9 Texas Family Resorts with the Best Kid-Friendly Amenities

There's something special for everyone in the family at the best family resorts in Texas.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa (Photo: Marriott)
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa (Photo: Marriott)

One of the best things about family resorts in Texas is that each one offers up something special for you and your kids to experience. Interested in a family beach vacation? How about a bustling city getaway? Maybe you’re a family that enjoys getting lost on a hike through forests or canyons, or you want the experience of a Western-style dude ranch? At the best Texas family resorts, these kinds of family-friendly activities are all part of the experience.

The Best Family Resorts in Texas

While raising two sons in the Lone Star State, some of my favorite family travel adventures have included stays at these family resorts in Texas—relaxing on a lazy river, zooming through the woods on a UTV, or learning survival skills alongside my kids, just for starters. Here are my hand-picked choices for the best family-friendly resorts in Texas.

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1. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa – Bastrop, Texas

Exterior view of Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa (Photo: Hyatt Regency)
The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa sits on 405 acres of rugged natural beauty (Photo: Hyatt Regency)

Best family amenities: On-site waterpark, spa, and access to neighboring LCRA programs and park.

In central Texas, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is a perfect family vacation destination for adventure-minded families. Not only can you explore the family resort’s 405-acre rugged natural surroundings, including resident longhorn cattle, pigs, alpacas, goats, and donkeys, you can take advantage of the neighboring McKinney Roughs Nature Park, which offers additional programming to families.

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My family has participated in activities here ranging from zip lining to UTVs to a family survival skills course, where we’ve learned how to build primitive fires, forage for edible plants and insects, and practice spear throwing. On the resort grounds, there’s also the Crooked River Waterpark with a two-story waterslide and a 1,000-foot lazy river. An on-site spa for adults and nightly s’mores time make this an ideal Texas family resort.

2. The Woodlands Resort – The Woodlands, Texas

The Woodlands Resort at dusk (Photo: The Woodlands Resort)
The Woodlands Resort at dusk (Photo: The Woodlands Resort)

Best family amenities: Waterpark, daily family events.

I love the natural tree-filled surroundings of The Woodlands Resort, which offers plenty of room to stretch out and roam just 30 minutes north of Houston. Whether your family likes walking or biking, or simply relaxing in the outdoor water park with a 1,005-foot lazy river and double helix waterslide, you’ll find something to enjoy at this kid-friendly Texas resort.

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The Woodlands Resort also has scheduled daily family activities from scavenger hunts to movie nights to goat yoga. Bike rentals, paddleboards, and kayaks are available to rent. There’s even an on-site arcade, too.

3. The Gaylord Texan Resort – Grapevine, Texas

Carol of Lights at the Gaylord Texan Resort (Photo: Gaylord Texan)
The Gaylord Texan Resort is especially fun for families during the holidays (Photo: Gaylord Texan)

Best family amenities: Oversized grounds full of dining and shopping.

Note to families with energetic children: The Gaylord Texan Resort is among the largest convention center resorts in the U.S., which makes it a great place for kids to run out their energy among the sprawling corridors and a life-sized replica of the San Antonio River Walk that seems imported directly from South Texas. My family loves how it feels like you’re always outside in this light-filled and humongous family-friendly resort, with the added benefit of comfortable weather year-round.

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The Gaylord Texan also has a seasonal Western-themed waterpark. And during the holidays, you’ll find a variety of programming ranging from snow tubing to gingerbread decorating, as well as a walk-through indoor ice sculpture show in this great destination for Christmas vacations. (The city of Grapevine is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas.)

4. La Cantera Resort and Spa – San Antonio, Texas

Pool and cabana at La Cantera Resort and Spa (Photo: La Cantera)
La Cantera is a best-of-both-worlds family resort in Texas (Photo: La Cantera)

Best family amenities: On-site child care, naturalist programs.

Parents without access to overnight childcare know the importance of finding a getaway that allows them to truly relax while also making sure their kids have fun too. La Cantera is a best-of-both-worlds option. Located right next door to Six Flags Fiesta Texas (with a complimentary shuttle available to whisk your family there for some roller coaster action), this Texas family resort’s gorgeous 550 acres of rolling hillside landscape offers a restful retreat even when you have kids in tow.

