A trip to Galveston, Texas is a must on the list for anyone who is a fan of the beach. The island is home to 32 miles of pristine beaches, making it easy to find one that suits your family’s needs. If you’re looking for a little more action, check out the following list of things to do while in Galveston with your kids.
Tourist Attractions In Galveston With Kids
First up is the Galveston Tree Sculptures, or more correctly, the three pyramids across Offatts Bayou in downtown. This collection of carved trees is a great way to take in the sights of this historic city while getting some exercise at the same time.
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Second on the list is the Port Bolivar Ferry, which offers a 45-minute ride with views of some of Galveston’s most scenic areas. The ferry is free and a fun way to see the area’s most impressive landmarks while enjoying some delicious seafood along the way!
Third on the list is the La King’s Confectionery, which uses nineteenth-century recipes and authentic equipment to make their famous soda fountain ice cream. They also offer a variety of other sweets, like chocolate and caramel popcorn.
Lastly, the new Pirate Museum is a must for the whole family to see. This interactive exhibit showcases Galveston’s rich history as a major port for pirates and privateers, so be sure to give it a visit.
The best part is you can do it all for free with Galveston Children’s Museum admission! One of the best ways to experience Galveston is by taking a ferry across the water. It’s free and a great way to see the island from the water.
Galveston is a great place for a family vacation because it offers tons of fun things to do. From water activities to historical sites, there is something for everyone!
Galveston Port Bolivar Ferry #1
The Galveston Port Bolivar Ferry is one of the most popular ways to get across Galveston Bay. It’s free, easy to use, and offers views of tankers, ships anchored in the port, dolphins, hungry seagulls, and more.
The ferry is also an excellent place to learn about the area’s history and see the sites that are a big part of the city’s identity. For instance, visitors can learn about the town’s maritime past by taking a tour aboard the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa.
Another option is to visit the Galveston Naval Museum, located on Pelican Island off of the city’s harborside. This historical location is home to the USS Cavalla, a World War II submarine, and the USS Stewart, a destroyer escort.
Whether you’re looking to explore the town’s maritime history or enjoy a bit of adventure, you’ll find plenty of things to do with kids in Galveston. You can take a sunset cruise, ride on a high-speed jet boat, or go on a dolphin spotting trip. And if you’re interested in seeing some of the region’s wildlife, you can visit Moody Gardens.
|Address||123 TX-87, Port Bolivar, TX 77650, USA|
The Strand #2
The Strand is Galveston’s historic downtown and a National Historic Landmark District. The five-block area is filled with shops, restaurants and antique stores. It also plays host to two very popular seasonal festivals.
One of the most famous attractions in Galveston with kids is The Pleasure Pier, which is located on the Seawall and features a roller coaster with a breathtaking view of the Gulf. It also offers carnival games and gifts shops for families to explore.
Another fun place to visit with kids is the Children’s Museum, a kid-friendly museum that is geared toward helping them develop their curiosity and creativity through play. It’s housed in an 1895 Moody Mansion and has a variety of hands-on exhibits for kids to enjoy.
For more family-friendly outdoor activities, head to Galveston Island State Park, a 2,000-acre preserve that’s perfect for a day trip with the kids. The park has several hiking trails and is great for bird watching. You can even rent a bike or skateboard to take around the park.
|Address||502 20th St, Galveston, TX 77550, United States|
The Seawall #3
Galveston is one of the best Texas family vacation spots, thanks to its wide beaches and family-friendly activities. The historic city is only an hour from Houston, making it easy to visit for a weekend getaway or a spring break vacation.
The Seawall is a favorite place for both locals and visitors to walk along the beach, with shops, restaurants, fishing piers and more. It runs ten miles along the coastline and features stunning painted murals.
Known as the longest continuous sidewalk in the country, it was built to protect Galveston from hurricanes. It helped the island survive the 1900 storm, which leveled most of the city and killed over 6,000 people.
Located on the Strand, The Seawall has been a favorite destination for locals and tourists since it opened in 1902. Take a stroll or jog along this 10 mile walkway to get some fresh air and enjoy Galveston’s gorgeous views of the beach.
|Address||Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States|
Galveston Naval Museum #4
Galveston is a fantastic vacation destination for families, thanks to its wide beaches and tons of family-friendly attractions. From water parks with lazy rivers and surf simulators to Western-themed museums and penguin exhibits, there’s something for everyone in this Texas town.
For kids who are history buffs, the Galveston Naval Museum is a must-visit. It houses two WWII ships, the USS Cavalla, a decommissioned submarine, and the destroyer escort USS Stewart, which is the only Edsall-class destroyer escort still in the United States.
