The top things to do in Gonzales, Texas, include fun for the kids.
I had the opportunity to take a road trip to visit historic Gonzales, Texas, with my daughter. It was an incredible trip that had us walking in the steps of those who bravely fought for Texas Independence from Mexico all those years ago. It brought those history lessons from school to life.
We fell in love with this small town of just over 7,500 people located just over an hour east of San Antonio. Some might drive by Gonzales and not know the hidden gems they pass by. Don’t be those people. It’s a fun place to learn about early Texas history.
This post was a part of a sponsored trip to Gonzales, Texas, that included lodging, meals, and compensation for the event. The opinions reflected are honest and unbiased based on the individual blogger’s experience.
Things To Do In Gonzales Texas, With Kids
Follow along as I show some fun things you can do in Gonzales with kids and why you should put this town on your list of places to visit, especially if you have a child who has already studied the history of Texas in school.
Related: Family Summer Getaways In Texas
The Pioneer Village Living History Center
Pioneer Village is an outdoor living history center on the edge of town, just a short drive from downtown. A walk through the village will take you back in time, telling the story of the settlers who came to Gonzales, Texas, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
For more information about the Pioneer Village, please go here (another travel writer wrote a dedicated article on the subject) – Pioneer Village In Gonzalez, TX
Walk Through The Gonzales County Jail Museum
This isn’t a working jail, but it was for 90 years. I think that every child should visit a jail at some point. It makes for great conversations about choices and consequences. Plus, in this case of a historic jail, there is so much history in it.
In the heart of downtown Gonzales, you can visit the Gonzales Old Jail Museum ($2 admission), where you can walk through the Sheriff’s office, jailer’s quarters, dungeon, and gallows. Yes, there were actual hangings in this jail. You’ll be able to see the hole in the wall used for escapees.
I met Sandra Wolff, who was the daughter of one-time Sheriff McGinty. She grew up in this jail, living there from age 6 to 16, as her father oversaw the jail and her mother cooked for the inmates. It was interesting to chat with her about life and experiences living there.
Texas Travel Tip: Make sure to plan your visit as they are only open on certain days of the week and at different times.
See The Cannon At Gonzales Memorial Museum
By the end of elementary school, any child in Texas public schools has likely studied Texas history. Having not grown up in Texas, most of the history, except for a bit about the Alamo, was foreign to me. But, my daughter knew the facts – who, what, where, when, and most importantly, why. A significant portion of that occurred right here in Gonzales, Texas.
I learned a lot during our weekend stay, which centered around a battle in Gonzales and a small cannon. That historical cannon – well, you won’t find it at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., but right inside the Gonzales Memorial Museum. And you can touch it too (you can’t exactly do that in D.C.)
Texas Travel Tip: There is an amphitheater on the premises that the kids can play and climb on.
October’s Annual Come And Take It Celebration
The Annual Come And Tak It Celebration was the big reason we visited Gonzales when we did. It’s the weekend the town comes alive, bursting with visitors from around the state, the country, and the world. I had the chance to talk to many of them, including one couple who makes this an annual tradition.
The celebration occurs the first weekend of October, and trust me when I say you’ll want to book your lodging well in advance, as some of the unique locations fill up quickly. Try the Dilworth Inn.
The festival is Friday through Sunday, filling the town square with activities like live music, a 5K run/walk, and the famous parade complete with a camel. There will also be a mechanical bull, chicken flying contest, petting zoo, carnival rides, car show, and the battle reenactment I mentioned earlier.
Shop In Downtown Gonzales
If there’s one thing I know about visiting anywhere, walking around without a destination often leads to surprises and extra fun. Gonzales was no exception. While you’re shopping downtown, notice the awesome murals around you.
Discover this cool Coca-Cola mural on a building just down the block from the Come and Take It Bar and Grill. Snap a photo for Instagram!
Laurel Ridge Antiques And Inn
Laurel Ridge Antiques and Inn – While this is a much-loved bed and breakfast, the antique store on 2 floors is loved just as much. You might even spy a Christmas-decorated golf cart showing you the way by appointment on Monday and Tuesday.
Come and Take It Wall Mosaic
The most beautiful large mosaic featuring the cannon is located across the street from Laurel Ridge Antiques and Christmas Corner.
Main Street Marketplace
Many new vendors are always coming in, and they’re all gearing up for the festival in October. Find antiques, replicas of the past, and lots of household goods.
Visit The Robert Lee Brothers, Jr. Memorial Library
I recommend the Robert Lee Brothers, Jr. Memorial Library for older kids and teenagers. There are two fascinating finds located deep within the local library.
- The DuBose Collection is one of the largest private gun collections in the United States. The collection was curated by Charles DuBose, a Gonzales native who graduated from Gonzales High School before entering the Army. His collecting began when he purchased some guns in Germany years ago.
- The Mary Elizabeth Tinsley, Texas History Center is just across the library from The DuBose Collection. History lovers will geek out over the signed letters from Sam Houston and other memorabilia hanging on the walls.
One of the first houses built and is considered the oldest house in Gonzales. Lots of fascinating history in the house.
Hang Out By The River In Independence Park
Independence Park is located on the banks of the Guadalupe River, where you’ll find a 2+ mile hiking trail and beautiful views of the river. What a perfect place to take a rest and let the kids play.
We thoroughly loved our trip to Gonzales, Texas, and hope you plan to visit soon!