Top 10 Best Dripping Springs Day Trip for the Whole Family

Best Family Day Trip in Dripping Springs

It’s true that everything is bigger in Texas and that includes road trip options. From the Piney Woods of East Texas to the wide-open spaces of Big Bend, from Galveston’s beaches to the Metroplex’s bustling streets, no matter where you hit the road across the Lone Star State this year, you’ll find fun, fun, fun.

Get Wet in Texas

Looking to beat Texas’ summer heat? Get wet! Dive in, swim out, float down, or surf on Texas’ waterways for refreshing fun.


381 E. Austin St.
New Braunfels, Texas 78130
(830) 625-2351

Schlitterbahn’s three locations in Galveston, New Braunfels, and South Padre offer rolling rapids, lazy rivers chutes and tubes, and endless waves for kids to check out. While they’re slip-sliding away, parents can relax in one of the hot tubs. One-day tickets start at $29.99 in Galveston/$39.99 in New Braunfels/$36.96 in South Padre Island. –

Tubing Guadalupe River

12034 FM 306
Canyon Lake, TX 78133

For a real river experience, pack a cooler, grab the camera, and head to River Sports Tubes in Canyon Lake. Choose from short, medium, or long tubing trips along the Guadalupe and pack plenty of sunscreen. $15/tube. Note: children must be at least 5 years old to tube –

South Padre Island

334 Padre Blvd.
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-7969

Texas’ beaches stretch from Galveston down to South Padre Island. In Port Aransas combine beaching with bird watching and some of Texas’ best fishing; further south on South Padre Island, stay at an ocean-front condo or hotel. Check out the Bridgepoint Resort for luxe beachfront digs; $225/night; or the Padre South Hotel, where all rooms have balconies overlooking the ocean and in-room kitchens; $153/night. –

La Torretta del Lago Resort

Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe
Montgomery, Texas 77356

Lakeside fun meets luxury resort at  La Torretta del Lago Resort on Lake Conroe. Kids will love the miniature golf course, the fantasy pool with water slides, the poolside burger hut, and endless options for lakefront fun. Adults will enjoy the fine dining at Chez Roux or PRIME, the spacious suites, and the spa. Rates start at $199/night for a room in the tower of $534/night in a golf cottage, as part of the Kid Krazy Family Getaway

Grapevine’s Great Wolf Resort

100 Great Wolf Dr.
Grapevine, TX 76051

The Family Raft Ride is just the tip of the iceberg for family water fun at Grapevine’s Great Wolf Resort. You can also check out the wave pool, the kiddy slides, and a host of landlubber fun, including the Northern Lights Arcade and the Howlin’ Tornado. $189.95/nite, all-suite accommodation. –

Horseshoe Bay Resort

200 Hi Cir N,
Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657

Rent boats and personal watercraft and enjoy Lake LBJ at the Horseshoe Bay Resort in the Texas Hill Country, featuring a Fun Pack for each child, complimentary sodas, daily breakfast, and 50% off at the Kids’ Club. $375/night for the Summer Family Fun Package. –

Village Creek Canoe Trips

921 South Main Street
Lumberton, TX 77657

Enjoy a serene canoe or kayak ride down Village Creek located in the Big Thicket. The languid 37-mile waterway makes an ideal paddling destination. For guides, rentals, and shuttle service, call Timber Ridge Tours (409-246-4481) or Piney Woods Canoe Company (409-274-5892). Village Creek Canoe Trips are perfect family and friend “escape” trips. The gentle current keeps labor to a minimum and the white sandy banks of the creek are excellent for picnics. Take afternoon, day-long, or weekend trips to Village Creek State Park, part of the Big Thicket National Preserve in Beaumont. –

Get Wild

Lions, tigers, and whales? Oh, my, yes! Texas’ zoos, aquariums, and wildlife preserves showcase an up-close and personal look at animals and offer a roarin’ good time.

