Did you know Houston is the fourth largest city in the country and expected to reach third largest by the second half of the decade of 2020? It falls behind only to LA, NYC, and Chicago! Houston is also the most culturally diverse city in the Unites States so you can find whatever you’re looking for here. Whether it be good food or things to do we have some of the top attractions in the country and there’s no shortage of them! So here are the top TEN kid tested and approved things to do in Houston, Texas!
Quick Tip: Houston City Pass saves you almost 50% off admission fees to five of Houston’s main attractions. I’ll be sharing more money saving tips as we go along so keep an eye out.
Visit a Museum
Houston’s museum district ranks at the fourth largest in the country, making it one of the best if you ask me! With over 150 museums in this city alone you could spend some serious time exploring these and we have. Here are just a few of our favorites:
1. Children’s Museum of Houston
1500 Binz Street Houston, TX 77004
This is hands down our favorite museums in Houston. There is SO much for the kids to do! From Kidtropolis, a real life kid city complete with an HEB, vet clinic, restaurant, news station, and bank, to the the water works and outside playground plan to be here all day.
Parking: Conveniently located across the street is a two story parking garage. Prices are 1 hour -$7, 2 hours-$8, 3+ hours $9
Hours: This particular museum is closed on Mondays so make sure to plan accordingly. If visiting a different museum make sure you check their particular hours when planning your trip.
Admission: This is one of the attractions you can choose from on your city pass which saves you nearly 50%. If you’re visiting during the week there are several of the museums that have free admission on Thursdays during specific hours. The children’s museum is free Thursdays from 5-8pm.
2. Museum of Natural Science
5555 Herman Park Dr., Houston, Tx 77030
I can’t say enough about this place! From checking out the dinosaur exhibit to seeing the mummies in the Hall of Ancient Egypt, there is so much to see. If you want to mix in some learning with your fun this is the perfect place to spend the day!
If you have time, while you’re there check off a visit to the Cockrell Butterfly Center where you get to walk through a living butterfly habitat of hundreds of different species.
Then watch a short film the Burke Baker Planetarium. Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early as late entrances are not allowed. These are a small additional fee but SO worth the experience!
Admission: The HMNS has free entrance on Thursdays from 5-8pm.
Regular admission is Adult- $25 and Child: $16 (3-11)
Cockrell Butterfly Center Adult-$12 Child-$10
Parking: The museum has its own parking garage, there is metered parking all around the museum, and free three hour parking in the new garden center.
Other notable museums we love: The Health Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, And The Holocaust Museum.
Visit Johnson Space Center- NASA
2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058
Do you have a space lover? This is the place to go! As soon as you pull in to the parking lot you see the replica shuttle on top of the original 905 shuttle carrier aircraft. It is the only shuttle and aircraft in the world that is mounted and allows you to enter and explore both!
The next thing you don’t want to miss is a tour on the tram! It is Nasa’s most popular exhibit and for good reasons! This tram ride gives you a real life behind the scenes look at human space exploration. The Johnson Space Center is the training base and home to our nation’s astronauts and the site of Mission Control Center. You get to see the Apollo Mission Control Center, see actual moon rocks, and see the robotics behind space exploration!
Feed the giraffes at the Houston Zoo
6200 Herman Park Dr., Houston TX 77030
The Houston zoo is the second most visited zoo in the country. They are home to over 6,000 permanent residents! The really cool thing about the Houston Zoo is their commitment to save wildlife and leadership in the global effort to save wild animals. A percentage of every ticket sale goes toward funding wildlife protection efforts. The Houston zoo supports over 49 wildlife conservation projects in 27 different countries around the world! AMAZING!
Don’t miss your opportunity to feed the giraffes! It is one of my kids favorite things to do there! Your kids have the unique opportunity to hand feed Masai giraffe a nice crispy green piece of lettuce! Watch out for their tongues! Feeding times are usually between 11 am and 2 pm weather permitting and costs an additional $7 so plan your trip accordingly.
See the Astros game at Minute Maid Park
501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002
Houston is known for it’s sports. Our baseball team, the Astros, just took home the world series in 2017 and made a return appearance in 2019. Whether it be trying to get on the dance cam, enjoying all the delicious food, anxiously anticipating the train to go off for every home run, or hanging out with the mascot before the game your kiddo is sure to have a blast no matter what game you catch and if you’re lucky they may even pass out on the way home! That’s what I call a win!
Ride the train at Herman Park
6102 Herman Park Drive, Houston TX 77030
Pack a picnic and a blanket and spend the day here if you have time or even just a few hours. One of the best ways to get around is to take the Herman Park Train. Tickets are only $3.75 round trip for a 2 mile, 20 minute train ride (Kids under one are free).
You pass by Miller Outdoor Theater, The Museum of Natural Science, and the Houston Zoo. This is a great option for seeing as much as possible because you can plan your trip to get to all of these places quickly. Our favorite thing to do is start our day at the museum and then take a break to eat lunch on the big hill. Then we usually jump on the train and spend the second half of our afternoon at the Houston zoo.
Eat lunch at the Houston Aquarium
410 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
Enjoy a visual overload with some of the biggest fish I’ve ever seen and a real life shark while you enjoy your lunch! Once you’re done eating head down to enjoy the rest of the aquarium where you can feed stingrays, gaze upon Bengal tigers, and ride some really fun kid appropriate carnival rides!
Visit one of Houston’s murals
There are murals located all over the city. For a complete comprehensive list I’d recommend clicking here to see a list of each one and its address, parking options, artist name and the best time of day to visit each one. Houston is full of artists and our murals really showcase all the creative talent that resides in this city.
Play at Discovery Green
1500 McKinny Street, Houston, TX 77010
Discovery green is the perfect hang out spot! They have the biggest splash pad to cool off in those hot summer months! Enjoy kayaking the lake, ice skating in the winter, screen on the green movie nights, the open green space, the modern playground, food trucks, sculptures, color walls, and more!
Are you’re visiting Discovery Green during the week? Stop in on Tuesdays between 10-12 for toddler Tuesdays where they have story time and music perfect for getting all those wiggles out!
Lounge in the Texas shaped lazy river at the Marriott Marquis
1777 Walker St, Houston, TX 77010
Located conveniently next to discovery green make sure your trip to Houston is complete with a trip to the famous Texas shaped lazy river pool at the Marriott Marquis! On a hot summer day this is the PERFECT place to lounge and let the kids float around. Enjoy playing over sized Jenga, lounging in a cabana when they get tired, or splashing all day in the lazy river. We stayed here for Mother’s Day and the kids have been begging to go back ever since! To book a room click here!
Get batty on Waugh Drive on Allen Pkwy
Waugh Drive, Houston TX 77002
One of the better gathering spots is the southeast corner of Waugh Drive at Allen Parkway. There is a bat viewing platform that’s perfect for the kids to see the show. The bats emerge year round at sunset and I’d recommend getting there fifteen to thirty minutes early. You definitely want see the full display of the bat show! It’s a must see!
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