Fiesta® with the Family: A Guide to Kid-Friendly Events

Fiesta® is officially upon us, a little earlier this year than usual, March 31–April 10, but after a brief hiatus, and then having to move to June, the San Antonio celebration is sure to return with a bang. So grab your favorite colorful attire, lather your kiddos in sunscreen, and hang on to this handy list of family- and kid-friendly Fiesta events! You might be surprised by how many there actually are, and each year new ones pop up.

These tips might also help you survive and thrive during the San Antonio festival known as Fiesta:

  • First, don’t forget that thanks to Fiesta—er, the Battle of San Jacinto—most kids have a school holiday on Friday, April 8.
  • When attending outdoor events (which most of them are), stay hydrated!
  • Make transportation and parking a little easier by using VIA Park & Ride. Check their Less Traffic, Más Fiesta webpage for details.
  • Tickets for many events, including the parades, can be purchased at The Fiesta Store® on Broadway or even H-E-B.
  • For the full Fiesta schedule and all the details, visit the official site.
  • You can watch much of the action from the comfort of your home on KSAT-12. They will broadcast all three Fiesta parades.

Thursday, March 31

Fiesta® Fiesta at Hemisfair, 4:00–10:00 p.m. at Hemisfair | 434 S. Alamo St. | FREE
The official Fiesta kickoff with a variety of food and beverage offerings as well as an array of musical performances: Roger Creager, Volcán, United States Air Force Band of the West, “Velocity,” and DJ Donnie Dee. A military flyover and salute at 7:00 p.m., the grand opening ceremony at 8:00 p.m., and a fireworks show at 9:50 p.m.

There is an option (for purchase) to kickoff with Taste at the Tower of the Americas and enjoy specialty bites and drinks from San Antonio restaurants from along the River Walk while also enjoying the opening ceremony celebration.

Fiesta® Carnival, Check link for daily hours through April 10 | 434 S. Alamo St. | FREE
Gear up to fiesta like there’s no mañana with all the family fun of a typical carnival… but exponentially better since it’s in San Antonio. Entrance is free with food and drinks for purchase. Unlimited ride wristbands are $28 Mon.–Thurs. and $32 Fri.–Sun. with a $5 discount if you purchase online before April 3rd. There are two Special Two Dollar Days where rides are only $2/ride, Tuesday, April 5th and Wednesday, April 6th.

Friday, April 1

Children’s Texas History Forum, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Casa Navarro | FREE
This year, events will be held at Casa Navarro, the home of Jose Antonio Navarro, the truest of Texans. Born in San Antonio, Navarro was a statesman, revolutionary, politician, rancher, and merchant. Students are taken back in time by reenactors and hostesses dressed in period clothing. Presentations of flags flown throughout San Antonio and Texas history are presented in a way that is educational and entertaining.

Alamo Heights Night, 5:30–11:30 p.m. at University of the Incarnate Word | Adults $15, ages 12–17 (and students with a valid ID) $5, active duty and reserve military and children under 12 are FREE.
Activities will highlight food from some of San Antonio’s leading restaurants and caterers. Two stages will feature live music throughout the evening from bands such as Hotcakes, Skyrocket, Finding Friday, Brandon Michael Band, Biohazard Brass Band, a mariachi band, and more. The festive atmosphere will be family-friendly as the carnival midway will captivate kids of all ages with activities such as laser tag, rock climbing, hamster balls, slides, rides, face/hair painting, and more. Three free Park & Ride locations.

Saturday, April 2

Fiesta Especial Inclusion 5K & Parade 7:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at The City of Windcrest City Hall |FREE
disABILITYsa Fiesta Especial® programs create inclusive and educational experiences engaging individuals with disabilities in the culture and celebrations of Fiesta® in a safe, family-friendly environment. Walk, run, or ride alongside individuals of all abilities or just show up to cheer on the racers and enjoy the vibrant, fun, and festive small town Fiesta parade that will bring smiles to the hearts of all the spectators. Admission for the race is $35 for 5K Participants and $25 for the 1 Mile Dash.