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The Loma de Vida spa here is legendary, offering a slate of rejuvenating treatments for parents while the Kids Club entertains the little ones so you can truly rest. On select days, the resort hosts programs like a Saturday morning naturalist-led hike through the surrounding trails to learn about local wildlife (from wild pigs to armadillos), equipping children with magnifying glasses and notebooks in which to record their observations.

5. Deer Lake Cabins Ranch Resort – Mt. Vernon, Texas

Best family amenities: Spacious lakeside cabins and houses, horseback riding.

This under-the-radar family resort in East Texas is a true ranch-style resort with optional add-on activities such as trail riding on horseback, an on-site escape room, UTV rentals, paddle boats, and fishing on the lake. Staying here feels like creating your family’s own personal “summer camp” experience year-round.

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It’s also an ideal destination resort for family reunions or multigenerational getaways, with spacious accommodations for large families or multiple families staying together. The 19 cabins and lakeside houses can sleep from two to 16 people and include full kitchens, washers and dryers, private patios with docks on the lake, and fire pits. 

6. Kalahari Resorts – Round Rock, Texas

Kalahari Resorts Round Rock (Photo: Kalahari Resorts)
Kalahari Resorts Round Rock is home to the biggest water park in America (Photo: Kalahari Resorts)

Best family amenities: Huge indoor/outdoor water park and gaming center.

If everything truly is bigger in Texas then perhaps it’s only fitting that Texas has captured the title as home to America’s largest water park. At 223,000 square feet, Kalahari’s Round Rock Resort near Austin is a water-loving family’s dream.

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In addition to the typical range of slides (thrilling to mild), wave pool, and splash areas, there’s also an oversized hot tub and an adults-only area. Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park is 80,000 square feet filled with arcade games, a ropes course, and even some small amusement park-style rides. 

7. JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa – San Antonio, Texas

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio (Photo: Robert Leake)
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio (Photo: Robert Leake)

Best family amenities: Outdoor swimming pools and slides, daily kids programming.

When I think about some of my favorite travel memories in Texas during the holidays, my family’s trips to JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country always float to the top of the list. Though it’s a spectacular destination year round, starting in November the JW Marriott sparkles with holiday cheer and has complimentary holiday programming especially tailored to families.

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Visit with reindeer, spend some time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorate holiday cookies, and sip cocoa while Texas Hill Country-style snowflakes float down magically. (FYI, snowflakes tend to be made of soap suds around these parts.) Meanwhile, the kids always enjoy the 1,100-foot lazy river and water slides at the resort’s nine-acre waterpark—somehow even cooler temperatures aren’t enough to slow them down. 

8. Moody Gardens Hotel – Galveston, Texas

Aquarium at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas (Photo: Moody Gardens Hotel)
Moody Gardens is one of the best family resorts in Texas (Photo: Moody Gardens Hotel)

Best family amenities: Kids programming and on-site aquarium, rainforest exhibits.

Located on the Moody Gardens property on Galveston Island—known by three iconic glass pyramids, each filled with family-friendly fun—the Moody Gardens Hotel offers a free Kids Crew program in the summer, during the holidays, and Spring Break, with a variety of activities from bounce houses to kids karaoke.

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Head to this Texas family resort for an aquarium, Discovery Museum, and rainforest habitats for your kids to explore and learn about nature. There’s also a seasonal waterpark, ropes course, and zipline, as well as a paddlewheel boat that you can book for day excursions or dinner cruises.

9. Isla Grand Beach Resort – South Padre Island, Texas

Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island (Photo: Isla Grand Beach Resort)
Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island (Photo: Isla Grand Beach Resort)

Best family amenities: Beach activities and excursions.

Beach-going families should head to South Padre Island to explore the sea turtle rescue efforts under way or go for a dolphin watching tour, parasailing excursion, or banana boat ride. Isla Grand Beach Resort is situated right on the beach and includes two swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, beach volleyball, and more.

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Seasonal kids’ activities include water games and sandcastle building. Families can even schedule their own VIP sandcastle building lesson with a pro.

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