Things to do with kids in Houston
Home to multiple sea lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos and other exotic animals, the Houston Zoo is the perfect hangout place for your kids. Other offerings such as a summer camp, a children’s zoo and an aquarium holding over 2,000 individual fresh and saltwater fish make this place a favorite among the local population too.
What’s more – the authorities also have a provision to host parties and events inside the zoo premises. With a maximum capacity of over 2,500 guests, the Houston zoo is the perfect setting for an unforgettable celebration.
Buy your tickets online to avoid the troublesome queues.
Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Last entry is at 6 p.m. The Houston Zoo is open seven days a week, 364 days a year.
Closed on Christmas Day. It is closed early on Christmas eve, and closed during the day on Thanksgiving Day.
Houston CityPASS®: 5 Top Attractions at up to 48% Off
If you are bringing the kids around, why not grab the Houston cityPASS, where you save 48% on a ticket which gives you access to 5 attractions:
Space Center Houston
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston Zoo OR Museum of Fine Arts
Children’s Museum of Houston OR Kemah Boardwalk All-day Ride Pass.
Price: From 59 USD
2. A day out at the Children’s Museum of Houston
Ranked among the best children’s museums in the country, the Children’s museum of Houston is a top destination among the children and adults alike. After all, a little fun never hurts anyone! With exhibits such as classroom curriculum and home school day on offer, you can be sure that your kid leaves the place a bit wiser and much smarter. The museum remains closed on Mondays. With a host of events taking place almost every alternate week, you would be better served if you call them up and plan your visit accordingly.
Children’s Museum of Houston
Address: 1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004, USA
Opening Hours: Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 12 pm to 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm
Admission: $12 USD per person (all ages), to enter the Museum, your group must include a child
Website: Children’s Museum of Houston
3. Escape Game Houston - Can You Escape In Time?
Do you have what it takes to find hidden gold, solve an art heist, or even break out of jail? Now’s your chance to find out! Located in CityCentre, The Escape Game is Houston’s number one escape room and immersive adventure. Here’s how it works: You and your team are locked in a room and have one hour to complete a mission and escape. Escaping will require teamwork, quick thinking, determination and a sense of urgency! Book your game and learn more about it on The Escape Game Houston website.
With four immersive, unique games to choose from, there is truly an adventure for everyone: Prison Break, Gold Rush, The Heist, and Playground. In the Prison Break room, the goal is to flee before the warden returns from an hour-long meeting. Gold Rush will send you on a hunt for a hidden treasure that you have to find – before the mob does. If you play The Heist, you’ll have to steal back a priceless piece of art that has gone missing. And finally, you can relive your days of childhood in Playground where you will need to complete your report card in time for summer.
The Escape Game Houston
Address: In CityCentre Houston at 794 Sorella Court, Suite 127 Houston, TX 77024
Admission: $31.99 USD per person (all ages)
Opening Hours: Daily, 8am - 11:30pm, See website for full game schedule
Website: The Escape Game Houston
Want to show your kids how does it feel to literally reach out to the stars? Here’s your chance! One of the biggest tourist attractions in the city, the Space Center Houston is where everyone heads to get their dose of adventure. This place gives a chance to the kids to come closer to their dreams. Show them how NASA is changing the world, how it feels to fly a plane and much more right here!
Space Center Houston
Address: 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX, USA 77058
Admission: From $29.95 USD (Adult)
Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm (Hours are subjected to change depending on season, refer to their website for the full list of opening hours).
Website: Space Center Houston
Don’t miss on anything with this 6-hour tour. Take a tram ride to the International Space Station Assembly Building while being accompanied by a live guide that will field all your queries
Don’t hesitate! Grab your tickets now.
Space City Tour & NASA Space Center Visit with Admission
Duration: Approximately 6 hours
Price: From 79.95 USD
If you are a history lover, this is the place you would want to visit. Though not a place which remains brimming with people, the San Jacinto monument is nothing less than iconic. A $4 elevator ride takes you to the top of the monument from where the downtown, west, east and north parts of the Houston ship canal are visible. The museum on the inside of the monument makes the visitors’ experience even better and worth every penny spent. Don’t forget to see the battleship Texas right across the street!
San Jacinto Battle Museum
Address: 1 Monument Cir, La Porte, TX 77571, USA
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm
Website: San Jacinto Museum
Things to do in Houston at night
6. Taste the best pies in the town at the House of Pies
Have some late night cravings? House of Pies is the place to be! Situated at the Westheimer road, the house of pies is essentially divided into two parts, a pastry shop and an all-night diner. The crowd at this place can be extremely varied, from an off-duty cop to a delivery truck driver. They have a pie for all the taste buds! Some of their most famous offerings include class fruit favorites, multi layered Bayou Goo, sugar pastries and more! They also run a small day long menu. Visit this place for a courteous staff and some of the best pies in Texas!
7. Head towards Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar
Visitors swear by the piano shows at this place. Providing enough space for the guests to stand, dance and mingle, the Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is ‘THE’ party place in the town. The artists humbly accept most of the song recommendations from the guests. So if a song is running in your mind, they would gladly bring it on the stage for you.
P.S: Make a prior reservation to avoid disappointment!
This place has been winning over the hearts of the locals and visitors alike since the 90s. Mucky Duck is one of the best known places in Houston for scrumptious food, high quality beer and great music. There is no bad seat in the house for a music performance. If you are in a mood for some authentic Irish music, ‘the Duck’ is the place to be.
9. Dance it out at the Whiskey River
Whiskey River is just the ideal place to unwind yourself by dancing your heart out. They also have a bull ride on offer, so if you are in a mood to take on your friends, this is the ideal spot for you! A great crowd and an extremely helpful staff make Whiskey River one of the best party spots in the town.
P.S. The place remains closed on Monday and Tuesday!
10. A rising star in Houston’ night life – Axelrad Beer garden
This ‘has it all’ place is fast becoming a rave among the locals in Houston. Equipped with a humongous outdoor area, a shop serving delicious pizza, live bands, hammock gardens, huge projection screen and more, the Axelrad beer garden justifies its high billing with ease. And did we mention – they also allow dogs! Now tell us this isn’t the place you want to go right now!
11. Head to Big Easy Social and Pleasure club for great company and awesome music
A lot of space, lively music and easy going interiors are some of the hallmarks of the Big Easy. With top bands performing every other day, this place is never short of visitors. If you are looking to catch up on the best live blues in Houston, this is where you should be. Name the best known Texas blues artists, and they have performed their gig here. Enough said!
Places to relish art and culture in Houston
12. Feed your artistic soul at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
First things first – It’s free! Boasting of an impressive assembly of sculptures, mixed media and video installations, the Contemporary arts museum is designed to spellbind its visitors. The exhibits are changed from time to time so a repeat visit to this place is always a good idea. Apart from the exhibits, the museum also hosts a variety of monthly events to keep the visitors engaged. This spacious and welcoming museum is a perfect stopover to spend some time on a lazy afternoon.
13. How about some Graffiti sightseeing at the Mullet
The Mullet is locally known as the Mecca of Graffiti. Works of renowned mural artist, Daniel ‘Weah’ Anguilu can be easily located at this place. Open to public on most days, the Mullet is also home to an overspray art supply which sells a huge variety of paints and other art works. At any time of the day, you can see a number of street artists honing their skills. They may look menacing, but most of them are extremely warm and welcoming. Don’t be afraid to click a picture and savor the memory.
14. Enjoy the breathtaking architecture of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
One of the most remarkable places in Houston, this Hindu temple is known to offer an unforgettable experience to it visitors. An in-house cafeteria serves authentic Indian food and piping hot tea. The marble carvings, all handmade, are beautiful enough to be gazed at for hours. This place is open for cameras as well, so don’t forget to take your best shot with this exquisite temple forming the backdrop. A huge parking space and free entry makes it an even more attractive destination for the visitors. This gorgeous temple sees people from all faiths paying visits throughout the week.
15. The Art Car Museum – It’s quirky, it’s unique, it’s fun
This art car museum may throw in a few surprises if you are expecting a vintage car collection. Their exhibits include a Vapirilla car which is made using stainless steel panels! They change the exhibits every 3-4 months to keep the visitors coming back for more. One of the major attractions is the annual art car parade at the Allen Parkway which is attended by thousands. This free to enter museum also offers a couple of video setups with multiple screens. Also on display are the hand drawings and certain photos about how the car was actually planned and built. This can be a great place to bring your kids closer to cars.
16. Love flying? Take a tour of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum
This is a place to relive Houston’s aviation history. The airliner collectible show at the museum is a great crowd puller. The museum is housed in a 1940s air terminal building which is preserved well enough to withstand the pressures of time. A $5 admission fee for the adults is worth every penny for the nostalgic experience this place offers. The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, making your visit extremely memorable. With hundreds of unique exhibits on offer, this place can’t be missed.
