The San Antonio River Walk -- also known as the Paseo del Rio -- might be a magnet for tourists to this Texas city, but it’s earned its must-see reputation. Just one level below the bustling city streets, the River Walk is a picturesque pedestrian area that provides access to many of the city’s attractions, including the Alamo and the San Antonio Museum of Art. But kids strolling the winding sidewalks will find plenty of fun activities to explore with their parents on the River Walk itself.
Visit an Attraction
The River Walk is designed to make it easy to get to some of San Antonio’s most visited attractions, but you’ll also find a few kid-pleasing sites on the River Walk itself. At River Center Mall, kids can experience when dinosaurs roamed the Earth at Dinosaur-Quest. The 20,000-square-foot attraction houses 18 life-size dinosaur skeletons and more than 65 dinosaur skulls in a multimedia environment. If you call ahead, you can arrange to have one of the attraction’s dinosaur experts walk you through the exhibits. The San Antonio Children’s Museum hosts weekly workshops for kids, including science investigations and art workshops. Of course, kids may also enjoy just checking out the museum’s collection of hands-on exhibits.
See a Show
Nature documentaries such as “Flight of the Butterflies” and “Born to Be Wild” share screen time with current blockbusters at the Alamo IMAX Theatre. Take a break from walking and the weather, splurge on popcorn and catch a flick while you’re on the River Walk. For a different sort of show, put together an art scavenger list -- items to find might include something blue, a figure of a woman, a fish or a chicken, for example -- and encourage the kids to explore La Villita Historic Arts Village with their lists in hand. This little conclave of art shops and galleries can be fascinating to kids who appreciate art, and a scavenger hunt approach will keep them focused.
Take a Tour
Get oriented and learn about the River Walk’s history with a Rio San Antonio River Cruise. Kids will enjoy floating down the river, and many of the guides include kid-friendly anecdotes and stories in their narrations. If you prefer a walking tour, bring your smart phone and let the kids take turns scanning the QR codes along your way -- they’ll provide you with information about significant locations.
Have a Bite
Having dinner on the River Walk is a San Antonio tradition, and some restaurants cater to kids. Animal-loving kids might like the Rainforest Cafe, where spotting the restaurant’s Wild Bunch animal mascots is part of the fun. At County Line River Walk, kids can sample local barbecue or stick with chicken fingers and burgers from the kids’ menu. It’s worth waiting for a river-view table at Landry’s Seafood so kids can watch the ducks and boats in the water below while they wait for dinner.