Family camping trip to Galveston State Park

Months ago, Josh and I decided we wanted to go camping as a family. We got some new camping gear last year and, despite all the work that goes into a family camping trip, it always ends up being a memorable experience for the kids.

We put the weekend on the calendar months in advance, thinking we were being so on top of things, but when the week came to go, we realized we had forgotten to book a camping site! And there were no sites in any of the camping sites we were looking at in the whole Houston area.

So, in an uncharacteristic move for us, we decided to be spontaneous and go that night! (It was a Tuesday.) There were tons of camping spots open in the middle of the week. And being able to up and go like that is just one of the perks of Josh working for himself. :)

We decided to go to Galveston State Park. I spent the afternoon hurrying and trying to get everything packed, and after Carson was done with pre-K we went!

We got there, set up a tent, and made hot dogs and corn on the cob. Mostly the kids just liked eating pickles.


It was a little windy so it wasn’t the easiest campfire weather, but Josh kept it alive!


It was really nice weather.


The night, though, was pretty rough. The mosquitoes got REALLY bad when it got dark. On the beach they were awful (we tried to go for a sunset walk on the beach and didn’t last long). We basically had to run back to the campsite and straight into the tent, calling it a night. Luckily we kept the mosquitoes out of the tent until at least the morning, so we didn’t get any bites in the tent.

The kids kept us up plenty, though. In the tent they just get so excited and wiggle and talk and roll around – seriously, does anyone have any tips for getting kids to sleep in a tent?? The worst part of camping as a family is always trying to get the kids to sleep.

But the next day made up for it because it was so fun. We had the beach almost to ourselves. Tons of space to play.


We did all our beach favorites: digging holes, searching for clams, jumping over waves, playing in the sand. We buried the kids and made Annelise a mermaid tail…and then Carson “a catfish tail,” as he called it.

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And we saw so many dolphins! There was a pod out in the water in front of us. And Carson caught a crab and a shrimp. He loved that!

After the beach and ice cream at McDonalds (it’s a great camping trip if you can eat an M&M McFlurry), we rode the Galveston ferry. That was a lot of fun. The kids liked feeding the seagulls, and we saw even more dolphins.


In the end, though, I decided that I love the beach and I love camping, but I’d rather not do the two together. It’s just…all the sand, in clothes and shoes and the tent… And I feel like both the beach and camping are big productions: you need lots of stuff and sand toys and snacks and the tent and umbrella and all that. I felt so busy the whole time, getting things set up and food out and meals ready and then stuff packed up and put away. Playing/relaxing on the beach was definitely the best part.

Sadly I think beach time is over for the season, but hopefully we can look forward to another family camping trip soon!

1 thought on “Family camping trip to Galveston State Park

  1. Yikes! Mosquitos! Yuck….. Despite that, it looks like you guys had a great time! Carson and Annelise will remember fun outings like this! Love you all!

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