Features

Texas Amusements

South Padre's New Schlitterbahn Beach
South Padre's New Schlitterbahn Beach

Adventure Bay 12 acres of fun-filled water adventures featuring a gravity-defying Master Blaster and pirate ship. 13602 Beechnut, Houston. 281/530-5979 x106. www.adventurebay.com

Alamo Village Open daily at 9am, this working ranch is also a family recreation center built around the set for John Wayne's movie The Alamo. 7 miles N. on FM 674, Brackettville. 830/563-2580. www.alamovillage.com

Celebration Station (Rankin Rd.) Bumper boats, go-carts, miniature golf, and a children's playland with a train and dinosaur ride. I-45 at Rankin Rd., Houston. 281/872-7778. www.celebrationstation.com

Celebration Station (Southwest Frwy.) Welcome to Birthday Party Central. Huge arcade, plus bumper boats, go-carts, and miniature golf. 6767 Southwest Frwy., Houston. 713/981-7888. www.celebrationstation.com

Dallas Zoo Enter into a world of endangered tigers, gorillas, chimpanzees, reptiles, a walk-through rain forest, a monorail, and an interactive children's zoo. 650 S. R.L. Thorton Frwy. (I-35 E.), Dallas. 214/670-5656. www.dallaszoo.com

Ellen Trout Zoo and Park Enjoy a train ride through the zoo or sit outside and picnic by the playgrounds. 402 Zoo Circle, Lufkin. 936/633-0399. www.ellentroutzoo.com

Fire Water Water Park 14-acre park offers speed and flume slides, a lazy river, wave pool, kiddie pool, and volleyball courts. 1415 Sunrise Dr., Amarillo. 806/342-3473. www.firewaterpark.com

Fort Worth Zoo Koala Outback! African Savannah! Herpetarium! Asian Falls! Thundering Plains! And a World of Primates! 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth. 817/759-7555. www.fortworthzoo.org

Hero's Water World Squirt pools, water slides, tube rides, a sandy beach, an arcade, and go-carts. 12300 E. Hwy. 80 W., Odessa. 915/563-1933. www.heroswaterworld.com

Joyland Amusement Park 30 rides featuring water and roller coasters, a carousel, food and games. Off I-27, exit #4 in Mackenzie Park, Lubbock. 806/763-2719.

Kiddie Acres Austin's own has train rides, Ferris wheel, carousel, miniature golf, and ponies. 4800 W. Howard Ln., Austin. 512/255-4131. www.kiddieacres.com

Mountasia Family Fun Center Mini-golf, bumper boats, go-carts, skating, and batting cages amidst caverns and streams. 8851 Grapevine Hwy., North Richland Hills. 817/788-0990.

North Richland Hills Water Park (NRH2O) Wading streams, wave pool, 600-foot river, water slides, and a volleyball court in a municipal-owned park. 9001 Grapevine Hwy., North Richland Hills. 817/427-6500. www.nrh2O.com

The Orange Show One man's tribute to the fruit that hath no rhyme. 2401 Munger St., Houston. 713/926-6368. www.orangeshow.org

The Reef Family park built around a 20-acre spring-fed lake. 4800 Schunnier Rd., Houston. 713/991-3483. www.atthereef.com

San Antonio Zoo Picnic, play, take a train ride and see more than 3,500 animals. 3903 N. St. Mary's St., San Antonio. 210/734-7184. www.sazoo-aq.org

Sandy Lake Amusement Park Cozy, low-key, family-owned, family fun park offers ample picnic facilities, swimming, carnival rides, ponies, mini-golf, paddle boats, and more. 1800 Sandy Lake Rd., Carrollton. 972/242-7449. www.sandylake.com

Schlitterbahn Central Texas' very wet crown jewel! Water coasters, slides, tubing, surfing, pools, hot tubs, picnic and playground areas compose this 65-acre riverfront. Check out their on-site resort! 305 West Austin St., New Braunfels. 830/625-2351. www.schlitterbahn.com/

Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark Beachside version of the New Braunfels park. At the center of the park looms a 5-story sand castle. 90 Park Rd. Hwy. 100, South Padre Island. 956/772-SURF. www.schlitterbahn.com

SeaWorld of Texas The world's largest marine adventure park: shows, rides, and whales, dolphins, sharks, otters, etc. 10500 SeaWorld Dr., San Antonio. 210/523-3611. www.seaworld.com

Six Flags AstroWorld/WaterWorld This 100-acre theme park is two parks in one; including 32 rides, fun shows, plus wet rides and slides. 9001 Kirby Dr., Houston. 713/799-8404. www.sixflags.com

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Celebrate Tejas with twirling rides, water slides, go-carts, Ferris wheel, and live shows. 17000 I-10 W., San Antonio. 210/697-5050. www.sixflags.com

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Largest water park in Texas: Sea Wolf, Blue Raider, Geronimo, and the Black Hole are just some of the rides. Check out the "Captain Hook" pirate ship. 1800 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington. 817/265-3356. www.sixflags.com

Six Flags Over Texas Do we need to tell you who the largest regional theme park company worldwide is? Ahem, no. Don't even mention the mouse. 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington. 817/640-8900, 817/530-6000. www.sixflags.com

Space Center Houston Ground control to Major Tom ... this is about as close to space as you're gonna get. Check the Web site for attractions and NASA launch schedule. 1601 Nasa Rd., Houston. 281/244-2105. www.spacecenter.org

Splashtown Water Park A Six Flags company, this free-standing waterpark has plenty of thrills to soak your socks. There's also "Crocodile Isle" for the kids. 21300 I-45 N., Spring. 281/355-3300. www.sixflags.com

Texas Water Rampage Super cool, "old-school" water park -- an oasis amidst the sweltering Texas heat. Check out their special "sunset swim" every Friday in June. 62602 Brown Field Hwy., Lubbock. 806/796-0701. www.texaswaterrampage.com

Traders Village Grand Prairie Both Traders Village's offer huge Texas bargains in a classic fleamarket setting. Plus: special events and functions all summer. 2602 Mayfield Rd., Grand Prairie. 972/647-2331. www.tradersvillage.com

Traders Village Houston 7979 N. Eldridge Rd., Houston. 281/890-5500. www.tradersvillage.com

Volente Beach Who knew Austin had a water park? This li'l sandy beach on the lake has waterslides made by the folks at Schlitterbahn. 16107 Wharf Cove (FM 2769), Austin. 512/258-5109. www.volentebeach.com/

Western Playland This classic amusement park on the western tip of Texas offers thrills and spills in the form of rollercoasters, kiddie rides, skill games, and water rides. 6900 Delta, El Paso. 915/772-3953. www.westernplayland.com

Wet 'n Wild Water World 24 rides and attractions! Plus, their schedule is packed with special events and concerts throughout the summer. 8804 S. Desert Blvd., Anthony. 915/886-2222. www.wetwild.com

Wonder World This nearby Texas Historical Site offers visitors a trek through an earthquake-formed cave, a breathtaking observation tower, a wacky Anti-Gravity House, petting zoo, and train ride. 1000 Prospect, San Marcos. 512/392-3760. www.wonderworldpark.com

Wonderland Park One of Texas' oldest amusement parks, Wonderland was indeed inspired by that mythical land of Alice. Bearing little resemblance to the park of yore, today's WL offers a full course of rollercoastered, bumper-car theme park fun. 2602 Dumas Dr. at Thompson Park Hwy. 287 N., Amarillo. 800/383-4712, 806/383-3344. www.wonderlandpark.com

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