We took our family vacation to San Antonio, TX this year. My younger brother is stationed there at the Air Force base, so we figured we’d better visit before he gets reassigned. Also, one of our favorite family destinations is there: Sea World. I looked through photo albums and discovered that we actually went 3 times growing up: 1991, 1992, and 1994. Classy pics here.
We did the Riverwalk the first day, then headed to Sea World for two days after the grandparents arrived. A big family affair – 3 generations on one trip.
The kids were a little under the weather, so sleeping (or lack thereof) in a hotel room together did not go well, and the kids were tuckered out by 3pm, but they loved Sea World. She cheered and clapped all during the Shamu show. We should win big points with the grandparents for letting them come along, just to get to see her do that. 🙂
Little Guy is going to be spoiled growing up because his birthday falls during the best time for us to take a family trip; he’s going to think we make trips just for his birthday! We celebrated in our hotel room with cupcakes, cookies, gifts and of course, a Sea World theme. (Thank you Dollar Tree and Walmart bakery. Easy party for mom.)
Also, here is our list of places we went and which ones were good for families with kiddos. I did a lot of research ahead of time – some paid off, some didn’t. Also, advice on Sea World with kiddos…
The Cove: burgers and sandwiches. Playground out back for kiddos, outdoor picnic table seating, not a lot of options for food, mostly hamburgers. We drove by Bigz Burger Joint (another place I researched – outdoor sports field for kids) and it looked nicer as far as seating and “newness.” Also read about Momak’s Burgers (outdoor sports field for kids) but didn’t drive by. Maybe it’s good?
Rainforest Cafe (on the Riverwalk): Fun environment, if your kids aren’t scared of animatronic elephants, crocodiles and snakes. 🙂 Food was pretty good.
Two Bros BBQ: Food was good – BBQ a little dry, but it could have been an “off” time. Flavor was great though. Baked beans with peaches in them? Just say yes. Playground out back for the kiddos. Picnic table seating. No standard individual combo meals, but they had a great family-sized meal you could get. They said it fed 2-4. It could have fed 4-8.
California Pizza Kitchen: No playground, but close to our hotel, and much better than Rami’s Pizza (which I researched cause IT was near the hotel, and a HOLE in the wall. Rejected upon drive-by.)
San Antonio Children’s Museum: Totally fun. $8 a person and well worth the $24 for our family. Free until age 2. Hands-on science experiments, play areas, replica airplane and trolley to play in, AIR-CONDITIONED! We did this after two days at Sea World. Perfect for a more low-key day indoors. Spent 2+ hours there. Kids would have stayed longer, but we were hungry.
Hotel: Embassy Suites. We stayed at the one on NW I-10 cause it was closer to Sea World, but I think we’d change to the one downtown on the Riverwalk if we went again. More options in walking distance for dinner, and the drive to Sea World isn’t bad either way. Great service, great rooms (with a door that closes (!) between the bedroom and living area – great for traveling with kids), and a great breakfast buffet with cooked to order omelettes, pancakes, sausage/bacon, the Works.
Sea World: Don’t pay full price for tickets. Take a stroller (or double-stroller for 2 kids). Read their website for rules on snacks and drinks – they searched our bags but we took lots of snacks and LOTS of water. Sunscreen. Go see the dolphin feeding first thing… GET to the park when it first opens. Go to the shows to sit in the shade. 🙂 Get to the shows at least 20 minutes early to get a good seat (and enjoy the shade longer.) Have kids bring/wear their swimsuits to play in the splash park. Take quarters to feed the fish at the alligator pond. Visit the sharks and aquarium building in between shows. Visit the penguin building! Go in May. Don’t go on the weekend. Seriously. Thursday was sooo nice. Friday was crowded. I can’t imagine Saturday.
There you have it! Comment if you have questions and you’re thinking of going. All in all, we loved it, in spite of the few snags we hit. 🙂