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Best Amusement Parks in Texas for Families

Texas is the home of family fun! The state has numerous amusement parks and if you’re on a trip with the whole family, you should add two or three of them to your itinerary. Not sure which amusement park to visit? Here’s a guide to the best amusement parks in Texas. 

Best amusement parks in Texas

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Where to Find the Best Amusement Parks in Texas

1. Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags amusement parks are scattered throughout the United States, but the one in Arlington (outside of Dallas), is the original Six Flags Park!

This park has some awesome attractions, including  12 roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel. The most thrilling rides here include the Batman-themed coasters, the spinning Pandemonium, the 200-foot drop Superman ride, and the huge Texas Giant.

Smaller kids will enjoy the Looney Toons-themed section designed to keep them busy and active in a fun environment. 

Six Flags Over Texas hosts live shows and events the whole family can enjoy and offers numerous food options to satisfy your cravings. 

2. Hurricane Harbor

Hurricane Harbor is a Six Flags Water Park in Arlington that offers endless water activities for visitors. This park has about three million gallons of water across 40 slides, rides, and pools. This makes it the perfect place to spend your time when the temperatures go up.

Some of the most popular water slides and rides, are the Tsunami Surge, Shotgun Falls, Dive Bomber, and of course the Lazy River.

Note: Hurricane Harbor is a seasonal park, so check the calendar before heading there. 

3. Kemah Boardwalk

Kemah Boardwalk is just about 20 miles from downtown Houston. This amazing park caters to families who want to enjoy great views of the Gulf of Mexico while finding thrills on some of the fantastic rides.

Some attractions in this amusement park include the Century Wheel, a double-decker carousel, Boardwalk Bullet, a wooden roller coaster, and the HypnoSpin.

You can also take the Boardwalk Beast, a 25-minute high-speed boat ride into Galveston Bay at 40 miles per hour.

Kemah Boardwalk also has many waterfront restaurants where you can have a fantastic meal after a day filled with fun activities. 

4. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Galveston’s Historic Pleasure Pier is one of the best amusement parks in Texas. It’s also a favorite among families thanks to the amazing attractions like the Pirate’s Plunge, Iron Shark Rollercoaster, Sea Dragon, and Galaxy Wheel. 

Pleasure Pier features a lot of thrill rides that younger kids will love, including a carousel, the Lil’ Captain Wheel, and the Pier Pileup.

Landscape image of the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier in Texas on the beach with roller coasters.

There is also the 60-foot-tall Cyclone coaster with many twists and turns and the Texas Star Flyer which suspends riders 230 feet above the Gulf of Mexico.

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Don’t forget to grab a meal or snack at one of the dining options available in the park. There is also an ice cream shop for a cool treat.

5. Morgan’s Wonderland

Morgan’s Wonderland offers 25 ultra-accessible attractions for everyone, regardless of age or physical ability. This amusement park has a Butterfly playground, a pirate-themed playground, an amphitheater, a train ride, and a mini Ferris wheel. Your little ones will not want to leave here! 

Shipwreck_Island_Morgans Wonderland
Photo: Creative Commons

Morgan’s Wonderland is a not-for-profit park and the world’s first park catering to special needs individuals. Most rides and playscapes here are wheelchair-accessible, and the park offers live shows centered on inclusivity. Entrance to Morgan’s Wonderland is free for people with special needs. 

6. SeaWorld San Antonio 

SeaWorld is the perfect place for little kids to encounter fascinating aquatic animals, live shows, and adrenaline-pumping rides.

Some attractions for younger children include a mini roller coaster, a climbing structure, and a carousel. There’s also a wooden roller coaster called the Texas Stingray. This coaster is the tallest, longest, and fastest wooden coaster in all of Texas. 

Dolphins performing at Seaworld San Antonio, Texas.

If you are more interested in animals, you can spend your day with the beluga whales, sea lions, dolphins, orcas, and penguins. There are also marine life performances that will entertain all ages.

SeaWorld hosts a food festival known as the Seven Seas Food Festival every May. This festival features more than 100 cuisines from all around the globe, including German and Brazilian. If you are here before May 30, you may be able to catch the event, which is held every weekend. 

7. Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures

Big Rivers offers adventures in the water and on land. The major attractions here include the aerial adventure course, the fairgrounds, and waterpark.

