The Lone Star State has a distinctive magnetism and appeal that makes it the ideal place for a family getaway. There are over 250,000 square miles of land for the young and young-at-heart to explore. Texas has something for children of all ages cutting across all budgets. The old wild west with gun-toting cowboys and cattle dropping is not the only attraction Texas has to offer.
If you are longing for a child-friendly weekend trip, look no further! One of these kid friendly weekend getaways in Texas is what most people dream of. The endless amount of entertaining activities will keep everyone in the family giggling and smiling. Check out one of our recommended places to visit in Texas if you want a family trip where memories created will last a lifetime!
DESTINATIONS FOR FAMILY VACATIONS IN TEXAS
Texas is home to many world-class cities like Dallas and Austin. You can stay in a resort, vacation on the beach, or the mountains in the iconic Texas hill country. You can also go for a cruise on the beautiful Galveston Island. If you are looking for some adventure, you can camp at any of Texas’s hundreds of natural state parks. You can also visit the amusement parks. If you are looking to gain some knowledge, the museums in this huge state are out of this world and also accommodate people with special needs.
The list of memorable kid-friendly places to visit is long. Every location is unique and deserves a visit. The question we ask is, where will you go first?
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
This beautiful park is found along a big bend of the Rio Grande river. Bordering Mexico, the large stretch of land covers over 100 miles. The Big Bend is home to more than 1,200 species of plants, 450 species of birds, 75 species of mammals, and 56 species of reptiles.
There are various outdoor activities in this wonder for families to enjoy. A slow drive through the park along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is one option that will please your senses. After that, you can pop in at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit and end your day with a soak in the hot springs.
The Window, a huge V-shaped notch in the mountainside, offers a glimpse of the sky and desert off in the distance. Nobody gets left behind at Big Bend, with wheelchair-accessible trails all leading to beautiful sunsets.
A luxury resort or a charming historic lodge can be a welcome treat at the end of the day. The Gage Hotel is a historic property with a rustic yet luxurious feel, superior dining, and a charm that just can’t be replicated anywhere else! This is the real deal.
Lajitas Golf Resort has a team of local experts to customize your activities. Enjoy a massage at the Agave Spa, relax by the crystal clear waters of the swimming pools, watch a movie at the Flat Rock Theater, or simply enjoy the quiet of Big Bend. River expeditions, zip-lining Quiet Canyon on the world-class zip lines will get your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing. Sunrise or sunset horseback trail rides, shooting sports, playing a round of golf, Lajitas Golf Resort has an activity for everyone.
Planning a National Parks road trip? The America the Beautiful Pass covers entrance for an entire year to all the US National Parks and over 2,000 federal recreation fee sites. Fees are covered for everyone in the car for per-vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites. This is a no-brainer, friends. While fees vary, you’ll likely break-even after two visits. Plus, REI will donate 10% of pass sale proceeds to the NPS Foundation.
Waco is guaranteed to keep you and the kids busy for days! Cameron Park is an oasis with towering trees, two rivers, breathtaking cliffs, and a National Recreation Trail system. It is the perfect location to enjoy a nice bike ride o a hike.
Cameron Park Zoo is small enough that older children can walk through the zoo without complaining, while the younger ones can ride in red wagon rentals available inside. Kids get to interact with animals and swim with otters in a transparent slide that takes them through an otter swim tank. The otters and the kids will all have a wonderful time!
Kids will never say no to a playscape, and the Cameron Park Playscape is pretty large. Officially known as Pecan Bottom Park, the adventurous hideaway is located next to the river and one of the multiple bridges that cross it. You’ll find picnic tables, covered pavilions, park grills, a disc golf course, and the Riverwalk promising more fun for everyone.
Magnolia Market is also an exciting place for the whole family. Kicking bouncy balls around, building stuff with oversized woodblocks, playing Jenga blocks, and frolicking with all the other kids in the green square are just a couple of ways to spend the afternoon here.
There is also the Mayborn Museum Complex which offers a variety of fun activities. Children can excite their brains with activities that involve exercise, sensory exploration, and experimentation. Kids get to drive outer space and moon simulators where they get to be the pilot of a space shuttle. They also get to play larger-than-life musical instruments, play science games, and sensory-based games with bubbles and sound.
The Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream shop is a must-visit, especially after a long hot walk along the Waco River. Here, your kids can select their custom ice cream or slushy flavors. Kids love this ice cream shop because they get to watch the employees turn their dessert from a liquid into ice cream right before their eyes. You will have a hard time getting them to leave.
