Since the Greater Houston area is one of the largest cities in the country, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out what to do with the kids, even if you are a native Houstonian! Now, if you are a new transplant, it can just be downright impossible to navigate. So, the staff has compiled a list of some of our favs. While this list is by no means complete, it will give you some great ideas.
If you have ideas/suggestions of your own, let us know. Post your suggestions with your photos out & about enjoying all our city has to offer using #HFMkids. We will choose a random winner in June and offer tickets to Schlitterbahn to use this summer! Ready, Set…Let’s Go!
Angleton Recreation Center
The natatorium includes a zero-depth entry, an interactive play structure with water blasters, mini slides, water curtain, lazy river and giant tipping bucket of water. Swimmers can also enjoy a 26-foot slide which winds into a 4-foot pool.
Armand Bayou Nature Center
Enjoy the forest, marshes, butterfly gardens and a farm site from the mid-1800s.
Experience nature in a new, creative way – on a guided kayak adventure! Tap into your inner artist!
Asia Society Texas Center
Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, through exhibits, summer camps, events and education programs.
Bayou Wildlife Zoo
This park includes a tram ride with experienced wildlife guides that will lead through 80 acres of natural wildlife. See and feed birds from all over the world, ride ponies and enjoy a petting zoo.
Big River Water Park and Gator Bayou Adventure Park
Enjoy Houston area’s newest water and adventure parks with slides, lazy rivers, zip lines, nature center, great food & more.
Boat tours on Buffalo Bayou
On the second Saturday of each month, weather permitting, from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. enjoy a 30-minute bayou tour with the family.
Be sure to check the website for times, but enjoy the ferry to Port Aransas.
Crocodile Encounter Nature Center
Experience the largest reptile show just 30 minutes from Downtown Houston. Get up close and personal with these modern dinosaurs.
Discovery Green offers an abundance of events and activities for the whole family all summer long.
Downtown Aquarium Houston
A Ferris Wheel, Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, a carousel ride, lighthouse dive and a train ride. There are games and a water play area.
Galveston Island Pleasure Pier
This pier offers fun roller coasters and other rides for all ages. Located right off the seawall in Galveston, they have plenty to enjoy for the whole family.
George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park
Home to the three domed telescopes and one of the largest telescopes in the nation is open to the public for viewing.
Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center
Hands-on Discovery rooms are in the Historic Henshaw House.
The Health Museum inspires passion and curiosity in health, the medical sciences and the human body. With over 2.5 million visitors, they are the most interactive and popular science learning center of its kind and a favorite among Houstonians. Experience a larger than life journey through the human body, real organ dissections, the Secret World Inside you exhibit, Debakey Cell Lab and more! A one of a kind experience to help curb the summer slide!
One of Houston’s most popular public greens, the free-to-enjoy Hermann Park is a historic 445-acre park that is home to many important cultural institutions as well as outdoor attractions. For those wanting to experience the city’s natural beauty, head to Bob’s Fishing Pier for some fishing, go hiking in the 80 acres of Bayou Parkland, peruse 2,500 rose bushes and outdoor sculptures at the Garden Center, pedal boat on the 8-acre McGovern Lake, play a round at the 18-hole Hermann Park Golf Course or hop on the two-mile train ride!
Holocaust Museum Houston
Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims who perished and honoring the Survivors’ legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, they teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice, and apathy and inspire and support this and future generations to stand against those forces. New museum opens June 22, 2019. Please visit website for specific exhibit information and age guidelines.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
This free admission nature center has 5 miles of walking trails, an interpretive center that includes a Discovery room with hands-on activities and exhibits, a Nature Gift Shop, a Reference Library, and classrooms.
Houston for Contemporary Crafts
At HCCC, you will see the full range of the creative process, from how an object is made to why the artist decided to create something “just that way.” Our exhibitions feature sophisticated creations – some that have functions and some that don’t. Asher Gallery is the place to shop one-of-a-kind gifts made by a variety of local and national artists.
With Full Size Mechanical Rides, Roller Coasters, a roller rink, bowling alley, 2 Attractions, Go-Karts, Video and Arcade Games and a Super Playport, we mean it when we say fun for all ages!
Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
At HMNS the choices seem endless. Whether you want to visit the Planetarium, The Butterfly Center or the Dinosaur exhibit, there is something for everyone of all ages. Check out their website for a list of current exhibits, times and ticket prices. ** Tip, for a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids) tickets will cost you $82 for one visit; at $115 for family membership, it’s a steal for year round access.
Take in the new Texas Wetlands exhibit and enjoy the 4,500 animals that live at the Houston Zoo that represent more than 800 species. Check out their website for fun summer activities such as camps and night time visits & new DINOSAURS exhibit here for the summer (May 25- Sept. 2, 2019).
Houston Public Library – Downtown
HPL Links people to the world, through a broadly defined platform of educational, recreational and cultural programs and services for persons of all ages, ethnicities, and life stages throughout Houston and the surrounding region. Programs and books for all ages. Check out the website for specific events, times and programs this summer.
Ice at The Galleria
Cool off inside this summer and have fun ice skating! Public skating available daily starting at $10+.
Experience the adrenaline rush of flying in Houston or in The Woodlands.
Inspire Rock Indoor Climbing
With two locations located in Spring and Cypress Texas, they offer over 42,000+ square feet state-of-the-art climbing and 63’ walls. The gyms are designed for climbers of all ages and skill levels. The setters take additional consideration on our routes to ensure that beginner climbers can learn while having fun, and expert climbers will be challenged with complex and entertaining routes.
iT’Z Family Food and Fun has three locations in the state of Texas – Euless, Pasadena and Houston. Fun includes bowling, arcade, pizza buffet, rock climbing, bumper cars and more!
