Houston has plenty of free fun this summer, but if you want to hit the road, San Antonio is great at 3+ hours away. Colleen Pence of San Antonio Mom Blogs shares her ideas for 5 Free Things to Do in San Antonio.

San Antonio

Thanks to Vicki and Houston on the Cheap for inviting me to share some free San Antonio fun with you. I’m Colleen Pence from SanAntonioMomBlogs.com, and I love sharing everything free that I find in San Antonio.

Here are five free things to do in San Antonio throughout the year:

1. Tour the San Antonio Missions and walk or bike down the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River
Everyone remembers the Alamo (which is free to visit, year round) but did you know that just south of downtown San Antonio lie four, beautiful, historic Spanish missions (Concepción, San José, San Juan and Espada)? They’re connected along the San Antonio River by a scenic, 8-mile paved trail, perfect for walking and biking. The Missions are free to visit and guided tours are free as well. Spend a little money and rent a B-Cycle from kiosks located along the way (and all over San Antonio). For just $10 enjoy this fit form of transportation to tour the missions and all of downtown San Antonio for 24 hours. Want to keep the bike longer? A 7-day rental is just $24 and you can return your B-Cyle at any kiosk located throughout the city. If water travel is more your speed and you’ve got a canoe, there’s a 1.6 mile section of the river to paddle along from Mission Road to Padre Park.

Mission Reach

2. Stroll through the Pearl Farmer’s Market and down the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River
Slightly north of downtown San Antonio you’ll find another lovely stretch of paved pathways that take you along the San Antonio River (some construction is under way so consult the San Antonio River Authority website for possible detours. Start at the Pearl, a San Antonio hotspot for dining and shopping located on the site of the former Pearl Brewery. Head south to the San Antonio Museum of Art (free days/times listed below!) and then stroll further along to the Riverwalk proper, which is filled with restaurants, shops, music, and more. Saturday mornings, the Pearl’s already festive atmosphere fills with the sights, sounds, and magnificent smells of the Farmer’s Market which includes local vendors selling fresh meat, produce, flowers, honey, and more, as well as live music, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of opportunities for people and dog watching.

San Antonio Pearl

3. Visit San Antonio’s treasured museums, for free
From early to modern art, from children’s activities to science, from Texas history to Western art, San Antonio museums have something for everyone. And, you can see visit them for free! This post on San Antonio Mom Blogs has all of the days, hours, and details for free San Antonio museum fun.

Witte Museum

4. Visit San Antonio Parks
San Antonio has more than 185 parks and greenways and they are all FREE to visit! My family and I are park ambassadors for San Antonio and we’ve made the commitment to visit 20 San Antonio parks in the year 2014. Check out the full list of San Antonio Parks to visit. Here are a few of our favorite, must-visit San Antonio parks:

  • Eisenhower Park: With a hilltop view of downtown San Antonio and over five miles of paved and unpaved trails, this is one of the best places to hike in San Antonio.
  • San Pedro Springs: The second oldest park in America, San Pedro Springs is a great place to swim, for free, during the summer months.
  • Chris Park: This tranquil, one-acre oasis hidden away in the heart of downtown San Antonio is perfect for shady strolls, meditation, and photography. Created by artist/philanthroper Linda Pace  in the memory of her son Chris, it’s a love letter come to life, with artistic touches, lush greenery, and, when not in drought season, a flowing fountain. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., closed Mondays.

Chris Park

5. Visit the San Antonio Book Festival
Held once a year in the spring, the popular, free, and open-to-the-public San Antonio Book Festival brings nearly 100 authors to town to speak on panels and head up literary discussions. It also includes book sales, a technology area, cooking demonstrations, food trucks, live music, and theatre presentations. The kids’ zone brings reading to life for kids when they get to meet and hear their favorite authors read aloud from their books. Kids can also play at art booths and participate in other hands-on, literary-related activities. The Festival culminates in a Literary Death match (which does have a small charge of just $10 a ticket), pitting author against author as they read from their works in a hilarious fight to the “death.”

San Antonio Book Festival

More Free (and cheap) fun in the Alamo City:

Colleen PenceColleen Pence is a blogger, a social media consultant, a mama, a Parrothead, and a foodie who can’t cook. Her passion is finding and connecting San Antonio mom bloggers and sharing free things for families and kids to do in the Alamo City.

Follow Colleen Pence and San Antonio Mom Blogs:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Flipboard