San Antonio Wax Museum
Wax museums are not really our type of go-to attraction, but perhaps if you are really into wax figures then this spot may provide a fun afternoon. Louis Tussauds Waxworks has over 200 life-like wax figures that look just some famous actors, singers, or other celebrities. Its also a part of Ripleys San Antonio, which features a collection of all things odd, but also true. Beware that this spot doesnt have the best reviews.
Cost: To visit only the wax museum, adult admission is $25 per person. To combine it with the Ripleys Odditorium, admission is $30 per person.
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Casa Navarro State Historic Site
The Casa Navarro State Historic Site is located on Laredo St, just a few blocks away from the UTSA Downtown Campus. It showcases the home and life of Jose Antonio Navarro, a Texas patriot who fought for Tejano rights in the 1950s. His home is beautiful, and striking against the modern buildings that surround it. You will also be able to visit a kitchen built in the 1830s and a mercantile also from the 1850s. This site is a National Historic Landmark. Admission is not free, but still very cost-effective at only $4 for an adult.
Its worth noting that the Casa Navarro State Historic Site hosts a few cultural events as well. For example, they have hosted webinars that discuss Chicano art and local artists, conversations with historical authors, and more.
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The Doseum: San Antonio’s Museum For Kids
TripSavvy / Vincent Mercer
An entire day of fun awaits your children when you take them to the DoSeum, a state-of-the-art, hands-on museum for kids that opened in 2015. Permanent exhibits include Big Outdoors, Sensations Studio, Explore, Little Town, Innovation Station, Spy Academy and Imagine It. The museum hosts birthday parties for a fee. Sound like fun even for grown-ups? It might be but make sure you bring the kids — adults are not granted admission without a child.
The San Antonio African American Community Archive And Museum
The newest addition to La Villita and a fantastic addition to the San Antonio landscape is the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum . Located on S. Presa on the outer edge of La Villita, the museum is always free and open during the same hours as La Villita.
The museums mission is to collect, preserve and share the cultural heritage of African Americans in the San Antonio area. They host a monthly Black History River Cruise and feature a wonderful array of online content on their website, so you can also learn this essential piece of San Antonio history right from home.
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San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum is completely dedicated to the history of San Antonios African American history and culture. They have many in-person exhibits, as well as exhibits you can visit any time on any internet device. For instance, you can see where African Americans have been buried in San Antonio, and learn about the education system for African Americans in this city. There are also a few exhibits that explore the black cowboys of the Wild West and the Buffalo Soldiers.
A digital archive of oral histories is also available at SAAACAM, as well as a collection of photographs and supporting documents, all dedicated to preserving the history of the black community in and near San Antonio
San Antonio Fire Museum
Image Credit: San Antonio Fire Museum Website
Visitors to the San Antonio Fire Museum will view ancient fire vehicles and firefighting equipment, as well as items from the mid-nineteenth century and carefully archived documents and photos. Kids can climb on a 1953 International fire truck made by the Simms Fire Equipment Company and dress up in authentic replicas of firefighters turnout gear!
Timings: Tuesday Saturday: 10 am 4 pm | Monday: ClosedLocated At: 801 E. Houston Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205How Much: Adult: $5 | Seniors: $3 | Children: $2 | Military & Children 3 and under: Free
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Buckhorn Saloon And Museum
TripSavvy / Vincent Mercer
The Buckhorn is actually five museums in one, featuring Horns, Fins, Feathers, the Hall of Texas History Wax Museum, and several temporary and special exhibits throughout the year. Be sure to stop by the saloon, which is actually a cafe, for refreshments and visit “The Worlds Oddest Store,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
The Alamo And The San Antonio Missions
The San Antonio Missions are now the first World Heritage Site in the state of Texas and the 23rd in the nation. And, everyone can visit them for free, every day! To visit the inside of the Alamo Church, visitors will need to claim a free timed ticket.
The Alamo is open from 9 am to 7 pm during Peak season and from 9 am to 5:30 pm for the rest of the year.
San Antonio Missions hours vary by mission. For detailed hours of operation for the San Antonio Missions click here
Mission Concepción: 807 Mission Rd, San Antonio, TX 78210Mission San José: 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78124Mission San Juan: 9101 Graf Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214Mission Espada: 10040 Espada Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214
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Utsa Institute Of Texan Cultures
Did you know that Texas is a melting pot of vibrant cultures? Well, the best place to discover that firsthand is the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures. This museum features exhibits and programs that examine the dances, music, food, traditions, and art of the various cultures that make up the Lone Star State. Rotating exhibits highlight everything from the Filipino Texan experience to African American fashion in the state, while some exhibits are more playful like Tequila in Texas and Metal Culture.
