance to visit this spot!

Visit the Yanaguana Garden

Location: 434 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Here you will find some of the best exhibits in the city of San Antonio. The Yanaguana Garden is famous for its exotic art displays, and each one is a completely unique designs. It is a fun place to take the family and discover just how creative the artists can be.

Visit the Public Art San Antonio Studio

Location: 115 Plaza De Armas #102, San Antonio, TX 78205

This public art studio is a great place to discover some amazing art exhibits. The studio is open to the public and features some great exhibits, workshops, and educational events. This spot is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays are the only exception with extended hours until 7 p.m.

San Antonio Market Square

Go Window Shopping at the Market Square – El Mercado

Location: 514 W Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78207

The Market Square is a spot where the Mexican culture meets San Antonio. It’s a great spot to see and experience just how wonderful the mixing of the two cultures can be. There you’ll see plenty of authentic crafts and events. You can expect to see some of the brightest outfits around accompanied by some great authentic music.

🐳Sea World Walk-Through in San Antonio, TX - Fun Family Activities

things to do in san antonio this summer

Having fun this summer doesn’t have to leave you feeling light in the wallet. Here are 100+ free things to do in San Antonio this summer for kids and adults alike:

We’ve made every effort to ensure that this list is accurate and up-to-date, however, some venues/events/activities may make changes without notifying us. We recommend contacting them directly before visiting to be 100% sure that their free offerings are still available.


San Antonio Aquarium coupons

The San Antonio Zoo
Visit the beautifully manicured landscape of interactive exhibits at the only zoo that’s as big as Texas. The special summer exhibit is Wild Connections – special LEGO sculptures can be found all over the zoo! Admission is $15.99 for kids and $19.99 for adults.

Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours
Discovery everything the city has to offer with this rooftop tour. You can get on and off anywhere for 24 hours to up to 4 days. You can get off at any tourist attraction, shopping mall, and more. Tickets start at $37.89!

Regal Cinemas E-Tickets
Sometimes it gets too hot, and going to the movies is a great way to cool off this summer in San Antonio. Regal Cinemas is offering e-tickets all summer long for just $9.50! Just purchase them online, print them out at home, and redeem any date, for any showing!

GoKart Racing at K-1 Speed
Bring the whole family to see who can hack it and come in the fastest! Racing packages come with score cards so you can compare times. Packages usually run $30- $58.

AMC Yellow E-Tickets
E-Tickets work just like regular movie tickets with one awesome difference- you aren’t locked into any particular day or show time! Use them for almost any movie, any day, at any showing. Just purchase the tickets, download them from your email, and print them out to redeem at the box office. E-tickets are just $9 (down from $13.50!) so you can watch multiple movies at the theater this summer!

The San Antonio Aquarium
Interactive exhibits encourage guests to feed the sharks, sting rays, and birds. You can also get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles and other animals. There are over 8,000 animals to explore in this aquarium, making it one of the best places to visit in San Antonio this summer. Admission is $10.95 for children and $15.95 for adults.


These three-day, free Apple camp sessions teach kids, ages 8-12, to expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects with experts at Apple. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Microsoft hosts free Youthspark Summer Camps at their La Cantera store for kids, ages 6+. Participants learn the latest technology from Microsoft while making new friends, completing creative projects, and gaining new skills that prepare them for the future.
*Note: Microsoft Stores are closed until further notice but kids can take advantage of online workshops!


AMF Kids Bowl Free
Kids, ages 15 and under, get two free games every day all summer long (June 15 – September 7) at the following locations after parents register them (If you plan to have your kids bowl at all three locations below, you must register online at each of the three bowling centers to receive the two free games per day for your kids):
Bandera Bowling Center, 6700 Huebner Rd., 78238
Oak Hills Lanes, 7330 Callaghan Rd., 78229
Astro Super Bowl, 3203 Harry Wurzbach Rd., 78209

Parents can purchase an optional pass for $29.95 for the summer to receive two games per day for up to four adults in the family to bowl with their children. Options, ages, and rates may vary from bowling alley to bowling alley, so be sure to check with each individual business to learn their specific offer details.


*Note: This section is from last year. We will update when new information becomes available!
San Antonio Regional pools
Open starting May 4, with open swimming:

Tuesday – Thursday,  4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 7:00  p.m.
Lap swimming open Tuesday – Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Admission is free.

  • Heritage, 1423 Ellison Dr.
  • Lady Bird Johnson, 10700 Nacogdoches
  • South Side Lions, 3100 Hiawatha
  • Woodlawn, 221 Alexander Ave.

