Road Trips

From Food Festivals to Parades: 9 Top Things to do at San Antonio’s Fiesta in 2024

Fiesta San Antonio Battle of Flowers Parade is a good choice for families.
The Battle of Flowers Parade parade floats roll down the route. Photo Credit: Visit San Antonio

Each Spring, San Antonio pops with color for 10 days. It is the largest festival in a city that loves to party. The annual San Antonio Fiesta is April 18 to 28, 2024. From the river parade to the food festivals to the carnivals, this 10-day celebration has it all.  So much fun, everyone in the city takes a break for fun. From live music to food trucks and festivals to the crack of a cascarone or confetti-filled egg, this is the recipe for spring-time fun in San Antonio. Here are the Top Things to do at Fiesta in San Antonio.

9 Top Things to Do at Fiesta in San Antonio

  • Fiesta Oyster Bake
  • Taste of New Orleans 
  • Fiesta Carnival
  • Fiesta de los Reyes at Market Square 
  • Mission Reach Flotilla Fiesta
  • The Texas Cavaliers River Parade
  • NIOSA–A Night in Old San Antonio
  • Battle of Flowers Parade
  • Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade

Fiesta Oyster Bake

Date: Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, 2024

St. Mary’s University has been the place for oyster lovers. From raw, baked and fried, the students and alumni of the university have hosted a popular Fiesta event for over 100 years.

Located at 1 Camino Santa Maria. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Friday and all day Saturday. Tickets are $25.

Top Things to Do in San Antonio with Kids

Taste of New Orleans 

Date: Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21, 2024

Enjoy the flavors of New Orleans, like gumbos, shrimp creole, etouffee, fresh crawfish, boudin, alligator and beignets. There is also live music with zydeco, cajun, jazz and the blues.

Located at Sunken Garden Theater, 3875 N St Mary’s St. Tickets are $17 and kids 10 and under enter for free.

Fiesta Carnival

Date: Thursday, April 18 to Sunday, April 28, 2024

For an old-school carnival take the kids to the Fiesta Carnival for all the rides and food. Open every day of Fiesta. This is one of the Top Things to do at Fiesta in San Antonio.

Located in the Alamodome Parking Lot C, 449 S. Cherry St. Open from 5 p.m. to midnight. Free to enter, rides extra.

Fiesta de los Reyes at Market Square 

Date: Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 28, 2024

This is party central for Fiesta in downtown San Antonio. It features carnival food and live music.

Located at 514 W. Commerce St. open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight. Free to enter.

Weekend Getaway to New Braunfels

Mission Reach Flotilla Fiesta

Date: Sunday, April 21, 2024 

Join other kayakers for a unique Fiesta event on the San Antonio River. Organizers set up an overwater obstacle course for kayakers to challenge themselves while seeing the extension of the San Antonio River.

Located at starts Padre Park at 6516 Padre Dr. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $10.

The Texas Cavaliers River Parade

Date: Monday, April 22, 2024

As the first of three parades for Fiesta San Antonio, take a seat under a cypress tree along the San Antonio River Walk for an illuminated night parade. Visitors will see 45 riverboats float by as each lights up the night sky. This is one of the Top Things to do at Fiesta in San Antonio.

The parade starts at 7 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. Advanced reserved seating is available.

Watch the Fiesta San Antonio's Texas Cavaliers Parade along the San Antonio River Walk.
The Texas Cavaliers River Parade floats down the San Antonio River. Photo Credit: Visit San Antonio

NIOSA–A Night in Old San Antonio

Date: Tuesday, April 23 to Friday, April 26, 2024

Celebrate San Antonio’s unique heritage with the ultimate foodie festival. Featuring 250 different booths and nonstop entertainment from more than a dozen stages, this is the festival party.

Located at La Villita, 418 Villita St. gates open at 5:30 p.m. Advanced tickets for $20. Kids under 12 are free with an accompanying adult.

Battle of Flowers Parade

Date: Friday, April 26, 2024

Infused with tradition and history, the Battle of Flowers parade gives the city of San Antonio a reason to celebrate. The school kids get the day off to enjoy the fun. This is one of the Top Things to do at Fiesta in San Antonio.

First, catch the Battle of the Flowers Parade, the largest parade organized entirely by volunteers. Since 1891, ladies dressed in yellow have directed the spectators to their reserved seats for the second-largest day parade in the country.

During our visit, we secured reserved seating in the shadow of the Alamo. The Battle of Flowers Parade kicks off with a band. Military, university, and local high school bands all march. The bedazzled members of the Fiesta Court, dressed in historic sequined costumes and wearing elaborate flowered floats, enchanted the tiniest girls. Giant helium balloons and drill teams also made an appearance in the parade.

Tradition is king at Fiesta, and extended families sit in the same spots every year to make a day of it with elaborate parade-side picnics. Food vendors provide everything from traditional Tex-Mex favorites to carnival classics.

The parade starts at 9:30 a.m., and the route proceeds down Broadway and E. Grayson. Advance reserved seating is available.

Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2024

Next, San Antonio pops a million glow sticks for the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the largest illuminated night parade in the country. 700,000 people will be along the sideline, and another 1.5 million will watch on TV.

It is a lively parade that’s similar in style and length to the Battle of Flowers Parade but does not have the same participants. Fiesta San Antonio is a family affair, though younger kids might get cranky by the end. This is also one of the Top Things to do at Fiesta in San Antonio.

The parade starts at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 10:00 p.m., the route proceeds down Broadway and E. Grayson. Advance reserved seating is available.

Garner Texas State Park Guide 
The Tower of America guides the way during Fiesta San Antonio.
Rising up 750 feet the Tower of Americas stands as a beacon for visitors to downtown San Antonio.

More Family Fun in San Antonio

While in San Antonio tour the Alamo. Built in 1718 by Spanish missionaries, the Texas Revolution escalated, and the Alamo became the center of the conflict. In 1836, after a nearly two-week-long siege, the Battle of the Alamo broke out between William B. Travis, commander of the Alamo and General Santa Anna and the Mexican troops.

Though the Alamo defenders died in the battle, the legend lives on. In 2015, the United Nations designated the Alamo and the remaining four San Antonio Missions as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

After the parades, some history and a couple of tacos, the kids need to play. So head to the Yanaguana Garden, named after the Payaya Indians. There, families will find a crazy fun climbing structure, a sandscape, a splash pad and a public art area with changing rooms and restrooms located in HemisFair Park.

Top Museums in San Antonio
The Alamo offers a history lesson for families.
The Alamo was the site of a two-week-long siege during the Texas Revolution, where many Texans died. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Where to Eat on the San Antonio Riverwalk

Casa Rio

Since 1946 Casa Rio has been serving steaming plates of enchiladas, and it’s the original Tex-Mex restaurant on the Riverwalk. Be sure and grab a table next to Riverwalk to share a plate of nachos and sip on a margarita as the riverboats float by.

Got a picky eater? Try a bean and cheese taco, my boys love them.

It is located at 430 E. Commerce St.

Casa Rio Mexican Food offers San Antonio River Walk dining and kid-friendly tacos.
Along San Antonio’s River Walk at Casa Rio, the original River Walk Mexican food restaurant. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Where to Stay


Getting Around Downtown San Antonio

Most major airlines service the San Antonio International Airport, which is 10 miles north of Downtown San Antonio. Cab service or public transportation is available at the airport.

Love to Ride? Try out San Antonio’s B Cycle, a bike-sharing program. The cycles are rented by the hour after a small fee and bike from one attraction to the next.

Via Streetcar, operated by San Antonio’s public transportation system VIA, offers several color-colored routes to popular tourist destinations like El Mercado and the King William District. My kids love riding the streetcars and a $4 day pass offers an easy way to get around downtown on the cheap.

Know Before You Go:
  • Downtown hotels charge for parking, some offer self-parking.
  • The Alamo is especially hallowed ground for Texans. Please remove your hats, and photos are prohibited inside the mission’s main building.
  • With the majority of attractions located within walking distance, walk or take public transportation instead of driving since parking is limited during busy events.
  • The Alamo doesn’t have designated parking though a parking lot is nearby.
  • Arrive early for the Fiesta Parades before the streets close to vehicle traffic.
  • Reserved seats for the parades sell out.

Viva la Fiesta. Head to San Antonio's top party of the year, held each spring for two weeks of fun from the littlest fiesta goers to their grandmothers. Find all kinds of parades, like day parades that last hours to night parades to floating parades. Also find culinary events from leading chefs to festivals celebrating annually over 100 years. There's the best Fiesta events in San Antonio for 2022. When is Fiesta 2022 | Top Fiesta Events in San Antonio | Best Things to do for Fiesta #Fiesta #SanAntonio


Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.


  1. Thank you for this great article! I have never been to Texas. Alamo & San Antonio for sure is something we need to visit and explore. Hubby has told me similar that you wrote, should have listened him ????

    • Catherine Parker

      Spring is the best season to explore in Texas, from the wildflowers to the festivals! Thanks for stopping by!