If you’re traveling to the nation’s fourth largest city with kids in tow, you’ll want to know about these amazing attractions for families. Sure, when you travel by yourself, with friends or as a couple, it’s great to try out the fanciest restaurants, best new bars and critically acclaimed shows. But when kids are in the picture, you’re priorities change completely. Here are the best places to go with kids when you’re visiting Houston
1. Children’s MuseumIf you have kids, this is a wonderland for them – no matter what age they are. After all, this museum is filled with more than 8,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and 14 hands-on galleries. The littlest kiddos will enjoy the Tot Spot, which is limited to children 35 months or younger and is filled with age appropriate games and toys. Older kids – and even adults – will love the three-story Power Tower climbing structure. Other permanent exhibits include Invention Convention, where you create any contraption you can think of; Kidtropolis, where you can explore a city entirely created for and run by kids; Cyberchase, where you strive to save Cyberspace from an “evil hacker”; FlowWorks, which is all about water and hydropower; the Matter Factory, a “whimsical nanotech factory”; Building Zone, where you can check out the science of certain structures; Attack of the Bloodsuckers, which is all about the creepy critters that bite you; and the Think Tank, where you can solve a variety of fun, educational mind teasers. There’s even a regular free night, sponsored by Target, where all families are admitted at no charge after a certain time. You can’t beat that.
2. Houston Zoo
Located in Hermann Park
, near a stunning Japanese Garden, a giant monument and paddle boat rentals, is the Houston Zoo, which covers 55 acres of gardens and special exhibits such as the African Forest, the Kipp Aquarium, the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo (perfect for touchy feeling little ones who will enjoy brushing a goat), the Wortham World of Primates, the Reptile and Amphibian Building and much, much more. You can even check out web cams to show you exactly what the animals are doing at all times of day.
3. Museum of Natural ScienceIs there anything more stunning than strolling a magnificent hall with the bones of an incredible dinosaur lurking overhead? At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, you’ll find something to satisfy everyone in your group, from the future paleontologist to the gem lover to the history buff. Little ones will be delighted by the Cockrell Butterfly Center, where winged creatures in every color of the rainbow flitter and flutter by. Meanwhile, the teens in your group will love the IMAX theater, which features a variety of up to the minute films and movies. Rotating exhibits are also incredibly popular.
4. Discovery Green
This urban park is conveniently located near Minute Maid Park
and the city convention center, meaning it’s easy for out of town guests to find. Even better, it’s filled with things that will entertain your brood. Expect to find a playscape that will entertain the little tots to teens, a stage featuring some of the hottest local acts and weekly classes that include everything from exercise to crafts. Seasonal activities include holiday movies, ice skating (with hot chocolate for kiddos and coffee for Mom and Dad, natch), electric boat racing and much more. There’s even an on-site restaurant where you can grab a burger and some lemonade and a weekly farmers’ market that showcases some of the best local produce and food.