A Family Guide to Visiting the RGV with Kids


You made it to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas! The RGV… South Texas… the Tip of Texas! This guide is for your family as you consider all the the Rio Grande Valley has to offer for you and your kids.

Now it’s time to plan out some fun family adventures and stays while you are here. The RGV is a special place we truly hope you enjoy, especially if travelling with the family and little ones!

A family's guide to visiting the RGV with kids :: RGV Moms Blog


You can plan a trip to the RGV by flying in and out of McAllen International Airport (MFE), Valley International Airport in Harlingen (HRL), or Brownsville/South Padre Island Airport (BRO). Airlines differ between the airports, so book ahead and compare rates for best options! All airports are manageable for families travelling with small children.

Family Lodging

airbnb, Various Locations – The RGV may have some openings on this site for your stay. Airbnb is a hub for renting from local hosts. When traveling with the family, pay close attention to filter out those hosts renting out a couch, but you may also find great places and deals for your stay here.

Birding Bed & Breakfast, Various Locations – Take your pick from a group of unique locations to spend your days and nights in the RGV.
Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel, McAllen – A beautiful hotel built in 1918 with Spanish architecture, luxury, and a great location in the heart of McAllen.

Courtyard by Marriott, Harlingen

Embassy Suites, McAllen

Schlitterbahn Beach Park and Resort, South Padre Island – Stay at the resort and play at the park or take a walk on the beach of South Padre Island!

Victoria Palms Inn & Suites, Donna

Rent a Room or House on Flipkey, South Padre Island – This is a great option whether you’re traveling as a family or with a larger group.

Family Fun


Guide to RGV PARKS

Bentsen State Park, Mission – Take a break and enjoy the beautiful terrain of the Rio Grande Valley.

National Butterfly Center, Mission – Home to over 200 species of butterflies, take a field trip to this RGV gem.

Children’s Museum of Brownsville, Brownsville – The kids will love this and you might just find yourself playing right along with them! It’s located within a short drive or a long walk to the Gladys Porter Zoo!

Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier, Port Isabel / South Padre Island – Enjoy the view of SPI, the Bay Bridge, and the pirate ship docked nearby as you chow down on some good seafood.

Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville – Open since 1971, this zoological and botanical park housed exotic and native species in an expansive 31-acre plot right in the heart of Brownsville.

International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS), McAllen – A Smithsonian affiliate, the IMAS aims to promote a deeper appreciation for art and sciences. The kids will love all of its interactive exhibits including the water cycle, digital climbing wall, musical wall, construction zone, science lab, art lab, and more! Did we mention there is an outdoor park and play area as well? Yup!

Isla Blanca Park, South Padre Island – Looking for some beach time? This is your place, and its located right near some fun SPI hot spots.

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen – A historical adobe mansion, Quinta Mazatlan is a nature and birding center that sits on a huge property filled with nature trails, native plants and wildlife. Check their calendar for fun family events scheduled weekly or monthly to see if they might have a tour during your visit!

Schlitterbahn Water Park, South Padre Island – The beach is steps away, but check out this park for fun in the lazy river, inner tubes, wave pools, kiddie pools, and slides galore!

Museum of South Texas History, Edinburg – Learn about the rich history of South Texas at this beautiful historic museum housed in the old Hidalgo County Jail.

World Birding Center, Mission – With 9 locations across the Rio Grande Valley, anyone from novice to expert level can find love in birding. The RGV is one of the top places in the country to spend some quality time bird watching as they migrate through our terrain!


Good Family Eats

**Check out our Kids Eat Free (or Really Cheap) Guide for tips and special deals in the area**

7th and Park, Brownsville – Bike shop, cafe, and coffee shop located near the Gladys Porter Zoo and Children’s Museum of Brownsville, this stop is a great add to a day in Brownsville.

Blue Onion, McAllen, Weslaco – For some of the freshest salads in the Valley, handmade pizzas. soups, gyros, po’ boys, and microbrews, Blue Onion has you covered.

Caro’s Mexican Restaurant, Rio Grande City – People come from all over for their puffed tacos. Look no further for an authentic home-cooked Mexican meal.

Casa de Adobe Restaurant and Bar, Rio Grande City

Casa De Marisco, Weslaco

Costa Messa, McAllen – They even have a kids eat free day!

Dirty Al’s – South Padre Island,
Dirty Al’s – McAllen – For some good ol’ fried fish, shrimp, and oysters and a laid-back atmosphere, head to the original Dirty Al’s on SPI or its newest addition in McAllen for great plated seafood.

House. Wine. & Bistro., McAllen

La Playa Mexican Cafe, Harlingen

Madeira Restaurant, Brownsville

Rio Grande Grill, Harlingen

Salt New American Table, McAllen

The Republic of the Rio Grande, McAllen


Unique Local Shopping

**Bridges Artisan Boutique, McAllen

**Maripoza Boutique, McAllen

**Tina G Jewelry, McAllen

**Wally’s Bike Shop, McAllen

RGV Premium Outlet Mall, Mercedes

La Plaza Mall – Simon, McAllen

Palms Crossing, McAllen

**locally owned and operated – Support Small Business!


Off the Beaten Path

La Sal Del Rey (The King’s Salt) National Wildlife Refuge – One of three naturally occurring salt lakes in Texas

Los Ebanos Ferry, Mission/Los Ebanos

Tejano Walk of Fame

Hidalgo County Veterans War Memorial

Want your business included or your listing upgraded?
Contact Tonya at tonya {at} rgvmomsblog {dot} com to find out more!



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