Things to Do for Under $10 in San Antonio

Learn a Little History, Play Some Monster Golf and Dance till Dawn

While San Antonio abounds with upscale entertainment options for visitors, it’s becoming difficult to find fun on a budget in the Alamo City. Fortunately, there are still ways to enjoy your stay without breaking the bank. 

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    The Alamo, San Antonio, TX
    Dean Fikar / Getty Images

    One of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Alamo is a must-see for all San Antonio visitors. There is no charge for admission, but the $7 audio tour will give you a much better sense of the history and the people who fought in the battle of the Alamo. Pamphlets are also available to assist you with a self-guided tour. If possible, arrive early since the site quickly gets crowded after 10 a.m.

    Cost: Free

  • 02 of 14

    A few blocks north of the busiest part of the River Walk, artist Carlos Cortes has transformed a part of the walkway into a grotto-like structure emblazoned with ghoulish faces and subtle flourishes that can only be seen on close examination. The site includes benches and a picnic area for those who want to stay and rest a while. The trickle of the waterfall just might lull you to sleep if you’re not careful. When you’re ready to continue your adventures, you’ll be walking distance from the shops and restaurants at the Pearl Brewery.

    Cost: Free

     

  • 03 of 14
    Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park
    Richard Cummins / Getty Images

    Enjoy a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city in this beautifully landscaped Japanese garden. A former rock quarry, the site now includes winding walkways, koi-filled ponds and quaint bridges. Exotic flowers, bushes and trees line the walking paths, giving the visitor the sense of being transported to a tranquil Japanese hideaway.

    Cost: Free 

     

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    While other movie theaters are boasting of the biggest screens or fanciest sound systems, the Regal Fiesta Stadium 16 focuses on keeping prices low. Despite the bargain prices, the facility is well-maintained and clean. Most of the movies are fairly recent releases, if not the very latest. The theater has a family-friendly vibe, plus a well-lit parking lot.

    Cost: $1.99-$6.99

     

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  • 05 of 14
    Mission Concepcion, San Antonio, Texas
    Buyenlarge / Getty Images

    While the entire Mission Trail is highly recommended, if you only have time for one, be sure to check out Mission Concepcion. Established in 1755, the mission shows its age — it has never undergone extensive renovation. Yet the building’s fading frescoes and thick stone walls provide fascinating insights into the lives of these early missionaries living on the frontier amid often-hostile native tribes.

    Cost: Free

     

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    The Public Art San Antonio Studio showcases works produced as part of the city’s vigorous public arts program. You can see paintings, sculptures and other work by some of San Antonio’s most promising up-and-coming artists. The studio also hosts a number of free workshops and classes. If you want to explore the numerous public artworks around the city, you can pick up a map and explore more of the city’s creative masterpieces.

    Cost: Free

  • 07 of 14
    Buying food from stall at Market Square.
    Neil Setchfield / Getty Images

    A vibrant outdoor shopping area, Market Square is primarily home to shops run by local artisans and craftspeople. While you could spend much more than $10 here, you can easily find earrings, Mexican curios, pottery and small pieces of art at bargain prices.

    Cost: Free

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    If you’re traveling with little ones, the San Antonio Fire Museum will not disappoint. The 1892 Ahrens Steamer, one of the earliest fire trucks, is a fascinating contraption even adults will enjoy learning about. Fire trucks from several different eras are on display, along with historic photos. The building itself is also a work of art: Built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, the structure originally served as the Central Fire Headquarters.

    Cost: $5 adults, $2 kids

     

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  • 09 of 14

    Sure, you’ve heard about putt-putt, but what about glow-in-the-dark mini-golf? The courses are dotted with monsters and goblins that emit an eerie glow, wiggle and talk. Even the balls glow in the dark. Artwork illuminated by black lights adds another level of quirkiness to this memorable destination. As if that weren’t enough craziness, speakers throughout the course provide music and interactive entertainment, including contests and other spontaneous events.

    Cost: $9.99 adults, $8.99 kids

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    An art museum created by locals for locals, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum aims to support and help develop aspiring San Antonio artists. The sprawling 11,000-square-foot space displays multimedia art, sculptures, photography and painting by contemporary artists. The museum also hosts a wide variety of community events, including progressive dinners, movie screenings, informal talks and yoga classes.

    Cost: $5

     

  • 11 of 14

    Located next to the zoo, the San Antonio Zoo Eagle Train takes its passengers on a low-speed tour of the area, making stops at Witte Museum, the Japanese Tea Gardens and Kiddie Park. This San Antonio institution has been in operation since 1956. At the end of the three-mile route, you can grab a bite eat at the depot cafe or buy a souvenir at the gift shop.

    Cost: $4

  • 12 of 14

    Improv Comedy Club club hosts a free open mic every Monday night. You may get to see a rising comedy star or someone who will never set foot on stage again. Yes, it’s a crapshoot, but the crowd is generally forgiving since many of them are novice comedians, too.

    Cost: Free

     

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  • 13 of 14

    Azuca transforms itself into a dance club on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring Tropicante, an 11-piece band. Even if you have two left feet, it’s fun to watch the regulars gyrate and spin expertly around the dance floor. The band plays a variety of salsa and merengue tunes from across the Latin American world. If you work up an appetite, don’t worry; the kitchen is open late, serving up amazing Latin fusion fare.  

    Cost: $5

     

  • 14 of 14

    Featuring a lively mix of blues, jazz and salsa bands, Luna presents both up-and-coming bands and established acts. The setting is intimate, yet there’s plenty of room to dance. The swank decor and dim lighting make it an ideal choice for a special night out.

    Cost: $5