Things To Do in Texas With Kids

Updated December 6, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
Kid holding Texas flag
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Texas is enormous, and it’s filled with fun things for the entire family. Whether your bunch are nature lovers, city folk, or out to enjoy the pleasures of the country, you’ll have no problem finding activities for the whole family in the Lone Star State. Read on for the best things to do in Texas with kids!

Is Texas a Good Place for Kids?

With some of the safest cities, friendliest people, and most amazing attractions, Texas is great for kids and families. Let us tell you exactly why!

What Part of Texas is Best for Kids?

You can find family-friendly fun all over the state. For museums and educational attractions, try the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. If it’s astronauts, you’ve got to go to Houston. And the Texas Hill Country is the place for everything from amusement parks to camping.

And that’s just the beginning!

Now, on to the most fun places to take kids in Texas.

Northeast Texas

Mother and child feeding geese
Source: iStock

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is one of the fastest-growing (and family-friendly) places in the country. Whether you’re out for a day trip or a week-long getaway, some of the best places to take kids in Texas can be found right here.

Hands-On Art: Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas

If you think art museums are boring, grown-up bastions of don’t-touch items, you haven’t visited the Dallas Museum of Art.

The museum has a top-notch collection for art lovers, but there’s plenty for little ones and families, including interactive exhibits, themed guidebooks, and art experiences for toddlers. Best of all, a lot of the fun is both free and accessible.

Stretch Your Legs: Dallas Arboretum, Dallas

For outdoors-loving families, botanical gardens provide a place for adults to relax while kids run off their energy. The Dallas Arboretum has a full calendar of fun activities, or you could simply enjoy a walk in the gardens.

Walk With the Fishes: Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas

An aquarium is an aquarium...not! The Dallas World Aquarium takes you around the world to visit animals from a variety of places, including Borneo, Orinoco, South Africa, and more. You’ll find hands-on activities, walks, exhibits, and both land and sea animals.

Discover the Dinos: Dinosaur World, Glen Rose

Do you have dino-loving kids? If so, then you shouldn’t miss Dinosaur World. Dinosaur World has 100 life-size dinosaurs to explore, a giant skeleton play area, a prehistoric museum, and theme park exhibits, too! Dinosaur World is accessible, too.

Southeast Texas

 

NASA
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Families won’t want to miss southeast Texas, with several big cities of fun to choose from.

See Where it Happens: Space Center Houston, Houston

If you’re raising a little astronaut, you have to check out Space Center Houston, the interactive and widely accessible museum on the NASA campus. You can see real rockets and space suits, take classes at the science center, and even go on a tram tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where Houston, you won't have a problem!

Get Blinded With Science: Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston

If your family wants all the science, you can find it at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. There’s a planetarium, of course, but also a butterfly center, holographic dinosaurs, and a year-round calendar of events for all ages. The museum also offers a wide range of accessibility options.

Hands-On Family Fun: Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston

The Children’s Museum of Houston is a place for younger kids to make, do, play, and learn. If you’ve got family members under ten, this fully accessible kids' museum is something you should not miss. And don’t forget the gift shop!

Go Off the Grid: Galveston Island State Park, Galveston

Galveston Island is a great place for families, with a wealth of museums, beaches, and even a roller coaster park. But if your bunch is looking for a place to unplug, you could find it at Galveston Island State Park.

The state park has places for swimming, camping, and picnicking. There are hiking trails and places for mountain biking, too. Go canoeing or rent a kayak or paddleboard. The opportunities for outdoor fun are endless.

Texas Hill Country

 

Child riding
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The Texas Hill Country, in central and south Texas, marks the border between the southeastern United States and the American southwest. And yes, it’s a great place to take the kids!

Visit the Thrill Capital of the South: Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio

Are amusement parks your cup of tea? If so, then you’ve got to check out Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. You’ll find everything from roller coasters to water rides, music, shows, shopping, and more.

Six Flags has an accessibility program to make its park accessible to as many fun lovers as possible, so if your experience will require accommodations, be sure to pre-register with IBCCES before your visit.

More than Just a Walk: San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio

Sometimes the best time is downtime. The San Antonio River Walk is a winding, car-free pedestrian area that winds through some of San Antonio’s most beautiful areas, connecting shops, restaurants, historic sites, and tourist destinations.

With a year-round calendar of free events, there will always be something interesting to see and do. And the River Walk is accessible, too.

Walk in the Footsteps of History: Alamo Mission, San Antonio

The Alamo was the site of one of the pivotal battles of the Texas Revolution. Today, it’s one of the most visited historic sites in the country. Take a guided tour or explore on your own. Entry is free, but reservations are required.

Go Underground: Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels

New Braunfels is a small city just north of San Antonio. It’s also a great place to enjoy some unique natural beauty. Natural Bridge Caverns offers several different levels of adventure, from admiring cave rock formations to spelunking adventures for the daring at heart. There’s also a zip line course!

Be aware that the cavern attractions are not accessible. However, most of the surface attractions are.

Get Outside: Zilker Park, Austin

Zilker Park, in the heart of Austin, is a lot like New York’s Central Park. It’s vast, and there’s an incredible amount of family-friendly— and often free— activities going on at all times.

Walk through a sculpture garden, do some paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake, check out the dinosaurs in the Botanical Gardens, take a train ride, visit the Austin Nature and Science Center, and so much more.

Go Batty: Bat Observation Bridge, Austin

If your family vacation takes you to Austin between mid-March and the end of August, you’ll have the opportunity to see Austin’s famous bats. 30 minutes before sunset, people gather on the Statesman Bat Observation Bridge to watch North America’s largest bat colony emerge from beneath the bridge.

This event is amazing. It’s also free and accessible.

South Padre Island

South Padre Island, located at the very southern tip of the state, is a great place for all sorts of active family fun, including horseback riding, water sports, eco-tours, and 34 miles of beaches.

North Texas

 

Bison
Source: iStock

There’s plenty of fun to be had in the north of the state, too!

Outdoor Adventures: Palo Duro Canyon, Amarillo

Palo Duro Canyon is the country’s second-largest canyon system after the Grand Canyon. Hit the trails on foot or mountain bike, or enjoy the gorgeous scenery with a picnic. And if you’re up for an adventure, ride a zip line across the canyon at the Palo Duro Adventure Park!

Get Wild: El Paso Zoo, El Paso

Who doesn’t love the zoo? If you’re in El Paso, kids of all ages will enjoy the El Paso Zoo. Feed giraffes, train sea lions and desert carnivores, and play in the giant treehouse playground.

Are We There Yet?

Whether you’re looking for amusement parks, national parks, culture, or science, you’ll find it in Texas. And if NASA is on your itinerary, get ready with our space quiz!

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