Texas has many wonderful options when it comes to planning a day or week of fun. With a state this large, you’ll want for nothing, especially when it comes to a selection of amusement parks. Most of the parks are located near big cities, making your visit all the more fun. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the best amusement parks in Texas.

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Amusement Parks Near Houston

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the US, and there is always something to do when you’re looking to have some fun. You’ll find there is also no shortage of amusement parks just a short distance from the city. 

Kemah Boardwalk 

Aviator Ride at Kemah Boardwalk

The Kemah Boardwalk and its theme park rides are located only 20 miles from downtown Houston, and you’ll feel a world away from the big city. The boardwalk has something for everyone, from your bravest thrill-seeker to your smallest, you’ll be sure to have a blast.

The Kemah Boardwalk is family-friendly with dining options and amusements. Located right on the Gulf of Mexico, the views are also stunning as you plan to spend the day on the boardwalk.

Some attractions on the boardwalk include a Ferris wheel, carousel, the HypnoSpin, the Boardwalk Tower, and the Boardwalk Bullet, which is Kemah’s wooden roller coaster.

The Kemah Boardwalk also offers a thrill ride in the Gulf called The Boardwalk Beast; a 25-minute high-speed boat ride that tops out at 40 miles per hour. 


Save on Kemah Boardwalk admission with the Houston CityPASS.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Located roughly 50 miles from the heart of Houston, lies Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico. The Pleasure Pier has been a family-favorite destination for many years, and it’s easy to see why.

With rides, dining, and shopping, you’ll have a great time whatever you decide to do. Some of the fantastic attractions here include the Iron Shark Roller Coaster, the Texas Star Flyer, Pirate’s Plunge, the Galaxy Wheel, and the Sea Dragon, to name a few.

There are also rides for your little ones including a carousel, the Frog Hopper, Texas Tea, Lil’ Captain Wheel. The Pleasure Pier truly offers something for everyone.

And once you’ve had your fill of exciting rides, you can make your way over to grab a bite to eat at a number of dining options. And don’t forget to stop by Carousel Court Sweets for something sweet to end your visit. 

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown Spring

As you may already know, Texas is hot, most of the year. So deciding to visit a waterpark may be your best bet when it comes to staying cool.

Hurricane Harbor is a Six Flags waterpark located just 20 miles north of Houston. The number of waterslides, rides, and pools will not disappoint. The park offers rides for water enthusiasts of all ages and sizes.

Some rides include the Stingray Racer, Runaway Rapids, RipQurl, a climbing structure for kids called the Treehouse, and a giant wave pool known as Hurricane Bay.

Hurricane Harbor also has a number of dining options available to refuel throughout the day. With everything from burgers and fries to ice cream and lots of yummy food in between, your day will be complete. 

Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark

Guests float around a large pool in rafts at Schlitterbahn Galveston.
Photo courtesy of Schlitterbahn Galveston

Another waterpark option located south of Houston in Galveston is Schlitterbahn Waterpark. This amusement park in Texas offers water slides and rides for everyone to enjoy.

They also have more relaxing options such as cabanas, and a heated pool with a swim-up bar or you can just find a spot to lounge in the sun. Some thrills include the Bahnzai Pipeline, Cliffhanger, Dragon Blaster, and the MASSIV Monster Blaster.

Schlitterbahn also has attractions for your younger guests as well, with a number of pools and structures to climb up on in the water. For your dining needs while at Schlitterbahn you’ll find a variety of food and snacks to appease any palette. 

Typhoon Texas Waterpark

Typhoon Texas is another great option for a waterpark; located in Katy, about 25 minutes west of Houston. Some exciting rides and slides include the Gully Washer, the Duelin’ Daltons, Tidal Wave Bay (wave pool), and Lazy T River to name a few.

Although this is a smaller waterpark than some already mentioned, it’s sure to pack your day with fun and excitement. Also, the location of this amusement park is great if you’d like to spend some time in Katy.

There is an outlet mall, lots of great dining options, and only a short drive to the city of Houston.

Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures

Another amusement park located just northeast of Houston, Big Rivers offers lots of great opportunities for fun in the sun. Although the name may be misleading, this amusement park in Texas is not only a waterpark.

