A few years ago, our family made a Texas bucket list, full of all the fun activities we wanted to do and places we wanted to go as a family. Below, I’ll share our list of 100 different things to do in Texas with kids. We’ve been loving all our new adventures and you will too!
The great thing about Texas attractions for families is that they’re diverse. It’s not just cowboys and water parks! My bucket list includes everything, from scenic hikes and historic sites to special events and quirky tourist attractions.
You might be planning your next family vacation or maybe you’re a local looking for great ideas on things to do in Texas for kids. With 100 unique options, you’ll find something your whole family will love!
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Table of Contents
The Ultimate Bucket List of Kid-Friendly Texas Attractions
Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas! With a whopping 100 things to do in Texas with kids, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. So, I’ve divided my ultimate Texas Bucket List by city and region. Use the list below to find a variety of activities and attractions for the entire family.
Things to do in Amarillo
1. Visit the Texas Air & Space Museum
Learn about the history of aviation at the Texas Air & Space Museum located at the Amarillo International Airport. You can take a guided tour, go inside WWII-era planes, check out exhibits, and more. The museum is free for active military personnel and their families.
2. Explore Palo Duro Canyon
You’ll find the second largest canyon in the world located in the great state of Texas. Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon is part of the Texas state parks system. There is a wealth of outdoor recreational activities throughout the park.
3. See a Show at the Texas Outdoor Musical
Inside Palo Duro Canyon, you can learn about the history of Texas through the visual experience of the Texas Outdoor Musical! This family-friendly musical portrays the struggles and triumphs of the settlers of the Texas panhandle in the 1800s. The theater offers nightly shows during the May through August season.
4. Leave Your Mark at Cadillac Ranch
Take a walk on the weird side when you visit Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. This stop along Route 66 is an art installation of old Cadillac cars that have been partially buried in the ground from their hood standing upright!
Over time they’ve morphed and changed, with each visitor leaving their own graffiti art on the cars. Bring your spray cans!
5. Check Out U-Drop Inn
Do you find yourself on the famous Route 66? Younger children and Disney fans of all ages will love stopping by U-Drop Inn in Shamrock to see the iconic visitor’s center that was made famous by the Disney Pixar movie, Cars! Built in 1936, today the station functions as a historical site and visitors center.
Things to Do in Austin
6. Tour the Texas State Capitol
Built in 1888, the Texas State Capitol located in Austin, is a marvelous architectural building that houses the offices of the governor and the Texas legislature. You can join guided tours and learn about Texas history that occurred right here.
7. Wander the Texas State Cemetery
Just east of the state capitol is the Texas State Cemetery. Since 1851 this site has been the burial place of many of Texas’ government officials. Look for the many monuments honoring important figures in Texas history, and visit the beautiful 9/11 Memorial.
8. Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Lady Bird Park
Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas is named after the First Lady of the US, Lady Bird Johnson. The lake is a great place to go boating and kayaking with scenic skyline views of downtown Austin. You can also find great hiking trails around the lake and a variety of things to do for kids at lakeside attractions.
9. Watch the Austin Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge
The largest bat colony in North America is located in the heart of Austin! Mexican free-tailed bats make their home beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge on Lady Bird Lake. Annually from March to early fall, these bats take flight each evening, and watching them is an event. This is one of our favorite things to do with kids in Austin.
10. Do the Grapevine at Broken Spoke
Country music fans should head to the Broken Spoke in Austin for live music, great dancing, and delicious Texas food. It bills itself the “last of the great Texas dance halls.” Kids are welcome in the restaurant and dance hall, but there’s a cover per person.
11. Visit Luck, Texas
Luck Texas is an Old West town that was built as the backdrop of a movie called The Red Headed Stranger. Located on the outskirts of Austin, in the backyard of Willie Nelson, it frequently hosts music and food festivals.
Things to do Near Austin
12. Eat at the Blue Bonnet Cafe
Enjoy a luscious slice of pie at the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, serving comfort food since 1929.
13. Tour the Inner Space Cavern
Take a walk underground in the Inner Space Cavern just north of Austin. With cathedral-sized rooms and a few tight spaces, the area maintains a constant temperature year-round. Don’t be surprised if you spot a few ancient animal bones on your tour!
14. Treat Yourself at Round Rock Donuts
They say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” and that’s what you’ll discover at Round Rock Donuts. Their world-famous Texas-sized donuts sure do live up to the name!
15. Take a Dip at the Hamilton Pool Preserve
The Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs Texas is a natural spring in the limestone fed by underwater rivers. It’s the perfect place to cool off in the summer and one of the best things to do in Texas with kids. Just be sure to make a reservation in advance.
