Entertaining your kids at the weekends can be tough. Luckily, there’s plenty to do in Houston! Our guide to the top 8 fun places to go with kids in Houston, TX, can give you some ideas on where to explore next.
Whether you’ve got babies, toddlers, school kids, or teenagers (or a mixture of all of them!), there’s something to suit everyone in Houston. We’ve chosen 8 of the most fun, exciting experiences for families, from the fun-packed Color Factory to the incredible Space Center Houston.
The Best Places for Families in Houston
In this article, we will walk you through the best places to take kids in Houston. We’ll give you the key details you need to know, plus some more in-depth information on the kind of activities and facilities you can find at each location.
1. Children’s Museum of Houston
|Address||1500 Binz St Houston, TX 77004|
|Features||Interactive exhibits, games, Inventor's Workshop, parent resource library, obstacle course|
|Facilities||Cafe, bathrooms, paid parking lot|
The Children’s Museum tops our list of places to take kids in Houston and it is a must-visit, we will say. It’s an incredible experience for kids (and adults!) with a range of interactive exhibits. Kids can learn about science, geography, and the environment. They can build and race boats in the FlowWorks exhibit, play at the activity tables, and work on their gross motor skills on the obstacle course.
There’s plenty to do here for all ages. Toddlers can enjoy TotSpot (subject to Covid regulations), older kids can play with the exhibits, and teens and adults can appreciate the educational element of each exhibit.
In terms of facilities, there is a cafe here. You won’t be allowed to bring food, so you’ll have to factor food into your budget for the day. There are bathrooms here, and the museum is handicap accessible. There is a paid parking lot across the street, which is convenient.
2. Houston Zoo
|Address||6200 Hermann Park Dr. Houston, TX 77030|
|Features||Animal exhibits, reflection pools, play areas, aquarium|
|Facilities||Cafe, food trucks, bathrooms|
Located in Hermann Park, Houston Zoo is a 55-acre park packed with interesting animals from around the world. You’ll find alligators, eagles, bears, monkeys, wild cats, zebras, birds, and more. There are several zones (Wortham World of Primates, African Forest, McNair Asian Elephant Exhibit) that are easy to navigate, so you can make a beeline for your kids’ personal favorites.
There are other things to do here, too. The adventure playground is fun for kids if they need a break from looking at the exhibits. There’s a petting zoo, so you can get some hands-on experience with smaller animals, and the Reflection Pool is worth a look. Plus, they have several animal experiences, including the Elephant Bath, which is unforgettable.
There are food trucks and a cafe here. Outside food is not allowed, and guests cannot bring glass bottles, alcoholic beverages, or straws. There are multiple bathrooms for guests. Parking can be an issue: there’s a free parking lot at Hermann Park, but spaces fill up quickly. You can check their parking guide for some backup options.
Also Read:- 7 Best Parks in Houston for Pictures and Picnics
3. Miller Outdoor Theater
|Address||6000 Hermann Park Dr. Houston, TX 77030|
|Features||Outdoor theater with many family-friendly shows|
|Facilities||Concession stand, bathrooms|
The Miller Outdoor Theater is a great place to go for kids as a special treat. From art performances to plays to music, there’s something for everyone here. Older kids can enjoy dance shows and older performances, too.
The great thing about the outdoor theater is the relaxing atmosphere. This is not a ‘dressing up’ kind of theater trip. It’s casual, which is great when you have younger kids to keep entertained. You can bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs and your food and drink. The covered seating area has seats for evening performances, too.
There’s a concession stand here if you want sweet treats, like popcorn and candy, and they also serve kid-friendly favorites like chicken tenders, fries, and burgers. The bathrooms here are clean and well-maintained. Parking is available at Hermann Park, but these spaces can disappear fast, so you’ll have to get there early to get a spot.
4. Space Center Houston
|Address||1601 E Nasa Pkwy Houston, TX 77058|
|Features||Rocket exhibits, live shows, astronaut experiences, spacesuit collection|
|Facilities||Cafes and restaurants, coffee bars, gift shop, bathrooms, paid parking lot|
So many kids (and adults!) are fascinated by space. And if you are looking for places to take kids in Houston, you should not afford to miss this spot. As Houston is the heart and soul of space travel, why not check out the Space Center? You’ll get an inside look at space exploration, including the Starship Gallery, the Spacesuit Collection, the NASA Tram Tour, the Mission Mars exhibit, and, more recently, the SpaceX Falcon 9 exhibit.
Other activities include educational films and live presentations, special astronaut experiences, and NASA VIP tours. Very young kids (particularly toddlers) may not appreciate this museum as much as older kids, as there isn’t anything that caters to their age in particular.