There are wet and dry amusements, as well as aerial adventures, it’s like three parks in one. Their waterpark attractions include traditional water slides, a wave pool, and an area for your youngest family member called the Polliwog Puddle.

In another area of the park, they have Wild Isle, which is a number of inflatable water slides and climbing structures in a lake. It’s known as a floating waterpark and challenge course. Big Rivers also has an entire aerial ropes course that guests can climb and zip along on.

And finally, they have what is called their dry adventures which include, ax throwing, archery, rock mining, a giant outdoor maze, a petting zoo, and a fishing hole. There is definitely enough here to pack your day with fun and adventure that will surely please everyone. 

Amusement Parks Near Dallas

Dallas is the second-largest city in Texas, and there is no lack of fun here! There are a number of great things to do in Dallas, and of course, amusement parks are on the list. 

Six Flags Over Texas Dallas

Six Flags Over Texas reflecting off of a lake.

Six Flags may be one of the most recognizable names in the amusement park industry, and in Dallas, Six Flags Over Texas delivers when it comes to thrills and excitement.

There are thrill rides, family rides, and kids rides. So you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your group. They also have live shows and various events throughout the year. Some of their more popular rides include Batman the Ride, Dive Bomber Alley, Judge Roy Scream, Superman: Tower of Power, and Shockwave.

There is also a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and some smaller roller coasters for your younger thrill-seekers. Six Flags is always a great time and if you’re planning a visit to Dallas, Six Flags Over Texas should be on your itinerary. 

Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark and Resort

Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor waterpark and resort that is geared toward families. So you can stay right in the middle of all the fun.

Not only is there an indoor waterpark, but there are other activities at Great Wolf Lodge as well. Some of these activities include Oliver’s Mining Co., Howlers Peak Ropes Course, MagiQuest, an arcade, and a Build-a-Bear on site.

With a number of dining options at the Lodge, such as Buckets Incredible Craveables, and the Loose Moose Cottage for sit-down dining, you can refuel and get back to the fun in no time. You’ll find that Great Wolf Lodge truly has something for everyone. 

Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark Grand Prairie

Located in Grand Prairie, about 20 minutes west of Dallas, you will find Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark. Although this is also an indoor waterpark, Epic Waters does not have hotel accommodation attached. It is a standalone park.

When you’re bogged down by the Texas heat, an indoor waterpark is a great place to spend the day to cool down and have some fun. It’s one of the few waterparks that is open year-round.

Hurricane Harbor Arlington

Just outside Dallas, in Arlington, you can visit Hurricane Harbor. This is a seasonal Six Flags water park in the Dallas area. So, you’ll want to check the calendar before you go.

Here you can enjoy all the classic water slides and rides, such as the Banzai Pipeline, Dive Bomber, Geronimo, and a Lazy River. There is truly a ride and water experience for everyone in your group, from your littlest swimmer to your bravest. 

Bahama Beach Waterpark Dallas

This is Dallas’ family waterpark, where you can enjoy a day in the Texas sun and keep cool while having lots of fun.

Bahama Beach offers Coconut Cove, an interactive water playground complete with climbing structures, water buckets, rope ladders, and three 40 foot slides.

If you are looking for a bigger thrill you can take a ride on the Riptide Slide and the Bahama Bullet, both enclosed slides reaching 45 feet in the air. It’s also a seasonal waterpark so check the calendar before you go.

Amusement Parks Near San Antonio

San Antonio offers a number of exciting amusement park options for everyone. If you’re visiting the San Antonio area be sure to check out the following amusement parks for a day of fun!

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

The Iron Rattler roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas hurls down a steep drop.

In true Six Flags fashion, you will find all your favorite rides and activities here in San Antonio. Six Flags Fiesta Texas has something that will be sure to excite everyone in your party.

There are soaring roller coasters, water rides, kid’s rides, and rides for people of all ages! If you find that you need a break from rides, you can attend a live show offered throughout the park, running at different times all day.

Of course, there are also plenty of food options to refuel so the fun is never-ending. 


I have advice for how to buy discount Six Flags Fiesta Texas tickets.

