Brownsville, which is located in southern Texas along the border of Mexico, has plenty of kid-friendly attractions for the large number of military families and visitors who seek out the area for its warm climate and close vicinity to the Gulf of Mexico. Whether parents want something educational or purely fun, Brownsville has plenty to offer.
Children's Museum of Brownsville
The Children's Museum of Brownsville (cmofbrownsville.com) offers hands-on and interactive exhibits for children up to the age of 8. The museum features exhibits such as Dr. Bones Health Clinic, where children can play doctor or dentist with lab coats, x-rays and a dental chair. The HEBuddy Market is an interactive grocery store with a working cash register and aisles of groceries. The Construction Zone teaches children about engineering while they build chairs, tables and houses. The museum offers birthday parties, art classes and special needs access.
Gladys Porter Zoo
Kids can enjoy animals at the Gladys Porter Zoo, which is situated on 26 acres and features 1,600 animals. Visitors can see animals from Asia, Africa, Australia and the native lands around Texas and Mexico. Just some of the many animals kids will see include African lions, sea lions, tree kangaroos, zebras, farm animals, crocodiles and a Komodo dragon. The zoo offers rides on the Safari Express, which shuttles visitors around the zoo. Concession stands provide food and drinks as outside food is not permitted. The Gladys Porter Zoo offers a number of educational programs throughout the year for kids of all ages.
Kids can experience birds like nowhere else in the United States at the Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary (tx.audubon.org). The sanctuary is the northern-most point for Mexican bird migrations, making it a suitable location to view a wide variety of bird species. The Sabal Palm has three miles of nature trails for visitors to view birds and wildlife. Parents and teachers can enroll children in the sanctuary's Nature of Learning educational program, which offers an interactive learning experience, with a focus on reaching out to underserved children in the Brownsville area.
For kids who enjoy bowling, visit Galaxy Bowling Center (galaxybowlingcenter.com/index.htm), which offers kid-friendly bowling with bumper-bowl lanes and kids birthday parties. The Camille Lightner Playhouse (camilleplayhouseonline.com) is a nonprofit performance theater that features kid-friendly plays throughout the year. During the summer the playhouse puts on multiple workshops for kids ages 7 to 13 where they audition, perform and participate in the creation of plays. In 2011 the playhouse performed "The Jungle Book Kids" and "The Music Man Junior." During the workshops kids learn about theater choreography, set painting, costuming and stage craft.