Soon after, all 24 of San Antonio’s pools are open and free admission is available.

Free swimming lessons
Thanks to the San Antonio Parks Foundation, University Health System, and Security Service Federal Credit Union, the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department offers free swimming lesson this summer at 24 outdoor local pools. Lessons are for ages four and up (to adults) and for levels beginner – intermediate. (Spots are limited to 100 per pool). Click here for all of the details for free swimming lessons in San Antonio.


Check out this post which lists free splash pads in San Antonio and the surrounding area!


There are dozens of free (and almost-free) indoor and outdoor movies for families this summer in San Antonio. Check out out HUGE list of Free and Almost-free Summer Movies for 2020!


San Antonio Public Library
June 1
Where: Library branches all over San Antonio (see locations here)
How: Kids complete a reading journal. When it’s full, and when the library is open again, contact your library to make arrangements to pick up your free paperback book. Current plans are for the library to open for contact-free service on June 16.
Events: the San Antonio Public Library supports its Summer Reading Program with free events and activities, all summer long. See the San Antonio Public Library Calendar for more information.
Rewards: Kids (both listeners and readers) earn a Summer Reading Certificate and a free paperback book to keep.

June 1
Where: Online
How: Print a Summer Reading Card and fill out the Summer Reading Survey to participate in summer reading.

Half Price Books: Feed Your Brain
Starts: June 3
Ends: July 31
Where: Online
How: Kids 14 and under can go to the Half Price Books website to download the reading log. Have a parent or guardian initial each week and each month during June and July. High school students who would like to participate can also visit the Half Price Books website beginning in June to submit a short review of a book they read in June and July.
Reward: Share your logs by tagging @halfpricebooks and use the hashtag #FeedYourBrain for a chance to win summer reading prizes!

The Twig
Starts: May 30
Ends: August 7
Where: Online and in stores
How: Twiglets read and log the books they read this summer on their SPOT ON Reading Sheet. The Twig offers rewards for every 10 books you child reads (or, that you read to them). Turn in your SPOT ON Reading Sheet at The Twig for a chance to win a $10 Twig gift certificate (drawn weekly).

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Starts: May 4, 2020
Ends: September 4, 2020
How: Kids log the minutes they spend reading.
Rewards: Play games, earn virtual rewards, and enter a sweepstakes.


Parks & Greenways
With more than 185 public parks and greenways to visit in San Antonio, there’s something for everyone in the family! Here are our 20 recommended San Antonio parks. While you’re there, try geocaching. Don’t know how? Learn from this San Antonio Express-News article on geocaching.

Cibolo Nature Center
In Boerne, you can visit the Cibolo Nature Center for free (donations accepted). Explore four different ecosystems, all in one location.

San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Gardens
Free to visit, this lush escape near the San Antonio Zoo is the perfect summer oasis with winding walking paths, koi ponds, lots of shade, a variety of exotic plants, and views of downtown San Antonio. And it’s all free! Details in this post.


The San Antonio Missions
Recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the only one in the state of Texas!), the San Antonio Missions are also a National Historical Park. And, they are all free to visit! Our favorite San Antonio Mission is Mission San Jose! Donations are accepted.

Ft. Sam Houston’s Quadrangle
Bring your driver’s license or I.D. for free entry to San Antonio’s 2nd oldest military installation. Watch wildlife, including deer, rabbits, peacocks, and geese who make the Quadrangle their home. Details in this post.


Lakeshore Learning
Free crafts for kids, ages 3 and up, every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Digital downloads
Get books, periodicals, music, and more for free from your San Antonio Library. And, the Reading Room has content just for kids!


For all of the free, fantastic programs the San Antonio Library provides this summer, check their updated calendar of free events, story times, arts and crafts, book clubs, and classes for kids and teens. These are some of the best summer activities in San Antonio for families.

Below are our favorite free events coming to a library branch near you this summer (check this page for library branch locations). Please note: all programs are free to attend but some require tickets due to a limited capacity. Some shows/events hand out tickets up to a week in advance. Be sure to visit the San Antonio Public Library’s calendar for specific details.

LEGO Time & LEGO Club
Bring the kids to play legos and share with each other during LEGO Time or LEGO Club. The events are held at various days and times at branch library locations across the city. Check this calendar for updates.

Kids Time
Enjoy books, arts and crafts, and age- appropriate activities. This event is for school-aged children. Younger siblings may attend if they are accompanied by an adult. The events are held at various times and dates across the city. Check their schedule for details. There are also special Baby Time and Toddler Time classes!

