Corpus Christi has a lot of fun things to do – some can be a bit pricey, while others are absolutely FREE! You can look online and see all the city of Corpus has to offer, but I want to share the things that I KNOW to be a lot of fun, and aren’t just hype and fanfare.
The number one (FREE) thing on my list is a huge draw for most – the beach! Padre Island National Seashore is amazing! With miles and miles of beautiful beach and water that gets beautifully warm in the summer, you can’t beat this destination. My own kids LOVE playing in the sand and getting their feet wet in the ocean, even when it’s cold outside. Commonly you will see pelicans fishing and flying in formation and sea gulls trying to snatch your snacks. Less common, you might see sting rays cruising the edge of the water or a sea turtle heading across the sand.
Speaking of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles… this is another MUST if they happen to be releasing hatchlings while you’re visiting (if you’re a local, keep an eye on the updates – they announce when the sea turtle releases will be happening). Nesting season is typically April to September. I’ve taken my kids to this and they LOVED it! Imaging seeing a WHOLE bunch of tiny baby sea turtles trying to scramble their way to the water. It is phenomenal! You DO have to get everyone up early and out the door – it’s half an hour from the mainland and the release is at sunrise. But amazing, FREE, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
As long as we’re on the subject of aquatic wildlife… the Texas State Aquarium is a must see. It is amazing! From the dolphin show to the shark tanks that you can walk underneath, it is an extraordinary aquarium and well worth the money (it’s spendy – expect that!). If it’s summer, there is also a really cool splash park at the end that even the big kids enjoy! Make sure to have everyone wear their swimsuits under their clothes and have towels waiting at your vehicle.
If you’re looking for another FREE attraction, we really enjoy the Art Center! Beautiful galleries and free to visit, you can spend a quiet afternoon touring. AND… see something you like? It’s probably for sale. This place has the feel of a museum, but the artists are mostly local and the work is outstanding and offered for sale. The Art Center is a non-profit and often has weekday and weekend FREE art activities for families in the summer. It’s DEFINITELY worth checking out!
If the weather is nice and you’re looking to spend the morning or afternoon outside, then I highly recommend the South Texas Botanical Gardens. The entry fee is reasonable and the gardens are beautifully maintained. They have peaceful trails, a playground, an amazing butterfly exhibit, and much more! Bring your camera and take pictures of your kids in this scenic wonderland!
Finally, one of our family favorites is the Oso Wetlands Preserve – with great hiking trails and overlooks, an education center, and a REALLY COOL playground, it’s a staple for our family. There are acres of paths and plenty of wildlife to spot. And the learning center has some fun exhibits – all interactive. In fact, if you head into the learning center before your hike, you can borrow binoculars! It’s a really fantastic place and, incredibly, it’s also FREE!!!
As a mother of four, I’m always on the lookout for things to do to keep my kids well-rounded and entertained. These are definitely some of our favorites!
I’ve included links for the places I’ve mentioned – each one will give you all the information you need to plan your afternoon, or if you’re coming from out of town, your visit.
And here’s a shameless plug… if you fall in love with one of the places and would like your family portraits taken there, get in touch! On-location family sessions are the BEST :D
For more information on the places mentioned in the blog:
For more on Padre Island National Seashore go to https://www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm
For more on the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles go to https://www.nps.gov/pais/learn/nature/kridley.htm
For more on the Texas State Aquarium go to https://www.texasstateaquarium.org/
For more on The Art Center of Corpus Christi go to https://www.artcentercc.org/
For more on the South Texas Botanical Gardens go to http://www.stxbot.org/
"Lori is an exceptional photographer, and was my first choice for capturing images of my son for his senior pictures!! She made him feel at ease immediately, traveled to the locations he was interested in, and captured who he is perfectly!" ~ Tonia R.
Lori Stead is a fine art portrait photographer in Corpus Christi, TX. She enjoys creating maternity, newborn, seniors, couples, family, children, and boudoir portraits. She is also a wife, mother of four, and adventurer.