Splash The Day Away At Schlitterbahn
Schlitterbahn is a Texas institution and the Galveston location has the largest collection of thrill rides out of all the Schlitterbahn waterparks.
Body slides, tube slides, lazy rivers, you name it, its here. Families can spend an entire day having fun in the sun here. Its located right next to Moody Gardens, so its within walking distance of the Moody Gardens Hotel.
Fun Things To Do In Galveston With Kids Family Friendly Activities
- Christina Rado
Named after the Spanish count Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, the city of Galveston is a coastal island city on the gulf coast of Texas.
The city boasts Victorian-era buildings and panoramic views of the gulf, making it a popular tourist destination.
Because a family vacation at Galveston mainly consists of water activities and visiting historical sites, many think Galveston is an ideal summer destination, without knowing that it also hosts beautiful festivals and events all year round.
If this sounds like a perfect idea for your next family vacation, here are fun things to do in Galveston with kids.
Make A Splash At Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark
Galveston, Texas is also home to an incredible Texas-sized waterpark, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island.
While you will find Schlitterbahn Water parks in other areas of Texas, the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island cant be missed!
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island offers fun, adrenaline-pumping water rides that will have kids begging for more.
Of course for those that want to take life at a slower pace, Schlitterbahn has you covered also. You can enjoy the lazy river, wave pool, or just lounging on a chair.
Of course, there is also an area dedicated to the smaller children in the family!
This is one of the top attractions around Galveston, Texas, so be sure and add it to your trip itinerary.
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Texas Seaport Museum And The Elissa
The Texas Seaport Museum is home to the tall ship Elissa, built in 1877 and considered one of the finest restored historical vessels in the US. This lovely old ship still puts to sea regularly, and her fascinating story including her rescue from the scrapyard is told in the museum on shore. Other highlights include a look at the history of the Port of Galveston, including the names of the more than 133,000 migrants who passed through.
If you want to see more, drive over to nearby Seawolf Park for a peek at a WWII-era US Navy submarine and the USS Stewart, a destroyer from the same period.
Address: 2200 Harborside Drive, Galveston, Texas
Lone Star Flight Museum
Tom Durr / Shutterstock
Perfect for a Saturday out with the family, the Lone Star Flight Museum has two simulator bays for visitors to enjoy the thrill of flying a plane without leaving the ground.
The museum includes warbird rides and a plethora of learning and educational opportunities.
Many permanent exhibits provide insight into the history of aircraft and flying.
The museum also has several airplanes on display that visitors can explore.
Anyone with an interest in flight is sure to have an amazing time exploring this larger than life museum.
Address: 11551 Aerospace Ave, Houston, TX 77034, USA
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The Grand 1894 Opera House
Beautifully restored and filled with immaculate decor, The Grand 1894 Opera House eludes its magical history when you step inside the doors.
Its a Galveston tradition you should experience.
The chance to enjoy the majestic beauty the Opera House offers is alone well-worth buying a ticket to a show.
If youre an Opera fan, youll appreciate the scenery and the acoustics even more.
Every show put on at The Grand 1894 Opera House is phenomenal.
On Sunday afternoon, catch the Galveston Orchestra Symphony puts on an amazing show.
Top-notch musicians sell-out shows quickly, so consider buying your tickets in advance.
Many other events and shows take place at the Opera House in addition to the Sunday show.
No matter who you see perform a show at the Opera House, it is an intimate experience that youll forever cherish.
Special events in Galveston, including a childrens camp, are also offered.
Address: 2020 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550, USA
Moody Gardens Golf Course
Moody Gardens Golf Course
Whats a vacation without a few rounds of golf?
For most travelers, golf is an exciting pleasure they enjoy while on vacation.
On Galveston Island, many golf courses make golfing simple, but some courses are simply better than the rest.
And so, we present to you Moody Gardens Golf Course, by far one of the best in the area.
Moody Gardens underwent a $16 million renovation several years ago, creating a luxury course unlike anything else on the island.
The golf course includes an immaculate clubhouse where special events often take place.
Golf Digest even names this course as one of the best in Texas. Thats for you to decide.
If you enjoy golf, schedule time to play a round or two at Moody Gardens while in Galveston.
Address: 1700 Sydnor Ln, Galveston, TX 77554, USA
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Fly In A Historic American Aircraft At The Lone Star Flight Museum
Although this one strays a bit outside Galveston, its well worth the extra drive! Just 40 minutes away, headed in the direction of Houston, youll find a museum like no other.