OLLU 5K Confetti Walk & Run, 7:30–10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Main Building | $45—Race Day and Virtual Free Kids Registration (12 years and younger).
The race will wind participants through the University’s historic campus before taking on the trails of the newly renovated Lake Elmendorf Park. Participants will receive a T-shirt, customized bib, and a custom finisher medal. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Lake Fund, which funds scholarships for OLLU students as well as other campus needs.

Fiesta Castle Hills, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Castle Hills Commons | FREE
Family-friendly, artisan vendors, live music, children’s activities, great food, specialty margaritas/supporting the S.A. Food Bank.

Fiesta de los Niños, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. at San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology | FREE
This is a party for the “pint-sized folks.” A parade will lead the way but there’s lots more to do. San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology will be open and showcasing amazing technological exhibits. Children can enjoy games, STEM activities, and rides. There will be food vendors with all your favorite treats.

Viva Botanica, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at San Antonio Botanical Garden | FREE with garden admission or $15–18 w/o
A family-friendly Fiesta event that includes hands-on activities including: Wooden Nature Medals, Tissue Flower Crowns, Plant a Pepper!, Explore Spicy Senses, Water Conservation and Bluebonnet Seed Giveaway, culinary tastings, and music, theater, and dance performances. Drinks and food available for purchase. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Fiesta Arts Fair, Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. | Admission is $15 for adults at the gate (two-day entrance); $5 for children 5–12; FREE for children 5 years and under.
Art lovers from far and wide convene at this event, now in its 46th year, on the picturesque and historic grounds of Southwest School of Art. Located along San Antonio’s renowned River Walk, the festive two-day event offers visitors the opportunity to interact with artists and purchase high-quality contemporary and traditional art and crafts from approximately 115 exhibitors. Guests are treated to live regional music, food and beverage booths, and an interactive children’s art area.

Mission Reach Flotilla Festival, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at Padre Park | FREE
The San Antonio River Foundation and the San Antonio River Authority invite you to participate in the Official Kayaking Event of Fiesta. Equipment will be supplied by Mission Kayak and attendees will have the opportunity to challenge their skills by paddling through an obstacle course or through a leisurely paddle. This $20 adventure assists efforts to bring awareness to the recreational opportunities along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River.

Celebrations of Traditions Pow Wow, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at Woodlawn Gymnasium | FREE
All who attend have the opportunity to view and participate in the American Indian culture and traditions of dance and music at an official Native American Pow Wow. The pow wow promotes tribal traditions, culture, and the opportunity for native people to gather in celebrating their rich heritage with one another.

Chaparral Music & Heritage Festival, 12:00–11:00 p.m. at Hemisfair Park | FREE
Chaparral celebrates south and central Texas heritage including food, music, and more. The event features live music from established and up-and-coming Texas music artists. Enjoy a vendor market, a variety of food and beverage options, and more fun and excitement for guests of all ages.

Piñatas in the Barrio, 12:00–10:00 p.m. at Plaza Guadalupe |FREE
Features live entertainment, delicious food, and fun for the whole family. Rey Feo will crown the Senior Citizen King and Queen of the Barrio at this official Fiesta event.

Sunday, April 3

Fiesta de la Familia, 12:00–7:00 p.m. at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church | FREE
This is a family-oriented event with no entry fee; food, beverages, games, a live/silent auction, and music for your enjoyment.

A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. at Rancho del Charro | Admission is $20
Explore the distinctive culture that upholds deep-rooted customs, tradition, and family as a way of life. This family event features food, drinks, pony rides for the kids, Ballet Folklorico performances, and live mariachi music. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Additional charreada on April 10.

