SeaWorld San Antonio For Families: A Mom’s Review

A young girl pats a sea lion while visiting SeaWorld San Antonio with her family.
Photo Courtesy: Xraka White

Planning a trip to SeaWorld San Antonio for families? Families typically dream of traveling to some of the iconic theme parks in California or Florida. However, the budget and amount of planning required for those can sometimes be too overwhelming. Not to mention the increased crowds the parks are starting to experience, evening during off-peak times! In addition to housing SeaWorld, San Antonio is a very family-friendly destination. Once you arrive, you’ll discover how many things there are to do in this beautiful, historic, and family-friendly city. To help others plan a vacation to this dynamic theme park with young kids, I’ve compiled all of my tips in this guide to SeaWorld San Antonio for Families: A Mom’s Review!

Why Choose SeaWorld San Antonio for Families?

The entrance to SeaWorld San Antonio.
Photo Courtesy: SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio is a fun and educational experience for the entire family year-round! (And for a fraction of the cost and time required for the other well-known parks!) I often refer to the park as laid back in my SeaWorld San Antonio review for families, especially for parents with babies and toddlers. However, the time spent at the park does not feel overly exhausting, especially if you schedule it right. For example, my family prefers to spend at least two days visiting the park. Don’t worry about the heat, either. It has beautiful landscaping and plenty of shady trees! Relax in the shade or get as much sun as you need while strolling from one activity to the next.

Best Time to Visit SeaWorld San Antonio for Families

A sea turtle swims through an aquarium.
Photo Courtesy: SeaWorld San Antonio

My family has been visiting SeaWorld for the last seven years. Our first trip was for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, while our most recent visit was for her 10th birthday. This also falls around their Halloween celebrations, which is such a delight! SeaWorld is very intentional about the themes and activities selected for each holiday, as well as the summer season. Plus, since we hold the Annual Pass, we can take advantage of the unique seasonal experiences and cooler temps in the fall, winter, and early spring. Though Texas can be hot on any given day, the park is delightful during those times. Summer fireworks are also very exciting after the boating shows!

Tip: Pay attention to the schedule for the Halloween-themed activities at SeaWorld San Antonio for Families! During the day, the park is still quite friendly. However, as dusk nears, the cast members dress up in scary costumes and pop out to scare you. We didn’t last very long before deciding to leave this trip. It was scary, and there were tears, but ultimately fun since we often reminisce about it. If you like this sort of thing, it is very well done, and you will have fun.  

Best Things to Do at SeaWorld San Antonio for Families

Looking for the best things to do at SeaWorld San Antonio for families? SeaWorld is constantly updating its family programming! While there have been changes and upgrades to the park, shows, and experiences over the years, the quality of education and fun that families experience has never ceased to amaze me.

After passing the security checkpoint, you will pick up a map with all of the current activities and showtimes. Getting a couple of them is a good idea, as you will continually refer to this document a lot.

Right after the security checkpoint, the park is also divided into three sections; Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and the water park Aquatica. A ticket is required for SeaWorld and Aquatica, but not for Discovery Cove. Discovery Cove is where you check in for any animal interaction experience. You can also view dolphins in their habitat from above and below, as well as other marine life, including a variety of sharks and fish. Here are some more things to do with your kids!

Want to see more of Texas? Check out these 17 Fantastic Things to Do in Austin with Kids!

Animal Experiences

Two flamingos stand together in an exhibit at SeaWorld San Antonio.
Photo Courtesy: SeaWorld San Antonio

A SeaWorld San Antonio review for families would not be complete without mentioning that the animal experiences at SeaWorld are spectacular! If you arrive early enough in the day, you could actually see all of the shows in one day. However, we like to take our time and mix in the other activities with shows over a two-day visit. To secure your strollers in the designated area and pick out the seats you like best, arriving 20 minutes before starting time is a good idea. Plus, coveted splash zones in the Beluga Whale/Dolphin and Sea Lion stadiums offer much-needed relief on a hot day!