SeaWorld San Antonio

A Rio Loco raft spins under a waterfall at SeaWorld San Antonio
Photo courtesy of SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio is the perfect mix of animal encounters, shows and rides for the whole family. You can easily spend the day here enjoying the orcas, dolphins, and beluga whales. And in between, you can take a ride on the Texas Stingray, the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden coaster in Texas!

For a more detailed list of the best SeaWorld San Antonio rides look no further. Or if you’re looking for something a little more low-key you can Wave-Breaker, a rescue coaster where you’re on a mission on your very own jet ski.

For the littlest member of your party, SeaWorld San Antonio has a carousel, mini roller coaster, and a climbing structure to play on.


I have advice for saving money on SeaWorld San Antonio tickets. The best bets are usually though aRes Travel or SeaWorld directly.

Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica is SeaWorld’s partner amusement park in San Antonio. They are two separate parks but share the same space.

Aquatica offers water rides and slides, as well as a lazy river, and climbing structures for your smaller swimmers. The park also has the option for chair and cabana rentals to allow for a more relaxing time if you’re looking to catch some rays while others play. 


The best bets for cheap tickets are usually though aRes Travel or SeaWorld directly.

Morgan’s Wonderland

Morgan’s Wonderland is an amusement park designed for everyone. It offers 25 Ultra-Accessible attractions over 25 acres of land. It is the world’s first amusement park specially designed free from physical and economic barriers, regardless of age or ability.

Some of the attractions include a carousel, the Butterfly playground, an off-road adventure, Pirate Island a pirate-themed playground, the Whirling Wonder mini Ferris wheel, a train ride, more.

This is a beautiful place to spend the day with your little ones as they explore and ride on the many interactive attractions in the Wonderland. 

Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort New Braunfels

Water slides galore! (Photo courtesy of Schlitterbahn New Braunfels)

Located just outside of San Antonio, Schlitterbahn Waterpark is a great place to cool off in the San Antonio area. You can play and stay at this amusement park, granting you the opportunity for non-stop fun.

At Schlitterbahn New Braunfels you’ll find everything from extreme water slides, and a wave pool to a lazy river. So depending on what you want to do, there is truly something for everyone.

You can also rent a cabana and relax in a number of the heated pools if you’re not into water slides and rides. The resort offers a number of lodging options as well depending on what you are looking for in a vacation.  

ZDT’s Amusement Park Seguin 

ZDT’s Amusement Park is a 10-acre family park located just outside of San Antonio. They offer a number of rides from a wooden roller coaster, parachute drop, and go-karts, to a jungle playland and a rock climbing wall to name a few.

ZDT’s also has some yummy treats and refreshments to enjoy throughout the day, such as pizza, burgers, funnel cakes, and fried Oreos. Spending your day at ZDT’s will not disappoint! 

Amusement Parks Near Austin

Austin is only a little over an hour away from San Antonio, so if you’re going to be spending some time in the Texas Hill Country you can easily visit amusement parks in both cities over your stay in the area. 

Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures

If you’re looking for some fun on the water look no further than Lake Travis Waterloo. Waterloo is called a “Floating Water Park” because this unique amusement park is completely set up on the lake.

There are a number of inflatables that offer hours of fun in the sun. From climbing to sliding to rocking and swinging there are so many ways to enjoy your water adventure on Lake Travis. 

Austin’s Amusement Park Pflugerville

Austin’s is located in Pflugerville just outside the city of Austin. An indoor-outdoor amusement park with lots of options for fun; Austin’s has everything from go-karts, mini-golf, and batting cages to a climbing wall, bowling, arcade, and a carousel.

This amusement park has rides and attractions for everyone. There are bumper boats and kids’ coasters sure to make everyone smile. Austin’s has two dining options as well, a bar and grill, and a buffet. 

Kiddie Park

The oldest children’s amusement park is Kiddie Park where family fun includes plenty of kiddie rides. It was established in 1925 and a lot of the rides are original but, of course, refurbished.

It has been relocated to San Antonio Zoo, so a great pitstop in between visiting animals and other fun exhibits.

Texas Amusement Parks Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best amusement parks In Texas For Kids?

The best amusement parks for kids in Texas include SeaWorld San Antonio, Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

What are the best water parks in Texas?

The best water parks in Texas include Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort in New Braunfels, Aquatica in San Antonio, and Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures in Austin.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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