BALMORHEA STATE PARK
The Balmorhea State Park sits on 46-acres of land and is located in San Solomon Springs. It is open to members of the public all year round. It is ideal for a family-friendly trip in Texas.
Fun Fact: The San Solomon Springs form the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, more than an acre large. Be sure to pack your swim and scuba wear as the pool is open all day, every day.
Children can do many exciting activities here, including swimming, scuba diving, studying nature, or bird watching. You can also explore the desert wetlands that are being rehabilitated and are now home to endangered fish and other wildlife.
The park has picnic sites, an outdoor games zone, and a play arena that allows kids to enjoy an afternoon of fun, games, and relaxation. There are also more than 30 campsites available to you and your family. Bring out the guitar, sit around the campfire and make merry with all around you.
Details: 9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786 | Website
There are hundreds of wonderful places to take your kids to San Antonio on any given day! We have to start with Legos. That’s right! Children’s dreams come true in this playground with millions of lego bricks. You literally get to assemble your day here. See your favorite characters in 4D Theater, and build epic lego creations under instructions from master builders! Fair warning, the kids will not want to leave.
SeaWorld San Antonio is best known for its nighttime animal shows and spectacular fireworks. The kids will get a chance to get up close to dolphins, penguins, and sea lions. The Texas Stingray offers an unforgettable ride on the state’s tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster.
Morgan’s Wonderland is the first theme park in the world designed to accommodate special-needs individuals of all ages and abilities. This family theme park provides fun for everyone. Admission is free for children who have special needs. Get to experience catch and release fishing on a lake, drive all-terrain vehicles, ride the whirling Ferris wheel that rises five stories high, meet and greet park mascots and characters…the list goes on and on. This is the true definition of inclusive play.
The San Antonio Zoo is also a winner for your family getaway in texas. The aviary is filled with Australian birds, rhinos, hippos, tortoises, and many more animals. Kids from ages 4 and 8 get to enjoy a kiddie park with a classic hand-carved carousel flying saucers and a Ferris wheel. More fun comes in the form of face painting, pony rides, and carnival games at the arcade.
With access to family-friendly parks and exciting museums, everyone is bound to have a memorable experience in Galveston. Stewart Beach, located nearby, has all the amenities you need for a day of family fun at the beach. Highly trained lifeguards watch as the kids play volleyball, build sandcastles, and other family challenges.
At Moody Gardens Hotel, the whole family will have a blast exploring the majestic pyramids. The hotel also includes a world-class aquarium where the kids will see sharks up close and be amazed by the spectacular Jellyfish Gallery. A rainforest filled with wildlife, 3D and 4D Theaters, a lazy river, swimming pool, premier golf course, rejuvenating spa, and plenty of dining options, are just some of the other amenities at the hotel. The more daring guests get to test their endurance on the Ropes Course or the Zip Line.
Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark offers the most exciting water rides and amusement parks in Texas. Every member of your family will be thrilled by the extensive collection of water slides, surfing waves, lazy rivers, and water coasters. Galveston is a choice destination for families, friends, and large groups to play together. Did you know that the water coaster at Galveston’s Schlitterbahn Waterpark called MASSIV is the tallest in the world? This thrilling ride is 82 feet high with twists, turns, drops, and splashes that span 926 feet – or about three football fields.
Houston offers endless attractions that will both entertain and educate the whole family, regardless of age. In the Texas Hill Country, activities run the gamut from fun in the sun to cultural experiences to excellent dining and shopping.
Space Center Houston offers an exhibition of exhilarating attractions for people and children of all ages. Visitors can view over 400 space artifacts, actually flown spacecraft, and the most extensive collection of moon rocks at this fascinating site. Don’t miss Space Center Houston’s most popular attraction, the NASA Tram Tour. Children often find themselves highly amazed at all the exciting facts they learn about space during this tour.
For some more fun, the whole family can explore wonders of the underwater world at Downtown Aquarium. The 500,000-gallon complex boasts a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, Shark Voyage, a white tiger exhibit, and a restaurant. The wall-to-wall aquarium view while you dine is simply jaw-dropping. Keep an eye out for scuba divers feeding fish in the restaurant-set tank.
Take a long walk on the wild side at the Houston Zoo. It is home to wildlife from all corners of the globe. Gorillas, giraffes, elephants, storks, tortoises, and many more species are waiting to teach you something you did not know about animals. You can also book exclusive Animal Encounter experiences and interact with amazing animals like sea lions, rhinos, sloths, elephants, and cheetahs!
