Institute of Texan Cultures
With Spring Break in the air, last week I shared a tips for visiting The Alamo in San Antonio. If you are visiting The Alamo and the San Antonio River Walk, you should also make some time for the Institute of Texan Cultures located in the downtown area.
The Institute is part of The University of Texas at San Antonio and is dedicated to sharing the stories of the many cultures of Texas. It has exhibits of the different immigrant groups that settled Texas, as well as the Native American groups that first settled Texas.
Know Before You Go:
- I recommend this educational museum for school aged children. There’s not much for wee ones to enjoy.
- Parking is FREE and very easy in a lot right in front of museum.
- Adults $8, Children (3 – 11) $6, Children (2 and younger) Complimentary
- Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
The First People in Texas
The first section of the museum highlights day to day life of the first Texans, including migration and the Clovis and Folsom cultures. There are also collections of arrowheads, pottery and uniquely carved stone pipes.
What is an Archeological Dig?
My kiddos where totally fascinated with this display of what is hidden in the layers under the city of San Antonio. The pullout draws gave them an up close look at each layer.
Later we visited The History Shop, located across the street from the Alamo, and viewed a real live archeological dig right in the floor of the shop.
The Many Immigrant Cultures and Families of Texas
Next, you can wind your way through the amazing number of cultures that have called Texas home, from early settlers to more modern times.
A modest sharecroppers, cabin is open to visitors. Amazing how differently we live today. We really have so much junk.
One of my favorite displays was the neatly constructede Jacal Hut. A Jacal is a hut in Mexico and southwestern United States with a thatched roof and walls made of upright poles or sticks covered and chinked with mud or clay.
Learning How to Weave Cotton Into Cloth
This is not just a display. The kiddos were taught how to actually weave yarn into cloth. They both got a turn on the loom.
Carding Cotton and Wool
The kiddos favorite part of the visit was making friends with this adorably, sweet old lady. She very patiently taught each of them how to turn real cotton and wool into yarn. She didn’t just show them. She let each of them have a turn from beginning to end.
After their turns at the spinning wheel, she sweetly asked them if they would like to make friendship bracelets. She helped each of them twist colored wool into yarn.
Then she tied on their handmade friendship bracelets. Throughout the day, they expressed how much they enjoyed their time with this kind women. They certainly did make a friend.
These one-of-a-kind experiences are the best moments of our homeschool days. I think these connections to the past and our elders are more important than anything we can learn sitting at a desk!
And people worry about the socialization of homeschooled children.
Me personally, I’m not too worried.
You don’t often get a chance to make a friendship bracelet with a kind elderly friend at school.
More San Antonio Attractions for Kids
- Of course you’ll need to take a Riverboat Tour
- Riverboat Tour Information and Fares
- To beat the heat, try a nighttime cruise.
- The Alamo
- San Antonio Botanical Gardens
- Pearle Brewery on The River Walk is the quiet end of The River Walk with Dinning, Shopping and a beautifully landscaped walk along the river.
- La Gloria’s Restauran in the Pearle Brewery boast a big green yard along The River Walk where the kids to run and play. Outdoor seating available.
- Rosario’s Restaurant serves some of the best Mexican Food in San Antonio. It is a quick 5 minute drive (or less) from the Institute of Texan Cultures. (FYI, long waits for seating on weekend nights.) If traveling without the kiddos, live Latin music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Have you visited San Antonio? What is your favorite attraction in San Antonio?
Sharing this week at: