They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the amusement parks are no exception. The state boasts all sorts of fun theme parks for people of all ages, including two thrilling Six Flags parks and SeaWorld, the world's largest marine life theme park. Families with younger children can head to the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier or the retro Kiddie Park. If your time is limited, you might have to choose just one of these parks to visit, but you'll thank yourself if you make time in your schedule for at least two or three!
1. Galveston Island Pleasure Pier
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Dating back to the late 1940s, Galveston Island Pleasure Pier was originally meant as entertainment for the military and their families. It was closed in 2008 after being badly damaged by Hurricane Ike, but it was carefully reconstructed and reopened in 2012. The pier still retains a nostalgic feel, but it also offers exciting rides like a thrilling roller coaster with four full inversions and a sea dragon ship that swings riders out over the water. In addition to the rides, the pier is lined with an excellent selection of midway-style games, restaurants, and shops.
2501 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 855-789-7437
2. Kemah Boardwalk Amusements
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Conveniently located only 20 minutes outside of downtown Houston, Kemah Boardwalk sits overlooking beautiful Galveston Bay. The selection of rides offers something for everyone; highlights include a Ferris wheel, a train that runs around the entire boardwalk, and a zipline ride that allows visitors to swing over the boardwalk. Visitors can also enjoy a meal at one of the excellent waterfront restaurants, play one of the fun midway-style games, or hop aboard a speed boat for a tour of the bay. There is no admission to the boardwalk, and visitors can choose to purchase either all-day passes or single-use tickets for the rides.
215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565, Phone: 877-285-3624
3. Kiddie Park
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Originally built in 1925, Kiddie Park holds the honor of being the oldest children's amusement park in the United States. Most of the original rides are still running, including a colorful carousel, a flying saucers ride, and a mini Ferris wheel; some rides are only suitable for children, but some can be enjoyed by adults as well. There is also a variety of traditional carnival games and more modern arcade games, and face painting is offered on the weekends. An on-site snack bar sells food and beverages, and both ride tickets and unlimited wrist bands are available.
3015 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209, Phone: 210-824-4351
4. SeaWorld San Antonio
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Sitting on a 250-acre property on the west side of San Antonio, SeaWorld San Antonio is the biggest marine life theme park in the world. There are plenty of exciting roller coasters and water rides for visitors to enjoy, but the real draw of the park is the opportunity to see and interact with a wide range of marine animals, including killer whales, seals, otters, and several different species of dolphin. Fascinating animal shows are held all throughout the day, and guests can also swim with dolphins, belugas, and sea lions for an additional fee.
10500 Sea World Dr, San Antonio, TX 78251, Phone: 210-520-4732
5. Six Flags Fiesta Texas
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Featuring approximately 40 exciting rides, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a thrilling theme park that was first opened in the early 1990s. The park is divided into five sections: a 1920s-style Western town, a German theme village, a boardwalk, a 1950s theme area with a fictional high school, and an area known as Los Festivales, which hosts the park's most popular summer shows. All of the sections offer plenty of rides and restaurants, but some of the most popular include the Goliath roller coaster, a 4D Batman-themed roller coaster, and a whitewater rapids ride.
17000 IH-10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257, Phone: 210-697-5050
6. Six Flags Over Texas
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Occupying a 212-acre property only 15 miles outside of Dallas, Six Flags Over Texas was the country's first Six Flags theme park. As you might expect from such a large park, there are more than 100 exciting rides, shows, and attractions to keep visitors entertained, including unique roller coasters like the free-fly coaster known as the Joker and a hypercoaster called the Titan. There is also a special children's area with rides suitable for the younger members of your family, and live shows are held on a regular basis to keep visitors busy between rides.
2201 E Road to Six Flags St, Arlington, TX 76010, Phone: 817-640-8900
7. Wonderland Park
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Found inside Thompson Memorial Park, Wonderland Park has been around since 1951 and boasts more than 60 exciting rides. The highlight of the park is a thrilling double-loop steel roller coaster known as the Texas Tornado, but there are also plenty of water slides and kiddie rides that the whole family can enjoy. Other attractions include a mini-golf course, an arcade full of fun games, and a snack shack. The park is open on weekends between the end of April and the beginning of September, and it's also open during the evenings from June 1st until back-to-school.
2601 Dumas Dr, Amarillo, TX 79107, Phone: 806-383-3344
8. YesterLand Farm
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YesterLand Farm is a charming Christmas tree farm open all throughout the year, and it offers all sorts of traditional family-friendly fun. Year-round attractions include a giant slide, a petting zoo, a giant tipi, and exciting rides like a Ferris wheel, a wagon train ride, and a kid-friendly dino ride. It's also a great place to come during the winter if you want to pick out a tree, take a picture with Santa, and visit the Christmas Playland, and a special fall festival is held every year between the end of September and the beginning of November.
