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Update: The contest has now ended, but please feel free to still enjoy the review!
This is the third post of a three part series on the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. The first two posts were about the resort itself and the array of activities and amenities available at that resort. This post is dedicated to some of the “family friendly” activities we were able to enjoy while in City of San Antonio. Our trip was very graciously provided by Hyatt and the San Antonio Visitor’s Bureau, and the best part of that is that Hyatt wants to host a Mommy Points reader for a free three night stay as well, including a $250 gift card! More on that at the end of this post.
We had three nights in San Antonio at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa over a long weekend in late June, and while we were excited to experience San Antonio with our toddler, it was hard to peel ourselves away from the resort as there was so much to do there. My advice is to plan accordingly and budget a sufficient number of days in San Antonio to experience both the city and the resort. Even with a long weekend, it was tough to fit everything in while still ensuring our daughter was getting enough sleep at night and during nap times. I would recommend at least 4-5 days if you want to really get the most out of the resort experience and partake in some of what San Antonio has to offer.
However, even if you only have a long weekend, like we did, you can still see and do quite a bit. Here is what we got to experience…..
Downtown San Antonio:
The San Antonio Visitor’s Bureau provided us with tickets to the Children’s Museum downtown, so that was our first stop of the afternoon when we ventured into the heart of San Antonio. If you have never been to a Children’s Museum, then I will let you in on a secret – they are not at all museums in the way that you think of traditional museums. They are better described as fancy play areas where there are some good educational things that you can learn from as well. This museum costs $8.00 for adults and gives a discount for military personnel and educators with ID. Children younger than 2 are free, and you can get a $1 per person discount by going to the museum website and signing up for e-news information.
When you first walk into the museum there is an awesome looking tree with bridges. The museum has lots of different play areas that our kiddo was looking forward to exploring as soon as she walked in.
While she enjoyed all of the exhibits, I think her favorite had to have been the airplane portion of the museum. There was a plane to play in as well as a control tower. Be aware that your little one will not be the only child in the museum, so be ready to have discussions about sharing and waiting your turn. Those are good lessons for sure, but just be ready to have those discussions in the museum……quite frequently if you have a kinda cranky two year old on your hands.
After some fun at the museum (that was thankfully very well air conditioned), we headed back out into the Texas summer to show our kiddo the Alamo. We knew she was far too young to appreciate the history of the Alamo, but I thought she might still think that it was cool to see this type of building. We were right, she did think the building was pretty neat, but given how hot it was outside, we really couldn’t stay and appreciate the Alamo for very long. There is some air conditioning inside, but it isn’t cool – it just isn’t as hot as outside. For adults that isn’t as huge of a deal, but it is something to keep in mind if you are going around town with little ones.
After the Alamo we sought refuge in the Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk for a little bit before we continued on to our journey to the Riverwalk. Thankfully, the Alamo and the Riverwalk are very close to one another and are totally walkable, even with a toddler. Little C very much enjoyed the Riverwalk and seeing all the ducks swimming by. Do keep in mind that there are no fences or rails keeping little ones from falling in the water, so be ready to hold hands and stay attentive.
We joined some folks from both the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and the San Antonio Visitor’s Bureau for dinner on a river barge catered by Boudro’s on the Riverwalk. That was a ridiculously awesome way to ride on the Riverwalk and eat phenomenal food at the same time. Boudro’s has a regular restaurant on the Riverwalk where we met the boat. The restaurant was packed when we arrived as it is clearly a pretty popular spot; I recommend making reservations. The food was some of the best food I have had on the Riverwalk – we killed several bowls of guacamole on the boat! The prickly pear margaritas were also amazing.
One of the neatest parts was cruising by an outdoor performance and truly having front row seats as we floated by! I’m not sure if we will ever have an opportunity to have dinner on a barge on the Riverwalk again, but I recommend jumping at the chance if the opportunity ever presents itself to you and your family. Even if you just eat in the restaurant or on their patio, you will still likely have a good experience. You should be aware that Boudro’s is a bit more upscale than some restaurants on the Riverwalk, so the prices and menu reflect that more upscale flavor. We all loved it, but it is just something to be aware of.
