This travel guide is sponsored by The St. Anthony Hotel and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center.
48 Hours of Educational Fun in San Antonio
This week we did something a little different for school. We packed our overnight bags and we left behind our school books for the open road. No we did travel hundreds of miles, more like 75, and it was well worth it. We visited beautiful San Antonio Texas. Our neighboring big city to Austin and we had so much fun exploring and learning. Since the intention of this visit was to focus on educational fun in San Antonio, I researched a variety of interactive and educational activities to participate in while there.
Where We Stayed
The St. Anthony Hotel: Just because we’re making this visit all about exploring and the educational offerings of San Antonio doesn’t mean I’m not treating it as the mini vacation it is. I mean come on mom’s don’t tell me that when you’re booking a hotel you don’t look at those amenities and think about how much energy and effort they are going to save you. The St. Anthony Hotel is a beautiful full service hotel located in the heart of downtown San Antonio just minutes from all of the fun. One of my least favorite things about staying central in a large city is parking and the security of the car. Well, The St. Anthony Hotel has valet and it was perfect. We parked with them upon arrival and didn’t need the car again until we packed up to head home. When I did call for the car it was ready in just minutes! Literally, I text my request as we walked out of the room and when we arrived in the lobby it was curbside. Another perk of a full service hotel is the wonderful staff. From help with parking, to assistance with our bags, the concierge had a delightful box of toys for the kids to look through on arrival and pick one to keep. We selected a sweet mermaid doll and silly dress up glasses.
Our room was amazing, with an entry way to store our luggage, and shoes (bonus since we don’t wear shoes at home). The living room was spacious and gave us lots of room to spread out. I set up the pack n play in there for Mary to sleep in. She does best when we aren’t all in the same room at bedtime. The bedroom was arranged with 2 full size bed and the coziest linens ever. We enjoyed turn down service both nights during our stay and John thought it was great that his Lovey was on the bed waiting for him. The bathroom was spacious and as a mom I can fully appreciate the full size tub. The St. Anthony Hotel was amazing and we would love to stay here again on our next visit to San Antonio.
NHS Missions– Junior Ranger: The National Park Services Jr. Ranger program has been become one of our favorite activities to seek out during travel. For this trip we visited the beautiful mission San Jose. There are multiple missions around the city that fall under the National Park Service and are open to public for exploring. This site does not have a fee associated with it and the grounds are absolutely amazing. We stopped in at the visitors center and picked up our Jr. Ranger books and got to work learning all about the people, ear in time and what the missions purpose was. The kids were excited to earn their latest Jr. Ranger badge.
Legoland Discovery Center: Talk about an amazing place for STEM learning. John has recently discovered the wonderful world of LEGO®, so I knew we would have to visit the LDC ASAP. I’ve been following them on social since it was first announced they were opening a location in SATX, and started planning this learning adventure. The MINILAND® San Antonio was amazing with functioning river boats, lighted buildings and sports stadium with controllable mini figures on the field playing. John walked around the room pointing out all the places he knew and asking to visit a few new spots.
As we adventured into the “Hub” of LDC all I can say is Wow! First thing I noticed and appreciated was that most of the activities are in this one central room, allowing me to manage 2 kids with different interests. We started with the LEGO® City Play zone to burn off some physical energy. After they had all the wiggles out they moved on to building vehicles, John’s favorite thing to build, and racing them on the 2 awesome test tracks. We then spent the rest of the morning moving through the remaining 10 great themed zones in LEGOLAND® Discovery Center including the DUPLO® Farm and Village, LEGO® Friends, Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, The Earthquake Table, Creative Workshops and LEGO® 4D Cinema. There is a adorable cafe on site that had great kid friendly and healthy options for a quick bite.
We were having so much fun that it was hard to leave. As afternoon rolled around the amount of kids picked up and it was a bit harder for me to keep up with 2 small ones. I was ready to head out and may or may not have bribed the kids with a trip into the LEGO® store. Let me just tell you the best bang for your buck are those awesome Mini figures. They stood next to each other laughing and having so much building their figures. a pack of 3 figures including 2 accessory pieces was a steal at $12.95. I snagged a few $4 packs of accessories to surprise them with later and an an awesome underwater packet for Christmas. The kids are already asking to go back and when asked what their favorite part of the entire trip was, they both said building!
The Witte Museum: I personally LOVE Texas history, which pretty much makes sense as a born and raised Texan. I want my kids to have my same love for it and take every opportunity to share it with them. We regularly visit our local museums with emphasis on Texas history and I was thrilled to have a chance to visit the Witte Museum on our educational trip. This museum is AH-MAZING! We explored the dinosaur gallery, learned all about the people of the Pecos Valley, of course checked out the Texas Wild Gallery that features the flora and fauna that are in the 8, yes 8 ecosystems of Texas.
We made our way to see the special exhibit, How the West was Fun! Circus, Saddles and the Silver Screen, which included lots of great information and original posters, photographs, artifacts and films of the Wild West. Mary loved sitting in the saddle and John was all about the interactive labs throughout the museum where they could get hands on with each topic of discovery. The grounds outside the museum are lush and beautiful, we had fun running around outside and explored the outer buildings on the grounds. One of the buildings had a fun interactive area where the kids “built” a log cabin together.
I loved seeing that HEB had a sponsored exhibit for the kids! I love HEB and all of their community involvement and this did not disappoint. The Body Adventure was interactive, teaching the kids about healthy eating, physical exercise and overall wellness are important for our bodies.
Fun Tip: Tuesday from 3pm-8pm admission to The Witte Museum is FREE, thanks to several generous foundations.
The Alamo: No Trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to The Alamo, at least not for this crew. Since we were there on a week day and fairly early in the morning it was nice that there weren’t a ton of tourist lingering around. We snapped a few fun pictures in front, a measure of my babies growing since the last ones were from about a year ago, then we ventured inside. There is no photography allowed inside but it is truly amazing to stand there and envision what must have happened during that battle. As we passed through the walls, stopping to read various historic markers we exited to the garden area. This was the first time I have visited when the Living History Encampment. I loved that the people were in period dress and discussed various tools, weapons and facts as though we were in that time. It was great and we loved it.
You may not know this BUT The Alamo actually belongs to the people of Texas. The Texas General Land Office is the custodian of the Alamo and caregivers. They are currently doing some preservation work to help stabilize the crumbling walls. I ‘l so glad that it is being cared for and maintained. After we walked the full grounds, we of course visited the great gift shop, and while The Alamo is definitely a historical spot and I was sad to see they don’t have a kids Jr. Ranger type of program in place. We did find a Jr. Ranger style of badge in the gift shop and while John wanted it for sure I explained that we would be doing some activities at home before he could add it to his hat. I found these two great and age appropriate books to read through with him before he have his badge, What Was the Alamo and Flat Stanley Showdown at the Alamo.
Go Rio Riverboat Cruise: This wasn’t on our initial itinerary BUT we saw the boats in the MiniLand at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and then again while we were walking the River walk to have dinner. We finished eating just in time to catch the sunset cruise and I am so glad we did. The kids actually sat in their seats the entire 35 minute boat ride. We learned all about the architecture of the River walk and some of the surrounding areas. Lots of fun facts about the World’s Fair, the River walk and of course lots of humor. a great way to fill a few minutes, take a break from walking and get a ton of fun facts about the area.
As you can see we had a full trip of education fun in San Antonio. The kids loved every minute of it. We all learned a few new things and honestly I can’t wait for our next trip so that we can explore a few more gems that we just couldn’t fit in this go round. Looking for more fun in San Antonio, check out these awesome ideas.