As parents, we know that expanding our child’s learning away from the classroom is vital to making them more well-rounded learners. No matter their age, it’s essential to introduce them to new ideas, so how can you expand your child’s learning outside school? Planning educational family road trips, day trips, and outdoor adventures is one of the most effective and engaging tools for diversifying your child’s learning. 

Why Are Educational Activities Outside of School Important?

Research has proven that learning outside the traditional classroom setting has several positive impacts on your child’s education. Encouraging this activity is one of the best ways to supplement your child’s education and nurture their growth. Whether children are exploring outdoors or taking educational field trips, supplemental learning offers many benefits for your children, including:    

  • A deeper appreciation for nature and the environment
  • Enhancement of their understanding of historical events
  • A broader perspective and appreciation for their country and the world around them
  • Knowledge of new cultures, ideas, and people
  • Boost their creativity
  • Depth to their education by supplementing various academic subjects

These are all great reasons to plan educational trips and explore new places with your children.  

10 Educational Activities You Can Do in Texas With Your Family

Do you live in Texas or plan a visit to the state shortly? There are many fun, affordable, and exciting educational activities and other learning opportunities to explore with your family across the extensive Lone Star State. To help get you started with some ideas, we’ve put together this list of 10 educational activities in Texas for your family. 

1. The Texas Capitol Building in Austin

The Texas State Capitol building is located in Austin. This building is the largest of any state in the country and sits seven feet higher than the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC! You can tour the Texas State Capitol and learn more about this historic landmark through guided and self-guided tour options open to the public. 

The Texas State Capitol building is home to the Texas legislature and houses the governor’s office. 

2. Austin Aquarium

Once you’ve seen the Texas State Capitol, another wonderful educational destination is the Austin Aquarium. This aquarium features sharks, a stingray touch tank, and a rainforest with reptiles, among other exhibits that foster your child’s appreciation for nature and living creatures. 

3. Dinosaur Park

Offering a combination of history and natural science, Dinosaur Park in Bastrop, Texas, provides kids interested in the prehistoric eras an opportunity to see life-size dinosaurs in an outdoor museum setting. Dinosaur Park features exhibits complete with realistic features such as skin color and natural variations in an outdoor environment. They look like you found them roaming the wild millions of years ago!

The outdoor tours offered at Dinosaur Park provide families with a fun, exciting, and adventurous museum experience perfect for teaching your kids more about the majestic dinosaurs that once ruled the earth over 150 million years ago. 

4. Austin Nature and Science Center 

The Austin Nature and Science Center (ANSC) is located on the western boundaries of Zilker Park. If you’re looking for an affordable educational activity in Texas for your family, then the ANSC is an ideal option. 

The ANSC has no entry fee but offers paid programs for homeschoolers and touring schools. In addition, the center provides a range of nature-based exhibits and programs, including a Mammal Enclosure and Birds of Prey exhibit that your entire family can appreciate.

5. The Alamo 

The Alamo Church is one of the nation’s most famous historical landmarks near downtown San Antonio, Texas. Tickets for this activity are free but require a timed reservation. Your timed reservation allows you to witness historically accurate demonstrations and reenactments that are simultaneously educational and entertaining. For example, one-hour guided battlefield tours coupled with hands-on demonstrations that display the era’s way of life make the Alamo one of the top historic sites in the country and a fun and educational activity in Texas for your family.      

6. Space Center Houston   

Space Center Houston is a top choice for anyone interested in science and space exploration. Owned and operated by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization named the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, Space Center Houston offers both one-day admission and membership plans with children three years of age and younger admitted for free. 

Space Center Houston offers visitors of all ages access to various educational exhibits, experiences, programs, and support resources designed to cultivate and encourage an interest in space exploration and science. The facility’s education programs focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to teach and inspire the next generation of space explorers. From astronaut experiences to over 400 exhibits and interactive activities, Space Center Houston offers a fun and affordable learning experience for your entire family.

7. Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio  

One of the top environmental attractions in the state of Texas, Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio, features two different attractions for visitors to view. The first is a spectacular 60-foot natural limestone bridge, and the other is a system of caverns that lies beneath the earth’s surface. 

For families interested in learning more about geology and archaeology, a trip to Natural Bridge Caverns has major scientific and historical significance. Visitors walk through thousands of years of limestone formations on their way into the caverns while learning more about the various items salvaged from the original excavation of the site that occurred in the 1960s. Due to the site’s significance, Natural Bridge Caverns was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) for its essential role in teaching and preserving cultural history.

8. Big Bend National Park  

Big Bend National Park features more than 1,200 square miles of wildlife-inhabited protected land in southwest Texas, bordering Mexico. Big Bend National Park is known as Texas’s gift to the country, making it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the Lone Star State. The park gets its name from the prominent bend in the Rio Grande River, which runs through the area. 

There are countless educational activities to enjoy at Big Bend National Park, including stargazing, bird-watching, and nature hikes. The park is home to the Chisos Mountains, the only mountain range in the country that exists entirely within the confines of a national park. At Big Bend National Park, you can enjoy camping, exploring archaeological sites, and driving along portions of the Comanche Trail with the entire family.   

9. SeaWorld San Antonio    

SeaWorld San Antonio features rides, attractions, presentations, and interactive animal experiences for your family to enjoy while learning more about the various marine life animals on display. This destination offers more than a theme park experience for its guests; it focuses on providing families with exciting information. The facility’s educational shows and presentations will introduce your child to and teach them more about the fantastic living creatures that inhabit our oceans and make our world such a unique and diverse place to live. 

10. Houston Museum of Natural Science 

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is part of the Houston Museum District. It features a combination of traveling exhibits, visual presentations, and permanent displays that offer something of interest for each member of your family. From astronomy and space exploration to paleontology and chemistry, the Houston Museum of Natural Science teaches kids, families, and classes about a range of scientific topics and interests. 

One of the museum’s most exciting and popular features is the Burke Baker Planetarium, where visitors experience the vastness of space while enjoying a visually stunning digital presentation. Coupling the planetarium with the museum’s Wortham Giant Screen Theater, the Houston Museum of Natural Science can be just as entertaining as educational for your family. 

These ten educational activities offer something for everyone in your family, whether they are adventurous, curious, or explorative. While you may not make it to every destination on this list, visiting a few of these Texas attractions is a great way to engage in educational activities as a family.   

Find a School That Values Educational Activities With Schola

One of the best ways to discover what they’re passionate about or interested in is by introducing them to new ideas and taking them to unique places. The first step to achieving this goal is finding a school that matches their aspirations and inspires learning. Schola has the tools you need to find the perfect school for your child. Take the ScholaMatch™ to embrace your child’s inquisitive nature and desire to learn more through exploration with a school that’s right for them. Contact one of our enrollment advisors to learn more today!