16. The Historic Regency Bridge
Take a drive across the last standing and drivable wooden suspension bridge in Texas. The Regency Bridge in San Saba was built in 1939 and crosses the Colorado River.
17. Hike at Gorman Falls
Don’t miss Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park in Bend. This 70-foot-tall spring-fed waterfall is one of the tallest in Texas! After checking out the falls, the Gorman Falls Trail is a great out-and-back hike into the park that’s perfect for families.
18. Eat Barbecue in Lockhart, TX
Lockhart Texas is a meat lovers mecca. This town boasts some of the best BBQ in Texas and will challenge you to discover it all. Will you take the Lockhart Challenge by eating at their four most famous BBQ joints in one day?
Don’t miss our favorite things to do in Austin with teenagers!
Things to do in Dallas/Fort Worth
19. Learn about JFK at the Sixth Floor Museum
Visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza, located in downtown Dallas. This museum features the life, legacy, and assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
20. Check out the Nasher Sculpture Center
The Nasher Sculpture Center hosts both contemporary and modern artwork. Works are housed in the center and outside in a sculpture garden. Located in downtown Dallas, this is considered to have one of the finest sculpture collections in the world.
21. Ascend to the GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower
Experience breathtaking views of the Dallas Skyline at Reunion Tower from the 470-foot GeO-Deck with 360-degree panoramic views of the city.
22. Experience the Texas State Fair
Get your picture taken with Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas! This month-long event has been happening every fall practically since 1886 and features a wide range of fun activities for the whole family.
23. The Fort Worth Stockyards
The Fort Worth Stockyards is an iconic National Historic District that epitomizes the history of Texan culture. You’ll enjoy taking a stroll along the original brick-paved walkways and watching the twice-a-day cattle drive!
24. Take Pictures at the Fort Worth Water Gardens
The architecturally designed Fort Worth Water Gardens is a stunning, engineered oasis located in the heart of downtown. With three water pools, visitors will be amazed as they take a stroll through this incredible urban feature.
25. Feel the Energy at the Texas Motor Speedway
Your heart will thrill as the engines roar when you watch a race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Don’t miss our favorite Dallas day trips!
Things to Do Near DFW
26. See the Cowboys Play
Catch a game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington and watch the Dallas Cowboys take on their opponents. In the off-season, you can book a tour of the facilities.
27. Celebrate Christmas in Grapevine, TX
Grapevine, Texas is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas! The town turns into a Christmas wonderland for 40 days each holiday season. You’ll find a myriad of Christmas events that nobody should miss!
28. Visit the National Videogame Museum
Adults, teens, and younger kids alike will love the National Videogame Museum in Frisco. Take a fun walk through digital time by exploring interactive exhibits. They also offer guided tours.
29. See the Glass Bathrooms
Don’t be embarrassed to use this first-of-its-kind Glass Bathrooms in Sulphur Springs Texas. The restrooms have everything you need to relieve yourself with windows that allow you to see the panoramic view.
Don’t worry, they’re designed so that you can see out, but no one can see in. Or so they say. You’ll have to find out for yourself.
30. Go to Dinosaur Valley State Park
See where the dinosaurs once roamed! The Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX boasts visible dinosaur tracks in the river valley.
And don’t miss the nearby Fossil Rim Wildlife Center where you can feed wild animals from the comfort of your car!
31. See ‘Dallas’ Film Locations
Fans of the famous television show Dallas can visit the ranch where the show was filmed. South Fork Ranch features the Ewing mansion, tours, and memorabilia from the show’s 13 seasons.
32. Visit the Crazy Water Museum
33. Visit “The Other” Eiffel Tower
Visit the Eiffel Tower just 2 hours northeast of Dallas in Paris, Texas. This 65-foot-tall replica of the original features a giant Texas-sized cowboy hat at the top.
34. Take Pictures in the Bluebonnets
The Texas state flower is the Bluebonnet, and each spring the state comes alive with this amazing floral display. If you’re a true Texan, you know it’s tradition to have your photo taken among the little blue buds!
Start in Ennis, the “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas” and take this ultimate Bluebonnet drive.
Things to do near El Paso
35. Explore Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Discover the four highest peaks in Texas at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park located about 100 miles east of El Paso. It contains a diverse environment of mountains, canyons, and deserts.
36. Take a Scenic Drive on Scenic Drive
This scenic drive in El Paso is famous. Scenic Drive winds up to an overlook with stunning views of the city of El Paso that will wow you. Take it at night for an amazing scene!
Things to do in Texas Hill Country
37. Go Dancing at Gruene Hall
When traveling in Texas a little two-step is in order. And there is no better place to two-step than at Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas.
