More than 45 water rides and attractions swerve and spray across the 20 landscaped acres of Splashtown San Antonio. A five-story slide sends guests speeding through a series of corkscrew turns and sudden drops, the park's wave pool sends huge swells toward body-surfers, and a pair of enclosed water slides generate part of their thrill from the pitch darkness. But it's also easy to just relax in the sun: the park also boasts a tree-lined lazy river, and basketball and sand volleyball encourage fun competitions on dry land. Splashtown San Antonio even rents out shady cabanas for groups with as many as 12 people, giving visitors a private retreat where they can dry off, catch their breath, and finally try to find chlorine on the periodic table of elements.
In 1925, Kiddie Park first opened its doors, and since then, generations of kids have flocked to the park, and its classic rides. After a renovation in 2009, the grounds were augmented with modern facilities such as a new entrance. The revamping efforts proved fruitful, and the San Antonio Current lauded the facility as the Best Kid-friendly Park (& Comeback Story) in 2010.
Now more than 85 years after its opening, Kiddie Park welcomes visitors for days of fun and nostalgia. A train winds through turns, while a ferris wheel proffers elevated views of the historic grounds and lollipops stuck in visitors' hair. Hand-carved in 1918, the park's flagship Herschell Spillman carousel still beckons visitors aboard its decades-old horses. Elsewhere, a snack bar tempts taste buds with classic treats such as funnel cakes and cotton candy.
The San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium has more than 3,500 animals in a variety of realistically themed exhibits. A family membership gives two adults and their kids or grandkids unlimited, express member entry to the zoo for 365 successive days. Tour the African plains and visit the ostriches, antelopes, and baby-lugging Marabou storks as they gather around the water hole to demonstrate the newest Kindle, or brave the tropical mysteries of Amazonia in search of an anteater, macaws, and the giant Andean condor. Membership also includes discounts on programs, special events, gift-shop and concession-stand goodies, and free or discounted access to a lengthy list of zoos and aquariums across the country.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium boasts three floors of interactive exhibits featuring rare and bizarre artifacts inspired by the oddball collection of worldwide explorer Robert Ripley. Get a glimpse into the world of weird with astonishing and outlandish displays including a piece of the Berlin Wall, the world's largest tire, replicas of prehistoric beasts, Lee Harvey Oswald's car, and iconic items of American and world history. The museum is open seven American standard days a week.
History books chronicle the happenings of politicians and leaders, but a folklorist shares the stories and lives of the regular people who made a community what it is. During his new History & Heroes of San Antonio tour, guide Randy Felts introduces guests to an eclectic cast of characters, from the Alamo's David Crockett to residents of the 300-year-old village of La Villita. As tours progress along the roughly mile-long path, his words weave together true facts and tall tales, cluing visitors into the fanciful history that has come to define South Texas.
Narcissus would certainly be at home in the Ultimate Mirror Maze Challenge, though he'd surely never find his way out once surrounded by infinite hordes of his own reflection. Maze visitors not distracted by their own chiseled jawlines must find their way through endless circles and dead-end paths in the black-lit, mirror-lined cavern. Once they've emerged victorious from the winding corridors, they can celebrate by morphing their appearances in "funky mirrors"—stretching themselves out, making themselves stout, or masquerading as clusters of beanpoles. Inside The Vault Laser Beam Challenge, players race the clock, dodging bright-green laser beams and maneuvering through tricky webs, careful to avoid breaking the light stream. They can play as many times as they wish to perfect their beam-evasion techniques or to practice craftily returning stolen art to museums.