Best For Animal Lovers: Amarillo Zoo & Aquarium / Quarter Horse Museum & Horseback Riding
If youre in town for just a weekend then these selections would hold a solid claim to being top of your itinerary. They are absolutely worth taking in, particularly if you have a strong interest in animals.
And yes, I got a little bit carried away with this selection. I simply couldnt choose between two equally excellent choices for anyone fascinated by our states native wildlife.
The American Quarter Horse Museum is simply without rival in its particular field. The venue hosts a theater, fascinating exhibits, a gallery, and of course, the hall of fame. It is a must see for horse lovers and riders alike. If you wish to ride youll have to venture further out of town and toward Palo Duro Canyon State Park. There is a concentration of good services in this area .
If youre more interested in a breadth of wildlife and aquatic creatures then the Amarillo Zoo and Aquarium is the place to spend the day. Residents include mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates. Especially popular are the African lions, Bengal tigers, kangaroos, and snakes. However, there is a huge variety of other creatures to take in.
If you have time, and particularly if you are visiting with children, take the opportunity while youre in the area to visit Wonderland Amusement Park this theme park is a blast for kids and adults alike and contains mini golf, water slides, roller coasters, and a ferris wheel.
Create Your Own Art At Cadillac Ranch
One of the cheapest things to do in Amarillo is to stop by Cadillac Ranch. This is a free art installation, where Cadillac cars have been planted right into a farmers field. Visitors are encouraged to leave their mark with brightly colored spray paint. You can bring your own spray paint or buy some from the truck at the entrance.
This is a unique and interesting stop just outside of Amarillo.
How To Get To Amarillo
You may be wondering, Where is Amarillo, Texas?
Coming from New Mexico, Albuquerque to Amarillo is a 4-hour drive. Oklahoma City to Amarillo is almost four hours, too. From DFW to Amarillo it will be a 5-hour drive.
You can also fly into Amarillo. The airport in Amarillo, TX is called Rick Husband Amarillo International . If you fly into Amarillo, you will need a car to get around, as there isnt a lot of public transportation. Especially if you want to go to Palo Duro Canyon a rental car is necessary. Flights come in on Southwest, American and United. Most of the major direct flights are from Houston, Dallas and Denver.
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Get Hands On At The Don Harrington Discovery Center
The Don Harrington Discovery Centerhas a great hands-on exhibits just right for children. The museum boasts numerous exhibits focusing on space, birds of prey, physics, weather, and even a Kinderstudio: an area for scientific exploration and art, reserved exclusively for kiddos six years and younger.
The center is a fantastic place to burn off energy while making some neural connections. There are even reptiles to pet and learn about.
Explore the biggest city in northern Texas. Here are the best things to do in Dallas with Kids.
Other Fun Things To Do In Moab Utah With Kids
While Arches National Park is a fun place to explore, there are lots of other things to do around Moab with children. Here are a few more activities in Moab for kids and their fun-loving parents.
3. Moab Giants Dinosaur Museum
What kid doesnt love dinosaurs?! At Moab Giants, you can get a glimpse of what dinosaurs actually looked like, with more than 100 life-size and life-like dinosaur statues. Your kids will love getting to step back into prehistoric times and learn about some of the most dangerous creatures to ever walk the earth.
4. Visit the Moab Rock Shop
For some reason, all kids seem to be fascinated by rocks! What better way to peak their interest than a visit to the Moab Rock Shop. This fun little shop has minerals, rocks, and even fossils on display and available for purchase. The shop is like a treasure chest of geology, and is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Moab with kids.
5. Watch the sunset in Canyonlands
Moab is one of the few towns in the United States with two national parks within about a 30-minute drive. While Canyonlands is slightly farther from town than Arches, it is worth the drive to see Utahs version of the Grand Canyon. The Island in the Sky is the most popular district in the park, and the easiest to get to. The sunset over Shafer Canyonis spectacular. Youll want to watch young children carefully, as with many other canyons, there are lots of steep, dangerous drop offs in Canyonlands.
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Texas Air And Space Museum
Talking of a bizarre site, what do you think of a pair of giant legs sticking out of the ground?
Well, thats exactly what you will see in the Ozymandias on the Plains. These giant pair of legs serves as an Amarillo Texas attraction. It can be found on the south side of the city.
These giant legs were made by Lightnin McDuff who is an artist from Amarillo. The person who funded this bizarre project is Stanley Marsh 3.
Stanley Marsh 3 is also the one behind some of the public art projects you will see in Amarillo. He is also the billionaire behind the Cadillac Ranch.