38. Visit the Most German Town in Texas
Plan a visit to Bavaria. Um, I mean Fredericksburg Texas where German settlers built a beautiful town that’s a perfect mesh of old-world Germany and Old West style. You’ll enjoy meandering through shops and discovering the local food scene.
39. Swim at Jacob’s Well
The artesian spring known as Jacob’s Well is surrounded by an 81-acre nature preserve outside of Wimberley. The spring is fed by an underground aquifer inside a cave system that’s about 140 feet deep and a mile long.
You can swim the creek and spring, but cave diving is only for permitted research professionals. The surrounding nature preserve offers hiking, bird watching, and other recreational activities.
40. Drive the Twisted Sisters
The Twisted Sisters in the Texas Hill Country is three connected roadways with over 200 twists and turns! The roads make for a thrilling ride no matter the form of transportation.
41. Spend the Day at Enchanted Rock
At Enchanted Rock State Natural Area you’ll discover a giant pink granite natural dome formation. You can go camping, rock climbing, stargazing, hiking, and more at this Texas state park in Fredericksburg. Especially in the fall, it’s one of the best things to do in Texas with kids!
42. Tour the Painted Churches
The Painted Churches of Schulenburg will take your breath away from the moment you step through the doors.
These elaborate Gothic churches were built by German and Czech immigrants who brought their old-world culture to the Hill Country of Texas.
43. Wander the LBJ Ranch
Take a tour of President Lyndon Johnson’s ranch near Stonewall Texas, his birthplace and lifelong home. He died there in 1973 and is buried on the property.
44. Become a Cowboy at the Mayan Dude Ranch
The Mayan Dude Ranch in Bandera gives you a taste of cowboy life. Take horseback rides, learn to rope, and watch a rodeo. You’ll feast on a home-cooked ranch meal and learn to talk like a real cowboy.
45. Eat at the Old Spanish Trail Restaurant
If you’re in Bandera, a meal at the historic Old Spanish Trail (OST) Restaurant is a must! It’s the oldest restaurant in Bandera, dating back to the 1920s when cattle drives brought cowboys to the restaurant.
46. Stand Deep in the Heart of Texas
Stop to have your photo taken in McCulloch County where the geographical center of Texas is located. Be sure to check out the Heart of Texas Museum nearby in Brady, Texas.
Things to Do in Houston
47. Stop by Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is home to NASA’s Mission Control Center, where you can learn about the history of the space program. There are rockets, shuttles, and a behind-the-scenes look at space exploration. It’s one of the top Texas attractions for families!
48. Explore Houston’s Downtown Tunnels
About twenty feet below the streets of Houston, you’ll discover the Lamar Tunnels, better known as the Downtown Houston Tunnels. This system of old tunnels is over 6 miles long. Today, you can enjoy shopping and dining in this cool underground world.
49. The Children’s Museum Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston is a science-based museum featuring hands-on activities, puzzles, and exhibits for kids of all ages.
50. Have Old-Fashioned Fun at the Kemah Boardwalk
The Kemah Boardwalk located in Houston is a classic American boardwalk situated on the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll discover restaurants and rides to explore as you walk along the waterfront.
51. Go the Rodeo
Nothing says cowboy quite like a rodeo. That’s why you’ll want to experience the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!
52. See the San Jacinto Monument
Discover how the Lone Star State came to be as you learn about the San Jacinto Battle when you visit the monument in La Porte, Texas.
Things to Do Near Houston
53. Explore Washington-on-the-Brazos
Washington on the Brazos is where Texas became Texas. This location is where Texas’ first 59 delegates met to declare their Independence from Mexico.
54. Attend to the Texas Renaissance Festival
Really step back in time when you visit the Texas Renaissance Festival. Experience an authentically recreated 16th-century village at this ultimate gathering in Todd Mission, Texas.
55. Go Antique Shopping in Round Top
Some of the best antique shopping can be found in Round Top! You won’t be surprised, with its picturesque buildings, old homes, and miles of antiques to peruse.
56. Eat at Mel’s Country Cafe
Take the whole family to enjoy the Texas-sized steak and the best burger in Texas at Mel’s Country Cafe.
57. Wave at Sam Houston
…Or his 67-foot-tall statue in Huntsville. Sam Houston was the governor of both Texas and Tennessee, as well as the first President of the Republic of Texas.
Things to do in San Antonio
58. Remember the Alamo
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas is definitely The Alamo in San Antonio. This will forever be remembered as the site where Texans took their last stand against the Mexican army as they fought for independence.
After a visit, be sure to visit the other missions around San Antonio, including our favorite, San José.
