Things to Do in Galveston with Kids: A picturesque barrier island on the Gulf Coast, Galveston is known for its stunning sandy beaches. The coastal city was named after the Spanish count Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid and was once the capital of the Republic of Texas.
It is home to many historical buildings featuring Victorian architecture that offer a peak into its rich history.
From birding, swimming, and hiking to cafe hopping and visiting historic sites, there is an array of activities to enjoy here at Galveston that make it one of the most popular getaway destinations in Texas.
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Planning a trip to this vibrant city with kids?
Let’s help you create the perfect itinerary with our list of the best things to do in Galveston with kids: –
Soak up the Sun at the Seawall
Playing with the kids in the sand is a must-have experience on any beach vacation. Head to the Seawall for one such fun-filled outing.
It was built to protect the hurricane-prone city from natural disasters.
Extending over 10 miles, the Seawall features many restaurants and shops.
From swimming, playing, and sunbathing to picnicking, there are ample recreational activities to enjoy here.
Want something to remember your vacation by? Get a beach souvenir from Murdochs.
Enjoy Thrilling Rides at Pleasure Pier
Pleasure Pier is an iconic family destination where you can find everything from amusement rides, and games to shops and restaurants. It traces its beginnings to the Second World War.
Today, it draws hundreds of tourists for a fun-filled adventure. You can book tickets online if you wish to skip the line.
You can even choose a ticket according to your preferences. They range from all-day ride passes, and walk-on passes to single-ride tickets.
Got some more time on your hands?
Go for the Weekend Adventure Pass that enables unlimited access to Pleasure Pier, as well as the Houston Downtown Aquarium and Kemah Boardwalk.
Soak up some History at The Bryan Museum
Love learning with the kids?
Head to one of the world’s largest collections of artefacts relating to early Texas and the American West.
It was established by J. P. Bryan whose family was involved in the Texas Revolution.
Today, it spans more than 12,000 years of history and features around 70,000 items. From Native American tools to fine art, saddles, and spurs, there are many fascinating items on display here.
You can also enjoy self-guided scavenger hunts and virtual reality experiences.
Camp under the Sky at Galveston Island State Park
Love the idea of spending time in nature with family?
Head to Galveston Island State Park. Sprawled over 2,000 acres, this impressive state park is home to plenty of hiking trails, pristine beaches, dunes, estuaries, wetlands, and more.
From wildlife spotting, and hiking to kayaking and swimming, there is an array of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy here.
Wish to spend the night?
There are over 60 campsites. They also have a Junior Ranger Program to keep the little ones delighted. What’s more? Kids under the age of twelve get free entry.
Explore Moody Gardens
This impressive facility is home to three pyramids, freshwater lagoons, a splash pad, a 3D theatre, a beach, a ropes course, a water park, and more.
All these fascinating features make it difficult to explore it in a day. The most notable attractions here are the three pyramids.
The Aquarium Pyramid offers a peek into marine life, the Rainforest Pyramid throws light on the lush rainforests of Africa, Asia, and the Americas while the Discovery Pyramid is filled with science-oriented exhibits.
You can choose the attractions you’re going to visit and get a one-day or two-day pass accordingly.
Enjoy Carriage Rides at The Strand
Established in the late 1830s, this historic district Downtown comes with plenty of attractive offerings.
It is home to many Victorian-style buildings that now house art galleries, shops, museums, and restaurants. This vibrant place is perfect to learn more about the history of Galveston.
It also hosts exciting events such as the annual Mardi Gras and Christmas festivals that draw many people.
One of the must-have experiences here is going on a carriage ride which is loved by adults and kids alike.
Make a Splash at Schlitterbahn
Opened in 2006, this impressive waterpark is sprawled over 26 acres and features multiple open and covered water slides, a lazy river, a surf area, family-friendly water slides, and much more.
Visiting with teenagers who love some adventure?
The Park holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the Tallest Water Coaster. You can also find many kid-friendly rides here to keep the little ones engaged.
There are lavish cabanas to get the relaxation & privacy your family needs when tired.
The park hosts special events, making it a perfect place for a memorable family outing.
Hop on a Train at Galveston Railroad Museum
How about enjoying an old-fashioned train ride with the kids?
Head to Galveston Railroad Museum. Opened in 1983 at the site of the 1932 Santa Fe Depot and Railyard, this museum features 40 real-life rail cars, model trains, a restored 1932 train depot, and more.
Want to enjoy a ride?
Hop on the Harborside Express, an open-air caboose for an enjoyable ride.
The Art Deco decor and old rail cars will transport you to a different time in Galveston’s history.
Cast a Line from Galveston’s 61st Street Fishing Pier
Enjoy a fun fishing experience with family at this scenic Pier located along Seawall Boulevard. Well-equipped fishing rod rentals and bait are available here.
When hunger strikes, there are many restaurants and food stalls to get your favourite snacks.
Don’t feel like fishing?
Head up to the observation deck and soak in the stunning views.
Spend an afternoon at Galveston Children’s Museum
Loads of hands-on activities await at this fun spot.
Watch your kids let their creativity loose at the art studio, build fascinating structures at the building zone or explore the numerous intriguing exhibits, there is an array of activities to enjoy here.
The museum also regularly hosts many hobbyists, artists, educators, and other inspiring guests who share their tips and ideas with kids.
Watch Dolphins from the Galveston Island Ferry
A 40-minute ride on the Galveston Island Ferry is one of the most popular and fun things to do with kids in Galveston.
It will take you to Bolivar Peninsula and back. During the journey, you can see dolphins, boats, birds, and fish, which makes it a delightful experience, especially for the little ones.
It doesn’t cost anything and is one of the best free things to do in the coastal city.
Learn Something New at Ocean Star Offshore Drilling & Rig Museum
Curious about the oil and gas industry?
Head to Ocean Star Offshore Drilling and Rig Museum.
The Ocean Star was built in 1969 and the rig opened as a museum in 1997. Get a peek into what goes behind the process of oil & gas extraction.
There are many hands-on activities for an immersive learning experience.
With three stories of exhibits and displays, and numerous workshops and programs held regularly, there is not a dull moment here.
Live a Submariner’s Life at Galveston Naval Museum
Have always been fascinated by ocean adventures?
This historic attraction won’t disappoint.
Get inside a World War II submarine and learn about how soldiers and submariners worked during the war. You can also see where they slept and what they ate.
You can even spend a night here to better understand their experience at sea.
Treat yourself at Galveston’s Restaurants
The city is known for its excellent restaurants that serve a variety of different cuisines including the popular Tex-Mex.
Dig into a succulent burger at The Spot, relish some seafood at Willie G’s, or head to Tortuga’s for classic Tex-Mex delicacies. There are many family-friendly restaurants here.
Visiting during winter?
Check out the restaurants participating in Galveston Restaurant Weeks to enjoy a delectable meal at discounted prices and also support a cause.
So, start with the one that attracts you the most and get ready for a memorable family holiday.
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Q. Is Galveston a good place to visit with kids?
With its numerous family-friendly beaches, fascinating historical attractions, impressive museums, and amusement parks, Galveston is a great place to visit with kids.
Q. Is Galveston or Corpus Christi better for families?
Galveston offers more family-friendly activities and attractions to explore than Corpus Christi.
Q. What are 2 fun facts about Galveston?
The first bakery in Texas opened in Galveston in 1838 by Christopher Fox, an Irish Immigrant. Another intriguing fact is that Galveston was also the first city in the state to have gas lights, electric lights, and a telephone.