The largest state in the lower 48 of the U.S., Texas is full of activities and entertainment for families. But sometimes, it is difficult to find things to do that are age-appropriate for young children. Texas has a variety of things to do from amusement parks and museums to dude ranches and aquariums. It really depends on what part of the state will be visited and how much time you have.
Three Six Flags parks are in Texas: Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, both in Arlington and Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. Each has a variety of rides and entertainment for children of all ages, including special sections for toddlers. The children’s rides at Six Flags over Texas all have a Loony Tunes theme. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has Hook’s Lagoon Treehouse, an area designed for smaller children as well as Hook’s Ship and Hook’s Slides. Admission varies among the three parks.
Moody Gardens is an education and recreational center that provides educational activities and exhibits for the whole family. These exhibits include the Aquarium Pyramid, complete with sea turtles, fish and sharks; the Discovery Museum, which has interactive learning for children; and the Rainforest Pyramid, a 10-story glass pyramid with plants and wildlife. The Rainforest Pyramid, however, is closed for renovations until May 2011. Admission is $39.95 for a one day pass or $47.95 for a two-day pass. There is an additional change for some attractions.
Moody Gardens One Hope Blvd. Galveston, Texas 77554 800-582-4673 moodygardens.com
The largest indoor entertainment facility in Texas, Fun Plex includes a movie theater, bowling alley, video arcade, rides for children, go-karts and a skating rink (See References 2). In addition, there is a play port or soft-play area for toddlers. Among the rides in this indoor facility are a ferris wheel, train and bumper cars as well as many others. An all-day package, which includes unlimited rides and one each of bowling, skating and go-kart ride is $15.99. All of the attractions are also priced individually.
Fun Plex 13700 Beechnut St. Houston, Texas 77083 281-530-0062 funplex.org
Texas State Aquarium
Opened in 1990, the Texas State Aquarium includes a variety of exhibits. Among these are the Dolphin Bay; Otter Creek; Stingray Flats, which allow visitors to touch and learn about stingrays; Swamp Tales, which features Bo, a 10-foot American alligator and Living Shores, which has touch pools as well as other interactive activities. The aquarium also features several education programs and camps for children. Admission is $15.95 for adults, and $10.95 for children three to 12-years-old. Children under two are free.
Texas State Aquarium 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. Corpus Christi, Texas 78402 800-477-GULF texasstateaquarium.org
Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston was founded in 1980 with the goal of improving the community through learning. Designed for children up to 12-years-old, there are hands-on, interactive activities such as Invention Convention, a place where children construct robots and other inventions; building zone that allows visitors to learn about engineering through building and construction; Tot Spot, an area for children birth to three-years and Flow Works, where children learn about water and concepts such as Hydro Power. Admission is $8 for adults and children, which includes all activities and exhibits at the museum.
Children’s Museum of Houston 1500 Binz Houston, Texas 77004 713-522-1138 cmhouston.org