Educational & Historical

The Alamo, www.thealamo.org, 300 Alamo Plaza, (210)225-1391. World-famous, the seat of the history of the state of Texas, no one should miss touring the Alamo. Guides available to tell the story, plus many exhibits, gift shop, and extensive grounds. Open every day of the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hrs Mon – Sat 9am-5:30pm, Sun 10am-5:30pm. To better serve visitors, the Alamo will remain open on Fridays and Saturdays until 7 P.M. during the months of June, July and August. Free – donations gratefully accepted.

San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E Houston St, (210)212-4453, www.sakids.org. Where kids play to learn and adults learn to play! Has more than 80 interactive exhibits, science and art activities designed for children ages 2-10. Hrs Tues – Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 9am – 6pm, and Sun 12pm-4pm. Admission: $7 all, under 2 yrs free.

San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) www.samuseum.org  200 W Jones Ave, (210)978-8100. Located in an old brewery complex, this is perhaps one of the most historically unique art museums you’ll ever visit. Emphasizing the art of the Americas including pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial and Latin American folk art, its also includes 18th, 19th 7 20th century American and European paintings, photography, sculpture and decorative arts. It can now be reached from the downtown area by riding the RioTrans river barge. Café on premises. Open Tues 10am-9pm, Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-6pm, closed Mon. Adults $8, Seniors $7, kids 4-11 $3, kids under 3 free. General museum admission is free to the public every Tues 4-9 pm, courtesy of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

Natural Bridge Caverns www.naturalbridgecaverns.com, Texas’ largest underground adventure just north of San Antonio contains many caves of limestone formations. This beautiful and historical cavern system offers an experience that is high energy, educational, fun and family oriented. Whether you are a first timer, an avid caver or someone in between, NBC awaits with a once in a lifetime experience you'll never forget. Pan for precious stones, take the ultimate leap of faith from the Watchtower, go caving on one of our adventure tours or simply experience nature on the original Discovery Tour. Open year round, opens daily at 9am with last tour at 4pm. (210)651.6101

Scobee Planetarium at San Antonio College (SAC), 1300 San Pedro Ave, (www.alamo.edu/sac/ce/scobee), (210)486.0100. Since opening in 1961, the SAC Planetarium has been visited by over a million people and honors former San Antonio College student and NASA astronaut, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee - Commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger's final flight.  On behalf of Dick Scobee, the Planetarium is committed to continuing the Challenger's mission of discovery. The Scobee Planetarium has gone digital with the arrival of a new Digistar 3 "all-dome" HD video system.  Imagine a planetarium theater where all the sights and sounds are created digitally, a theater where the dome is covered with breathtaking images and the audience is immersed in the images of outer space, a theater where the operator has only one computer screen, a wireless remote control and one powerful software program that runs everything in the theater! Located on campus of SAC between San Pedro Ave & Main Ave. Friday Public Show tickets (cash or check only) Adults $5, Seniors $3, kids 4-17 $2. Capacity 85 people & doors open 20mins prior to show.

Texas Air Museum, 1234 99th St (210)977-9885. Located at Stinson Airfield, south of town, the TAM was founded by John Tosh, a WWII veteran pilot. Dedicated to telling the story of Texas and San Antonio's vital role in the development of military air power, it also pays tribute to aviation pioneers, technical achievements in the realm of aviation, and above all, pays respect and honor to those who gave their lives to defend freedom. Most attention is given in the area of vintage aircraft centers around World War II, and the Pacific and European theaters of that conflict. The TAM not only represents that era, but is unique in also covering in detail the early period and "golden-age" of aviation. Here you can also learn about the famous "Flying Stinson Family", and why San Antonio is considered to be the birthplace of American military aviation. Tues – Sat, 10:00am - 5pm, closed Sun & Mon, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, New Years Eve/Day. Admission: Adult $4, Senior & Military $3, Age 12-16 $2,
Age 11/under $1, School Tours $2/each student.  www.texasairmuseum.org

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch www.wildliferanchtexas.com, 26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd (830)438-7400. Just 27 miles from the Vista and open 362 days a year, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch offers a unique experience for the entire family. Over 500 animals representing 40 species from around the world inhabit the 400 acre ranch. You drive through in your own vehicle & feed the animals through the windows, going from the Tatonka Range to the Massai Savannah. Educated staff can answer your animal questions at the Longneck Learning Center. Cameras are a must! Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. No pets, motorcycles, or doorless vehicles allowed. Admission: adult $16.50, kids 3-11 $8.50, kids under 3 free. Open 9am daily, but closing time varies based on season.

Snake Farm www.exoticanimalworld.com, 5640 IH35S, New Braunfels, TX, 78132, (830)608-9270. Part of the Comal County Zoo system, the Animal World & Snake Farm is one of the most unique and fascinating animal facilities in the world. Housing over 500 animals at any one time, you can’t help but feel you’re up close and personal with nearly every species of animal on earth! Primates, alligators, exotic hoof stock, birds, cats and of course, snakes make up just a few of the many residents. Feeding is allowed only in the petting zoo. Open daily 10am – 6pm. Adults: $9.75, kids 3-12 $6.75, kids under 3 free.