All About Amarillo Texas
This Texas panhandle town makes the perfect weekend getaway. There are more than enough activities to fill a few days, and it’s just a quick plane ride from Dallas . Our flight took less than an hour … can’t beat that!
Amarillo is the 14th-largest city in Texas, and it has an interesting history that revolves around ranching, oil and gas, helium, and even nuclear weapons. Which had led to some unique city nicknames, like Bomb City.
These days, its location on Route 66 and near the Palo Duro Canyon, along with its quirky roadside attractions, make it a fun weekend destination.
Ready to learn more about this unique Texas city? This travel guide covers everything you need to know:
- Things to Do
A historic building in downtown Amarillo.
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Best Things To Do In Amarillo Tx Top Activities & Places To Go
- Tanner Wilkes
When you find yourself in the northernmost part of Texas, make sure to stop by historic Amarillo.
This town is found along historic Route 66 and is well known for its beautiful Spanish Revival buildings.
But whats more, there is lots of stuff to do here for you, like checking out unique art installations and going around fascinating museums.
Even its nightlife is booming, with theater and symphony performances for you to enjoy.
Getting excited? Start planning your vacation with this list of the best things to do in Amarillo, TX.
Dont Miss Texas Outdoor Musical Performance
Be sure to plan a trip to Palo Duro Canyon State Park during the summer so you can experience TEXAS outdoor Musical in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Its truly one of the best things to do in Amarillo with kids, and for every age!
Every year, the Texas outdoor Musical puts on an incredible performance with music, dancing, and acting. The stage has a backdrop of the Palo Duro Canyon walls. They use the incredible scenery to show the history of the Texas frontier and early pioneers and Indians from the area.
Purchase the VIP package for the show which included a includes a tote bag, swag and a free drink for the show.
With a paid ticket to Texas outdoor musical, you can enter Palo Duro Canyon for free after 4 pm. Explore for a few hours before you can grab dinner at the pavilion.
Outdoor BBQ Dinner before the show
Enjoy BBQ brisket, pulled pork, and smoked sausage, along with the classic beans, coleslaw, and potato salad perfect for a Texas barbeque.
Before the show, you can learn the history of the Indigenous people of the area straight from one of the members of their tribe in full customary dress. Music and dancing will fill your time until you can be seated for the show.
Outdoor Musical Show
You will love the setting of the performance. As the sun sets during the first act, you will catch glimpses of the stars appear. The show continues to light up the cliffs so you can enjoy the sights of the canyon long after it is dark.
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Grab Some Delicious Texas Barbecue
- Rate attraction:
Barbecue is among the favorite things to do in Amarillo for the Food-Lovers. Amarillo has a multitude of good and great Barbecue places.
Top Rated barbecues include Tylers Barbecue, Wesleys Bean Pot & BBQ, Spicy Mikes Bar-B-Q Haven, Shi Lees Barbecue & Soul Food Cafe, Crazy Larrys Barbecue, and more.
If you haven’t been to eat Texas Barbecue before, there are a few things you ought to try. First, the Barbecue Sauce. Most places will have a regular and a spicy version.
You can order any Barbecue meat that you enjoy. Sides will include fried okra, coleslaw, pickles, mac & cheese, BBQ Baked Beans, and more.
Other foods you should try if they are available are Pecan Pie, Frito Pie , or Buttermilk Chess Pie.
The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center
The Wildcat Bluff Nature Center is one of the fun things to do in Amarillo for kids.
This nature center offers a variety of outdoor and indoor exhibits to teach children about nature.
Kids get to learn about the local wildlife, like the Texas Horned Lizard and try out different nature activities like bird watching, fishing, and wildlife scavenger hunts.
If youre looking for a fun activity to keep your kids occupied while youre visiting Amarillo, then this will be a great stop!
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Where To Stay In Moab With Kids
If looking for a great hotel with a pool, here are a few great places to stay in Moab with kids. We tend to split our time between camping and hotels, so for every day or two we camp, we will book a night in a hotel. Our daughter enjoys the hotel pool, and we get to enjoy a hot shower and comfortable bed!
Get Your Kicks On Historic Route 66
Amarillo is located on Route 66, the first U.S. highway to be completely paved. The highway ran from Chicago to California, and it was the primary route for migrants trying to escape the Dust Bowl, as well as vacationers heading west in later years. While you can’t drive the whole route anymore, it’s fun exploring sections of it, like the Route 66-Sixth Street Historic District. Antique shops, restaurants line the road here.
Read about the historic buildings along Route 66 here. And if you’re planning a road trip, make sure to pick up a Route 66 Passport book so you can collect stamps along the route. We found our passport at the Lile Art Gallery.
