Galveston Family Attractions: Best Places to Play Together

For decades, the Galveston area has welcomed vacationers to its beaches. Some may not know that the city also has fun activities that families love. To learn more, read about the top Galveston family attractions.

Spend Time Together at the Top Galveston Family Attractions

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Galveston Island State Park

Ranked among the top Galveston family attractions is the beach. While the area has seven beaches, Galveston Island State Park remains the most popular. The park features 2,000 acres suited for water recreation and nature walks. A few activities include kayaking, fishing, swimming and birdwatching.

Want to visit other beaches in Galveston? Seawalk Urban Park measures 10 miles and consists of the longest continuous sidewalk in the U.S. This provides visitors a place to bicycle, jog, walk pets and access spacious beaches. To the north, visit Stewart Beach and East Beach.

Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens serves as a place for visitors to learn and play. To find it, just look for the giant pyramids. Guests have access to discovery centers, museums, theaters, golf, ziplining and seasonal attractions.

In the aquarium pyramid, explore marine life. A 1.5-million-gallon aquarium houses penguins, sharks, fish and more species. The Rainforest Pyramid provides a home to exotic animals such as parrots and monkeys. At the Discovery Museum, visitors learn about the human body and how it works.

Moody Gardens also hosts daily movies, interactive games and events. Families who enjoy playing golf will love the seaside links course. Proper golf attire is required.

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Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

For more thrills, head to Pleasure Pier. Families love coming here for food, fun and rides over the Gulf of Mexico.

Rides include roller coasters, swings, drops, carousels, teacups and cars. Pleasure Pier also has a 5D theater ride that takes guests underwater for an adventure. After a few hours of rides, shop for souvenirs and try some local grub. Chain restaurants and local dining options are available.

Kemah Boardwalk

Kemah Boardwalk provides a top place for amusement and family fun. The boardwalk has rides, an aquarium, retail shops and restaurants. Options include a Ferris wheel, carousel, tower drop, swings and roller coasters, to name a few.

After some thrills, shop for fashion, special gifts and souvenirs. Kemah Boardwalk even has a Build-A-Bear Workshop, so kids can create a special friend. Then pick some waterfront restaurants to enjoy lunch or dinner with loved ones. Many serve local seafood as well.

Downtown Galveston

Downtown Galveston is separated into four areas. Also known as Galveston’s Historic District, The Strand mixes historic beauty with modern amenities. The area has shopping and dining, but The Strand also serves as home to some of the top events such as Mardi Gras Galveston.

Families also enjoy Pier 21, a waterfront dining and entertainment district. Visitors have access to Pier 21 Theater, the Off Shore Rig Museum and Texas Sport Museum. For arts and culture, head to Postoffice Street. This district is best known for art galleries and antiques. Those looking for nightlife will enjoy dinner and refreshments in West Market.

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Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston

Spending summer in Galveston? Don’t miss Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston. This water park not only ranks among the best Galveston family attractions but also provides a place to cool off during hot summer months.

The park has shaded areas and cabanas. Or take it to the next level and enjoy the slides, pools, lazy river and splash areas. Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston has slides and options for all ages, including kiddie pools and racing slides for adults. Each vary in thrill level, so visitors can create the best possible experience.

1892 Bishops Palace

This palace ranks among the top Galveston family attractions for history and sightseeing. 1892 Bishops Palace, a.k.a. Gresham House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the most significant Victorian residences in the U.S. Schedule a tour to see stained-glass windows, bronze dragons, sculptures, luxury furnishings and other intricate details.

Those interested in other sites can visit 1838 Michel B Menard House, Galveston’s oldest residence, and 1859 St. Jospeh’s Church, the oldest German Catholic Church in Texas. Other must-sees include 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, 1904 H, H and H Depot, and Rosewood Cemetery.

Galveston Museums

With its storied history, Galveston offers a city that families can explore. Area museums cater to different age groups and interests. Each one offers a glimpse into Texas history and how the area has developed over time.

Take guide tours of Moody Mansion, Galveston Railroad Museum, Galveston Naval Museum and Galveston Children’s Museum. To add some spice, Pirates! Legend of the Gulf Coast looks into the life of pirates. Check out top Galveston museums and what to expect.

Looking for affordable accommodations? Browse these vacation homes in Galveston.