Spring Break is upon us! After the year we’ve had, many of us are itching to get out of the house. While a big, family vacation might not be in the cards yet, consider a day trip to a nearby town. New Braunfels is about 30 minutes away from most parts of San Antonio and can feel like a real getaway for the whole family.
New Braunfels is best known for Wurstfest, Schlitterbahn, and the historic community of Gruene, but there are many hidden gems in the town that keep families traveling to New Braunfels year-round.
I’m a New Braunfels local, so I took to social media and crowd-sourced with my local New Braunfels parents to get ideas on what their current favorite local kid activities are for all ages. New Braunfels is close enough that you could do one of these activities, then head back to San Antonio, calling it a successful trip. Or, if you’re feeling more ambitious, you could do several of these activities in a day. Better yet, if you’re looking for a getaway, stay overnight in New Braunfels and make the very most out of your time in my beautiful town!
As with most places these days, COVID protocol is in place in New Braunfels. Masks are required for those ages 10 and older at all indoor locations and everyone is encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines. *Due to recent changes to state mandates, be sure to check with each location before going.*
In no particular order, here are the most popular kid activities in New Braunfels for Spring Break:
McKenna Children’s Museum
801 W. San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, TX 78130
Who doesn’t love a good children’s museum? With strict instructions to touch everything and run amok, you can’t find a better diversion for kids in New Braunfels. Whether the weather is great or not-so-great, this children’s museum features indoor (and covered outdoor) fun for all! A trip right up the street to Naegelin’s Bakery is in order after the museum to appease the kids for the journey back to San Antonio.
Update: New hours for the McKenna Children’s Museum are as follows—Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. The museum is closed on Saturday and Sunday and advanced tickets are required. McKenna Children’s Museum also strongly suggests masks for children ages 2 years and older, in addition to all others, ages 10 and up.
164 Landa Park Dr., New Braunfels, Texas 78130
Landa Park is one of the oldest parks in the area and boasts multiple playground areas, a train that traverses the park, miniature golf, paddleboats, and other water activities. Pack a picnic and enjoy Landa Park with its rolling hills and bubbling Comal River.
Hike Panther Canyon
From Landa Park Drive to Ohio Avenue
Located within Landa Park, Panther Canyon Trail covers over 49 acres and is home to many native plants and wildlife. The gently sloping pedestrian trail leads visitors approximately .8 miles through the Balcones Escarpment. Hikers should allow at least 1.5 hours for the 1.6-mile round trip hike.
Natural Bridge Caverns and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, San Antonio, TX 78266
Travel through a half-mile of the largest and most spectacular show cavern in Texas. You’ll walk 180 feet below the ground while listening to knowledgeable tour guides explain how these caverns were formed and then later (much later) discovered by college students in the 1960s. But there’s more fun to be had above ground too, at the zipline and mazes—not to mention gem sluicing—located at the park. And right next door is the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, boasting over 450 acres with over 500 animals, toured from the comfort of your car. There are also petting areas and hiking areas, so you can get out and stretch your legs a bit at the ranch, too.
Update: Capacity is currently limited at Natural Bridge Caverns and social distancing is encouraged at indoor exhibits at both attractions. Masks are required indoors as well. Currently, the Petting Barnyard is also under renovations at the Wildlife Ranch and as such, this attraction is closed; however, guests are again able to feed the animals from their cars on the safari tours.
1935 Hilltop Summit Road, New Braunfels, TX 78130
One of the newer parks in New Braunfels, Fischer Park offers playgrounds, a splash pad, an archeology dig, and a fishing pond that will keep the kids busy and entertained for hours. Bring a lunch and plan to stay awhile!
1269 Summerwood Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If the weather isn’t great for Spring Break or if you have little ones to exhaust, head to the newest indoor active play attraction in New Braunfels. Kids ages 1-10 enjoy Jungle Jam the most, and with free WIFI, parents can let the kiddos run amok while decompressing with some Internet time.
604 S. Walnut Avenue Suite 100, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If you have bigger kids who you’re trying to keep entertained (and off of devices) over the break, head to Urban Air and let them get a little crazy in this haven of controlled, active chaos.
Update: Temperature checks are administered to all upon entering the facility and social distancing is encouraged. Additionally, the facility regularly undergoes fog-applied treatments of disinfectant and anti-microbial cleaning solutions.
Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo
5640 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, New Braunfels, TX 78132
Even if you’re squeamish about snakes, don’t let that keep you from checking out Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo. Sure, it used to be called just “Snake Farm,” and had, well, mainly just snakes, but it has since expanded to include a truly fascinating variety of animals—some native to Texas and some not—the likes of which you can’t even find at the San Antonio Zoo! During the recent expansion of Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo, new, natural-looking habitats and a diverse collection of reptiles and mammals are part of the exhibit, making this a must-stop while visiting New Braunfels.
Update: Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo offer enhanced cleaning of high traffic areas and hand sanitation stations throughout. They currently have limited attendance and all guests, ages 10+ are required to wear masks indoors.
The New Braunfels Railroad Museum
302 San Antonio Street, New Braunfels TX 78130
This FREE museum appeals to train enthusiasts of all ages! There are photos on display to see the history of the railroad as well as scale models. The museum is right next to one of the busiest North/South Union Pacific railroad tracks. Over 30 trains pass by each day. Many of these trains run between Canada and Mexico, so it is not unusual to see Canadian and Mexican locomotives.
Update: New hours for the Railroad Museum are Thursday, Friday and Sunday—noon until 4 p.m. and Saturday—10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
400 N. Liberty Avenue, New Braunfels, TX 78130
(As of this post, Schlitterbahn had not released their 2021 schedule, so we are unsure if they will be open in time for Spring Break 2021. Please check HERE for updates as they become available.)
Sure, you have Schlitterbahn on your Summer bucket list, but did you know that the park is open for Spring Break, too? The Blastenhoff portion of the park is the only part operating for Spring Break, but that’s all that you need to have a good, wet time. If it’s just too cold to stomach the idea of riding water slides, plan to hang out in the heated pool at Bamboozle Bay (with a swim-up refreshment bar, I might add).