HOUSTON - Summer is just days away, and those airline tickets aren't getting any cheaper after Memorial Day.
But this is Texas. Surely you haven't seen everything the state has to offer.
We present to you 10 kid-friendly day trips or weekend road trips that won't break the bank (in no particular order).
Head east on I-10 to check out Gator Country in Beaumont. It is one of the largest alligator adventure parks and sanctuaries in Texas with more than 450 American alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles.
Shangrila Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
While you're out east, stop by the Shangrila Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Orange. Entry to the gardens is free. The "Here we Grow" interactive children's garden will keep your kids busy learning about planting and growing your own food.
Son's Island in Seguin is just a few hours down I10 in the opposite direction. You can rent a lakeside cabana for the day or stay for the night. Enjoy paddleboarding and kayaking or just swim.
Brazos Bend State Park
Don't forget about Brazos Bend State Park in Needville. If you plan your day trip just right on a Saturday... You can also check out the stars at the George Observatory inside the park open every Saturday until 10 p.m. The park and observatory are closed now because of flooding, but Texas Parks and Wildlife does expect them to reopen on June 5.
BeeWeaver Honey Farm
Head to Navasota to the Beeweaver Honey Farm for a lesson in the life of honey bees. Just call ahead to make sure there is a public tour available before you make the drive.
Blue Bell Creamery
If you've never taken your kids to Brenham, make a day of it with a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery. Afterward, take the whole gang to Horseshoe Junction. The theme park has bumper boats, laser tag, go-karts and a lot more.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Did you know the city of Houston has a park where you can camp overnight? Lake Houston Wilderness Park is in New Caney just 30 miles from downtown. You can swim, rent a cabin or pitch a tent.
Sea Center Texas
Take your kids to Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson. It's a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and education center on 75 acres operated in part by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Admission is free, and your kids can drop a line in the youth fishing pond.
The Showboat Drive-In
One of the last remaining drive-in movie theaters is in Hockley. The Showboat Drive-in shows first-run movies every Friday and Saturday night. Adults are $8. Kids 3 to 12-years-old are $6.
Big Rivers Waterpark & Adventures
This weekend is the grand opening of Big Rivers Waterpark & Adventures at Grand Texas Theme Park. It's the newest water park and adventure park with animals, zip lines and one of the biggest lazy rivers in the Houston area just north of town in New Caney.
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