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100 Places to Take the Kids in Texas

texasPlanning a trip to the great state of Texas? Make sure you plan to stay a while, because everything is bigger in Texas – including the list of family attractions! Check out this list of 100 sites to see in Texas, broken down by 10 cities throughout the state. Whether you are heading to North, South, East or West Texas, this list should have you covered. From museums and gardens to indoor skydiving and zip lining, you can enjoy a variety of attractions on your next trip to the Lone Star State; take a look at these sites and get ready to plan your next vacation.

Dallas

There’s plenty to do and see when you visit Dallas, from cultural experiences like the Perot Museum to the food and events of the State Fair at Fair Park. For experiences that satisfy kids and adults alike, try shopping and playing at the Galleria Mall or grabbing a cupcake at Sprinkles. Check out these 10 blogs for more sights to see when you visit Dallas, Texas.

  • The Dallas Arboretum. Floral displays change with the seasons at the Dallas Arboretum and the venue always features different areas for the kids to play in, whether it’s the playhouses or the covered wagon.
  • Jump Street. Here you’ll find a trampoline park filled with ways to burn off energy for your kids and comfortable seating for parents to relax in.
  • The Dallas Zoo. Bring the kids to the zoo any time of year to check out the animals and magical shows.
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes. If you’re looking to treat your kids and yourself, try one of the many decadent cupcakes offered at Sprinkles.
  • Galleria Mall. This mall not only has top notch shopping, but you’ll also find an indoor skating rink, an American Girl Store, a candy store and a kids play area that the kids will love.
  • Dallas World Aquarium. Not only aquatics are at the Dallas Aquarium; you can also meet wildlife from the rain forest and even a jaguar. Don’t miss walking through the tunnel that goes right through the shark tank.
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Hands-on exhibits allow kids to learn while playing with various displays at this venue.
  • Top Golf. Bring the whole family to this unique golfing experience where you shoot golf balls from an elevated platform and aim at various bulls-eyes to score points.
  • iFly Dallas. No need to jump out of a plane to get the rush of skydiving; instead, bring the family to iFly Dallas for a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • State Fair of Texas. One of the largest state fairs in the country, this fair is one not to be missed. The fair is held in October.

Austin

Austin is both the state capital of Texas and home to the University of Texas. The locals live by the mantra ‘Keep Austin Weird,’ so you will notice a lot of unique art pieces around town. To experience one of Austin’s favorite events, head to the Congress Street Bridge at dusk, where you can watch the bats fly out each evening in their hunt for dinner. You can stay cool by checking out some of the many caverns in the Austin area or by taking a ride on a duck, which is a vehicle that used to be used by the military and is meant to go on both land and water. Take a look at these 10 places that you can visit in Austin.

  • The Thinkery. This children’s museum has a new name and new things to see and do, and the kids get to learn through hands-on experiences at The Thinkery.
  • Deep Eddy. Join the Splash Party on Friday nights and watch a movie from the pool starting at dusk. This pool is one of the only spring fed pools and does not use chlorine.
  • Lake Travis Ziplining. Don’t just enjoy beautiful Lake Travis from the ground; check it out from the zipline overhead, too!
  • Zilker Hillside Theater. Enjoy one of the many outdoor performances held in this theater.
  • Sweet Berry Farm. Bring the kids out to Sweet Berry Farm to pick their own strawberries during March and April and blackberries in June.
  • Inner Space Cavern. Go spelunking with the kids and investigate original cave drawings at the Inner Space Cavern.
  • Sculpture Falls. This hike is about 3 miles, so it might be best for older kids.  Hike into a beautiful set of falls or stop at Twin Falls and go swimming.
  • Austin Duck Adventures. A duck is an amphibious vehicle that goes on land and in the water. You can take a 75 minute tour of the Austin area and enjoy Lake Austin.
  • Congress Street Bats. A favorite event to check out in downtown Austin is the bats that live under the Congress Street Bridge. Thousands of bats come out at dusk and it’s quite a sight to behold.
  • Austin Steam Train. Step back in history by taking a ride on an actual passenger train and enjoy a presentation by the Gunfighters Association.

