Summer 2020 Bucket List In and Around San Antonio (Social Distancing Edition)

The temperatures are rising and the last distance learning assignments have been turned in. Summer vacation is here, friends! But what does that even mean this year? We know that summer may look a little different in 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and make memories with our families. Our summer bucket lists (and expectations) may just have to be adjusted a little bit this year.

We’ve come up with a San Antonio-area summer bucket list that takes social distancing into consideration. Of course, every family feels differently about what is safe right now, so use your best judgment and make sure to follow city and state guidelines while you’re out and about. It’s also a good idea to check web sites/social media for the locations you’ll be visiting since statuses and policies are constantly changing.

1. Visit a Texas state park (or two).

Currently, state parks are open for day use and limited camping. Passes must be reserved

Adventure awaits at Palmetto State Park near Gonzales, TX.

in advance (and some parks run out of passes quickly) so plan ahead. In San Antonio, we are fortunate to have many beautiful state parks that are close enough for a day trip, and many have water for swimming. Examples include:
Government Canyon State Natural Area (closed Tuesday-Thursday)
Guadalupe River State Park
Palmetto State Park
Lockhart State Park
Blanco State Park
Lost Maples State Natural Area
Pedernales Falls State Park
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Garner State Park

2. Drive through (or walk through) a zoo!

The San Antonio Zoo is temporarily continuing its popular drive-through experience and now has the added bonus of viewing 30 larger-than-life LEGO sculptures of animals, plants, bugs, and more. Visit the zoo’s website for more information and to purchase tickets in advance. The zoo will re-open for walk-through visitors in early June. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and the Exotic Resort Zoo near Johnson City are drive-through safari experiences where you will come face-to-face with many different species of animals.

3. Stop and smell the flowers.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is open and in full bloom. Currently, tickets must be reserved in advance in order to limit attendance for social distancing.

4. Cool down with a cold treat from an ice cream or shaved ice truck.

San Antonio’s Mister Softee has a downloadable app that tracks the trucks using GPS so you can always find one. And finding the truck has the added bonus of a scavenger hunt! Kona Ice is currently offering home delivery to select neighborhoods through its online ordering system.

5. Go back in time at the drive-in movie theater!

I still remember watching “Edward Scissorhands” from the back of my dad’s truck at the drive-in movie theater when I was a kid. The drive-in theater is fun for the whole family and is social distancing approved! Stars & Stripes Drive-in Theatre in New Braunfels is open and showing both new releases and classic movies. Purchase tickets in advance on their website.

6. Geocaching is a great social distancing approved activity.

Check out our post about the best geocaching spots in San Antonio. If you’re worried about germs, bring gloves or some hand sanitizer with you!

7. Take a stroll through the garden at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.

With 284 acres, there’s plenty of room to explore and keep your distance from others, and this place is worth the drive. Bring a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Advance reservations are currently required and visits are limited to two hours.

8. Pick some fruit at one of the area’s many pick-your-own farms.

Sweet Berry Farm
Jenschke Orchards
Love Creek Orchards

9. Visit a local museum.

The Witte Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, and Briscoe Western Art Museum are open or opening soon. Check their websites for updated policies due to the pandemic.

10. Try out your miniature golf skills.

at Cool Crest Miniature Golf or Monster Mini Golf. Other mini golf courses may be open soon too. Check Web sites for updated policies.

11. Explore one of the beautiful San Antonio parks.

We have lots of favorites including Denman Estate Park or the Japanese Tea Garden.

12. Get back to (prehistoric) nature.

Play in the water, hike, or follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs at the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne.

13. Mission Accomplished!

Explore the San Antonio Missions and Mission Hike & Bike Trail. Don’t miss the historic Mission Espada Aqueduct.

14. Discover new trails at San Antonio’s many city parks.

Find a list of parks with large trail systems here.

15. Search for the stars of the Texas Star Trail in downtown San Antonio.

Find more information about this history-rich trail here.

16. Become a tourist in your own city.

You can rediscover SATX with a self-guided walking tour using GPSmyCity. The app has four expert-designed self-guided walking tours of San Antonio attractions such as the River Walk, Museums, and Nightlife.

17. Blast into the past with a walking tour of the historic King William area.

Or wander the streets of the historic district with one of four self-guided walking tours from the King William Cultural Arts District.

18. Take photos with the many beautiful murals around San Antonio.

You can find lists and locations of many of the murals here and here. And don’t miss my personal favorite, the King George mural! (WHY is it not on either of those lists?!) Also, the City of San Antonio has over 600 public artworks located all over the city. Check out the map here.

19. Kayak through the San Antonio River Walk or Espada Park.

Experience the River Walk a little differently with kayak rentals from Mission Kayak. You can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at Boerne Lake through Hill Country Paddle Sports.

20. Enjoy one of San Antonio’s many wonderful outdoor dining locations.

Playgrounds/children’s areas may be closed, but you can still enjoy the fresh air and break from cooking!

21. Plan a day trip (or overnight stay) to the beach!

Mustang Island State Park and Padre Island National Seashore are two nice options within day-trip driving distance.

22. Explore gorgeous Landa Park in New Braunfels.

23. Camp out under the stars in your own backyard.

24. Try something new on San Antonio’s Southside.

Make sure to check Web sites/social media for policies and availability of these locations.

25. Hunt for dinosaurs.

Your dino obsessed kids will love this adventure at Dinosaur Park in Cedar Creek. Advance reservations are required.


What is on your family’s Summer 2020 Bucket List?

Print and fill in a summer bucket list for your family – add in summer traditions YOU have and don’t forget to get your family’s input! Click the image above to open the pdf.

Jill is a small-town girl at heart but has loved discovering all San Antonio has to offer since moving here in 2004. She and her husband of 18 years are proud Texas Aggies and parents to two elementary-age girls. Jill worked as an editor, writer, and 4th-grade teacher before discovering her dream job as a taxi driver (for her girls). As a stay-at-home-mom, she spends her days volunteering at her kids' school and at church, attempting to exercise, pondering how four people can accumulate so much dirty laundry, and driving her kids to numerous extracurricular activities. She has recently taken her love for all things Disney to the next level by becoming a Disney Travel Planner. Follow along on her family’s adventures in San Antonio and beyond on Instagram at @satxfamily or email her for a Disney (or Universal Studios) vacation quote and planning assistance at [email protected]. Favorite Restaurant: The Melting Pot Favorite Landmark: Japanese Tea Garden Favorite San Antonio Tradition: San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo