Sand, seaweed and solar will be the first photos that come to thoughts once you consider a day in Galveston, however the small island is full of household enjoyable that goes manner past a go to to the seashore. From excursions and water parks to aquariums and museums (and nice eating places in between), we have rounded up kid-friendly actions within the metropolis and compiled an inventory of 20 family-friendly issues to do the following time you journey off the mainland.
For extra concepts on summer time actions, take a look at our Summer time Enjoyable Information for Households in Houston.
For a laid-back seashore expertise, head straight to The Seawall, which affords over 10 miles of seashore and water for sunbathing, taking part in and swimming. Parking is out there alongside The Seawall; guests pay per hour, day or season. Picnic meals will be loved on the seashore, or you’ll be able to reap the benefits of all kinds of beachfront eating places which are a brief stroll from the sand. Whereas exploring The Seawall make sure you make a pit cease at Murdochs the place you’ll be able to top off on seashore souvenirs and luxuriate in expansive views of the ocean by means of stationary viewfinders whereas sipping on a pleasant chilly drink.
Picture courtesy of Galveston CVB
Attraction rides, halfway video games, eating places, and outlets for teenagers of all ages abound at Pleasure Pier, all with a view of the water. Need to play at Pleasure Pier but additionally reap the benefits of different island points of interest? With wristbands you’ll be able to return inside all day lengthy. Tickets will be bought on-line upfront or on the entrance. Prospects can select from the All Day Experience Cross, walk-on passes, single-ride tickets, or the Weekend Journey Cross which supplies limitless entry to Pleasure Pier, the close by Kemah Boardwalk, and the Houston Downtown Aquarium.
Tenting lovers and nature lovers, look no additional than Galveston Island State Park for all issues lively and open air. Leisure actions embody fishing, chook watching, mountaineering, kayaking, swimming, and tenting. Admission is $5 per individual and kids 12 and beneath are admitted free. You may spend the day hanging out within the park having fun with the seashore or staying in a single day at one of many 60+ campsites out there. Youngsters may even turn into Junior Rangers by visiting the Nature Heart, selecting up the Junior Ranger Exercise Journal and Explorer Pack, and finishing duties to earn a badge. The newly renovated seashore aspect of the park simply reopened and options nice new facilities corresponding to two boardwalks, a kayak launch, pavilions, upgraded restrooms, and extra.
Associated: Finest Household Pleasant Seashores in Galveston
Picture Courtesy of Moody Gardens
4. Expertise the Pyramids at Moody Gardens
With three totally different pyramids of points of interest, there’s something for everybody at Moody Gardens. Every pyramid affords a distinct expertise: the newly renovated aquarium pyramid offers guests a glimpse into ocean life; the rainforest pyramid affords a glimpse into rainforests in Asia, Africa, and the Americas; and the Discovery Pyramid homes a rotating museum exhibit. There are additionally theaters, a golf course, the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, a water park, eating places, ziplines, a ropes course and extra! Guests can select to buy tickets for particular person points of interest or buy passes for one or two days.
To get a way of the island and its historical past, take one of many many metropolis excursions. Every tour affords one thing distinctive and provides guests a glimpse of Galveston that encompasses extra than simply the sand and waves. Excursions embody the Style of the Strand, 1895 Moody Mansion, SegCity Excursions, a number of boat journeys, strolling and horseback using, and ghost excursions of native haunted spots for the courageous at coronary heart. One in every of our private favorites is a dolphin tour, the place households can take a experience round Galveston Bay and watch the dolphins leap on an entertaining boat experience.
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Galveston Mardi Gras is an annual spotlight. Picture by Kim Christensen
When planning a visit to Galveston, make sure you examine the calendar for festivals or particular occasions happening on the island. Notorious, Mardi Gras! Held each February, Galveston is the pageant that places an finish to all festivals in Galveston and options loads of family-friendly parades and festivities. Additionally standard for households are the Galveston Greek Pageant held every fall, Dickens on the Strand at Christmastime and the Galveston Island Seashore Revue to usher in summer time.
Whether or not within the bay, alongside the surf or by a pier, there are many locations to forged a line and spend the day fishing with the youngsters in Galveston. In search of one thing extra intense? Think about making a day of it by reserving an off-shore fishing journey, the place it isn’t unusual to catch large tuna and marlins. The youngsters is probably not sturdy sufficient to reel within the large fish on their very own, however the expertise is one to final a lifetime.
In case you’re in search of a sand-free water expertise, look no additional than Schlitterbahn Galveston. The water park has quite a lot of rides for all ages, youngsters’s areas and seashores, a lazy river water slide, heated swimming pools and extra, together with MASSIV, the world’s tallest water curler coaster. It’s also possible to lease cabanas for the day so you may have a spot to return again to and chill out and recharge. There are over 16 totally different foods and drinks distributors within the park, however clients are additionally welcome to carry picnic meals. Tickets are offered as one- or two-day passes and season passes.
