Every spring warming weather encourages families to take weekend trips and vacations throughout Texas. Although the weather is warming, the weather still isn't quite hot enough for many of the popular summer attractions and activities. However, there are a number of great spring family vacation attractions and activities to be found across Texas.
Popular Texas waterpark Schlitterbahn has added a third location - Schlitterbahn Galveston Island. Like the other Schlitterbahn parks, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island features plenty of unique and innovative rides. However, unlike any other waterpark in the world, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is 'convertible,' offering outdoor fun in the summer and indoor water rides during the winter and spring. So, while water parks across the country are still closed, families vacationing on Galveston Island during spring can still have plenty of wet and wild fun in the indoor portion of Schlitterbahn Galveston. .
Located at the very tip of Texas in Brownsville, Gladys Porter Zoo has long been recognized as one of the nation's best zoos. The 26-acre zoo attracts nearly half a million visitors annually and features exhibits such as Macaw Canyon, the free-flight aviary, and the Tropical America display. The Zoo also features an excellent botanical garden and the ever-popular Small World children's area. Gladys Porter Zoo is also located directly across the street from Ringold Park, a great place for a family picnic, and is within easy driving distance of South Padre Island, making a visit to the zoo a popular day trip for families staying in Texas' most popular beach town.
The small town of Kemah is located between Houston and Galveston and offers a great, laid-back weekend getaway for families throughout the year. In addition to its famous waterfront "restaurant row," the Kemah Boardwalk also offers plenty of entertainment for families. The Boardwalk features 15 carnival-style rides. A partial list of rides found at the Boardwalk include the Boardwalk Bullet Roller Coaster, The Aviator swing ride, a double-decker carousel, the free-fall ride Drop Zone, a 65-foot tall ferris wheel, and the Iron Eagle zip line. During the warm weather months, visitors can also take a ride aboard the Boardwalk Beast, a 70-foot speedboat that cruises across Galveston Bay. There are several other attractions associated with the Kemah Boardwalk, as well as numerous shops and artist galleries.
Galveston Pleasure Pier
The Galveston Pleasure Pier, which extends nearly 1,200 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, offers visitors more than enough activities to keep busy for an entire vacation. The Galveston Pleasure Pier features a number of great thrill rides, including the Iron Shark Rollercoaster, Pirate's Plunge water log ride, Sea Dragon swing ride, Texas Star Flyer (a 200-foot tall swing ride), a two-level carousel, bumper cars, and, of course, the iconic ferris wheel, The Galaxy Wheel. The Galveston Pleasure Pier also features a midway full of games and a number of unique souvenir shops, such as The Pelican's Bag, Lolli & Pop's Candy Shop, and the Bubba Gump Retail Store.
NASA's Space Center Houston
Although it is still active in NASA's space program, Space Center Houston has also become a top tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors annually. Popular events and attractions such as the NASA Tour, Blast Off Theater, Astronaut Gallery, and the Kids Space Place serve as entertaining and educational activities for children and adults alike. While at Space Center Houston, visitors are treated to a history of the NASA Space Program and can also take part in a number of interactive displays such as The Feel of Space, which simulates the weightlessness astronauts experience during a space mission. There are also a number of educational activities, including overnight programs and ‘Scout Camp-Ins.’