You’ve got a delectable Mother’s Day brunch lined up and you’ve picked out the perfect present, but maybe you’re scratching your head wondering what else to do to celebrate the special day. Show the mom in your life how much you care on Mother’s Day weekend with a stop at one of these special San Antonio attractions.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
Falling right in the middle of spring, Mother’s Day is great time to go out and enjoy the beautiful flowers and plants at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. There’s much to explore across its 33 acres, including the Rose Garden, Sensory Garden, conservatory, and Texas Native Trail. If your mom is a birder, she’s likely to enjoy the bird-watching viewing areas as the gardens are frequently visited by a variety of species. When you're ready for refreshments, head to Rosella at the Garden.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Japanese Tea Garden
Once a rock quarry, the Japanese Tea Garden has since been transformed into a relaxing, picturesque oasis. Strolling along the stone walkways and bridge gives you the chance to take in the lush landscape, koi ponds, and large waterfall. Make sure to stop by the Pavilion for a scenic view of the whole area. The Jingu House restaurant is on-site for those looking to grab a bite to eat during their time here.
The Japanese Tea Garden is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset, and it’s hard to beat the cost of admission ... completely free.
La Villita Historic Arts Village
History and shopping collide at La Villita, a block of shops, art galleries, and restaurants just south of the River Walk. This area was one of San Antonio’s very first neighborhoods (settled almost 300 years ago), and the district has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It won’t be hard to find a gift or two to spoil your mom among the jewelry, textiles, paintings, sculptures, and other regional arts and crafts. Even if you’re not in the mood to buy, meandering through the tree-lined courtyards and cobblestone paths, and perusing one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items at this cultural center are sure to make for a pleasant outing with the whole family.
La Villita is open Monday though Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Historic Market Square
Shopaholic and window-shopping moms alike will find plenty to feast their eyes on at the festive Historic Market Square, which covers three blocks and is said to be the largest Mexican market in the country. There are 32 shops in the El Mercado alone and then 80 more specialty shops in the Farmers Market Plaza where you’ll find everything from clothing to curios. When you’re feeling hungry, you don’t have to go far at all as there are a number of restaurants nearby including the famous Mi Tierra Café and Panadería.
Market Square is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
Smack dab in the city’s center, Hemisfair Park was originally the location of the 1968 World’s Fair and today serves as a vibrant urban park. The Tower of the Americas, Institute of Texan Cultures, Instituto Cultural de México, and The Magick Theatre are all noteworthy spots here. You can also spend the day enjoying the fun features scattered throughout the park, inlcuding the splash pad, sand play area, giant chess and checkers, climbing structures, swings, and picnic tables.
Hemisfair is open every day of the week from 7 am to midnight.
Mission Reach Trail
San Antonio’s Spanish colonial missions are some of the city’s most treasured gems, and the easy, eight-mile Mission Reach trail makes for a enjoyable way to pop by four of them (Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada) while soaking up the outdoors. Feel free to walk or bike the trail as it’s all conveniently paved and well marked. Consider packing a little Mother’s Day picnic to enjoy at one of the lovely spots on the route, which winds along the San Antonio River. Just remember the trail is not a loop so plan accordingly.
With multiple starting points, we recommend staring at Mission Concepción.
McNay Art Museum
For moms who love modern art, the McNay Art Museum is the place to go. The first modern art museum in Texas, the McNay is housed in a 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion and boasts a collection of over 20,000 works. After checking out the fine works inside, consider wandering the beautifully kept grounds too.
McNay Art Museum is open every day except Monday. The McNay grounds open earlier and close later than the museum.
If natural history is more up your mom’s alley, consider visiting the Witte Museum. The exhibitions cover South Texas history, environment ecology, and science — from the dinosaurs to early settlers to modern times. With gems and minerals, artifacts, wildlife dioramas, paintings, and so much more, the museum makes for a stop that’s as fun as it is educational.
The Witte Museum is open every day of the week at varying times.
Spanish Governor’s Palace
Mother’s Day is all about treating your mom like royalty, so why not pay a visit to a palace? You can see how the area’s elite in the 18th century lived at the Spanish Governor’s Palace, a National Historic Landmark and the last remaining architectural example of its kind in Texas. Completed in 1749, the striking building was the headquarters and residence for the captain of the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar and later home to Spanish governors living in the city. Aside from the rooms full of historical pieces, the site also has quite the lovely courtyard and gardens.
The Spanish Governor’s Palace is open every day except Monday at varying times.