San Antonio Cheap Attractions for Families


Family-Friendly Fun on a Budget in San Antonio

With over 200 days of sunshine in Texas, there are a lot of attractions geared outside that are family-friendly. Here’s a list of attractions you should visit while you’re in San Antonio. This list tries to gear towards free things to do in San Antonio with kids and families, with the exception of a couple of suggestions like the Witte Museum and The Doseum (these also have free days), but pretty much everything is free to do.

San Antonio Families Cheap Attractions

San Antonio is the perfect family vacation spot, but it can be challenging to find something that will entertain everyone without breaking the bank. With so many things to do in this beautiful city, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will guide you through some of the most fun and budget-friendly activities that San Antonio has to offer. From exploring the natural beauty of the city to learning about its rich history, we’ve got something for everyone. So, pack your bags, grab your family, and let’s make some unforgettable memories in San Antonio!


You can’t miss the giant needle-like tower hovering over San Antonio, the Hemisfair is a great place to bring your kids during the day, but also try it out at night. Things look very different when night falls, Hemisfair is a beautiful area to walk around in the evening. Going up the big tower isn’t free, but you can certainly walk the grounds completely free.

HemisFair Park

Yanaguana Garden

Within minutes of walking distance from Hemisfair, Yanaguana Garden is another great place to let your kids play. There’s no charge for Yanaguana Garden and it’s within walking distance of food and drinks from places like Dough (a pizza restaurant) and many more choices. Visitors can take partake in free access to games such as chess, checkers, cornhole, and ping pong tables.

The Pearl Brewery

The Pearl Brewery is a very popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The brewery itself doesn’t actually make any more beer and it hasn’t for years now, but you can visit Southerleigh Brewing located at the heart of the Pearl. There’s a large open area for kids to play and a splash pad to cool down in the muggy summer heat of San Antonio. There are numerous restaurants to choose from including the Bottling Department, a family-friendly food hall.

Pearl District

Visit the Historic San Antonio Missions

These missions, dating back to the 18th century, provide a glimpse into the city’s colonial past and showcase the blending of Spanish and Native American cultures. The most famous mission, the Alamo, is a must-see for history enthusiasts, but don’t stop there.

Embarking on a mission trail tour allows you to explore the other missions, including Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. Each mission has its own unique charm and exhibits, giving visitors a deeper understanding of the early settlements in the area.

San Antonio Missions

As you stroll through the missions’ grounds, you can marvel at the stunning architecture, admire the intricate artwork, and soak in the serene atmosphere. The missions often host educational programs and events suitable for all ages, making it an ideal destination for families looking to combine fun and learning.

Best of all, visiting the missions is affordable or even free, as most of them are operated by the National Park Service. Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring these historical gems, immersing yourself in the stories of the past while creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Within the park grounds, four separate mission sites offer recreation opportunities for the whole family. Step back in time while never leaving the city at Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. They are all open to park visitors during park hours, except for during special services, such as weddings and funerals.

If there was one San Antonio mission I would recommend, it’s Mission San Jose. It’s the biggest mission of them all including the famous Alamo. This is also a mission that most tourists won’t bother to go to, so you’ll have plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the surrounding. The mission itself is run by the National Park Service and offers a short movie, a gift shop, and plenty of photo opportunities.

Japanese Tea Garden

Visit the San Antonio, Japanese Tea Garden, and enjoy an afternoon watching the large Koi fish pond. The Japanese Tea Garden is a very busy location, from wedding & engagement photos to travelers coming from the San Antonio Zoo. Parking is always a hassle if you go on the weekends, so get there early, you’ll thank me later. There’s a small shop Japanese Tea Garden that sells snacks and memorabilia, don’t forget to check that out.

Witte Museum

For those seeking educational and interactive experiences, San Antonio boasts a range of museums that cater to children and families. The Witte Museum features exhibits on natural history, science, and South Texas heritage, providing a fun and educational experience for all ages. The San Antonio Children’s Museum is another gem, offering hands-on exhibits and activities designed to spark curiosity and creativity in young minds.

Witte Museum

Witte Museum is a great family-friendly activity, though you have to pay to get in. It’s the only museum of its kind here in San Antonio it covers the natural history of the Hill Country and Texas heritage. They also have a cool Science tree house where kids can learn and play with activities geared toward learning more about the human body. Next door to the Natural History Museum is the South Texas Heritage Center which covers South Texas traditions and history. Only one ticket is per person is required to visit both exhibits. Witte Museum has free entry at certain times of the week, check their website for details.

