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June 24, 2021 Slideshows » News, Arts

25 cool things to do in and around San Antonio when it's hot AF outside 

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San Antonio has plenty of fun to offer, but it can be hard to leave the house on hot days. You know, when weather forecast seems to be a hearty "fuck you" from the sun.

Still, as nice as the AC at home can be, it's even nicer to get out for some summer fun, and there's lots to do in and around town where you won't break (too much of) a sweat.

Whether you want to stay in town or are willing to venture outside of Loop 1604, we rounded up 25 ways to beat the heat.
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Kayak the San Antonio River
Looking for some water-centric entertainment? Mission Kayak (mat-tx.com) provides guided and unguided kayak rentals, and now you can paddle down scenic stretches of the river downtown — both through the River Walk and the King William District.
Photo via Instagram / missionadventuretours
Treat yourself to a raspa or ice cream
What better cure for a hot day than a brain freeze? San Antonio has plenty of delicious cold treats to enjoy, from gourmet ice cream at Chocollazo to raspas and mangonadas at Las Nieves.
Photo via Instagram / anniespetitetreats
Take a scenic swim at San Pedro Springs
Sure, there’s always the neighborhood pool, but there’s no better way to beat the heat than a soak in San Antonio’s historic — and beautiful — San Pedro Springs.
Photo via Instagram / caroleckelkamp
See a movie at the drive-in
Drive-in movies got a big boost during the pandemic, and they seem to be here to stay. You can head to the Stars & Stripes Drive-In in New Braunfels or check out the newly reopened Drive-In at La Cantera (formerly known as Rooftop Cinema Club) to enjoy a movie on the big screen from inside your air-conditioned vehicle.
Photo via Instagram / rooftopcinemaclub
Visit the sea creatures at SEA LIFE San Antonio
SEA LIFE San Antonio (849 E. Commerce St Suite 600, visitsealife.com), a new aquarium that opened at the Rivercenter in May, features 10 interactive zones including a stingray bay and a seahorse mangrove exhibit. It’s a perfect outing for kids — and those of us who are kids at heart.
Photo via Instagram / sealifesatx
Go underground at Natural Bridge Caverns
Here's a good way to escape the punishing heat — leave the sun behind by going underground at Natural Bridge Caverns (26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd., naturalbridgecaverns.com). Plus, while you’re there you can enjoy the gorgeous cave formations.
Photo via Instagram / naturalbridgecaverns
Try a locally brewed seasonal beer
Whether you reach for a classic like Shiner’s Ruby Redbird or try out a new brew like Freetail’s Citrus Trip, there’s few things better than a cool, seasonal beer on a hot summer’s day.
Photo courtesy of Craft Beer Marketing Awards
Tube the Comal River
There’s a reason tubing down the Comal is considered a Texan rite of passage. The cool waters of this river in New Braunfels are perfect for a leisurely float while you sip a refreshing beverage. Just make sure to double check the rules before you go.
Photo via Instagram / andrewfisher7
Try out a newly opened restaurant
Refresh your palate at one of SA’s hip new eateries, like Best Quality Daughter. Not sure what’s new on the scene? Check out our list of recently opened establishments in town.
Photo by Ron Bechtol
Browse a local art museum
Cool down and get cultured at one of San Antonio’s art museums. You can roam SAMA’s expansive riverside campus, check out the McNay’s newly updated grounds, or enjoy the latest exhibition at Blue Star Contemporary.
Photo via Instagram / sama_art
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Tee off at Topgolf
Physical activity may not be the first thing you think of when it's blazing hot outside, but Topgolf (5539 N. Loop 1604 W., topgolf.com) is as much about socializing as it is hitting balls. The chain's bays are shaded and cooled with fans, so it's possible to drive a few balls and drink a few brews without breaking a sweat.
Photo via Instagram / nerevicente
Make a splash at a local water park
If you want to amp up the fun while cooling down in the water, head to one of the area’s water parks for a rip roarin’ good time. You can stay in town and visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ White Water Bay or Sea World's Aquatica, or drive up to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels.
Photo via Instagram / sixflagsfiestatexas
