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Spring Break Galveston: A Hotspot for Family Activities

Updated 832 days ago

If you’re looking for some fun things during Galveston Spring Break 2017, there’s no need to look any further. We’ve put together this list of must-do activities for families and children of all ages to plunge into.

With spring break fast approaching – it kicks off March 13 in Galveston schools – the island is about to show the world why Galveston has become a national destination for folks in search of some excitement in the sun and moonlight.

To be sure, there’ll be plenty of bikinis on the beach, and the clubs will be hopping to the beat of hip-hop and rock. But that’s not all. Galveston has lots to offer for families and children of all ages.

So without further ado, here are some cool, fun-filled spots to take the family during your Spring Break stay in Galveston:

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Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
2501 Seawall Blvd. | 1-855-789-7437

This colorful, neon lighted pier that extends over the Gulf of Mexico at 25th Street is the place to be for thrill-seekers young and old.

The Galveston Island Pleasure Pier is home to midway games and 16 rides, from exhilarating coasters for thrill-seekers, to gentle rides for young visitors. There’s also a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant, along with cool shops to check out.

The adult rides include the Iron Shark Rollercoaster, Pirate’s Plunge, Gulf Glider, Revolution, Galaxy Wheel, Cyclone, and Sea Dragon. For the kids, there’s the Carousel, Big Wheelin’ car ride, the Frog Hopper, Texas Tea and Pier Pileup bumper cars.

Be sure to test your skills at the exciting midway games that include Whac-a-Mole, Big Shot Hoops, Nothin' But Net, Tub Toss, Ring Toss, Iron Shark Attack, Pirate Striker and Guess Your Weight or Age.

It’s a good idea to get there early, since time seems to be in slow motion as you hop on ride after ride, many of them more than once!

Schlitterbahn Waterpark
2026 Lockheed Dr., next to Moody Gardens | 409-770-9283

For the ultimate fun in the sun adventure, slide on over to Schlitterbahn Waterpark and plunge into more than a dozen heated water adventures, including the MASSIV – one of the largest water park rides in the nation.

There’s something for just about everyone at the waterpark – tube slides, speed slides, and kids’ activity areas with a pint-sized slides, a secluded beach, a heated pool, a man-made surfing wave, and the Torrent® tidal wave river.

If you’re feeling courageous, climb aboard the MASSIVE – the world’s tallest water coaster. The hair-rising ride includes four uphill sections with six blaster jets, culminating in a triple-drop ending in into a landing pool.

With its 26 acres of thrilling waterpark adventures, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is a sure shot for family fun.

Seahorse and Classic Carriages
2100 Strand | 409-925-3312

Island Carriages
2528 Postoffice | 409-765-6951

If you’re looking for something a bit slower paced, the island has several carriage companies to take you and the family for a close-up look at some popular Galveston sights and sounds.

Lose yourself in the wonderful historic atmosphere of the island, whether it’s a guided historic tour or a quiet romantic ride. The horse-drawn carriages will take you along tree-lined streets, providing the perfect vantage point to see the architectural details of the historic mansions.

It’s like stepping back into the past, when Galveston was known as the Wall Street of Southwest. During this golden era of Galveston – from the mid-1800s to the mid-20th century – the city was home to a number of firsts in Texas.

Magic Carpet Golf
9030 Seawall Blvd. | 409-740-2000

Look out Tiger Woods and Rory McIllroy. You may have stellar golf credentials, but that won’t stop the young folks from showing off their putt-putt skills at Magic Carpet Golf.

This mini golf paradise has been wowing kids and families for years, and features two colorful, 18-hole courses to test your golf skills. It’s loaded with animated twists, turns, and trickery that translate into instant fun for the family.

Galveston Water Adventures
100 21st St. | 409-276-6116

If speed is your forte, you won’t want to miss a ride on Jet Boat SPINTIME, which provides an adrenaline-filled rush on the custom-built jet boat that traverses the Galveston Harbor and its environs.

The entire family will enjoy the thrill and excitement of right angle turns, accelerated speeds, and “The Hamilton Spin”, a maneuver that spins the boat 360° on its axis throwing a head high wall of water into the air.

Galveston Water Adventures offers eco-tours and sunset cruises aboard the Cruise-N-Time, a twin engine open-air tour boat.

Galveston Railroad Museum
2602 Santa Fe Place | 409-765-5700

For a step back in time, head on over to The Railroad Museum to see one of the largest restored railroad collections in the Southwest that includes lavishly restored trains from Galveston’s early days as a cultural and business powerhouse.

The museum boasts more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock, along with numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits. Most Saturdays, the Museum offers rides aboard the "Harborside Express" train between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. boarding every 20 minutes.

Haunted Mayfield Manor
2313 Harborside Dr. | 409-762-6677

It’s no secret that Galveston is one of the oldest cities in Texas, and with that distinction the island has a decidedly spooky past.

With that in mind, take kids out to see Haunted Mayfield Manor, the home of Dr. Horace Mayfield, once a respected doctor, upcoming community leader, and son of a prominent physician in Galveston.

During his tenure as a public physician, he began to perform experiments on his unwitting patients. It is said that witnessing the death and destruction of 1900 Storm – together with his own personal loss - drove the doctor insane.

His madness continues to this day as he tries to recoup his losses and continue his research. So take a deep breath, and dare to visit Haunted Mayfield Manor – a real-life Ghostbusters experience.

1877 Tall Ship ELISSA
2200 Harborside Dr. | 409-763-1877

At a time that daring sailors challenged the world’s seas, the tall ship Elissa was in her full glory. Experience a slice of that maritime glory by walking along Elissa’s decks as you imagine another world powered by wind sails.

The Texas Seaport Museum, home to Elissa, tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Check out the one-of-a-kind computer database with names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston, “The Ellis Island of the West.” Be sure to step into the adjacent movie theater to learn about the 1900 Storm, which today still ranks as the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Downtown Galveston
Historic area includes The Strand and Postoffice Street

If you’d like to soak up the ambiance of Galveston’s past that has melded with the future, you won’t want to miss a trip to the Historic Downtown District.

There, you’ll find an enchanting blend of art galleries, antique shops and chic eateries – many located in restored 1900s-era buildings.

Be sure to pop into La Kings Confectionary at 2323 Strand, which features a 1920s soda fountain serving malts, shakes, ice cream sodas, sundaes and splits. To be sure, there’s enough sweets to make Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory jealous!

Moody Gardens
1 Hope Blvd. | 1-800-582-4673

This entertainment paradise has something for just about everyone, from its white sands Palm Beach, to the exciting educational pyramids and MG 3D Theater.

At the Aquarium Pyramid, the kids will meet penguins, sharks and other aquatic animals; and at the Rainforest Pyramid they’ll experience close encounters with free-roaming monkeys, macaws and other endangered animals and plants.

While at Moody Gardens, consider taking a ride aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, a triple deck sternwheeler that cruises the adjacent waters.

Article written by Robert Stanton - Isle Guy