Remembering the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
By Meg Brunson
"Remember the Alamo." - it's a quote that I know, and (to be honest) I am not sure how/why - I don't remember learning about it. I was born and raised in New York and I don't remember learning much about Texas' independence. We focused a lot of NY state topics, and in history classes, we did touch on all the major wars - but for one reason or another, this just happens to be a piece of history that I personally lacked knowledge of. Which is why I really wanted to make sure we visited. This trip is as much about educating myself as it is about educating my kids.
The Alamo is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, with parking lots easy to find, though a little pricey. Luckily, visiting the Alamo is free, so paying a bit more for parking was a reasonable trade-off. We were greated by a gentleman dressed in period-clothing who was friendly and eager to pose the kids with his rifle in front of the Alamo.
Within the Alamo grounds, there is plenty to see from the church itself to a museum, living history encampment, movie station, statues, gardens, and more - all at no cost.
For an enhanced experience, we opted to add-on an audio tour. With the self-guided audio tour, we followed numbered plaques throughout the grounds and listened to stories of the historic events that happened at this site - and also learned about the different buildings, ecology, and how things have changed at the Alamo over time.
We've done audio tours before - at different places - so my kids know the drill. The little ones don't listen in the same way as the older kids, but they all enjoy having their devices and we have quiet time as a family to listen, then time to discuss and ask questions. It's a process we enjoy.
When I asked the kids what their favorite part was, they all agreed that it was the living history encampment. There were a variety of volunteers (or maybe paid staff, I'm not sure!) dressed in period clothing who were educating about various aspects of history. We had the opportunity to learn about medicine (VERY different from doctors and medicine that we know today), and weapons of defense. We also were lucky to be on the grounds when the fired some of the firearms (loud booms and smoke filling the air). The next favorite thing was learning about all the flags (pictured to the right) and how each of the countries/states they represented played a role in the Alamo.
Tips for a Terrific Visit
- Davy Crocket - It was not until after we visited that my husband and I thought that we should have watched Disney's Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier with the kids before visiting so that they'd have some context before visiting. If I could rewind time, I would plan on that!
- Tours - There is no charge for visiting the Alamo. If you'd like to talk a guided tour, or a self-guided audio tour (which we did, and liked!), those are available for a cost. I do think there are benefits to opting for a tour if it's in the budget. You can learn more about tours at https://www.thealamo.org/visit/tours/battlefield/index.html.
- Parking - the Alamo is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, however there is plenty of paid parking available. We were able to park at a lot and pay using our credit card - that being said, it was a steap $20ish for 3 hours... since visiting the Alamo is free, we didn't mind paying a little more for parking.
- Shopping- there is a great gift shop on site full of Texas and Alamo merchandice. We love supporting the non-profits directly for souveniers (we always pick up a magnet and the kids each choose a postcard for their collection). There are also tons of shops surrounding the Alamo if shopping is your thing!
- Food - there was a snack bar at the back of the Alamo grounds, where they show the movie. There are also dining options downtown, within walkable distance of the Alamo.
© 2020 Meg Brunson
Thanks to the Alamo for sponsoring this review! All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four kids who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!