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
The Guadalupe Cultural Center serves to preserve, promote and teach appreciation for Chicano/Latinx art, history, and culture. This multi-faceted center is located in San Antonios oldest neighborhood, King William District. The center has two theaters, a museum gallery that exhibits original works by local Texas artists as well as traveling exhibitions from other institutions. There is also a classroom that provides space for art education classes taught by professional artists along with workshops, seminars, and festivals.
In October 2021, they just launched a bookstore for Latinx art, history, and culture. How exciting to see more Latinx representation in Texas bookstores!
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Museums On Us Program For Free Admission At San Antonio Museums
Museums on Us is a special program that allows one free general admission on the first weekend of every month to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders. Present your active Bank of America, Merrill or Bank of America Private Bank credit or debit card with photo ID to gain one free general admission to a participating cultural institution.
In San Antonio, the McNay, Briscoe, Witte, San Antonio Museum of Art and the DoSeum participate in this program.
The Buckhorn Saloon And Museum
The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum is about as quirky as a museum can get. The museum started with saloon owner Albert Friedrich in 1881, when Friedrich started accepting quirky items like antlers and stuffed animals in exchange for alcohol. The tradition continued throughout Friedrichs lifetime, resulting in a collection of 520 species of wildlife and oddities, many of which are record-holders, like a 1,056-pound black marlin, a 10,000-year-old pre-historic Irish elk, and the renowned 78 Point Buck. Also on-site is the Texas Rangers Museum, which features artifacts from famous Rangers like Ray Martinez, Joaquin Jackson, Frank Hamer, and John B. Armstrong.
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Edward Steves Homestead House Museum
If you are visiting the King William District, head to another excellently preserved historical home at the Edward Steves Homestead. This intricately beautiful three-story mansion is a picture of 19th century Texas life and is made of local limestone. There are outbuildings to explore too, like the one-story River House, a servants quarters- turned visitors center, and the Steves carriage house. Youll feel like you stepped back in time as you stroll the lovely gardens.
Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens
Another beautiful site in the King William District, Villa Finale is now an art museum met with a historical site. The grounds are free and open to the public, so you can enjoy walking through its natural beauty. Inside, you will see a home restored to its original glory by Walter Nold Mathis, who would go on to restore other historical homes in the district. He also collected over 12,000 artworks that are now donated and on display at the house.
Admission to the interior Villa Finale is $10 per person. And, this is another location that may close on certain winter days. So, check ahead before planning a day at Villa Finale.
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Holocaust Memorial Museum Of San Antonio
Learn about one of the most tragic events in human history at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio. The museum is divided by three distinct exhibits, which explain how the Holocaust began, the Nazis rise to power, and what the Jewish people endured in death camps and under Nazi rule. Some smaller exhibits showcase Americas involvement in the Holocaust or tell the stories of Holocaust survivors who settled in San Antonio. The museum is free and offers a unique opportunity for visitors to be led on a tour by a local survivor.
San Antonio Museum Of Science & Technology
STEM education is the focus of this interactive museum and education center housed in two buildings in Port San Antonio. The San Antonio Museum of Science & Technology contains the personal collection of curator and founder David Monroe along with donated items, including the first personal computer and Thomas Edison lightbulbs. But one of the main highlights of the museum are the Tesla coil demonstrations which shouldn’t be missed.
Tesla coils at the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology.
The museum’s education department hosts a series of camps as well as online programs including the Boeing STEM Academy and Microsoft GetDigital where students can earn digital badges.
Find it: 102 Mabry Drive, San Antonio, TX 78226
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Top Museums In San Antonio To Visit During Your Trip
Planning a vacation to San Antonio? Our local experts put together a list of our top San Antonio museums that you should consider adding to your itinerary.San Antonio is known for its rich history, unique culture, and Texas weather. Its museums are home to a wide variety of art, history, education, and culture so theres bound to be a museum youll enjoy.Planning a trip to San Antonio? Our local experts put together a list of some popular San Antonio museums worth visiting during your trip.From Texas-specific history and culture, to iconic American and European artwork, to science and bizarre phenomenon, San Antonio museums offer a diverse selection of subject to explore – so whether you’re looking to keep the kids entertained for a few hours, or want to spend the weekend museum hopping and learning about history, there’s a San Antonio museum for you.