Come & Go Crafts
Let the little ones truly express themselves. These crafts are meant to do independently so that kids can learn to follow instructions, take visual cues, and become self-directed. Let them make whatever they want! The crafting times are held all over the city, just check your local branch library.


Check out our post, Free Days and Times for San Antonio Museums, to learn how and when to get free admission to 12 local museums.


Home Depot Workshops
Every Saturday morning, Home Depot hosts free workshops for kids! There are also free workshops for men and women.

Tour the San Antonio Shoe Factory
Take a free tour of their factory to learn how San Antonio Shoes creates shoes, purses, and more. Details in this post.

Get free exercise
Attend any of these free fitness events held all over town hosted by the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department.

See San Antonio | The Saga
Projected onto the facade of San Fernando Cathedral on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays at 9:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m., The Saga is a one-of-a-kind multi-media history of San Antonio. This free art installation, created by Xavier De Richemont, will wow the whole family.
*Note: Due to Covid-19, showings have been suspended until further notice.

Decorate donuts at free family night at Krispy Kreme
Enjoy games, arts and crafts, and free donuts the first Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at all three San Antonio Krispy Kreme locations (1117 North Loop 1604 East, 78232 | 12328 IH 10 West, 78230 | 2703 S.E. Military Dr., 78223).

Attend the best free story time event for kids ever!
Kids of all ages love Miss Anastasia’s Wild and Wacky Pre-weekend Twiglet Storytime. Head to The Twig at the Historic Pearl Brewery (306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 106, 78215) every Friday at 10:00, 10:30, or 11:00 a.m. for this free, wild, and wacky story time.


Take a Tour of San Antonio’s Asian Gardens
A few of the suggested stops on our San Antonio tour of Asian gardens do require a little cash but you and your kids will be introduced to some little-known spots the whole family will love!

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
Visit this birding and wildlife hotspot just south of San Antonio for a low entrance fee. Admission is just $5.00 per person and $3 for children 6-16, children under age 5 are free.
*Note: The center and grounds will be closed until June 30, at the earliest, because of Covid-19.

The Rollercade
Bargain Day: Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. $3 Admission, $3 Regular Skate Rental, and $3 Hot dog special (hot dog and soft drink).

Skateland West
Family Night on Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. One parent skates free with a child’s paid admission (kids are just $5).

Got any more things to do in San Antonio this summer? Let us know where to meet you in the comments below:


San events free antonio family

5 Cool Things to do in San Antonio with kids (+ 10 Free Things To Do in San Antonio!)

Disclosure: asked me to share my ideas on free things to do in  San Antonio TX with kids.

Visiting San Antonio with kids? Lucky you. There are so many fun things to do in San Antonio for kids (and even better there are plenty of great things to do in San Antonio with kids that are free!). There are also a lot of San Antonio kid friendly hotels – some of the San Antonio hotels for families come with their own water parks! Check out our list of family things to do in San Antonio ranging from theme parks to urban parks! You definitely won’t be scrambling for what to do in San Antonio for kids.


San Antonio Kid Friendly Hotels

San Antonio definitely has a plentiful supply of hotels to suit every type of traveller and budget. You can find San Antonio hotels for families in downtown San Antonio, near River Walk, if you really want to be in the heart of things. For example, one of the boutique San Antonio hotels for families, Hotel Havana is full of retro Cuban charm which will enchant the grownups while also providing amenities like cots for kids.

In our opinion though, the best San Antonio hotels for families are located outside of downtown. Although these San Antonio kid friendly hotels are located in Texas Hill Country, these three resorts have plenty to keep families busy and happy.

girl on water slide

the best San Antonio hotels for families even have water parks on site

With a whole host of restaurants on site, as well, you may not even want to leave these San Antonio hotels for kids. You can have a vacation from your vacation if city sightseeing in San Antonio gets to be too much for you!

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is conveniently located near the airport and has something for everyone, including a golf course, a spa and a a 6 acre water park. It has won numerous awards from prestigious organisations like USA Today and Conde Nast Traveler.

Another resort located in Texas hill country, La Cantera Resort and Spa is another luxury resort with golf courses, a spa and 5 pools. It won the Readers’ Choice Award from Conde Nast Traveler for best resort in Texas and the Southwest.

Similarly, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa has golf and spa amenities and a 5 acre waterpark on site. Nearby, is the Hyatt Residence Club Wild Oak Ranch with similar facilities. These two hotels are some of the best hotels for kids in San Antonio.

5 Cool Things To Do in San Antonio With Kids

Thanks to a whole host of theme parks and water parks, you may run out of money before you run out of options of San Antonio attractions for kids. Other San Antonio things to do with kids include the San Antonio Zoo, the San Antonio Aquarium and several museums. The one museum that is highly recommended is the San Antonio kids museum, the DoSeum.

