Visiting the Alamo and strolling along the River Walk provide fond vacation memories of San Antonio. But new memory-makers are being created all the time. It’s an exciting time for family fun in colorful, cultural, hip and historic San Antonio. Here are just a few of the city’s recent and upcoming projects. For more of what’s new in San Antonio, explore media.visitsanantonio.com. Visitors can get more information at visitsanantonio.com.
BIG THRILLS AT THEME PARKS
Six Flags Fiesta Texas: Spring will see the debut of the highly anticipated hybrid coaster Iron Rattler. This unique technological marvel combines a classic wooden support structure with modern track and rails crafted of steel, allowing for unprecedented smooth and swift turns and inversions never before experienced.
SeaWorld’s Aquatica: This new waterpark is designed as a South Seas oasis with all the amenities of a beachside resort, including terraced pools, a giant wave pool, meandering crystal-blue rivers, sandy beaches and private cabanas. Aquatica boasts unique attractions such as up-close stingray encounters and a “weightless” family raft ride that’s a first for North America.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort: Billed as “the world’s longest waterpark ride,” The Falls features raging rapids, careening waterfalls and giant waves. The continuously rushing 3,600-foot whitewater river features a ride up the park’s first AquaVeyer, a conveyor belt lift hill, providing an endless float.
Canopy Challenge & Zip Lines: Located at Natural Bridge Caverns, the Canopy Challenge & Zip Lines are three activities in one. Visitors will grapple their way to the top of the 60-foot, four-tier adventure course. It’s a great way to test agility, balance and strength on 47 obstacles (like the Burma Buckets and Criss-Cross Tight Ropes). For little ones, there's also a Canopy Kids Course that's specifically designed for toddlers and young kids. Then, take a ride on one of the four zip lines, gliding high above the Texas Hill Country.
Bracken Bat Flight: Also at Natural Bridge Caverns is the newly open to the public Bracken Bat Flight. It is the summer home of the world’s largest bat colony. From May to September, there is a guided tour for an up close view as millions of bats spiral out on their nightly insect hunt.
The San Antonio Zoo is ranked as one of the best zoos in the nation exhibiting over 3,500 animals of 600 species. Some of the newest additions include a nine-year-old sun bear named “Baubles” and an 8-month-old clouded leopard named "Indira."
In 2014, the zoo will celebrate its 100th birthday. The centerpiece of this centennial celebration will be ZootennialPlaza; a centralized family gathering area for casual and reserved occasions, a custom-designed carousel, and an upscale restaurant.
EVEN MORE RIVER WALK TO ENJOY
Walkers, hikers, runners and bicyclists are discovering the joys of the latest expansion of the River Walk. The San AntonioRiver flows past four beautiful Spanish missions along the historic Mission Reach project, which extends south of downtown for eight miles from Lone Star Boulevard past missions Concepción, San José and San Juan to the southernmost Mission Espada. The first two phases of the Mission Reach, more than two miles, have been completed, with phase three scheduled for completion in 2013.
South Texas Heritage Center: Birthplace of vast ranching empires, South Texas is where the American cowboy learned the best techniques for riding, roping and herding cattle from Spanish vaqueros. The WitteMuseum’s new Robert J. and HelenC.KlebergSouthTexasHeritageCenter brings to life the stories of Texas Indians, Spanish settlers, Tejano freighters, Chili Queens and trail drivers through cinematic robots, motion triggered audio personas and gallery theater.
SUMMER’S LAST HURRAH
Families can have one last summer hurrah before school is back in session with Kid’s Week- Aug. 12 – 18, 2013. For one week, San Antonio will turn into a citywide playground featuring hotel packages designed with kids in mind, free entertainment, fantastic deals on family-friendly attractions, special kid’s menus at restaurants and more. Kid’s Week will coincide with Tax-Free Weekend allowing families complete back-to-school shopping and create long-lasting family memories before school starts.
MORE THAN ACCOMMODATING
Families will get a good night's sleep when they visit San Antonio. There are plenty of hotels and motels, from budget to luxury, lining the River Walk in downtown, near the airport or close to the theme parks: http://www.visitsanantonio.com/visitors/sleep/index.aspx
For families looking for a resort getaway, San Antonio has that too. In spring 2013, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa will become one of only three hotels in the U.S. to have a FlowRider in its waterpark which hotel guests can choose to body board, kneeboard or stand-up board on a sloped wave surface with 40,000 gallons of water being driven up at a rate of about 18,000 gallons per minute. They will also be adding a 22-foot tower slide, perfect for children ages 5 and up.
Also, the JW Marriott San Antonio Resort & Spahas been recognized by Fodor’s Travel magazine — making the publication’s list 2012 100 Hotel Awards in the category of “Fun for All Ages.” Family fun at the resort includes the six-acre River Bluff Water Experience, on-site childcare and a range of daily family-time activities such as rubber-duck races, guided trail-bike rides and s'mores nights.
SOCCER FOR A CAUSE
Located at Morgan’s Wonderland, theworld's first ultra-accessible family fun park, is the STAR Soccer Complex. This is the current home to the Scorpions, San Antonio’s new professional soccer team. Nearby McAllisterPark has six full-size soccer fields with lights. With the city’s investment in new amateur athletic venues, San Antonio will have about 100 tournament-level fields.
Toyota Field:Coming in 2013, isToyota Field which will be the new home to the Scorpions as well as a multi-purpose sports, entertainment and special-events stadium. All net profits from Toyota Field, the Scorpions and nearby STAR Soccer have been earmarked to help those with special needs through programs and activities at non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland.
About the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, a department of the City of the San Antonio, is funded through the hotel/motel occupancy tax. The bureau is a marketing, sales and service organization dedicated to the promotion of San Antonio as a meetings and visitor destination for the purpose of positively affecting the city’s economy.