Galveston Kid Friendly Attractions

We know Galveston has great beaches! But there is so much more to this island than just our beaches! We have so many kid friendly attractions right at our fingertips. That's why I think raising a family on Galveston Island is so great. You get all the big city/tourist attractions, but with a small town feel. And once tourist season is over - there is virtually no traffic! It's a win-win in my book. Below are Galveston Island's kid friendly attractions in alphabetical order - click on the attraction to be taken to the website! Check back often, as there are always new attractions coming to the island!!!

Galveston Island Kid Friendly Attractions

Artist Boat is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and preservation of coastal margins and the marine environment through the disciplines of the sciences and the arts. Artist Boat does this through kayak tours and beach tours. They have great kayak tours all over, and children as young as 5 can do the shorter kayak adventures! They also have been offering Bucket Brigade Beach Tours, free interpretive tours of Galveston beaches.

I've done the dolphin tours and it is so fun! The boat has a covered and heated interior, and has no propellers, so no marine life is ever harmed. You'll enjoy a closeup of dolphins in their natural habitat. Kids will love seeing the dolphins up close!

These look so fun!! My girls are younger, so we haven't done it, but I think it would be great for some older kids. It doesn't list any minimum age on the website, so call first and make sure! Discover Galveston Bay on board the Gator Getter, a one-of-a-kind 450 horsepower airboat. On this trip of a lifetime, you'll be face to face with marine life such as stingrays, fish, sharks and alligator gars; and you'll see lots of gorgeous birds! Tours by reservation only!

Clay Cup Studios
GIK loves Clay Cup Studios! This is a paint your own pottery place, but it so much more than that! They offer kids canvas, kids workshops, family date nights, tween night, parents night out and art camp in the summer! There really is something for everyone at Clay Cup. It's the perfect place to go on a rainy day in Galveston or to get out of the heat during the summer. It's downtown, so you can stop by to paint and rest your feet after walking all over the strand. The kids will love it!!! :-)

This one is for the older kids! If you've even been parasailing, you know how cool it is! Make a memorable family adventure as you fly over Galveston and check out our beautiful island! 

The Galveston Children's Museum
What a fun place! The Galveston Children's Museum opened in the summer of 2014. And it immediately became a favorite of Galveston Island kids and parents! Located in the bottom of Moody Mansion, it's just the right size for the island. It boasts an art room, a baby/toddler room, and a theater room. Some of the indoor exhibits are a fishing boat, pizza making station/restaurant, doctor's office, and a building station. In between the exhibits are little tables and areas with all kinds of hands on learning, including legos and sensory tables. They change out what is on the tables all the time! So you will never know what you might find! The museum promotes hand on learning so the kids are free to roam about the museum and play with everything! Outside includes sand boxes, water tables, large foam blocks to build with, and a picnic area with umbrellas. We really enjoy the museum and they offer special activities, including homeschool kids activities, story times, and mommy/daddy & me activities! There is so much, you need to check it out for yourself! And if you live close - a membership is a must!

Galveston Island Ferry
The ferry is free!!! It is something not to miss on your visit to Galveston Island. The ferry runs between Galveston Island and Port Bolivar. It's about a 15 - 20 minute ride depending on boat traffic. You can drive your car on or you can walk on! It runs 24 hours a day. During peak seasons, the wait to drive on to the ferry can be up to two hours or more. So here is a tip - if you are here and you just want to ride the ferry and not drive onto Port Bolivar - walk on!!! When you turn on Ferry Road, stay in the right lane and zoom up to the parking lot on the right. Park your car and walk over to the ferry loading area. You are almost always guaranteed to see dolphins on your ride across! Sometimes it's basically a free dolphin tour! You can feed seagulls, but it must be from the back of the boat.

Galveston's kid attractions aren't just for the smaller kids, there's plenty to do for big kids too! And the Galveston Go Kart and Fun Center is no exception! It features a curved track and a multitude of Go Karts, ready to help the young and young at heart get racing! There is also an indoor arcade with an array of popular video games, air hockey, and more. The facility also hosts special events and birthday parties too!

See Galveston Harbor up close aboard Seagull II, Texas Seaport Museum's 50-foot twin-engine motor vessel. See dolphins, birds, and sea life up close! This is a great family activity!

