We got up on day 4 of our trip and headed to San Antonio. Before we got out of town, we made a pit stop at Hypnotic Donuts. We had seen a billboard for the donut shop and it said “ranked #14 donut shop in the US”. So we stopped in for donuts. We had a bit of a disaster because the giant M&M donut was $4 (see photo below). I was a little grumpy that morning and did not want to pay $4 for a donut. In the end, we got the $4 donut, along with several less expensive ones. I wasn’t a big fan of the donuts, as I prefer cake donuts and these were glazed donuts with icing on them. But oh well!
It was a much longer drive to San Antonio than we thought it would be… or at least it seemed that way. Lucky for us, we had brought the Lego travel boxes that my friend Natalie made for the kids. Several weeks ago, I went to the Lego store in KC and bought a couple of containers of random Legos off their back wall and loaded up the Lego boxes. The kids spent hours in the car building all sorts of things… Max built a police station for his police motorcycle (the motorcycle came from a set) and Ava built an art museum.
Ava was pretty grumpy on the whole ride up. It’s been kind of a strange trip as she has been grumpy a lot. Lia is usually the one having meltdowns. And Ava is always happy unless she’s tired or hungry. So, I’m not sure what her deal has been, but she was having a big fit, so I grabbed my iPhone and Josh’s headphones and turned on this meditation app that Josh bought. I put it on ‘anger relief’ and she calmed down pretty quickly. The rest of the day was pretty much uneventful.
We got to San Antonio and Josh and I headed to La Villita to shoot some happy family portraits. The kids got to take it easy all afternoon, hanging out with the grandparents at the hotel. I’m pretty sure they watched too much tv and ate too much junk food, but what can you do?! Afterward, we got some dinner and then put the kiddos to bed.
The next morning, we got up and ready to head to Sea World. Josh and I went to SeaWorld San Diego almost ten years ago on our honeymoon, but we had never taken the kids. They didn’t open till noon, so we made a quick stop at Party City for New Year’s Eve supplies and grabbed lunch at Chipotle. It was pretty chilly that day, so we all wore our coats and hats most of the day. I assumed that it wouldn’t be crowded because of the weather, but it was pretty busy getting into the parking lot.
There were a lot of people there that day, but it never seemed super crowded. We headed straight in to the Dolphin Christmas show. They had lots of synchronized swimmers and high divers. And there were a few trainers swimming with Beluga whales. The kids really loved the guy who was leading the whole show. He did a lot of cheesy comedy, just the kind of stuff that kids eat up.
After the dolphin show, we made a beeline to the Shamu Christmas Miracles show. The kids enjoyed the Shamu show the most. They had FIVE whales in the pool at one point and they were jumping and splashing and doing all kinds of exciting things. I only wished that it had been warm that day, as I’m certain that sitting in the splash zone on a hot day would have been awesome!
After watching two shows and freezing because it was so cold, the kids were NOT in a good mood. We decided to head to the car and let them eat their second lunch. Lia had a full on meltdown in the car, but the meditation app saved the day yet again. After lunch, the kids were in a much better mood with full bellies and warm bodies. The rest of our visit was AWESOME!
After lunch, we headed straight for the kids area, Bay of Play. There was a giant play area and several kiddie rides. Lia freaked out on the baby roller coaster, but she survived. They did all the rides and then we realized it was almost 3:30 pm and we hadn’t even seen ANY animal exhibits. We did stop at the Steel Eel roller coaster for a quick ride. Ava was super bummed that she was too short to ride it, but Max really loved it! We visited the penguins next, which are ALWAYS fun to watch. They have a moving walkway in the penguin exhibit, so you just stand on it and watch the penguins. It was great because there was no crowding around to get a good view because everybody had a good view.
After the penguins, we headed to the sea lion exhibit. You could buy little fish to feed the sea lions and they looked pretty hungry so we bought a tray. The kids thought it was so awesome to hold a fish up and watch the sea lions swim right over and bark for a fish! After the sea lions, we headed to the dolphin exhibit. Sadly, we missed the cutoff for feeding the dolphins. But the dolphins were swimming up around the edge of their tank and the kids got to see them super up-close! And then they swam closer and closer and all three kiddos got to pet the dolphins! That was the highlight of their trip for sure.
We hit up the shark exhibit last. The shark tank is HUGE and we had to practically pry the kids away as it was getting late and we were all starving. And if you know anything about my kids, you know they are gift shop junkies. We stopped in every single gift shop we passed all day long. At the end of the day, they decided they were ready to buy. Max bought a deck of shark cards, Ava decided not to buy anything because she couldn’t make a decision, and Lia wanted a bracelet/necklace set she had seen SOMEWHERE. They didn’t have the set at the main gift shop, so I ran ALL over the park looking for it. I didn’t find it though, so she ended up with a pink seahorse necklace. (Note: she lost the necklace already)
After we left SeaWorld, we stopped at McAlister’s for a quick dinner before heading back to our hotel and calling it a night. Overall, SeaWorld was awesome! Next time we go, I’ll make sure to note the animal feeding times, and I’ll look into doing one of the dolphin encounters or something. Seeing the animals up close was the kids’ favorite thing, so I think it would be worth it for sure!
Disclosure: We received four free tickets to SeaWorld San Antonio. All opinions expressed are my own.
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