Carver Community Cultural Center
By Danny Garcia By Danny Garcia
The Carver Community Cultural Center has been around since 1918 when it was built to support the Black American community. Throughout the years, many amazing Black artists have performed here, like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong! In 1973, the city attempted to tear down the building, which had been neglected. But, the community banded together and literally stood in front of the bulldozers, saving the building for generations to come. Incredible!
Today at the Carver Community Cultural Center, you can see nationally acclaimed, unique performances in jazz, Latin jazz, dance, and more. They also host performing arts camps where children are taught by professional instructors.
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The Best Museums In San Antonio
TripSavvy / Vincent Mercer
San Antonio’s biggest tourist attraction is the Alamo, made famous by countless movies about the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and the legendary Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. But once you’ve taken in the history at the Alamo, walked along the Riverwalk and checked out its restaurants and shops, you’ll be looking for something else to see. San Antonio’s great museums should be on the top of that list. Get the scoop on the biggest and best museums in San Antonio, from children’s museums to historic and art museums.
Texas Air Museum At Stinson Field
San Antonio, known as Military City, USA, is home to one of the largest military bases in the country and is often considered the birthplace of American military aviation. The Texas Air Museum pays tribute to this history with a collection of vintage aircraft located at Stinson Field, the second oldest airport in the nation, which is still used as a control tower today.
A helicopter on display at the Texas Air Museum at Stinson Field on Oct. 3, 2021 in San Antonio, TX.
The volunteer-staffed museum exhibits focus on the citys role in developing military air power and the story behind the air fields namesake the Stinson family, who trained World War I pilots.
Find it: 1234 99th St., San Antonio, TX 78214
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The Institute Of Texan Cultures
The Texas State Exhibits Pavilion, which was built for the 1968 HemisFair event, became the Institute of Texan Cultures today. The University of Texas at San Antonio owns and operates the museum. It contributes to the universitys community engagement programs by creating high-quality, easily accessible resources on cultural heritage for educators and lifelong learners. The Institute of Texan Civilizations is, at its heart, a lesson in variety, demonstrating the distinctiveness and beauty of the numerous cultures that have migrated to Texas.
Timings: Thursday Sunday: 10 am 4 pm | Monday Wednesday: ClosedLocated At: 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78205-3296How Much: Admission is by donation. The suggested donation is $12
Museums For All: Free Or Discounted Admission To Over 600 Museums With Snap Ebt Card
Through Museums for All, those receiving food assistance can gain free or reduced admission to more than 600 museums throughout the United States simply by presenting their SNAP EBT card. Find a participating museum near you or browse the full list below.Museums for All is a national, branded access program that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. It includes many different kinds of museums, from art, history, natural history, anthropology, and general museums, to childrens museums, science centers, planetariums, nature centers, historic houses and sites, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, arboretums, and more!The cost of museum admission can be a barrier for many low-income families. Participating museums provide reduced admission, ranging from FREE to $3.00, to visitors presenting their EBT card. This reduced rate is available during all normal operating hours to up to four individuals per EBT card. With a year-round open door policy, Museums for All invites low-income visitors to feel welcome at cultural institutions!Please visit the Museums for All website if you have any further questions!And we always recommend contacting the museum directly to ensure current, active participation in the Museums for All program BEFORE you visit!
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Deal Alert: Save Big On San Antonio Area Museums And Other Attractions With Pogo Pass
The Standard South Central Texas Pogo Pass provides admissions to 35 different entertainment venues in the San Antonio, Austin and Waco area.
Perfect for families, the Pogo Pass gives both adult and child pass-holders 50+ visits to some of the best things to do that San Antonio, Austin and Waco have to offer. The Pogo Pass nearly pays for itself with a visit to one or two venues alone!!!
Pass Features the following Attractions in San Antonio
- One visit to the San Antonio Zoo
- One visit to the Witte Museum
- One visit to the Buckhorn Museum
- One visit to Wonder World Park
- One visit to the San Antonio Aquarium
- One visit to Rush Fun Park
- Six tickets to the University of Texas San Antonio athletic events
- Two visits to Pump It Up
- Two visits to Monster Mini Golf & Laser Tag for a round of Mini Golf