Houston, we have a problem. The kids are coming to town and we don’t know how to keep them happy. The good news about a stop in Houston is that there is plenty you can do to keep the kids happy, and keep yourself happy, too. It’s a great city in the great state of Texas that offers plenty of dining, shopping, and activities for everyone. There is fun to be had at any age in Houston, but one thing you absolutely must remember (even if space bores you) is that this is the place to go to check out all things space-related. The kids will love it.
With plenty to do to keep the entire family happy, you might just realize that Houston has too much fun for you to manage in one trip. The good news is that you can always return. With a major airport, plenty of airline options, and a good central location from just about anywhere in the US, Houston is a great place to visit. Here’s where your kids will have the most fun.
20. Discovery Green
Sometimes, you just need to get the kids outside to run around and get rid of some of their energy. They do have so much of it, and you’re likely in a compact hotel room without a lot of space for them to do just that. The Discovery Green Park is almost 12 acres of lush, landscaped park, waterfront, and beautiful. You’ll be able to take your lunch over there to sit in the shade while the kids run rampant. Maybe they’ll take a great nap later.
19. Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo is among the best of the best. First, it’s a zoo with more than 55 acres of space to house the animals living there, and there are plenty of animals living there. In fact, there are more than 6,000 of them. That’s a lot of animals, but rest assured that it’s only 900 different species of them. This is a great place to spend a few hours because there aren’t many zoos like the Houston Zoo anywhere else.
18. Winfield’s Chocolate Bar
Everyone loves chocolate. And everyone loves Willy Wonka. This is one of the greatest chocolate bars in the world, and the kids will be in Heaven here. With a few days offering live music and even swing dancing, you’ll be able to enjoy a lot more than just some good old-fashioned chocolate. It’s got a full candy bar, and it’s one of the coolest places around. You can get dessert and dine in or get it to go, and it’s always a wise idea to bring some home regardless. The kids will adore this place, but I would recommend visiting this location before visiting one of the beautiful outdoor parks that Houston has to offer. The kids will have energy to burn on this kind of chocolate high, and you’re going to want them to burn it outside and in a place where noise is just fine.
17. Space Center Houston
Most of the exhibits here are exceptionally child-friendly, and they’re cool. The entire center has more than 400 artifacts that you absolutely will not find anywhere else in the world, and that makes it special and unique. Additionally, it’s the place where some of the world’s most exciting history occurred, and you get to take a tour of all of it.
16. Stay at The Woodlands Resort
The Woodlands Resort is a Hilton Curio Collection Hotel with plenty to offer the entire family. From their large suites to regular hotel rooms, this is a luxury resort with high-end golf, a waterpark, and plenty of dining options. There is something for the entire family. It’s not in the city center, but it is located just outside of Houston in a beautifully wooded area with plenty of quiet and peace. It is a great place for the entire family to enjoy.
15. The Houston Galleria
Shopping might not be the kids’ favorite thing to do depending on their age and interests, but your teens and fashionistas will love it. I know my kids always find the best shopping anywhere we go and make it their personality. The Galleria has over 400 stores to choose from, and you will need more than a day to find them all. Eat, play, shop, and have some fun. If you have smaller kids who don’t like to shop, send them to the indoor play area with dad while you indulge in a few retail therapy stops. From super high-end boutiques and designer stores to low-key stores for everyone, you can find anything you need here.
14. The Buffalo Bayou
More than 124 acres, the Buffalo Bayou is a place to hang out, get some exercise, and enjoy a lot of different activities. From artwork on display to live music to walking trails and biking trails, there is a little something for everyone. Additionally, this is a pet-friendly park. If you recently moved to town and want somewhere to take the dog or you just want to visit other people’s dogs while you’re here and do some dog-watching, this is your place.
13. The Tunnels
The Downtown Tunnels are a must-visit because they’re just so different than anything else anywhere you go. There are more than 20 tunnels beneath the streets of this beautiful city, and they all have something cool to share. The tunnels began to connect to theaters in the past, and now they have shops, restaurants, and serve as their own little city under the city. There is nothing you will not love about this location, and it’s going to be something special for the kids to visit.