Houston Zoo

6200 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston, TX 77030

The Houston Zoo is home to the “cutest animal in the world,” Toby, the red panda who lives near the Natural Encounters Building. Plus, visitors can ride the zoo’s carousel, watch zookeepers feed the animals, or check out the more than 4,500 members of the Animal Kingdom who call the zoo home. $6/children 2-11, $10/adults. –

Fort Worth Zoo

1989 Colonial Pkwy.
Fort Worth, TX 76110

The oldest zoo in Texas, the Ft. Worth Zoo has a play barn where kids can pretend to be animals, a 25-foot rock-climbing wall, the cool Parrot Paradise, and 11 other permanent animal exhibits to help families learn about wildlife. $8.00/children, $12.00/adults.

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

509 Washington Street
Anahuac, TX 77514

For a real wild time, visit the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, 34,000 acres with trails where you can explore and look out for ducks, cranes, and gators. –

Congress Bridge Bats

Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

Think that’s wild? Then, you’ll love the Congress Bridge Bats. North America’s largest urban bat colony. Every evening at dusk, more than 1.5 million of the winged creatures fly out from the bridge to forage for food. Their black formation across the sky is something to behold. –

Fort Worth Stockyards

2501 Rodeo Plaza,
Fort Worth, TX 76164
(817) 624-4741

For a trip to the Old West, complete with cattle and cowboys, visit the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District where you can watch a twice-daily cattle drive, visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and ride the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. If that doesn’t quell your taste for how folks lived in the olden days, a trip to George Ranch Historical Park is in order. Here, you can help harvest crops and feed livestock, watch daily demonstrations of pioneer life, and tour historic homes. $9/adults, $5/kids 5-15 –

Sea World San Antonio

10500 Sea World Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78251

You can get up close and personal with the animals at Sea World San Antonio, taking part in the Dine With Shamu Summertime Splash ($40.95/adults; $24.95/children), a poolside buffet featuring great eats and glimpses of the famous whale. At Sea World, you’ll also find penguins, sharks, and the Journey to Atlantis, a thrilling water ride guaranteed to delight. $54.99/adults, $46.99/children –

Gator Country Adventure Park

21159 FM 365,
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 794-9453

Touch, feel, and even hold alligators at Texas’s most unique outdoor theme park, Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas. Over 130 American gators, 6 species of crocs, and 4 species of turtles; snakes. Field trips. –

Get Adventurous

Thrill-seekers and adventure lovers have their pick of activities across the Lone Star State this summer, whether it’s roller coasters or rockets, on land, sea, or sky.

San Antonio

203 S St Marys Street, Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78205

Start your adventure in San Antonio, and journey back in time with a visit to the Alamo last stand of Texas heroes in their quest for independence. For more Texas history adventures, visit Waco’s Texas Ranger Hall of Fame where you can see how the famed Texas lawman kept the Lone Star safe and helped tame the Wild West.  For a high seas historical adventure, the Tall Ship Elissa, part of the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston, offers an up-close look at this 19th-century trading ship. –

U.S.S. Lexington

2914 N Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78402

At the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi, you can take a ride in a flight simulator or watch the world go by from the flight deck of this aircraft carrier. $16.95: Adults, $14.95: Seniors & Military, $11.95: Children 4 to 12 –

Lone Star Flight Museum

11551 Aerospace Ave.
Houston, TX 77034
(346) 708-2517

For even more high-flying fun, don’t miss the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, where you can ride in historic aircraft. museum admission $8/adults, $5/children, flight experience from $225 per person. –

Houston Space Center

1601 E NASA Pkwy.
Houston, TX 77058

or the Space Center in Houston, where the daily offerings include a tram tour of NASA, interactive fun in the Kids Space Place, and a film showcasing the history of U.S. space exploration. $19.95/adults, $15.95/children; half-price tickets available online. –

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum

2002 Wharf Rd.
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 766-7827

Get a feel for what it’s like to live and work on an offshore oil rig on the Ocean Star a real rig that’s become a museum in Galveston. $8/adults, $5/children. –

Caverns of Sonora

1711 Pvt Rd 4468,
Sonora, TX 76950
(325) 387-3105

Explorers of all ages will love the Caverns of Sonora, with daily tours of crystal cave formations, gemstone panning, and hikes along the nature trail. FREE. –

