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10 tips for taking your teenager to Galveston…

on Mardi Gras Weekend and the pleasant change of plans.

One of my favorite things to do is plan my children’s birthday parties.  We budget for each kid and I let them choose if they want to spend that money on a party, presents, or cash. My youngest, our social butterfly, always chooses a party.  Last year I planned to take her and 5 of her friends to Galveston to walk on The Strand, eat good food, enjoy some ice cream and hang out on the beach. What I didn’t realize is it was Mardi Gras weekend.  We had to make some last minute decisions on what we wanted to do and from there we decided to go to Pleasure Pier.

So from that experience we learned a few things and ended up having a great time.

I want to share those tips with you.

    1. Make sure your car can fit the amount of girls you invite, thank goodness for a great friend that let me switch my Corolla for her Expedition for the day.
    2. New age rap is hard to listen to for an hour. If you want to be cool, and save your sanity. Make a playlist of your favorite old school rap songs. Teenagers like the “old” stuff and you get to relive your good ol days.
    3. Mardi Gras season is some time between the first week of February to mid March, it changes depending on the Easter holiday. Look into this before planning your day.
    4. During Mardi Gras you have to pay to get on the Strand. Here’s the link if you would like to buy tickets., it’s cheaper to get them online instead of at the gate. Prices may vary per event, on the day we went they were asking about $20 a person at the gate.
    5. You can pay to park, it typically cost around $10. There is also meter parking (if you can parallel park, this is not an option for me, lol).   I like to take a picture of where I park so I can find my way back. I get lost easily. We decided our money was better spent somewhere else, I asked the girls what they wanted to do and they chose Pleasure Pier so I wasted $10 parking, but on the flip side….
    6. Alleyways make for amazing photo opportunities and…
    7. There is a church around the corner from the Seawall and Pleasure Pier area that allows you to park,  has a clean restrooms and snacks, all for a love donation.  We had to walk a couple blocks, but we just so happened to end up on the same street as the parade. (unplanned BONUS)
    8. The parade during the day is kid friendly. Before this, I had only gone at night when I was in my early 20’s, and had to earn my beads (wink, wink).

9. Chick-Fil-a is on the corner of the seawall and Pleasure Pier entrance. We walked by on our way to Pleasure Pier and decide to eat their before we went into the park. (As you all know it is smarter to eat before you go in an  amusement park)

10. Pleasure Pier  had a  Mardi Gras special $19.99 ticket price. Typically it’s $26 a person, so that is pretty good savings. FYI they are running the promotion again this year. Another pleasant surprise was the amusement park was empty, because everyone else was at the parade or on The Strand. We rode so many rides with no wait time, we got sick to our stomach. I guess waiting in line does have it’s benefits. So take it easy and pace yourself.


This was truly one of the best outings we have had, and it wasn’t even what we originally planned. I hope you can take some of my tips, and make your adventure even better.

Bonus tip… 

If you are visiting the Houston area for the weekend, there is a weekend adventure pack. This promotion is always available, but you have to use the pass in the same weekend.


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