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Best Time to Visit Houston, Weather Year Round
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Things to Do in Houston
Vibrant, dynamic and energetic, Houston is packed with exciting things to do with kids from splashing around at the Wet 'n' Wild SplashTown to delving into the city’s museums and art galleries and dining at one of the bustling burger bars and buzzing bistros, casual cafés and cozy coffee shops. Head to the Houston Zoo in Hermann Park to see over 6,000 animals across 900 species or explore the Houston Museum of Natural Science and enjoy a range of science and astronomy shows. The Space Center Houston takes visitors on a journey behind the scenes and into the world of space, and the Miller Outdoor Theatre presents a variety of concerts and performances of audiences of all ages.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science
Founded in 1909, the Houston Museum of Natural Science was established to preserve, enhance and advance the general knowledge of natural science and to inspire visitors to take an interest in the subject. One of the most visited museums in the United States, the Museum offers a variety of projects, programs, and exhibitions across a range of topics, including astronomy and the science of space, paleontology, chemistry, energy, Native American culture, and gems and minerals, among others. The museum is home to the Burke Baker Planetarium, which presents a range of science and astronomy shows; the Cockrell Butterfly Center – a beautiful three-story glass building filled with tropical plants and butterflies; and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, which is a vast 394-seat theater that presents a variety of educational films and programs in 3D and 4K technology.
5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston Texas 77030, Phone: 713-639-4629
Space Center Houston
Part of the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.’s extensive science education program, Space Center Houston is one of the USA’s most popular tourist attractions, welcoming more than 800,000 visitors every year. The center was established in 1992 with the aim of educating, encouraging and inspiring young learners to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a fun and engaging way. World-renowned for being the home of NASA Mission Control, International Space Station Mission Control and astronaut training, Space Center Houston takes visitors on a journey behind the scenes and into the world of space. Using space exploration to inspire wonder and interest in science and math, the center presents over 400 temporary and permanent exhibits, artifacts and items from space, and other various attractions related America’s human spaceflight program.
1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas 77058, Phone: 281-244-2100
The Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston offers a range of diverse exhibits, workshops, and programs for children with the aim of inspiring, encouraging and engaging them in a unique and exciting learning environment. Established to transform the lives of children and the communities in which they live through innovative, child-centered learning, the Museum features excellent displays and presentations for children of all ages. ‘Explore Yalálag’ is an interactive new display set in against the backdrop of an Oaxacan mountain village in Mexico where children can experience the day-to-day life of people who live in the community; the ‘Building Zone’ is a hands-on exhibit where children can learn the basics of physics and engineering; ‘Eco-Station’ is an indoor/outdoor display that explores environmental issues and ecological studies; and ‘Flow Works’ delves into the wonders of water and the fascinating concept of hydropower.
1500 Binz, Houston, Texas, 77004, Phone: 713-522-1138
Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH)
One of the largest museums in the country, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) is located in the heart of Houston's Museum District and boasts a collection of more than 64,000 works from six continents. Spanning more than 6,000 years of history, the main collection is housed in two main galleries, namely the Audrey Jones Beck Building and the Caroline Weiss Law Building, which are connected by the underground Wilson tunnel. The museum is also home to the Cullen Sculpture Garden, an urban oasis designed by Isamu Noguchi and features modern and contemporary sculptures by famous artists such as Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, and Ellsworth Kelly. The Rienzi House museum features an exquisite collection of European artworks, décor, and gardens while the Glassell School of Art offers studio art classes and educational workshops for adults.
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas, 77005, Phone: 713-639-7300
The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre zoological park that is home to over 6,000 animals across 900 species. Located in Hermann Park in the heart of Houston, the zoo sees over two million visitors every year, who come to discover the myriad species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, as well as take part in the many educational programs, workshops, and events held at the Zoo. Aiming to provide a unique and fun-filled experience that fosters appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world, permanent exhibits include ‘African Forest’, complete with an authentic African village and some of the continent’s most bizarre animals, such as giraffe, zebra and ostriches; ‘Carnivores’, where you can come face to face with some of the world’s greatest hunters like lion, leopard, and jaguar; and the Wortham World of Primates – home to lemurs, mandrills, howler monkeys, and tamarins.
The Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030, Phone: 713-533-6500
Made up of two redeveloped downtown Houston landmarks - Fire Station No. 1 and the Central Waterworks Building, the Downtown Aquarium is a spectacular six-acre entertainment and dining complex that houses a 500,000-gallon aquarium with more than 200 species of aquatic life from around the world. In addition to a fantastic variety of aquatic and geographic exhibits and displays related to the marine environment, the complex also features a full-service restaurant and stylish bar, a fully equipped ballroom for special events, shopping and a variety of other attractions and entertainment.
410 Bagby St @ Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-223-FISH-3474
Express Children’s Theatre
The Express Children’s Theatre presents high-quality, innovative productions and performance for children and their families that celebrate Houston’s diverse culture. Founded in 1991, the Express Children’s Theatre is Houston's oldest and largest performing and arts education organization and aims to honor the curiosity and complexity of young minds through a calendar of professional, culturally diverse productions. Hosting more than 300 performances in venues all over Southeast Texas, the Express Children's Theatre offers a wonderful array of innovative programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of Houston, including weekly performances at its 90-seat theatre in Northwest Mall.
4800 W 34th St C3, Houston, TX 77092, Phone: 713-682-5044
Fat Cat Creamery
Fat Cat Creamery is a small, locavore ice cream parlor that makes and serves unique, small-batch ice cream, creative frozen treats, traditional sodas, and other sweet treats, all made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients. The ice cream is made with whole milk and heavy cream sourced from Texas dairy farmers Mill-King Creamery in McGregor, eggs from Ole Dad Farms, and fresh fruit from The Barry Farm. Fat Cat Creamery supports sustainability and has single-serve packages made from compostable leftover wheat straw and environmentally-friendly spoons. Fat Cat Creamery sells five flavors, including Cat’s Meow Mexican Vanilla, Milk Chocolate Stout, Waterloo Strawberry Buttermilk, Amaya Coffee & Cream, and dairy-free Chai Tea Coconut.
1901 N Shepherd Dr #3, Houston, TX 77008, Phone: 713-869-1080
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Located in the heart of the city, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a green oasis of fauna and flora for the public to enjoy. The center features a range of fun-filled activities to enjoy, from the Discovery Room, where you can learn more about Houston’s urban wildlife and natural habitats, the Wildlife Garden, which is home to birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife, and a Nature Shop, which sells all things nature-related. The center offers a broad range of educational programs for families, adults, and children such as ‘Nature and Wildlife,’ ‘Food and Nature,’ and ‘Hands on Nature.’ Hour-long guided tours for adults are held Tuesday through Saturday, and the center hosts a variety of special events throughout the year.
4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024-7708, Phone: 713-681-8433
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team and a member club of the American League (AL) West division. Established as the Houston Colt .45s, the Astros entered the National League in 1962 along with the New York Mets. The team was later renamed after Houston's role as the control center of the American-crewed space program when they moved into the Astrodome, the first domed sports stadium. Today, the team is based at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, which located at Union Station in downtown Houston. Built to showcase Houston's historical relationship with the railroads, the famous stadium features a full-sized, vintage locomotive that runs along a track on the left-field wall. Visitors can enjoy daily guided tours of the stadium which include exploring the historic Union Station and the heritage of the railroad, the broadcasting booth and the press box, and the luxury suite with some of the best views in the house. Tours also take visitors down to the field to see the dugout, bullpen, and the manual scoreboard and take between one and one-and-a-half hours.
Union Station at Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77002
Battleship Texas State Historic Site
The Battleship Texas State Historic Site is home to the Navy’s USS Texas, also known fondly as Battleship Texas, the last remaining battleship that fought in both World War I and World War II. Named in honor of the U.S. state of Texas, USS Texas (BB-35) is a New York-class battleship and was launched in 1912 with the latest in cutting-edge technology at the time, including being the first U.S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns. After contributing honorably in both World Wars, Battleship Texas was decom¬missioned in 1948 and became a memorial ship. Today, the boat is a floating museum and both a both a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark and stands as a memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of the servicemen who fought in both world wars.
