This trip was sponsored by Hilton Hotels and their local partners in San Antonio. All opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated for this post.
The #FabFam kicked off our summer in the most epic way with a long weekend getaway to San Antonio (just a quick jaunt from Austin) to visit all of the big theme parks! Today I’m sharing the best place to stay to access the parks, along with insider tips to get the most out of your family visit to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio, and the San Antonio Zoo. You’ll want to pin this post to save these hidden gems and pro tips for the theme parks in San Antonio!
It starts with saving some money! This summer Hilton is offering Texas Sized Savings at local hotels, attractions, and restaurants for your vacation to San Antonio! Through this summer promotion, guests can receive up to $25 hotel credit per night and a host of local discounts and experiences exclusively to those staying with participating Hilton branded hotels between April 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019. It includes 40% off park admission and an extra hour in the park at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, a $25 discount on SeaWorld Single Day Tickets, and so much more. Learn more about the Hilton San Antonio Texas Sized Savings offers here, and see Hilton’s San Antonio travel guide here to help you with your planning.
The best hotel near Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Without a doubt, the best place to stay in San Antonio near the amusement parks is the family-friendly Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark hotel (5615 Landmark Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78249). It’s so close to Six Flags Fiesta Texas that you could practically walk to it – but you won’t need to since the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the park (which is a great way to save money on parking). Other San Antonio theme parks are very conveniently located to the property as well given its easy access to all the major San Antonio thoroughfares. Very newly renovated to be one of the new concept Embassy Suites, the Embassy Suites San Antonio Landmark is modern and space efficient (both in the public spaces and in the all-suite rooms). Like most Hilton hotels, the Embassy Suites Landmark makes many efforts to be eco-friendly, which this traveler can appreciate. The outdoor pool was so fun for the kids, with great shade and lounge options for the adults. Evening happy hour for guests includes a complimentary drink at the hotel bar, which was quite a fun scene. On-premise dining at Brickstone’s Kitchen & Bar was fantastic, for both the complimentary breakfast buffet and the full-service dinner menu. Learn more about how you can get up to $25 hotel on-property credit at the Embassy Suites San Antonio Landmark hotel with the Hilton Texas Sized Savings offer here.
Best place to eat in San Antonio near the theme parks
Also conveniently located near (and a free shuttle ride away from) the Embassy Suites San Antonio Landmark is San Antonio’s destination for shopping, dining, and other fun experiences, The RIM. While The RIM has several world-class restaurant options, we highly recommend The General Public modern gastropub. Great service, a great vibe, and even better food! Plus, with Hilton’s Texas Sized Savings offer this summer, guests get 15% off at The General Public (learn more about the Texas Sized Savings offer here). Definitely add The General Public to your list of restaurants to try during a to San Antonio.
Insider tips for visiting Six Flags Fiesta Texas with kids
We had an absolute blast at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio’s biggest amusement park. Now that our youngest is 48″ tall, we could do many of the thrill rides as a family for the first time, which was such a fun experience. With the Hilton promotion this summer, you’ll get 40% off park admission and Hilton Honors members get an extra hour in the park. Learn more about the Texas Sized Savings offer here. I learned insider tips directly from the staff at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and am excited to pass these gems along to you so you can have the best experience with your family at Six Flags.
- If you live near a Six Flags park and/or travel to areas with Six Flags, the Membership program is the overall best value. This annual membership can be paid on a monthly basis, and includes a number of perks, including admission to all Six Flags parks and waterparks all year long, merchandise discounts, dining passes and more.
- If you have the flexibility to do so, visit during the week – it is more leisurely than on the weekends!
- Purchase tickets online (no matter what type) – this will always save you money.
- Make sure you bring your swimwear for the waterpark, but if you don’t, there is an on-site swim shop where you can purchase swimsuits, sunscreen, etc.
- A family can spend an entire day at the waterpark, and can even rent a cabana there. If you want to get the most out of both parks, two days are recommended.
- Grab you map and guide right when you enter the park. It includes show times and height guidelines for all the rides.
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a family park. The shows, plus Fright Fest (October) and Holiday in the Park (Christmas) are all family friendly. There are even several roller coasters and other attractions with lower height restrictions. Roadrunner Express was one of our favorites, and is a great entry-level thrill coaster for smaller kids!
- If visiting with kids, it is recommended to start towards back of park and work your way forward, and start early in the day so you have time to take a break and rest at your hotel for a bit. When leaving get your hand stamped so you can come back for nighttime fireworks!
