Amarillo sits in the Texas Panhandle, about 40 minutes north of Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This location may be a road-trip stop on your way to a hiking adventure or your final vacation destination. Either way, you’ll find the area has no shortage of attractions. Whether you’re entertaining toddlers or teens, you’ll find something to suit your itinerary among these popular picks.
Amarillo Botanical Gardens
The Amarillo Botanical Gardens include 4 acres of outdoor gardens and the Mary E. Bivins Tropical Conservatory. The most recent addition to the botanical gardens is the Japanese garden featuring a koi pond, waterfall, tea house, and stunning statuary. Other highlights include the butterfly garden, fragrance garden, and drought-tolerant xeric garden. This peaceful pick makes for a slower and more subdued day when you want to unwind and explore.
A visit to the Amarillo Zoo is a classic choice that can entertain children of all ages. Visit the African lion, Bengal tiger, American black bear, black-handed spider monkey, North American badger, and red kangaroo. Colorful macaws and cheerful cockatoos await among the zoo’s feathered friends.
The amphibian exhibits include fire salamanders, tiger salamanders, and more. You can’t bring food into the zoo, but guests are welcome to picnic on the lawn out front before entering.
Wonderland Amusement Park
If you’re looking for thrills, don’t miss Amarillo’s Wonderland Amusement Park. This attraction is best for families with older children who want some action in their vacation. The height restrictions for most Wonderland Amusement Park rides are 36 inches, 42 inches, or 48 inches. You can try the swinging pirate ship, enjoy the views from the sky ride, hop on the tilt-a-whirl, or take a spin on the Wonder Wheel. The most daring visitors can tackle the roller coasters or Drop of Fear.
Don Harrington Discovery Center
Kids enjoy hands-on exhibits and activities at the Don Harrington Discovery Center. Explore space weather in the Space Gallery or see what you can learn from the shape of a sphere with 35 hands-on activities in the Bounce exhibit. Children can build their own playland in the Imagination Playground or meet some of the center’s smallest inhabitants at Critter Row.
KinderStudio is a special area set aside for visitors under age 6, so the center truly has something for everyone.
Tascosa Drive-in Theater
Enjoy a traditional drive-in experience at the Tasoca Drive-In Theater on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This attraction is ideal when you want to include a slower day in your vacation. Lounge at your Amarillo hotel during the day and indulge in laid-back activities such as a swim in the pool or long afternoon nap.
The theater’s gates open at 7:30 p.m. for the evening’s double feature. The on-site concession stand will keep you fueled through your evening of entertainment with Frito pies, coke floats, hot dogs, nachos, and more. The children’s meal features a hot dog, Skittles, and bug juice.
Amarillo is an engaging destination that can cater to visitors of any age. From its hands-on learning opportunities to its whirling thrill rides, it offers a little something for everyone.