Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid
When you drive over the I-45 bridge onto Galveston Island, tell your kids to look out the window to the right. Theyll see the 3 tell-tale pyramids of Moody Gardens. The big blue one is the Aquarium Pyramid, a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium thats home to all kinds of mesmerizing sea life featuring everything from sharks and penguins to the fascinating Jellyfish Gallery.
Get Outdoors At Galveston Island State Park
Camping enthusiasts and nature lovers, look no further than Galveston Island State Park for all things active and outdoors. Recreational activities include fishing, bird watching, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and camping. Entry costs $5 per person, and kids ages 12 and under get in free. You can hang out at the park for the day to take advantage of the beach or stay overnight at one of the 60+ available campsites. Kids can even become Junior Rangers by visiting the Nature Center, picking up the Junior Ranger Activity Journal and Explorer Pack, and completing tasks to earn a badge. The newly renovated beach side of the park just reopened and features amazing new amenities like two boardwalks, a kayak launch, pavilions, enhanced restrooms, and more.
Best Things To Do In Galveston Texas
Looking for something fun to do in Texas? Fill your itinerary with all the best things to do in Galveston, Texas. Whether youre looking for family-friendly activities or something a little more adventurous, Galveston is one of the Lone Star States most surprising travel destinations.
Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, the beautiful seaside city of Galveston often goes overlooked. Its home to eight miles of beautiful beaches, fascinating historic architecture, and great restaurants. From exploring the ocean to visiting historical sites, theres something for everyone in Galveston.
Need ideas on what to do in Galveston? Keep reading to learn more about the best places to visit in Galveston, TX.
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Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid
A Komodo dragon
Families travel to Galveston from all over country solely for a visit to Moody Gardens. Its an exciting and educational tourist destination with enough things to see to keep you occupied for days. Perhaps the most popular stop at Moody Gardens is the Rainforest Pyramid. Your kids will be oohing and ahhing as they spot everything from Komodo dragons to endangered Giant Amazon River Otters, while strolling the rainforests of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
See The Gorgeous Canals And Preserves Looked After By Laffites Cove Nature Society
If theres one thing that can be said for sure about Galveston, its that its full of natural beauty.
Years of natural weather events combined with human efforts to protect the island have resulted in some of the most prosperous nature preserves and bird sanctuaries in the United States.
The Laffites Cove is yet another such area. While some areas are permanently closed off, much of the cove is open to the public for birdwatching and general exploration.
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The Beaches Are Beautiful And There Is Plenty Of Room To Spread Out
Galveston Island has 32 miles of gorgeous beaches to enjoy. You can relax and soak up the sun, take a stroll down the boardwalk, or catch some waves. Everyone can join in a family game of beach volleyball. Several Galveston beaches offer concessions and have chairs and umbrellas available to rent, so you can make the most of your family day at the beach.
Read more about local beaches here.
Inexpensive Activities In Galveston
1892 Bishops Palace This ornate 19,000 sq foot building was built in 1887. This Victorian-style home has unique features like an all-silver fireplace. Take the guided audio tour to learn the history of this National Historic Landmark.
Moody Gardens Best known for gigantic pyramid glass structures that are part of the 242-acre theme park. Inside the pyramids is home to a rainforest, aquarium, and other educational exhibits. If youre looking for a bigger thrill then be sure to check out the Gulf Coasts tallest rope course and zipline.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier This amusement park was built in 1942 and sits on the islands historic pier. It offers dining, live entertainment, games, and amusement rides. The views from the top of the Ferris wheel cant be beaten!
Moody Mansion Take an audio tour of this 1895 Victorian mansion. The elegant interiors, amazing antiques and artwork scattered throughout the 20 room tour will dazzle you.
Galveston Railroad Museum Inside the museum, guests will view the collection of freight and passenger cars, steam engines, and other artifacts such as the largest dining car china collection in the Southwest. The museum also hosts events and parties throughout the year, including a Mardi Gras celebration.
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum See how gas and oil companies process drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The 3-story rig gives you a glimpse of how offshore drilling works.
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Top 28 Things To Do In Galveston Tx With Family
Looking for a fun beach spot within the continental US? Look no further than Galveston TX. When Midwesterners thing of the ocean, most think Florida or California. But what about Texas? There is so much oceanfront property, Galveston has become my favorite place to relax. Cruise company have started to make this the main port, and with everything, for their guest to do I understand why. Vacationing here is so economical with tons of things to do in Galveston TX with the family.
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Hop Aboard For Some Free Maritime Fun On The Port Bolivar Ferry
The Port Bolivar Ferry offers transport from Galveston island to the nearby Bolivar Peninsula. In addition to human and inanimate cargo, the huge ferry can also transport over 70 vehicles. Atop the upper deck, families can spy marine life, take in breathtaking views of the surrounding waters, or check out other passing boatsthere are often up to 5 ferries running at one time. Seagulls are known to perch aboard the ferry awaiting a snack. Best of all, this service is free, making it great for budget-friendly family fun in Galveston. Upon arrival in Bolivar, spend some time on Crystal Beach or check out the Bolivar Lighthouse.
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Relax In The Sun On Some Of The Best Beaches In Texas
Being an island, its no surprise that Galveston is home to quite a few sunny beaches. There are tons and tons of options, but weve narrowed down the most popular ones for you.
Babes Beach: Thanks to its key location, clean water, and picturesque sand, many agree that Babes Beach is the best beach in Galveston.
