Summer is officially here, which means it's picnic season. People all over the world will celebrate by eating tea sandwiches and watermelon until they can't feel their faces anymore. Here are 10 spots to roll out your picnic blanket in San Antonio this season.
3700 N. St. Mary's St.
When a zoo picnic sounds too expensive and smelly, go check out the ducks at Brackenridge Park for free. This historic park engulfs a sizable chunk of central San Antonio, including a stretch of the San Antonio River, several baseball fields and three massive pavilions to rent out for monster picnic blowouts. End your outdoor lunch by casting a line in the river, feeding scraps to the ducks or watching dad blow out his good knee on the ball field. Either way, you can't go wrong.
Woodlawn Lake Park
1103 Cincinnati Ave.
This West Side park has everything you need on a San Antonio summer day. With a beautiful lake, soft green grass, and a knockout view of downtown San Antonio, Woodlawn Lake is a perfect spot for a midday picnic. You don't even have to pack your own food, as most days there's a fruteria/raspa truck on site. Try not to spill too much chamoy on your church clothes. When you get too hot, you can cool yourself off by taking a dip in the massive pool adjacent to the park. Just be sure to wait an hour after eating to do so.
Japanese Tea Garden
3875 N. St. Mary's St.
Although technically located within Brackenridge Park, the Japanese Tea Garden deserves its own spot on the list. Since its 2008 renovations, the Japanese Tea Garden has boasted a beautiful scene of calm ponds, year-round exotic plants, and a 60-foot waterfall. It's a great place for picnicking with the family, but it can also be the perfect backdrop for finally working up the courage to plant a kiss on that special someone mid-turkey sandwich bite.
3 Camp St.
Chris Park is significantly smaller than other parks in the city, but that doesn't prevent it from bringing something fresh and enjoyable to your picnic game. The 1-acre plot of land is dense with stunning plant life, both exotic and local, and several art installations that provide a peaceful ambiance. Although it doesn't have a playground, kids can still find spots to play in it. The Tumble Hill art piece invites children to roll down a hill of soft St. Augustin grass, and the fountain spitting water from the ground will keep them cool in the summer heat.
Comanche Lookout Park
15551 Nacogdoches Road
Fun fact: Native Americans once used this elevated park as a vantage point for warfare and hunting. Now it's mostly just a neat place to eat potato salad and drink kombucha. Comanche Lookout Park is the fourth highest point in Bexar County, so it's a great site for hiking before rewarding yourself with a picnic. Once at the top of the hill, you'll have a great view of northeast San Antonio to enjoy as you feast. The top of Comanche Lookout is also home to an abandoned stone lookout tower. Unfortunately, the castle-looking tower is no longer open for entry. It makes for cool picnic background, though.
115 W. Main Plaza
If you work in Downtown San Antonio, you probably don't have time for lunch picnics in the park. Main Plaza, located across the street from the courthouse and directly outside San Fernando Cathedral, is a great alternative for quick outdoor lunches during the workweek. Although the Downtown streets can be scorching in the summer, Main Plaza has plenty of awnings and trees to take shelter under while you eat your avocado toast. It's also a good evening picnic spot. When the sun goes down, you can watch a special light show depicting San Antonio's history on the front of San Fernando. Not a bad way to enjoy a hot dog and some Funyuns.
Phil Hardberger Park
13203 Blanco Road
Surrounded by subdivisions, highways and shopping centers, Hardberger Park is one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels of San Antonio land. The 311-acre park has plenty of space for you to set up shop and crank out some delicious Nutella foldovers for your friends and family. There are forested trails, open fields and playgrounds to enjoy your picnic in. You can even bring your pup to frolic at one of the two dog parks located in Hardberger. This park is a great escape from suburban life that doesn't even require you to leave the suburbs.
233 Bushnell Ave.
Grab a book, turn the kids loose and enjoy a picnic for one in Landa Library's beautiful gardens. This former home of Harry and Hannah Landa was transformed into a public library and children's playground after Hannah's passing in the 1940s. Thanks to contributions from the Landa Gardens Conservancy, Landa has a lush landscape to be enjoyed by adults relaxing while their kids run amuck on the large playscape. It's an ideal spot for those of you who want to entertain your kids, but also want to keep their grimy little hands away from those deviled eggs you're treating yourself to.
100 E. Grayson St.
Yelp/San Antonio River Walk
Right on the bank of the San Antonio river, this grassy amphitheater is a sweet place to lay out a blanket and murder some tuna salad with loved ones. It's a pretty active area, so you might even make a new friend or two before you bust out those snickerdoodles you brought for dessert. On some days, local musicians can be seen playing all the smoothest picnic jams on the small stage at the bottom of the amphitheater.
San Antonio Missions National Historic Park
6701 San Jose Drive
San Antonio prides itself in its historic trail of four Spanish missions erected along the San Antonio River from the 17th to the 19th century. Any one of these four missions makes for a great place to spend the day eating seven layer bean dip and taking in San Antonio's rich culture. Visiting these missions in person is a remarkable experience that should be enjoyed by all San Antonians at least once. Various portions of the missions are owned by the archdiocese and still serve as active parishes, so you can even catch a pre-picnic mass.