In these hot, hot days of summer, we all need a little something to break the monotony at times. Amusement parks in Texas are a perfect solution for that summer haze, and luckily, we have plenty. Whether it’s adrenaline-pumping roller coasters or a lazy float in the river that you’re craving, the Lone Star State has a plethora of options for you, your friends and the entire family. Have you visited all the amusement parks in Texas on this list?
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
2501 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77550
If you’re near Houston or the Bay Area, you can’t miss a visit to Galveston’s Pleasure Pier — it packs a lot of attractions onto a relatively small boardwalk. The unique aspect of Pleasure Pier is that you’re surrounded by water and, in some instances, flying over water in a ride, like the Texas Star Flyer. The Iron Shark roller coaster is the park’s signature thrill ride, and it doesn’t disappoint. Pleasure Pier also has a good number of arcade games that you’re almost guaranteed to win prizes at, and if you’re craving seafood (which you surely will be, given the setting), there are many classic restaurants both on the Pier and just outside of it, including the Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Fish Tales.
Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington) / Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio)
Texas is home to two Six Flags amusement park locations, and both promise a fun-packed day. Both parks have introduced new attractions this year, including the 4-D dark ride “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis” at Six Flags Over Texas and “Batman: The Ride,” a free-fly wing coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Thrill rides will keep you busy all day at these parks, but there’s also plenty of family-friendly rides and locations for shopping and dining. Each park also has its own water park —Hurricane Harbor in Arlington and White Water Bay in San Antonio — that are great for beating the summer heat.
500 Canyon Lake Dr.
Lubbock, TX 79408
If you find yourself in West Texas and need to entertain the kids, Joyland is a great choice, especially with its cheaper admission prices and free parking. It’s super kid-friendly; even most of the thrill rides are open to kids if they have a supervising adult. For water-lovers, be sure to check out the “Vortex Water Coaster” — what’s better than a huge, twisting water slide?
5223 David Edwards
San Antonio, TX 78233
Morgan’s Wonderland was built to cater to special needs and disabled children, but children and adults of all capabilities will enjoy the park as well. From attractions such as the Music Garden, the Butterfly Playground and Sensory Village to rides such as the carousel and the wheelchair swings, the park is entirely safe and provides a pleasant day in San Antonio. Admission is free for people with special needs and children under 3.
SeaWorld San Antonio
10500 SeaWorld Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78251
Get up close and personal with the slippery wet animals at SeaWorld! With a dozen different shows that showcase different undersea animals, you’ll have the opportunity to learn directly from their trainers about how these animals are cared for and what they’re capable of. The Great White is a floor-less, steel roller coaster that will take you far above the park into a series of loops and corkscrews — hold on tight! Don’t miss the night shows held throughout the summer, such as Firework Fridays and Shamu’s Celebration, in which the park’s biggest animals stars all come out to give a colorful, splashing performance.
2601 Dumas Dr.
Amarillo, TX 79107
This Amarillo park is small but is a nice change from the bustle and long lines at Six Flags and other larger parks. Wonderland has four roller coasters of varying intensities for both older children and young as well as family, kid-friendly and water rides. It’s a good place to take the family if you have older kids who want to split off from the group. You can also grab a golf club and play a few rounds of mini golf for just $5.
11131 Malibu Dr.
Dallas, TX 75229
Thrill-seekers, this one’s for you. Zero Gravity in Dallas boasts that it’s the most extreme amusement park in the world, with bungee jumping, its Skycoaster, a 16-story free fall and more! Small but unique, this park is No. 1 on TripAdvisor’s list of Dallas activities, and we agree. Small lines, big thrills — what more could you want?