3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, TX 77571, Phone: 281-479-2431
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
Located at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH), the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is the home to the museum’s collection of American decorative arts and paintings. Displayed in the former house of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg, which is situated on 14 acres of beautifully manicured gardens in the historic River Oaks neighborhood, the collection is made up of a range of paintings and decorative arts, including ceramics and silver. Bayou Bend is also home to the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center, which includes the Kitty King Powell Library and a retail store, where visitors can purchase copies of their favorite paintings and other decorative arts.
6003 Memorial Drive at Westcott Street, Houston, Texas 77007, Phone: 713-639-7750
San Jacinto Museum of History
Located at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and housed in the base of the San Jacinto Monument, the San Jacinto Museum of History is dedicated to celebrating the rich history of the state of Texas and the Spanish Southwest. The museum features a fascinating array of exhibits that uncover the origins of the Lone Star State and how a short, but the decisive 18-minute battle for independence empowered a young nation and changed the course of history. Unique treasures in the museum include artifacts and artworks from the Spanish conquest and colonial life, the Mexican Revolution and the colonization of Mexican Texas, including books, bayonets, sketches, and swords. The museum is in the base of the 567.31-foot-high San Jacinto Monument which is topped with a 220-ton star to commemorate the site of the Battle of San Jacinto.
1 Monument Cir, La Porte, TX 77571, Phone: 832-393-1313
Johnson Space Center
Head into space at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and experience how human spaceflight is possible. Named in honor of the late President, and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Manned Spacecraft Center is the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and where all the training, research and flight control occurs for human-crewed space flights. Set on a 1,620-acre site in the Clear Lake Area of Houston, the vast complex consists of 100 buildings and is nicknamed ‘Space City’ and is one of a few places where visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock and take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA. Visitors can also see a replica of a shuttle mounted on top of the original shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905 and standing eight stories tall in the international landmark Independence Plaza, as well as a variety of exhibits, attractions, and hands-on activities in the 250,000-square-foot educational entertainment complex.
2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, Phone: 281-483-0123
Contemporary Arts Museum
The Contemporary Arts Museum is a non-collecting institution dedicated to presenting contemporary art to the public. Founded in 1948, the museum is housed in an architecturally significant stainless-steel building in the heart of the Houston Museum District, which was designed by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts. The Museum presents an array of exhibits featuring international, national and regional art spanning the last 40 years, as well as offers a range of educational programs, workshops, seminars and more for audiences of all ages. The Museum Shop at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston sells a diverse selection of art-related books, exhibition catalogs, and periodicals, as well as a wide array of unusual gifts, artist and designer-made jewelry and educational games and toys.
5216 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 713-284-8250
Discovery Green is a vibrant 12-acre park in the heart of downtown Houston that offers the public a beautiful outdoor space in which to relax and enjoy various outdoor activities. Opened in 2008 by the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy, the park presents a variety of dynamic programs, workshops, and events throughout the year that is free to the public. Situated on the north side of the lake is Kinder Lake, where people can enjoy kayaking and stand up paddling lessons, remote controlled boating and ice-skating in winter. The park is also home to a whimsical playground for young children, the Fondren Performance Space and Anheuser-Busch stage for live music and shows, a putting green, shuffleboard and boules court, and a jogging trail for fitness fundis.