17. Get the fun going with a visit to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
One of the most exciting places to visit in Houston, the Livestock show and rodeo offers a host of activities under one roof. From bull riding and steer wrestling to cowboy activities and food tents, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is nothing short of a carnival. They also have ongoing musical concerts, so you won’t have any dearth of choices. A rodeo visitor guide should be helpful for you to find your way around. They also house a petting zoo, exciting games, adventure rides, bungee jump and many delicious food options. Don’t forget to watch their pigs and camel races!
18. Try out the not-so-spooky Glenwood Cemetery
Stunningly beautiful is the most appropriate phrase to define this place. Fun fact: The well known Hollywood actress Gene Tierney Lee was buried at this cemetery. This place is also home to a number of other historical graves. This is one of the most serene cemeteries you would ever visit. Ironically, this is one of the most peaceful places in the city (not in a spooky way!). Try to choose a cool day to visit this place since you may need to walk quite a bit if you plan to explore the cemetery.
19. See the giant President heads at the David Adickes Sculpturworx Studio
20 feet tall gigantic sculptures of heads of US presidents await you at the David Adickes Studio. This extraordinary place wasn’t internationally designed for visitors, but has turned into a major attraction in the city over the years. Some of the other masterpieces include the magnificent Beatles band sculptures and a huge yesteryears telephone sitting pretty on the roof.
UPDATE 14/04/16: The Presidents’s and Beatles statues have been relocated behind a fence on Nance Street. There should be a new location for them to be displayed again soon. The previous given location is no longer valid.
20. Catch an event at the Miller Outdoor Theatre
Free entertainment and a perfect outdoor setting, this is what the Miller Outdoor theatre offers you. This theatre is known to host some of the highest billing performances in the city. Apart from the special performances, this place also hosts a number of free shows. You are free to bring your own lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the lawn setting and make your experience worthwhile.
21. Roll on at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink
Put on the skates and shake your legs to the tunes of the DJ! A $10 charge for skating is light on the pocket and keeps the visitors coming in throughout the entire week. With a wide variety of food and drinks on offer, this is a perfect outing place in the city.
Interesting places to visit in Houston
22. Rothko Chapel
One of the warmest (not the temperature) places in the city; the Rothko Chapel has gradually emerged as the center of art in the city of Houston. The interiors of the building are filled with some of the most amazing pieces of modern art you would ever come across. This Octagonal shaped building is visited by people of all faith, art lovers, historians, along with a host of casual travelers. They also hold regular yoga and meditation sessions. So if you are planning a visit anytime soon, do check out the schedule from their website.
A rejuvenating experience awaits you at Rothko!
23. Menil Collection
One of the most well renowned private art collections in the entire country, the Menil collection boasts of close to 17,000 sculptures, photographs, paintings and hard to find books. Most of the work on display belongs to the Dominique de Menil and John de Menil, the founders of the collection. Some of the major attractions on display include pop art collection from Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum is open from Wednesdays to Sunday between 11 am and 7 pm. There is no admission fee for the public (If that’s what you were waiting to hear all along!).
24. Mecom Fountain
One of the most well-known landmarks in Houston, the Mecom Fountain occupies the center of the roundabout where the Main Street and Montrose Boulevard meet. Amidst the heavy traffic and puzzled faces of the drivers on the main street, this fountain acts as the perfect calming influence in the area. The fountain stands as the major attraction of one of the most visited public parks in the country, the Hermann Park.
Located beside the Texas Medical Center, this fountain is just the perfect place to bring someone whom you hold special.
25. Discovery Green
If you are in Houston and you got time to kill, head down to the Discovery Green. Located in Downtown Houston, the Discovery Green is a public urban park which houses a lake, multiple bandstands for various public performances, a well maintained children’s area, two dog runs and much more. Ever since its inception in the year 2008, the Discovery Green has been one of the favorite chilling-out spots for the locals in the city. Some of the special attractions for the kids include a splash pad and an ice skating rink. With live music, view of a beautiful lake and plenty of people around, the Discovery Green is not a place to be missed.
Try to plan your visit during a festival to be bowled over by the extravagant decorations!
26. Hermann Park
Hermann Park is the closest you can get to nature while being in Houston. Housing the Houston zoo, a golf course, Houston museum of Natural Science and the Miller Outdoor Theater, the Hermann Park remains a hot favorite destination for a day out in Houston among the locals and visitors alike. With free admission, the park is brimming with visitors from all age groups all day long. You can also try your hand (or legs!) at the pedal boats on offer inside the park. They run from Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. The Park is open all week long from 6 am to 11 pm.
