An Owner's Perspective: Family Fun in Galveston, Texas
Lauren is a mom of two and owns Las Brisas in Pointe West, our family-friendly Galveston, Texas vacation rental. We recently talked with Lauren about the kid-friendly aspects of the home and their favorite things to do in the area.
Why did you decide to make your vacation home kid-friendly?
We purchased a beach home in Galveston and it is fully equipped for families with young kiddos. The house includes such amenities as stair gates, playpen, high chair, beach toys and access to a children’s pool via the nearby beach club. We have two toddlers so we know the importance to families traveling with young ones.
What are your favorite family spots around Galveston?
Our family loves Moody Gardens! The aquarium renovations will be completed this spring. Another favorite of ours is their Rainforest Pyramid and their Winter Ice Sculptures Wonderland.
The Winter Wonderland is freezing cold and they give you these huge jackets to wear. You walk through some pretty amazing scenes carved completely from ice, then slide down a huge ice slide! The ice portion is open from November - January but the rest of the attractions are open year-round.
Near Moody Gardens is the Lone Star Flight Museum. They have a hangar full of beautifully restored World War 2 aircraft to look at and read about.
Galveston Island State Park is also a fun place to visit. There are walking trails throughout the coastal plains where you get a chance to see some pretty incredible water birds. They have kayak trails and occasionally offer guided kayak tours of the bay. The bay fishing is excellent too and there are many spots to fish in the park without having to obtain a fishing license.
We always have lots of fun taking our dog to our Pointe West neighborhood beach and also hunting for seashells there. We've found some pretty amazing ones especially after rainstorms.
Below are Lauren’s favorites plus a few more family-friendly Galveston destinations and activites.
With 32 miles of beaches, Galveston Island is perfect for families in search of sun, sea and sand. Whether you are looking for an action packed beach scene with lots of amenities or an uncrowded, more natural beach, one of Galveston’s seven beach parks will have what you’re looking for. Parasailing, jet boating, wave running, paddle boarding, surfing and flyboarding are a few of the fun rentals, lessons and tours to enjoy.
The main features are The Aquarium Pyramid, The Rain Forest Pyramid and the Discovery Pyramid. The aquarium is undergoing a multi-phased renovation concentrating on the vital importance of the oceans and will re-open May 2017. The Rain Forest is a visit to the rainforests of Asia, Africa and the Americas and you can learn about endangered plants and see animals ranging from Giant Amazon River Otters to Saki Monkeys and an array of birds! The Discovery Pyramid features the SpongeBob Subpants Adventure, a children’s interactive silly deep-sea adventure lead by Captain Patrick Star! The MG 3D Theater and the 4D Special FX Theater offer spectacular films and you can engage your senses and be part of the action. And finally there is the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, which is an hour-long cruise on an 1800s paddlewheel boat.
Enjoy tons of rides and amusements that go right over the Gulf of Mexico! 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 to take in the view, grab a bite and enjoy after-dinner fun with the kids. (The Pier is lit up at night which is excting for kiddos.)
After Hurricane Ike,many trees were destroyed. One woman knew a tree sculptor in Houston who sculpted her dead tree. Suddenly more and more people with downed trees called on him. The sculptures are all created according to Galveston themes and the remaining tree size. The funnest one is at a children's park with all kinds of animals, some hidden, but adults will enjoy it also. 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. 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.
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.
The entire family will enjoy the Railroad Museum with Historic locomotives & indoor displays of artifacts, plus model trains & Saturday train rides. The annual train show features model train displays and judging, vendors, and rides on the Harborside Express! Check the website for seasonal hours and event dates.
Celebrate 10 years of fun at this super fun water park that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day of water rides, fun, and family! Longer rides, more thrilling slides, free parking, and free tubes are just some of the reasons your family will enjoy a full day or even two of fun filled adventure.
The Strand is the Galveston historic district. There are tours and museums, carriage rides and shopping. Be sure to visit La King’s Confectionary for old fashioned novelty items such as handmade chocolates, fresh Salt Water Taffy, batch roasted Duncan Coffee Beans and Purity Ice Cream, which is the oldest ice cream in Texas. December brings “Dickens on the Strand” which is an historic Christmas reenactment where everyone dresses in period clothes and carols and does other fun stuff.
A restored, three-masted, iron-hulled ship built in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1877 - that still sets sail in the Gulf of Mexico. She is part of the Texas Seaport Museum, a wonderful place to learn about local maritime history and get a first-hand experience on a beautiful ship.
This top rated museum houses an award winning collection of vintage airplanes. Depending on your interest in historic planes dating back to the 1930’s, you could spend an hour or all day. If you REALLY love planes, consider booking a ride in one of the planes. Airplane rides are available for teens and adults for an additional cost.
A dream come true for families with preschool and elementary age kids. It is loaded with hands-on science and art activities in an air-conditioned building near the Strand historic district.
There's tons to do in Galveston for families! Lauren and her family are happy to share their lovely home with other families. You can see more of their home and book your next Galveston vacation here.