Are you looking for some fun things to do in Texas with kids? Want to come up with the perfect Texas road trip? There are so many fun family attractions in Texas to visit.
I grew up in Oklahoma, so Texas road trips were a staple for us. I have been to Texas more times than I can count. We love Texas! I'm excited to share all the amazing places to take kids in Texas including the best family attractions in Texas.
In this post, we are going to list some of the best things to do in Texas with kids. These will be near and in the major Texas cities and each will be perfect stops on your Texas road trip. These will be some of the best places to visit in Texas with kids.
Let's explore some fun things to do in Texas with kids!
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1. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the Southeastern shore of White Rock Lake. This award-winning park is truly one of a kind in Dallas. Whether you come here to see the expansive gardens or simply to watch the sailboats, all ages will find something to enjoy here.
Meyers Children's Adventure Garden
Explore 8 acres on Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden which focuses on teaching earth science to children. Here you will find 17 galleries with over 150 interactive activities that even parents will love!
Best Time to Visit
The best time of year to visit the garden is during the Dallas Blooms Festival from February through April. This is the prime season for seeing thousands of flowers.
But, families may prefer to visit in the fall during the Autumn at the Arboretum exhibition which runs from September to November. The kids will certainly love the Pumpkin Village, which has been nationally acclaimed as one of America's Best Pumpkin Festivals.
Plan to spend 2 hours at a minimum to see the key exhibitions. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden are open 7 days a week, 9 am-5 pm. The garden is closed on major holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Best Places to Stay in Dallas Texas
Since the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is spread out, you will want to stay near your key points of interest to avoid commute times.
After a lovely day in the gardens, stay at the Gaylord in Dallas or Ashton Hotel in Fort Worth. Here you can easily get to popular Texas family attractions including the Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth Zoo, Sundance Square, and the NRH2O Family Water Park.
Contributed By: Erinstraveltips.com
2. Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
The Fort Worth Stockyards District is the most historic area in the North Texas city. A great place to visit in Texas with kids, the stockyards district gives you a true cowboy experience and a look back in time to the days when Fort Worth was a stop along the old Chisholm Trail.
Family Fun in Texas
The only place in the world where you can watch a real cattle drive through the cobblestone streets, this free event occurs twice a day. For children, there are a lot of things to do in the Fort Worth Stockyards that will keep little ones entertained for hours. The historic district has a petting zoo, a cattle pen maze and old-fashioned stagecoaches you can ride through the streets.
Children and adults alike will enjoy the vintage train that starts and ends at Stockyards Station. You can board the 45-minute train ride every weekend where you’ll experience the Great Train Heist and help railroad detectives catch the bandits who robbed the train.
While you could spend a few hours exploring the Stockyards, enhance your experience with a stay at the Stockyards Hotel, a western-themed hotel in the heart of the national historic district.
Contributed By: Parenthood and Passports
3. Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo Texas
Whether you’re a local or passing through on a Texas road trip, one of the best things to do in Texas with kids is visit Cadillac Ranch. Just outside Amarillo and right off Route 66, it’s a convenient stopover or an easy day trip.
Family Attractions in Texas – Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch is ideal for families: it’s interactive, super affordable, and one of those rare occasions where children are actually encouraged to get dirty!
It doesn’t cost anything to visit Cadillac Ranch, but you’ll likely want to graffiti the cars, so you’ll need spray paint. Bring your own paint or buy it from the mobile store onsite, or head to the field and use some of the partially-used cans others left behind.
Note that Cadillac Ranch is open 24/7, 365 days a year, but the mobile store isn’t always open.
Once you get to the cars, it’s a free-for-all — dive in (or jump on!) and start painting! Some people simply put initials, while others paint elaborate murals. You will probably get very, very dirty.
In fact, if you don’t, you may not be doing Cadillac Ranch properly! In addition to the paint, the cars are rinsed off frequently and people constantly wash their hands (and feet, and clothes…), so the field is incredibly muddy. It’s all part of the fun!
If you’re looking to stay nearby, the colorful Big Texan Motel in Amarillo is a great choice. It’s adjacent to the iconic Big Texan Steakhouse, also off Route 66, and designed to replicate an Old West town.
There’s a lively gift shop on site, and even a “Horse Hotel” for those traveling with horse trailers!
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4. Visit Buc-ee's - The Largest Gas Station in the World
One of the best Texas family attractions is Buc-ee's. It is the largest gas station in the world!!! You will find many Buc-ee's locations throughout your Texas road trip.