- Wear comfortable footwear! In the summer especially, wear light-colored, breathable clothing, sunscreen, and a hat, and make sure you stay hydrated! We recommend getting the refillable souvenir bottle that gives you unlimited refills the day of your visit. Also note that many shows are indoors which can provide some cooling-off time.
- To save some extra money, dining passes and discounted meal packages can be purchased online in advance.
Insider tips for visiting SeaWorld San Antonio
I grew up going to SeaWorld in San Diego, and it has always had a special place in my heart. Experiencing SeaWorld Texas with my own family was just as special, and I loved hearing about their efforts towards conservation and sustainability. With the Hilton Texas Sized Savings offer you can save $25 on a SeaWorld Single Day Ticket, or enjoy unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio for 3 consecutive days with $10 off your SeaWorld and Aquatica Flex Ticket. Learn more about the promotion here. Here are my tips for you to get the most out of your family trip to SeaWorld San Antonio.
- The new Turtle Reef exhibit is a must-see. Featuring a first-of-its-kind bio filtration habitat, guests get an up-close look at endangered and rescued sea turtles and multi-colored fish, while learning more about the human impact on the oceans. Turtle Reef’s 126,000-gallon coral reef-themed environment was designed as a natural bio filtration system to build a near natural, environmentally based recirculating filtration system that attracts wildlife and reduces water and energy consumption in the park, enabling the park to further its eco-friendly mission.
- For another up-close-and-personal experience, check out Dine with Orcas, here you have your lunch alongside the majestic sea mammals during a behind-the-scenes training session.
- Cool off the kids in the Sesame Street Bay of Play, which is like a giant playscape and splash pad combined. Make sure to bring swimwear and swim appropriate shoes for this one, and consider packing a change of clothes for afterwards.
- Speaking of getting wet, the Journey to Atlantis ride is super fun for the whole family, but be prepared to get wet (which is a good way to cool off from the heat). If you want to get extra soaked, stand by he side of the ride where the boat splashes down and you will get absolutely drenched. The kids thought this was a blast!
- Be prepared to reserve lockers. Several rides and coasters (including Journey to Atlantis) will not let you bring bags or items – you either have to have someone in your party stay back holding your items, or you get a locker.
- Because it’s 5:00 somewhere, get yourself a delicious (and HUGE) mimosa or beer.
- Pre-purchase dining passes and refillable bottles (one price gets you free refills in your souvenir bottle all season long) for the best deals.
Insider tips for visiting the San Antonio Zoo with young children
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: San Antonio Zoo is one of the best zoos in Texas for kids and families. Exhibits perfectly displayed at child height, ample shade, an easy layout, and one of the coolest interactive children’s areas, this place is made for family enjoyment! Hilton guests get exclusive access to the zoo an hour before opening this summer (between 5/25/19 and 8/25/19). Learn more about this offer and all the local San Antonio incentives here. In addition to my own experience, I got some great insider tips directly from San Antonio Zoo staff to help you plan your own trip. Here they are!
- During hot months it’s recommended to visit first thing in the morning before it gets too hot.
- Make sure to bring a change of clothes for little ones or a swim suit and towel for the Tiny Tots area and splash zone. There are also indoor interactive stations and arts and crafts in the Tiny Tots area for little ones to cool off in the air conditioning.
- Get up-close-and-personal with a few of the animals with some cool interactive behind-the-scenes experiences like Behind the Scenes: Hippos and Behind the Scenes: Aldabra Tortoise, where you get to interact with and feed the animals in a safe, controlled environment.
- Annual pass holders get early admission (entrance before the crowds) during the summer, and new annual pass levels offer different incentives, such as drinks and carousel rides.
- One of the hidden gems is the Hixon Bird House towards the back of the zoo (near the petting zoo area). The San Antonio Zoo has a very large bird conservation program where they work to save endangered species through a breeding program that has successfully bred and released birds back out into the wild.
- During the weekends the zoo offers beastly brunch experiences where you get to dine with hippos or giraffes.
- The happening thing this summer is the zoo’s “Wild Australia” theme, where you can interact with kangaroos at Roo Walkabout for an upgraded experience, feed lories, eat Aussie-themed snacks, and check out the koalas that are visiting San Antonio from the San Diego Zoo.
Do you have plans to visit any of the amusement parks in San Antonio this summer? Be sure to check out Hilton’s Texas Sized Savings offers!