Japanese Garden in Hermann Park
This garden offers a chance to experience diversity with its Daimyo style, a tea garden, a kaiyushiki stroll garden, and a scroll garden. It is located only a few minutes from downtown Houston.
The boardwalk has several rides and restaurants to choose from. With concerts playing every Thursday night during the summer, a Ferris Wheel, a train and water fountain is a fun way for the family to spend a day.
Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Research Center in Galveston
Must call for tour appointments. It’s located on the Historic Fort Crockett on Galveston Island.
King’s Orchard in Plantersville
Pick Blackberries from May to mid-July, Blueberries from June to July, and Figs from July to September.
Lake Somerville offers 11,460 acres of lake for fishing, boating, water skiing, sail boating, wind-surfing, jet-skiing and swimming. The shoreline offers space for picnics, camping, hunting & sightseeing.
Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden
This free sculpture garden is located right outside the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
Lone Star Flight Museum
This museum houses over 40 historically-significant aircrafts and 1,500 artifacts that demonstrate the quantum leap in technology over the years.
MainEvent – 5 locations
Eat. Bowl. Play.With state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, over 100 games topped with handcrafted food and a full bar under one roof, Main Event is THE destination for FUN.
Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens
An oasis of natural beauty along Cypress Creek. This living museum houses a large collection of native and cultivated plants and an abundance of animals. Enjoy a playground, a canoe launch, gardens, picnic area, tea room, a trail and visitor center.
Museum of Fine Arts
Visit Houston’s version of Chicago’s Bean sculpture! It’s free and an instagrammable moment! While you’re there, catch the Van Gogh exhibit before it ends June 27, 2019.
Miller Outdoor Theater
Tons of free family events offered all summer.
Minute Maid Park Tours
Go behind the scenes of Houston’s favorite baseball team. Visit the Gift Shop and tour through the facility and lots more! The tour is about an hour and call the Tour Line at (713)-259-TOUR to confirm tour times and availability.
Moody Gardens features a 10 story Rainforest Pyramid offers a tropical environment, it has the largest bat exhibit in the Southwest. Palm beach has a white sand beach and a blue lagoon that’s lots of fun for the kids.
Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm
Berry picking from June to July.
NASA Space Center Houston
Attractions include a tram tour, a Space Center Theater, Blast-Off Theater, The Feel of Space, Astronaut Gallery, Starship Gallery, and a Kids Space Place.
Noah’s Ark Pool & Waterpark at Quillian Recreation Center
Includes two swimming pools, a basketball court, a picnic area, ball fields, a gymnasium, an indoor climbing wall, and so much more.
Parasail in Galveston
Fly 400 feet over the Galveston water for only $90, your friends and family can ride along to watch for $45.
Pirates Bay Waterpark
Slides and lots of water fun, this water park is fun for the whole family.
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
Explore the historic battleground that is a significant part of Texas history. This battle marked the beginning of Texas independence.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Galveston
With slides, a lazy river, a giant teetering bucket of water and several more attractions, this water park is full of fun for the whole family.
Sea Center Texas
This is a state-of-the-art fish hatchery and aquarium located on 75 acres in Lake Jackson.
Offers double features Wednesday through Sunday, and there is a playground in front of the screen for children to play.
Splashway Waterpark & Campground
Stay & Play or go for the day! Enjoy the lazy river, speed racers, wave pools and you can stay the night and camp, fish and more!
SugarLand Skeeters at Constellation Field
Looking for a fun night out for the family? Why not take in a game at Constellation Field? The ballpark includes an extensive park for children of all ages to play on. Just outside the centerfield wall, the Children’s Memorial Hermann Play Land consists of our state-of-the-art Sport Court of Texas, playground equipment, and a splash pad. Access to this area is free to anyone with a ticket. Take in a game and the kids run around and burn some energy…. With tickets starting at $9 it’s a Win-win-win!
Buy a Summer Fun Pass and enjoy unlimited Topgolf game play for you and up to 5 guests per visit – weekdays until 5 p.m. – from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
USS Battleship Texas (BB-35)
Step back in time to when Battleship Texas was the crown jewel of the US Navy Fleet. This ship battled in both World Wars and you can take a tour through its impressive history.
Washington on the Brazos State Park
The 293-acre state-historic park has plenty of educational activities to offer.
Other Summer Ideas to Keep the Kids Entertained
1. Camp out in your backyard.
2. Play shaving cream twister.
3. Play backyard Yahtzee with giant dice and a bucket.
4. Play water balloon baseball.
5. Have a nature scavenger hunt.
6. Sit on the ground identify the shapes of the clouds.
7. Pick strawberries at a local farm.
8. Watch a movie at the drive in.
9. Join the Summer Storytime program at your local library.
10. Watch the sunrise.
11. Build a sandcastle.
12. Make your own tire swing.
13. Make water bombs out of sponges.
14. Create your own backyard splash pad!
15. Decorate the driveway with sidewalk chalk and have a photoshoot or draw a hopscotch board.
16. Perform an easy science experiment by making soap clouds.
17. Make homemade ice cream.
18. Buy a popsicle mold and make homemade popsicles.
19. Paint with squirt guns on a canvas.
20. Paint with bubbles!
21. Make a bird feeder.
22. Plant a fairy or a dinosaur garden.
23. Watch a movie in your backyard.
24. Catch lightning bugs.
25. Stargaze with your family.
26. Work a lemonade stand.
27. Have a water bucket relay.
28. Build a fort.
29. Paint with colored ice cubes.
30. Have your kids create a Summer Scrapbook by keeping a journal about their favorite Summer activities, and adding mementos and pictures.