Our trip was hosted by the Hyatt Regency San Antonio and Visit San Antonio. The opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated for this post.
San Antonio is such a great location for a family weekend vacation in Texas. It’s accessible from all the major cities in Texas (and an especially easy 90-minute jaunt from Austin), it teems with culture, and has great museum and amusement park scenes that the whole family loves. I find that San Antonio gives me some of what I miss from when we lived in LA in the way of art and diversity of culture, so it is becoming one of the #FabFam’s go-to destinations for an easy weekend getaway from Austin. Our latest trip had us staying directly on San Antonio’s famed River Walk at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio. Note: this article was updated in 2022 to reflect new photos and information from the property’s recently completed renovations. Today I’m sharing ideas for family friendly things to do, places to eat, and where to stay on and around the San Antonio River Walk. You’ll want to pin this one to your family travel ideas boards!
Where to stay on the San Antonio River Walk
Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk. If you’re looking for a hotel with the easiest possible access to the River Walk, then the Hyatt Regency is your best bet. According to their website, they are the “only hotel located directly on the world-famous River Walk.” With a view overlooking The Alamo and direct River Walk access, there are so many things for a family to do right here by the hotel. Our room overlooked the river (the other side of the hotel overlooks The Alamo), which the kids and I just loved. When it was time to explore, we simple went down the glass elevators in the expansive atrium and stepped outside into the fun. But you don’t even need to leave the hotel for your fun if you want to lay low and relax – the rooftop pool is open year-round (heated during the colder months), there is an on-site spa, the restaurants carry a great variety of delicious local cuisine (including several vegan options), and live music plays in the Q Bar’s lounge on Friday and Saturday nights. In 2022 we were invited out the property again to check out their newly renovated rooms. The extensive updates are incredible, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, brand new hard wood flooring, a modern light and airy color palette, unique art pieces, brand-new 75-inch flatscreen televisions, updated mini fridges, sleek furniture, luxurious bathrooms with marble stand-up showers, and granite sinks and countertops.
What to do with kids on and around the San Antonio River Walk
Not sure what to do with kids on the San Antonio River Walk? It’s not just margaritas and bachelorette parties – there are lots of fun things to do with kids both on and in close driving distance from the River Walk.
GO RIO Cruises. Though we have been to San Antonio many times, we had never taken a river cruise tour until this trip. The whole family loved this narrated tour. We learned a lot of San Antonio’s history from the comfort and shade of a barge on the river. I 100% recommend this if you haven’t taken this tour already.
The Alamo. This mission and historic battlefield site is probably the most synonymous attraction with the city of San Antonio. Visiting is free, and with it being about a block away from our River Walk hotel, we finally took the kids to see it during this trip. Definitely worth the visit!
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Directly across from The Alamo, and about a block from our hotel, is the kid-pleasing Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium. It’s a very quick visit, so easy to combine with a visit to The Alamo or any other museums you plan to visit during a day out in San Antonio with the kids.
Rooftop pool at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio. When you need a break from walking and exploring, don’t forget that one of the easiest and cheapest ways to entertain kids during vacation is hitting the pool. If they could our boys would be in there for hours, or until burnt to a crisp and thoroughly pruny.
The Witte. The #FabFam loves a good museum. We especially love natural history museums and museums with interactive and engaging exhibits. The Witte is all of this. Covering nature, science, and culture, and interactive and engaging from your first step inside, this is an ideal San Antonio museum to visit with kids. We all loved it and wholeheartedly recommend adding this to your list of things to do in San Antonio with kids.
The DoSeum. Another place where you can spend an entire day with the kids in San Antonio is the DoSeum children’s museum. Interactive STEM activities are all around, and our kids are always talking about it (even when back home in Austin). Some of my boys’ favorite features were Little Town (where they get to “work” at Whataburger and H-E-B), the spy area that includes escape room-esque challenges, and basically anything to do with robotics.
The McNay. For modern and various forms of visual art, the collections at the McNay are a must-see during a vacation or day-trip to San Antonio. Masterworks and modern up-and-comers are featured in this impressive collection. But be careful – unlike the other museums mentioned above, the kids don’t get to touch these pieces of art (which Sawyer unfortunately needed to be reminded of a few times…)!
Where to eat in San Antonio on the River Walk
San Antonio’s culinary game is strong. I could do a whole post about the best restaurants in San Antonio, but today I’m focusing on the best places to eat on the San Antonio River Walk (with a family-friendly emphasis).
Casa Rio. This restaurant is right on the River Walk, where you can enjoy delicious Mexican food while watching the ducks and tour boats go by. They even have a mariachi band for some added ambiance. As we learned during our GO RIO cruise, Casa Rio was the first business to open up its doors to the river when it was established back in 1946.
Hotel Dining: Q Kitchen | Bar, MKT. PLACE, and Sauced on Losoya. We were fortunate enough to have great dining options at our hotel on the River Walk. Q Kitchen | Bar was great for a sit-down meal with a ton of variety for the whole family, MKT. PLACE was ideal for a quick to-go option, and Sauced on Losoya is an on-site food truck that serves delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas.
See more on what to do and where to eat in San Antonio in this post here. Planning your own family trip to San Antonio? Let me know some of your favorite things to do with kids in San Antonio in the comments!