5 Favorite Family-friendly Weekend Outings in San Antonio

Although they are often filled with kids’ activities, friends’ birthdays, yard work, and who-knows-what-else requiring you to play chauffeur, weekends are a treasured time for just about every family I know. Regardless of what my weekends with my kids look like, I like to try to get out to do some sort of purpose-free outing—to get out into the sunshine or go to a local attraction for the sole sake of spending time all together. (And totally going to admit to spending—and show myself some grace for—some weekends holed up at home in our PJs, too.)

It may look like I’m always out doing all the things with my kids according to social media, but with shared custody of my kids, and my oldest just years from graduating high school, I’m sure as heck going to make family outings a priority. Here are five of my favorite family-friendly outings to indulge in on weekends in San Antonio.

The Historic Pearl

Living relatively close to downtown, I’m admittedly at the Pearl for work, coffee, lunch, visits with friends—something—almost once a day. The Pearl is my jam, and even more so on the weekends. There’s the Farmers Market, chock-full of local goodies, of course. But my favorite thing to do with my kids (and our dog in tow), is stop at Larder, let my kids pick out their own treat, then hit the River for a walk. Sometimes we grab ice cream over at Lick instead.


Tip: if you head south along the River (just past the grotto, toward the San Antonio Museum of Art), there’s a boat ramp that’s usually home to a host of sunning turtles.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

Another favorite outdoor outing is the local Botanical Garden over in Mahncke Park. It opened up the Family Adventure Garden last spring, which adds a whole new layer of fun to exploring the Garden with kids. We also love the pond, and my kids impress me with their chess skills on the giant chess board every time.

5 Favorite Family-Friendly Weekend Outings

Dog Parks

We also enjoy taking our sweet pup, Terry, to a number of local dog parks (and discovering new ones). Some of our favorite dog-friendly parks include McAllister, Tom Slick, Southside Lions, and the Bark Park in Alamo Heights.


You can check out more of our favorite dog-friendly places in my previous post here.

Essex Modern City

Every second Saturday, Essex Modern City hosts a family-friendly event showcasing their murals. I’ve written in detail about it before, but I’ll say again that I’ve always been impressed at the level of detail they take in planning hands-on activities for kids at their events. Art, plus free beer, plus kid-friendly fun, plus being outdoors with friends equals a perfect evening out in my book.


The McNay

The grounds and the exhibits at the McNay Art Museum make it one of my favorite getaways in the city—with or without kids. There are always intriguing shows (remember the infinity room they had last summer?), and their garden is a beautiful place for kids to play. And you definitely don’t want to miss out on their frequent Free Family Day events throughout the year. (Pssst! The McNay is offering Free Family Days this week, Wednesday, March 13th–Friday, March 15th, from 2:00–4:00 P.M.)

These are some of our favorite regular family outings we have on rotation—and we’re always on the lookout for more! Have a local excursion you love taking with your kids? Inspired to visit one of our favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Amy Lynn is a divorced mama of four kids and dog mom to two. 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 digital media consultant and writer, Amy is the founder of The Dog Guide and The Dog Guide San Antonio. Favorite Restaurant: Clementine Favorite Landmark: Hays Street Bridge Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Cascarones