Located all along Galvestons historic Seawall, Babes Beach is minutes away from hotels and delicious local restaurants like BLVD Seafood and Gaidos Seafood Restaurant.
Stewart Beach: With its shallow waters, sandcastle competitions, and volleyball courts, Stewart Beach is the beach to pick if youre traveling with a family that includes small children. It was even named one of the 10 Best Beaches for Families by Family Vacation Critic back in 2013.
Crystal Beach: Crystal Beach is unique because you can pitch a tent and spend a night camping right along the water. You could always bring your car, golf cart, or motorhome along the shoreline and enjoy your evening on the beach that way.
East Beach: If you ask the locals where to go for a great party, theyll likely point you towards East Beach. During the day, it attracts nature lovers and bird watchers, as its surrounded by lush nature reserves.
But at night, the revelers come out to play, as its totally legal to openly drink alcohol right on the water. East Beach is also part of the larger R.A. Apfell Beach Park, which hosts huge festivals throughout the year.
Spend The Day Exploring Moody Gardens Or Stay The Night
Moody Gardens is an ever-expanding educational and leisure facility that includes pretty much anything you can imagine.
To give you an idea of its sheer scope, aside from its hotels and spas and other relaxation treatment centers, there are three full-sized pyramids. Theyre very hard to miss.
Inside the Rainforest Pyramid, youll find more than 1,700 exotic plants and animals from rainforests all over the world.
The Aquarium Pyramid contains 1.5 million gallons of jellyfish, penguins, seals, sharks, and other ocean critters.
And the Discovery Pyramid lives up to its name with all kinds of exhibits that showcase the crossroads between art, science, and nature.
If you book a vacation at Moody Gardens, you wont need to spend much time looking for other things to do in Galveston.
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Getting There Is Half The Fun
Galveston TX has so many things to do on it, its hard to keep my list under control. There also theaters, surfing, beach fun and so much more. My family and I were planning a trip down to Galveston for a while now, but we missed the hot deals on tickets so we decided to road trip there. Not only did we save a bucket load of money but we also had so much fun getting to drive there and see more of Texas. We went through four different audiobooks for family, we played our favorite travel games and the kids each had their own road trip travel binder filled with fun activities. If you ever get the chance to do something crazy like that, I highly recommend it.
Hi, Im Jenn. A full-time mom, wife, and dog lover. When Im not working my normal 9-5, youll find me on a hiking trail or exploring new towns in my own backyard, Minnesota.
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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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Explore The Galveston Children’s Museum
In Galveston, there is no shortage of museums to visit, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. If you’re visiting with little ones, you won’t want to miss the Galveston Children’s Museum. Here, interactive, hands-on exhibits are geared towards youngsters from ages 2-10. From a tinker workshop and a building zone to an arts studio and more, your kiddo is sure to have a great time learning and exploring while also beating the Galveston heat.
It’s Affordableespecially Compared To Other Popular Spring Break Destinations
If you’re looking for a spring break destination that won’t break the bank, Galveston is the place for you! There are plenty of affordable, fun things to do in Galveston with kids and great places to stay to fit every budget. Tickets to some of the most popular attractions, like Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn, cost less than tickets to similar attractions in other popular destinations.
Families can save even more by renting vacation homes instead of several individual hotel rooms. Vacation rentals often have their own kitchens and laundry services to help bring down the total cost of your vacation. Search for Galveston vacation rentals here.
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Sun And Sand At The Seawall
For a laid-back beach experience, you’ll want to head straight for The Seawall, which offers more than 10 miles of beach and water for sunning, playing, and swimming. Parking is available along The Seawall visitors pay by the hour, day, or season. Picnic meals can be enjoyed on the beach, or you can take advantage of a wide variety of beachfront restaurants that are a short walk from the sand. While you’re exploring The Seawall, be sure to make a pit-stop at Murdochs, where you can stock up on beach souvenirs and take in sweeping views of the sea through stationary viewfinders while enjoying a tasty cold beverage.
Things To Do In Galveston With Kids: Hospitality Health Er Top Picks
As one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the United States, there are so many things to do in Galveston with kids, parents, and folks of all ages. As a family-centered emergency room in Galveston, Hospitality Health ERs goal is to not only keep locals and vacationers abreast of family healthcare topics, but to also encourage positive community habits like spending quality time together. After all, research has shown that family time has profound benefits like building self-esteem, creating bonds, and nurturing positive behaviors.
Top OUTDOOR Things to Do in Galveston with Kids
You can always enjoy a day at Schlitterbahn Water Park right in Galveston. But to take advantage of Galvestons natural landscape, we recommend enjoying the day at one of these outdoor Galveston sites.
Stewart Beach Park. Complete with a childrens playground, concession stands, and beach volleyball,Stewart Beach is Galvestons family-friendly beach. And it is close to all of Galvestons main attractions! Since safety is one of our highest priorities, we love that this beach has lifeguards on site, not to mention that Hospitality Health ER in Galveston is just 3 miles down the road at 4222 Seawall Blvd.
Top INDOOR Things to Do in Galveston with Kids
If you need a break from the outdoor heat, there are several indoor things to in Galveston with kids like museums and theaters. Take a look here.
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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.
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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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.
Get Ready For The Ride Of Your Life At Galveston Slingshot Rentals
If you happen to find yourself in Texas and youve got a couple of hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket, renting a slingshot for a couple of hours and going for a joyride is one of the best things to do in Galveston.
These three-wheeled monsters are the halfway point between a motorcycle and a car, and even though their top speed of 125 mph may seem low, youll still be in for the ride of a lifetime.
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