Monday, April 4

Texas Cavaliers River Parade, 7:00–9:30 p.m. at San Antonio River Walk | Tickets are $18–$28
Each year hundreds of thousands of people line the banks of the San Antonio River to view this parade. This year’s theme, “Texas Alfresco” promises an evening of family fun with live music, celebrities, and lights. More than 50 festively decorated floats with live music and costumed participants. King Antonio XCVII will reign over the evening’s festivities as he will lead the parade in his custom-made King’s Cruiser and wave and dance all along the parade route. Monies generated through the parade are donated to local children’s charities through the organization’s Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation.

Tuesday, April 5

Fiesta Especial Celebration Day, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. at Alamodome, Parking Lot C | FREE!
A community-based education program and carnival experience for children and adults with disabilities to participate in along with their schools, programs, and families. Advance registration is required, and no general admission will be allowed at the entrance gate.

Thursday, April 7

Battle of Flowers Association Band Festival, 5:00–9:30 p.m. at Alamo Stadium | Tickets $7–20
Event features choreographed music presentations by more than 30 local high school bands. Marching bands and color guards will participate in the famous “Parade of Bands” while being judged on marching, musicality, and crowd appeal. In between the two “Parade of Bands,” two to three feature bands will perform their winning UIL competition routines, followed by an awards ceremony. Concluding the evening, more than 5,000 students will take to the field and join together in a mass band presentation, performing a medley of songs and showcasing their music and color guards in tandem to a fantastic fireworks finale. Gates open at 5:00 p.m.

St. Philip’s College Culturefest & Rib Cook-Off, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at St. Philip’s College | FREE
Entertainment includes Folklorico dancers, the Sam Houston Hurricane Marching Band, a car show, and much more. If you have barbecue skills, you can participate in the rib cook-off for $20–30. If ribs aren’t your thing there will be plenty of other delicious foods and drinks, from gorditas, funnel cake, mangonadas, and much more. Come for the day and enjoy fun for the whole family.

PACfest, 12:00–10:00 p.m. at Palo Alto College | Admission is $10 and FREE with Alamo Colleges District ID and children ages 12 and under
This family-friendly event features food, games, social media alley, musical entertainment, and is home to the Fiesta Grill down, a carne asada contest. Then stick around after dark for a Fiesta-worthy, fireworks finale.

April 7–9

Fiesta San Fernando, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. at San Fernando Cathedral | FREE
Each year the cathedral hosts a celebration of family, food, and fun. Live entertainment daily and beautiful arts and crafts booths for your enjoyment. Take part in a Fiesta event rooted deep in the city’s history, where “fiestas” started more than 260 years ago.

Friday, April 8

Battle of Flowers Parade®, 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at Parade Route (begins at E. Grayson & Broadway) | Tickets $20–35
The Battle of Flowers® Parade honors the heroic spirit of the patriots of the Alamo, commemorates the victory of San Jacinto, and celebrates the diversity and heritage of Texas and our nation. The Battle of Flowers Parade holds the distinction of being the first celebration to be held in Alamo Plaza and is considered the founding event of Fiesta San Antonio. The parade has run each year since 1891, except during World Wars I and II. The parade is broadcast by KSAT-12.

SAAACAM Fiesta Family Blues Festival, 12:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. at The Espee Pavillion | FREE from noon–4:00 p.m. and $40 from 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Entertainment for the whole family including an instrumental petting zoo, multi-generational DJs spinning tunes, family karaoke, and surprise musical performances. After 6:00 p.m., musical performers include: The Keeshea Pratt Band, Michael Ward, & Eddie and the All Nighter.

Saturday, April 9

Fiesta Pooch Parade, 8:00–11:00 a.m. at Alamo Heights Swimming Pool | FREE to watch; registration fee to participate
Spend a Saturday morning with your favorite furball on a 2.6-mile walk through the tree-lined streets of Alamo Heights, presented by Therapy Animals of San Antonio. Come early for exhibits and presentations; then the ever-popular Canine Costume Contest starts at 8:15 a.m. (You must be registered to enter.) Advance registration is $30 for individuals and $35 for families.

