Looking back at the brief time I lived in Houston over a decade ago, Kemah was a bright spot. When we decided to spend a few days in the Houston/Galveston area, I knew we’d need to spend some time at the Kemah Boardwalk. In fact, it was the first place we headed when we got into town, and went back another evening as well.
The kids loved the Boardwalk rides, but they were very limited to what they could ride. It seems Disneyland’s commitment to making as many rides accessible to young kids has spoiled them. I wish more amusement parks were like that. But, what they did ride they enjoyed. Claire really liked that the carousel was double decker!
We were there during the week in the spring. The crowds were very light, but so were the employees. While we didn’t have to wait in many lines, we did have to wait for employees to come over to operate the rides. It looked like there was one employee for every three rides, so only 1/3rd of the rides could operate at any one time.
You can pay by the ride (between $4 and $6 a ride), or buy an all day pass. If you have a very young kid and they only want to ride the Ferris Wheel, you are in luck. But if you want to ride more than 2 or 3 rides, you might as well buy the all day pass – especially if your kids are tall enough to ride the Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster. It is also part of the Houston CityPass where you can buy one discounted pass that will cover you for five Houston attractions.
On one of the boardwalk rides, the large Boardwalk Tower, there was a short recorded presentation that told us the history of the area. One of the facts Luke picked up was about the naming of Kemah. It apparently means “Wind in the Face” which was pretty accurate on the days we were there. Luke kept yelling at me, “Mama! I have Kemah in my face!” Ahh… the joy of being four!
Everywhere you walk on the Kemah Boardwalk, you will see signs telling you not to feed the seagulls. Everywhere you walk on the Kemah Boardwalk, you will see people feeding seagulls. I saw one guy with the hugest bag of dog food imaginable…feeding it to seagulls. So the seagulls are all over the place. Which can be fun, I just wouldn’t suggest trying to eat anything at all while you are enjoying the Kemah breeze.
Even discounting the ever-present seagull, there are a lot of interesting coastal birds to watch from the Boardwalk. And the boats! We sat and watched the sailboats come in at sunset, and it was a very relaxing experience.
The food in the town of Kemah is probably pretty good, but on the Boardwalk is a different matter. We ate on the Boardwalk several times, and it seemed we couldn’t catch a break. Food was subpar, service was sucky, and a premium was added to the price… just not great experiences all around. If you decide you want to eat on the Boardwalk, I would suggest Saltgrass Steakhouse. We did not eat there, but we should have. It is my favorite steak chain, and I’ve never had a bad experience there.
It is pretty cool to eat outside by the ocean, but the birds are pretty brazen. We saw a seagull land in someone’s chip basket, which is pretty gross. I think next time we’ll chose to eat elsewhere, or chose to eat indoors.
Kemah is a pretty good location to work out of if you want to go to both Houston and Galveston. You could spend your day seeing the sights or hitting the beach in Galveston, eat somewhere, and then head to the Boardwalk at sunset. Your kids will enjoy the rides, and there are usually street performers on the weekend.
Resource : Kemah Boardwalk – website
We rode the rides as guests of Kemah Boardwalk. All opinions expressed and bad jokes made are all mine and the kids’.