Visit a nearby roadside attraction
Whether you’re down for a road trip or want to stay close to home, there’s plenty of weird and interesting roadside attractions in the area worth checking out, like the Giant Stag Made of Junk just up the road in Converse. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got a list of roadside attractions in driving distance of SA for you to peruse.
Photo via Instagram / pauseforadventure
Grab a frozen daquiri to go from SipIt
The pandemic-era policy of allowing alcohol to-go is here to stay, and SipIt Daquiris To-Go (drinksipit.com) has got you covered. Now with two San Antonio area locations, you can grab a frozen drink in a variety of flavors to take with you and enjoy at your leisure. But, you know the drill — don’t drink and drive, y’all.
Photo via Instagram / sipitdaiquiris
Take the kids to the DoSeum or Witte for educational fun
Got the summer break blues? Turn off the TV and take the kids to a museum for engaging, educational fun. They can get hands on and have a blast at the DoSeum, or learn all about the natural world and visit some fossilized friends at the Witte.
Photo via Instagram / thedoseum
Have a weekend getaway at a unique Airbnb
Tired of hanging out at home? Take a load of with a staycation at an SA Airbnb, or branch out and visit a unique vacation rental, like the Bloomhouse in Austin.
Photo via Airbnb / The Bloomhouse by Lodgewell
Grab a refreshing boba tea
That’s right — this is our boba manifesto. There’s something special about this cool drink, and there’s plenty of ways to enjoy it in San Antonio. Try out Hella Bubble, T-Pioca or Tealicious Cafe for your SA boba needs.
Photo via Instagram / hellabubblesa2020
Find secondhand treasures at a local thrift store
Make like Macklemore and pop some tags. Rather than spending an eye-popping amount at a fancy shop, you can find a special one-of-a-kind outfit or other treasures at a local thrift store, while keeping cool in the AC.
Photo via Instagram / mahdee.sun
Cool down with the kids at a splash pad
A splash pad is a simple pleasure that kids love. Many San Antonio parks have splash pads, including Pearsall Park and Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair, as well as at Pearl Brewery near the Bottling Department.
Photo via Instagram / historicpearl
Take a scenic drive
Hop in the car, pump up the jams, and enjoy the beautiful Texas scenery visible both in and around San Antonio.
Photo via Instagram / lynnbauerphotography
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Take an indoor swim at San Antonio Natatorium
If it’s too hot for you to consider going to an outdoor water feature, the San Antonio Natatorium (1420 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., sanantonio.gov) is accepting reservations for swimming sessions at its indoor facility. It's the best of both worlds!
Photo via Instagram / kristin.pitocco
Take a driving tour of San Antonio's murals
San Antonio is exploding with public art. There’s plenty to see both downtown and along the St. Mary’s Strip, but you can find eye-popping murals throughout the city. Put together a driving route and check out some of the best public art SA has to offer.
Photo by Jaime Monzon
Volunteer at a local animal rescue
Sure, you might get put on poop-scooping duty, but what better way to while away a hot summer’s day than by helping rescued pets? If you want to give back this summer, local rescues including the San Antonio Humane Society and Animal Defense League could always use a helping hand.
Photo via Instagram / sahumane
Make a classic SA recipe at home
Sometimes it’s just too hot to leave the house. Fortunately, you can have some SA-themed fun at home by replicating a classic recipe. From cooking a puro SA meal to whippping up a classic snack like guacamole, we’ve got you covered with this roundup of locally-inspired recipes.
Photo via Instagram / plenocook
Browse for a book at the San Antonio Library
Whether you go to your local branch or take a trip to another San Antonio Library location, you can cool off and find something great to read at the public library.
Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Public Library
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Kayak the San Antonio River
Looking for some water-centric entertainment? Mission Kayak (mat-tx.com) provides guided and unguided kayak rentals, and now you can paddle down scenic stretches of the river downtown — both through the River Walk and the King William District.
Photo via Instagram / missionadventuretours

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