One of the most famous states in the US, we don’t need to convince you why you should visit, this blog post is NOT a persuasion piece. You should see this as a guide to the best things to do in Texas with kids so that you can prioritise appropriately and get the most out of your visit!
Whilst we can never guarantee a barn dance, we can definitely guarantee a load of fun activities on your family’s next trip to Texas.
- What is the weather like in Texas?
- What is Texas famous for?
- Where do tourists tend to visit in Texas?
- It’s time to visit Texas!
What is the weather like in Texas?
Texas is renowned for its blazing-hot summers with long stretches of clear skies and virtually no days of rain!
This makes it the perfect destination for families wanting to soak up the sunshine whilst on vacation, whether it’s by doing outdoor activities or simply lounging by the hotel pool.
If you’re visiting Texas in the spring or fall, you should expect to encounter at least a few rainy days during your trip. Don’t worry, though, as any showers are generally short and intense rather than prolonged, meaning you’ll still have plenty of time to get outside and enjoy all the family-friendly attractions that the state has to offer.
Planning on taking a family trip to Texas in the wintertime or over the holiday period? Well, you can look forward to getting a good deal of sunshine then, too! Texan winters are fairly mild, with some areas in the west and south of the state rarely seeing winter temperatures fall below 55 degrees from November through February.
What is Texas famous for?
Texas is known all over the world for being the supersize state. As the saying goes; “everything’s bigger in Texas”!
Texas is most famous for:
Texas (San Antonio, specifically) was one of the first states to bring cowboy culture into the USA!
It all dates back to when Texas was part of Mexico under Spanish rule and the Vaqueros were working on mission ranches. Today, cowboy culture is still very much alive and bucking, forming a core part of Texan identity.
Whether it’s the NFL or historic college rivalries, Texans LOVE football.
The state has two NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans, with both attracting huge crowds to every game.
Tracing its history back to the immigration of Czech and German immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century, this style of slow-cooking and smoking meats was born in Texas!
Whilst it initially started popping up in Central Texas, it didn’t take long before other styles of this classic started popping up around the state.
In 1961, NASA announced Houston as home to their Manned Spacecraft Center, serving as Mission Control Center for the U.S. human space flight program.
This great state was selected by NASA because of the mild weather, good airport and barge links alongside cheap land costs at the time.
World favourites like fajitas, nachos, and tacos al carbon all originate from Texas! This classic hybrid cuisine was created in the Rio Grande Valley, which had a large Mexican population and a cattle industry. Tex-Mex is essentially the product of Mexican and Texan people cooking together!
Tying into Cowboy culture, Country music has been a big part of the Texan lifestyle since the 19th century and the rise of outlaw culture. A lot of the genre’s greats come from the State, including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kenny Rogers!
After the civil war, the resources and economies of former Confederate states were in turmoil. It was through Spanish Cattle that Texas began to rebuild itself, leading to the Cattle Drive Era. To this day, Cattle Ranches are still a very prominent part of this great state.
Texas is the second largest state in the US, by population and land area, weighing in at 163,696 square miles and having a population of 29 million!
The fourth presidential assassination, in a country that at the time was less than 200 years old. In Dallas, 1963, this pivotal moment in US history altered the landscape of the nation, making way for the conception of the 25th Amendment.
You can find out more about the event at the JFK Museum in Dallas.
A site of pivotal importance in Texan history, The Battle of The Alamo took place in 1836, as Texans took on Mexicans in a battle for their independence. You can learn more about this famous conflict on the grounds it took place.
Where do tourists tend to visit in Texas?
So, you’ve decided that you want to visit Texas, but maybe you’re struggling to know exactly which towns, cities or regions to put at the top of your travel itinerary. This is more than understandable, given the sheer size of Texas and the incredible range of family-friendly experiences it has to offer! To make the most of your vacation, keep reading to learn all about the most popular areas that are firm favorites among tourists young and old.
There are a ton of cool little towns dotted across the state but for a more complete experience, we would recommend sticking to the main cities, for example, Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. These all experience vast amounts of tourist attraction throughout the year, and for good reason!
Austin is known for its stunning landscape, fresh air and college culture. Because of this, and its vast selection of entertainment throughout the year, it’s a great place for families. Did you know, Austin is known as “The Live Music Capital of The World”?
As mentioned before, Texas is huge! Because of this, there’s an impressive variation of 10 natural ecoregions, from winding hills and picturesque forests to breathtaking canyons.
With plenty of colorful sites, Austin is one of the best places in the state to get amongst the great outdoors.
To make this guide as family-friendly as possible, we’ve chosen to include a mix of easy and moderately-challenging hiking routes in our recommendations. But if you’re a family of seasoned hikers who are looking for something more adventurous, Texas has a great range of far more intense hiking trails! Just be sure you do your research before setting off on anything more challenging or remote to avoid getting into trouble.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
In the South Western region of Austin and one of the most peaceful trails close to the city, Barton Creek Greenbelt is a gorgeous river walk is a great day out for the entire family.
This trail has very little elevation and some scenic water features that locals like to swim in during the warmer months. Depending on how fast you walk, it’ll take about an hour to finish the trail.
Ann and Roy Butler Trail
This one is an interactive, wholesome way to experience the geographical marvel that is Austin!
The trail is a circular, flat route around the inner city, perfect for cycling on a warm day. Completing the whole trail will take about three hours, so take some refreshments or maybe a picnic!
Zilker Metropolitan Park
With over 400 acres of tranquil woodlands partnered with a large playscape, Zilker Metropolitan is no joke!