San Antonio Attractions for Kids: Theme Parks

The 200 acre Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park has rides for all the family from little children’s rides to big thrill rides. And, there are 15+ water rides in the water park area. With all that excitement, Six Flags definitely counts among the most fun things to do in San Antonio with kids.

Alternatively, check out Seaworld and its water park, Aquatica. Enjoy the shows and the animal experiences AND get an adrenaline rush participating in the rides. There are 9 thrill rides and roller coasters at Seaworld with a QuickQueue option that lets you bypass any lines.

children on Rio Loco Water Ride

San Antonio kids activities include a Seaworld and its water park, Aquatica (Image credit: Sea World)

San Antonio Attractions for Kids: Water Parks

Want your water park fun pure and unadulterated? These two water parks are all about the wet rides.

Although technically outside of San Antonio, we had to include Schlitterbahn which has been consistently voted the best water park in the world. Schlitterbahn is a 70 acre waterpark with over a 100 rides and a resort complex on site too.

Smaller and better for younger children, Splashtown San Antonio is set on 20 acres and has about 50 rides and attractions.

San Antonio Attractions for Kids: The Zoo

One of the best things to do in San Antonio for kids, the San Antonio Zoo is located in Brackenridge Park, a public park covering 343 riverside acres in San Antonio. The Zoo itself is a very spacious 56 acres with hundreds of animals ranging from Caribbean flamingoes to African hippos. There is also a small aquarium at the San Antonio Zoo for marine life.

San Antonio Attractions For Kids: Aquarium

Another one of the family friendly things to do in San Antonio is the San Antonio Aquarium which holds thousands of species of water-loving animals, fish and birds. For little children, there is a sting ray touch tank and older adventurous spirits can even go snorkelling with sting rays. There are daily scheduled interactions with such animals as sloths, lemurs and kangaroos so that everything you see at the San Antonio Aquarium isn’t behind plate glass.

San Antonio Attractions for Kids: Museums

The San Antonio’s kids museum, The DoSeum, is highly regarded and has free entry in the evenings of the first Tuesday of each month.

Other fun kid friendly things to do in San Antonio include San Antonio’s museum for science and natural history, the Witte Museum which is affiliated with the Smithsonian. If you have a budding firefighter on your hands, do check out the San Antonio Fire Museum.


  • Six Flags Fiesta Park (17000 I-10 West 78257)
  • Seaworld (10500 Sea World Dr 78251)
  • Schlitterbahn ( 400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels TX 78130)
  • Splashtown (3600 North IH-35 78219)
  • San Antonio Zoo (3903 N St Marys St 78212)
  • San Antonio Aquarium (6320 Bandera Road 78238)
  • DoSeum (2800 Broadway St 78209)
  • Witte Museum (3801 Broadway 78209)
  • San Antonio Fire Museum (801 East Houston 78205)
The San Antonio Texas skyline

Even if you wind up emptying your wallet at the theme parks, there are still plenty of free things to do in San Antonio you can enjoy

10 Free Things to Do in San Antonio with Kids

Not all San Antonio kids activities need cost you many. You may be looking for more cost-effective San Antonio kids activities after visiting the theme parks which really can turn into a money pit. Here are suggestions for 10 fun free things to do in San Antonio with kids in tow.

Explore History

If you are investigating what to do in San Antonio for kids, the Alamo National Historic Landmark and Museum is a must-do.  The Alamo is a Roman Catholic mission established by the Spanish in 1744 which became a Spanish military fortress in 1793. During the Texas Revolution, the Battle of the Alamo in February-March 1836 lead to the brutal death of hundreds of Texan revolutionaries. Their martyrdom became a rallying cause which ultimately led to Texas securing its independence from Mexico in May of 1836.

The Alamo in San Antonio Texas

One of the must-do things to do in San Antonio Texas with kids is visit the historic Alamo — and bonus — it’s free!

Today, the Alamo is the most visited historical site in Texas with hundreds of thousands visitors a year.

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is another of the free things to do in San Antonio Texas. This park runs for a 15 mile riverside trail and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Although the Alamo is the most famous of the San Antonio Missions, the four others are less crowded and also worth a visit.