Big Rivers Waterpark also has different areas, including the Polliwog Puddle dedicated to little children and the Wild Isle featuring water slides and climbing structures on the onsite lake. 

Some dry adventures here include the petting zoo, archery, outdoor maze, fishing hole, and rock mining. There are also a couple of spinning wheels and swing-style rides for your little ones. 

8. Kiddie Park

Built in 1925, Kiddie Park in San Antonio is one of the oldest children’s amusement parks in the US. This Texas amusement park has many classic rides.

Park favorites are the carousel, the flying saucer ride, and a mini Ferris wheel for kids. In spite of its age, Kiddie Park has many modern attractions and updates, including arcade games and rides for adults.

Kiddie Park is located at the San Antonio Zoo, so it’s a great place to mix seeing animals and exploring fun rides. 

9. ZDT’s Amusement Park

This family park has many kids’ attractions, including a parachute drop, go-karts, a wooden roller coaster, and a jungle playland.

Other things you will find here include a rock climbing wall, an arcade, and many water rides.

Your children will not want to leave the park unless it’s time to grab a pizza, burger, fried Oreos, or other refreshments from the onsite restaurant. ZDT’s Amusement Park is open year-round, but the water rides are available on a  seasonal basis. 

10. Downtown Aquarium Houston

Downtown Aquarium is one of the best amusement parks in Texas. Unlike other parks, it focuses on marine life. This attraction is part aquarium, part theme park, and part restaurant. 

Nighttime view of the entrance of the Houston Aquarium.

The aquarium is home to 300 different species including bullfrogs, catfish, and alligator snapping turtles.

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This park also has terrific rides, including an aquatic-themed carousel, the Frog Hopper, and the Diving Bell Ferris Wheel that treats you to the stunning views of downtown Houston. You can end your day by digging into the delicious seafood meals served at the onsite restaurant. 

11. Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort New Braunfels

Schlitterbahn Waterpark is located on the banks of the Comal River and offers a lot of exciting fun. There are over fifty attractions, rides, water slides, lazy rivers, and low-key pools.

Some of the best attractions in Schlitterbahn are the Boogie Bahn, a surfing simulator, and Dragon’s Revenge billed as the world’s first water coaster. If you are not into rides and slides, you can rent a cabana and simply relax by one of the pools. 

Schlitterbahn has many amenities, including a Lagoon Activity Pool where you can play volleyball and float in a tube, a swim-up bar where you can grab a drink, and a barbecue truck to indulge your taste buds.

One of the best things about Schlitterbahn is that it has a hotel on-site so families can stay for multiple days to get the most from their vacation.

12. Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park

Wonder World Park may not have a roller coaster like other parks, but it remains one of the best theme parks in Texas.

This park is known for many unique activities and attractions, including an underground cave, with fossils. There’s an arcade with fun video games, and a petting zoo with cute animals.

Don’t miss the Observation Tower that lifts you 190 feet off the ground so you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. 

You can visit the wildlife park, try the anti-gravity house, and play games in the arcade. Wonder World is a great place to be if you want to have fun while learning more about our nature. 

13. Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Another major Six Flags Park in the United States is in San Antonio. It features many attractions and rides you find at every Six Flags park.

Six Flags Fiesta has five themed sections and features over 100 unique rides and attractions. There is Los Festivales, a Spanish-themed area with theater venues that host amazing shows. The Crackaxle Canyon Screampunk District has the park’s tallest roller coasters, and the German Village (Spassburg) has a floorless roller coaster known as the Superman: Krypton Coaster. 

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Superman Roller Coaster
Photo: Creative Commons

Be sure to pack swimsuits for the kids so they can have fun at the small waterpark (White Water Bay Waterpark) attached to the theme park. Kids will love the water slides and the Texas-shaped pool. You should also look out for special events hosted all year round. Some favorites are the Fourth of July celebration, Summer Vibes Festivities, and the Mardi Gras Festival. 

As you can see, Texas boasts an impressive array of theme parks that are perfect for families looking for fun-filled adventure. From thrilling roller coasters to water rides, interactive exhibits, and live entertainment, these parks have something for all ages.

Whether you prefer the excitement of Six Flags Fiesta Texas or the charm of SeaWorld San Antonio, each of the parks on this list promises an unforgettable experience. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to have an epic time at one of the best amusement parks in Texas.