If you are planning a trip to Texas during the blazing heat of the summer months, make sure you have something fun to distract you from the fact that your face is melting. San Antonio was a fantastic distraction from the heat. My only regret was that we only had one day to fieldschool in San Antonio. We could have definitely used more than one day to explore this unique city.
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Studying for Our Trip
For the past two years, we have been studying American history. I admit that History is my favorite subject to teach and I am always adding to it, so one topic can last a while. History is also the easiest subject to experience with fieldschooling.
We recently studied the Texan revolution against Mexico, so the Alamo was still fresh in our minds (but I did sneak in a fun John Wayne movie just before the trip). As Tennesseans, we have studied David Crockett in not only American history but also in our Tennessee history. Although I’m pretty sure San Antonio rivals the entire state of Tennessee on references to Davy Crockett on street signs, memorials, and tourist attractions.
These are some of our favorite resources for an Alamo study.
The Travel Plan
About 40 minutes outside of San Antonio is a quaint little retreat named Geronimo Creek Retreat. Our goal on this leg of the trip was to find a unique place to stay, and we certainly accomplished that. Alongside a small pond with a tiny island are five tipis for rent. What I loved about this part of our adventure is that we had the unique experience of staying in a tipi, but with all the modern conveniences. I am not a fan of experiencing nature in all its glory. I’m more a fan of “observing nature” in all its glory — often near the comfort of an air-conditioned, mosquito-free environment.
Our not-authentic-but-still-really-cool tipi had 3 Queen sized beds, a mini kitchen, couch, and TV. Unfortunately, it did not house a bathroom. However, once you walked through a tiny bit of nature, the bathhouse had private, locked bathrooms, so we didn’t have to share the shower and toilet with others.
Fieldschooling at the Alamo with Kids
Admission to the Alamo is free. However, I recommend purchasing the audio tours at the cart in front of the Alamo. The information on the audio tour was worth considerably more than the $7 charge. Guided tours are also available. We opted to go at our own pace with the audio tour. After following the audio tour through the church, courtyard, and long barracks, we stepped outside to the historical re-enactment tents. This area also houses any special exhibits. On this day, we watched the re-enactors demonstrate loading and shooting long rifles like “Old Betsy.”
Before you enter the Alamo, you will walk past the Alamo monument. It lists all the men who died at the Alamo including reliefs of the famous leaders, Travis, Crockett, Bonham, and Bowie. The monument is a testament to the spirit of the Alamo and the spirit of Texas.
Fieldschooling along the San Antonio Riverwalk with Kids
When you’ve finished touring the Alamo (which takes about an hour to an hour and a half), walk across the street to the San Antonio Visitor Center and grab a map. While you’re there, you can also purchase tickets to the Riverwalk cruise. From there you will want to find your way down to the River level. Once you enter the Riverwalk, San Antonio takes on a unique spirit. It reminded me of Venice with its meandering river through the middle of downtown, but it had a lively Texan spirit. And, down at River level, the sweltering heat was not so sweltering (or at least I was distracted by all the sights).
Make sure to grab dinner or lunch or even just some ice cream while you are on the Riverwalk. It is a unique experience and fun for kids and adults.
If you have more than a day in San Antonio, you should look into the Grand Sightseeing Tour for more fun things to see and do.
Travel Journal Pages for San Antonio