SeaWorld and Aquatica:
The next afternoon we again left the resort to head out and experience SeaWorld! Seaworld is literally just minutes from the Hyatt resort, so that makes it very simple to go from the hotel to the park. I visited SeaWorld once a long time ago, and was excited to show Little C all that the park had to offer. SeaWorld has also recently opened a really neat connected water park called Aquatica. The park has pools, rides, and interactive animal exhibits. The chance to cool off in the water is really great considering how incredibly hot it gets in Texas. Just because you have a ticket to SeaWorld, doesn’t mean you are automatically ticketed to Aquatica as well, so do keep that in mind when choosing which tickets to purchase. They also do hit capacity on some days, so I would recommend going earlier in the day, rather than later.
Once we arrived at SeaWorld, we headed left to the dolphin area. You can purchase some fish to feed to the dolphins. If you do so, then the dolphins will come right up to you and you can take some awesome photos! If you do not purchase food then you are technically not supposed to come up to the dolphins on that side of they tank as they are expecting food. We then headed a little further to a large indoor aquarium with all sorts of fish and sharks (and air conditioning). Our toddler loves aquariums, so that was a big hit. I really wanted to then head to see the penguins, but it was on the far side of the park, and frankly our kiddo was just too tired to make it that far. Instead we headed to Aquatica to check it out and see the sting rays.
In addition to going when our toddler was tired, we also really were not prepared for the heat…..and we live in Texas! Even the ice cream couldn’t survive. It was partially melted when we bought it. Nothing can withstand the Texas sun. If you go in the summer, just be prepared for that reality. There isn’t a bunch of shade at SeaWorld, so if heat is an issue for your family, then go very early in the morning, take breaks, wear sunscreen, drink water, etc.
Getting to pet the sting rays was an awesome experience though, so it was worth braving the 100+ degree weather!
We will absolutely have to return to SeaWorld when we are a little more rested and it isn’t quite as hot. We barely scratched the surface on things to do at that park! Before purchasing a ticket to SeaWorld, do a little poking around their website for discounts. I know that teachers (at least in Texas and Florida) and active duty military families can get in for free.
Other San Antonio Activities:
We just did not have enough time to do everything that we wanted to while in San Antonio. If you have kiddos that are into theme parks, then also check out Fiesta Texas while in San Antonio. We could see some massive roller coasters from far away at that park! We also really wanted to make it to Natural Bridge Caverns, and will certainly head there on a future trip to the San Antonio area. My parents have very much enjoyed visiting the old missions in the San Antonio area on some of their trips, so that is another attraction that Central Texas has to offer. The San Antonio Visitor’s Bureau also has tons of info and links to additional attractions and events in the area. It is an area of Texas with so much history and culture, so I very much recommend adding San Antonio to your list of cities to visit…..just remember it is very hot in the summer.
To score your own free three night trip to the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio all you need to to do is win the trip on this site. As I mentioned earlier, the Grand Prize will be three nights mid-week at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa (blackout dates such as holiday weeks and Texas Spring Break week do apply. The prize has no cash value). Additionally, all three nights must be used on one trip. The winner will also receive a $250 Hyatt gift card to use at this resort for food, beverages, Camp Hyatt, golf, spa treatments, etc. (yes, it must be used at this Hyatt). Two runner-up winners will receive a $50 Visa gift card.
To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post stating what you would want to do while in San Antonio. You are limited to one entry per post in this three part series. However, you are encouraged to enter three times by commenting once on each post in the series. (Remember to enter on Part 1 and Part 2) I will randomly select one winner from each post on Tuesday July 24th, so get your entries in by 12PM Central on 7/24/12. Of those three winners, I will then randomly select the Grand Prize winner. The other two runner’s up will each receive $50 Visa gift cards. (I bet you can guess which card I will be using to purchase those cards for 5x points!) The Grand Prize winner will be put in touch with Hyatt to arrange their free three night stay and $250 Hyatt gift card. I will send the $50 Visa gift cards to the other two winners. Sound good? Good luck!