With multiple free parking spots available, you won’t find any excuse for skipping a visit to the Hermann Park!
With so much going on in the streets of Houston all day long, it is hard to imagine a world underground! The secretive (not so much!) underground tunnel system in Houston is often overlooked due to the multiple attractions the city offers above the ground level. This hard to find tunnel system connects many well-known offices, restaurants, banks and other significant institutes in the city. Additionally, you would also find a number of eateries, plazas and shops selling interesting stuff.
Though it may take some time for you to find it, it would be worth the effort.
If you are afraid of getting lost, get on a tour and have a local guide bring you around!
Houston from Below: Underground Tunnel Tour
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Price: From 35 USD
28. Smither Park
A one of a kind place, the Smither Park is fast emerging as the center of art related activities in Houston. Meant for leisure time activities, the park houses an amphitheater, a meditation area, multiple swings, interesting sculptures and other art works created with the help of recycled material. The place is also given for use as venue for weddings, birthdays and other events. You can see the artists at work and can also lend them a helping hand (no guarantees they would take it!).
29. Holocaust museum
Opened in the year 1996, the Holocaust museum in Houston is the fourth largest of its kind in the country. It was primarily set up to make the people aware regarding the injustice served out to the Jews during the Holocaust. The museum aims to share with people the lessons learned from the series of events during the deadly Holocaust. The museum offers multiple education programs for teachers, students and academicians and offers some tools to the teachers to pass on their learning and spread the outcomes learnt during these sessions. The museum also houses the Boniuk Library which boasts of over 5,000 volumes related to the Holocaust, the history of Jews, events related to the World War 2 and much more.
While the general admission costs $12, admission for students carrying a school/college ID is free.
30. National Museum of Funeral History
If you think that a ‘funeral museum’ would be depressing at best, you can’t be any further than the fact. The National Museum of Funeral History in Houston is one of its kinds. This museum boasts of some of the best and most authentic collection of funeral service items in the entire country. Some of the most interesting stories about the funeral services of celebrities and presidents can be heard at this museum. While children below 5 have free entry, the general fee of admission is $10. The tickets are also available online on their website.
31. Bellaire's Evelyn's Park
Evelyn’s Park is quite new and boasts a cafe called the Ivy & James. It’s in a pleasant corner of the park where you can grab a coffee or a meal. This park is all about nature, and while small, there’s slides and the little ones can dig for ‘treasure.’
There’s a wall that commemorates the donors and children have fun deciphering some of the messages on the bright structure decorated with butterflies and beetles. Large lawns provide lots of space for the children to run around and play. The park also offers a selection of events through the year.
Address: 4400 Bellaire Boulevard Bellaire, Texas 77401
Website: Evelyn’s Park Conservancy
32. Visit the horses at the Houston Police Department
Did you know that you can pay a visit to the horses at the Houston Police Department? They are open from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 2 pm. Bigger parties and groups can call and arrange times as well. Visitors may enter the barn, which is a state of the art facility.
Visitors may take treats for the horses as well. Carrots and apples are accepted, but only two per horse. Leftovers are kept for the horses to eat later. You need to sign a waiver indemnity and enter at your own risk.
Houston Police Department Mounted Unit
Address: 5005 Little York Rd. Houston,Tx. 77016-2547
Website: Houston Mounted Police
Unusual/exclusive activities to do in Houston
33. Dive into the tallest pool in Texas... if you dare!
Market Square Tower offers a living experience like nothing Houston has ever seen before. Come live the tower life. #luxuryliving #glassbottompool #livethetowerlife
Call 713-777-7000 to schedule a tour or visit our website for more information: http://www.marketsquaretower.com.Posted by Market Square Tower on Thursday, 6 April 2017
Dubbed the ‘Houston sky pool’, this pool seems as though it’s levitating above the bustling downtown Houston traffic. That’s to say that this pool sits 40 stories (500 feet) above the ground, which might be appealing to some but frightening for others! So,if you’re an adventurous person, you most definitely have to put this pool in their travel bucket list! However, access to the pool is pretty limited as you’ll either have to be a resident of Market Square Tower or have a friend who lives there to grant you access. So while it might be a more exclusive activity, if you ever do step into the pool, you’ll surely be amazed!
You have no time to waste!
You don’t need to have deep pockets to make your stay in Houston memorable. Just take this bucket list along and tick off as many items as you can, and you would end up seeing the best of what Houston has to offer. Go out and explore the H-town now!
This article was originally published on Mar 18, 2016