Family-friendly Fun on the Southside

I’ve been a San Antonio resident for more than 20 years and a Southside resident for a decade. Growing up on the Northwest side, Downtown was a world away to my family, let alone the Southside. I moved to Highland Park in 2009, as I love old houses (mine is 100 years old) and the quick access to some of my favorite places in town. As my family has planted roots in our neighborhood, we’ve fallen in love with a number of places that we now frequent—and if you haven’t ventured out to them, you’re missing out! Here are some of our favorite family-friendly places on San Antonio’s Southside. 

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Southside Lions Park

Southside Lions Park is a 600-acre park with fishing, a pool, a community center, playgrounds, a dog park, and a trailhead that connects to the city’s Salado Creek Greenway. My favorite trail wraps around a pond where you can fish and catch spectacular views of the sunrise (or sunset). It’s a bit of a hidden gem that feels like you’re outside of the city.

Southside Lions Park, 4600 Pecan Valley Dr., San Antonio, TX 78223 | (210) 207-7275

pearsall-park

Pearsall Park

Another city park with spectacular views, Pearsall Park includes 505 acres of trails, a playground, a giant splash pad, a skate park, a dog park, an 18-hole disc golf, basketball courts, a zip line, and art installations. Built over a former landfill, this park is an incredible boon to our city.

Pearsall Park, 4838 Old Pearsall Rd., San Antonio, TX 78242 | (210) 207-7275

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Mission Library

The Mission Branch Library opened in 2011 and quickly became our go-to branch. Built next to the former Mission Drive-In Theatre and just down the road from Mission San Jose, the architecture of the library building is airy and uplifting. It has a wonderful children’s section, and the entire building is filled with bright, natural lighting. Enjoy the weekly programming and take the kids out to play on the playground when they get restless. 

Mission Library, 3134 Roosevelt Ave., San Antonio, TX 78214 | (210) 207-2704

confluence-park

Confluence Park

Located along the River Walk Mission Reach, Confluence Park is home to the beautiful concrete sculptural pavilions that serve both as a beautiful centerpiece and rainwater catchment system. I love taking my girls to Mobile Om’s free yoga classes here on Sunday mornings, and it’s an especially beautiful place to visit in the evenings. 

Confluence Park, 310 W. Mitchell St., San Antonio, TX 78204 | (210) 224-2694

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San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology

Although they have limited hours, SAMSAT boasts an impressive collection of technological artifacts. Its interactive demonstration of Tesla coils are worth the trip alone. A fun STEM-themed excursion for kids on a Saturday. 

San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, 102 Mabry Dr., San Antonio, TX 78226 | (512) 763-5231

mitchell-lake-audobon-center

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is a 1,200-acre natural area with a focus on bird conservation and education. We went during one of their event days, and they hosted bird tagging demonstrations as well as different birds of prey for us to learn more about. For more information about this outdoor oasis, check out Inga’s post about nature spots for kids.

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, 10750 Pleasanton Rd., San Antonio, TX 78221 | (210) 628-1639

SAS Shoe Factory 

The San Antonio Shoe Factory not only offers tours of their factory, where you can see how their shoes are made, but it also has a general store with a scrumptious vintage candy shop. You can treat the kids to 10-cent sodas and five-cent popcorn! And did I mention that the factory tours are free? I’m all about that thrifty outing life with my crew of four kids! Check out Michelle’s post for an in-depth look at what a SAS Shoe Factory tour entails.

SAS Shoe Factory, 101 New Laredo Hwy., San Antonio, TX 78211 | (210) 924-6507

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Hot Wells Park

Once a destination resort for the rich and famous, Hot Wells Park was recently renovated as a county park, and you can now stroll the grounds. I was first introduced to the ruins through the Hot Wells Conservancy Harvest Feast, as well as yoga classes that were once held in the ruins. 

Hot Wells Park, 5503 S. Presa St., San Antonio, TX 78223 | (210) 912-5868

Where are your favorite gems to visit on our city’s Southside? Let us know in the comments!

Amy
Amy Johnson is a divorced mama of four kids, ages 15, 11, 10, and 8. She’s lived in San Antonio for over 20 years and has a degree in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Previously a program director at a local literary arts nonprofit, she began blogging as a creative outlet when she became a stay-at-home mom. Now a freelance social media consultant, writer, and crafter, Amy believes in the power of handmade, secondhand, and eco-friendly living. Her favorite craft store is the thrift store, and she shares DIY and creative lifestyle ideas on her blog, Maker Mama.