Camping with Children at Texas’ State Parks

BLOG_ECE_Family Camping in Texas

Camping is an adventure-filled activity that offers numerous benefits for young children. It allows them to disconnect from technology, connect with nature, and create lasting memories with their families. In Texas, there are an abundant number of camping spots that cater specifically to families with children.

Many Texas state parks offer accessible features and are committed to making Texas state park facilities and information available to as many Texans as possible. If you have a child that needs accessible features, we recommend you always call a park before you visit to ask about its accessible features. Accessible features at Texas state parks may include campsites, restrooms, trails or exhibits. Several parks have all-terrain wheelchairs available to borrow. Learn more here:  Accessibility Information

Keep in mind that nature can play havoc with accessible facilities outdoors. Floods carve gullies in trails, drought leaves fishing piers and boat launches high and dry, and winds down tree limbs that block paths. Even wild critters can damage accessible facilities.

In this blog, Brighton Preschool will explore the advantages of camping with children and highlight the top 10 family-friendly camping spots at Texas’ State Parks.

Why Camp with Children at Texas State Parks?

  • Connection with Nature: Camping provides children an opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural world. They can explore the beauty of forests, rivers, and wildlife, fostering a deep appreciation for the environment.
  • Unplugged Experience: Camping takes children away from screens and devices, allowing them to engage in physical activities, imaginative play, and quality time with family. It promotes social interaction and reduces dependency on technology.
  • Bonding Time: Camping strengthens family bonds as everyone sets up tents, cooks meals, and engages in outdoor activities together. It offers a unique setting for families to connect, communicate, and create lifelong memories.
  • Life Skills Development: Camping teaches children essential life skills, including problem-solving, teamwork, and self-reliance. They learn to adapt to new environments, overcome challenges, and take responsibility for their actions.
  • Physical Activity: Camping encourages physical activity through hiking, swimming, biking, and other outdoor pursuits. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and helps children develop motor skills and coordination.
  • Education and Curiosity: The natural environment serves as an excellent classroom for children. They can learn about plants, animals, stars, and various ecosystems, fostering curiosity and a love for learning.
  • Stress Reduction: Camping allows children to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and experience a slower pace. Spending time in nature has a calming effect, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being.
  • Environmental Awareness: Camping instills responsibility and environmental stewardship in children. They learn to appreciate the importance of conservation, recycling, and leaving no trace behind.
  • Creativity and Imagination: The outdoors stimulates children’s creativity and imagination. They can build forts, create nature-based art, tell stories around the campfire, and engage in imaginative play, fostering cognitive development.
  • Resilience and Independence: Camping challenges children to adapt to different situations and overcome obstacles. It builds resilience, independence, and confidence as they navigate new environments and experiences.

Top 10 Texas State Parks to Camp at for Families

Camping with Children - GarnerBy John Bonzo – Own work, CC BY 3.0

1. Garner State Park

Known for its crystal-clear Frio River, Garner State Park offers camping, hiking, swimming, and canoeing opportunities. The park provides family-friendly campsites and a vibrant atmosphere for kids.

Camping with Children - Palo Duro CanyonBy Leaflet – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Located in the Texas Panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon offers stunning views, hiking trails, and camping facilities. Children will be mesmerized by the canyon’s colors and can partake in horseback riding or geocaching.

Camping with Children at Texas State Parks - Guadalupe River State ParkBy Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0

3. Guadalupe River State Park

This park is perfect for families who enjoy water activities. With ample opportunities for tubing, swimming, and fishing, children can have a blast. The park also offers camping sites and hiking trails.

Texas State Parks - Mustang Island State ParkBy Shawn Hinsey, CC BY 2.0

4. Mustang Island State Park

Situated along the Gulf Coast, Mustang Island State Park features beautiful beaches, camping spots, and opportunities for birdwatching and fishing. Kids can explore the shoreline and enjoy the ocean breeze.

Camping with Children at Texas State Parks - Enchanted Rock State Natural AreaBy Claygate, Public Domain

5. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Known for its massive pink granite dome, Enchanted Rock is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and stargazing. Children will love the rock formations and the chance to spot unique wildlife.

Pedernales Falls State ParkBy Travis Witt – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

6. Pedernales Falls State Park

This park boasts the stunning Pedernales Falls, where children can splash in the water and enjoy the scenic beauty. Camping, hiking, and mountain biking are also available.

Balmorhea State ParkBy Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0

7. Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park offers a unique experience with its natural spring-fed swimming pool, teeming with fish and other aquatic life. Children can swim, snorkel, and camp in this tranquil oasis.

South Llano River State ParkBy Nicolas Henderson, CC BY 2.0

8. South Llano River State Park

Situated along the South Llano River, this park offers camping, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities. Kids can enjoy swimming in the river, spotting deer, and exploring the trails.

Inks Lake State ParkBy Benjamin Bruce – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

9. Inks Lake State Park

With its picturesque lake, Inks Lake State Park is perfect for water activities like swimming, kayaking, and fishing. The park also provides camping facilities and hiking trails for families to enjoy.

McKinney Falls State ParkBy Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0

10. McKinney Falls State Park

Located near Austin, McKinney Falls State Park offers beautiful waterfalls, swimming holes, and hiking trails. Families can camp, explore nature, and enjoy the park’s serene atmosphere.

Camping with young children in Texas provides a multitude of benefits, from fostering a connection with nature to promoting family bonding and life skills development. With a range of family-friendly camping spots across the state, such as Garner State Park, Palo Duro Canyon, and Mustang Island State Park, families can embark on unforgettable adventures and create cherished memories with their children. So, pack your tents, sleeping bags, and outdoor spirit, and embark on a camping journey that will leave a lasting impact on your little ones.

Brighton Preschool is open year-round to children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old, we are a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool in San Antonio, Texas, that focuses on developing the whole child by meeting them where they are at with an individualized pre-k curriculum.

We believe children deserve beautiful classroom environments with a small student-to-teacher ratio, educated professionals, and experiences that boost discovery and curiosity. Conveniently located in Central and Northeast San Antonio, Brighton Preschools are the best place for your child.  We’ve been helping families thrive since 1969.

Your next step on this journey is to visit the Preschool with your family. That’s right, your family is encouraged to visit with us! We enjoy showing children the classrooms and playgrounds as well as talking with the adults about our curriculum.

Book Your Personal Preschool Tour Now!

We tour families every Tuesday and Friday.  We are an appointment-only facility to protect your family. If that day doesn’t work for you, please let us know and we can schedule something specific that fits your needs.

“My daughter was at Brighton for almost three years. It was a great place for her that provided a positive learning environment and child-centered staff. My daughter learned empathy and acceptance from her peers and teachers. The center is NAEYC accredited and teachers are knowledgeable of developmentally appropriate practices. They truly care about the children and families with whom they work and provide valuable, timely information regarding your child’s growth/performance. Brighton staff always made us feel like a part of their family. I always felt comfortable asking questions and they were both inclusive of ideas I brought to them as a parent and responsive to my child’s needs. We left because my daughter entered Pre K at her public school. She is doing great because of the social, emotional, and academic preparation she received at Brighton Center. We miss everyone very much, and are grateful for everything they did for our family. We ❤️ Brighton and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an inclusive, child-centered day care and preschool.”

Brighton Preschool Child