Houston is the largest city in Texas so it is only fitting that there be tons of things to do in Houston with kids! When looking for family activities in Houston, there are plenty to choose from. Whether you’re looking to do a staycation in Houston or just family activities in Houston, we scoured the city and highlighted some of our favorites in this article!
Here are 18 things to do with kids in Houston.
Engage Your Senses at DiscoveryGreen
DiscoveryGreen is a 12-acre park in downtown Houston, with a family-friendly atmosphere. They have over 600 free events every year and showcase the diversity that makes Houston what it is today. There are so many reasons to keep it on your family’s activity list all year round.
The park is an inspiring place to engage your five senses in a fun and creative way. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon when looking for things to do in Houston with kids.
A partial list includes picnic and playground areas, listening vessels, shuffleboard and bocce courts, splash pads, and interactive fountains. A one-acre lake was also created to navigate model boats, kayak, or even ice skate on in the winter months. If all that isn’t enough, a family putting green is available to finally put to rest who’s really the king or queen of the golf swing.
Discover the Art Car Museum
If you and your children have a quirky side, then the Art Car Museum is one of the more memorable kids’ activities in Houston.
This museum is filled with automobiles that are as much art sculptures as they are a way of transportation. Covered in imagination, patterns, and a rainbow of colors, the cars show how someone has thought out of the box and made something unique in the world, and didn’t follow conventional thought.
Go Wild at the Houston Zoo
Kids will love exploring the over 6,000 animals representing 900 species at the 55-acre Houston Zoo. In addition to a wide variety of birds, reptiles, mammals, and fish throughout the zoological park, the zoo is home to the African Forest exhibit. Designed as a recreation of an authentic African village, your family will love discovering some of Africa’s diverse animal life, such as lions and jaguars. The Houston Zoo is one of the most fun things to do in Houston with kids and will give your kids a rich appreciation for nature.
Satisfy Your Chocolatey Sweet Tooth
Ever dream of a real-life Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? Look no further than the eclectically decorated Chocolate Bar. There are two locations in Houston to choose from and to enjoy the magic that is chocolate.
Whether it is chocolate-covered fruit, their delicious ice cream, or their unbeatable cakes, this confectionary has all you could hope for and is a fun treat for the whole family.
Be Over the Moon at the Space Center Houston
Do you have an outer space loving bunch that dream of blasting off into the stars or what a planet looks like up close? If so, the Space Center is a must-do in the list of things to do in Houston with kids! As one of the top family activities in Houston, Space Center Houston is all about learning geared towards opening young people’s minds to science, tech, engineering, and math careers, in fun ways they typically couldn’t experience on a day to day basis.
More than 400 space artifacts are at the center, including a moon rock and lunar sample collection, which is the largest publicly viewed one in the world.
Age-appropriate activities such as robotics challenges, rocket launches, and even overnight campouts are available at the Space Center and much more! Get a glimpse of the magic behind America’s history of space exploration and be inspired by the impressive achievements of NASA scientists, astronauts, and engineers.
Dine With the Fishes at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium
Have you ever gone to an appointment where there was a large aquarium to enjoy in the waiting room? How much more awe-inspiring would it be to have excellent cuisine served while surrounded by an aquatic wonderland?
Right in the middle of downtown Houston, you’ll find the fun and unique Downtown Aquarium. Featuring a wide variety of sea life, the aquarium is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Houston with kids. It will fascinate and inspire you as you walk through the rich colors created both by the aquarium’s authentically recreated fish environments and its underwater wonders. Kids will love petting the stingrays and taking a trip on the train to see the aquarium’s large shark population.
After you’ve seen all the aquatic life the aquarium has to offer, take the kids outside to ride on the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round. The aquarium even has a full-service seafood restaurant.
Skate on into the Galleria
The Houston Galleria is a family activity in Houston all onto itself and for good reason. An indoor ice rink is situated in the heart of the mall, is open year-round, and is one of our favorite family activities in Houston. The Galleria’s three stories of shopping, eating, and browsing make Texas’ largest mall worth a visit.
The vast mall, with its connected hotels [some of which are detailed in our ideas for a Houston staycation], offices, and glass barrel style ceiling, offers an air-conditioned oasis from the Texas heat.
Spark Your Child’s Imagination at the Children’s Museum Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston features 90,000 square feet of fun and educational activities and exhibits for kids from birth to age 12. Kids can participate in a variety of interactive activities, such as building race cars with Lego bricks or creating a stop motion short film.
But perhaps the neatest exhibit at the museum is Kidtropolis, USA, a model city for kids run by kids, where kids can simulate the experience of having a job, shopping, taking pets to the vet, and even electing officials. This provides valuable experience in seeing a glimpse of what the world will look like for them when they’re older.