During your visit, climb aboard these real-life ships and learn about the history of the Navy. After your tour, head to the adjoining park and have a picnic. If your kiddos love sweets, make sure to check out La King’s Confectionery. The family-owned confectionery specializes in saltwater taffy and fudge.
The tree sculptures activity is another great thing to do with kids in Galveston. After a hurricane in 2008, artists were invited to create sculptures from the tree trunks that were left on the island. This is a fun way to see the beauty of nature in a different light.
|Address||100 Seawolf Park Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, United States|
|Located in||Seawolf Park|
Moody Gardens #5
Moody Gardens is a popular Galveston attraction that is full of fun things to do with kids. The park is a unique combination of an aquarium, zoo and science museum. Guests are greeted by three visually-stunning pyramids – the Rainforest Pyramid, the Aquarium Pyramid and the Discovery Pyramid.
The Rainforest Pyramid is home to a living rainforest, including hundreds of animals. The Aquarium Pyramid features a tunnel where sharks and other sea life swim above your head, while the Discovery Pyramid offers hands-on children’s activities.
If you’re looking for a little adventure, you can also conquer the Sky Trail Ropes Course and Zip Line. In the winter, Moody Gardens hosts the Festival of Lights – a mile long trail filled with lights and ice. It is one of our favorite attractions on the island and has become a Galveston tradition for many locals.
|Address||1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, United States|
|No. of animals||over 9,000|
|Owner||City of Galveston, run by Moody Foundation|
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum #6
The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum is a fascinating one-of-a-kind learning center located on an actual retired jack-up oil rig in Galveston. It offers three floors of displays and models that illustrate the history and technologies of offshore oil and gas drilling.
It’s a great stop for students of all ages, but especially children and teens who love engineering or technology. The exhibits and videos provide a comprehensive look into the offshore oil and gas industry in an engaging way.
Aside from being an educational experience, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum is also a fun way to spend time with your family in Galveston. Kids will love the fact that they get to explore a real oil rig!
Guests can take in 3 floors of interesting exhibits and videos that tell the story of offshore oil drilling from seismic technology to exploration and production. They will also see scale models of production platforms, real drill bits and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). A printed guidebook is available for purchase, but you may want to rent an audio guide unit for $5.
|Address||2002 Wharf Rd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States|
Galveston’s 61st Street Fishing Pier #7
Galveston’s 61st Street Fishing Pier is one of the top fishing spots in town, open 24 hours a day. Fully-equipped fishing rods are available to rent, as well as a variety of bait and snacks.
Located on the outskirts of Seawall Boulevard, 61st Street Pier is a family-friendly destination for fishing lovers to enjoy. It’s also a great place to hang out with friends or catch some fresh seafood for lunch.
For the train lovers, head across the street to the Galveston Island Railroad Museum and spend at least 30-45 minutes enjoying all of its fascinating displays. You’ll learn about the historic rail line that runs through the island, as well as about the 1900 Hurricane, regarded as one of the worst natural disasters in United States history.
After you’re finished checking out the sights on land, take a stroll along Galveston’s Seawall Boulevard for a leisurely ride down the nation’s longest sidewalk. Rental bikes are a fun way to get around the city’s stretches of waterside parks and beach, and Surrey bikes are perfect for families with little ones.
|Address||6101 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551, United States|
The Bryan Museum #8
The Bryan Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of historical artifacts and documents pertaining to Texas and the American West. Originally gathered by J.P. and Mary Jon Bryan, this amazing collection has pieces spanning more than 12,000 years of history.
The museum, housed in the historic Galveston Orphans Home, is the place to be if you’re looking for an engaging way to teach your kids about the epic story of Texas and the American West. The museum’s mission is to bring the rich and varied experiences of the past to life through interactive exhibits and a library.
The museum also offers special events and programs that allow families to enjoy their visit together. These family-friendly activities are perfect for birthdays, summer camps, or just a fun outing with friends.
|Address||1315 21st St, Galveston, TX 77550, United States|
FAQs about Galveston With Kids
Is Galveston a good place to visit with kids?
Galveston is a great place to visit with kids! With its beautiful beaches, amusement parks, museums, and aquariums, there’s something for everyone. Kids will love exploring the historic downtown area, taking a dolphin tour, and visiting the Schlitterbahn Waterpark. There are also plenty of family-friendly restaurants and accommodations to choose from.
What are 2 fun facts about Galveston?
1. Galveston is home to the tallest water slide in the world, the “Missive” at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, standing at a whopping 81 feet tall.
2. Galveston has a rich pirate history and is rumored to be the final resting place of infamous pirate Jean Lafitte’s treasure, which has never been found despite many attempts to locate it.