Colleen Pence is a mama to two; a social media and marketing consultant; a blogger; a foodie who doesn’t like to cook; a supporter of non-profits; and a Parrothead. Colleen’s blog, San Antonio Mom Blogs, combines her passion for parenting and lifestyle blogging with her desire to promote and connect other mom bloggers in San Antonio.
When she’s not planning her family’s next great travel adventure, Colleen likes to dream of snorkeling in salty seas; eat cutting-edge culinary creations; sip creative cocktails; keep up with hot tech; covet cool bags; and figure out innovative ways to entertain her children. Find Colleen at San Antonio Mom Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Sulia.
Colleen’s Family Travel Tip
Ask your kids! Sure, most parents agree that covering a few history lessons when visiting a new place is important. And mom and dad always have their list of what they want to see and do when visiting a new locale. But it’s not a true family vacation if everyone doesn’t enjoy it. Get your kids’ input about where they’d like to go and what they’d like to see and do. They’ll love having a part in planning the trip and the experience will mean that much more to them.
Colleen’s San Antonio Recommendations
1. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch AKA the “drive-thru zoo” – wildliferanchtexas.com
My children squeal with delight every time we enter this rustic Texas ranch, which allows families to get up close to wild animals from all over the world. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch offers a drive-thru zoo, petting zoo, and a walk-a-bout area and it’s home to a variety of animals including giraffes, zebras, rhinos, ostriches, emus, elk, bison, pygmy goats, llamas, and more. Admission is per person and includes one bag of animal feed per car (be sure to drop the food on the street instead of feeding the animals out of your hand – ouch!). Inquisitive zebras poke their heads into your car window (if you let them). The ostriches are quite friendly too. And what’s cooler seeing a bison roaming the street in South Texas? Open 363 days each year.
2. Morgan’s Wonderland and Moms’ Coffee – morganswonderland.com
The nation’s first theme park built with accessibility in mind, Morgan’s Wonderland is where everyone can play, regardless of special needs, age, or disability. Wheel-chair accessible rides that include an off-road car adventure, a carousel, and swings are attractions you don’t see at just any theme park. Morgan’s Wonderland also boasts accessible playgrounds, sand and water areas, a Sensory Village with interactive adventures, a 1930s-style train, a wharf where people of all ages can fish, a garden sanctuary and more. Check out their Moms’ Group on the the first and third Friday of every month. Moms meet up for coffee and to relax while kids are entertained with an activity. Then, spend the rest of the day enjoying the park. The cost for for this special event? Just $15 per mom and no charge for kids, ages 0-10 (a savings of up to $10 per kid!). A full day of fun for just $15? It can’t be beat.
3. Landa Library Park – landagardens.org
When our family travels, we plan time to visit local parks. It gives my husband and I some relaxing downtime and our kids get to run their legs off and explore new and different playgrounds. Landa Library Park, just north of downtown San Antonio in the historic Monte Vista district, provides plenty of shade and benches, a medieval community garden, grassy areas for running and picnics, and well-kept water fountains. Our kids adore the modern playscapes (one with a zipline-like feature) suited for ages 0-12. The park is also the front yard of a lovely and historic branch of the San Antonio library. If your kids get hot just step inside the library for an air-conditioned break and an excellent children’s book section complete with a juvenile Spanish-language area. And every mom (and dad) will appreciate the access to clean bathrooms.