Have Big Fun on the Bayou
Boat tours, walking tours, hike and bike trails, canoe and kayak launches, performances with the downtown skyline as a backdrop, a skatepark, and an extensive art festival. Those are just some of the activities that The Buffalo Bayou Partnership offers as family things to do in Houston. It is also one of the many free things to do in Houston with kids.
The Tunnel District
Everyone may not be aware of this fact, but if you go roaming in downtown Houston and do not see the streets overly crowded, there’s an excellent reason for that. Six miles of tunnels that connect 95 city blocks and are 20 feet below ground are where the action is during the week.
Exploring underground to find unique retail and restaurants is just one of the fun things to do in Houston with kids in Downtown Houston.
Giddyap to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
If you happen to visit Houston with kids during the spring, you must add the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on your list of things to do in Houston with kids. It is widely known as the world’s largest livestock exhibition and rodeo. Though it was much different at the start, it has grown into something of pride for Texans.
If you are interested in a taste of what Texas was built on, you can’t leave this 20-day event off your calendar. This occasion is considered Houston’s signature event that draws huge crowds from all over.
This signature event has an endless list of kids’ activities in Houston: enjoy classic Texan barbeque and other tasty treats, experience a world-class concert, view tons of livestock animals, delight in the city parades, participate on trail rides, enter contests, and so much more.
Championship Rodeo Competitors, along with world-famous singers, are also part of what you can expect to see. Some singers that have performed include Elvis Presley, Beyonce, Willie Nelson, and Bon Jovi, among many others.
Explore the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Known as one of the most visited museums in the United States, the Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a variety of programs and activities to educate and spark interest in the preservation of natural science, including paleontology, astronomy, chemistry, and Native American culture, among others.
The museum is also home to the Burke Baker Planetarium, where kids and families can enjoy some truly awe-inspiring astronomy shows.
See How the Human Body Works Up Close at The Health Museum
Another fun and educational destination in Houston’s Museum District, The Health Museum offers an impressive array of interactive exhibits for kids and families to learn about health science. Explore a model of the human brain or see up close how the human heart works. You can even see a demonstration of what a 13-foot intestine looks like. There are plenty of fun hands-on activities to make this one of the top fun things to do in Houston with kids.
Roam Hermann Park
Hermann Park is one of the largest parks in the city and hosts a plethora of family activities in Houston. There are multiple playgrounds, a colorful train that will loop around the park, and an outdoor theater that hosts tons of family-friendly shows.
If a tranquil outdoor space is what your family is searching for, Hermann Park has that too. The Japenese Garden is filled with ornamental trees and natural landscaping of all kinds, including water features and picturesque bridges. Winding paths for exploring all the beauty, as well as a teahouse, is also available.
Root, Root, Root for the Home Team!
If your family has never watched a major league baseball game or you’re seasoned fans, Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, is as all-American as it gets. The stadium sits on 29 acres and seats almost 41,000 people total. Its real grass, 242-foot high retractable roof, and atmosphere of a bygone era, bringing the game of baseball to a whole new level.
If all that’s not enough, plus the tasty food you’re sure to consume, let the stadium’s iconic train seal the deal. Ninety feet above the field, an 1860’s locomotive replica (manned), weighing almost 50,000 pounds, takes a 40-second trip every time the Astros hit a home run!
Minute Maid Park is often highlighted as one of the top things to do in Houston due to the features inside. But if you’re truly after the sports, Houston is home to some great sporting venues. You can check out the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash at the BBVA Stadium, the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center, and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
Learn More About the Natural World at Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a 155-acre urban nature sanctuary located in Houston’s Memorial Park. A stark contrast to the rush and business of the surrounding city life, the Arboretum offers free nature trails to walk, in addition to interactive educational exhibits about the natural world. They also offer several activities and classes directly geared towards younger audiences like Tyke Hykes and the after school Nature Club. If you’re looking for kids activities in Houston that involve a little sunshine, this is the place to visit.
Watch a Play at Main Street Theater
Houston’s very own theatre company, Main Street Theater has a Theater for Youth program that is sure to be a favorite on your list of family things to do in Houston. They offer many plays based on popular children’s books or songs. If you want something more interactive, they also offer theater classes for all ages, as well as summer camps.
Ride Out into Galveston Bay at Kemah Boardwalk
Kemah Boardwalk is one of our featured family weekend getaways from Houston and is one of the fun things to do in Houston with kids. unique theme park and activity center. Kemah Boardwalk is home to the Boardwalk Beast, a 25-minute thrill ride that takes you 4 miles out into Galveston Bay at 40 mph.
Take a stroll on the boardwalk and visit the gift shops before enjoying a meal at one of the boardwalk’s impressive restaurants.
What are your favorite things to do in Houston with kids?