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
If you follow GIK on Facebook (Follow here!) you'll see our cover photo is the ocean with Pleasure Pier in the background. I took the picture when I first visited Galveston before moving here. It is one of my favorite pics I have of the island! It is probably one of the most photographed places in Galveston. The pier juts out into the ocean and boasts all kinds of rides, games and restaurants! It's great for the whole family with rides for just little kids to thrill rides for the thrill seekers! You can get an all day ride pass to have unlimited access to all rides or you can buy a ticket to walk on and pay individually for each ride. You can also buy a pass in conjunction with their sister site - Kemah Boardwalk. Pleasure Pier is definitely a fun time and one attraction to check out if you are looking for some fun in Galveston! FYI - My lil's favorite is the carousel, mine is the high swings, and my husband's is the rollercoaster! Insider tip - try to get a pic at night - it looks so pretty all lit up over the ocean!

What a great family fun activity! This is a new attraction on Galveston Island. Saddle up and take a ride on the beach. The owners of GIHPR has carefully selected and trained their horses to provide you with an enjoyable ride along the Texas beachfront that you can mark off of your bucket list. Just make sure the kids in your family are over the age of 6 to ride their own horse!

Galveston Railroad Museum
The Galveston Railroad Museum is such a fun place for kids and adults to visit! The Railroad Museum boasts one of the largest restored railroad collections in the southwest, and one of the five largest in the country, with numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock. Kids love riding the Harbourside Express and you can most Saturdays between 11am and 2pm, boarding every 20 minutes! In October, they have a train festival and in December the Santa Train comes to town! You can explore inside of old railway cars and watch miniature trains soar through numerous landscapes. They have an awesome miniature train that goes from day to night that I promise your kid will love!!

Galveston Island State Park
The Galveston Island State Park was named one of the top 5 “Best Gulf Coast Beaches” by Travel Channel in 2013. The park is on the West End of the island. Families can enjoy kayak tours, beach and surf explorations, bird walks, nature field trips and fishing clinics at no cost. Many activities require advance sign-up. The park also offers beach camping. I love all the activities that the park offers for kids like Jr. Ranger, Sea Turtle Patrol, and Insect Safari!

Galveston Water Adventures offers an adrenaline-filled rush with its custom-built jet boat ride on board the Spintime, along with eco-tours and sunset cruises on board the Cruise n time. The jet boat sounds so fun and I can't wait to go on it once my girls are old enough. The minimum age is 4 and up. But younger kids are welcome on the eco-tours!

It's not really haunted (maybe). This is definitely for older kids - ages 13 and up specifically! They do not allow anyone under the age of 11 even in! It's a scary year round haunted house! And that's why I haven't done it yet, because I scare easy haha! But if you have teenagers and want something unique and fun for them to do - send them to this!

Island Treasure Hunt
Take a fun treasure hunt around the island! There are lots of different hunts to choose from including the Seawall and the Strand. The best thing? It's all on your phone or mobile device! And it's a self guided hunt so start anytime you want, day or night. Clues and directions will guide you to famous sights! Stop and go at your own pace. Just pick a hunt on their website, pay online, and you are ready to go!

La King's Confectionary
La King's is a staple of Galveston and it's just not a candy store. it's an attraction! Chocolate, ice cream, homemade taffy, and plenty of nostalgia - this place has it all! Kids love it! Ride the old school pony ride and watch them make the taffy right in front of you. Then let the kids fill up a bag of taffy and enjoy.

Lone Star Flight Museum
Have a kid that loves all things that fly? The Lone Star Flight Museum is the perfect place! It's home to one of the finest collections of restored aircraft and aviation exhibits in the nation. Over 40 restored aircraft are displayed and most are in working condition. The collection includes WWII Fighters, Bombers, Liaison Trainers, and Executive Planes. It also available to host special events! How cool is that? Enjoy this one until Summer 2017 - it's leaving the island then and headed to Ellington Airport.

This mini golf park is on the Seawall. It actually is two courses in one and you can either golf the front or back course. The back course is much more shaded, but the front course has ocean views. Take our pick! Is it a little run down, yes, but is it fun - yes!!

Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens is an extremely popular attraction on Galveston Island and it's easy to see why! You you can spend a whole day just at Moody Gardens trying to do everything. The three pyramids are Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, and Discovery Pyramid. They have two theaters, 4D FX Theater and MG 3D Theater. You can also ride The Colonel Paddlewheel Boat on the bay. Outside attractions are the Zip Line and Rope Course. Season attractions include Palm Beach Waterpark during the summer and Festival of Lights & Iceland Sculptures during the holiday season. Miscellaneous things on the property include a walking trail, two playgrounds, a garden, and fountains. There is also The Garden Restaurant and a snack stand in the Rainforest Pyramid. If you want to stay on property there is Moody Gardens Hotel and Spa that boasts numerous restaurants. And for the golf lover, an 18 hold course. If you live on the island or anywhere within a drive to Moody Garden, I highly recommend a membership. It pays for itself easily. For a complete breakdown of each attraction they have at Moody Gardens, click here: Moody Gardens Attractions It gives a more in depth look at each attraction and some insider tips!

Since 1978, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has been participating in an international Sea Turtle recovery program. They offer tours of the turtles! These tours are very popular and fill up quickly. Because of this, they suggest you plan to make your desired reservation 3-4 months in advance. For safety reasons, children must be at least 6 years old! No exceptions! Tours are held every Thursday (excluding Federal holidays) by advance appointment only, and are free to the public. To schedule a turtle tour, call 409-766-3500.

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum
The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum is a real cool museum on the island. Texas is known for it's oil, and this gives you a behind the scenes look at it. Take a leisurely, self-guided tour through the retired Ocean Star jack-up rig and see all kinds of things rom geological exploration, to drilling, to oil and gas production. You will see offshore drilling equipment, exhibits and videos on three levels of this refurbished offshore drilling rig. On the second Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Ocean Star celebrates Family Day. Each Family Day focuses on a different theme that relates to the offshore industry.

What kid doesn't love a pirate? Pirates is a pirate-themed family experience where visitors can learn about the legends, myths and stories of the pirates. The interactive entertainment venue features the deck of a pirate ship, a captain's cabin and actors portraying the notorious Jean Laffite and his brother Pierre, as well as the life that all pirates led. They also have a pirate camp in the summer that sounds so fun!!

Rosenberg Library
The Rosenberg Library is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation. The library has a great kids area with computers and a small play area. Make sure to stop and say hi to Rose, the blue tongued skink!! In the summer, they have the summer reading program and all kinds of activities going of for kids of all ages. They also offer some fun stuff throughout the year including story time every Wednesday and other special events around the holidays! They also have programs for the older kids and teens. There is a pretty interesting museum inside the library too that is worth checking out.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston
Schlitterbahn is a big waterpark on the West End of the Island near Moody Gardens. It has all kinds of slides and attractions. The 70,000 square-foot indoor waterpark offers more than a dozen heated water adventures including four tube slides, three speed slides, three kids' activity areas, a secluded beach, a heated pool, a man-made surfing wave, and a tidal wave river. As far as insider tips, I don't have any for you because we haven't actually done Schlitterbahn! Since I think tickets are a bit expensive and we always go to Palm Beach, it just hasn't happened yet! But we do hope to make it sometime soon so I can share tips with you!

I think Seawolf Park is such a pretty place on the island!  It is located on Pelican Island and you can watch the ferry's go back and forth between the island and Port Bolivar. You can also sit and watch the dolphins that are jumping around in the bay. It has an a park that just got updated with some awesome new equipment! It's a great place to have a picnic and play. The park is also home to WWII submarine the USS Cavalla and one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart. You can tour both of the ships and it is very interesting! Seawolf Park is a very popular fishing spot, so you might spot a fisherman bringing in a big catch! The only downside is that is $6 just to enter the park. There is an additional fee to tour the ships and fish, so keep that all in mind when planning your day!

Texas Seaport Museum/ELISSA
Kids love ships and here is the chance to check out an original tall ship, the 1877 tall ship ELISSA.  Walk ELISSA's decks and imagine the days when daring sailors challenged the world's oceans. Texas Seaport Museum also tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Join the Museum's staff and volunteers as they bring the past to life through special exhibits and educational programs. Admission includes self-guided tours of the Texas Seaport Museum and Elissa, a theater presentation and access to the Galveston Immigration Database. The Seaport Museum also offers Marine Biology Tours at different times throughout the year aboard their boat, The Seagull II.

Check for a Groupon before you go!! Galveston Groupon (GIK Affiliated)

Is there something I missed!? Please let me know by emailing or message me on Facebook!

1 comment: