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Things to Do Near Lackland Air Force Base During Graduation

While your Airman is finishing up Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, it’s time for you to begin planning your visit to them for...

While your Airman is finishing up Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, it’s time for you to begin planning your visit to them for graduation.

Graduation at Lackland begins with events as early as Thursday morning and concludes Sunday evening. During graduation weekend, your Airman will have the opportunity to travel off-base with you into the San Antonio Metropolitan area to enjoy time with family and explore outside of Lackland. While there is plenty to do on base, including restaurants, museums and bowling, there are also many off-base activities.

Here are nine things to do near Lackland Air Force Base with your Airman:

River walk in San Antonio in the morning

Go On a San Antonio Riverwalk Cruise

While this excursion requires travelling off-base, it is the perfect way to explore San Antonio on a hot day. “Go Rio” San Antonio RiverWalk Cruises offer a 35 minute narrated tour of downtown San Antonio.

While you and 20-30 other people relax in a boat, a guide will take you around town through small waterways. During the tour you’ll learn about the city’s architecture, the story of Selena’s Bridge, and the history of La Villita — the city’s first neighborhood where Gen. Santa Anna placed his cannon on the line for the battle of the Alamo.

Tours run every 15 minutes from 9am-10pm daily. Visit their website to reserve your tickets ahead of time!

$9/military personnel with military ID


Go Bowling On Base

Looking to stay on base with your Airman, not a problem. Lackland has its own bowling center that offers fun bowling sessions to you and your Airman all day long. Whether it’s raining outside, or you just want the relief of some A/C, Skylark Bowling Center is a great place to be.

Open every day of the week, Skylark offers themed bowling sessions such as “Cosmic Bowling” and also supplies customers with bowling shoes, if needed. While being known for its excellent customer service, the bowling center is also rated as one of the top Air Force bowling centers for its flexibility, service at Lil’ Mary’s restaurant, and on-base convenience.

Call for pricing (210)671-1234


The Security Forces Museum

Another great on-base opportunity to enjoy with your Airman is visiting the Security Forces Museum. Located right on base, you need not travel far to reach this clean and unique museum.

Reported as well laid out, there are multiple exhibits to see. Presentations are factual, interesting and informative, and many of the staff are former military themselves. If your Airman is going into the Security Forces this is definitely a must-see while visiting!

Free, appointment only.


Eat at “Cured”

Your Airman will be craving a good meal, eating at “Cured” is a great option. Located just 19 minutes (roughly 14 miles through the center of the city) from base, “Cured” offers moderately priced breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Their cuisine is a blend of traditional American with Southern accents and a modern twist. “Cured” is known for their fresh and delectable charcuterie boards and speciality beverages, and offer reservations through an easy online service on their website. Make sure to book ahead to enjoy your time together at a relaxing dinner.  


Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art is a great way to spend a portion of your day in the city. Whether you have some time to spare before dinner or you’re looking for another activity to explore San Antonio, the San Antonio Museum of Art is open daily for your exploration.

In addition to hundreds of exhibits that cover a total of 5,000 years of history, the museum is recently renovated and houses multiple Latin art, contemporary art, and Asian and Mediterranean art collections.

The museum is also housed in the former Lone Star Brewery, the first large and mechanized brewery in Southern Texas. You can buy tickets online or upon arriving and stay as long as you desire!

$12 military personnel and seniors
Children Free


Zocca Cuisine D’Italia

Maybe “Cure’s” southern-American food isn’t piquing your interest for lunch or dinner. No worries, Zocca Cuisine D’Italia offers a wide selection of hearty Italian food for you to choose from.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Zocca Cuisine D’Italia is rated as one of the top Italian restaurants on the Riverwalk in Downtown San Antonio. While the dishes are higher priced, Zocca offers great service and is a 20 minute drive from Lackland. Similar to Cured, you can visit their menu and make reservations online through their website.


Visit “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” San Antonio

Looking for a fun way to spend time indoors? Visit the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium in Downtown San Antonio. Sure to blow your mind, the Ripley’s exhibit in San Antonio features a 1,400lb man and a shrunken head. With 18,000 square feet of “believe it or not” artifacts, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not odditorium is sure to be an intriguing afternoon for the entire family.

In addition to the Believe It or Not Odditorium, there is a Louis Tussauds Waxworks and Ripley’s 4D Moving Theater. If you purchase tickets online, you can buy tickets to individual attractions or to multiple. If you are planning to visit the “Believe It or Not” Odditorium and any other attraction, bundled ticket packages can also be purchased.


Visit the Botanical Gardens in Downtown San Antonio

Visiting the Botanical Gardens in Downtown San Antonio is a great way to spend quality time outdoors with your Airman. Rated as one of the top 8 most beautiful botanical gardens, the Botanical Gardens in San Antonio display over 10 different gardens for you to admire and enjoy.

Walking trails throughout the garden are a great way for you and your Airman to enjoy each other’s company while soaking up some Vitamin D. The Botanical Gardens span for more than 33 acres, so there are plenty of garden and nature spaces for visitors to explore.

$10/military with military ID


Greenside Grill

If you’re looking for a place to eat on base, the Greenside Grill is the place to go. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Greenside Grill is conveniently located on base at the Gateway Hills Golf Course.

During graduation weekend, the grill hosts “Great Steak Night” on Thursdays from 4-7pm. By paying $15 in advance, or $17 at the door, the first 80 people to reserve the steak dinner enjoy steaks for dinner with their Airman.

Breakfast menu items include tacos, pancakes and assorted omelets. Some lunch items are hamburgers, chicken salad and sandwiches. Because the Greenside Grill is only open from 6:30am to 2:00pm daily, the Greenside Grill does not serve daily dinner (except the steak dinner during Graduation Week).


While our list of places to visit and things to do in San Antonio is comprised of a balance of on and off-base attractions, make sure to check with your Airman about any specific boundaries or restrictions on his/her Town Pass.

A list of these establishments is posted on their barrack bulletin board and will also be identified to them during their Town Pass briefing. For more information about Town Passes and restrictions on travel, see the ‘Town Pass’ section of this article about Graduation Weekend at Lackland. Otherwise, explore San Antonio and enjoy your time with your new Airman!

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The editorial team at Sandboxx.