Shops and restaurants lining historic Route 66.
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Relax At The Botanical Gardens
Amarillo is home to a beautiful, petite botanical garden with a variety of interesting landscapes. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon anytime of year. If you get the chance, visit the during Music in the Gardens, which is held most Thursday evenings during the summer. There’s live music, and the gardens are so pretty in the setting sun … bring a picnic. I also hear that it’s magical at Christmas when the garden is covered with lights!
Sitting under an arch in the beautiful Amarillo Botanical Gardens.
Don Harrington Discovery Center
Don Harrington Discovery Center is Amarillos beloved education center that has stood the test of time over the years. Bring your kids so they can learn and play at this child-centered science and education center.
Watch your young ones study, create, invent, learn, and tinker at the sole planetarium in the Texas Panhandle. There are also exhibits and educational programs at the Digital Space Center designed for all ages and abilities. These will allow you to have fun with sound, helium, puzzles, optical illusions, and much more.
There is also a multimillion entertainment center, which will allow you a whole new experience in movies and shows.
Details: 1200 Streit dr., Amarillo, TX 79106 | Website
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Learn The History And Future Of Cal Farleys Boys Ranch
Just north of Amarillo, Cal Farleys Boys Ranch is doing amazing things for kids who need hope for a bright future. You can tour the facilities, learn about the history and contribute to the cause of helping youth.
At Cal Farleys Boy Ranch, boys and girls from ages 8-18 are given a home, parents, schooling, jobs and more to help them succeed and grow with the tools they need. I was so impressed that kids learn to work with horses and cattle and can actually get a paying job taking care of the animals. This is a working farm, but also a place where at-risk kids are helped as they transition to adulthood. Check out the amazing things happening at Cal Farleys Boys Ranch.
Things To Do In Amarillo Tx: Amarillo Botanical Gardens
The Amarillo Botanical Gardens include more than 4 acres of outdoor, seasonal gardens featuring plants native to Texas. The park also contains an indoor conservatory that highlights tropical and exotic plants from around the world.
Docent-guided tours are available during business hours but must be arranged a week in advance. Guests are also welcome to tour the grounds on their own at any time. The Botanical Gardens offer a variety of educational programing related to plants, gardening, and more. The beautiful grounds are often used for weddings and other private events.
1400 Streit Drive, Amarillo, TX 79106, Phone: 806-352-6513
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Blue Bell Creamery Tour
Offered in the city of Brenham, the Blue Bell Creamery Tour gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how everyone’s favorite Texan ice cream is made. The Tour Center tells the story of Blue Bell through pictures and videos, and there’s even an Observation Deck where guests can watch ice cream being made. Of course, the best visits aren’t complete until you’ve had a scoop of delicious ice cream from the old-fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and perhaps picked up a souvenir from the gift shop. Visitors are welcome Monday through Friday, and the Observation Deck is open most days until 2 p.m.
1101 S Blue Bell Rd, Brenham, TX 77833, Phone: 979-836-7977
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Where To Stay In Amarillo With Kids
Our family stayed at the Residence Inn Amarillo by Marriott just off the interstate while discovering all the fun things to do in Amarillo, Texas. Our suite was a perfect match. The living room had a pull out sofa and the hotel staff happily provided us with a roll away bed.
My biggest take away was how nice it was to have a kitchen in the room. It featured an apartment sized refrigerator/freezer combo. It had a small microwave, and a two burner cook top, as well as a dishwasher and sink. With three kids, having a kitchen is a must!
If you dont want to cook, the Residence Inn has you covered. An expanded complimentary breakfast buffet is included every day of the week week nights even boast a light dinner! In case hunger pains strike you at any hour of the night, a 24/7 market allows you to grab a snack or beverage of your choice.
-Courtney Milleson is a Trekaroo Superoo , a serial domestic traveler, wife, and mother of three precocious children. When not busy running her life, shes busy blogging about her running and life.
Disclosure: The author received complimentary lodging, meals, and attractions for the purpose of this review. All opinions remain her own.
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Visit The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
Canyon, Texas is just a stones throw away from the big city, but its a special place to my family. Many of our family members went to college in Canyon. West Texas A& M University is home to the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum.
It is Texass oldest and largest state museum and is the best place in the state to learn all about the Panhandle. Your family will learn about regional ranching and petroleum-mining history and enjoy impressive natural-history exhibits. Walk through an authentic pioneer town rebuilt inside the museum. See an extensive gun collection and prehistoric fossils. If your children like dinosaurs or cowboys and Indians, theyre going to love this place.