San Antonio: Off the Beaten Path and Up in the Air
We love trips to San Antonio. It’s three-hour proximity to Houston makes it a vacation staple if you grew up in Houston (or if you’re in for a week and really want to stretch your legs). The Texas Air Museum is one stop I had not made yet. If you’ve done the usual – hey, Shamu! – and you are looking for something more off the beaten path. This little museum will have you covered.
You should plan on giving the museum a full hour, but I’m not going to lie we did it in less because it was 3 pm in July and it was HOT! There are sporadically placed industrial size fans running but it’s a large metal warehouse-style building (a.k.a. oven).
Also, I’m pretty sure the guys working were trying to close up early because while we were in the building he was closing up the big doors. Goodbye, air! Little did he know that the power of kittens would make my children endure the heat of the sun just to chase them around. So, you should know there are kittens here and there.
If you have allergies it may be a museum to skip. I wouldn’t normally make a blanket statement like that because warehouse-cats are usually a good thing, but these were kittens (about three rounds of them by judging the different sizes) so I’m not sure how good at mouse catching they were, yet. Also, there were certain areas that definitely smelled like cat pee, which is unfortunate because they have a really nice collection. Also, they seemed in need of some flea treatment.
So, maybe just take some allergy meds and go in the middle of the day when they’re sure to have all the doors open.
WWII Collection and a Bleriot
Most of the planes are WWII era, but there are a few surprises in there. One of these was the main reason I wanted to swing by. Texas Air Museum houses a Bleriot (in case you need to brush up on your aviation history, this is the type of plane that was the first to fly across the English Channel. There’s a wonderful children’s book called The Glorious Flight, by Alice and Martin Provensen it was on our Summer Reading List).
There are also a lot of artifacts on display and some the kids can even get in and do some real touching. When everything is roped off it’s no fun! There is one room that is air-conditioned with not cats so there is a little reprieve if you do end up going on a hot day.
Additionally, they have a Medic Tent set up and behind that is a door that leads outside. It’s not well marked (no one stopped us so I’m assuming you are allowed out there) but there are some more planes out on the side of the building.
Because the museum doesn’t close until 5 pm if you leave Houston by noon you can easily stop at Buccee’s in Luling and still make it here with time to peruse. Alternately, you could get up on Sunday and swing by on your way out of town. If it’s summer I definitely suggest morning version!
Know Before You Go:
- There’s a Bleriot!
- The kids can roam as long as they have museum manners
- There are planes outside to see
- The museum staff are volunteers and love what they do so talk to them!
- Current Admission Fees: $4/ adult; $3 Military & 55 and up; $2/ 12-16 years old; $1/ 11 and under; $2 School Tours
- Hours of Operation: are Tuesday-Sunday 10AM-5PM (Closed Sundays, Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, and New Year’s Eve/Day)
Location and Contact Information:
Texas Air Museum
1234 99th St.,
San Antonio, TX 78214
Phone: (210) 977- 9885
Fax: (210) 927- 4447