In 2018, dad and the boys set off to Houston, Texas to do their annual Super Bowl boys trip (no, they don’t go to the Super Bowl….they wish) Instead, they enjoy all the fun activities surrounding the Super Bowl and also check out a new city. Houston was definitely not what my young boys expected, they pictured cowboy hats and boots, but Houston is a large metropolis rich in culture, incredible food and a vibrant community. Like Dallas, Austin & San Antonio, there are so many things to do in Houston with kids.
Along with this, you will find there are so many great things to do in Houston with kids! There are sporting events, the world-famous space center, historical sites, a wonderful zoo and aquarium, museums, nearby beaches the world’s largest rodeo and plenty of amazing restaurants in this culturally diverse city. If you plan on traveling to Houston with family, check out all the can’t miss spots below!
Of course, Space Center Houston is one of the top things to do in Houston with kids and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the United States and welcomes more than 800,000 tourists each year. It is part of the comprehensive science education program at the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Incorporation. The space center is also world-renowned as the home of NASA Mission Control, International Space Station Mission Control, and astronaut training. The center was created in 1992 to educate, encourage and inspire young students. It shines a light on science, technology, engineering, and math and engages young minds in a fun way. You can buy tickets here!
The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 and is committed to preserving and advancing the general knowledge of natural science and inspiring tourists to take an interest in the topic. It is one of the most visited museums in the United States. This is no surprise as the museum has a range of initiatives, programs, and exhibitions covering various subjects including astronomy and space science. You will also find paleontology, chemistry, power, Native American culture, and gems and minerals, among others. Learn more here!
Houston Zoo (one of the best things to do in Houston with kids under 5!)
The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre zoological park, so put on those walking shoes! It is home to over 6,000 animals ranging across 900 species. The zoo is located in Hermann Park and receives over 2 million visitors each year who come to explore and interact with the different wildlife available. Visitors can also take part in the many workshops, educational programs, and events organized by and held at the zoo. Check out your ticket options here!
Houston’s Children’s Museum is not only a great place to escape the heat, but will surely keep your little one busy. There’s a variety of children’s exhibits, workshops, and programs to participate in. The museum seeks to transform children’s lives and the communities they reside in through innovative, child-centered teaching. It also features outstanding displays and presentations for children of all ages. Take a deeper look at one of the best things to do with kids in Houston!
New York City has its annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, New Orleans has Mardi Gras, and Houston has the world-famous Livestock Show and Rodeo. The event, also known as RodeoHouston, is the biggest exhibition of animals and entertainment in the world! Obviously, this is an event not to be missed! The 3-week rodeo is a dusty, rowdy and all-out remarkable jewel of Texas. They keep both old and new traditions alive and it’s the best way to get a real taste for Texas. Check it out here!
Comprising two redeveloped landmarks in downtown Houston–Fire Station No. 1 and Central Waterworks Building–the Downtown Aquarium is stunning. This six-acre entertainment and dining complex houses a 500,000-gallon aquarium with over 200 aquatic life species from around the globe.
In addition to a splendid range of marine-related aquatic exhibits, the complex also features a full-service restaurant and stylish bar. There is also a fully-equipped ballroom for unique events, shopping possibilities, and a range of other attractions and entertainment. Learn more!
Catch a Game in Houston With Your Kids
Root for the home team, the Houston Astros, at the iconic Minute Maid Park downtown. There is a retractable roof that provides open-air accommodation for visitors on lovely Houston nights. However, on hot summer days, you will appreciate the air conditioning. I recommend entering the stadium through the park’s Crawford side, where visitors can see the initial pillars of the ancient Union Station. Snag a seat for a chance to catch a home run ball in the Crawford Boxes— the 2,500-seat section jutting into the left-field corner.
Join other diehard supporters in the brand-new BBVA Compass Stadium as they breathe orange and cheer on two-time MLS champs. Best of all, if you get there early there are giveaways, live music, and delicious food and drinks. As of now, the Dynamo and Dash are the only MLS and NWSL teams with a soccer-specific stadium in a downtown area. The venue also rounds out a vibrant “stadium neighborhood” including the Minute Maid Park of the Astros and the Toyota Center of the Rockets.
