Top 10 Things to Do in Galveston with Kids

Are you looking for the best things to do in Galveston with kids? Here are some of our favorites!

Last June, my kids and I had the opportunity to explore Galveston, TX as part of our cross-country road trip.

I wanted to mix up our trip stops, and less than two weeks into our trip, we were definitely ready for an adventure at the beach.

This was our first time in Galveston and we were excited to explore a beach town right on the Gulf of Mexico.

We were also thrilled by all the things to do in Galveston, like the amusement rides at Pleasure Pier and the aquarium at Moody Gardens.

Whether you have a long weekend, or even a week, you’ll find so many family friendly things to do in Galveston for all ages.

Here’s the scoop on where to stay, what to do and where to eat. Have fun. 🙂

Where to Stay in Galveston with Kids

After nearly two weeks in hotels, we were excited to stay in a two-bedroom bayside condo in Galveston that I booked through FlipKey.

The condo was absolutely delightful and we were so happy to settle in, if only for a couple of days.

A short walk to the beach, the condo is toward the end of Galveston in a quiet area with few hotels. So relaxing.

The condo has a well-stocked kitchen, which made it easy for the kids to get breakfast on their own each morning (I picked up cereal and donuts at a nearby Walmart) and for me to prepare a fairly basic dinner, like tacos, in the evening.

The condo is part of the Pointe West Resort and Beach Club, so we even had access to a large kiddie pool, a fitness center and a BBQ area. Nice.

Things to Do in Galveston

The owners of this vacation rental were fantastic and made sure we had everything we needed.

Plus, it was easy to get into the condo using a security keypad after our drive.

Even better, it was great to have a washer and dryer.

Not that I wanted to do laundry on vacation, but it was nice to be able to do the wash from the convenience of the condo.

There are a lot of vacation rental options in Galveston, making it a great choice for families, but if you do want to stay in a hotel while in Galveston, there are several great picks.

Look to the Moody Gardens Hotel, San Luis Resort or TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston. All three are great for families.

Things to Do in Galveston

10 Best Things to Do In Galveston With Kids

It’s easy to get around Galveston as a family.

Of course, it’s a must to splash around on the beaches, but there are a number of kid-friendly attractions across the island, like Moody Gardens and Pleasure Pier.

If you go, here are a few of my top things to do in Galveston with kids.

1. Moody Gardens

My kids absolutely loved Moody Gardens.

You can easily spend an entire day there and still not explore all of the attractions, including a ropes course, a waterpark, a paddlewheel boat, an aquarium and a rainforest experience. And, of course, the SpongeBob SubPants Adventure.

Things to Do in Galveston

2. Pleasure Pier

For midway games and a giant ferris wheel, it’s a must to visit the Galveston Island historic Pleasure Pier. There are so many family-friendly rides and games, even a place to take antique photos.

There are lots of shops and restaurants at Pleasure Pier, making it the perfect stop for a bite and after-dinner fun with the kids.

3. Tree Sculpture Tour

Print out a map and walk around the East End Historical District in Galveston to check out all kinds of sculptures made out of trees.

There are 20 sculptures located in the historical district that range from a mermaid holding a clam shell to Toto from The Wizard of Oz. So cute.

Things to Do in Galveston

4. Treasure Island Tour Train

For a narrated overview of Galveston, hop aboard the Treasure Island Tour Train.

This 90-minute guided tour covers 17 miles across Galveston, highlighting the historic homes, the downtown business district, the shrimp fleet, Moody Mansion and other key places of interest. 

5. Moody Mansion

Take a self-guided tour to explore 20 rooms inside Moody Mansion, which was once owned by the Moody family, one of the most powerful families in Texas.

Be sure to stop in the garage for “Auto Fever,” an exhibit dedicated to the history of the automobile in the U.S. and Texas.

Things to Do in Galveston


6. East End Lagoon Nature Park and Preserve

From hiking and kayaking to fishing and crabbing, you’ll want to head to East End Lagoon Nature Park and Preserve to explore nature in Galveston.

The nature park is also a great spot for bird watching and taking photos of animals and plants all around you. 

7. Soak Up the Sun at the Seawall

Galveston’s famous Seawall Boulevard is the nation’s longest continuous sidewalk and a 10-mile long urban park. 

The Seawall Urban Park is a great place to spend the day soaking up the sun, sand, and waves.

Plus, the beaches along the Seawall offer you access to many of the best things to do in Galveston including tourist attractions, restaurants, and more.

8. Galveston Island State Park

things to do in galveston with kids: galveston island state park

Galveston Island State Park has both bay and beach sides for an entire day of family-friendly outdoor fun. 

Activities at this state park include hiking, geocaching, swimming, biking, paddling, camping, relaxing, and more.

If your kids love being out in nature, you can’t miss this unique state park during your visit to Galveston. 

9. Spend a Day at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island

This Galveston Island waterpark attracts visitors from all over and is a great place to spend an entire day.

The Schlitterbahn water park has water rides, slides, and activities for all ages, including a toddler section in the park.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly waterpark adventure, you’ll find plenty of things to do here.

10. Fun and Educational Baywatch Dolphin Tours

Hop on a boat and take a dolphin-seeing tour with Baywatch Dolphin Tours.

These tours are kid friendly and pet friendly, too. Infants under 2 years old and pets ride free. 

The Baywatch Dolphin Tours office is located on Pier 21 in front of the Harbor House Hotel, just a short distance away from Downtown Galveston’s historic Strand District.

Where to Eat in Galveston with Kids

There are a number of restaurants in Galveston that are perfect for kids and families. Here are a few to check out during your visit.

Sunflower Bakery & Café

Located in the East End Historical District, Sunflower Bakery & Café is a great place to stop for a bite while checking out the tree sculptures.

Look for fresh seafood, salads and made-to-order sandwiches.

Things to Do in Galveston

Café Michael Burger

Just off the beach, Café Michael Burger is a super-casual place to stop for burgers and more.

Their burgers were even ranked among the top-50 in all of Texas. Try the Island Burger.

Shrimp ‘N Stuff

You can’t go to a beach town without sampling the seafood, so head to Shrimp ‘N Stuff.

Look for coconut shrimp, fish tacos, fried crawfish and plenty of po-boy sandwiches.

Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream

It’s a must to head to Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream where you and the kids will find more than two dozen flavors of ice cream, like Candy Bar Overload and Thin Mint Cookie. They have nearly 10 flavors of Italian Ice, too.

Final Thoughts 

There are almost endless opportunities for family fun in Galveston.

From outdoor family-friendly activities to tours, waterparks, and more, you’ll almost never run out of things to do here. 

This list includes our top favorites, but there are so many other activities your kids might love as well, like the Galveston Railroad Museum, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Museum, and so much more.

Have you been to Galveston with your kids? I’d love to hear about some of your favorite things to do in Galveston, as well as your favorite places to eat as a family. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Page (Toto), J.R. Gordon (Moody Mansion), Katharine Shilcutt (Sunflower Bakery & Café), Dan Thibodeaux (Galveston Island State Park)

Things to Do in Galveston