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.
The Texas Transportation Museum
The Texas Transportation Museum is one of the best unconventional outposts in town for families, locomotive heads and adventurers. Located not far from the airport, guests can enjoy train rides and explore retro train carts, model trains, old cars and more. Pack a picnic and enjoy the museum’s outdoor setting near the mesquite trees and be sure to chat with one of the many expert volunteers. The museum also hosts various special events throughout the year especially around Christmas and serves as a venue for birthday parties. The museum is open on weekends from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $8 for kids and under 4 are free.
Find it: 11731 Wetmore Road, San Antonio, TX 78247
San Antonio’s Snake Farm Animal World and Zoo.
Villa Finale Museum & Gardens
If you love old architecture and curiosities from throughout antiquity, then Villa Finale might be for you. Located in San Antonio’s historic King William neighborhood, off the San Antonio River, the Villa Finale was built in 1876 as an old manor that was converted into a museum. The home was the last of local preservationist, Walter Nold Mathis. His vast collection of oddities includes an excess of 19th- and early 20th-century Napoleon Bonaparte artifacts 843 to be exact including a bronze death mask. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours are $10 a person, however the grounds are free and open to the public.
Find it: 401 King William, San Antonio, TX 78204
A Dia De Los Muertos display in San Antonio, Texas.
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Animal World And Snake Farm Zoo
Locals have no doubt seen the venom-red Snake Farm sign visible off the highway as you head into New Braunfels. The Animal Word & Snake Farm is not the sort of place for the faint of heart. I’ve been there twice, and both times were with my grandpa, a retired Air Force Colonel, who isn’t afraid of anything. Within the Snake Farm, guests will find an assortment of the world’s most deadly snakes, a petting zoo with typical farm animals and a variety of exotic animals. The fauna is also fascinating, and a little unnerving. Pro-tip: the gift shop sells excellent T-shirts. The Snake Farms is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $19.99 for adults and $15.99 for kids.
Find it: 5640 I-35 S., New Braunfels, TX 78132
The King William neighborhood estate and house museum known as Villa Finale.
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
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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 13 Best Museums In San Antonio
Jen Rivera: There is so much fun for the kids. They have an outdoor water play area so you might want to bring a change of clothes for your little ones. Parking is tight so get there early.
Rashad Richardson: Take my girls a lot. They love this place. Great place for kids twelve and under very afforable for all that they have.
Rashad Richardson: All the exhibits but particularly the HEB store.
Raul Rodriguez: Waffles are great– biscuits n gravy are a favorite
MattersOfGrey.com: The quiche is really tasty and a hearty helping. They don’t always seem to have it, but if they do, it’s worth trying.
Jeff : Get the Pioneer Platter. All of your breakfast favorites. And come hungry!
Brett Baker: A great museum right on the Riverwalk.
Maddie H: Explore the whole museum for free every Tuesday, from 4-9!!
Gilbertchcs Gonzales: Wear comfortable shoes.
Jonathan Liu: The Asian Festival rolls around every Chinese New Year. Great food from all different countries, colorful cultural performances, and various trinkets for purchase make this a must-visit every year!
Visit San Antonio: The Institute is a great place to learn about your Texas roots! Teams had to search the institute for the answers to10 questions about Texas culture Race to the Alamo
Visit San Antonio: Buy one ticket and get one free when you bring in your SAVE coupon from the attached link! Read more.
Ryan Frazier: Don’t fall for the two-way mirror where they ask you to try to make funny faces!
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Institute Of Texan Cultures
TripSavvy / Vincent Mercer
Part of the University of Texas at San Antonio and located downtown on the university’s Hemisfair campus, the Institute of Texan Cultures features several exhibits that trace the history of the San Antonio area back to its roots, which includes people of Mexican, Spanish, German, Irish and other diverse cultural backgrounds.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
While most National Parks tend to include a single location, San Antonio Missions National Park actually includes four different missions, each built during the colonization period of the early 1700s. Each mission is two to three miles away from the next, so plan to visit this National Park in a vehicle. Each one of these missions still holds mass. When visiting San Antonio Missions National Park, you will visit:
- Mission Concepcion, which was founded in 1731.
- Mission San Jose, the beautiful church that houses the Rose Window. This window was constructed in 1775. According to legend, its stained glass was made in honor of the artists lost love.
- Mission San Juan, located along the Yanaguana Trail. This trail is a stretch of the San Antonio River. There is also a farm here.
- Mission Espada, which was founded in 1720. Now, you can stroll through a lush Prayer Garden, or rent the church as an event venue.
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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.
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.
