Have A Blast On The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Pleasure Pier juts right out from Galvestons Seawall into the Gulf of Mexico. While this incarnation debuted in 2012, Galveston has had some form of amusement park for families since 1906.
Today, the pier is packed with 16 rides, quick bites, and midway games. The thrill level of the rides runs from kiddie rides for tiny tots all the way up to extreme rides for only the most daring of visitors.
You can buy an all access pass, a single ride pass, or a walk-on pass if you wont be riding anything.
The 5D theater across the street from the pier uses motion and special effects to take viewers on a ride through a forgotten mine or across the bottom of the ocean.
See The Trains At Galveston Railroad Museum
The Galveston Railroad Museum is one of our favorite rail museums in Texas. It is also one of the largest in the country and a must for all railroad enthusiasts. Visitors can see several different types of engines, antique train cars, a train station, and even model train displays. You can also take a short train ride.
Enjoy A Private Beach
The public beaches of Galveston are a blast but its hard to beat the privacy and cleanliness of a private beach. Strolling the beach, fishing, or looking for shells in a limited-traffic beach is one of the top things to do in Galveston with kids. There are a few ways to gain access but the most surefire way is to rent the right beach vacation rental in Galveston.
Book one of the awesome options available with Vacasa to find a clean, nicely appointed option for your family. We stayed in this 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house located in Beachside Village. It was more than enough room for our family of four and had everything we needed including an outdoor area to rinse off the sand. It also included an entrance to the beach that was exclusive to our neighborhood.
Vacasa has properties of all sizes like this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath haven that is also located in Beachside Village and this 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom retreat located right outside of Galveston. All of these options come with access to a private beach but if you Vacasa as options without the beach access or even closer into the mainland with no beach view at all. Whatever your preference, Vacasa has options!
Highly recommend this as one of the things to do in Galveston with kids.
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Dine At Galveston Restaurants
There are so many family-friendly dining options to choose from in Galveston, many with waterfront views. Try favorites like The Spot for a great burger, Tortuga’s for delicious Tex-Mex, or Willie G’s for seafood and to watch the cruise ships set sail. If you happen to be in Galveston during the winter months, be sure to check out the restaurants participating in Galveston Restaurant Weeks to enjoy a great meal at a discount for a good cause.
Explore Historic Strand District
In historic downtown Galveston, you will find the charming Strand District. This was once the shipping and banking hub of the Gulf Coast and was considered to be the Wall Street of the American Southwest.
After the hurricane, the historic downtown district was neglected. That changed in the 1980s, when the area was revitalized and repurposed. Many of the historic buildings were restored and now house cafes, art galleries, and boutique shopping.
We love walking through the beautiful historic downtown and enjoying the timeless architecture. Shop for gifts, home decor, and souvenirs. If you want more adventure, take a haunted ghost tour of the downtown at night.
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Have Fun At The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
As you are walking or driving along the seawall, you cant miss the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. The colorful rides and attractions tower of the ocean water and seem to beckon visitors to come and enjoy!
During your visit to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, you can enjoy 16 amusement park rides , loads of midway games, and fun shops.
Of course, if you get hungry during your time on Pleasure Pier, you can fast on all of your favorite carnival foods. Im talking funnel cakes, turkey legs, hot dogs, pizza, and more. Adults can even enjoy an adult beverage or two during their visit.
This is honestly one of the top attractions in Galveston.
Bishop’s Palace Galveston Texas
You cannot miss it: Bishop’s Palace, also known Gresham’s Castle, is a riot of colored stone, rare woods, exquisitely carved decorations, bronze dragons, and stained glass and that is only on the outside. On the inside, it is 19,082 square feet of Victorian opulence, with immense fireplaces, luxury furniture, sculptures of all kinds, and beautiful textiles.
The Victorian beauty, completed in 1892, is located in the East End of the Galvestons Historic District and is considered one of the citys dearest treasures. Galvestons premier architect Nicholas Clayton designed the palace, and it was built for prominent city lawyer Colonel Walter Gresham. This spectacular Victorian building is considered by the American Institute of Architects as one of Americas most important buildings.
