Welcome to Texas! Known as the Lone Star State and home of the Alamo, wool, armadillo, and the world’s live music capital! There is much to do and plenty to see for families and kids in the nation’s second largest state.
The historic sites are a good place to start. Texas is home to over 13,000 historic landmarks from the Alamo to frontier forts.
The Alamo Mission in San Antonio (a.k.a. the Alamo) was founded in the 18th century as part of a Roman Catholic Spanish mission. It was built for the purpose of converting Native Americans to Christianity and then educating them. It was abandoned after it became secularized in the early 1790’s. It was converted to a fortress for the San Carlos de Parras military unit a decade later. It was surrendered to the Texian Army during the Texas Revolution in the mid-1830’s.
Those who had been occupying the fort since were wiped out during the Battle of Alamo in 1836. For the next five years afterward, the fort was used occasionally to station soldiers and then was ultimately abandoned after that. Afterward, it was used as the quartermaster’s depot but that was also abandoned in 1876 when the Alamo Chapel was sold to the state and Fort Sam Houston was established. The buildings were sold to be run as grocery stores. The Alamo Chapel-known as the Shrine of Texas Liberty-is still standing today and the former Long Barracks have small museums which you can also tour.
The Gillespie County Jail in San Antonio St. Fredricksberg was the fourth jail established in Gillespie County in 1848. The groundfloor served as both the holding and living quarters for the jailer. The second floor had a total of six steelclad maximum cells. It was used as a jail until the very late 1930’s.
As boredom is not the thing in Texas, there is also plenty of fun for families. The caverns and canopies are a great place to start.
The Natural Bridge Caverns are in San Antonio. If you and your kids are the types who like a good rush, the Canopy Challenge provides challenge courses with 60-feet tall ladders, platforms and ziplines. The two types of cave tours that are given last approximately 70 minutes each. They also provide a simulated fossil mining experience to teach people what those miner’s jobs were like. There are also plenty of opportunities to purchase good food, hot fudge and memorable souvenirs.
If you’re traveling during the spring, you may also have the opportunity to experience the Fiesta San Antonio. It’s a 10-day celebration. Businesses decorate their store locations and restaurants for it. Metal pins are collected, traded and worn. The King and Queen are selected as an award for how much money they raised for their charities. This is a perfect event for families and kids so please check the schedule and plan to stop by and join in on the fun.
And, of course, don’t forget the zoos and the amusement parks! The San Antonio Zoo and Aqarium is especially popular for families and kids. It’s a 35-acre site with over 3,000 different animals and over 750 species. It has its own railroad and carousel. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is its own drive-through safari with over 50 free-roaming species. If you’re traveling during the summer, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is set in a former rock quarry with a combination of a water park and roller coasters.
These are just a few of the things to do when you travel to Texas. Please check state-and travel-related guides for more information.