NB! There is 2-3 miles separating each of the missions so that could be a long walk depending on the ages of the children in your family.
San Antonio Spanish mission

There’s history in the parks when you explore San Antonio for kids, such as this historic San Antonio Spanish mission


      • The Alamo (300 Alamo Plaza 78205)
      • Mission Concepción (807 Mission Rd 78210)
      • Mission San José (6701 San Jose Dr 78124)
      • Mission San Juan (9101 Graf Rd 78214)
      • Mission Espada (10040 Espada Rd  78214)


Get Outside

With over 185 parks and green spaces, the provides plenty of free fun things to do in San Antonio that involve exploring outside.

Explore the 2.5 mile long River Walk which is full of stores, restaurants and artwork lining the San Antonio River.

NB: The beginning of the River Walk at Brackenridge Park is in the Pearl District which has a great farmer’s market and another one of the free things to do in San Antonio for kids – a splash pad area for children.
River walk in San Antonio Texas

Things to do in San Antonio TX include strolling the famous River Walk in San Antonio Texas

The Japanese Tea Garden is also located in Brackenridge Park on the site of a former mining quarry. The Japanese Tea Garden is a member of the US National Register of Historic Places. Similar to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, this garden is a beautiful place to explore with ponds, torii gates and a cafe.

The Phil Hardberger Park is a 311 acre park with walking and cycling trails, a nature center playgrounds and picnic areas.

The Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair has public art, playground, splash pad and food trucks.


  • River Walk (849 E. Commerce Street 78205)
  • Japanese Tea Garden (514 W. Commerce 78207)
  • Phil Hardberger Park (13203 Blanco Rd 78216)
  • Yanaguana Garden (434 S Alamo St 78205)

Enjoy Public Art

Free things to do in San Antonio TX include sever opportunities to enjoy public art.

San Pedro Creek Culture Park is a work in progress. When finished the San Pedro Creek Culture park will be an 11 acre public park that has public art and four miles of walking trails. Some of the park is already complete and ready for visitors to enjoy with a plaza and benches to enjoy the public art.

San Antonio has organised it’s public art, both from well-known traditional artists as well as contemporary street artists. The City of Antonio Department of Arts & Culture has a map of all the free public art in the city including paintings, mosaics and sculptures.

The Torch of Friendship statue in San Antonio Texas

Free things to do in San Antonio include checking out the city’s public art

In terms of street art, the San Antonio Street Art Initiative wants to create the “largest outdoor gallery in Texas”. Of course, they do. No one in Texas wants to create anything small.

Anyway, the project has started with blocks of great murals under the I-35 at St. Mary’s Street created by a whole collection of diverse artists.

The 3 block plaza that makes up the Market Square is a Mexican-style market. In addition to the specialty shops, there is also a farmer’s market.

Mexican Market Square in San Antonio TX

Pretend you are south of the border at Mexican Market Square, one of the cool free things to do in San Antonio

San Antonio: The Saga is a video art, light and music show about the city’s history that is projected onto the San Fernando Cathedral in the city’s Main Plaza. The multimedia show runs for free on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. With open space for fidgety kids, this light show is one of the best kid friendly things to do in San Antonio

San Fernando Cathedral San Antonio Texas

Checking out the free light show projected onto the San Fernando Cathedral on the main plaza is a great way to enjoy San Antonio with kids


  • San Pedro Creek Culture Park (715 Camaron Street 78204)
  • Market Square (514 W. Commerce 78207)
  • San Antonio: The Saga (115 N. Main Avenue 78205)

Map of Recommended San Antonio Kids Activities




San Antonio TX attractions for kids water slide

Looking for San Antonio attractions for kids? There are so many great things to do in San Antonio with kids from museums to theme parks | family travel | San Antonio TX | San Antonio Things To Do | San Antonio Riverwalk | Texas Travel Destinations | Vacation #travel #vacation #sanantonio #travelwithkids #budgettravel #offthebeatenpath #bucketlist #wanderlust #Texas #USA #UnitedStates #America #exploreTexas #visitTexas #seeTexas #discoverTexas #travelTexas #TexasVacation #TexasTravel

San Antonio Attractions include the San Antonio River Walk

Planning a trip to San Antonio Texas? There are so many things to do in San Antonio from museums to urban parks and great food San Antonio TX | San Antonio Things To Do | San Antonio Riverwalk | San Antonio Texas Things To Do | Texas Travel Destinations | Vacation #travel #vacation #sanantonio #travelwith kids #budgettravel #offthebeatenpath #bucketlist #wanderlust #Texas #USA #UnitedStates #America #exploreTexas #visitTexas #seeTexas #discoverTexas #travelTexas #TexasVacation #TexasTravel

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Filed Under: Texas

6 Things To Do In San Antonio Texas For Families

Head with soap. My six and I never bare his head. Svetkin LOL.

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