Everything is bigger in Texas. It is a motto almost as much as it is the state’s rule to live by. The 28th state in the United States is currently the second largest in both area and population. That means no matter where you go for your vacation getaway you will find something fun to do.
Here are ten places in Texas that is perfect for a family to visit when vacationing in the Lone Star State.
10. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is located in the building the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy were allegedly fired from. The museum chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. From the start of the museum, you see pictures, listen to a chronicling of Kennedy’s life through headphones, and eventually see and hear the actual footage of the assassination itself. The entire journey through the exhibits is a wonderful experience for history buffs and no stone is left unturned. When you finish the tour of the museum, there is an extra floor dedicated to the work of Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Bob Jackson, the man who took the picture of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald. The museum is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas and tickets are $13.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and children ages 6-18, and free for children under five. For more information, visit their official site at jfk.org/go/home.
9. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is located in Austin, Texas, a three-story museum that tells the “Story of Texas.” Included in the museum are interactive exhibits, “The Star of Destiny” special effects show, and Austin’s only IMAX Theater, featuring the film Texas: The Big Picture. The museum is named after the former Texas governor, who championed the building of the museum. Families are invited to participate in various programs at the museum including Explore the Story Programs, TEXplorations and TEXpeditions. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Prices are $7 for adults, $4 for kids and children under four get in free. For more information, visit their official site at thestoryoftexas.com.
8. The State Fair of Texas is held this year from Sept. 24 to Oct. 17 in Dallas. The fair resides on a 277-acre complex that includes the Music Hall, Cotton Bowl and eight museums. Fair Park is a National Historic Landmark and boasts the largest collection of art deco exposition buildings in the United States. During the fair, the exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Monday and close at 9 p.m. the rest of the week. The first Teas State Fair was in 1886 and the 100-year anniversary drew almost 4 million visitors. This year’s State Fair will also include three football games, Grambling vs. Prairie View on September 25, Texas Tech vs. Baylor on October 9 and the 105th annual Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas on October 2. For more information, visit the official site at bigtex.com.
7. The USS Lexington Museum on the Bay is located in Corpus Christie, Texas inside the actual World War II aircraft carrier. You make your way through the maze of tunnels and ladders on a self-guided tour, exploring every nook and cranny of the USS Lexington. There is also a Flight Simulator, Virtual Battle Station and a Mega Theater with a three-story tall screen. There is a lot of walking, the carrier can be hot in the summer, so comfortable shoes, and clothing is recommended. The museum is open year round, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is open till 6 p.m. Admission is $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for seniors and active military, $7.95 for kids and children under 3 get in free. For more information, visit their official site at usslexington.com.
6. The Arlington Ball Park and Cowboys Stadium are both located in Arlington, Texas across the street from each other. Whether you are a football or baseball fan, each stadium offers the best experience for family entertainment. Cowboys Stadium was opened in 2009 and is a state-of-the-art football arena, seating 80,000 people. It hosts Dallas Cowboys football games as well as concerts, college and high school football games, motocross races and more. The Arlington Ballpark opened in 1994 and holds over 49,000 fans. There is a large concourse for the kids to play ball and various games, a number of quality restaurants, and a museum of Texas Rangers history. For more information, visit their official sites at stadium.dallascowboys.com and texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/ballpark.
5. The Dallas Zoo covers around 95 acres and contains close to 1800 animals. The zoo opens Memorial Day Weekend and every year features a new special exhibit. 2010 features the Giants of the Savanna, an 11-acre exhibit that includes a safari where visitors view giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs and many other African animals. The Dallas Zoo is a spacious, extremely clean facility with something to do for kids of all ages. The zoo’s hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily and prices range from $12 for adults to $9 for kids with infants under two getting in free. For more information, visit their official site at dallaszoo.com.
4. The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas is visited by more than 2.5 million people a year and is located on a 4.2-acre complex. The site is the historical location where a small band of Texans held out for thirteen days during the war and includes the legend of Davey Crockett. The complex contains three buildings – the Shrine, Long Barrack Museum and Gift Museum – and is a history buffs dream. It displays exhibits, photographs and memorabilia from one of the most legendary and important historical locations in Texas history. The Alamo is open every day of the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit their official site at thealamo.org.
3. Sea World in San Antonio is the world famous home of Shamu, the Killer Whale. Families can watch shows involving Shamu as well as sea lion duo Clyde and Seamore. New for 2010 is the Azul Show, an exhibit where beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, colorful birds and human acrobats fly through the air. Also on site are rides, exhibits, a water park, special events and concerts, and guided tours. The park is open from March through December. Prices are $58.99 for adults and $49.99 for kids. For more information, visit their official site at seaworld.com/sanantonio.
2. Six Flags Over Texas is located in Arlington, Texas. It is an amusement park spread out over 212 acres with almost fifty rides for kids of all ages. Partnered with Warner Bros., the park has themed rides that include Superman: Tower of Power, Batman the Ride and Bugs Bunny’s Spirit of St. Louis. It offers popular roller coasters including The Shock Wave, Judge Roy Scream and Sidewinder. Other rides are available for all ages, from young children to adults. For the young ones, there are also Loony Tunes and DC comic characters walking through the park, music shows, stage shows and summer concerts. The park is open for weekends in March and April before opening daily in June. Tickets range from $32.00-$51.99 with children under two getting in free. For more information, visit their official site at sixflags.com/overTexas.
1. The Space Center in Houston is the home of NASA. There is so much for families to do at The Space Center. Once again, the center is joining forces with Lucasfilm Ltd., this year introducing Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This exhibit allows you to live out your favorite moments from the series in a daylong adventure. The Space Center Theater allows visitors to witness what it might have been like to be an astronaut on a 5-story tall screen. Also included are the Mission Status Center, a NASA tour, the Astronaut Gallery, the Starship Gallery and a Kids Space Place. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. Tickets are $19.95 got adults, $15.95 for kids and children under four get in free. For more information, visit the official site at spacecenter.org.
The Space Center
Six Flags Over Texas
Sea World in San Antonio
The Dallas Zoo
USS Lexington Museum on the Bay
The State Fair of Texas
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza