Family Fun in the Sun

A guide to San Antonio's best family-friendly fun all summer long

A guide to San Antonio's best family-friendly fun all summer long

Movies by Moonlight at Travis Park
From face painting to mobile libraries, Movies by Moonlight brings all sorts of activities to Travis Park. Courtesy photo

The school year may have wrapped up last week, so if you’re a parent, your job as family activity director has just begun. Beginning now through August, you will likely hear “I’m bored” followed by “what are we doing today?” more times than you’d like, but the longer days, absence of homework, and later bedtimes give you an opportunity to explore your city as a family.

And the Alamo City has no shortage of family fun activities. Whether you're looking for free fun or want to splurge, this guide will keep your family entertained all summer long.

Movies by Moonlight at Travis Park
Part of the Downtown Tuesday initiative (which includes free parking at many City of San Antonio garages and lots), Slab Cinema’s Movies by Moonlight series offers free outdoor family-friendly films every Tuesday in June and July at Travis Park. Food trucks and activities begin at 7 pm, and movies start after sunset. Snacks, lawn chairs, and blankets are welcome.

Movies by Moonlight 2019 lineup:

June 11Zootopia
June 18 Mary Poppins Returns
June 25 Little Mermaid
July 2Smallfoot
July 9 Enchanted
July 16 Up
July 23How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
July 30Wall-E

2019 Regal Summer Movie Express
If cooling off with a matinee is your family’s thing, check out Regal’s one-dollar movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am, running now through September 4. Participating theaters include: Regal Cielo Vista & RPX, Regal Huebner Oaks & RPX, Regal Northwoods, Regal Live Oak & RPX. The Summer Movie Express will feature Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Despicable Me, The LEGO Batman Movie, Paddington 2, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, Minions, Madagascar, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, and other favorites of the carefree, school-free younger set.

TIKI DISCO Sound Cream Sunset Sessions at Pearl Park
Get ready for an all-ages dance party every Wednesday night in June from 5:30-9 pm at The Historic Pearl. Hosted by Sound Cream Airstream, this series offers four weeks of tropical vibes to set the summer mood. Start with an early dinner at The Bottling Department Food Hall, then head out the doors to the adjacent park and splash pad for tunes curated by a lineup of DJs that includes:

June 5 — DJ Nandez (SATX)
June 12 — DJ Chorizo Funk (Austin)
June 19 — The Soul Spot (SATX)
June 26 — Lloydski (NYC)

This park in the heart of San Antonio is best experienced during the morning or evening hours of a balmy summer. Start with the huge playscape at Yanaguana Garden, ideal for energetic young climbers, or hop on a swing. Scooters and smoking were recently banned here, so the park is even more pleasant for families. Play cornhole, a giant game of Connect Four, or even chess before cooling off at the splash pad. Treat good behavior with a frozen dessert from Paleteria San Antonio, and if you’ve got kiddos under four, take them to Story Time and Book Garden at the Schultze House every Tuesday at 10 am. After story time, check out the free leave-a-book, take-a-book library on-site.

Free museum entry
San Antonians are fortunate to have a wide array of museums to choose from for family fun, offering both an education day — and a chance to cool off indoors. Plus, if you go when museum admission is free, you’ll leave more room in your summer budget for swimming pool entrance fees and ice cream.

The Witte Museum — Free admission every Tuesday from 3-8 pm
The DoSeum - San Antonio’s Children’s Museum — Family free night is the first Tuesday of every month, from 6:30-8:30 pm
The San Antonio Museum of Art — Free admission on Tuesdays from 4-9 pm and Sundays from 10 am to noon. (Children 12 and under are always free.)
The Briscoe Western Art Museum — Free admission on Tuesdays from 4-9 pm. (Children 12 and under are always free.)
The McNay Art Museum — Free admission for adults the first Sunday of every month and every Thursday from 4-9 pm. (Kids 19 and under always receive free admission.)

LEGOLAND Discovery Center at The Shops at Rivercenter
Take a special trip this summer to San Antonio’s own LEGOLAND indoor playground. The space boasts 10 Lego-themed play zones for kids of all ages. But perhaps the most talked about and photographed part of this new attraction is the MINILAND San Antonio, the city’s most iconic spots — including the Alamo and River Walk — rendered in miniature form with Lego bricks, of course. Admission for children two and under is free. Online tickets are $19 for the day ($22 for walk-up tickets), and annual passes are $55 per person.