Texas. The very name conjures images of wide-open spaces, endless skies, and a sense of adventure. It’s a place where families can bond over shared experiences, create lasting memories, and reconnect with nature. But for parents planning a trip to the Lone Star State, the question often arises: “What are the best things to do with kids in Texas?”

Fear not, weary travelers! Texas Outside is here to be your guide on this exciting adventure. We understand that keeping kids entertained and engaged can be a challenge, especially when you’re trying to balance fun with educational experiences. That’s why we’ve curated a diverse list of outdoor activities that cater to all ages and interests.

Imagine this: you’ve piled into the car, anticipation buzzing in the air as you head towards the next big adventure. Your kids are bouncing in their seats, eager to escape the confines of everyday life and explore the wonders of the great outdoors. But with so many options to choose from, where do you begin?

From the heart-pounding thrill of amusement park rides to the calming serenity of crystal-clear lakes, our comprehensive guide offers something for everyone. Let your children squeal with delight as they plummet down a roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, or marvel at the majestic underwater world at the Dallas World Aquarium. Kayak across the glassy surface of Lake Travis, feeling the gentle Texas sun on your skin and the cool spray of water on your face. Descend into the mysterious depths of a hidden cave, unearthing the secrets that lie beneath the earth’s surface.

In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the fun things to do in Texas with kids. Whether you’re traveling to the vibrant cities or the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone in the family here. Get ready for a memorable adventure that your kids will be talking about for years to come!

Shamu at Sea World

Amusement Parks

SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld in San Antonio is a world-class marine park that blends family fun, thrill rides, and educational experiences. Visitors can admire majestic creatures like orcas, dolphins, sea lions, and sharks, as well as attend entertaining shows featuring animals and trainers. SeaWorld also has a wide range of rides and attractions, including the thrilling Steel Eel roller coaster, the Rio Loco rafting ride, and the Sesame Street Bay of Play for little ones. With so much to see and do, SeaWorld is the perfect place for a day out with the family.

Read About Texas Outside’s Fun Day At SeaWorld San Antonio.

Six Flags Over Texas – Arlington

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington is a classic American theme park that has been entertaining families since 1961. Located just outside of Dallas, Six Flags Over Texas boasts over 100 rides and attractions, including the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Texas, the Titan. With thrilling rides like the Shock Wave and the Texas SkyScreamer, the park is perfect for adrenaline junkies looking for a good time.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – San Antonio

Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio is another must-visit destination for thrill-seekers. This park is famous for its amazing rides, unique shows, and water park. From the pulse-pounding Iron Rattler roller coaster to the jaw-dropping Superman Krypton Coaster, Six Flags Fiesta Texas promises to deliver thrills in every corner. And during summer, visitors can cool off at the exciting water park, featuring a giant wave pool, a lazy river, and water slides.

Dolphin Show at Texas State Aquarium


Best Texas Aquariums

Visiting an aquarium can be an exciting and educational experience for kids of all ages, and Texas has no shortage of amazing aquariums to choose from. From the impressive Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi to the Dallas World Aquarium and the Houston Downtown Aquarium, children can explore a wide variety of marine life and ecosystems from around the world. Kids can marvel at sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, and colorful fish, and learn about the importance of marine conservation through interactive exhibits, live shows, and hands-on activities. Visiting aquariums is a great way to spark a love for the ocean and nature in your child while having fun and creating unforgettable memories.

We recognize the importance of fostering a love for nature in our children. That’s why we’ve included a selection of activities that allow them to get their hands dirty and truly immerse themselves in the Texan wilderness. Explore the rugged beauty of the Hill Country on a scenic hike, feeling the invigorating crunch of leaves underfoot and the crisp Texan air filling your lungs. Saddle up for an unforgettable horseback riding adventure at a dude ranch, where they can learn about cowboy culture and connect with these magnificent animals.

Take the kids on a waverunner

Boating & Fishing

Texas Lakes

Hitting the freshwater can provide endless opportunities for outdoor family fun. Texas has over 125 lakes spread throughout the Lone Star State so there is no excuse for not taking the kids out to enjoy all the water activities. Kids can enjoy swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and more.

Boat Rentals

Boat Rentals make it easy to spend a day on the water with the family. Many lakes in Texas have boat rental facilities, where you can rent anything from a motorboat to a pontoon boat and sailboat. Renting a boat allows for a fun-filled day of relaxation and adventure.

Sailboat Rentals/Charters

Sailboat Rentals/Charters offer families a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of Texas lakes in a different way. There are sailboat rentals and charters available on several lakes throughout the state, allowing for a scenic and relaxing family adventure.

Fishing Guides

Fishing Guides can be a great way for families to learn about fishing, explore the lake, and bring home a big catch. Hiring a fishing guide takes the guesswork out of fishing and ensures a fun experience for everyone in the family.