The Lone Star Flight Museum is packed with aircraft from all eras, but these can still take to the skies, unlike other collections.
Once you look through their impressive array of planes, you can hop in one yourself! In case you arent a fan of heights, they also offer flight simulators .
Where To Eat In Galveston With Kids
Galveston is overflowing with great family-friendly restaurants. Downtown, try Taquilos Tex-Mex Cantina and Mama Teresas Flying Pizza.
Mama Teresas has been serving up pizza since the 1980s. Follow either one of those up with a visit toLa Kings Confectionaryfor special treat.
For ocean views, try The Spot on the Seawall, which is quick counter service burgers and tacos, or Jimmys on the Pier for a classic poboy.
Galveston Restaurant Week is usually in the late winter or early spring and is a great time to hit a bunch of great restaurants with a more budget-friendly way.
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Just For Kids In Galveston
When you get the chance to visit an amusement park on a pier, you gotta go for it. The Historic Pleasure Pier has been entertaining guests for years. They have some great rides and dining options. I recommend visiting at night. But thats mostly because I love all the lights.
There is an amazing little mini golf course Magic Carpet Golf. Twodifferent sets of 18 holes to try out, each with their own set of challengesand difficulties. One side was shaded while the other sunnier. The whole familywas laughing and having a great time.
Ride the Trolly
Galveston has a Trolly to get around. The fair is $1 per person. Kids are free with a paying adult. The best part is the trolly covers almost all of Galveston in different loops. If your kids love trains, trollys, and all things that move, like mine, theyll love getting to ride on the Galveston Trolly.
The Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast Museum in Galveston TX is a fun way to get into the pirate lifestyle. The museum staff is in character at all times making it very entertaining. They actually drew us into the establishment when we were walking by and they made it hard to stay no.
Ride the Worlds Tallest Watercoaster at Schlitterbahn Waterpark
Seawolf Park was an unexpected treat. On its own separate island with a view of Galveston, it housed a battleship, submarine, park for kids, and fishing opportunities. The coast is lined with fishermen.
Rainforest Café Ride
Things To Do With Kids In Galveston
Galveston is Texass resident resort city. Known as The Oleander City, Galveston is located on Galveston Island just off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. It has everything you could think of playgrounds, public parks, museums, and even a waterpark. If youre ready to plan a family trip, look no further we have itinerary ideas for things to do in Galveston with kids below.
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Galveston Island: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston Island
Were all familiar with Texass biggest and baddest waterpark, Schlitterbahn, but did you know that Galveston has one too? Its the Houstons area only Indoor Waterpark, open year round with lazy rivers, tube slides, wave pools and more. And I love the fact that they had great areas for the kiddos to play in as well. The outdoor section is open mid-April through mid-October. Schlitterbahn Galvestons indoor water park will be open daily March 7-22, 2015.
Pleasure Pier at Night
Experience A Paranormal Encounter At Galvestons Most Haunted Hotel
With more than 100 years of history, its no wonder the beachfront Hotel Galvez has a few spirits wandering its halls.
The most infamous is the Ghost Bride of Room 501. The young fiance of a sailor, she used to climb atop the hotels roof and await the return of her husband-to-be.
But their story ended in tragedy, and still, today, guests claim to see strange lights in places she used to frequent, as well as slamming doors and TVs that turn on and off on their own.
Embark on a ghost tour and dinner if you dare.
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Learn At The Galveston Railroad Museum
Take your kids on a trip into the past at the Galveston Railroad Museum. The museum features a rich collection of railroad artifacts and memorabilia that tell the history of railway travel in the area. Your kids will surely be fascinated by the steam and diesel engine train exhibits, and the whole family will love a trip on the Harborside Express, an open-air caboose that takes you on a tour along Harborside Drive.
The museum is also the site of the re-created 1932 Santa Fe Depot. The museum hosts several special events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the history of train travel.
Exploring Galveston On A Budget
Think a beach vacation isnt in your budget? Think again. Limited funds or not-you can still squeeze in a great Galveston vacation on a tight budget thanks to the long list of cheap or free attractions and the hidden savings in lodging around town.
