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What was once a private Catholic school in the mid-19th Century is now one of San Antonio's most elegant hotels. Located on the city's famous River Walk, La Mansion del Rio boasts historical Spanish Missionary architecture, lush gardens, sparkling fountains and luxurious amenities. This place has been the first choice in hotels by dignitaries, celebrities, tourists and discriminating locals for decades.
The Hotel Contessa has the honor of being a AAA Four Diamond Hotel. This means that you can expect great service and luxurious accommodations whether you're a business traveler or on a family vacation. There's a 24-hour business center to help you stay on top of work, and a children's area with supervised activities for families in San Antonio to enjoy the River Walk. Throw a renowned spa in to the mix, as well as a fine dining restaurant, and you've got the makings of an unforgettable trip.
Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on Market Street, in Downtown San Antonio. The museum, named for one of the most beloved governors of Texas, Dolph Briscoe, boasts of an interesting collection of artworks typical to the Western regions of America. A part of the Public Library, the museum is home to several contemporary and historic pieces and artifacts, including some that date back to the time of the Spanish conquest of the 1800s! The place also hosts numerous exhibitions and workshops throughout the year for the benefit of art students and enthusiasts. Open from Tuesdays through Sundays, Briscoe Western Art Museum makes for an interesting visit. Check the website for more details.
Artpace, a local foundation with national influence, anchors the art community with impressive exhibits, active public outreach and an international artist-in-residence program. Each artist's residency is launched with a potluck dinner, which coincides with the exhibit opening and is meant to introduce the resident to the community. Brown-bag lunches with discussions about current exhibits, lectures, seminars, film screenings and community events provide a context for the residents' work and encourage the public to become involved with the contemporary art community. The beautifully renovated 1920s-era building that the foundation calls home was once an automobile dealership. It is only one block from the River Walk in the downtown cultural district, near the Central Library.
Located directly across from the Alamo, this museum displays shocking wax mannequins so similar to the heroes, celebrities and fictional characters they represent, that it's almost creepy. You'll see Jim Carrey, Charlton Heston, Frankenstein, Dracula and many more. You'll feel like you got your money's worth in this odd museum. The weird items should be safe for kids, but if you have a squeamish little one, don't go into the cellar.
Originally created as the grounds for the 1968 Worlds Fair, this park is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Stroll through the park's 12 acres of fountains, pools and beautifully landscaped grounds or cavort on the Downtown All Around Playground. Built entirely by volunteers, this playground features wooden play areas designed by kids, including a space tunnel and a castle—perfect for letting little imaginations run wild. Also located on the park grounds are the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Tower of the Americas.
Yet another top-flight children's theater, this group focuses on producing classic children's tales with an occasional twist. If you're visiting around Christmas, be sure to check out perennial favorite The Grinch. The downtown location makes this theater a perfect diversion for travel-weary kids and their parents. If your child yearns to perform, the Magik theater also offers acting classes and summer camps to encourage your budding actor or actress. Contact the theater's office for information.
Replacing Downtown San Antonio's old Children's Museum, the DoSeum covers a sprawling 65,000 square feet with an additional 39,000 of outdoor space. This high tech children's museum is all about learning and exploring through hands on exhibits. Six main exhibits include the Sensation Studio, Explore, Innovation Station, Little Town, Spy Academy, and Imagine It!. The Spy Academy lets kids become 'recruits' where they face challenges in solving math-based missions, while the Imagine It! exhibit lets kids become authors as they write, record and illustrate their own stories that then come life. Check out the outdoor space which is organized by age levels where toddlers and youngsters will love to play along the Children's River, while the older kids can burn off some energy at the Water Works or Big Climb exhibit. The onsite cafe, and museum store ensure that snacks and souvenirs are readily available.
Take a trip down memory lane at Kiddie Park, one of the most well known amusement parks in the country. Established in 1925, it is a dream come true for children and adults with its innumerable rides. Hop onto the school bus or allow the children to pedal their way on the mini-train. Another famous ride is the old carousel that both children and parents can enjoy. The entry fees are modest and pocket-friendly, adding to the charm of the place. There is a small snack bar too where one can grab a few bites before heading to the next ride.
Situated along the San Antonio River and next to Brackenridge Park, this zoo is considered one of the finest in America, housing more than 3500 animals representing more than 700 species. The recently renovated big cat exhibit draws big crowds, as does the bird collection, which is one of the largest in the United States. Allow time for wandering around and exploring everything this zoo has to offer. San Antonio Zoo offers weekly educational programs and is also available for private events.
Located on Ft. Sam Houston, this community theater produces an average of eight plays a year. Talented actors, directors and technical staff come together from around the city to perform to sold out audiences. Past seasons have included works from Neil Simon, George Bernard Shaw and others. Dinner is served prior to the performance—you can choose from four entrees and three desserts, and you also get soup, salad and a beverage.
Kids will be kids. Which means stains from grass, formula, popsicles, sloppy joes, markers and more become the enemy in the battle to keep clothes clean and presentable. Kid To Kid offers a great alternative to retail by offering gently used children's clothing at a fraction of retail costs. Name brands abound amid the inventory, which encompasses babies through pre-teens, both boys and girls. It beats the heck out of paying full price for a pair of pants destined to last only five minutes on the playground.