2023 offers range from high-flying rides to underground adventures
SAN ANTONIO, TX (June 9, 2023) – Texas’ top tourism destination is at it again, offering robust options for families and all who want to take to the road this summer. Visitors will find everything from high-tech challenges to charming meerkats in the Alamo City, exciting exhibits, eateries and even a new way to bundle up some savings with the rollout of CityPass San Antonio.
CityPass is a ticketing program in many of the country’s major destinations. New for 2023, San Antonio’s CityPass allows visitors to choose four attractions from participating partners and save. These include Go Rio San Antonio River Cruises, San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Zoo, The DoSeum children’s museum, the Tower of the Americas and The Witte Museum.
Here are some highlights of what’s new for this summer along with some key family-friendly restaurants and accommodations.
- An enhanced water park experience has debuted with the grand opening of Hurricane Harbor San Antonio. Highlights include six new family and kids’ attractions including Bonzai Pipelines racing tube slides and Vortex kids raft ride; eight new palapas-style double-decker cabanas and more.
- Also new, in partnership with IGN Entertainment, is the ESIX Gaming powered by Coca-Cola™. IGN, the world’s number one entertainment platform, becomes the official streaming and media partner in debuting this new, top-of-the-line competitive gaming campus. As the largest gaming-focused media platform in the world with over 286M+ unique users, IGN is positioned to bring the excitement of ESIX to gamers of all ages. Through this partnership, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and IGN Entertainment will host and stream a range of competitive events throughout the year featuring the biggest games, teams and IGN’s array of beloved hosts.
- New for summer, 2023, the all-new thrill ride Catapult Falls is the world’s first launched flume coaster and North America’s only vertical lift. Eleven boats, each with eight riders, catapult through the launch at speeds of 30 feet per second, allowing riders to feel the rush of a coaster while experiencing the rocking and swaying of riding on a track of water that kicks up waves as it moves. Once at the peak of the ride, guests will experience the world’s steepest drop in a flume attraction, angled at a staggering 53 degrees, the chute plummets riders into a watery splashdown at over 37 miles per hour.
- Also brand new at SeaWorld San Antonio is ImaginOcean a glow-in-the-dark marine-themed family-oriented puppet show from Tony Award Nominee John Tartaglia. This one-of-a-kind theatrical performance is packed with a fun musical score, amazing puppetry, and dazzling neon colors.
- At Aquatica, the all-new Kata’s Kookaburra Cove has burst on the scence, a new 3,000 square foot water-themed play area that’s a preschooler’s paradise.
The Alamo – This spring, the Alamo, working to improve the visitor experience and expand its exhibition facilities, opened the new Ralston Family Collections Center. This building displays the entire Phil Collins Collection, among other pieces from the Alamo Collection, in its 10,000 square feet of new exhibit space - five times more than the Alamo has today. Visitors are invited to remember and revisit the cherished Alamo, just named USA Today’s “Best Free Attraction” for 2023.
San Antonio Zoo – Once again named “Best Zoo in Texas,” the San Antonio Zoo is not resting on laurels with exciting new additions and renovations. For this summer, they announce the return of meerkats, bringing these playful creatures back after a 27-year absence. These inquisitive creatures come from the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa and belong to the playful mongoose family. Visitors to the new meerkat habitat can expect to see a lively family of five adorable meerkats living in a social group called a "mob." During foraging, one meerkat stands guard, perching on its hind legs and keeping watch over the rest of the group. These social animals communicate through vocalizations, making for an intriguing show of nature.
Natural Bridge Caverns – Owners of Natural Bridge Caverns opened Hidden Wonders: a multi-million-dollar tour experience featuring state-of-the-art lighting, a sound and light show, and expansion into never before toured areas of the Hidden Cavern. The Hidden Cavern is a unique environment which never had a natural opening to the surface. As a result, incredibly delicate and beautiful formations were able to grow in a completely sealed environment. New lighting is one of the dramatic changes in the cavern as well as a 1,100-foot-long expansion of the public passageways through the cave.
San Antonio is lauded for its culinary scene and has a wide range of options available to visitors, many of which are family-friendly. The following are all particularly great for children and adults alike:
Carriqui – Carriqui embraces the ideas, flavors, rituals, and cultures that harmonize in San Antonio by showcasing South Texas Foodways—from the Rio Grande Valley to the Texas coast and north to San Antonio. The menu features fresh seafood from the Texas coast, botana platters worthy of the Rio Grande Valley, barbacoa and brisket cooked in pits forged in the Texas Hill Country, and regional standards like nachos, enchiladas, fajitas, and margaritas. Located at Pearl.
Rosario’s Comidamex & Bar – recently relocated to Southtown, now offers a 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace and bar, complete with stunning views of the downtown skyline. This San Antonio standard has been part of the San Antonio food scene for 30 years serving up traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine in the area to locals and visitors alike.
Tokyo Cowboy – a “Japanese Whisky Diner” concept featuring an extensive array of Japanese whiskies and Japanese-inspired plates is coming to San Antonio on Saturday, April 29th. Located on the River Walk, Tokyo Cowboy will offer shareable plates, signature cocktails and an intriguing restaurant and bar atmosphere overlooking the River Walk.
Wonderslice – Pearl announced the latest restaurant coming to the Food Hall, which is the first pizza concept on the property – WonderSlice. WonderSlice pays tribute to the heyday of neighborhood pizza joints and is in partnership with Chef Ben Schwartz. The name conveys a sense of nostalgia, with a promise of “wonder by the slice.” WonderSlice is accessible and playful; its offerings include fresh pizza by the slice made onsite, full pies, homemade subs, salads, and soft-serve ice cream.
Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family – The most comprehensive exhibition ever mounted on tyrannosaurs makes its Texas debut this month at the Witte Museum. Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family (May 24 through September 4), explores the most feared and revered of all dinosaurs, bringing the latest paleontological discoveries to life and challenging preconceptions about these ferocious predators. It is one of two dinosaur-themed special exhibitions currently at the Witte Museum, which also hosts Antarctic Dinosaurs through September 10. Created by the Australian Museum, Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family features rare fossil specimens, cast skeletons—including that of “Scotty,” one of the most massive and complete T. rex skeletons on record—and incredible models of feathered dinosaurs.
Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch – Summer takes on a Southwestern flair at the Briscoe Western Art Museum with the opening of Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch. Showcasing the Southwest’s influence on Western art, the exhibition celebrates one of the most powerful and influential art dealers in the Southwest. Featuring 45 works drawn from the Tucson Museum of Art and private loans from New Mexico, Oklahoma and San Antonio, the exhibition features 45 works from some of Elaine Horwitch Galleries’ most popular artists. These paintings, sculptures, and works on paper reveal the breadth of art and innovation that occurred in the Southwest at a pivotal time of change.
For additional information on San Antonio summer family fun, visit www.visitsanantonio.com.
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