Texas Ranger Museum is now part of the Buckhorn Museum. (See below) You’ll find 100s of Texas Ranger artifacts including revolvers, automatic handguns, sawed off shotguns, badges, photographs and much more. Notable Texas Rangers exhibited in the collection include, Ray Martinez, Joaquin Jackson, John B Armstrong and Frank Hammer. The highlight is ‘Ranger Town’, a recreation of San Antonio at the turn of the century. Explore this western town complete with a saloon, jail, blacksmith shop and telegraph office. The Bonnie and Clyde exhibit complete with ‘34 Ford V8 Deluxe is a guest favorite.

Buckhorn Museum www.buckhornmuseum.com Originally known in 1880s as the Buckhorn Saloon, our museum features stuffed wildlife from all over the world; including fish, birds, animal oddities and a wax museum of Texas History. The exhibit halls are comprised of over 520 species of wildlife, many of which are listed in the ‘Boone and Crockett’ record books.  The Buckhorn is home to a world record whitetail deer, the famous “78 Point Buck”.  This impressive rack was sold to the original saloon owner himself, Albert Friedrich, for a mere $100 dollars back in 1890.  Other amazing specimens include a record 1,056 pound black marlin and a 10,000 year old pre-historic Irish elk skull and antlers. The Buckhorn Museum also includes the Texas Ranger Museum, a Saloon, and Café. This is where it all started - where Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders and Pancho Villa is rumored to have planned the Mexican Revolution. Many of the original furnishings still grace today's Buckhorn Saloon, including the back bar which was hand-crafted of marble and cherry wood. Menu in the café includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, and wraps with childrens’ portions available. Peak Season (Spring Break & summer Memorial Day - Labor Day)  Museums & Gift Shop  10am - 8pm, Café 11am - 3pm. Off Season (Labor Day - Memorial Day) Museums & Gift Shop  10am - 5pm, Café 11am - 3pm. Adults $17.99 & kids 3-11 $13.99, kids under 3 free for admission to both museums. Your receipt can be used to return a 2nd day for free!


The Texas Institute of Cultures and Hemisfair Park Playground www.texancultures.utsa.edu/  

Witte Museum www.wittemuseum.org, 3801 Broadway Ave, (210)357-1900.  The Witte Museum is San Antonio 's premiere museum of South Texas history, culture, and natural science. Located in Brackenridge Park, on the banks of the San Antonio River, the Witte offers permanent exhibits that include dinosaur skeletons, cave drawings, wildlife dioramas, and even some live animals. Several historic homes have been reconstructed on the campus, which also features the very popular H-E-B Science Treehouse. Changing galleries include Texas artists, textiles and showcase exhibits, some locally-produced and some traveling national exhibits. Open daily except 3rd Mon in Oct, Thanksgiving & Christmas. Mon 10am-5pm, Tues 10am-8pm, Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Adults $8, Seniors $7, kids 4-11 $6, kids 3 & under free.

Hill Country Tours, www.historictexastours.com, meet at Alamo Plaza, (210)467-2534 cell. Offers van tours of the city of San Antonio, the surrounding Hill Country and beyond while the driver offers historic information.
1)  Downtown Tour covers: La Villita, Fairmount Hotel, Old German School, Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, King William District, San Fernando Cathedral, El Mercado, The Alamo, Buckhorn Saloon, etc. Cost: adults $27, kids 8-14 $8.
2)  Mission Trail Tour covers: all five of San Antonio’s Spanish missions from the 1700s along the 12 mile trail, plus the oldest working aqueduct in the US. Starts at the Alamo (aka the Mission de San Antonio de Valero) and proceeds through Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. See original frescos, where the Indians and Franciscans lived, how they grew their food and lived in the Texas wild. Fully guided; lasts approx 3.5 hrs. Adults $40, kids 8-14 $12, kids 7&under free w/paid adult.

McNay Museum www.mcnayart.org, 6000 N New Braunfels Ave, (210)824-5368.  Situated in the 1929 Spanish Colonial home of Marion Koogler McNay, herself a collector of modern art, at her death it was donated to the City of SA and opened to the public in 1954.  It is surrounded by immaculate gardens, koi ponds, and dotted everywhere with sculptures. Its collections include 19th, 20th & 21st  century European and American paintings, sculptures, and photographs; has one of the finest collection of prints and drawings in the Southwest, Medieval and Renaissance art,  and the exceptional Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. A real treasure for the art lover. Hrs: Sun 12-5pm, Mon – closed, Tues–Wed-Fri 10am-4pm, Thurs 1am-9pm, Sat 1am-5pm. Closed New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. During Daylight Saving Time, the grounds/gardens are open 7 am–7 pm. During Standard Time, the grounds are open 7 am–6 pm. Admission: Members & kids under 12&under – Free, Adults $8, Students, Seniors, & Active Military (with ID) $5. There is no charge for general admission on Thurs nights and on the 1st Sun of the month. Special exhibits may require a surcharge.

Museo Alameda Smithsonian Museum www.thealameda.org, 101 S Santa Rosa St, (210)299.4300. This is the groundbreaking San Antonio affiliation of the national Smithsonian Institution which focuses on Latin American art and history. In 1949, Tano Lucchese, the legendary San Antonio cowboy boot maker, built the largest movie palace in the US dedicated to Spanish language entertainment. At the opening Lucchese said, "The Alameda will be a permanent symbol of good faith and understanding between the Latin American and Anglo American where they might share and recognize two different cultures."  By 1991, the theater had fallen into disrepair, but  a group of SA visionaries promoted its rebirth as an important national icon symbolizing the contributions of Latinos to the cultural heritage of our country. In 1996, the Smithsonian Institution announced a physical presence of the Smithsonian in San Antonio designating the Museo Alam