King William Fair, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. at King William Historic Neighborhood | Admission is $20; children 11 and under are FREE
A family fair with arts and craft vendors, live music and dance on five stages, food and beverage booths, a Kids’ Kingdom play area, and a small but quirky parade, all on the streets of the historic district with its stately homes and gracious gardens.

United Way Kids Festival, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at Copernicus Park | FREE
More than 65 booths (nonprofits, school districts, and city services) will provide information, activities, and entertainment focusing on the celebration and promotion of early childhood development. There will be a large variety of activities offered for children of all ages. Kids Festival will have an event stage hosting numerous entertainment acts along with mascot characters. City officials will welcome participants and attendants throughout the day.

Fiesta Flambeau Parade, 6:45–10:00 p.m. at Parade Route (Broadway) | Tickets $20–35
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Literary Classics.” The Flambeau is the largest illuminated night parade and the highlight of Fiesta®. Leading the parade for its 74th year is its premier band, The University of Texas Longhorn Band, followed by spectacular themed floats; marching units; local, out-of-town, and out-of-state bands; dance groups; equestrian units; and many other attractions that create a memorable night of illuminated entertainment. Tune into KSAT-12 or for live coverage.

April 8–10

Fiesta Artisan Show, 11:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. at San Antonio River Walk| FREE
Enjoy a day on the River Walk and support local makers. Browse over 45 artisan booths with handmade art and items from talented artisans. Items range from handmade jewelry to paintings, clothing, soaps, ceramics, leather goods, and whimsical gifts.

April 9 & 10

Festival de Animales, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at San Antonio Zoo | FREE with standard Zoo admission
Celebrate the animals, culture, and food of Latin America! Since 2016, Festival de Animales has highlighted the Zoo’s conservation efforts in Latin America and educated guests on the animals native to Latin America that call the San Antonio Zoo home. Amazing up-close animal interactions, culinary delights, entertainment, and authentic merchandise from Latin America are sure to delight while guests immerse themselves in South American culture. A visit to Festival de Animales will help further the Zoo’s vision to secure a future for wildlife through loving, engaging with, acting for, and protecting animals and the places they live.

Sunday, April 10

Deco Fiesta, 12:00–11:00 p.m. at Deco District | FREE
Local residents and tourists come together in San Antonio’s historic Deco District. This outdoor festival offers performances by local and national musicians of all ages, a diverse food and drink menu, local art vendors, and community spirit for all to enjoy

Festival de Cascarones, 1:00–8:00 p.m. at Texas A&M San Antonio | FREE
Celebrate the final day of Fiesta San Antonio with Texas A&M University. Featuring live music, food, games, and fun for the whole family. The event will be headlined by Kevin Fowler.

A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. at Rancho del Charro | Admission is $20
Explore the distinctive culture that upholds deep-rooted customs, tradition, and family as a way of life. This family event features food, drinks, pony rides for the kids, ballet folklorico performances, and live mariachi music. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Additional charreada on April 3.

Whether you are the Fiesta-goer that tries to make it to as many events as possible or you just want to pick an event or two to partake in the annual celebration, there is no lack of family-friendly fun. We can’t wait to see you there!

Gracie is a wife of six years, mom to an almost three year-old boy, a newborn baby girl (2021) and a proud Wheaten Terrier dog mom. She is a New Mexico native that prefers a green lifestyle, but she still keeps a tub of Clorox wipes below the kitchen sink to rid of the “really bad germs”. She first moved to San Antonio to attend Trinity University where she achieved a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Teaching. Gracie is a former Spanish Immersion teacher turned work-at-home mom currently digging into her clean-crafted wine business. While working from home she still channels her inner teacher into finding the next best thing for her son: ways to stimulate him, help him learn, teach him multiple languages, encourage him to be a healthy eater, etc. She loves reading, running and exploring the vivacious city of San Antonio. Favorite Restaurant: Supper Favorite Landmark: San Antonio Mission Reach Favorite San Antonio Tradition: San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo