Houston is a massive cosmopolitan city that attracts millions of visitors every year for business, exploration, and entertainment purposes. A unique mix of traditional Southern hospitality and modern metropolitan lifestyle, Houston’s charming culture is a distinct blend of diverse cultural flavors. Home to the world-renowned facility that put a man on the moon, thriving professional sports franchises, and a top-notch Museum District, Houston carries a palpable hometown pride. If you’re looking for your next destination spot for a vacation with your kids, consider visiting Houston.
However, if you and your kids are planning on visiting Houston, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer wealth of attractions on offer in America’s fourth-largest city. Making travel decisions on a whim is the luxury of solo travelers. Anyone who’s traveled with kids knows the key to a successful trip is having a predetermined plan. Here are some highlighted destinations that will keep the kids engaged, and have you touring Houston with the confidence of a Lone Star local.
Children’s Museum of Houston
While visiting Houston with your kids, of course you need to visit America’s #1 children’s museum. The Children’s Museum of Houston is one of 19 institutions in the city’s prestigious Museum District. Dedicated to child-centered learning, The Children’s Museum is “a playground for your mind.”
The immersive exhibits and hands-on workshops are designed to cognitively stimulate young kids. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $12 each, though children under the age of one get in free. They don’t allow walk-ins, so be sure to book your tickets online in advance!
Space Center Houston
One of Houston’s top attractions, Space Center Houston is a space exploration learning center. Space Center Houston is located along the NASA Parkway, right next to the iconic NASA Johnson Space Center.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the Space Center Houston is no exception. The 250,000 sq. foot complex holds 400 space artifacts, a series of permanent and traveling exhibits, and has an extensive movie collection. It’s even so big they offer a mobile app to held you navigate the place! Every member of the family is guaranteed to find something that sparks wonder.
Truly, no visit to Houston would be complete without a visit to this internationally known Space Center. Admission is $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 4-11, while children under 4 get in free.
Discovery Green Park
Nestled in the heart of downtown Houston, Discovery Green is a massive 12-acre public park. It’s an easily accessible green sanctuary for visitors, located next to the George R. Brown Convention Center and downtown hotels.
Locals and tourists alike convene at the park to enjoy the sprawling lawns, lush gardens, and a one-acre lake that becomes an ice rink in the winter. Constructed with families in mind, there are many playgrounds, interactive fountains, and dog runs. The entire park has WiFi, which working parents will appreciate.
The Discovery Green Conservatory also collaborates with hundreds of community partners to present an array of events year-round, most of which are free to the public.
Twenty miles outside of Houston, overlooking Galveston Bay, sits Kemah Boardwalk. This carnivalesque boardwalk features amusement park rides, arcade games, retail shops, and waterfront dining. Kemah also hosts some of the most recognized seafood names in the restaurant industry, like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Landry’s Seafood House.
If the rollercoasters on the boardwalk aren’t enough adrenaline for the thrill-seekers of the family, take them for a ride on the Boardwalk Beast: a speedboat that cruises around the bay at speeds of up to 40 miles an hour. The classic variety of amusement park rides will entertain the whole family.
Kemah Boardwalk is an excellent way to escape the city for a day while visiting Houston with your kids. To get the most out of the day, consider purchasing an All Day Ride Pass. They go for $18.99 for kids under 48” and $24.99 for family members taller than 48”.
Houston Area Live Steamers
Any locomotive lovers in the family? The Houston Area Live Steamers is an organization “devoted to live steam modeling... with a particular emphasis on model trains large enough to ride.”
The Houston Area Live Steamers proudly preserve the history and heritage of the steam engine age in Harris County. Every third Saturday of each month is Public Ride Day, where organization members offer free rides aboard the diesel and steam engine model trains.
The Cypress Creek & Southern Railroad track takes passengers on a scenic loop along the 4,700-foot track through Northwest Harris County. The miniature bridges and model windmills you’ll see throughout the ride are all crafted and donated by members. Pack a picnic for the family to enjoy at Zube Park after the ride!
Make the Most Out of Visiting Houston with Kids
When planning your next trip with the kids, Houston is an ideal city to consider, because of the many child-centered institutions. These are just a few of the endless options for families looking to explore this colorful, exciting city.
However, after a packed itinerary, a vacation can start to feel more like work than relaxation. Consider hiring a babysitter from a reputable service provider like Nanno during your trip, and have an adults’ night out to experience the rich nightlife Houston has to offer.
Nanno is a babysitting app whose purposeful interface will partner you with the perfect nanny during your vacation. All the babysitters and nannies on the app are rigorously vetted according to a four-step background check process, so you can be sure your children are safe. Most bookings on Nanno are filled within 15 minutes, giving adults the liberty to take a break from planning, and be spontaneous. Knowing that your children are in good hands will ensure that you also get to enjoy a fun, stress-free vacation! Check out Nanno today!