Buc-ee's is one of the best things to do in Texas with kids. Mainly because it's free to visit and there are so many fun things to explore in this massive gas station.
Buc-ee's makes some of the best original products. It is fun to taste all the different snacks they offer. Letting your kids pick out different snacks is an experience they will not forget.
We also love the Buc-ee's shirts and gear! They are awesome Texas souvenirs!
If you want to visit Texas's largest gas station you will want to head to the New Braunfels location. However, if you are on a Texas road trip and want to go to one that is closest, here are your options.
Buc-ee's Locations in Texas
- Alvin, TX
- Angleton, TX (3 locations)
- Bastrop, TX
- Baytown, TX
- Brazoria, TX
- Cypress, TX
- Denton, TX
- Eagle Lake, TX
- Ennis, TX
- Fort Worth, TX
- Free Port, TX (2 locations)
- Giddings, TX
- Katy, TX
- Lake Jackson, TX (3 locations)
- League City, TX
- Luling, TX
- Madisonville, TX
- Melissa, TX
- New Braunfels, TX
- Pearland, TX (2 locations)
- Port Lavaca, TX
- Richmond, TX
- Royse City, TX
- Temple, TX
- Terrell, TX
- Texas City, TX
- Waller, TX
- Wharton, TX
5. Magnolia Market at the Silos - Waco Texas
I have a family of foodies! We love stopping at all of the best and highly recommended places to eat in the areas we travel. If you are traveling down I-35 and need a fun stop with great food, Waco, Texas is your place.
Joanna Gaines from the hit show Fixer Upper has created an amazing tourist spot. The Magnolia Market at the Silos has a bakery, restaurant, and a perfect lawn area to let the kids run around and get some energy out.
Silos Baking Company
My kids loved the bakery. You really cannot go wrong with cupcakes. We usually like to try out a few flavors and share. Their cookies are amazing as well!
Waco has some great national chains like Marriott but also has VRBOs of houses that were featured on the Fixer Upper show. It would be fun to say you have stayed in one of Joanna Gaines's masterpieces!
6. Austin Texas With Kids - Bat Bridge
A great place to visit in Texas is Austin. The capital city has a lot of fun things to do in Texas with kids.
Things to Do in Texas with Kids
The Texas State History Museum has many interactive exhibits. Zilker Park and the Austin Nature and Science Center are the perfect family fun in Texas stops.
One of the best family attractions in Texas is located in Austin. Bat Bridge!! Congress Avenue Bridge is located in downtown Austin. Every night at sunset millions of bats fly around filling the sky with a magnificent sight.
7. Best Lakes in Texas With Kids
Texas has the best lakes! Going to the lake is one of the best things to do with kids in Texas! I love going to the lake in Texas! Renting a boat or jet skis is the perfect way to spend a day in Texas!
Best Lakes In Texas
- Lake Texoma
- Lake Travis
- Lady Bird Lake
- Canyon Lake
- Caddo Lake
- Sam Rayburn Reservoir
- Lake O' the Pines
8. San Antonio Riverwalk
San Antonio is an exciting city in the southwest of Texas that offers year-round sun and activities everyone in the family will enjoy. San Antonio is known for its rich culture and history, and, with its fairly central location, it’s easy to get to San Antonio from Austin or other Texas cities.
After a day of exploring the city, there’s nothing better than to walk along the San Antonio Riverwalk in the evening (once that hot Texas sun has started to set a little). The walk itself surrounds part of the San Antonio River, with sidewalks on either side, and plenty of unique shops, and delicious restaurants.
River cruises are the perfect way to see the entire area, and the tours are excellent for all ages. Most tours give a little history of San Antonio and various buildings, and they’ll likely point out a few of their favorite restaurants along the way.
But of course, while the boat tour can give more in-depth information about the Riverwalk, there’s nothing compared to walking around and enjoying the electric atmosphere!
And after a fun day in the sun, you can easily get back to hotels like Wyndham Garden Riverwalk Hotel, which, as the name suggests, is right on the Riverwalk itself. If the flow of the water was tempting on a hot day, take a dip in the Wyndham’s private pool!
9. Texas Family Attractions - Alamo
The Alamo is a great place to visit in Texas with kids. It’s a church and acts as a memorial site for those lost in the war during the Mexican-American War. A shrine is erected to remember the lost lives in the Battle of the Alamo.