Picture Courtesy of Galveston Artwalk
Do you know that Galveston has a thriving arts scene? In case you’re an art-loving household, head to one in all Galveston’s many artwork galleries to view works by native artists and imported items. Most studios are kid-friendly, however at Clay Cup Studios, children could make their very own pottery and work. At numerous occasions all year long, companies at The Strand show native paintings on Saturday nights as a part of Galveston’s ArtWalk.
There are such a lot of family-friendly eateries to select from in Galveston, many with a view of the water. Attempt favorites like The Spot for an ideal burger, Tortugas for scrumptious Tex-Mex or Willie G’s for seafood and to look at the cruise ships depart. In case you are in Galveston throughout the winter months, make sure you go to the eating places that take part in Galveston Restaurant Weeks to get pleasure from an ideal meal at a reduction for trigger.
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Making taffy is fascinating to look at. Picture courtesy of La Kings Confectionery
Downtown Galveston, often known as The Strand, offers guests the prospect to kick off the sand and stroll round as they meander by means of procuring streets. You will discover quite a lot of novelty outlets stuffed with trinkets and memorabilia, eating places and bars to seize a snack or drink, and each child’s favourite cease: La King’s Confectionery, with an infinite number of sweets, vintage arcade video games, a soda fountain from the Twenties, ice, and even saltwater pulling demonstrations. No go to to Galveston is full with no cease at La King’s!
A lot of our favourite locations to go to within the metropolis additionally occur to be nice locations to take cute Instagram-worthy pictures of youngsters. A number of murals are positioned in The Strand neighborhood, alongside the seawall, and in different areas across the island.
Plan a cease on the Railway Museum. Picture courtesy of Galveston CVB
In Galveston there isn’t a scarcity of museums to go to whether or not you’re a child or a child at coronary heart. In case you are visiting with little ones, do not miss the Galveston Youngsters’s Museum. Listed below are interactive, hands-on displays aimed toward younger individuals aged 2-10. From a craft workshop and development zone to an artwork studio and extra, your little one is certain to have a blast studying and exploring whereas additionally beating the Galveston warmth.
In search of one thing totally different, enjoyable and free to do? Take the youngsters for a experience on the Galveston Island Ferry. Passengers are allowed to stroll by means of (and drive) and the youngsters can have a blast in search of fish, dolphins, boats and birds as you journey to and from the Bolivar Peninsula. Return, the entire tour takes lower than 40 minutes.
Three Galveston splash pads caught our eye as wonderful locations to chill off after a day within the solar – and as an added bonus, they’re all free! Menard Park is the right place to play once you simply obtained off the seashore and wish to scrub off sandy children. For bucket dumping and enjoyable sprays, children like to splash round on the Wright Cuney Recreation Heart, which has a playground and coated picnic tables, together with the sprayground. Schreiber Park’s splash pad exhibits an airplane amid jets of water taking pictures up from the bottom.
Picture courtesy of the Seaport Museum
Give the youngsters a historical past lesson once you go to Galveston’s historic seaport, the place you may discover the Tall Ship ELISSA, a square-rigged iron barque courting again to 1877. This ship museum affords friends a glimpse into the island’s storied immigration historical past. Climb aboard to comply with within the footsteps of early immigrants as you get an up-close take a look at what it was prefer to sail the seas and arrive on the bustling port metropolis within the 1800s.
As soon as often known as the Wall Road of the South, Galveston is residence to historic mansions which are open for excursions. Within the 1892 Episcopal Palace, households are welcome to walk by means of the Victorian residence on a self-guided tour for a glimpse into the previous. Courting again to 1895, the 28,000-square-foot Moody Mansion entices historical past buffs to go to 20 rooms furnished and embellished with the non-public results of the Moody household.
Positioned on Pelican Island, Galveston’s Seawolf Park affords an array of attention-grabbing vacationer points of interest, such because the USS Cavalla, a World Warfare II submarine within the Galveston Naval Museum, a playground, and picnic areas. The most important draw, nonetheless, is the park’s public fishing pier, the place you’ll be able to fish for flounder or drum with the youngsters whereas having fun with views of the WWI tanker SS Selma.
All aboard for a journey by means of time once you go to the Galveston Railroad Museum, residence to about 40 actual rail vehicles, a totally restored 1932 practice depot, mannequin trains and extra for teenagers and adults alike. The Artwork Deco decor and Thirties type units the tone and supplies an unforgettable Galveston expertise that the entire household will get pleasure from. For a thrill, hop aboard a locomotive for a experience earlier than setting off.
Picture Courtesy of The Bryan Museum
20. Get a glimpse of early Texas and the American West at The Bryan Museum
Give the youngsters an enchanting Texas historical past lesson at The Bryan Museum, which is residence to roughly 70,000 gadgets spanning greater than 12,000 years – one of many world’s largest collections of artifacts exhibiting early Texas and the American West. Saddles, spurs, advantageous artwork, Native American instruments, and extra lead guests on a chronological journey by means of Texas and Western historical past, beginning with Native American artifacts belonging to the nation’s aborigines and ending within the twenty first century.
This submit was initially printed in 2017.
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