McNay Art Museum Free Family Day: Summer Block Party

[box type=”info”]We’re proud to partner with the McNay to bring you this sponsored post about the family programming offered at the museum. All opinions are the author’s own.[/box]

My husband and I love to be out and about in San Antonio. We are always looking for family activities that everyone in our family can enjoy. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, as we have two children who are five years apart: a 13-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl. Last Sunday, we ventured out to the McNay Art Museum’s Free Family Day: Summer Block Party on a 100-degree day. I was just a little apprehensive as to whether we would all enjoy the experience.

When we arrived, I was glad to see there was plenty of shade on the lawn where various life-sized versions of traditional games were set up. We checked in at an outside station and received a schedule of events. Then we let the games begin! My seven-year-old couldn’t wait to join in a round of giant inflatable Twister, while my son and husband enjoyed a little competition at the bean bag toss. My kids wanted to try their hand at the huge checkers game, but because other players were busy battling it out, we headed in for the family tour of the art galleries.

We checked in inside and received our tour reservation cards. I wondered when the eye-rolling or the “I’m bored/tired” chant would begin. After a few minutes, our tour guide appeared, and we were off to the first of three galleries. Again, I wondered if my kiddos could last through three art galleries without bailing—or at least complaining. The docent made sure to include the children by asking them questions about the art and discussing it in simple terms. The adults and my teen were intrigued by interesting facts about the artists and tidbits of history behind each piece. I loved the fact that our tour guide focused on just one fantastic piece of art in each gallery. The tour ended after 15 minutes, and both my children stayed attentive and interested throughout! A little culture in bite-sized chunks did the trick.

My husband went to explore more of the art galleries while I headed off with the kids to paint on the murals presented by San Anto Cultural Arts. The popularity of the screen printing didn’t appeal to my kids, so we enjoyed adding our very own artistic pizzazz to the mural canvases. We vowed to come back for the photo booth, but my kids heard the ice cream calling!

We headed outdoors and purchased Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches and enjoyed our treats outside in the shade of the large lawn. The tables and chairs that the McNay staff had placed around the lawn, as well as the coolers of water, were a welcome sight.  

Around this time, some friends joined us, and we sat and chatted while the kids played lawn games. There was a nice breeze under the shade, so thankfully, we were oblivious to the heat.

Our afternoon concluded with a “strong woman” performance inside one of the auditoriums. I headed inside with the kids as other adults crowded behind. The doors had just closed when we arrived, and a staff member informed us that the room was at capacity. (Note to self: don’t wait until the last minute to grab a seat!) But just as my kids were about to turn their disappointment on me, two groups left and the staff member waved us in. Whew! I didn’t know what to expect, but we laughed through the performance and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mama Lou was a great performer with her strong woman feats and wit. She engaged the audience to yell out, clap, and sing. I looked over at the kids as they laughed and watched. Thanks to the McNay, we added a super fun family day to our summer!

Join the McNay for their next family-friendly activity. They have them scheduled year-round for all age groups! Which ones are you interested in attending? Maybe we’ll see you there! 

Texas born, small town girl who always felt like I had lived other lives in other places. I went off to college and somehow ended up in beautiful San Antonio. I met my future husband who had lived other lives in other places. After getting married, we moved out of state. Once we had our little souvenir, we moved back to Texas with a baby boy. Later, we added a daughter to complete the family. I work full-time as a school librarian and, on occasion, find time to do a little traveling and a little sleeping.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I always see fun events there, but wonder how my 2-year-old will do without knowing quite what to expect. It’s super helpful to have a play-by-play of one of their events. We’ll definitely be trying out the toddler art play soon!

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