The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a prominent symbol of the Texas Revolution, where the Battle of the Alamo was fought in 1836. It is a Spanish Mission established by the Hispanic community of the region in the 18th century. It was previously known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. Following its restoration in the twentieth century, this historical site started operating as a tourist spot.
The Long Barrack Museum, Cavalry Courtyard, Living History Encampment, and the Special Exhibit Hall are places of importance other than the church. Entry here is free for all, but the tours are paid services. It's one of the best places To take pictures In San Antonio.
Family Attraction in Texas – Alamo Tour
10. Fun Things to do in Texas - Tubing in New Braunfels Texas
Food in New Braunfels
11. Jacob's Well - Wimberly Texas
A unique thing to do in Texas with kids is to spend some time at Jacob’s Well swimming hole in Wimberley. This iconic swimming spot is perfect for families because the surrounding location provides something for everyone.
Situated in a beautiful hill country nature preserve called Jacob’s Well Natural Area, the location includes hiking trails, bird watching areas, and shady picnic spots. Nearby is the Ranch at Wimberley, a great hotel for those staying in the area.
Jacob’s Well swimming hole is the second largest fully submerged cave in Texas. It is open year round for visitors, but swimming in the well is only allowed during the summer months via online reservations. The well closes for aquatic restoration from October through April, but can still be visited while hiking through the nature preserve.
While the well goes down deep, it is really only meant for sitting around the surface or safely floating over the top. Water shoes are recommended for all, and floaties are encouraged for young kids. The waters are naturally cool, making Jacob’s Well the perfect place to be on a hot summer day.
*Jacobs Well is closed due to bacteria but may open in the Spring.
Contributed By: Girlwithbluesails.com
12. Best Amusement Parks in Texas
Texas has some great amusement parks! I will include some of the biggest and best!
Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Fiesta Texas are perfect family attractions in Texas if your family loves coasters! There are some great choices and fun things to do at each park.
Six Flags over Texas is located in Arlington, TX and Six Flags Fiesta Texas is located in San Antonio. Both have water parks. Hurricane Harbor is located at Six Flags Over Texas and White Water Bay is at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Six Flags also owns a Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Houston.
SeaWorld is located in San Antonio. This theme park has coasters, a water park, and Sea life shows. It is a great family attraction in Texas. It really has something for all ages!
Schlitterbahn is one of the best things to do in Texas with kids! This water park is so huge you can not do it in one day! It is located near New Braunfels, TX. The original part of the park is spring fed from the natural springs in the area. The newer part of the park is not.
Some of the best water rides in the country are at Schlitterbahn. Schlitterbahn needs to be on your “places to visit in Texas with kids” list!
13. Houston Space Center
If you have ever dreamt of being an astronaut or exploring space, then a visit to the NASA Johnson Space Center is a must to your Houston, Texas itinerary. Seeing firsthand the training facilities and equipment that astronauts use will surely ignite you and your family's inspiration to one day go to space. It is one of the best family attractions in Texas.
Fun Attractions in Texas
Visiting the Space Center is like taking a step into another world. The Houston Space Center is a great place for visitors of all ages to learn about space and the many discoveries that have been made, on earth and beyond.
Learn from exciting display exhibits, interact with the many live demonstrations, and even tour an entire rocket. Make sure to touch a real piece of the moon, try astronaut ice-cream, and meet some of the people who work behind the scenes that make space travel possible. Whether you are a space enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out, the Houston NASA Johnson Space Center is a fantastic attraction in Texas.
Plan to arrive in the morning, as there's so much to see and do throughout the day. For a short commute, consider staying at Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake, just a short drive from the Space Center.
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14. Cruise Out of Texas with Kids - Galveston Texas
One great option for things to do with kids in Texas is going on a cruise. Some of the best cruise lines sail out of Galveston Texas.
Texas really has it all! Cruises are one of the best family vacations! It makes the planning process super simple. All your food and activities are included and you get to visit some cool stops along the way.
Cruise from Texas to Mexico
The Galveston port typically offers affordable rates. Most cruises out of Galveston typically sail to Mexico. It is fun to explore Texas and then end with a bang and go on a cruise!
Fun Things to Do in Texas with Kids
There are so many fun things to do in Texas with kids! The family attractions in Texas are awesome! We have been to many and hope to visit many more.
Hopefully, this gives you a good starting point, so you can plan a Texas road trip or just some fun kid attractions in Texas.
We love exploring all the many places to visit in Texas with kids!
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