Things to do in Houston with Children

Houston, the nation’s 4th largest city, has many options for families to choose from. Whether you are planning to play for a day, or play for a week, you won’t run out of places to take your children in Houston.

Houston’s museums rank as some of the most visited in the country. In the Herman Park area, there is the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The HMNS is rated as the 4th most visited museum in the nation. Along with some of the country’s top exhibits, you will find the Cockrell Butterfly Center, the Burke Baker Planetarium, and the Wortham IMAX theater. Just outside the HMNS you will find Miller Outdoor Theater, which runs shows for both children and adults, the Houston Garden Center and the Japanese Gardens. You will also find the Houston Zoo, the new Herman Park Railroad, and Lake Plaza. After new construction, Lake Plaza sits next to the new train station as well as gift shop and cafe. Pedal boats can be rented in the area as well.

In the museum district children can visit the new, improved and wildly popular Children’s Museum of Houston. Just around the corner you will find The Health Museum which is largely interactive and great for kids.

Downtown you can visit the Aquarium, which host some amazing exhibits. Louisiana Swamp, Shipwreck, Sunken Temple, Gulf of Mexico, Discovery Rig, the White Tigers of the Maharajah’s Temple, and the Shark Voyage are all filled with fantastic sights, information and animals. The restaurant boasts a 150,000 gallon aquarium with views right from your table. Keep in mind that while this is an amazing place to visit, it will be a little more costly than most other activities in town.

Also while downtown, the underground tunnel system if a kid favorite. There are approximately 6 miles of underground tunnel systems filled with shops and restaurants. You can enter from the Wells Fargo Plaza.

Downtown, next to the George R. Brown Convention Center is the 12 acre park named Discovery Green. The park features a one acre lake, children’s playground, interactive water features, dog runs, an amphitheater, public art works, restaurants, featured kids activities and more. There is a park calendar with activities and performers listed for each month.

Head to north Houston, just up Interstate 45 and visit Splashtown. Splashtown is Houston’s largest water park featuring dozens of rides and activities for all ages.

Keep heading north past Splashtown and venture to The Woodlands. The Woodlands is a large, heavily wooded city with lots of shops and restaurants. Plan on stopping by Market Street, which is a main street-styled shopping and entertainment area that allows shoppers to stroll in an outdoor environment. Music, eye-catching art, and a cozy central park with interactive fountains and a live performance stage form a welcoming spot that children love. Next door to Market Street is The Woodlands Mall located on Lake Woodlands. With casual and discriminating shops and restaurants located on a waterway, there are plenty of options to keep your family entertained. You can also jump on The Woodlands Water Taxi, which is a fun and unique way of getting around the area.

And lastly, nature centers and parks can be found all around the Houston area. Some spots to point out include Lake Houston Park, Brazos Bend State Park, Jessie H. Jones Park, Armand Bayou Nature Center, Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center as well as Mercer Arboretum and Nature Center. All of these facilities offer a rich environment of wildlife and walking trails. Some offer scheduled classes and activities for children.