6 Family Friendly Activities Near the Guadalupe River State Park

The countdown to summer has begun! With warm weather approaching, and kids getting out of school soon, parents will find themselves on the lookout for a memorable summer trip that’ll keep everyone cool, entertained, and enthusiastic about spending time together.


Consider the cool waters of the Guadalupe River near Guadalupe River State Park. It’s economically friendly, and there are a variety of family-friendly activities to keep everyone focused on what matters most: having a great time together.

Activities on the Guadalupe range from BBQ, water sports, leisurely tubing trips, relaxing, and camping. So pack up the swimsuits, beach towels, and get ready for some honest-to-goodness fun this summer on the Guadalupe River. Here are a few of many family friendly activities available:


Of course, the first thing that may come to mind when envisioning your summer getaway on the river is some classic floating! Tubing the Guadalupe is easy, relaxing, and exciting, for everyone. Don’t have a tube? No sweat–you can rent sturdy tubes that’re ready to go at the Shanty River Center, which offers a variety of courses depending on how long the family wants to spend easing along the Guadalupe.

Shanty River center also offers shuttles to get you to the best access point, so there’s no worry about logistics on your end. Want to party? Get four people and they can all float together on Shanty’s very own Party Tubes!

Rafting and Kayaking

Rafts are also available and can accommodate groups of 2-8 people. Shanty River Center has inflated rafts ready and waiting, with shuttle service available. Floating courses range from one to eight hours, depending on water flow. The rental station at Shanty is always happy to answer any questions you and your family may have. Lifejackets are provided for each person on all trips at no fee. And if you’re the kayaking type, they’re available too.


Most visitors will want to spend at least a couple days on the river bonding and creating lasting memories with their family. Bring along your tent, because there are plenty of shaded campsites that’ll accommodate up to six people. Camping sites are affordable, provide river access, proximity to public restrooms with showers, and are not far from some great dining options.


Don’t feel like setting up the tent or sleeping a little too low to the ground? Don’t worry–Shanty River Center offers lodging in two-person cabins, equipped with a full size bed, electricity, and A/C! Perfect for folks who enjoy roughing it in style while enjoying the great outdoors.

The rustic cabins are wallet-friendly and are a great option for more mature family members who may rightfully need some creature comforts during their summer getaway. Cabins include BBQ grills and picnic tables for a family-friendly feast done right.


Even though you’re camping in the heart of Texas beside the gorgeous Guadalupe River, you’ve got a variety of dining options to satisfy the hunger you’ll undoubtedly work up after a day in the sun. Of course, you can use one of the many grills available in camping areas to grill up hot dogs or hamburgers, but you gotta treat yourself to a night away from the “kitchen,” and for that, you can visit Guido’s BBQ for some of the best BBQ on the Guadalupe. Family friendly and easily accessible from camping areas, Guido’s is a shoe-in for an awesome family night out.


Wanna get social without social media? Shuffle down to Shanty Tiki Bar to enjoy an ice-cold beer or glass of summer wine, and enjoy the company of your fellow travelers. This open-air bar provides an ideal place to kick-back in the evening to share and compare the days adventures.

As you can see, there’s a lot of fun to be had at Shanty River Center for the whole family. Between tubing adventures and warm meals before a campfire, you’ll be laughing and bonding in a way that seems to happen best when enjoying the outdoors together. In most circumstances, these are the kinds of getaways that tend to become family favorites that everyone’s already looking forward to each summer!