Discount Tickets: Space Center Houston Admission Ticket
RESORT-READY WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN TEXAS
While it might seem like the horizon in the Lone Star State stretches forever, you don’t have to go quite that far to end up somewhere incredible. Resorts provide some of the most special getaways in Texas as they are designed to make planning a stay in Hill Country convenient.
If you are a fan of a staycation at a resort – especially when the resort has so much to offer kids & families, then you are in the right state. Here are the best resort-ready weekend getaways in Texas.
GAYLORD TEXAN RESORT & CONVENTION CENTER
The Gaylord Texas Resort and Convention Center is a paradise straight from a children’s book. The luxurious resort offers a thrilling lineup of family-friendly pastimes and entertainment services. Truly, there is something for the entire family to enjoy at all times.
Turn into cannonballs and make a huge splash at the ten-acre water park spotlighting a 6,000-square-foot family lagoon, tremendous multi-level water playhouse, 600-foot long lazy river, four zigzagging waterslides, and more. Nothing but wet fun!
The more adventurous fledglings can relish the thrill of the 25-foot zip-line or the gigantic water treehouse featuring a Texas-sized water bucket. How will you get them to leave?
Accommodation: 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, TX 76051 | Book Now
ISLA GRAND BEACH RESORT IN SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
The Isla Grand Beach Resort is a full-service resort located directly on the beach. One can enjoy one of the best beaches in the US, dine in the well-appointed restaurants, shop in Mexico, and simply relax 365 days of the year.
The Isla Grand Beach Resort offers golfing, sandcastle lessons, horseback riding, gravity park, beach park, pirate ship cruise, and many other activities with children in mind. You cannot go wrong with this one.
Accommodation: 500 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597 | Book Now
HORSESHOE BAY RESORT
This is a posh lodging on a 7,000-acre resort with golf, tennis & dining, plus a marina and a private airport, to name just a few.
The kids wander the grounds to discover dozens of exotic birds, then meet up with the colorful Macaws, kookaburras, and conspicuous cockatoos at an interactive children’s show. They also encounter exotic reptiles at the Tortoise Connection.
Why not rent a bike and explore the massive grounds? Aspiring golfers also get to spend time improving their golfing skills at the beautiful greens. You can also go boating on the lake, take a tennis lesson or just relax by the pool. In the evening, gather around the fire to roast marshmallows and share some sweet old-fashioned family fun that will not be soon forgotten.
Accommodation: 200 Hi Cir N, Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657 | Book Now
JW MARRIOTT SAN ANTONIO HILL COUNTRY RESORT AND SPA
Few places in the world can be described as magical, but this is one of them.No matter your tastes and preferences, you are sure to be enchanted by The JW, a popular wedding spot.
The resort features a nine-acre waterpark that will have all the family members screaming in glee. Enjoy tubing along the winding lazy river all while getting yourself a tan.
With seven different dining spots and the Lantana spa, you can enjoy the perfect, relaxing evening if you want to be pampered.
Details: 23808 Resort Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78261 | Book Now
HYATT REGENCY LOST PINES RESORT AND SPA
Their 13-acre Driving Range boasts seven tee boxes, three fairways, and ten target greens.
Guests can also enjoy shopping on-site. Other activities at this Cedar Creek Hyatt resort include but are not limited to golfing, horseback riding, and hiking. The resort also offers free use of bicycles which come in all sizes and colors. You will not be disappointed.
Furthermore, they have an incredible pool, a lazy river, and fun nighttime events for all ages. An engaging storytelling session in the evening after enjoying the horse-drawn wagon rides that are very popular with kids is a perfect way to wind down.
Indeed, there is no shortage of family activities in a state where everything is bigger! Be it a short weekend getaway or a more extended staycation; you are guaranteed to have the time of your life by visiting one of our recommended spots above.
Accommodation: 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road, Cedar Creek, TX, 78612 | Book Now
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO TEXAS
- SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: 21 CAPTIVATING THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH PADRE ISLAND (+ OUR TIPS)
- WACO: 27 THINGS TO DO IN DALLAS WITH KIDS (& THE GREATER DALLAS AREA)
- CORPUS CHRISTI: 15 Amazing Things To Do In Corpus Christi
- SAN ANTONIO: 18 AMAZINGLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN LUBBOCK, TEXAS
- TEXAS RESORTS: 17 AMAZING RESORTS IN TEXAS PERFECT FOR PAMPERING
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