It’s that time of year: The season when every mom struggles with keeping the kids entertained.

It’s another few months before the little ones go back to school, and you don’t want them wasting away in front of the TV, playing video games. But at the same time, the weather’s hot, many of the city’s top attractions are expensive, and it can get exhausting thinking of new and fun things to do every day.

Fortunately, we at The Claus Team are local experts, and we know of a few things that can keep the kids entertained without breaking the bank. Who knows, you may even have a little fun along the way, too!

Here are our top, little-known recommendations for keeping your little ones occupied during the summer months:

  • Visit the bats at Bracken Cave – Do you have kiddos who love creepy crawlies? Then Bracken Cave is your answer. The home of the largest colony of bats in the world, just one visit here is enough to give most people the heebie jeebies. Experts say around 20 million bats live in this area from March through October.
  • Explore some caverns – The New Braunfels and San Antonio areas are rife with historic, naturally-occurring caves and caverns, many of which you can explore and experience first-hand. If your little ones are the adventurous type, consider stopping by Cascade Caverns, Natural Bridge Caverns or Cave without a Name. They’re all fun, affordable and educational.
  • Bike the Mission Trail – Want to keep both your kids’ bodies and minds active? Then rent bicycles and take a ride on the city’s Mission Trail. Starting at the Alamo, the trail takes you to all of San Antonio’s major historic missions, ending at Mission Espada. It’s a great way to keep learning alive this summer while staying active.
  • Head to Son’s Island – Located in nearby Seguin, Son’s Island offers all the outdoor fun your little ones can imagine. Rent a cabana, go kayaking, ride wave runners, try paddleboarding, or ride a waterslide into a real-life lake for a quick cool-down. You can even rent vintage RVs if you want a true, old-school camping experience.
  • Get them reading – Though not specific to New Braunfels, there are a number of summer reading programs out there that can encourage your child to get reading – even when teachers don’t require it. They offer prizes and all sort of fun for kids of every age, and they’re a great way to keep your children’s minds occupied while school is out for the summer. Some good options are Book Adventure, Book It and the Scholastic Summer Reading Program.
  • Check out the Japanese Tea Garden – Built more than 100 years ago, the Japanese Tea Garden is place your kids will love to explore. With loads of trees, flowers and foliage, ponds filled with swimming fish, and a running waterfall, it’s a great place to spend the day. You can even bring along a sack lunch or picnic, and furry friends are welcome.
  • See the animals at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center – Forget the crowded zoo. Instead, check out the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, where you can see birds, reptiles and other animals live and in their natural habitat. Enroll the kiddos in a class, take a tour, or just stroll through the property with cameras and binoculars in tow. Your kids will feel like little adventures for sure!
  • Show them the good old days – Take a step back in time with the kids, by stopping the The Rollercade, a 1950s-era roller skating rink, complete with disco lights, arcade games, food and, of course, skating and blading to the latest tunes. If you’re hoping to save some cash, make sure to go on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., when admission, skate rentals, and a hot dog-drink combo are only $3 each.

Everyone heads to Schlitterbahn, Fiesta Texas or those other huge attractions during the summer. But those are crowded and cost a pretty penny. Want to save some cash and still keep the kids entertained (and learning!) the whole summer long? Then these little-known activities are your absolute best bet.

More on New Braunfels

Want some more ideas for New Braunfels summer fun? Need help finding a home in the New Braunfels area? Hen contact The Claus Team today. Our local experts can point you in the right direction either way. Just call us now; our agents are here to help!