1500 McKinney, Houston, Texas 77010
Little Matt’s on Edloe in West University is a family-friendly restaurant designed for kids with a bank of arcade consoles, a wall mounted with iPads, and a front-counter candy shop. The buzzy restaurant has a large main dining room with big tables and a lovely outdoor shaded patio with red wooden picnic tables for alfresco-style dining and serves a menu of all-American favorites such as burger and fries, hot dogs, Tex-Mex, fresh salads, and more, along with a special kid’s menu of smaller portions. Adults can enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their meal, while sodas, fruit juices, and milkshakes are on the children’s drinks menu. Little Matt’s is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
6203 Edloe St, Houston, TX 77005, Phone: 713-592-6200
Miller Outdoor Theater
The Miller Outdoor Theatre is an outdoor performing arts center based in Hermann Park. The theater plays host to a wide variety of professional entertainment and free shows in the summer months between March and November, ranging from classical music and ballet to films and theater. Guests can enjoy a picnic on the amphitheater-style hillside before performances or sit in a comfortable covered seating area during the show. As part of its free seasonal productions, the Miller Outdoor Theatre offers a variety of daytime children’s programs, which are scheduled during the week and on weekends. Performances include well-known favorites such as ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ and ‘Arabian Nights,’ and new productions such as ‘Mesoamerica de Mexico,’ ‘Swing, Jive and Pop! Into Dance ‘and ‘Mixteco Ballet Folklorico.’
6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030, Phone: 832-487-7102
Nature Discovery Center
The Nature Discovery Center is located within the four-acre Russ Pitman Park which is home to a diverse array of fauna and flora from around the world. Established to inspire curiosity and engage interest in the environment, the Nature Discovery Center offers hands-on and interactive nature and science education programs for all ages with the aim of connecting to nature. Fun activities and attractions for children at the center include science and nature classes, self-guided walks through the park, discovery rooms with exhibits and displays of plants and animals, day camps for all ages, science and nature field trip programming and birthday party rentals and programs. Adults can enjoy birdwatching, lectures, self-guided walks through the park, and exploring live animals exhibits.
7112 Newcastle St, Bellaire, TX 77401, Phone: 713-667-6550
Sam Houston Park
Sam Houston Park is an urban park located in downtown Houston that offers a green oasis amid modern skyscrapers and freeways. The park was established by former Mayor Sam Brashier in 1900; the park is dedicated to the rich culture of Houston's storied past with a group of buildings in the park that are representative of many eras, ranging from a revolution cabin from the pre-Texas era to an elegant mansion dating back to 1905. The beautifully restored and preserved buildings document the life and times of different periods from poor slaves to prosperous merchant families, and visitors can take guided tours of the buildings with the Heritage Society.
1000 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 832-394-8805
The Kemah Boardwalk
The Kemah Boardwalk is a 60-acre theme park in Kemah built all the way along the coastline of Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. Considered to be one of the best boardwalks in the country, the Kemah Boardwalk is home to an array of theme rides and attractions, a boutique hotel, several restaurants and bars, multiple shops, a 400-slip marina, and a charter yacht. The most popular ride on the boardwalk is the Boardwalk Bullet, a 96-foot-tall, 3,236-foot-long high-speed wooden roller coaster built on a one-acre footprint, and restaurants at the attraction include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Landry’s Seafood, Saltgrass Steak House, and the Cadillac Bar, among others.
Kemah, Texas 77058
Wet 'n' Wild SplashTown
Wet 'n' Wild SplashTown is a vast, 40-acre water park that boasts more than two million gallons of summer fun. Houston’s largest and most diverse water park, Wet 'n' Wild SplashTown features an array of water-based rides and slides, including a thrilling five-story tall with six bright blue and orange slides; the twisting and turning Stingray; the mega-thrill white-water raft ride known as the Big Kahuna, which has alternating tunnels and plenty of twists and turns; and the 75-foot high Tornado with its 132-foot long tube and giant open-ended funnel. Other rides include FlowRider, Brain Drain, Thunder Run, Big Spin, Zoom Flumes, Wild Wave Pool, Shotgun Falls, and the Blue Lagoon Activity Pool, among others.
21300 I-45 North Spring, Spring, TX 77373, Phone: 281-355-3300
Wier Park is a family-friendly park with a variety of play structures for children of all ages, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, and shaded picnic tables. The park grounds are made of astroturf, which is perfect for toddlers who are at the crawling and pulling up stage to practice and play, and there are other designated areas for young children and older kids. Structures have spiral staircases, unusual ladder chains, rock climbing walls, little flower-like spinners for little ones, a small round boulder to climb and a little ‘window’ to play shop.
3012 Nottingham Street, West University Place, TX 77005, Phone: 713-662-7420