Lodging that Wont Break the Bank
Hotel costs take the biggest bite out of your vacation funds but a little pre-planning can ensure that you get the most for your money. For instant savings, book your lodging through Galveston.com. In addition to receiving discounts and savings on your hotel, you will be sent coupons valued at over $500 to use at area attractions, restaurants and shops. Its a win-win. For even more hotel savings, consider booking a mid-week getaway. Not only will you save money each night, but you will also enjoy lighter crowds at beaches and attractions.
Savvy budget travelers know to look outside the box when shopping for the best deals and that includes lodging options other than hotels. Vacation rental sites like Homeaway are ideal for families looking to save money and have room to spread out. Most homes and condos will also feature full kitchens, so you can plan to cook your meals at home and save on eating out.
Activities That Are Easy on the Pocketbook
Galveston also offers a long list of activities that are low cost or completely free of charge.
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Tall Ship Elissa Galveston Texas
ELISSA, a three-mast sailing vessel, is one of the worlds oldest sailing hulls still in operation and one of the best things to do in Galveston, Texas. ELISSA has a rich history as a merchant vessel, and it was launched in 1877 from Aberdeen, Scotland shes also sailed under Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, and Swedish flags.
Visitors can explore the decks of this now floating National Historic Landmark and imagine themselves as the daring sailors who were once onboard taking on the worlds oceans. There is a museum and theater for visitors to gain a better understanding of ELISSAs history as well as her rescue from the shipyard and her restoration.
2200 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77550, United States, 409-763-1877
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Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour
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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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Where To Eat In Galveston
La Kings Confectionery
Its hard to walk down the History Strand District without seeing some great food or smelling the delicious La Kings Confectionary. Their sweet aroma brings in guests like crazy. What sets this confectionary store apart is not those chocolates, but the ice cream, and gourmet coffee too. The only problem we ran into was trying to keep our chocolate from melting.
Katies Seafood offers some of the freshest seafood on the island. Located on Pier 21, this seafood restaurant has outdoor seating with views of the docks. There you can watch their boats bringing in the fish daily. The oysters were amazing and the fish tacos out of this world. The staff was amazing. If you would prefer to cook your own, you can also pick up some of their catch right next door. Truly this is a top thing to do in Galveston TX. You have to check it out!
Texas Pit Stop BBQ
You cant go to Texas without getting some award-winning BBQ. We found the delicious Texas Pit Stop BBQ joint just off Seawall Blvd. With more trophies on display than you can count. They are the 5X Triple Crown winter in the 7th Annual Galveston County competition, their ribs took first place in Galveston County and they were the 2nd Runner up in Brisket at the Houston Rodeo. They serve table side Briquet, Ribs, Chicken and more. For sides, you have to try their fried okra and Cajun Potato Salad.
Saltgrass Steak House
The Original Mexican Cafe
Peek Into The Life Of A Powerful Texas Family At The Moody Mansion
The Moody empirewhich was initially based on cotton production and grew to encompass banking, ranching, newspaper publishing, and moreis certainly one for the history books.
With their riches, they developed a stunning estate, the Moody Mansion, that dates back to 1895, now restored to its full splendor with original furnishings, classic cars, and a staggering 31 rooms.
Guests can wander through 20 of those rooms on a self-guided tour that digs deeper into fascinating family and local history.
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Tour Famous Galveston Attractions
Galveston Island may have a small footprint, but it’s definitely large on attractions! From Moody Gardens to Schlitterbahn-Galveston, and an international cruise port to the popular Historic Pleasure Pier, this Gulf island has something for everyone to enjoy! Other Galveston vacation points of interest include:
- Moody Gardens Aquarium & Rainforest Pyramids
- Galveston Railroad Museum
- Galveston Naval Museum at Seawolf Park
- Seaport Museum & The 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA
- Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum
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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Galvestons Own Farmers Market
Galvestons Own Farmers Market
Although visiting a farmers market may not be one of the first things you consider for a vacation, this farmers market is certainly worthy of your time.
Youll find fresh, locally grown produce, which makes preparing your favorite dishes tastier than before.
Baked goods, fresh bread, jams and jellies, fresh herbs, salsas, honey, and cheese are also available from vendors at the Galvestons Own Farmers Market.
A Young Gardeners Program helps children and teens in and around Galveston learn the value of growing fresh vegetables in the garden.
Cooking classes are also held at the Farmers Market on weekends. The cooking classes are designed for all ages.
Visitors also find plenty of entertainment at the Farmers Market.
Various singers, bands, comedians, and other entertainers often come out to ensure guests enjoy their visit.
Address: 1315 21st St, Galveston, TX 77550, USA