Nothing tops a family gathering or outing with friends at a theme park. Whether you’re after the thrills of the rides and rollercoasters, the captivating live entertainment, or the scrumptious food, these are the places where memories are made. 

Houstonians have plenty of options for fun, family-friendly activities. Houston and its neighboring cities boast some of the best amusement parks in Texas and across the USA. 

We’ve narrowed it down (in no particular order, all are excellent) to the top ten theme parks that are guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of your family and friends. True to the Texas spirit, these parks offer larger-than-life entertainment experiences everyone can enjoy. 

 

Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures

Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures offers so much more than your average amusement park. With the Waterpark, Wild Isle, Aerial Adventures, and Dry Adventures, you’ve got all the elements of a good time covered. 

The theme park is conveniently located in New Caney, Texas, which is part of the greater Houston Metro Area, about 30 miles northeast of the city’s center.

Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures is ideal for multigenerational families and groups that range from toddler to teen and adults of all ages. Those willing to get wet will appreciate plenty of options to cool down from the brutal Texas sun. 

For thrill-seekers – the Storm Surge shoots you tubbing through an intense current, and the Frio Falls sends you spiraling from six stories above. The athletically inclined will appreciate the challenge of Wild Isle, a floating waterpark and obstacle course. 

For gentler options, Boca Chica Bay Wave Pool boasts the tallest waves in Houston but is safe and fun for all ages. Lay back and drift down the Rio Grand River – the biggest lazy river in Houston and a family favorite for grandparents, kids, and everyone in between. 

If you’d prefer to take to the sky instead of the water, Aerial Adventures offers climbing walls, ziplines, challenge courses, and a free-fall called Vultures Dive. The activities start at age five and up, varying in intensity and difficulty.

 

Houston Funplex

Houston Funplex is an amusement and entertainment center in the heart of Houston, Texas, that offers hours and hours of ultra-modern enjoyment for all ages and interests. The only downside of the Funplex is having to go home. 

Gamers rejoice! The Game Up Esports Lounge allows players to personalize their accounts and save gaming information for their return. The VR Attractions features the latest in cutting-edge virtual reality technology. There’s even an inflatable laser tag maze and an arcade.

Those who prefer more traditional activities will love the bowling alley, indoor go-karts, and roller skating rink. Native Houstonian Beyonce Knowles used the rink, Roller City USA, in her music video. So you can feel free to unleash your inner skating diva or let loose at Rock n’ Bowl on a Friday or Saturday night. 

The little ones will get their fix of fun at the massive Texas-sized Playport or the kid-friendly rides like Ladybug, Airplane, Ferris Wheel, or the trampoline. 

 

Kemah Boardwalk

Houston’s classic boardwalk is only 30 miles south of the city’s center, nestled along Galveston Bay and Clear Lake in Kemah, TX. Unlike many seasonal theme parks, Kemah Boardwalk is open all year long, so you can enjoy the amusements, attractions, dining, and shopping opportunities anytime. 

You can take in the scenery from the sky with a trip around the 65-foot Century Wheel Ferris wheel, the Boardwalk Tower, or the swinging Aviator ride. Younger attendees will delight at a whirl around the Wonder Wheel, Double-Decker Carousel, or the C.P. Huntington Train (an authentic replica of the legendary locomotive from 1863). 

Bolder folks,  who are looking for shrieks of excitement and have an iron stomach, will want to brave the Pharaoh’s Fury, Drop Zone, Flare, and the infamous Boardwalk Bullet. The Bullet is a wooden roller coaster with a 92-foot drop that races over 51 miles per hour. 

There are also fantastic Midway Games, excellent restaurants, special events, and live entertainment year-round, so check the calendar for all the unmissable excitement. 

 

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown

Texas is known for its flagship Six Flags theme parks. Arlington claims the mammoth Six Flags Over Texas, the first in the franchise, but Houston’s Hurricane Harbor Splashtown offers plenty of thrills and entertainment for the whole family! 

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown has seventeen exciting water rides like the 95-foot Bamboo Shoot, Runaway Rapids, and the 6-lane Stingray Racer. Stormy situations are reenacted in the Tornado, Ripcurl, and Vortex attractions. 