Kemah Boardwalk

215 Kipp Ave.
Kemah, TX 77565
(281) 535-8100

Along the Kemah Boardwalk, you’ll find a carousel, a Ferris wheel, a rock climbing wall, and endless summer fun, complete with restaurants, shops, and a marina. –

Woodlands Waterway

The Woodlands, TX 77380

Further north, along the Woodlands Waterway, check out the dinosaurs in The Woodlands Xploration Station or visit the Interactive Playhouse. The Waterway is a haven for shops and restaurants, so you’ll find plenty of fun all day long. Need more waterfront fun? The Harbor at Rockwall showcases the best in family-friendly dining, shopping, and entertainment, with events and fun all summer long.  Who says learning has to stop just because school is out? Science, culture, and history lessons abound in some of Texas’ most exciting museums and activity centers. –

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78701

For a look at where Texas began, it’s hard to beat the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, where photographs, exhibits, and an IMAX movie trace the history of the Lone Star State. $7/adults, $4/children; combination passes additional. –

Texas State Railroad

535 Park Rd 76,
Rusk, TX 75785
(855) 632-7729

Hitch a ride onboard the Texas State Railroad for a half-day excursion to see how this railroad was built and how important it was to Texas. $36.50/adults; $19/children, brown bag lunch extra. –

Moody Gardens

One Hope Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77554

Learn about butterflies, rainforests, and undersea life at Moody Gardens. Visit the Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids, catch an IMAX film, even hop on for a ride to Colonel Paddlewheel. $46.95/per person one-day combo pass with admission to all attractions. –

Houston Children’s Museum

1500 Binz St.
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 522-1138

For more hands-on fun, check out the Houston Children’s Museum, where you can check out a kid-friendly construction zone, learn about the environment at the EcoStation, or find out how the laws of motion work at the Motion Commotion exhibit. $7/adults and children over one. –

Health Museum

1515 Hermann Dr.
Houston, TX 77004

While you’re in the area, visit the Health Museum, where the whole family can learn about how your body works and how to stay healthy through a variety of exhibits and interactive areas. $8/adults, $6/children. –

Hermann Park

6001 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030
(832) 395-7100

In nearby Hermann Park kids under 12 and adults over 65 can fish at the fishing pier, and folks of all ages take in free performances day and night at Miller Outdoor Theatre featuring dance, music from around the world, musical theatre, and other performing arts. –

W. H. Stark House

610 Main Ave.
Orange, TX 77630
(409) 883-0871

Love life in the “old days”? Visit the W. H. Stark House in Orange, a Queen Anne Victorian landmark with fifteen rooms of original Stark family furnishings, personal belongings, and impressive collections. Individual and group tours. –

Stark Museum of Art

712 Green Ave.
Orange, TX 77630
(409) 886-2787

Who says you need to fly to New York or Paris to feast on first-class art? Visit the Stark Museum of Art in Orange and view an extensive collection focusing on American Western art and artifacts—one of the largest collections of its kind in the nation.

Lutcher Theater

707 Main Ave.
Orange, TX 77630
(409) 886-5535

Have stars in your eyes? Catch a show at the Lutcher Theater in Orange while you’re in town. It features the best in big-name entertainment. The theater serves as a showplace for the finest in performing arts, ranging from traveling Broadway plays to musical groups to one-man acts. “A world-class experience!” –

Art Museum of Southeast Texas

500 Main St.
eaumont, TX 77701
(409) 832-3432

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas has several Free Family Arts Days each year. The museum—which features about 1000 works of art and more in 8-10 annual changing exhibitions—is located in downtown Beaumont’s Museum District. Free of charge. –

Dr. Pepper Museum

300 S 5th St.
Waco, TX 76701
(254) 757-1025

Finally, quench your thirst at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco dedicated to the history of Texas’ most famous drink. $7/adults, $3/children.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Want to go on the road but don’t want to leave Fido at home? No worries. These are just some of the Texas hotels rolling out the welcome mat for your four-legged friends.

  • Bayfront Inn, Corpus Christi
  • Castaways Condos, S. Padre Island
  • Grand Hyatt San Antonio
    Bonus: the hotel offers a doggie menu
  • The Reef Resort, Galveston
    25 lb weight limit; larger dogs OK if well behaved; $20/day surcharge

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