Watch the Rockets compete at the Toyota Center! This center is less than ten years old with 18,300 seats in the downtown arena. It also boasts 103 luxury suites for the VIP ticket holders. Pay a premium for courtside seats and access the super-exclusive Lexus Lounge. Oprah, Beyoncé, and Shaq are all known to be spotted here. On top of basketball, you will get to watch the 14-member Rockets Power Dancers perform vigorous routines during half-time.
One of seven teams in the newly formed Major League Rugby (MLR), the SaberCats made Houston their home in 2018. The club started its inaugural home season in January of 2018. They are presently playing at Constellation Field, which is a family-friendly open-air field. The team will move to a new $3.2 million stadium in the near future and associated amenities are expected to open in January 2019. It will be situated at Houston Amateur Sports center along Texas 288 south of downtown Houston.
Cheer the Texans at the 71,500-seat NRG Stadium with other die-hard supporters. The stadium has natural grass and a retractable roof. This indoor/outdoor location ensures visitors a cool, air-conditioned location on Houston’s warmer days. You will find that, for Texan fans, tailgating is just as important as the game. Gates open four hours before the start. Bring your appetite and best grilling abilities. Also, every fan should grab a red-and-blue foam finger or Texans t-shirt!
Created in 1985, the Water Wall is the city’s most photographed site. It is a large 64-foot U-shaped fountain that pumps 78,500 gallons of recycled water down its walls every three hours and 20 minutes. There is a large three-acre area with more than 180 live oaks shade for families to enjoy. It is a wonderful place for a relaxing, laid back day in Houston.
Hermann Park is another urban park in Houston that is a great place to spend time with children. The park includes over 400 acres for families and friends of all ages to enjoy all day long. As a part of Hermann Park, you can explore McGovern Lake, the Japanese Garden or the Hermann Park Mini Train. Also, the Miller Outdoor Theater is also located in Hermann Park and hosts a wide variety of live music and free shows.
Bayou City Bike Tours (best thing to do in Houston with kids and teens!!)
Bayou City Bike Tours offers several tours that allow you to explore Houston by bike. The Bayou City Bike Tour is a fun three-hour ride throughout Downtown Houston and neighboring areas, showing off some of the best sites, including the wonderful Buffalo Bayou.
The concentrated tour of Buffalo Bayou brings you through one of the best urban parks. This fun, adventurous, and informative tour brings together the history, architecture, fauna, and even the new visitor center of Bayou City.
If you are looking for something a little different, explore the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center outdoor oasis. If you’re getting tired of town life, this 155-acre green space is a wonderful place to recharge. Children will certainly burn some energy in this nature sanctuary with miles of nature paths.
Cockrell Butterfly Center (best thing to do in Houston with kids on a rainy day!)
Step into an indoor rainforest at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Cockrell Butterfly Center. In a three-story glass structure, you’ll appreciate the spectacle of hundreds of butterflies flitting around. This is one of the best things to do on a rainy day with children in Houston.
Children can watch the emergence of butterflies in the Chrysalis Corner, finishing their incredible conversion from caterpillar to flying beauty. Lovers of hardcore bug want to see the hissing cockroaches and whip scorpions.
Great Place to Dine in Houston!
One of our favorite spots to dine in Houston with the kids was the Conservatory. It is one of the many amazing Food Halls that are popping up all over the country. Inside this food hall are 10-12 different dining options from Pho to Fried Chicken. The reason I love these types of places is that not only do you get unique food offerings but there is such a wide variety, there is something for all of the kids.
Map of Things to Do in Houston with kids
Frequently Asked Questions about Houston with kids
What can you do in Houston with kids for free?
Children’s Museum of Houston
The Art Car Museum
Miller Outdoor Theatre
Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Fly a kite in Buffalo Bayou Park
What outdoor activities can you do in Houston?
There are tons of fun outdoor activities to enjoy in Houston, weather permitting of course.
Kayak through Buffalo Bayou
Visit Sheldon Lake State Park
Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding at The Woodlands
Go surfing at Surfside Beach
Run the Outer Loop at Rice University
Climb at the largest bouldering gym in the country
Take a Houston city walking tour
Hike in a Different Biosphere
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