The Doseum

Large 2-story museum geared for kids and families. If you have little ones, and looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the San Antonio River Walk, check out The Doseum. Located just north of downtown, the museum can be easily accessed just by heading north on Broadway, after a 10-15 minute drive. The Doseum always has special offers, so check out their website before you pay full price.

The DoSeum, San Antonio’s museum for kids, serves as a “charging station” to power up kids’ minds through play. Our exhibits and programs promote joyful learning, invite discovery, spark interest, and develop positive attitudes toward learning across critical content areas – including STEM, the arts, and literacy.

Free Family Nights are brought to you by H-E-B and Community First Health Plans. This event is every first Tuesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:30 PM

El Mercado

Don’t forget to check out Market Square, also known as El Mercado. This bustling Mexican market offers a vibrant atmosphere filled with food vendors, shops selling unique handicrafts, and live performances. Families can immerse themselves in the lively ambiance, try delicious Mexican cuisine, and even find affordable souvenirs to take home.

San Antonio Market Square

San Antonio parks and outdoor spaces

When it comes to family-friendly fun in San Antonio, exploring the city’s parks and outdoor spaces is a must. With its pleasant climate and abundance of green areas, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors without breaking the bank.

Brackenridge Park

One popular destination is the iconic Brackenridge Park, located just north of downtown. This sprawling park offers something for everyone in the family. You can take a leisurely stroll along the San Antonio River, rent paddleboats, or have a picnic on the grassy fields. Kids will love the playgrounds and the miniature train rides that wind through the park.

Relax. Play. Explore. Enjoy the tranquility of the San Antonio River. Throw out a fishing line or walk your dog. Explore San Antonio’s rich history.

Canyon State Natural Area

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, head over to the Government Canyon State Natural Area. This vast park boasts over 40 miles of trails, perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and even geocaching. Explore the scenic landscapes, encounter wildlife, and marvel at the ancient dinosaur tracks preserved in the park.

San Antonio River Walk

If you’re looking for water-based fun, make a visit to the San Antonio River Walk. This charming urban oasis is lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Take a leisurely boat ride along the river or simply enjoy a walk while admiring the colorful umbrellas and vibrant atmosphere. There are often free events and live performances happening along the River Walk, providing entertainment for the whole family.

Phil Hardberger Park

Another hidden gem is Phil Hardberger Park, a tranquil oasis nestled within the city. With its vast green spaces, playgrounds, and even a dog park, this park offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Take a hike along the trails, have a picnic, or simply relax under the shade of the trees.

Local festivals and events

San Antonio is a vibrant city that has no shortage of festivals and events throughout the year. Attending these local gatherings is not only a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of the city but also to have some family-friendly fun without breaking the bank.


One of the most popular events in San Antonio is the Fiesta, an annual citywide celebration that lasts for several weeks in the spring. With a wide range of activities including parades, live music, arts and crafts, delicious food, and exciting carnival rides, Fiesta offers something for everyone in the family. Best of all, many of the events are free or have affordable admission prices, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious families.

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

Another event worth checking out is the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, held in February. This iconic Texan event showcases traditional rodeo competitions, thrilling bull riding, and exciting live entertainment. Kids will love the petting zoo, carnival games, and interactive exhibits. While tickets to certain performances may have a cost, there are also plenty of free activities to enjoy on the grounds, such as agricultural exhibits and live music performances.

Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony

For those visiting San Antonio during the holiday season, the city’s River Walk is transformed into a magical wonderland during the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. Families can gather along the riverbanks to watch as brightly lit floats pass by, accompanied by music and entertainment. The event culminates with the lighting of thousands of twinkling lights, illuminating the entire River Walk. This enchanting experience is completely free for all to enjoy and is sure to create lasting memories.

Neighborhood Festivals in San Antonio

In addition to these major events, San Antonio also hosts various neighborhood festivals throughout the year, each reflecting the unique character of its community. From cultural celebrations to food festivals, there is always something happening in different parts of the city. These local events often offer low-cost or free admission, providing an excellent opportunity to discover hidden gems and experience the authentic spirit of San Antonio.

Final Word

We hope you enjoyed our blog post on discovering family-friendly fun on a budget in San Antonio. Exploring a new city with your family can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. By following the tips and suggestions we provided, you can create unforgettable experiences for your family without stretching your budget. From exploring the beautiful parks to visiting the local attractions, San Antonio has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. So grab your loved ones, plan your trip, and get ready to make unforgettable memories in San Antonio without worrying about your wallet.


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