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Best Summer Attractions for Kids in Tyler + East Texas


School is wrapping up and summer vacation is finally upon us. But with three months off, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to keep your kids entertained this summer.

But don’t fret — we’re here to help.

Tyler and East Texas boast plenty of great places to take your kids this summer, and some of these attractions cost very little!

Check out some of our favorite places in Tyler and East Texas you can take your kids this summer.


Caldwell Zoo

2203 Martin Luther King Blvd., Tyler



Caldwell Zoo is a Tyler gem. It’s a beautiful zoo that houses hundreds of animals from all over the world. From white tigers, to brand new lion cubs, the largest African elephant in North America, Caldwell Zoo boasts plenty of great attractions.

Hours: Monday-Sunday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Admission: Children 2 and under are free; Children 3 to 12 are $7; adults are $10.50 and seniors (55 and older) are $9.25. Individual and family memberships are also available.

Caldwell Zoo
Caldwell Zoo


Splash Kingdom

18814 Interstate 20, Canton



You don’t have to drive all the way to Arlington for a great water park. Just right down the road in Canton is Splash Kingdom, which is the perfect place for your kids to get worn out in the water!

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission: $18.95 and up. Season passes are also available.

Splash Kingdom
Splash Kingdom


Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge

17552 FM 14, Tyler



If the zoo isn’t your thing, just north of Tyler lies a true diamond in the rough. Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful non-profit started by Brian and Terri Werner, who opened the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge to help take in the unwanted tigers that were being abandoned, neglected or displaced because of the pet market boom in the mid 80’s to late 90’s. It boasts not just tigers, but lions, panthers, leopards and more. It’s truly a sight to see!

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour starts at 4 p.m.)
Admission: Children 3 and under are free; Kids 4 to 12 are $6 and adults are $10.

Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge


Fire Mountain Amusements

14722 State Hwy 155 South, Tyler



Go-carts, bumper boats, rides, putt-putt, a huge game room — have it all in one place right here in Tyler! Fire Mountain Amusements is an enormously popular Tyler destination for families to take their kids, especially during the summer.

Hours: Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission: All attractions require tickets ($1 per ticket). Wristband options are also available.

Fire Mountain Amusements
Fire Mountain Amusements


Discovery Science Place

308 N. Broadway Avenue, Tyler



The Discovery Science Place offers three exhibit halls where kids of all ages are free to move about and explore. The museum is currently offering three exhibits, Discovery Landing, Hometown, USA and a new tinkering gallery – Discovery Zone – where families are free to create, invent and explore.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
Admission: Children under 2 are free; children 2 to 12 are $6; seniors (65 and up) are $6; adults (13 and up) are $8. Memberships are also available.

Discovery Science Place
Discovery Science Place

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