59. Stroll the San Antonio RiverWalk
You’ll enjoy the historical ambiance on the San Antonio RiverWalk coupled with modern restaurants and shopping. We highly recommend Christmas in San Antonio, with a ride on the river to see the carolers and twinkle lights!
60. Attend Fiesta
Since 1891 San Antonians have celebrated the memory of the Alamo heroes with a 10-day-long fiesta with parades, cook-offs, and more.
Today, it’s the most anticipated event of the year! You’ll love joining in the fun of Fiesta San Antonio, with its many family-friendly events.
61. Have Fun at SeaWorld San Antonio
62. Natural Bridge Caverns
Take guided tours of the caverns and also enjoy many other attractions such as zip lining, fossil hunting, and a wildlife ranch.
Things to do near San Antonio
63. Learn at the Gonzales Memorial Museum
The Gonzales Memorial Museum pays tribute to the people who died gaining Texas independence. You’ll even see the “Come and Take It” cannon that was used to fire the first shot of the battle!
64. Eat Chili at the Phoenix Saloon
Any true Texan will tell you that chili doesn’t have beans! And the best place to try true Texas-style chili is at the Phoenix Saloon in New Braunfels where chili powder was invented.
65. Eat Ice Cream at the Blue Bell Creamery
You can’t pass up the chance to tour the most famous ice cream shop in Texas, the Blue Bell Creamery. They’ve been making ice cream since 1907 and have long been a favorite of Texans and non-Texans alike.
66. Go Leaf Peeping at Lost Maples
The Lost Maples State Natural area is beautiful year-round, but it’s especially gorgeous in the fall when the leaves start to change! Plus, it’s a great place to view the vast Texas night sky in Vanderpool.
67. Visit Presidio la Bahía
Visit the Spanish Colonial Presidio La Bahia State Historic Site in Goliad, Texas. Built in 1749 to protect the Spanish missions in South Texas, the fort was the site of the Goliad Massacre, one of the most infamous events of the Texas Revolution.
Things to do in Waco
68. Try Kolaches at the Czech Stop
Hidden in the heart of Texas is a little-known pastry treat that originated from the Czech Republic. This pillowy soft treat has become a local favorite. What is it? It’s the Czech Kolache.
When driving between Austin and Dallas don’t miss the Czech Stop and Slovacek’s West near Waco. It’s worth it to enjoy this delectable treat for breakfast or an after-dinner treat!
69. Go to the Dr. Pepper Museum
Learn about Texas’ favorite drink at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco. Take a tour and experience the “King of Beverages.”
70. Have a Blast at Magnolia Market
If you’re a fan of the tv show “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines, you’ll want to plan a stop at Magnolia Market at the Silos! This is their shopping complex in Waco, complete with shops, food trucks, a garden shop, and more.
Things to do in East Texas
71. Enjoy the View at the Great Texas Balloon Race
Hot air balloons as far as you can see ascend into the sky at Longview’s Great Texas Balloon Race each July. It is a world-class event that attracts competitive pilots from around the world.
72. Smell the Roses at the Tyler Rose Garden
When you discover the Tyler Rose Garden in Tyler, Texas you’ll be visiting the country’s largest public Rose Garden with 32,000 bushes and 600 varieties of roses. Make sure to stop by the museum and gift shop.
73. Enjoy a Meal at Pittsburg Hot Link Restaurant
Visit Pittsburg Hot Link Restaurant to experience their Texas famous hot links. Pittsburg Texas is the hot link capital of Texas and hosts an annual Texas hot link festival!
74. Explore the Swamp at Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park has a marvelous swamp with towering cypress trees draped in Spanish moss. You can hike, canoe, fish, and even stay in historic cabins.
75. Hike at Davy Crockett National Forest
The Davy Crockett National Forest is named for the legendary pioneer. The forest covers over 160,000 acres of East Texas and has excellent trails, horseback riding, and wildlife.
Things to do in South Texas
76. Visit the National Butterfly Center
Discover the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, a 100-acre nature preserve of cultivated gardens and wild landscapes.
It is home to over 200 species of wild and naturally occurring butterflies and nearly 300 species of wild birds.
77. Go to the Beach on South Padre Island
South Padre Island is located between the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre along the southern coast of Texas. It boasts 70 miles of coastline with dunes and prairies filled with wildlife. Padre Island National Seashore is the longest remaining undeveloped natural barrier island in the world!
The area is a safe zone for the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and during the summer, you can help release turtles that have hatched along the beach!
78. Learn Texas History in West Columbia, TX
Visit the first capital of the Republic of Texas in West Columbia and take a tour through history.