San Antonio

Toward the middle of the state you will come to San Antonio, a city with a variety of attractions. You’ll have no problem finding things to do here, and can easily spend a week or longer visiting this historical city. San Antonio is known for the River Walk, which is continually growing. If you don’t want to walk, catch a ride on one of the many boats that ride up and down the River Walk all day. Tickets for the boat ride are inexpensive and the perfect way to see the River Walk from the river side. You can also head to Sea World to meet the famous whale Shamu and all of his friends. Check out these 10 attractions and see where else you may want to visit.

  • Sea World. Meet Shamu and enjoy the show. Be careful where you sit, though, because Shamu and his friends like to make a splash and you just may end up soaked.
  • River Walk. Take a boat ride up and down the river walk to learn about the history of the area and to get a better look at all of the shops along the river.
  • Schlitterbahn. Enjoy a refreshing run down a water slide or relax in the lazy river with the kids at this famous waterpark.
  • The Alamo. Tour the site where the historic battle took place between Texas and Mexico in 1836. The Texans lasted 13 days against a much larger army and were willing to fight to the death to protect their freedom.
  • The Witte Museum. This museum has been recognized as being a great place to bring young children and take part in various exhibits.
  • Morgan’s Wonderland. Bring the kids to the Sensory Village, Butterfly Playground, Wonderland Train, Carousel and much more.
  • The Magik Theater. Celebrating 20 years in San Antonio, this theater features fairy tale performances that are perfect for the kids.
  • Fiesta Texas. Take the kids to Fiesta Texas to ride the Ferris wheel and roller coasters.
  • Splashtown. Need to cool off? Then it’s time for a visit to Splashtown, a water park filled with water slides, wave pools and other water attractions.
  • Classic Miniature Golf. Play 18 holes of miniature golf with the family on a course that will challenge both young and old alike.

Houston

If you are heading south, be sure to take in all of the sights that Houston has to offer. Houston is a sprawling city, so allow enough time to reach your destination – it will most likely take you longer to get where you are going than you might think. Be sure to visit NASA Space Center, where you can look at the perfectly preserved historic mission control. You can even sit in the very seats that foreign dignitaries sat in during the moon landing. Plan to spend the day, because there is a lot to see and do. Check out these 10 attractions on your next visit to the city.

  • 7 Acre Wood. A unique entertainment experience for the entire family, you’ll find a petting zoo, pony rides, rock wall, paint ball and zipline here.
  • Oil Ranch. Texas is known for its oil, so this 50-acre ranch seems appropriately named. However, instead of oil wells the ranch includes a petting zoo, hay ride, miniature golf course and other fun events for the family.
  • The Crocodile Experience. It’s not everywhere that you can go and check out live crocodiles and learn about reptiles, but you can in Houston.
  • Upstage Theater. Bring the kids and enjoy the Young Audience series of shows at the theater. Check the site for current plays.
  • Kemah Boardwalk. Enjoy a stroll down the boardwalk or let the kids ride some of the many rides available at Kemah. If you are brave, you may even want to try the new zipline!
  • Downtown Aquarium. Take in the spectacular sites of Downtown Houston by riding on the huge Ferris wheel or take a train ride through a tunnel of water to inspect the shark tank.
  • Space Center Houston. If your kids dream about visiting outer space, this is the place to go.
  • Cockrell Butterfly Center. The kids will love walking through the live butterfly enclosure and discovering the many different species of butterflies.
  • Armand Bayou Nature Center. Enjoy an electric pontoon ride or guided canoe tour of the wetlands.
  • Discovery Green. There’s something to enjoy no matter what time of year you come to Discovery Green. This 12-acre park in downtown Houston boasts a large play structure for the kids and many different events throughout the year.

Ft. Worth

When you think of Texas, your thoughts may turn to cattle, cowboys and rodeos. If you’d like to experience those things, you may want to visit Ft. Worth. The Ft. Worth stock yards host a rodeo every weekend and move cattle twice a day. After you visit the stock yards, head over to the Ft. Worth Zoo, which boasts a national ranking among zoos. And if you just want to check out somewhere really cool, go to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, one of only two places in the country that prints money. For more attractions in Ft. Worth, read through these 10 blog entries.

