The Lone Star State has a plethora of things to do in Texas that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Whether you’re heading down south or up north, there are budget-friendly attractions that will give your family an unforgettable experience.
Texas is an exciting and diverse state full of adventure for families looking for a fun getaway. From the rolling hills in the Hill Country to the sandy beaches on South Padre Island, there are numerous possibilities for memorable family vacations throughout Texas.
From affordable amusement parks and waterparks, to rodeos and museums, there are plenty of ways to have fun and explore the state without spending a lot.
1. Visit The Alamo In San Antonio
The Alamo is an iconic symbol of Texas’ proud history and the bravery of its people. It represents Texan’s resilience in the face of adversity, and it stands as a testament to their courage and spirit.
Visiting the Alamo gives you a chance to learn about the state’s past first-hand and experience its rich cultural heritage.
You can also explore the grounds, take in the amazing architecture, and stroll along its lush gardens while soaking in the stunning views of downtown San Antonio.
You can save even more money by taking advantage of free days when the Alamo doesn’t charge admission. With so much to offer, the Alamo is definitely an affordable and family-friendly spot that should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Texas.
2. Explore The Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and a great place to explore for kids who love space. You can experience interactive exhibits, view real rockets and spacecraft, and get an up-close look at the Astronaut Gallery.
The facility also offers behind-the-scenes tours, educational programs, and a variety of special events. Best of all, admission to the Space Center Houston is free for kids under 3 and tickets start at just $30 for adults.
When you get hungry, you can treat your taste buds in one of the diners which offer the best breakfast in Houston, or some other eateries that offer a variety of different dishes.
3. Visit Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg, Texas is an ideal destination for families looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. The historic downtown area offers a variety of activities that don’t break the bank, making it a great option for parents with young kids.
Enjoy window-shopping at the unique boutiques along Main Street, explore the enchanted Enchanted Rock State Park, take a tour of Admiral Nimitz Museum and Historic Park, or visit any one of the nearby wineries.
Fredericksburg is also home to many kid-friendly attractions such as Wildseed Farms and Fritztown Cinema.
Bonus Tip: Take advantage of the many free events hosted by Fredericksburg. Check out their website for a list of fun activities that won’t put a dent in your wallet.
4. Go Camping
There are plenty of amazing places in Texas to pitch a tent or park your RV that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
One of the best things to do in Texas is explore Big Bend National Park located near the Rio Grande River. This Park offers plenty of hiking and biking trails, as well as breathtaking views.
If you’re looking for rustic things to do in Texas, consider one of their many state parks.
- You can also find affordable camping spots along the Gulf Coast, such as Galveston Island State Park or Mustang Island State Park.
- At places like Palo Duro Canyon State Park and Caprock Canyons State Park, you can find great camping spots with plenty of outdoor activities for kids.
- For a more urban experience, consider McKinney Falls State Park. Here you can camp in the heart of the city while still being close to all the attractions it has to offer. There are plenty of trails, swimming holes and fishing spots that your kids will love.
Attend One of the Many Festivals Across the State
Festivals offer a great way to introduce your kids to a variety of cultures and experiences. Such events are usually very family friendly, with lots to do for both adults and children. It’s one of the many budget friendly things to do in Texas.
Many festivals provide activities specifically tailored towards kids, such as face painting, petting zoos, arts & crafts workshops, and more. Also, many of these festivals are free or inexpensive, making them a budget-friendly way to get out and have some fun.
5. Fiesta San Antonio
This annual festival, held in downtown San Antonio, celebrates the city’s culture and traditions. It is a great way to introduce your kids to traditional Mexican culture with parades, family-friendly concerts and activities.
6. Texas State Fair
The fair is an iconic event in Texas and a great place to take your kids for a day of fun. There are carnival rides, livestock shows and competitions, as well as food vendors offering all kinds of delicious dishes.
7. Old Settler’s Music Festival
This music festival takes place in Austin, Texas and offers a weekend of music and camping for the whole family. There are special activities for kids such as live children’s shows and an instrument petting zoo.
8. Austin City Limits Music Festival
This is one of the biggest music festivals in Texas and offers a variety of musicians on multiple stages. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities such as scavenger hunts, art installations, and food trucks.
9. Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo
This is the largest rodeo in Texas and a great opportunity to expose your kids to the cowboy way of life. There are all kinds of activities such as horseback riding, carnival rides, livestock shows, and live concerts.
10. Texas Renaissance Festival
This is an annual festival held in Todd Mission, Texas that celebrates 16th century culture.
There are multiple stages of entertainment, food vendors and artisans selling unique crafts. Kids will love participating in the costume contests, live jousts and carnival games.
11. Balcones Heights Jazz Festival
This free festival is held in San Antonio and offers a variety of live jazz performances. There are also family-friendly activities such as face painting and crafts.
12. Corpus Christi Lantern Festival
This annual festival is held on the beaches of Corpus Christi and celebrates the Chinese culture with colorful lanterns, music, art installations and traditional dance performances.
13. Dragon Boat Races & Festival
This festival is held in Houston and features teams racing dragon boats in competitive races. There are also cultural performances, food vendors and a kids’ zone with face painting and crafts.
14. Arts In The Square
This free festival is held in Frisco and showcases local artists, musicians and food vendors. There are also plenty of family activities such as face painting, a photo booth and interactive art installations.
15. Bluebonnet Festival
This annual festival is held in Burnet, Texas and celebrates the beauty of the Texas bluebonnet flower. There are food vendors, live music and a parade to enjoy.
16. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier Festival
This festival features a variety of carnival rides and games, along with live music and other entertainment. Kids will love taking in the sights of the historic pleasure pier.
Which One Of These Things To Do in Texas Will You Do?
Texas is a great place to take your kids for an unforgettable vacation. From the bustling cities of Dallas and Houston, to the natural beauty of Big Bend National Park, there are plenty of things to do in Texas that will keep everyone entertained without spending much.
Whether you’re looking for some family-friendly adventure or just want to relax at one of Texas’s many beaches, this state has something for everybody—and it won’t bust your budget either.