5 of Houston’s Best Amusement Parks to Visit Now

Whether you love the thrill of a roller coaster spinning through the air or want a birds-eye view at a more leisurely pace from a gigantic Ferris wheel, Houston’s amusement parks have you covered.

Houston’s amusement parks run the gamut from indoor palaces with wall-to-wall fun to classic ride experiences that deliver a heavy dose of nostalgia. No matter what type of thrill you like and whatever the season, there’s bound to be an amusement park in Houston that will provide you and your family with a day to remember.

Keep reading to find out about five of our favorite amusement parks around Houston — or a short drive from the city — and what makes them worth the price of admission.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown has 40 slides and attractions. The large water park is in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston.

Six Flags Port of Hurricane Splashtown

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

The folks at Six Flags know you can get just as much adrenaline in the water as on land, and they have rides that have the thrill of a roller coaster, but wetter. Located a few miles north of Houston, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is a water park where all ages can have fun while staying cool on the hottest days in town, whether they want death-defying dives or a gentle float.

If rides like the RipQurl (where you move at 26 feet per second in a giant bowl) or the Paradise Plunge (a seven-story freefall) aren’t your cup of tea, they have a lazy river and a swimming pool 500,000 gallon waves. Even the littlest mermaids can enjoy Coconut Bay or the Treehouse, designed for children. If that’s not enough, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor also hosts concerts and other live events.check their calendar to catch your favorite stars on stage.

Find it: 21300 Interstate 45, Spring, TX 77373; 281-355-3300

Runners enjoy the Aviator Swing Ride at Kemah Boardwalk near Houston, Texas.  The ride takes you over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Runners enjoy the Aviator Swing Ride at Kemah Boardwalk near Houston, Texas. The ride takes you over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sid Karic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kemah Walk

A family destination in Texas since the late 1990s, the Kemah Walk spans 60 acres along Galveston Bay and Clear Lake and is owned and operated by Landry’s, a mega hospitality and entertainment corporation. It’s about a 30 minute drive from town and well worth a day trip. The promenade is home to 15 rides, an aquarium, shops and 10 restaurants.

Among the rides, the Boardwalk Bullet is a unique wooden coaster that stands nearly 100 feet tall and reaches speeds of 51 miles per hour. Naturally, there are classics like a 65ft Ferris wheel, 140ft carousel and drop tower, plus seesaw and pendulum rides. There’s even a speedboat ride that will take you on a 25-minute trip around Galveston Bay at 40 miles per hour. The promenade also includes an arcade, Midway games, a playground and a wading pool.

Kemah has a marina with 400 docks and a charter yacht, the FantaSea, offering dinner cruises around the gulf. With a boutique hotel on site and plenty of dining and entertainment options, you can easily make a weekend of it.

Find it: 215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565; 281-535-8100

Houston Funplex is a sprawling indoor amusement park with arcade games, bowling, skating, rides and more.  The park also includes a drop tower, pictured here.

Houston Funplex is a sprawling indoor amusement park with arcade games, bowling, skating, rides and more. The park also includes a drop tower, pictured here.

Houston Funplex

Where can you find over 200 arcade games, bowling and amusement rides under one roof within the city limits? To Houston Funplex— and no matter the weather, it’s a unique amusement park that the whole family will enjoy. Houston Funplex has its own esports arena, where groups of five or more players can congregate and play multiplayer favorites like Fortnite and Apex Legends. And young gamers can also enjoy Minecraft and Roblox. For gamers who’d rather be off the hook of a PC, there are nearly 200 arcade games to enjoy, from retro classics like Pac Man and Skee-Ball to modern picks like Injustice and Pump-It-Up, and they’ll take you all yield tickets to be redeemed for prizes at the end of the day. The park also offers virtual reality car simulators and roller coasters, but there’s even more to do outside of the screens.