1402 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, TX 77550, United States, 409-762-2475
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Enjoy Art And Food On The Strand
Historic downtown Galveston is the place to see some great murals, including the Absolute Equality mural documenting the events leading up to Freedom Day in 1865 and the Galveston edition of the now iconic Welcome mural series.
Additionally, youll come across some large, ceramic turtles from the Turtles About Town project and plenty of fun boutiques and antiques shops.
However, unless youre an architecture buff, the main draw of downtown is the excellent restaurants, and for kids, the famous La Kings Confectionary.
Housed in a 150 year old building, La Kings immediately transports your family into a 1920s ice cream parlor. Load up on candies, fudge, chocolates, and ice cream and watch the experts pull seemingly endless lengths of taffy.
Galveston Kid Friendly Attractions
Galveston Island Kid Friendly AttractionsArtist BoatBayWatch Dolphin ToursCapt. Hal Newsom’s Airboat Tours of Galveston BayClay Cup StudiosThe Galveston Children’s MuseumGalveston Island FerryGalveston Island Historic Pleasure PierGalveston Railroad MuseumGalveston Island State ParkGalveston Water AdventuresMoody GardensMoody Gardens AttractionsNOAA Fisheries Sea Turtle TourOcean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & MuseumSchlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston
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Learn About Offshore Drilling At The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig
Head into the Galveston Harbor and you will likely see the large rig that is home to the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum in Galveston, TX.
This museum is operated by the Offshore Energy Center and is used to educate people on the role that oil and gas play in our everyday lives.
Visitors are invited to do a self-guided tour of the three floors of exhibits that include some incredible videos and exhibits. This is definitely one of the unique things to do in Galveston, TX.
Please visit their website for current prices and operating hours.
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Be Entertained At The Historic Pleasure Pier
Galvestons Historic Pleasure Pier, located on the Seawall, is a must-do on the list of things to do in Galveston with kids. Featuring a roller coaster with an incredible view of the Gulf of Mexico and several other rides, this amusement park provides hours of entertainment. Kids will also have fun with the carnival games and parents will love the souvenir shops. Because of its location on the Seawall, its an especially ideal place to watch the sunset over the water at the end of a fun-filled day.
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A Moody Sky Makes For A Moody Day
If the weather isnt cooperating and you get a less than idea forecast head over to Moody Gardens.Of course its fun to stay at the resort but you can also buy tickets to the attractions without having to book a room! The Aquarium Pyramid is one a family favorite as well as the zip line over the waterpark.
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Noaa Fisheries Service Galveston Laboratory Galveston Texas
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, manages fishery species and characterizes their habitats. Visitors go there mainly for the amazing work taking place to conserve endangered sea turtles and other marine species. A popular sea turtle tour is given weekly visitors need to book this in advance.
The tours are a great way to learn about sea turtles and are led by volunteers who have extensive backgrounds in marine biology. The laboratory has an annual Ocean Discovery Day where visitors can tour the facilities, interact with scientists, and check out the cool technology being used. NOAA is a fun way for the entire family to learn about varying marine species.
4700 Avenue U, Galveston, TX 77551, United States, 409-766-3500
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Galveston Island: Moody Gardens
As you cross the bridge into town, you will immediately see Moody Gardens 3 pyramids off to your right. And your curious, whats inside those pyramids??? Moody Gardens features Rainforest, a multi-leveled Aquarium, several 3D & 4D theaters, an 1800s Paddlewheel Boat, and moreall designed to keep you busy for the full day! Also, opening March 8, the Gulf Coasts tallest five-tier Sky Trail Explorer Ropes Course and new 60-foot Zip Line. Moody Gardens will be open daily March 8-22, 2015.
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island
Visit The Childrens Museum
Housed inside of the historic Moody Mansion, the Childrens Museum is a hands-on museum for children to explore science, technology, culture, and the arts through interactive exhibits that encourage them to play their way through various concepts. From building with Lego bricks to exhibits that incorporate physics, the Childrens Museum is one of the best Galveston kids activities for your children to expand their imagination and their minds.
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Moody Gardens And Aquarium Pyramid
Moody Gardens is a huge complex with things to do for the whole family. It can easily be an all day outing, or you can target just one of the many attractions here and spend a few hours. The most dominant features are the three glass pyramids.
