Plan a Fun-Filled Spring Break Close to Home
by Tonya Kerr
photos by Yvette Michelle Photography
A Spring Break getaway can recharge our batteries and help us reconnect as a family. Luckily, Houstonians don’t have to travel far or break the bank to enjoy a vacation close to home on Galveston Island!
Whether it’s for a few days, or even the whole week, Galveston offers endless possibilities! From lounging on the beach to exciting adventures to incredible restaurants and shops, this coastal resort city beckons everyone at every age.
Galveston Railroad Museum
With one of the largest restored railroad collections in the southwest, and one of the five largest in the country, the Galveston Railroad Museum showcases railroad memorabilia and exhibits, as well as more than 40 pieces of restored locomotives. A star attraction at the Galveston Railroad Museum, the Harborside Express offers rides every Saturday from 11am to 2pm, and March 12-16, you can catch the train every day from 11am to 1pm. Rides are $5/person in addition to museum admission. www.galvestonrrmuseum.com
Lone Star Flight Museum
The Lone Star Flight Museum is longer located in Galveston. The new address and location is:
11551 Aerospace Avenue, Houston, TX 77034. We apologize for any inconvenience this may has caused.
Enjoy a spring break visit to the Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) and glide through the story of flight in Texas. Your spring break flight plan will include a climb into the cockpit of a Curtiss Jenny or P-51 Mustang and an experiential tour through history in the Heritage Gallery and Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. You’ll coast through the collection of historic aircraft in two 30,000 sq. ft. hangars, and every day, there will be flight giveaways on the T-41* (10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m., weather permitting), paper airplane design, construction and launch, a Knowledge Hunt. All activities are free with general admission to the museum. Live action simulators in the Aviation Learning Center are an additional fee. www.lonestarflight.org
Spring Break Pass to Pleasure Pier (plus Kemah & Downtown Aquarium)
Unlimited admission at three different parks- all for $89.99 per person! In Galveston, your kids will spend hours riding 16 rides and playing midway games on Pleasure Pier over the ocean waves of the Gulf. Another day, take the family for the adventures of Kemah Boardwalk with rides, restaurants and shops to keep everyone happy all-day long. Carry all that sea-loving fun into Houston’s Downtown Aquarium and use your pass for a day of underwater amazement and rides galore. Unlimited fun and access to any all three parks during regular business hours from March 9 -18. Three parks, one pass, good times! www.pleasurepier.com
One of the “hottest coolest times in Texas” opens on the island March 3rd, and will be open every day during Spring Break. Schlitterbahn Galveston boasts the tallest water coaster in the world along with an exciting collection of water rides to thrill the entire family. Water slides, wave rivers, and water coasters with free tubes and free parking. And the best part, picnics are welcome! www.schlitterbahn.com/galveston
Galveston Beach Parks
While Seawall beaches are open year-round, several of the island’s public beach parks – Stewart Beach, East Beach and West End Pocket Parks 1 and 2 – will open March 10 for the 2018 beach season. Visitors to the beach parks can take advantage of restrooms, showers, beach chair rentals, volleyball courts, snack bars and other concessions, including horseback riding and helicopter tours. To see all the amenities in one spot, visit www.galvestonbeachinfo.com.
Galveston Family Beach Challenge at Stewart Beach
Giant battle ships, huge bean bags and limbo showdowns will transform a portion of Stewart Beach on Sunday, March 18, from 11-5pm for the Galveston Family Beach Challenge. Families will compete for prizes in life-size versions of classic games. The course will include 14 stations for kids and adults with eight new stations this year, including a bean bag game, a life-size battle ship game, limbo, volley balloon, “beam” bag, giant Connect Four and more. Classic favorites like giant Jenga and dominoes, sack races and sandcastle building will return this year as well. The event is free and participants have a chance to win the grand prize of a $500 gift card plus tickets to popular Galveston attractions. For rules and to register in advance, visit www.galvestonchallenge.com.
Galveston Water Adventures
Catch a ride on Galveston Water Adventures’ Jet Boat SPINTIME for a thrill-seeking adventure on a custom-built jet boat across the Galveston Harbor. Galveston Water Adventures also offers eco-tours and sunset cruises aboard the open-air tour boat, Cruise-N-Time. www.galvestonwateradventures.com
Moody Gardens, Galveston Island!