For families or those who prefer a more relaxed aquatic environment, there’s Coconut Bay, Hurricane Bay, or Paradise River.

It might be harder to squeeze into that teeny bikini after a visit to some of the tempting eateries like the Tidal Wave Cafe, Island Bob’s Funnel Cake, and Soft Serve, or the two adult-beverage hangouts, Sharky’s and Hula Bar, but it will be worth it. 

 

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park

The fun takes flight at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park! Kids of all ages can engage in athletic activities that keep them soaring with trampolines, climbing walls, warrior courses, dodgeball, and more.

Keep your family entertainment active, interesting, and competitive with ProZone Performance and Apex trampolines, the Slam Dunk Zone, or the Runaway Tumble Track. Little ones will love the Bowl (a mini version of the Apex trampoline) and the extensive Tubes Playground. 

There are weekly activities on the calendar and customized birthday parties and events are available.

 

Splashway Waterpark and Campground

 

Splashway is a waterpark that does double-duty as a campground so you can choose your adventure and stay for a while without having to shell out for a hotel. The highly-rated theme park’s motto is “We are family,” so they are committed to treating yours like it’s their own.

In addition to the waterpark that features as many exciting rides and slides to rival some of the best in Texas, there’s laser tag and putt-putt golf. Special events take place year-round and vary from Halloween and Christmas festivals to wine walks and BBQ cook-offs.

The Hideaway offers the opportunity for folks staying at the campgrounds or traveling through to indulge in delectable food and beverage offerings, live entertainment, and more. 

 

Jumping World

The lyrics from the iconic song “Jump” from Van Halen’s classic album 1984 could be the motto of Houston’s bounciest theme park. You might as well jump into the fun of northwest Houston’s best bounce house and entertainment experience. 

Any activity that you can imagine involving jumping takes place in Jumping World. Kids can bounce to their heart’s content on the indoor trampolines or dive into the cushioned foam pit. There’s even a designated Toddler World that’s a safe and supervised space.

Older leapers will challenge and entertain themselves in the Slam Dunk Arena, Tumbling Lanes, or Supreme Dodgeball. 

Jumping World is a wonderful way to get kids of all ages off the couch, away from screens and devices, and bouncing for joy. 

 

Typhoon Texas

Typhoon Texas is located in nearby Katy, TX. The waterpark offers a perfect opportunity to take a refreshing dip and cool off from the excruciating Texas heat. 

Kids ages 3-10 will squeal with delight as they play blissfully in the 800-gallons of water Gully Washer playground with spray areas, slides, and rope bridges. Parents shouldn’t fear bruised behinds because the playground is padded to ensure safety.

But Typhoon Texas isn’t all child’s play. Monster storm raft rides like The Typhoon, and The Twister, along with slippery slides such as the Snake Pit or the Lone Star Racers, offer excitement for older kids, teens, and adults. 

 

Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens is the perfect plan for the Houstonian family looking for a more luxurious getaway that could serve as a day trip or weekend adventure. It creates the feeling of being in a world apart from the hustle and bustle without treading too far from home. 

It’s a Texan oasis that’s a hotel, spa, golf course, and educational theme park all-in-one situated on Galveston Island. There’s also a waterpark and a cinema. 

Some of the main attractions are the three enchanting pyramids – Aquarium, Rainforest, and Discovery. Each pyramid is devoted to an entertaining and immersive educational experience about aquatic life, tropical forests, and scientific discoveries. 

 

Speedy’s Fast Track

Speedy’s Fast Track is no-frills but tons of fun. Families, friends, and groups will find plenty of activities to engage in at this Houston indoor and outdoor entertainment center conveniently located west of Highway 290. 

If go-karts are your thing, this is the place for you! Speedy’s Fast Track features go-karts, super-karts, two-seater karts, and formula-1 karts. Even Super Mario and friends would be envious of these go-kart options. 

Maybe you prefer old-school arcade games. Speedy’s has you covered! With regular new acquisitions, the arcade has pinball games and other classics like Basketball Pro, Power Roll, and SuperCars. There’s also laser tag and putt-putt golf.