The main attraction for many people is a visit to the Aquarium Pyramid. This huge aquarium showcases the marine life of the Pacific, the Antarctic, the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, and the Caribbean. Some of the highlights are the underwater tunnel, touch tanks, and the giant river otters and the penguins, both of which are part of the animal encounter programs.
The Rainforest Pyramid is home to flora and fauna from the tropics, including free-roaming monkeys and sloths, birds, and fish. A boardwalk at canopy level takes you right through the heart of the rainforest. The aptly named Discovery Pyramid focuses on science and offers a range of displays.
Afterwards, head to Palm Beach waterpark with its white sands, freshwater lagoons, slides, lazy river, and replica paddlesteamer. Also check out the elaborate seasonal displays.
Movie buffs will want to take note that Moody Gardens has the largest movie screens in Texas. These towering screens have the latest projection technology and are a great spot to see MG 3D and 4D Special FX features. Visit the Moody Garden’s website to see what’s showing when you are visiting.
Address: 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, Texas
Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour
Timothy L Barnes / Shutterstock
The Ghost Tour for Hotel Galvez guests is worth booking your Gavelston trip at this hotel.
Couples, families and groups of friends will all enjoy the ghost tour.
This tour has been featured on Ghost Stories on the Travel Channel as well as on Ghost Lab on the Discovery Channel.
If you believe in ghosts or have a burning curiosity into the paranormal, this is a tour that you dont want to miss.
Its also great for non-believers.
Held at night once each month, the Ghost Tour offers a 1 ½ hour tour of the most haunted places in Galveston, Texas, during which time youll hear many stories that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand.
It is what spooky nights are made from.
Although appropriate for all ages, use a case by case basis to determine if the tour is appropriate for children.
Packages are available for those who would like to add a three-course dinner at the Galvez Bar & Grill after the night tour. This is not a requirement.
Address: 2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, USA
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The Strand Historic District Galveston Texas
The Strand Historic District, or the Strand, is located in downtown Galveston, Texas and is registered as a National Historic Landmark District. It consists of a number of beautiful Victorian buildings that today house boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and antique stores. Start your self-guided tour at the Galveston Railroad Museum on the corner of 25th and Strand. Give this popular museum at least half an hour.
Check the stores on the Strand and remember that many of them survived the storm of 1900 when a hurricane killed more than 6000 people in Galveston. Dont miss Galvestons famous restaurants on the waterfront the seafood is spectacular. In Harborside, on Pier 19, visit the Ocean Star Offshore Energy Center and Museum, check what is showing at the Pier 21 Theater, and enjoy the beauty of the tall ship Elissa at the Texas Seaport Museum.
2228 Mechanic St, Galveston, TX 77550, United States
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Galveston County Historical Museum
Galveston County Historical Museum
The Galveston County Historical Museum is a fun stop for any history buff but also offers excitement for anyone who wants to learn more about Galveston.
The museum offers visitors the chance to explore the many exciting historical pieces and learn more about wars and other events that took place in Galveston and near Galveston during the tour.
Galveston is filled with so much interesting history and the historical museum aims to tell as much of it as you want to hear.
Many artifacts, presentations, and films help depict the area in old-time fashion, giving you a glimpse of what life what like during some of the most memorable occasions in history.
What you learn during a visit to the historical museum will stick with you for a long time in the future.
Address: 722 Moody Ave, Galveston, TX 77550, USA
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Where To Stay In Galveston Tx
There are many hotels to choose from all over the Galveston shorelines, but Moody Gardens is probably the most famous. They offer spacious rooms and package deals to see some of their other attractions.
If you are looking for something on the Seawall, and lets face it who doesnt want an ocean view, consider staying at Four Points by Sheraton. They are located right next to Pleasure Pier and have walking distance to a bunch of restaurants and other shops.
Vacation Rental on the Beach
Often more economical than a hotel, a vacation home, condo or even apartment is the perfect way to feel at home in Galveston. The benefits can often include the same amenities as a hotel, without the daily cleaning service. But you get a kitchen saving even more money.
Doing a vacation rental will cut your expenses in half in most cases. We stayed at a fabulous beach condo right on the waterfront, where you could watch the sunrise each morning. We loved getting to be on the quieter side of the island. There is plenty to choose from depending on your price range.