70 Places to Take the Kids in Houston
According to the 2010 census, Houston is the sixth largest city in the country and sprawls over a massive 8,778 square miles. To give a visual estimate, the city is roughly the same size as Massachusetts. The city of Houston was named after Sam Houston, who was both the first and third president of the republic of Texas and was instrumental in bringing Texas into the United States. Houston hosts a number of different amusement parks, museums and sporting venues, so you’re sure to never run out of things to do or see during your time spent there. It’s also a food lover’s dream, and boasts over 11,000 restaurants that appeal to any and every culinary palate. These 70 blogs are packed with different kid-friendly destinations in Houston, ensuring you’ll never be bored on a trip to the city.
No matter what the season, there is always something exciting going on at Houston’s many amusement parks. The balmy climate allows for almost year round enjoyment of both indoor and outdoor venues, and you’ll find attractions that appeal to everyone in the family. For more information on some of Houston’s favorite amusement parks and entertainment locations, check out these 10 blog entries.
- Kemah Boardwalk – This quaint park has an assortment of amusement park rides and restaurants, making it a fun day trip for the family.
- Top Golf Houston – The entire family can enjoy a rousing take on golf at Top Golf, which puts a fun twist on the classic driving range.
- Pleasure Pier on Galveston Island – One of the best seaside amusement parks in the world, Pleasure Pier is a fairly new addition to Galveston Island and includes a roller coaster that has made it onto the list of best roller coasters.
- Scream World – If you like to be scared, Scream World is the place to go. This hauntingly creepy attraction will definitely give you a fright.
- Houston County Fair – While not your typical amusement park, this yearly event is highly anticipated for the rodeo, rides and other attractions.
- Splashtown – Cool down on the water slides and in the wave pool at this huge water park located just 30 minutes from downtown Houston.
- Houston Aquarium – This amazing restaurant offers fun attractions, like amusement park rides, sting rays you can feed and even white tigers.
- Schlitterbaun – This indoor water park was ranked the best indoor waterpark for the last six years by Golden Ticket.
- Monkey Business – For bounce house fun that’s perfect for younger children try out this venue.
- Grand Texas Theme Park – Construction for this Texas-sized theme park is under way and scheduled to be completed by spring 2015, so make sure you keep an eye on this for future travel plans.
Houston is known for its large theater district, and has eight performing arts groups in a 17-block area that is second only to New York City. The city also has its own resident company in the symphony, theater, opera and ballet. With such a large selection of performance arts you’re sure to find some type of performance happening on any given night of the week. Houston also boasts art museums and galleries that have received critical acclaim, so if you and your family love the arts Houston is definitely the place to visit.
- Museum of Fine Arts – Come and visit the museum to look at paintings, sculptures, masks, antique furniture and more.
- Orange Show Center for Visionary Art – The Orange Show Center is one of the largest venues for folk art pieces, such as the beer can house and others.
- Contemporary Art Museum – Every third Saturday of the month is family day at the art museum, and the museum caters to the younger set during these Saturdays by providing a plethora of hands-on activities.
- Thornwood Gallery – If your family enjoys art, the Thornwood Gallery, which sells artwork from both local and international artists, is the place to visit.
- Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston – This free art museum is open to the public and often offers hands-on art opportunities throughout the year.
- Katy Contemporary Art Museum – Ana Villaronga-Roman, photographer and now museum director, opened this contemporary art museum in September 2013.
- The Menil Collection – This neighborhood art collection has free admission and the museum is surrounded by sculptures. Future plans include expanding to six buildings in the Houston area.
- Ceramics by Tess – Get your kids involved in painting their own ceramics at this Katy store.
- The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake – This non-profit organization hosts several events throughout the year and promotes visual and other fine art in the Bay Area.
- Potter’s Wheel Gallery and Gifts – Get your budding artist involved in pottery at this unique store in the Houston area.
Houston is known for its wide array of museums that range from small-scale exhibits to massive collections. The Museum District hosts museums for everything from planes, trains and automobiles to offshore drilling rigs and more. Read through this list of 10 museums to see if any sound interesting to you and your family.
- The Health Museum – You’ll learn all about your body and your health at the interactive exhibits in this museum.
- Houston Museum of Natural Science – There’s no shortage of things to see at the Museum of Natural Science, which has everything from theater shows to a planetarium.
- Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum – Take the kids on a real drilling rig to show them how oil is extracted and what they do with it.
- Holocaust Museum – This emotional trip might be more appropriate for older children that can grasp the gravity of what happened during the Holocaust.
- Children’s Museum – Let the kids experience hands-on learning in the different exhibits at the Children’s Museum. Various special exhibits are available at different times of the year.
- 1940 Air Terminal Museum – Are your kids in love with airplanes? If so, take them to this little known gem.
- Art Car Museum – You can enjoy both cars and art at the Art Car museum, where artists have painted and created various types of novelty cars.
- The Fire Museum of Houston – Do you have a future fireman in your family? Take a tour of this firehouse museum to let the kids get an up close look at actual firefighting equipment.
- Houston Railroad Museum – If your kids love Thomas the Train they may enjoy visiting this museum.
- Weather Center Houston – Check out the first weather museum in the U.S. and learn all about hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural weather occurrences.
Houston is known for its consistently hot weather, and the city has a variety of kid-friendly parks that allow you to take advantage of the warmer climate. For hotter days, check out the parks that have splash pad areas. These 10 blogs cover some of the best public parks in Houston.
- Discovery Green – If you go to Houston, you have to check out this park. The kids can play on the giant playground during the day and cool off by the giant fountain. Various activities are held here throughout the year, so check out the site for current events before you visit.