12. The Four Seasons Houston
I know it’s pricey, but hear me out. The Four Seasons is always a family-friendly luxury hotel perfect for those who like the finer things in life. This location has undergone a massive renovation and it now caters to families – including large ones like mine – with oversize rooms and suites. It’s also offering cabana rooms now, which means you can stay in a rooftop suite adjacent to the rooftop pool. The best part? Cabana rooms are all family suites. Additionally, there is a Top Golf suite, too, where you can have six people play virtual top golf with food, beverages, and more. There is nothing but fun to be had here. Oh, and did we mention that the concierge will bring your family popcorn and sodas when you wind down at night to watch a family movie in your suite? You can’t do better.
11. Take in a Houston Astros Game
One thing that you absolutely must do with the kids is take them to watch the Astros play. The stadium. The field. The atmosphere. Everything about this is a win-win for the entire family, and you’ll all have a good time. Whether or not this is the team you root for is not the point, either. It’s an experience not to miss. Minute Maid Stadium is one of the coolest, and did we mention that it is within walking distance of The Lancaster if you’re trying to make your Houston vacation as convenient as possible for the entire family?
10. Kemah Boardwalk
Everyone adores the Kemah Boardwalk, and why not? With more than 60 acres of fun for all, there is nothing not to like. The boardwalk has everything from ice cream shops to an old fashioned carousel to a Ferris Wheel to everything in between, and it’s a delight for all. Did you know you can even visit the stingrays here? As in see them, touch them, and feed them? The kids won’t be able to get enough.
9. Stay at The Lancaster
If you want the downtown experience, this is the family hotel for you. It is luxurious to a fault, but it’s also very family-friendly. Each room has a large screen television and gaming options, too, so your kids can entertain themselves while you are resting or getting ready for today’s activities. It is worth mentioning, too, that this is the only hotel located in Houston’s theater area, which means theater fans and music fans can rejoice.
8. Eat With the Sharks at the Aquarium
The Downtown Aquarium is one of the most amazing in the world, and it features so many cool creatures. What’s amazing, however, is that you can dine with the sharks and other sea creatures in a special restaurant that sits inside the aquarium. Don’t expect too much from the food – it’s average. But the views of the fish swimming all around you will be something you remember for the rest of your life. The kids will feel like The Little Mermaid. Or Nemo.
7. The Health Museum
Museums aren’t for everyone, but this one is not like the others. This museum is one that focuses on health and the human body, and it is one of the most fascinating in the world. You and the kids will all have a great time here learning more than you imagined.
6. Hermann Park
When a park is recognized by multiple outlets as one of the best around, it’s got to be one of the best around, right? And by around, we mean one of the best in the country. Not just in Houston. This beautiful park is more than 450-acres of gorgeous greenery in the center of a major city, which makes it extra special. The park is perfect for sightseeing, a long walk, and plenty of outdoor time for the kids.
5. Moody Garden
Don’t let the name fool you. It’s neither moody nor is it really a garden. In fact, Moody Gardens is actually a massive hub of sheer entertainment for all. It’s a place with a botanical garden, an aquarium, pools, and even a few playgrounds. I dare you to have a bored child here.
4. Schlitterbahn Water Park
Who doesn’t love a waterpark in the middle of the Texas heat? This is a great place to take the kids to give them a day off of doing all things touristy. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’re willing to give them some space from the things on your itinerary to simply let loose and enjoy some fun in the sun.
3. Houston Live Steamers
Do you have little kids? If you do, you’re going to want to take them here. It’s modeled after real trains, and it’s a darling little place to entertain the kids. The kids can ride the mini trains – free of charge – to see how they work, what makes them go, and they’ll have fun while they’re doing it. It’s ideal for your younger kids.
We’re going to give this one the number two spot because it’s a cool waterpark. It’s another great one for the kids and the entire family. You can sit down and enjoy a cool beverage while the kids play, or you can join them on the slides and the rides for a great deal of family fun. It’s hot in Houston during the summer, so water activities get the win.
1. The Houston Rodeo
Simply put, you do not visit Houston and forgo the rodeo. It’s the single most Texas thing you’ll do when you visit. The Houston Rodeo is a full-on carnival the kids will adore from start to finish. This is the home of the largest livestock exhibition in the world. Your kids will get to see some of the most magical, beautiful, and elite breeds in existence. There are also rides and activities for the entire family. This is a place that will make you all very happy.