Lakeside Cabins

Lakeside Cabins offer a cozy and comfortable retreat for families looking to unwind after a day of lake activities. With more than 50 lakeside cabins in Texas, families can enjoy a comfortable and peaceful stay without sacrificing the natural beauty of the outdoors.

Venture beyond the beaten path and discover hidden gems like Jacob’s Well, a natural spring perfect for a refreshing dip, or the Palo Duro Canyon, a dramatic landscape carved by millions of years of erosion. Explore the otherworldly Chihuahuan Desert with its unique flora and fauna, or kayak through the cypress swamps of the Big Thicket National Preserve. These hidden gems offer a chance to unplug and create unique memories that will stay with your children for years to come.


Caves and Caverns

Texas Caves and Caverns

Texas is riddled with thousands of caves. There are show caves that one can visit. If you would like to try something off the regular cave the show caves are starting to open up special tours that take you crawling and climbing into different areas of the caves.

Devine Acres Texas Christmas Tree Farm

Christmas Tree Farms

Devine Acres

Get a REAL tree on a REAL farm at Devine Acres! They have over 15,000 Christmas trees growing in their fields and they offer three varieties to choose from. Devine Acres provide the hayride, saws to cut the tree, and they even process your tree for you. Shop around for the perfect ornament to add to your collection in the Back Porch Country Store while sipping hot coco! All you need to bring is your Christmas spirit! Seasonal activity, opens the Friday after Thanksgiving. Visit their website for more information. Bring your camera and start a new family tradition that you’ll look forward to all year!

Drive-in Movie Theater

Drive-in Theater

Texas Drive-in Theaters

Remember the good ‘ole days of sitting with your friends or boy/girl friend eating popcorn and sippin’ Dr Pepper at a nearby drive-in theater? Then why not share some of those memories and good times with your kids – they will love it!

A trail ride at Twin Elm Dude Ranch

Dude Ranches

Texas Dude Ranches

Once in their lifetime, you need to take the kids to a dude ranch and let them experience some of that cowboy life. They can ride horses, enjoy a hayride, sing along at a campfire, rope a steer, wear cowboy hats and fit right in, feast at a cowboy cookout, roast s’moores, and lots more. They will remember it forever.

Texas Renaissance Wenches

Events and Festivals

Texas Festivals

You will find games of skill, elephant rides, wall climbing, swings, and plenty of other fun things for ages 4 to 90 and over 16 stages with 200 daily performances ranging from belly dancing and bagpipes to magicians and mud pit wrestling. You don’t want to miss the huge Roman coliseum with jousting and more events.

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm


Sweet Eats Fruit Farm

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm started in 2013 when they tired of poor fruit in the grocery store. They were just going to start with stonefruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries), but a second property became available that would be perfect for blueberries. During the winter of 2014, they planted 32,000 blueberry bushes and 5,500 fruit trees.

Whether you’re here to pick fruit, enjoy live music, attend a special event, or just have a great time with your family; the farm has plenty to offer to keep you entertained. Most families typically spend 3-5 hours here. See the activities section for more information.

Interested in having a birthday party at the farm? They can custom tailor your experience to fit your needs and budget.

Hopper Ranch

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

Need someplace the kids can go for an hour, a day or even a week to get to know, ride, and enjoy some horses? The kids will love to groom the horses, go for a trail ride, or just be around these friendly beautiful animals. Click on the link to find places where they can have a memorable and fun time with horses.

Maize at Graff Family Farm


Texas Mazes

If you’re looking for something fun and challenging for the kids, then you need to check out Texas Mazes. Kids of all ages will love trying to figure out how to get out of some of these diverse mazes.

Most of the mazes have other activities and fun things to do like hayrides, train rides, mini mazes, pumpkin patches, and more, plus some serve food or snacks.

Childrens Museum

Museums & Science Centers

Texas Children’s Museums

There is no limit to what your children can do and learn given the opportunity. From hands on activities such as driving a kid sized front end loader or working as a pilot to exploring the wonders of nature. Here is a link to what we consider some of the Best Museums in Texas.

PlanGrand Adventures


Epic Waters

Grand Prairie, Texas

Designed to encourage development of several skill sets while providing social interaction, sense of discovery, creativity, and exercise that incorporates various challenges to encourage teamwork, cooperation, and achievement. Phase 1 is Adventure Hill which features high intensity climbing, swinging and spinning.

The playground is part of a much larger overall park project which includes The Epic, a state-of-the-art recreation center, Epic Waters indoor/outdoor water park, trail systems, The Summit 50+ Club, and GrandLawn at EpicCentral in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Texas Pumpkin Patches

Pumpkin Patches

Texas Pumpkin Patches

Meet the baby animals from a kangaroos to pigs, create a scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, ride a hayride or train or just pick out that perfect pumpkin for carving or eating. Whatever your day in the pumpkin patch brings it will be great entertainment for the entire family and an opportunity for awesome fall pictures.

Mutton Riding


Texas Rodeos

Your kids, and you, will love attending a local rodeo. Put on their boots and cowboy hats and head out to watch professional cowboys ride bulls, cowgirls race around barrels and all of the other rodeo events. Plus the kids will love the carnival, live music, and lots of kids activities in and outside the arena!

Summer Fun

Summer Camps

Kids Camps

What is better than fun, sun and adventure for kids while building character and values. Children learn responsibility and cooperation while gaining independence and self esteem. The friendships built during their stay at camp will last a lifetime. The choices of camps are endless depending on your child’s interests whether it be sports, academic, arts, religion or just plain adventure. We can recommend Waldemar camp for girls and Camp Balcone Springs in Marble Falls. Sign up today!

Bertram Flyer

Train Rides

Texas Train Rides

The magic of the train comes to life while children listen to special holiday classics as the train makes its way through the beautiful countryside land- scape. You won’t soon forget the joy on children’s faces when the train arrives at the destination whether it be The Great Pumpkin Patch or the North Pole or some other exciting stop.

Biking with the kids and grandkids along the seawall in Galveston

Vacations For Kids & Families

Kids & Family Vacations

It just doesn’t get much better than a fun filled vacation with the kids and family. And Texas offers plenty of options that everyone will enjoy – from upscale resorts loaded with fun amenities to camping and roasting marshmellows around the campfire. Get the kids involved in biking, hiking, golfing, boating, kayaking, and other fun outdoor activities. Here is our list of fun kids and family vacations in Texas.

Slide at Schlitterbaun in Galveston

Water Parks

Texas Waterparks

With multiple locations in Texas, Schlitterbaun Water- parks are the ultimate water parks and set the standards for other waterparks. You’ll find miles of tube chutes, endless rivers, uphill water coasters, daring speed slides, waves for surfing, splashing, relaxing, and kid-friendly water play-grounds.

If you’re in or near San Antonio, then you need to visit Aquatica that has fun tubes and slides, a wave and other pools, lazy river, and lots more fun stuff for all ages. Read about our Fun Day at Aquatica

Guided Tour at Fossil Rim

Wildlife Preserves & Parks

Texas Safari and Wildlife Parks

An exciting safari adventure filled with exotic animals, wildlife ranches have remained a favorite location to introduce families to the beauty of nature and an understanding of protecting wildlife.

Zip line thru the trees at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours

Zip Lines

Texas Zip Lines

For a thrilling adventure for kids over 10, call one of thes zip line companys and make a reservation. Kids will love the challenge, thrill, and excitment of zipping from trees or platforms up to 100 feet off the ground and up to 35 miles per hour. They will also experience rope swings and bridges, some beautiuful scenery, and a real confidence builder. There are several zip lines companies in Texas and each offers something a little different and unique with multiple zip lines of various lengths and heights.

One of the lions at the Waco Zoo


Texas Zoos

It doesn’t get much better than taking the kids to a zoo and teaching them all about the animals. Get up close with lions, tigers, alligators, elephants, birds, and lot more – everybody loves the zoo. Most major Texas cities have a zoo. Texas Outside loves the Ft Worth, Waco, Tyler, and Houston zoos – lots of animals, great settings, food, and more.

Fun Resources for Kids

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Check out this website for some great ideas for outdoor and indoor craft activities and at the same time learn a little history of Texas, safety outdoors, animals & flower facts and much more.

50 Ways to Get Kids Hooked On the Outdoors

Ways to make personal contact with living things by touch, feel, and smell to develop a relationship with the outdoors.

Our list of fun things to do in Texas with kids caters to all seasons, ensuring that there’s always something to do in Texas, no matter the time of year. In the spring, witness the explosion of wildflowers that paint the landscape in a kaleidoscope of colors. Summer beckons with opportunities for swimming, fishing, and camping under a star-studded sky. Fall brings crisp breezes and vibrant foliage, perfect for exploring scenic trails. In winter, you can catch some incredible holiday light shows and parades.

So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable Texas adventure. We’ll help you create memories that will last a lifetime, memories that will make your kids yearn to explore the great state of Texas again and again.

Sam Weiger
Author: Sam Weiger

Sam has lived in the Dallas area for over 20 years with his family, and he has savored every moment. From discovering new places to revisiting popular venues, Sam has traversed Dallas with his family and friends continuously since 1997. In his free time, Sam enjoys outdoor adventures and documenting his experiences with his Nikon.

Join the Texas Outside newsletter