Most don’t realize that Moody Gardens attractions are open to the public as well as guests of the acclaimed resort. You’ll find a tropical themed destination wonderland for families, tucked just to the north of the Seawall and overlooking the beautiful Galveston Bay. Meet penguins, sharks and so much more at the newly renovated and world-renowned Aquarium Pyramid. An authentic rainforest adventure, Sky Trail ropes course and a zip line into the white sand beaches of Palm Beach will keep kids busy for hours on end. The Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, Discovery Museum and 3D & 4D theaters will thrill and amaze while the Spongebob SubPants Adventure will tickle everyone’s funnybone. Resort guests will enjoy beautiful views, play golf, indulge at the spas, and spend whatever free time you have left at the indoor and outdoor pools, as well as family-friendly special events. www.moodygardens.com
The Strand in Downtown Galveston
A short walk through Galveston’s Historic District, includes the Strand and Post Office Street, with art galleries, antique shops and renowned restaurants. Most are in restored 1900s-era buildings with brick streets and a feel that you’ve stepped back in time. Don’t miss the candy shop and old-time soda fountain for a family-style treat. www.galveston.com
Sea Turtle Tours
Some tours book up months in advance, and the forethought is worth every moment on a free Sea Turtle Tour at the NOAA Fisheries Galveston Laboratory. These tours happen every Thursday ages 6 and up. This year, National Oceanic Day is a big family event planned for Saturday, March 28, from 9-3pm. For more information, visit www.galvestonlab.sefsc.noaa.gov
Seaport Spring Break: 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and Texas Seaport Museum
Walk along the decks of the 1887 Tall Ship ELISSA as part of your tour of the Texas Seaport Museum. The Ellis Island of the West, Galveston welcomed 133,000 immigrants into the United States. Check out the adjacent movie theater for a look back of the Storm of 1900, which still ranks as the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history. Plenty of incredible story-telling and artifacts make this a must-see attraction. www.galvestonhistory.org
Spring Break Special Events
Join the Texas Seaport Museum this March for a Spring Break workshop series! You’ll be setting sails aboard ELISSA, putting ships in bottles and looking out for a lighthouse! Classes are free with general admission to the Texas Seaport Museum and held dockside unless otherwise noted. Classes are limited to 20 people, last about an hour and begin at 2 pm.
Lonestar Flight Museum
Spring Break Special Events
March 10-11 MEET THE PILOTS
Visit with pilots and crew chiefs who maintain and fly our historic aircraft collection. Saturday, 11-2pm and Sunday 12-3pm.
March 12 MECHANIC MONDAY
Learn the nuts and bolts of airplane maintenance from the mechanics and crew chiefs who keep the LSFM fleet airworthy, watch live demonstrations, tour the maintenance shop, and try your hand at turning a screw (or two)! Monday, 11– 2 pm.
March 13 NATURAL FLYERS
The same forces that keep planes flying also keep birds soaring. The Houston Audubon Society and their live birds of prey demonstrate how nature inspired aviation pioneers. Tuesday, 11-1pm.
March 14 AV8R EXPERIMENTS
Scientists knew about the forces of flight long before manned flight was developed. Visit the Museum to conduct your own experiments using simple materials such as balloons, string and even a deck of cards to learn what makes aircraft lift off and stay aloft. Wednesday 11-2pm.
March 15 HELICOPTER DAY
Meet the pilots of local helicopter rescue operations including Life Flight, the Houston Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. Thursday 11-2pm.
March 16 PILOT EXPERIENCE
Explore the skies like a real pilot in our Aviation Learning Center. Plan your round-trip flight, “file” an FAA flight plan, and pre-flight a real Mooney M20 Ovation aircraft. Then settle into one of our flight simulators and hit the throttle. FREE one-hour session runs every 30 minutes. Friday 9:30-4 pm.
March 17 DRONE DEMO DAY
Drones are everywhere these days. From amateur enthusiasts to professional racers. LSFM partners with MultiGP (a global, professional, drone racing league) and the FAA for a day of live demonstrations, training, and safety tips. Saturday 10-3pm.