If you’re looking for some fun things to do with your kids in Texas Hill Country, read on for a fabulous weekend itinerary in New Braunfels and San Marcos!
A LITTLE FUEL
First stop on our family’s weekend adventure was lunch at The River House in cute, old Gruene, TX. We sat outside under the oak trees, and my son loved watching the deer wandering around in front of us. Food was all around delicious–corn fritters, meatloaf sandwich, burgers. The kids menu even included Akaushi beef sliders. Talk about gourmet. And, amazingly, there were no mosquitos biting us! Hmmm…just might need to move to Hill Country.
A LITTLE NATURE
We then headed to Natural Bridge Caverns, which is close to New Braunfels. I don’t recommend going on Labor Day Weekend. There were a ton of people. And at 99% humidity underground, that is not what you want. The caves were spectacular though. There were cool formations and big “rooms” to see. The occasional water drops from the stalactites provided a bit of coolness. That was my son’s favorite part. The tour guides had some interesting information. We probably would have learned more had my 3-year-old son not been racing ahead. The path is slippery in spots, so definitely wear good shoes. To our delight, there was a popsicle shack strategically placed at the cave exit. There’s also a ropes course on site, which a lot of kids seemed to be enjoying.
A LITTLE RELAX
Next up was Dry Comal Creek Vineyards for a well-earned glass of Albariño. The folks at the winery welcome kids. There is a large covered patio and a massive outdoor space for kids to run around in. My son quickly found a playmate, so we could sit back and chill in the shaded Adirondack chairs.
We finished off a fantastic afternoon with dinner at the Root Cellar Cafe in the lovely San Marcos town square. Our faves were the yummy beer bread with honey butter and wild mushroom pasta.
Sunday morning we decided to stay in San Marcos and visit the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. What a pretty piece of nature! We opted for the shorter 25-minute glass-bottom boat tour. While we waited for our tour time, we wandered the trails, wetlands boardwalk and aquarium. Once aboard the boat, everyone had a good view into the crystal clear waters. We spotted big fish, small fish and swimming turtles. My son seemed most fascinated though by the underwater divers. Apparently, this area is one of the oldest continually inhabited parts of North America. Archaeological digs uncovered artifacts from 12,000 years ago! You can see those ancient arrowheads in the aquarium.
By this point, we were ready to head back home. But not before stopping to fill up on some of the best beef brisket ever at Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, the BBQ capital of Texas. There was a line to get in, but it moved fast. The brisket and jalapeno cheddar sausages were well worth it. Even my normally finicky son polished off all of his sausage, cornbread and green beans.
If we had had more time, we would have stopped at Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum in San Marcos. It looks like paradise for any kid or adult that loves vintage cars! And if my son could sit still for more than 5 minutes, we might have tried tubing. If you’re up for some fun on the Comal River, we’ve found Comal Tubes to be good and reasonable. Some other tubing companies to check out are Rockin’ R and Gruene River Company. They’re across the street from each other.
We’re always on the hunt for great things to do in Texas Hill Country, so please reach out to tell us your favorites. And sign up to receive more articles like this!