April trip to San Antonio with kids

Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:04 PM
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April trip to San Antonio with kids

We are planning to come to SA in April from April 18-25. We will be traveling in and out of Houston as this is our spring break week in Boston and flights are considerably cheaper. Our kids are 13 12, and 8. They love to any adventurous outdoor activities, theme parks, swimming, etc. Husband loves history. None of us have ever been to TX except for brief work conferences. We land in Houston Hobby at 11am and will be renting a car. We plan to head straight to SA once we land. Here's our tentative plan and we'd love any comments/suggestions on it.

April 18-21, we have reservations at the Drury Plaza. In looking at the various activities with the kids we definitely want to do The Japanese Gardens, Tower of the Americas, Hemisfair Park, the Alamo (and maybe one more Mission), Riverwalk boat cruise, lots of walking/shopping, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and the Sage. We may also add in the Children's Museum, the SA Zoo, and a walk through the King William District. Definitely planning on some pool time as well as some drinks on the Riverwalk. Besides my husband, we are not that into Tex-mex food. Would love any restaurant suggestions especially Italian and casual steak places.

On Thursday, we will move to another hotel outside the city. Looking at the Omni Colonnade, , the Holiday Inn Express Medical Center North, Hilton Hill Country, or the Hyatt Wild Oak. Omni is the cheapest at about $550 for 4 nights, HI is $630, Hilton is $700, and Hyatt is most expensive at $830. Would love any thoughts on these hotels and their locations. We could afford any of them but just not sure if we need to spend that much as we are going to be spending a lot on admission tickets, dining, etc.

For the remaining days we are planning on going to Seaworld, possibly Aquatica depending on the weather, and Six Flags. We have Six Flags annual passes so could do that for 2 days if Aquatica does not work out. Also considering a trip to New Braunfels/Gruene area but not sure what the best day that would be to fit that in. Thinking of either going tubing or to the Natural Bridge Caverns to do the caverns and the ropes course. Would we have time to do the caverns and ropes course & see Gruene all in one day? Thinking maybe Thurs would be good day for that. Also thinking that it would be fun to hike at Enchanted Rock but once again not sure where to fit that in. Husband wants some downtime on this vacation so I can't try to cram too much in!

We have to be back ay Hobby by 5pm on Monday. What time should we plan to leave SA by? Just wondering if we will hit much traffic.

Would love any insight on things that we may be missing.
matkat111 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:31 PM
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We've stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country over Thanksgiving last year and the year before. Of course, we did not pay those room rates, but went through opaque bidding on Priceline (this one is particularly easy to identify). It's a family-friendly place, and we found the location well situated away from traffic. It's also very close to the attractions, which might appeal to you. The kids might enjoy the on-site water park as well.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 02:21 PM
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Not sure if your 8 year old could handle it, but we enjoyed biking to the southern missions. We biked to four of them and then back to town. It may be an option if you elect to split up. It was a wonderful day.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 06:17 PM
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I believe the water will be too cold for tubing that time of year, although their winter has been warmer than normal. I enjoy Gruene, but think all of you would have a great time at Natural Bridge Caverns. Our visitors from the UK felt it was the highlight of their San Antonio visit. Not sure if the zip line has age restrictions, and have never done it, so can't comment. We live off the road to the Caverns, about 3 miles from it. Beware the speed traps on Natrual Bridge Caverns Rd in Garden Ridge. When they tell you slow to 45, do it! There is likely to be a police car hunkered down just over the crest of the hill!!

Yes, Gruene and the Caverns can be done in the same day, especially if done on a weekday. The caverns can get crowded on weekends, which impact the time it'd take you to join one of the tours. Those arrangements can be made online, too. Gruene can be an hour or 3, depending on your interests. Do not miss Gruene Hall of course. That is the main attraction for Gruene.

Hyatt Wild Oak guests can use many of the amenities at Hyatt Hill Country...lazy river, which I'm pretty sure is heated and would be the main attraction for the kids. The grounds are very pretty! Its character is entirely different from the others you mentioned. It's a true resort and in a quieter area. I HATE driving in the Medical Center area with a passion!! It's congested and ugly. If you won't be spending much time in the resort, then there is little point in spending that money, but on the other hand, it might be perfect for your husband's downtime, and it really is pretty with plenty to do right there. Whereas Hyatt Hill Country is the resort, Hyatt Wild Oak is next door, developed as a timeshare, also has a pool, small golf course, and can have multi-bedroom suites with kitchens. I haven't stayed at Wild Oak, but have in their similar timeshare in Sedona and the accommodations were absolutely fantastic.

Enjoy the Riverwalk...you might think of adding El Mercado to your list of "to-dos". The Spanish flair is fun, in fact, I'd probably do that before Hemisfair Park. Something tells me, from the places you are staying downtown as well as the recommended activities, you've been browsing TripAdvisor?
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 02:33 PM
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It sounds like a good trip. I would like to add that a normal trip from Hobby Airport to San Antonio takes about 3.5 hours. But with Houston traffic, you never know. Your best bet is to leave the San Antonio area early and watch the Houston traffic via http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/layers/. Accidents and construction can shut down a freeway in the middle of the day. As much as I love Houston, it is not a pretty city so please don't judge our wonderful state based on this first impression. Many of the convenient routes out of the city are toll roads now so beware. On your way, be sure to make a stop in Luling at Buc-ee's. A great Texas convenience store and gas station chain like no other. You can't miss the signs miles before you arrive. I would definitely see the Natural Bridge Caverns. And if you leave SA early enough on Monday, you can take a side trip to Shiner, TX and visit the Shiner Brewery. They are expanding so check to make sure that they have resumed tours before you go. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 09:30 AM
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I think the whole family would enjoy Natural Bridges (we just did the shortest cavern tour - all we had time for - and it was really good).
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