Summer in the City: It's Way Bigger and Better in San Antonio, Texas!

Photo courtesy Ronald Carlson via public domain.
Photo courtesy Ronald Carlson via public domain.

by jada pickett

It wasn't until I became a nanny that I discovered all the wonderful things San Antonio has to offer. Amazing adventures abound for children of all ages! I like to teach my charges through outdoor hands-on experiences. I come into contact with many nannies here in San Antonio who aren't too sure what to do with their little ones outside the home or where to take them. Worry no more; I have your summer in Alamo city covered, and with summer here and school out, you will be sure to have your calendar filled with exciting excursions for not only the summer, but all the seasons to come!

Theme Parks

Theme parks like SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas are very popular for Texans because of the warm temperatures we experience. Each one has a water park as well. There's something for all age ranges and your entire day can be full of fun. Just be sure you keep that sunblock handy and water bottles full. I'd recommend making it a joint play date outing by joining forces with at least another nanny or two; theme parks can be huge and crowded and it’s always safer to take along another adult, especially if your charges are under 5. Pro tip: if you get a season pass (ask your MomBoss to purchase one for you and the children) then you don’t have to feel like you need to accomplish everything all in one day.

Kiddie Park

Let’s say your little ones aren’t big enough to enjoy the full experience of an extremely large and crowded theme park. Kiddie Park is an ideal choice for toddlers. The oldest children’s amusement park in the country, Kiddie Park is located near downtown San Antonio (Broadway and Brakenridge). Kiddie Park provides the miniature theme park experience for a very low price. There are also food and picnic tables so you can have lunch there as well. Enjoy the merry-go-round or train rides with your charges, but you must know that the majority of the rides are too small for adults, so if you know your charge doesn’t enjoy going on rides alone, bring another nanny who has another charge the same age and make it an all-day event they can enjoy together!

Witte Museum

If you’re new to San Antonio then I must warn you that it can get very hot here. Sometimes it’s so hot that the amount of time spent outdoors should be limited to no more than an hour. With that in mind, if you are wondering if there are any fun adventures indoors when it’s too hot, rainy, or even cold, the answer is yes! When it’s too hot to be outside, head to the Witte Museum. I have brought my charge here since she was just a year old, and it is always an amazing experience. I’m always in awe of how although we visit two or three times a week, we always find something new to enjoy. It’s a special museum that provides the history of San Antonio in a fun hands-on and visual way. Check out their current Dinosaurs Unearthed theme, and you can go on fossil hunts, view life-sized dinosaurs, and much more. Also available for your charge’s amazement: fish tanks, information about the famous fiesta parade, and much more. We enjoy going to the King’s Ranch exhibit and their special HEB playhouse located behind the main museum. Members receive other special benefits such as invites to private tours and functions held by the museum. Nearly everything in the museum has been donated from different families and organizations within the city. If you’re not interested in becoming a member, come on a Tuesday after 10 a.m. and get in free! Just come early, as the lines can get long, which is not fun if you have more than one charge.

Children's Museum

Want a fun indoor experience that can literally last all day? Then come to the Children’s Museum. There are two locations, one in New Braunfels and the other in downtown San Antonio. Our favorite is the McKenna (New Braunfels) location because it doesn’t have multiple floors and is easier to navigate, plus it has a shaded water play area outside. Children can go shopping in the grocery store, pretend they are doctors, draw, dress up, go camping, and more! And they also offer music classes!

Morgan's Wonderland

Morgan’s Wonderland was created for children with disabilities, but everyone is welcome and everyone always has a fabulous sensory experience! Make this a biweekly field trip because you will certainly be hooked! If you also plan birthday parties for your charge, consider this place; it’s sure to be fun for all guests!

Photo courtesy Robert Piemme via public domain.
Photo courtesy Robert Piemme via public domain.

Alamo, Wax Museum & Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

Take a tour downtown, visit the Alamo and shortly after head across the street to the Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum (there’s also a haunted house if your charges are old enough for this). These events can be pricey, but they make for a great occasional experience.

Pee Wee Bees

Just when you thought you were stuck indoors because outside was yucky, Pee Wee Bees indoor playground to the rescue, bringing your outdoor experiences indoors. Pee Wee Bees offers play center areas for children as young as 1 year on up to about 8. An added bonus is the free WiFi and eating section, not to mention you can come and go as you please for the entire day for only $10! My charge and I love this play center specifically because the toys were safe, clean, and the area had enough space to move around in.

San Antonio Zoo

Who doesn’t love the zoo? I have never met a child who doesn’t enjoy a trip to the zoo! We make our trips to the zoo fun by switching between the three different routes. We also ride the zoo train (which happens to pick up and drop off guests to the Witte Museum). If you’re teaching animal sounds and/or different animals in general, then the zoo is a great way to enhance the learning experience!

Drive-Through Zoo/Natural Bridge Caverns

To take things a step further, Wildlife Ranch is another option located near Garden Ridge, Texas (right off I-35) where you get to have a safari experience right in your car. Guests get to feed the animals through the window and get a closer look at animals in a habitat bigger than the zoo. Enjoy an actual cave experience at the natural bridge caverns located in the same area.

Botanical Gardens/Japanese Tea Gardens

Looking for beautiful grounds to have a picnic, and later view different plants and flowers grown in Texas? The botanical gardens and Japanese tea gardens are just what you are looking for. Outside of being able to view quoi fish and beautiful plant life, there are different activities catered just for the little ones. We love the beach theme that the botanical gardens offer during spring break. The Japanese tea gardens are free to the public and can be visited by taking the zoo train.

Landa Library and Park

It used to be a house, and now it’s a beautiful library and park located off Hildebrand and Shook Avenue. Landa Library offers a shaded park with sections for big and small children to play (we love this because one of the biggest things I have a trouble with sometimes is bigger children teasing or throwing things at the little ones).

Alamo Heights Pool

I have met the owner and he is amazing and makes sure every guest is treated nicely and with respect. Although this pool is located in Alamo Heights, everyone is able to become a member, and you can bring a guest for a discounted rate! Of course there are lifeguards on duty and a separate pool for small children.

Check out the places on this list for summer fun in San Antonio, whether you live here or are just planning to come for a visit. You will certainly enjoy them and I encourage you to visit a place on this list that you haven’t been to yet.