You can’t bring outside food, but there are plenty of food options at The Food Lab. You’ll find a coffee bar, a pizza restaurant, a salad bar, and more. Plus, the gift shop is a must-visit. The museum is a Certified Autism Center. It’s wheelchair accessible, and there is a private room for nursing mothers if you prefer your own space to feed your baby. Parking is available at $5 per vehicle.
5. Houston Museum of Natural Science
|Address||1601 E Nasa Pkwy Houston, TX 77058|
|Features||Exhibits, butterfly center, planetarium, theater|
|Facilities||Coffee shop, cafes, bathrooms, nearby parking (free and paid)|
There’s plenty to do for kids of all ages at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Younger children will enjoy the butterfly center, with thousands of live butterflies, a waterfall, and tropical plants. There’s a giant beehive, interactive quizzes, and game shows to enjoy. The Cabinet of Curiosity is a sensory experience that all ages will enjoy.
The Fossil Lab is excellent for older kids, and the pendulum is an incredible display of physics. The Wiess Energy Hall is a fun, lively way to learn, and pre-teens and upwards will enjoy learning about ancient Egypt with an amazing exhibit (which includes 3 human mummies).
There’s an IMAX theater here if you want to add that to your visit. Plus, the planetarium has some fascinating shows. There are a few dining options (outside food is prohibited), a gift shop, and accessible bathrooms. There are a few parking options, including a free parking lot nearby (although these spots are taken quickly).
Also Read:- 8 Best Baby Boutiques in Houston, TX
6. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
|Address||4501 Woodway Dr. Houston, TX 77024|
|Features||Discovery room, nature shop, hiking, children's and preschool programs|
|Facilities||Nature shop, bathrooms, nearby parking|
The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a beautiful place to go if you want to learn more about nature. With programs aimed at all ages, there’s something to do here for everyone. The Naturally Wild Families guided nature tours are great, and if you want to do something different, you can check out the Arboretum At Night experience, which will allow your kids to see some amazing nocturnal creatures.
There are several nature trails here. This will allow you to choose the right length for your family. For example, you can go on a shorter trail, like the Blackberry Trail (.07 miles), or you can go for the full Outer Loop (1.76 miles).
There are some facilities here, including the Discovery Room, which has some activities depending on the day/season you visit. There are bathrooms here, and there are some accessible trails, too. You can park in Memorial Park (spots can go quickly, so you’ll have to bear this in mind).
Also Read:- 8 Amazing Parks & Trails to Run Near Houston
7. Color Factory
|Address||3303 Kirby Dr. Houston, TX 77098|
|Features||Installations, interactive art displays|
|Facilities||Bathrooms, cafe, nearby paid parking lot|
The Color Factory is hard to describe without spoiling anything. Part modern art exhibit, part immersive experience, it’s an amazing day out for people of all ages. It suits young families just as much as couples on a date night if you want to go somewhere new.
Each room has a different theme, with stories to go alongside them, and there are tons of interactive elements, from ball pits to confetti rooms. There are many excellent photo opportunities, and each room has a photo opportunity with a QR code. If you use this, you’ll have some fun photographs emailed to you afterward.
There is a space for stroller parking, as you won’t be able to bring a stroller through the exhibits (you may want to bring a baby carrier or wrap if you have a baby with you). There are several edible treats on offer throughout, including popcorn and macaroons. You are not allowed to take in outside food. Parking is a little expensive ($8 for the nearest parking lot), so you’ll have to factor that into the cost.
8. We Rock the Spectrum
|Address||1022 Wirt Rd Ste 314 Houston, TX 77055|
|Features||Play equipment, sensory experiences, trampolines, arts and crafts|
|Facilities||Bathrooms, eating/snack area, on-site parking|
We Rock the Spectrum is packed with play equipment for children of all ages. It’s designed with all children in mind, with activities like the zip line, crash pit, trampoline, tunnels, hammock swings, and more. There are also imaginative play toys, chalkboards, puppets, and more.
They also offer respite care, which is an excellent idea for parents of children with special needs. For children requiring intensive support, they offer one-to-one attendant care for $25 per hour.
There’s a snack area here with complimentary coffees for parents. There are bathrooms here which are very well maintained, and on-site parking.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope this has helped you to figure out your next family day trip! There are tons of great things to do in the city, so you’re sure to find something that suits your kids.
If you want to keep exploring Houston, why not check out our guides, like the Best Concert Venues In and Near Houston, TX, the 9 Best Places to Enjoy Vegan Food in Houston, TX, and 14 Adventurous Things to Do in Houston.