Complete with a golf course, volleyball courts and the famous Barton Springs pool, this park has been a local favourite for many years for its reasonable pricing and a great variety of activities.
Fun Fact: this park is registered on a national register of historic places!
Planning to stay in Austin a little longer? Have a read through our full Austin travel guide for ideas on how to fill your family’s time with incredible activities, sightseeing experiences and more!
South of the state, Houston has a homely feel in a hugely multicultural city.
It’s gained respect in recent years for its growing art scene, low cost of living and diversity.
Exploration of the cosmos is something that we think it’s safe to say is a collective interest throughout most of humankind! Over the years, Houston’s Space Museum has played a huge part in global space exploration projects (both inside our own galaxy and beyond) trying to uncover the secrets of our universe! For that reason, it’s a must-see!
With a tour of the center, guests can enjoy a deeper delve into natural science, previous space programs and a load of fun, hands-on activities appropriate for younger children.
This is a perfect day out for the whole family. But be advised, the interactive exhibits tend to give kids a real compulsion for the gift shop, bring your pocket money!
Top Tip: Arrive early. People travel from across the country to visit the space center, you’ll get the most out of it if you beat the queues.
Across the state, there are a load of great locations to try it out. But, trust us, you’re in the best hands with Houston.
Riding in Texas is a good time to teach kids how to ride, gaining valuable early experience with these gorgeous animals. It’s also an interesting way to take in some of that famous landscape.
For its reputation and close proximity to the Houston airport, Cypress Trails is an ideal choice. The staff pride themselves on being able to supportively teach and supervise riders of all different ages and skill levels, making it a perfect choice when looking at fun things to do in Texas with kids.
On these rides, you can expect exciting journeys through the forests of Houston across some tricky terrain!
Secondly, for a more educational and controlled experience, try out Magical Moments Stable. This facility offers full training at all levels in controlled paddocks, with a big focus on learning the animals before you ride them!
If you want to learn more about Houston and everything it has to offer for families on vacations, check out our complete Houston travel guide to discover the must-see attractions, landmarks and activities.
San Antonio is repeatedly voted as the most family-friendly place in the whole of Texas by locals, so it would be impossible to miss it from our list!
Known as the “American Venice” for its winding canals and beautifully kept scenery within the city, you’ll find yourself spending plenty of time just taking in the sights!
In terms of exploring the area, there are plenty of ways to go about it: with guided walks, cycling and boat tours all available. If you ask any local, they’ll most likely say the latter is the best way to take it all in.
Once you’ve taken everything in, it’s time to delve a little bit deeper, and this city definitely isn’t just a pretty face! There is a selection of local museums, bars and shops to browse. If the family are feeling peckish from all of that exploring, San Antonio has some great options for restaurants that everyone will love!
Top Tip: If you think this place is amazing normally, try and visit around festival times such as Christmas and St. Patricks Day, these guys know how to put on a show!
Perhaps the most iconic city in the state, Dallas is a prime place to visit with the family for its safety, cleanliness and hospitality culture.
Home to the Dallas Cowboys, some top attractions to the state and a vibrant art and music scene, there’s something here for everyone.
The AT&T Stadium
Whether you’ve got tickets for the game or a guided tour, it’d be rude to visit Dallas without paying homage to the Cowboys by checking out their home ground, the AT&T Stadium.
They’re one of the most famous football teams in the US and are known for creating an electric atmosphere at their state-of-the-art ground. Tickets for football games can be hard to come by, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment!
Six Flags Over Texas
This famous amusement park has 14 world-class roller coasters alongside special events like concerts and shows all year round. With a nice mix of thrilling rides and family-friendly ones, this amusement park encapsulates family fun!
If you want to learn a little more about this part of the state, you can learn more about Dallas here.
South Padre Island
Not to be too meta, but this one is a holiday destination inside the holiday destination. A favoured holiday retreat amongst the locals, you’ve got to head on down to South Padre! Being the only tropical island in Texas, you literally cannot get the same experience anywhere else in the state.
It’s a favourite amongst Texans for its array of kid-friendly activities, such as its amazingly intimate sea turtle sanctuary, nature centre and nature trials.
For those who have consulted the map already and seen the location of the island, don’t worry! There are plenty of airports nearby to help your trip to South Padre as comfortable as possible.
Hey, if you really like it there: why don’t you stay a while?
A stone’s throw from Mexico, this place is one of the best-kept secrets in the US.
It’s time to visit Texas!
So that just about wraps up our overview of the best things to do in Texas with kids, but, in a state so large, it’s impossible for us to include everything on one page!
Well, you’re in luck: we’ve got a whole load of guides around this wonderful state to make your trip as memorable as possible.
What’s the best month to visit Texas with kids?
Due to climate, the best time for statewide travel is late May. One of the mildest months of the year, this should avoid Texas’s hottest and coldest temperatures and the heaviest rainfall.
How expensive is it to visit Texas?
According to studies, The average price of a 7-day trip to Texas is $1,153 for a solo traveller and $3,257 for a family of 4.
Texas hotels can range from $57 to $262 per night with an average of $87.
What are the biggest sports teams in Texas?
Texas is dominated by sports culture, with a huge focus on football, basketball and baseball. A few big names include the Cowboys (football), Mavericks (basketball) and the Stars (ice hockey).
Is Texas good for road trips?
Because the state is so large with so much to see, road trips are one of the most rewarding ways to see what Texas has to offer!
What are the main airports in Texas?
In terms of location and traffic, Dallas Fort Worth, George Bush Intercontinental (Houston) and Austin-Bergstrom International are the main airports in Texas.