15410 I-20, Canton, TX 75103, Phone: 903-567-2255
9. ZDT's Amusement Park
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Opened in 2007, ZDT's Amusement Park is a relatively new park that has quickly grown into a popular year-round destination for family fun. There are more than a dozen attractions to enjoy, including a wooden shuttle roller coaster, three water rides, and an indoor climbing wall. Visitors can also keep themselves entertained with unlimited go-kart rides, an exciting bungee trampoline, and the wide selection of games in the video game arcade. The water rides are only in operation between March and September, but the rest of the park is open throughout the year.
301 W Kingsbury St, Seguin, TX 78155, Phone: 830-386-0151
10. Morgan’s Wonderland
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At Morgan’s Wonderland, everyone can play. It is the only ultra-accessible theme park in the country and was founded by Gordon Hartman who desired to create a place where anyone could play, with or without disabilities. Beloved for its mission of inclusion, Morgan’s Wonderland welcomes many guests every year and features incredibly fun rides and attractions for the whole family. Take the Off-Road Adventure Ride, head to Pirate Island to enjoy a great playground, get into a water fight at Water Works, or fly high on the Whirling Wonder Ferris Wheel. All of these rides, and so much more, await visitors to Morgan’s Wonderland.
5223 David Edwards, San Antonio, Texas 78233; Phone: 210-495-5888
11. In The Game Funtrackers
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If you’re looking for adventure and speed, In The Game Funtrackers is one great option amusement park to visit in Corpus Christi. This one-of-a-kind amusement park has endless rides and experiences to capitalize on whether you’re on a fun date or visiting with family and friends. Thrill seekers will scream their hearts out on the Storm Chaser Rollercoaster or the Lightning Drop, while patrons who want to try something new will find it at the Axe Throwing area, the Bungy Dome, or the Virtual Reality arcade. Meanwhile, more traditional amusement park offerings are elevated at In The Game, like the Mini Golf course and the Lazer Maze. No matter your age, there’s definitely something to look forward to at this popular amusement park.
9605 S Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78418; Phone: 361-937-9400
12. Downtown Aquarium
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One of the most unique attractions in Houston has got to be the Downtown Aquarium. Part local attraction, part restaurant, the aquarium is a huge multi-functional complex. It features a 500,000-gallon wall-to-wall aquarium, which serves as a unique and apt background to the surf-and-turf menu of the on-site restaurant. At the Downtown Aquarium, guests can explore exhibits like the Louisiana Swamp, which is home to animals native to the Gulf Coast, the Shipwreck, which features the hull of a sunken 17th-century Spanish galleon, and Sunken Temple, which is themed after a Mayan Civilization. Other exhibits include the Rainforest, Discovery Rig, White Tigers of the Maharaja’s Temple, and many more.
410 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002, Phone: 713-223-3474
13. Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park
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For over a century, the Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park has attracted visitors from near and far to San Marcos. This crowd favorite beckons guests to venture deep below the earth to explore the Balcones Fault Line Cave. Visitors to the cave will take a guided tour to explore this earthquake-formed cave, see fossilized remains of prehistoric life, and learn about the geological eras of the past. The Adventure Park, on the other hand, features a 190-foot-high Observation Tower where guests can see the Balcones Fault Line from above and visit an Observation Museum. There is also an Anti-Gravity House and a Texas Wildlife Petting Zoo to visit. Reservations to this attraction are required, so be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment. More day trips in Texas
1000 Prospect Street, San Marcos, Texas 78666; Phone: 512-392-6711
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14. Houston Funplex
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Houston Funplex is the premiere family entertainment center and amusement destination in the city of Houston! Known for having endless activities for visitors and locals alike to enjoy with their family and friends, the Funplex boasts a larger-than-life PlayPort for kids, well over two hundred games via their state-of-the-art arcade, a ton of virtual reality games, and even rides! Beyond that, the Houston Funplex also offers visitors the use of a bowling center, a go-kart track, a trampoline center, and a skating rink. Adults visiting the Funplex can also get in on the fun with a sports bar located within the center as well. Regardless of your choice of activity, Houston Funplex is bound to deliver great memories and tons of incredible experiences.
13700 Beechnut Street, Houston, Texas 77083; Phone: 281-530-7777
15. Tom Foolerys Adventure Park
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With 80,000 square feet of unprecedented adventure space, Tom Foolerys Adventure Park is undeniably one of the most exciting amusement destinations in Round Rock Texas. For thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline fix, the Maximum Foolocity, with its 50-foot spin and drops, and Scream’n Centipede, the park’s popular rollercoaster, are great rides to hop on. Meanwhile, adventurous tots can challenge the Tarantok Basecamp rope course, or try the more challenging Tarantok Rise Sky Trail ropes course. Those who want to challenge their resolve and determination can give the Cave of Mirrors maze a go, or head to The Cliffs of Foolsanity game. Not to be overlooked is the XD Dark Ride, which brings a virtual reality experience to the next level!
3001 Kalahari Boulevard, Round Rock, Texas 78665; Phone: 877-525-2427
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