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Discover the Thrills at the Best Theme Parks in and near Houston

Rides at Kemah Boardwalk, in Kemah, near Houston, Texas

Welcome to the vibrant world of theme parks and attractions in Houston, Texas. While Houston may not be synonymous with theme parks like some other cities, it offers a unique blend of entertainment, adventure, and cultural experiences for locals and visitors alike. From the thrilling rides and oceanfront fun at Kemah Boardwalk to the awe-inspiring exploration of space at Space Center Houston, and the underwater wonders at the Downtown Aquarium, Houston's attractions promise an array of adventures. Join us as we embark on a journey through the diverse and exciting theme parks and attractions that make Houston a captivating destination.

Overview of the best Theme Parks in and near Houston



Official Website

Kemah Boardwalk (Kemah, TX)


Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)


Downtown Aquarium (Houston, TX)


Pleasure Pier (Galveston, TX)


Moody Gardens (Galveston, TX)


Houston Zoo (Houston, TX)


Note: The prices mentioned are for one adult, but the parks offer various prices suitable for different groups of people. Check the official website and choose the pricing that suits you the best.


More about the best Theme Parks in Houston

Kemah Boardwalk (Kemah, TX)

emah Boardwalk is a waterfront entertainment complex featuring amusement park rides, dining, shopping, and entertainment along the shores of Galveston Bay.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Boardwalk Bullet: A thrilling wooden roller coaster that offers twists and turns.

  • Iron Eagle: A pendulum-style ride that swings you high above the boardwalk.

  • Stingray Reef: Get up close to and even touch live stingrays.

  • Dancing Fountain: Enjoy the mesmerizing water fountain shows.

  • Midway Games: Test your skills and win prizes at the boardwalk's games.


Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)

While not a traditional theme park, Space Center Houston is an educational attraction where you can learn about space exploration, view historic spacecraft, and participate in interactive exhibits.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Space Shuttle Independence: Explore the space shuttle replica and the historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft.

  • NASA Tram Tour: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

  • Astronaut Gallery: Learn about the lives and missions of astronauts.

  • Starship Gallery: See a vast collection of space artifacts and moon rocks.

  • Mission Mars: An interactive exhibit on future Mars missions.


Downtown Aquarium (Houston, TX)

The Downtown Aquarium is a family-friendly attraction featuring aquatic exhibits, a restaurant with underwater views, and a small selection of amusement rides.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Diving Bell Ferris Wheel: Enjoy panoramic views of downtown Houston from this unique ferris wheel.

  • Shark Voyage: A train ride that takes you through a 200,000-gallon shark tank.

  • White Tigers of the Maharaja's Temple: Observe majestic white tigers.

  • Aquatic Carousel: A colorful and aquatic-themed carousel for the whole family.

  • Stingray Reef and Rainforest Exhibit: Get hands-on with stingrays and explore a lush rainforest.


Pleasure Pier (Galveston, TX)

Located in nearby Galveston, Pleasure Pier is a seaside amusement park featuring thrilling rides, games, dining, and entertainment on a historic pier.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Galaxy Wheel: A classic Ferris wheel with stunning coastal views.

  • Texas Star Flyer: A swing ride that takes you 230 feet in the air.

  • Iron Shark Roller Coaster: A thrilling coaster that hangs over the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Pirate's Plunge Log Flume: A fun water ride that offers a refreshing splash.

  • Midway Games: Try your luck at classic carnival games.


Moody Gardens (Galveston, TX)

Moody Gardens offers a variety of attractions, including a rainforest pyramid, an aquarium pyramid, and a discovery pyramid with interactive exhibits.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Rainforest Pyramid: Explore a lush rainforest with exotic plants and animals.

  • Aquarium Pyramid: Discover marine life from the oceans of the world.

  • Colonel Paddlewheel Boat: Enjoy a scenic paddlewheel boat cruise on Offats Bayou.

  • Ropes Course and Zip Line: Challenge yourself with a high ropes course and zip line.

  • SpongeBob SubPants Adventure: An interactive 3D adventure featuring SpongeBob SquarePants.


Houston Zoo (Houston, TX)

The Houston Zoo is home to over 6,000 animals from around the world. Visitors can see a wide range of species and learn about wildlife conservation efforts.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Gorillas of the African Forest: Observe western lowland gorillas in a naturalistic habitat.

  • African Forest Elephant Yard: Visit the elephants and learn about conservation efforts.

  • Kipp Aquarium: Explore the underwater world with a variety of aquatic species.

  • Carnivores: See big cats like lions and tigers in their enclosures.

  • Gibbon Habitat: Watch agile gibbons swing and play in their forest-like habitat.


Houston's theme parks and attractions may not have the size and fame of some larger cities, but they hold a special charm and offer a variety of experiences for all ages. Whether you're seeking adrenaline-pumping rides, educational journeys through space and marine life, or leisurely strolls through lush gardens, Houston has something to offer every traveler. The city's unique blend of culture, entertainment, and natural beauty ensures that every visit is filled with memorable moments and discoveries. So, explore the wonders of Houston's theme parks, and let the city's spirit of adventure capture your heart.

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