There are many attractions to entertain both kids and adults in Galveston, Texas. History buffs of all ages can enjoy the cultural sites and Victorian architecture. The Strand National Historic Landmark District features retail stores and eclectic restaurants. Old Galveston Square, built in 1859, is home to many shops, including the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Free things to do in Galveston include taking a ferry ride on the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry and strolling along the waterfront. Here are some more things to do in Galveston that families are sure to love.
Galveston Railroad Museum
It’s all aboard the Harborside Express on Saturdays at Galveston Railroad Museum. The museum — located at the head of the Strand — is a complex of attractions and historic facilities. The Santa Fe Warbonnets, two F-7 locomotives, served on railways in years past. People’s Gallery is a recreation of the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe railway depot as it looked in 1932. You can also view various types of passenger cars as well as a china collection that reveals the grandeur of dining on passenger trains.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Hop on the roller coaster or one of the other rides at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Pirate’s Plunge is quite a splash, Revolution soars high, and both the Ferris wheel and carousel are always classic fun.
Then, play the carnival games and visit souvenir shops. Opened in the summer of 2012, the attraction replaced the original Pleasure Pier that was damaged in a storm.
You’ll learn about conservation and wildlife at Moody Gardens, located on Galveston Island. Attractions include the Rainforest Pyramid, 4D Special FX Theater, Aquarium Pyramid, and MG 3D Theater. You can also enjoy a cruise aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, a replica of an 1800’s vessel.
Galveston Island Beach Parks
Galveston Island has 32 miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches. Stewart Beach, featuring beach volleyball courts and a children’s playground, is Galveston’s best family beach park. The East Beach park is home to a boardwalk, pavilion, and entertainment stage.
There’s something for everyone at Galveston Island State Park, including beach and surf fun, kayak tours, bird walks, and nature field trips. The fun doesn’t have to end at sundown since the park offers beach camping.
Haunted Mayfield Manor
Screaming is allowed as you walk through twelve rooms of terror at Haunted Mayfield Manor. Brave the dark, the fog, the flashing lights, and the undead who roam the manor. Children who are eleven or older are encouraged to visit the manor, and all ages are welcome at its sister attraction Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast. Stop by and meet the resident pirates, and have a swashbuckling good time.
Texas Seaport Museum
Explore the decks of the tall ship Elissa at Texas Seaport Museum. The iron-hulled, three-masted sailing ship was built in 1877. The story of Elissa’s rescue from the scrap yard and her restoration is brought to life in the theater. In addition to the ship, the two-story museum of maritime history tells the story of immigration and seaborne commerce. Find ancestors with the help of the Galveston Immigration Database.