- Sam Houston Park – This historical area allows you and the kids to step back in time as you walk through houses that date back to the 1800’s.
- Hermann Park Conservancy – Enjoy some fresh air at Hermann Park while indulging in train rides and pedal boats.
- Memorial Park – Biking trails, walking trails and a city pool can all be enjoyed here.
- Battleship Texas State Historic Site – The whole family will have a blast exploring a real battleship at the Battleship Texas State Historic Site.
- Wonderwild – If you have young children and are looking for an indoor playground idea for a few hours, this might be the perfect venue for you.
- Stomping Grounds Playland – Get a cup of coffee and let the kids tire themselves out a little playing in this indoor playground.
- Planet Wow – Bring the kids to this bouncing playground that has basketball and slides that are safe for toddlers, but fun for older kids as well.
- Judson Park – Try this outdoor playground complete with both a toddler playground and a playground for older kid as well.
- Water Spraygrounds – You’ll find a complete list of free watery splash pad playgrounds listed on this site for the Houston area.
There’s no harm in learning something while on vacation, and you can combine fun and learning at these educational venues. The Houston Zoo hosts more than 1.8 million people each year and your kids will be able to watch and visit the 6,000 animals that call the Houston Zoo home. The NASA Space Center is an exciting attraction that the kids will love every bit as much as the adults. You’ll even be able to sit in the same seats that kings and queens sat in to watch the first space launches and splash downs. These 10 blogs explore just a few of the many educational opportunities in Houston.
- The Houston Zoo – Learn about and visit many different animals at this world renowned zoo.
- Space Center Houston – Tour mission control and play on the four-story play land structure when you come to NASA Space Center.
- Houston Arboretum and Nature Center – Stroll along the paths and learn about flowers and bug life at this scenic garden.
- George Observatory – Take a look at the moon and other stars through one or all of the telescopes available at this observatory.
- San Jacinto Monument – Learn all about the battle that was fought at San Jacinto and top off your visit by riding to the 150th floor to take in the amazing view.
- Old Town Spring – This quaint railroad town boasts buildings built in the early 1900’s and a bank that still has the bullet holes from a stage coach robbery.
- Houston Symphony – Educate the kids with music by letting them listen to the story that the music tells at the symphony.
- Wortham Theater Center – Continue your kids’ cultural education by taking them to see one of the many performances at the Wortham Theater Center.
- Miller Outdoor Theater – The Miller Outdoor Theater has a children’s program that features free productions during the day.
- The Hobby Center for Performing Arts—Take in one of the many different performances at the Hobby Center to share the different performing art forms with your kids.
Run and Play
There are times when the kids just need to run around and get some energy out. These 10 venues are just the solution. Whether your kids like to rock climb, ride horses, ice skate or just jump around, you can find a place in Houston to do just that. If you like to shop, combine shopping with ice skating at the impressive stores in the Galleria. Want to visit somewhere peaceful for some fresh air? Check out the bird sanctuary. No matter what your tastes, you’ll find something to do in the Houston area.
- Stone Moves Indoor Rock Climbing – Climbing walls are available for people with various levels of experience, from the beginner to the advanced climber.
- 288 Lake Scuba and Sport Training Facility – Formerly known as Tiki Lake or The Reef, this is a place where you can take scuba or kayak lessons or just kick back and enjoy laying around on the beach.
- Jumping World – Let the kids burn off some energy at this indoor trampoline park. Jumping world is a great option for a rainy day.
- Cypress Trails – Do you have kids who love horses? Come visit Cypress Trails, where the kids can ride horses and enjoy communing with nature and beast.
- Combat Houston – If you have a paintball enthusiast in your midst, this is Houston’s number one paint ball field. There is a minimum age limit of 10 years old to play.
- Ice at the Galleria – Looking for something to do inside to cool down? How about ice skating followed by shopping at the Galleria?
- Dave and Buster’s – You’ll find plenty of indoor fun here! The kids can play video games, laser tag, bowling and more to beat the Texas heat.
- Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary – Bird watch with your binoculars and bird guide or explore and find other wildlife at this nature sanctuary.
- Cosmic Jump – Let the kids jump around while you relax in this air conditioned facility.
- ITZ – Beat the heat and let the kids ride the roller coaster, drive bumper cars and play over 100 video games at this attraction. Note: Everyone must buy a drink and buffet to get in.
For the sports lover the Houston area is a mecca of huge stadiums and sports parks and hosts some of the nations’ top sports names in the business. Whether you are looking for a pro match-up or just a minor league game, you should be able to find something in Houston. Many of these sports arenas also host top name celebrities when there aren’t games going on, so you might even be able to take in a concert while you are in the Bayou City.
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- Minute Maid Park – Catch an Astros game while you are in Houston if they are playing at home.
- BBVA Compass Stadium – If your kids play soccer they may enjoy catching a game with the Houston Dynamos.
- Reliant Stadium – Watch a Houston Texans game under the dome at Reliant Stadium or see one of the many other groups that perform there.
- Houston Toyota Center – If basketball is your game, you may want to take the kids to a Houston Rockets game.
- Houston Motor Sports Park – Is NASCAR more your thing? Then take in a race at the speedway.
- Houston Football Stadium – Groundbreaking on this stadium began in February 2013 and is expected to be completed in time for football season in 2014, so keep this venue in mind.
- Kyle Field – If you’re an Aggie fan you may want to make a trip to Kyle Field for a game.
- Houston Sportsplex – When the pros aren’t in town catch an adult senior league game at this field.
- Constellation Field – Check out some minor league baseball at Constellation Field.
- Houston Baptist University – When you’re in town look to see what sports are being played at Houston Baptist University, which hosts the new minor league men’s basketball team the Legends, as well as other college sports teams.