  • Zero Gravity. Are your kids at least 10 years old and thrill seekers? If so, take them on some rides that they will never forget, like bungee jumping, free falling and more.
  • Medieval Times. Let the kids eat with their hands while watching a live jousting match when you step back in time at this restaurant.
  • Fort Worth Stockyards. Texas is known for cattle, and you can learn all about the history of the stockyards and take in a roping show while you’re visiting Ft. Worth. Attractions change throughout the year, but you can enjoy the rodeo every Friday and Saturday night.
  • Log Cabin Village. Take the kids back in time to see what life was like in a log cabin before there were such things as refrigerators and electricity.
  • Ft. Worth Zoo. This nationally ranked zoo is home to almost 7,000 native and non-native animal species.
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Come see how money is printed and how it’s changed throughout the years at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
  • Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR fans may want to take in a race at this track.
  • Coyote Drive-In. Come to one of Texas’ only drive-in theaters to watch first run movies from the comfort of your own car.
  • Casa Manana. This theater in the round is notably one of the best theaters in Texas, and performances include everything from children’s theater to Broadway musicals.
  • The Noble Planetarium. Star gaze at this state-of-the-art venue, which includes an all dome video with dual-hemisphere star projector that allows visitors to see over 7,000 stars. Up to the minute information from the Hubble Telescope can be seen as well.

Galveston

Looking for a beach holiday? Texas has that too! Galveston Island is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is home to many beaches. Take a horseback ride on the beach or teach the kids how to fish. Walk around the area and check out the historic buildings and tree sculptures. Want to take a break from the salt water? Head to the Schlitterbahn Indoor Water Park and stay out of the sun for a while. For more places to visit when you come to Galveston, read these 10 blogs.

  • S-n-G Horseback Riding. Bring the whole family for a ride on the beach. No age limits for riding.
  • Tree Sculpture Tour. This self-guided tour is free and can include up to 36 different sculptures around the city.
  • 61st Street Fishing Pier. A family oriented pier rents rods and bait so that you and your family can experience fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Schlitterbahn Indoor Water Park. Rain or shine, cold or hot, you and your family can enjoy this water park.
  • Galveston Railroad Museum. If you have train lovers in your family, this museum is a must see. It features actual restored cars and model trains inside.
  • Stewart Beach. Considered to be a premier family beach, this is the perfect place to take the kids to play in the waves and catch some rays.
  • Moody Gardens. Explore the exhibits and see wildlife, check out a movie in the 4D Theater and end your visit by taking a paddlewheel boat cruise.
  • Lone Star Flight Museum. Discover the ins and outs of different airplanes and how they have changed over the years. For an extra special treat, take a ride in an actual war bird.
  • 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. Tour this huge ship built in 1877 and get an idea of how it might have been to sail thousands of miles on her.
  • Magic Carpet Golf. Try one or both of the 18-hole miniature golf courses with your family.

Corpus Christi

Another popular beach vacation spot, Corpus Christi and Padre Island offer a completely different feel from Galveston. You’ll find many different water sports, like surfing, wind sailing, kite surfing, kayaking, sail boating and more, when you visit Corpus. Enjoy calm waters in the bay on one side of the city or surf on the other side. Don’t feel like you have to spend your whole trip at the beach, though; there are many other things to do and see in Corpus Christi, and you can find some of them in this list of 10 attractions.

Lubbock

This west Texas city has a population of almost 300,000 people. Lubbock is known for cotton growing and is home to both Texas Tech University and Lubbock Christian University. You’ll also find a lot of farmland in this northwestern part of the state. With several universities calling Lubbock home, there are plenty of things to see and do in town. Take a look at this list of 10 attractions.

