Located in southeastern Texas, Galveston Vacation Rentals offer you the best of both worlds while you’re on vacation: the beach life and city life. This popular tourist destination sits along the Gulf of Mexico with white sandy beaches and calm, warm water. Choose a vacation rental in Galveston near one of the area’s trendy neighborhoods or by the beach, so you wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing each morning. You’ll while away the days shopping at the shops in the downtown area and soaking up the sun on the beach. When you’re traveling with your kids, you want to make sure you have plenty of ideas on hand for fun things to do. Here’s a cheat sheet of the top 9 things to do in Galveston with your kids.

1. Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens is one of the hot spots in Galveston with its eclectic selection of fun activities. At the center of the activities is the three pyramids. There’s the Aquarium Pyramid with fish, the Rainforest Pyramid with tropical plants and animals, and the Discovery Pyramid with its hands-on exhibits. In the Rainforest Pyramid, always check behind you for the free-roaming monkeys and sloths. This attraction also has a beach area with slides and a lazy river. Enjoy a movie in a pod that moves with the action on screen at the RideFilm Theater.

2. Bishop’s Palace

On a rainy afternoon, take the family for a step back in the past at the Bishop’s Palace. This elaborate home that dates back to the 1890s offers guided tours of its 9,082 square feet of living space. Enjoy walking through this Victorian-style home with its gorgeous stained-glass windows and detailed wood work. The guide will tell you more about what life was like in the area at the end of the 19th century and the family that built this gorgeous home.

3. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

With a name like Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, you know you and the kids are going to have a great time. Here, you’ll find all the amusement park rides that you remember fondly from your childhood. Let your kids ride the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other attractions. When they’ve had as much fun as they want on the rides, it’s time to try their hand at the various carnival games to win cool stuffed animals, and chow down on funnel cakes and cotton candy.

4. Lone Star Flight Museum

There’s something romantic about the idea of old-fashioned airplanes, and at the Lone Star Flight Museum, you and the kids can explore the history of aviation. It’s your chance to view some cool planes up close. The museum has more than 40 historically significant aircraft and slews of other artifacts to teach you more about Texas’s history of aviation. All of the aircraft are still able to fly, and sometimes, you can watch them flying overhead, depending on the schedule of air shows.

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5. Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum?

Learn a little more about Texas’ history with the oil industry at the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum. This one-of-a-kind museum lets you and the family board an actual drilling rig that’s retired. Wander along the three stories of interactive exhibits and gaze at a massive drill bit. At the top, walk out on the skywalk over the drill floor of the rig. From this vantage point, you’ll have a great view of the surrounding area.

6. Galveston Railroad Museum

Try to visit the Galveston Railroad Museum on a Saturday when it hosts train rides. Your kids will love riding on an old-fashioned train with a steam locomotive. Inside the museum, you can see a locomotive up close, and view tons of artifacts from America’s rich history with railroads and trains. Your youngest kids will delight at the model trains that zoom around their tracks. With the audio tour, find out so many interesting facts about how trains connected the west with the east coast when America was a new country.

7. Seawolf Park

Pack a lunch at your vacation rental and enjoy a picnic when the weather’s nice at Seawolf Park. Afterward, take a tour of the two military vessels moored there. The U.S.S. Cavalla and the U.S.S. Stewart both served our country’s military. The U.S.S. Cavalla served during the Second World War and is a cool submarine, while the U.S.S. Stewart served as an escort for destroyers.

8. Texas Seaport Museum

With the popularity of the Islands of the Caribbean, your kids are going to love a day at the Texas Seaport Museum with its moored ship, the ELISSA. Saved from a scrap yard, the museum rebuilt it to the original specs, and you and your kids can climb aboard this ship from the 1870s and imagine what life was like on the open seas. After touring the ship, step inside the museum for a video presentation on the renovation of the ship.

9. Kemah Boardwalk

One evening take the kids to the Kemah Boardwalk. It’s similar to the pleasure pier but the rides are a little more modern. Enjoy some thrills and low-key rides for the smaller kids before trying your hand at some skilled games to win prizes. In addition to carnival food, this boardwalk offers several nice sit-down restaurants to enjoy a family meal. While the kids play, you can indulge in a little retail therapy at the shops.

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