79. Visit the World Birding Center
The World Birding Center in Mission, Texas is a must for bird lovers. You might not think about exotic birds when you think about Texas.
However, the Rio Grande Valley and the town of Brownsville, have wild parrots along with about 500 species of tropical birds who flock to the area!
Things to do in West Texas
80. Eat at the Terlingua Starlight Theater
Visit the people of the desert in the ghost town of Terlingua, Texas for a walk on the unique side.
Enjoy food and fun at the Terlingua Starlight Theater, an adobe structure that once had only the stars for a ceiling!
81. Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is full of rugged mountains, steep canyons, and amazing views. There are several scenic drives, hiking trails, and even river trips through Santa Elena Canyon.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the night skies here since light pollution is minimal and it is an International Dark Sky Park.
82. Hike to the Desk of Hancock Hill
The Desk of Hancock Hill is a must if you’re looking for Texas attractions for families, especially if you have older kids! Discover the history of its installation, enjoy the views, and be sure to leave a message in the notebook documenting your visit.
83. Visit the Residents of Prairie Dog Town
In Mackenzie Park in Lubbock, you’ll discover Prairie Dog Town. It’s the first protected prairie dog colony, established in the 1930s.
84. Monahans Sandhills State Park
Sledding on the sand dunes is a must in Texas when you visit Monahans Sandhills State Park.
85. Explore Seminole Canyon State Park
Discover the ancient rock art in the Seminole Canyon State Park. The pictographs are a testament to the ancient tribal community that lived here many millennia ago.
86. See the Mysterious Marfa Lights
The Marfa Lights of Marfa, Texas are often called Mystery Lights. No one really knows what causes the mysterious lights to appear in the night sky, but they draw visitors from around the world!
87. Enjoy the Views at Davis Mountains State Park
Take a cruise on the winding mountain roads of West Texas in Big Bend County and you’ll find yourself at the Davis Mountains State Park. Stay at Indian Lodge (a historic motel within the park), enjoy hiking, and explore all that the region has to offer.
88. Join the Rattlesnake Roundup
Since 1958 Sweetwater Texas has hosted the world’s largest Rattlesnake Roundup each March. Are you brave enough to enter a hunt?
89. Cool Off at Devil’s River
Get a glimpse of the clear, spring-fed waters of Devil’s River State Natural Area. You’ll start out with a one-mile hike to the river. Then, you can go swimming, paddling a canoe, or fishing.
Be Sure to Add These Things to Do in Texas with Kids to Your Bucket List
90. Try All the Best Barbecue in Texas
If there is one thing Texas is known for in the culinary world it is BBQ. Be sure to experience mouthwatering good brisket or fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Of course, there will always be debate about what is the best place to find the best Texan BBQ! To help, AFAR has this list of the best barbecue joints in Texas (written from a local’s point of view)!
91. Experience Bucee’s
No visit to Texas is complete without a stop at a Buc-ee’s convenience store. I know, you’re thinking, “Why would a convenience store be on a Texas bucket list?” Believe me, once you stop, you will understand why!
92. Eat at Whataburger
Every Texan knows that, when it comes to fast food, Whataburger is THE place to get a quick meal. If you have a chance, check out their double-decker flagship store in Corpus Christi.
93. Try All the Tacos
Every day is Taco Day in Texas. From morning breakfast tacos at Torchy’s to late-night tacos at Chico’s. I’ve never had a bad taco in Texas!
94. Visit the 3 Presidential Libraries in Texas
There’s the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, and the LBJ Library in Austin.
95. Go to the Beach
Texas boasts some gorgeous beaches along the Gulf Coast. You’ll find this list of the Best Beaches in Texas to be a good way to find the ones you want to visit.
96. Go Tubing on the River
It’s like a Texas summer rite of passage for Texans! Choose from one of many fabulous Texas rivers.
97. Jump into a Swimming Hole
There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer Texas day! You can even make it a Texas summer road trip.
98. Visit All the Texas Water Parks
Some favorites include Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels, Galveston, and South Padre Island), NRH20 Family Waterpark (North Richland Hills), Epic Waters (Grand Prairie), and Splash Town (San Antonio).
99. Visit a Food Hall
Get your fill of delicious food at one of the state’s many food halls. We recommend: Legacy Food Hall (Plano), Bravery Chef Hall (Houston), and Fareground Food Hall (Austin).
100. Go Fruit Picking
Texas is the perfect place to find the juiciest peaches, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Find the closest one to you at PickYourOwn.
Hopefully this list has provided plenty of ideas to help make a bucket list of the best things to do in Texas with kids. We think the state is pretty great, and we can’t wait to get out an explore!