Let me preface this by saying yesterday morning this post was going to be totally different. But now, at 8pm the night before I share, I have decided to write about our Hemisfair adventures for the sake of my sanity. Sometimes I put too much on my plate [or procrastinate until the last minute], this was one of those times.
Anywhoo. So, if you're a follower of the ole gramski, you'll see that we have recently become OBSESSED with Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden. Yes I am totally aware of the fact that Ellie is zero years old and can safely partake in exactly one activity here, playing with mulch at the entry of every big kid apparatus, but we like to challenge the little in life, so alas, we love it.
Now, I know what you're thinking, who am I to judge a playground adventure with a tiny tot. Well, I'll have you know that with proper supervision, I partook, partaked, had partaken? in said big kid apparati, and THEY WERE THE BOMB DOT COM. Also, every activity Ellie partook in, she had a ball... including the ball pit [I kid, there's not actually a ball pit because, ew germs]
I'm getting all squirrly on y'all. This garden is actually a fabulous adventure land for humans of all ages and I'll tell ya why.
[But before I do, I want to let ya know that they do STORYTIME on Tuesday mornings at 10:00am, so if the little'ns aren't napping, GO!]
Here's why Yanaguana Garden's playground is our favey, ready break!
There's parking super close just past Magik Theatre on S. Alamo Street [ya hafta pay, but hoobidy whabbidy, yer downtown]. There is also more parking across from the Federal Building, and closer to the Tower of Americas.
It is located in a primo location for walking and exploring. Venture to the top of the Tower of the Americas, and, here's a fun fact, say you're going for happy hour or to be all boujee at the lounge and the 20 dolla entry is waved, booooooom.
There are places to eat, drink, get caffeinated, and get sugar highed, all within a few yards from one another, eg; Dough Pizzeria for all you Guy Fieri fans, Paleteria for any popsicle lovers, Commonwealth Coffee for each and every momma visitor, and Consafos, which is more of a bar eats kinda place, with more to come as they are finishing up apartments that overlook the playground.
The playground is a child's version of Neverland... or mine, whatevs... To start off, as you enter, you'll see a huge mass of reflective art covering a tangled mess of ropey things. Do not fear, it is a spiders web challenge, at least that's what I have just decided to name it, right now. Kiddos can challenge themselves on top, or below this mumbo jumbo thang. Totes fun. There is another spider webby thingy, but let's call this one a spider cave since you can tunnel through it. You can have a gander at the large group swing [think tire swing, but safer], a twisty doodle for a lesson on gravity, a geometric wooden house, or a SAFE version of a merry go round. Of course they have your regular swings, and lots and lots of mulch. I just made up a lot of the words I needed for the playground equipment, but if you go, you should know what I'm talking about... hopefully!
There is also literally every fun activity aside from playing on the playground... I'll give you examples so you have an inkling of an idea as to what I'm talking about.... foozball tables, ping pong tables [with paddles y'all], corn hole, chess, checkers, a splash pad, the world's largest sandbox with water features [yasssss], A CHICKEN COOP, a field to frolic in WITH hoolah hoops, and scooters are abounding e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e... though there are signs that say don't you dare ride them up in here. Venture a little deeper into the garden's heart, and you'll find photo opps galore, including triangle teepee thingies, as well as a couple lingering gondolas left over from the worlds fair, totes neat.
Okay, so now that you know what is amazing at Yanaguana Garden, how do you go about navigating your day there?
Well, I'd recommend starting early and on a non weekend day... Yes it is still a hidden gem, but people are starting to come out of the woodwork, as the word of mouth trickles down to the masses. Also, field trips to the Magic Theatre bring a bunch of bigger kiddos after lunchtime.So go early, and you'll get some good playground time in before the fear of trampling begins.
To start, get yourself a parking spot, but don't forget to put the ticket in your window- there's a little kiosk- unless you've parked free somewhere, then you get kudos for being a savvy parker! Unleash the hounds as you enter the playground area, and while the kids are playing, take on a challenger at the ping pong table. Better yet, relive your glory days with a game of corn hole while overlooking the kiddos getting stuck in the spiders web.
Once you've pooped out, before your little person is done, pull out a mimosa from your handy dandy cooler because Yanaguana is open container friendly [so long as you don't bring any glass]! Just another reason to save those plastic wine or beer cups from the Pearl! Boomshackalaka!
Ropes and Mulch
If you've got a tiny tot, set them down next to one of the many rope contraptions so they can work on their stellar squatting skills while also eating mulch. Then make your way over to the group swing and take your tot for a leisurely swingaroo. Play pretend in the geometric wooden house, and then finish with your tot on the swings.
Once your playground fun has been exhausted, head over to the ginormous sandbox, or as hubs would call it, the human kitty litter [though we hope not]. Fun tip, at the edge, you'll find a water fountain [like specifically for creating a flow of water to the sand, not a drinking water fountain that you use incorrectly which leads to someone having to work harder at the end of the day] that will trickle water into the sand area so the littles have wet sand to work with, or so they can play in the water. Just pump the water out so it starts a flowin!
Once you've had your fill of sand and water, check out the sweet little chickens! Just watch out for your little's fingers, they grabby and the chickies are pecky! As summer approaches, sometime in February, the splash pad will reopen, so mark your calendars with another fun activity during those hot Texas days!
Once you've pooped yourself AND the littles out [if that's possible], grab a pastry and coffee from Commonwealth- one of the yummier coffees I've had inside one of my favorite coffee houses in San Antonio. Explore this little gem of a building, and make sure to mark your place on the map!
Share a pizza at Dough, known for their pies and burrata- omnomnomnom. Or better yet, share a picnic at any of the tables scattered about where you'll likely share a mimosa with a mom friend at some point in the near future. Let's be honest though, you'll be better off eating on the lawn closer to the ground so your little can crawl all over you and eat what you're eating, because even though it's exactly the same thing, it tastes so much better when it's mommy or daddy's.
Anywhos, with that, I bid you farewell. Get out there and adventure folks! K love you, bye!