Recently, my family was able to attend one of the new behind-the-scenes training events to learn more about the habitat and behavior of the remaining orcas. The sea lion and otter shows are always fun too. We also love the Pets Ahoy show, which includes all types of non-marine animals, many of which are rescues.

Animal Interactions

A dad and his son swim with string rays at SeaWorld San Antonio.
Photo Courtesy: SeaWorld San Antonio

Our favorite thing to do at SeaWorld is to interact with the animals and the trainers! Most older kids will likely be interested in this (my 10-year-old loves all things marine life and animal behavior.) My entire family has now become enthralled as well, so we all have a great time learning together. For additional fees, members of our family have been able to participate in up close and personal animal experiences, like swimming with dolphins and sea lions. After speaking with a trainer feeding the otters, we were invited to come behind the scenes to meet Leon, the sea lion, and other trainers.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the trainer’s careers and the animals they care for. You will most likely see a trainer monitoring the dolphin pool or feeding the sea otters. When you are not scheduled for an animal interaction or going to see a show, families can take a nice stroll around the park to visit the various exhibits where animals can be seen at any time. Kids can witness fish and sharks in the aquarium, alligators and turtles, penguins, dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, pink flamingos, and more. Parents will be happy to know it’s all included in the cost of admission!

Tip: One of our most important tips for visiting SeaWorld San Antonio for families is knowing the events you want to do before arriving. Sign up for the email list so that you can be notified about special ticket and annual pass pricing, events, and Black Friday specials for animal experiences. The deals are really great. Pay close attention to the benefits each of the passes provides to make the best choice for your family!

Visit Sesame Street Bay of Play

One of the colorful kiddie rides at Sesame Street Bay of Play.
Photo Courtesy: SeaWorld San Antonio

When visiting SeaWorld San Antonio for families, we highly recommend the Sesame Street Bay of Play in addition to everything else SeaWorld offers. Young children and toddlers can enjoy meeting and dancing with Sesame Street characters! Here, you’ll find various rides, carnival games, and a jungle gym over a splash pad. Dance parties and parades with the characters are always fun as well. As a plus, the playground sits nestled in the shade! For older children and adults, there is a good variety of roller coasters, water rides, and traditional carnival and arcade games.

Where to Eat at SeaWorld San Antonio for Families

SeaWorld offers many food and drink options for families, including healthy choices! For example, Harbor Market is great for a cafe-style meal, while Rio Grille is more of a sit-down meal. (There’s also outside seating!) The park’s guidelines also allow certain outside food and drink. To save a few dollars on snacks, my family likes to pack a few things to take with us. Various dining options can provide better savings for your family, so take the time to explore those before visiting!

Where to Stay near SeaWorld San Antonio for Families

An aerial view of the grounds and outdoor pool at La Cantera Resort & Spa.
Photo Courtesy: La Cantera Resort & Spa

SeaWorld San Antonio offers families a ton of nearby accommodations for families! Our favorite hotel is the very gorgeous, but kid-friendly, La Cantera Resort & Spa. Set overlooking San Antonio’s luscious rolling hills, my family loves this place because it offers childcare, a small arcade, and a pool for kids! Accommodations include Deluxe Rooms with king beds, larger suites, and even multi-bedroom villas. La Cantera also has regular daily and special holiday schedules for children and family activities.

Here are the top 20 San Antonio, Texas, family-friendly vacation rentals! | Vrbo

Happy Travels!

A young girl swims behind an otter at an animal encounter experience at SeaWorld San Antonio.
Photo Courtesy: Xraka White

We hope you liked this review of SeaWorld San Antonio For Families by our FLT contributor Xraka White! From animal encounters to educational experiences, this destination is truly a treasure chest of family fun. Enjoy SeaWorld San Antonio with your kids!

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are that of the attributed writer.

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