Houston Funplex has a 40-lane bowling alley with a restaurant, indoor go-kart track, and skating rink (where Beyonce filmed the video for “Blow,” NBD). When mom and dad are exhausted, they can let the kids loose in a Texas-sized two-story play area with a tree house, arcade games, ball and foam pits, inflatables, slides and trampolines. No amusement park would be complete without rides, and Funplex has a few impressive ones, albeit fully indoors, including bumper cars, a drop tower, and a Ferris wheel.

Find it: 13700 Beechnut St., Houston, TX 77083; 281-530-7777

Blake Schortino, right, laughs alongside Aidima Abdukerimova after riding the Sabine Scream at Big Rivers Water Park & ​​Adventures, Thursday, June 3, 2021, in New Caney.  Grand Texas is a 632-acre development in New Caney consisting of two large parks covering 80 acres: Big Rivers Water Park and Gator Bayou Adventure Park.  The entire development also includes a race park, RV station and shopping and dining district.

Blake Schortino, right, laughs alongside Aidima Abdukerimova after riding the Sabine Scream at Big Rivers Water Park & ​​Adventures, Thursday, June 3, 2021, in New Caney. Grand Texas is a 632-acre development in New Caney consisting of two large parks covering 80 acres: Big Rivers Water Park and Gator Bayou Adventure Park. The entire development also includes a race park, RV station and shopping and dining district.

Jason Fochtman/Team Photographer

Big Rivers Water Park and Adventures

Part of the Grand Texas Amusement Park project, a massive 645-acre entertainment complex being built just northeast of Houston, Big Rivers Water Park and Adventures is open and full of family fun. It’s home to Houston’s largest lazy river, a massive wave pool, and a host of waterslides suitable for all ages. Not to mention GatorSplash, a kid-friendly area loaded with slides and more than 300 water play features that the park says is the largest interactive play structure in all of Texas. More wet fun can be found at wild islanda challenge course filled with inflatable structures in the middle of a lake on the park’s campus.

If you want to stay dry, there are plenty of rides at Big Rivers Fairgrounds area, including an intense pendulum ride, a pair of flying rides, and a unique roller coaster called Rolling Thunder that spins and flips riders in their car as they speed down the track. During this time, the Dry adventures The area has a huge maze you can navigate, archery, ax throwing, sluice “mining”, a petting zoo (where you can actually handle baby alligators) and a stocked fishing hole. There are also two ziplines in the Aerial Adventures area, as well as a pair of ninja courses, bungee jumping, and a rock climbing wall.

Find it: 23065 Texas State Highway 242, New Caney, TX 77357

Aerial view of the historic pier and beach in Galveston, Texas at sunset.

Aerial view of the historic pier and beach in Galveston, Texas at sunset.

hallebergman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Stretching over 1,100 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier sits on the site of the area’s original amusement park, which operated from the early 1940s until 1961, when it was demolished by Hurricane Carla. The contemporary iteration of the park opened in 2012 but was designed with a heavy dose of nostalgia for its original days. As you’d expect in a place that was once called “The Coney Island of the South”, there are plenty of places to eat, from ice cream and an old-fashioned candy store to pizza. to slice and long dogs. .

As for the rides, you’ll find the requisite ferris wheel – this one with stunning ocean and city views from 30 meters high – a double-decker carousel, a Viking ship, spinning teacups, bumper cars and other ride icons. The park also has unique thrills. The Iron Shark is a 1,200-foot steel coaster that reaches 52 miles per hour after a 100-foot lift and Cyclone launches riders through a 60-foot loop forward and backward, while the Pirate’s Plunge Log Channel will refresh you with a pair of falls in major splashes. But the best ride might be the Texas Star Flyer, which lifts you over 200 feet above the gulf for a ride with incredible views.

Find it: 1501 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550; 855-789-7437



About James Almanza

Check Also

Builders start Houston-area communities in Cypress, Humble

Builders have separately launched two single-family residential communities in the greater Houston area with homes …