Since before kids, my Texas-born husband and I have been vacationing in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. The wineries are beautiful and the tubing is a day of fun! And with the addition of our two girls, we have continued building memories in Hill Country and San Antonio. There are so many things to do in both San Antonio and Hill Country that are family friendly that make it a perfect spot for a summer vacation!
Every summer, we load up the car and drive out to Texas.
For us it is a two part trip, as we do some time outside of Houston with our in-laws and then head to San Antonio but you could certainly fly straight into San Antonio. There are dozens of hotels right along the San Antonio River Walk that are great for families. The River Walk itself is a great tourist destination with restaurants and shopping galore, and kids love the River Walk Tour Boat trips. We have enjoyed exploring the Historic Market Place on the river and the river side seating at Cafe Ole.
A couple other great places in San Antonio that we love are The Doseum and the Nature Bridge Wildlife Ranch. The Doseum is an interactive museum for kids of all ages and you can easily spend an entire day exploring all of the different activities The Doseum has to offer. Kids can be be veterinarians, airplane pilots, or learn how sound and light work! At the Wildlife Ranch you drive your own vehicle through the grounds with zebras, ostriches, and llamas to name a few. Make sure to buy the animal food; it is what draws the animals to your car! Since you are traveling about 5 miles an hour through the park we let our young girls sit on our laps during the tour so they could see the animals better. And at the end is a petting zoo of smaller animals that you can park and pet.
Getting Out of the City
We truly love getting out of San Antonio and heading a little further west to Hill Country, towards New Braunfels and Fredricksburg. New Braunfels is a quaint little German town and where we have been taking our kids tubing for years! I highly recommend the Comal River for tubing, through Landa Falls. The Comal is a spring fed river which stays cool, clean, and even flowed (i.e. not rapids) all the time. We pack snacks and drinks, tie our tubes together and spend the day floating and swimming down the river. There are spots along the banks where you can get out and picnic and there is a a slide shoot that the adventurous kids and adults can do! (For those less adventurous, you can get out and walk across the bridge of the shoot to skip it.) We put life vests on our girls, and they enjoy jumping out of their tubes and swimming around checking out the small fish in the river. It is such a pleasant and relaxing time that the kids often ask to float it again on the same day!
For the little ones, I recommend bringing life vests, goggles, and rope to tie your tubes together. If you have kids that are too little to tube, head to Landa Park. Landa Park has pools and a splash pad for littles and the water is also the cool spring fed Comal River Water. They have a park to play in and fishing is allowed as well. The Schlitterbahn Water Park is also in New Braunfels along the Comal River. Schlitterbahn is a giant water park with attractions spread along two locations (tram ride is included!) with water attractions for both the little and big kids in your life. The water is also from the Comal River and not chlorinated. Make sure to wear your water shoes and plan for a full day at the park!
Adult and Kid Fun
Fredericksburg is full of beautiful wineries that are fun for adults and kid friendly all along one main stretch of highway. Pedernales Cellars has an outdoor deck with live music and a large field that the kids can run around in. Torre di Pietra has beautiful flower gardens that the kids can explore and also a friendly winery cat that my kids have played with every year for many years now. Not a wine drinker? Real Ale Brewery is both kid and dog friendly! Downtown Fredericksburg is a quaint little town full of antique shopping and mom & pop restaurants. And make sure to stop at one of the little stores along the highway for some amazing Hill Country peach ice cream!