Planning a trip to Houston? Here are some kid friendly activities in Houston you don’t want to miss!
Over Spring Break the boys and I went to Houston for a week full of fun. We have family that lives in Houston so we go quite often but we’ve never actually been tourists. This was our first time to visit popular transactions and we had so much fun! Here’s a quick rundown of our trip and our favorite Kid Friendly Activities in Houston.
Our first stop was the Children’s Museum of Houston. We have some great museums here in Central Texas so I was excited to see how the Houston museum stacked up. I was not disappointed! There was so much to see and do. The boys had so much fun exploring. We spent about 4 hours here and probably could have spent several more.
There were several different areas to see and explore. One thing nice about it being in sections was that it didn’t seem as crowded as it really was. One area my boys enjoyed was Kidtropolis. This is a little kid city. However, unlike other Children’s Museum Kid cities this one gave kids jobs. My boys worked in the restaurant. Then they got a paycheck and use their money to go shopping for groceries at the grocery store. It was really cute and a fun activity that was different from our usual experiences.
They also loved the outdoor area. The museum has a nice water exhibit that lets kids have a hand on experience with hydropower. My older son, Jack, especially loved getting to move his boat through the canals with waves and floodgates. James enjoyed the water exhibit but also loved the sand area. Kids can dig and sift through different sand pits. Another favorite part for the boys was the Power Play area with it’s huge climbing apparatus. These were just a few of our favorite but there are lots of great areas to explore throughout the museum and tons of activities for kids of all ages.
And finally, a little embarrassing to mention but the staff was awesome at finding a lost child. The day we went it was crazy crowded because of Spring Break. We were in the outside area and I lost James, my barely 4-year-old. He was nowhere to be found. After frantically looking myself, I notified at museum employee. She calmly got on her radio and in under 5 minutes they found him in another area of the museum and brought him to the guest services desk where I picked him up.
The next day we got up early and headed to Hermann Park to visit the Houston Zoo. None of our area zoos have a large elephant exhibit so they boys were especially excited to see the one at the Houston Zoo. Be sure you grab a schedule when you first arrive because one of the morning activities listed is watching the zookeepers give the elephants a bath. This was such a hit with the boys! We also got to see a baby elephant and many others in the large elephant area.
The Houston Zoo also has giraffes you can feed. The feedings are at specific times and you’ll need to get there a bit early to wait in line. Since we were there on a very, very busy day, the line was quite long and the boys didn’t want to wait. We did watch a few others feed the giraffes and it looked like a fun experience. Instead of feeding the giraffes, we rode the carousel that had wild animals for the kids to ride. We’ve ridden one similar to this before but the boys still loved it.
I was really surprised at how shady the zoo was. There were lots of shady places to stop and rest or have a snack. Many of the animal enclosures were shaded so it made for a much more pleasant day than I was expecting. The World of Primates was like being up in the trees. It really made the experience feel more real to the kids. We will definitely be back to visit the Houston Zoo again!
Plan Your Visit
The Houston Zoo
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm & Sun 12pm-6pm
Tickets: Kids 2-11 = $13 & Adults 12+ = $17 (grab a Houston CityPASS and save 48%!)
Location: 6200 Hermann Park Drive Houston, TX 77030 (Map)
The Downtown Aquarium definitely goes down in the books as one of our favorite kid friendly activities in Houston. The name is a little misleading. While the attraction is an aquarium, this isn’t the only activity. Although the Aquarium area is fairly small. The boys had a great time wandering through, looking at all the different fish and other sea life. There is also a restaurant attached and we splurged and had dinner here. The boys loved watching all the fish swimming around while we ate.
Besides the aquarium exhibits, they also have some carnival rides. When you buy the All-Day Adventure pass like we did you get unlimited rides on everything. There was a large ferris wheel which gave a great view of downtown Houston. That was my favorite. There was a frog hopper and (my boys’ fave) the lighthouse dive. We took a few turns on the carousel but their other favorite ride was the shark train. This is a little train that takes you through the shark exhibit. There is no other way to see this particular exhibit and it was really fun to go through a glass enclosed tunnel with sharks all around you.
We came here in the late afternoon after visiting the Children’s Museum. It was a fun way to end the day and 3-4 hours seemed like the perfect amount of time to devote.
Plan Your Visit
Hours: Mon-Thurs + Sun 10am–9pm & Fri/Sat 10am-10:30pm
Tickets: $19.99 for an All-Day Adventure Pass (grab a Houston CityPASS and save 48%!)
Location: 410 Bagby St Houston, TX 77002 (Map)
Space Center Houston was hands down my boys favorite activity. They love rockets and outer space so this was really no surprise but I was shocked that we stayed as long as we did. We arrived when they opened and stayed until nearly closing time. There was so much to see and lots of interactive exhibits, we had the best time!
One thing I will mention is that you definitely need to plan ahead. There are timed tickets for many of the attractions due to limited space inside the areas. The tickets are free to request but they do sell out. Plan a few days in advance and request tickets on the website for the tram tours and Independence Plaza. Otherwise you will wait in very long lines and still not be guaranteed entrance.
In addition to all the interactive exhibits, they have different demonstrations. My kids loved these. If you are paying attention and eager to volunteer, they may even call you up! My son had a chance to go into the mock space station and help the astronaut demonstrate some of the different features the astronauts use when living on board, in space. He loved every minute and learned so much!
Plan Your Visit
Space Center Houston
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm & Sat/Sun 10am-6pm
Tickets: Kids 4-11 = $19.95 & Adults 12+ = $24.95 (grab a Houston CityPASS and save 48%!)
Location: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058 (Map)
We had so much fun exploring Houston over Spring Break. And now that we got all the tourist attractions checked off our bucket list, I’m excited to try some of the other kid friendly activities in Houston. We’ll be heading back this Fall to try some more fun!
Need a place to stay? Find out why we loved the Omni Houston Hotel!
I also wanted to give a huge shout out to CityPass for making this trip so simple! CityPASS is a prepaid ticket booklet available for 12 great destinations around the US including Houston, Texas. Purchase the booklet and receive admission into 5 of Houston’s top attractions, including all 4 of the ones I mentioned above. By purchasing the CityPASS you’ll save 48% off the ticket price of each of these attractions individually. Another perk to CityPASS is that you can bypass the ticket lines at most attractions helping you not only save money but time too! With CityPASS I knew I was getting to see the best of Houston at the very best price.
Disclosure: CityPASS provided our family with passes to visit local attractions. However, the opinions and statements in this Kid Friendly Activities in Houston post are all mine.