  • Joyland Amusement Park. Perfect for family entertainment, this park has bumper cars, a skyride and a carousel, just to name a few.
  • Lubbock Railway. Take the kids on a Polar Express train ride during the holidays, complete with hot chocolate, cookies, and Santa.
  • Stars and Stripes Drive-In. Enjoy taking in a double feature of first run movies at the Lubbock drive-in.  Bring the kids in their PJ’s and let them fall asleep in the backseat.
  • Science Spectrum Museum. Bring the kids for hands-on science activities, movies in the Omni Theater, and other exhibits.
  • Jump n’ Jungle. Bring young children to this inflatable play area to burn off some energy and have some fun.
  • Cactus Theater. Enjoy a theater production with the whole family.  Shows change throughout the year, so call for tickets before you go.
  • Adrenaline City. This is an area that combines a ropes course, trampoline park, laser tag, and Time Freak game.
  • Whitewood Lanes Bowling Alley. Get the family together and bowl a few frames while you challenge each other for the high score.
  • Safety City. Take the kids through this kid-sized town to learn how to be safe during a fire emergency.
  • Moonlight Musicals. You can see performances at both the amphitheater and the dinner theater depending on the time of year.

San Angelo

This central Texas town is full of small town appeal. The city is on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, but there are also three lakes in the area. One of the lakes is the Nasworthy, where the drag boat races take place. San Angelo is also home to a non-profit ballet company that gives performances throughout the year. Take a look at these 10 attractions that can be enjoyed in San Angelo.

  • ASU Planetarium. Come enjoy this newly renovated planetarium and take in a breathtaking sight of the heavens above.
  • Historic Murals of San Angelo. Each mural depicts life in historic San Angelo and can shed some light on how people lived back in 1908.
  • The International Water Lily Garden. Water lilies are in bloom from April through October every year at the International Water Lily Garden.
  • Fort Concho. Tour this historic landmark and watch re-enactments of how life was back in the late 1800’s at the fort.
  • Preston’s Play Yard. Play a round of miniature golf and some video games at this two for one play area that’s perfect for kids.
  • Angelo Skate and Fun Center. Show the kids your moves on the roller skating rink and rock out under the lights.
  • San Angelo Civic Ballet. Take in a performance of the ballet at this venue; whether it’s professional dancers or students, you are sure to have an enjoyable time.
  • Brentwood Park. Spend some time outside trying your hand at a round of disc golf at one of the city’s disc golf courses.
  • Angelo Paintball. Getting on each other’s nerves? How about a rousing game of capture the flag at the Angelo Paintball field?
  • Drag Boat Races. You’ve heard of drag racing with cars, but have you watched drag racing with boats? Head to Lake Nasworthy in June to catch one of these events.

Arlington

Home to the newly built Cowboy stadium, Arlington has many sites to see. The Ranger Ballpark is in Arlington as well, so if you visit during baseball season you can see the Rangers play and take a tour of the Cowboy stadium. If amusement parks are a family favorite, there are several to visit in Arlington. These 10 entertainment destinations should keep you busy during your visit.

  • Six Flags. Get your thrills and chills riding some of the death defying rides at Six Flags, then check out some of the on-site performances.
  • Dallas Cowboy Stadium. Attend a NFL game featuring the famous Dallas Cowboys in their new stadium.
  • Rangers Ballpark. Enjoy a major league baseball game featuring the Texas Rangers baseball club.
  • Alley Cats. This entertainment center contains bowling, laser tag, a rock wall, Atomic Rush, billiards and much more and will provide hours of fun for the whole family.
  • Hurricane Harbor. Just across the street from Six Flags Amusement Park is Hurricane Harbor, which is the perfect way to spend a hot Texas day.
  • College Park Center. If you visit during basketball season, check out UT Arlington’s basketball team.
  • International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. Look back at the sport of bowling and see some of the best players honored in the hall of fame.
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Over 10,000 square feet of the weird and unusual things that can only be collected by Ripley can be viewed here.
  • Levitt Pavilion. Catch one of the pavilion’s 50+ free concerts a year on your visit to the city.
  • Summit Rock Climbing Gym. If your family likes to climb, this is the place to try. Kids as young as seven can climb and there are climbing courses available for all skill levels.
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