Galveston Island Visitors Center
Galveston, TX 77550
Located roughly one to one-and-a-half hours (depending on traffic) southeast of Houston is Galveston Island. In addition to 32 miles of beaches, this day-trip destination offers boardwalks, shopping, dining, tours, and other events and attractions. If you’d rather extend your day trip into a weekend getaway, there are plenty of lodging options here as well. Among the main attractions are Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Moody Gardens. The latter offers an aquarium and rain forest exhibit with tropical birds, fish and plants, as well as a science-themed exhibit and several theaters with special effects, rides and 3D technology.
215 Kipp Ave.
Kemah, TX 77565
(877) AT KEMAH
Another of the best day trips for families around Houston is the Kemah Boardwalk, located in Kemah, Texas, along the Galveston Bay. From downtown Houston, the drive takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. The Kemah Boardwalk offers plenty of amusements, unique shopping and delectable dining, as well as regularly scheduled events. Kids will love the Ferris wheel and carousel, as well as the many other rides and games offered here. There are also fun exhibits such as the Stingray Reef. Shopping options include at least 11 unique and charming stores along the boardwalk. Retail hours are from Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Boardwalk also offers a variety of restaurants to satisfy nearly any appetite or palate; these includetThe Flying Dutchman, Joe’s Crab Shack, Saltgrass Steak House and Cadillac Bar, just to name a few.
Houston’s Museum District
If you don’t want to venture far from home for a day out with the family, the city’s Museum District is an ideal way to spend a Saturday. Situated along U.S. 59 near downtown Houston, the Museum District features at least 18 different venues, with a little something for everyone. Kids will especially love the Houston Zoo and The Children’s Museum of Houston. The whole family can learn something from the Health Museum, the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science or the many art museums found here. Some of these venues offer free general admission every day, which makes this not only an educational and entertaining family day-trip destination, but a potentially wallet-friendly trip as well. There are plenty of places to eat and rest in and around the various venues as well, so that you could easily spend a whole day or weekend perusing the Museum District. Just don’t forget to bring your camera and wear some comfortable kicks! For information about specific venues, admission and hours of operation, see the Houston Museum District website.