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The Free Museums In San Antonio
Right off the bat, lets start with a quick list of all the free San Antonio museums. Some are always free and others only on certain days. So if you want to plan out your museum-hopping experience in a way that maximizes your budget, heres a quick list:
- The Alamo but, make a reservation ahead of time here.
- Artpace San Antonio always free.
- Bexar Heritage Center always free.
- Briscoe Free Tuesdays, but check before you go.
- DoSeum Free on Family Nights, the first Monday of each month.
- Holocause Memorial Museum of San Antonio Always free.
- McNay Art Museum Free every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Ruby City Always free.
- San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum Always free.
- San Antonio Art League and Museum Always free.
- San Antonio Fire Museum Free Tuesdays noon to 4:00 p.m.
- San Antonio Museum of Art Free Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., only for Bexar County residents.
- Witte Museum Free Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., free admission for members.
- Villa Finale grounds free, but you must pay to go inside.
The Amazing Mirror Maze
If you’re looking for something flashy to drop into with the kids post Alamo visit, try The Amazing Mirror Maze. Located in Alamo Plaza, the labyrinth-like attraction is a modern fun house with three floors of interactive fun. With nearby venues like Tomb Rider 3D, Guinness World Records Museum, and Ripley’s Haunted Adventure closing by September 1 to make room for the Alamo Museum the Amazing Mirror Maze will soon be one of the remaining non-historical attractions in the area. Tickets are $25.99 3 and under free.
Find it: 217 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
Artist Mark Maggiori was inspired to create Once Upon a Time in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and because nobody else did. On view at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in 2020.
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The Texas Ranger Museum
As part of the Texas Centennial in 1936, Memorial Hall opened adjacent to the Witte Museum to be a memorial to Pioneers, Old Trail Drives and Texas Rangers. In 1973, the Former Texas Rangers Association opened a Ranger exhibit at Memorial Hall. This historic collection remained there until 2006, when the Former Texas Rangers Association partnered with the Buckhorn Museum to open the Texas Ranger Museum. This world-class Texas Ranger exhibit offers the public the chance to see priceless historic artifacts that span more than a century of Ranger history. Notable Texas Rangers exhibited in the collection include, Ray Martinez, Joaquin Jackson, John B. Armstrong and Frank Hamer.
For more information on the collection in the Texas Ranger Museum, please call 830-997-2698. To learn more about of the Former Texas Rangers Association or the Former Texas Rangers Foundation, please visit www.trhc.org.
The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum And The Texas Ranger Museum
If you appreciate taxidermy and find yourself downtown seeking a beer and a bite to eat, then The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum is worth the trip. Grab a snack and then head to the back to enjoy a massive collection of taxidermy animals and proud Texas narratives about the Texas Rangers. Admission is $22.99 for adults and $16.99 for kids.
Find it: 318 E. Houston Street, San Antonio, TX 78205
Victoria’s Black Swan Inn in San Antonio.
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San Antonio Museum Of Art
In a cluster of buildings that previously housed the Lone Star Brewery, the San Antonio Museum of Art takes you throughout the world and through five thousand years of art. SAMA is one of the best art museums in San Antonio TX that is known for having the largest collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art in the southern United States.
Timings: Tuesday & Thursday: 10 am 7 pm | Wednesday Thursday, Saturday Sunday: 10 am 5 pm | Monday: ClosedLocated At: 200 West Jones Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78215How Much: Adult: $20 | Seniors: $17 | Military and Students: $12 | Youth: $10 | Children below 12: Free
Briscoe Western Art Museum
The wild, wild west is brought to life at the Briscoe Western Art Museum where art exhibits highlight western history from pre-colonial days to the first settlers and the peak of Texas ranchers. Youll discover western paintings, as well as unconventional items of art such as covered wagons and Pancho Villas saddle. Dont forget to explore the culture garden which has bronze sculptures that depict life in the American West.
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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!
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.
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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
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
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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.
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.
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Utsa Institute Of Texas Cultures
The Institute of Texas Cultures is one of the best places to learn about the cultural history of San Antonio and all of Texas. This location is not only a museum but also a Smithsonian Affiliate and extension of the University of Texas San Antonio. They have exhibits and special events, as well as outreach programs for schools and large groups. As an Institute, they also have teacher-training workshops for local and visiting educators.
The venue opened in 1968 as a part of the Worlds Fair, so visiting the UTSA Institute is like visiting a part of history. Its also enormous, with 182,000 total square feet. Just under half of this size is dedicated to the exhibits.
Note: This museum is closed for a portion of the winter, so make sure to check hours of operation and admission information before planning your trip.