With over a quarter of the population comprised of residents under the age of 18, it’s no wonder that the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston, Texas, boasts quite the selection of family-friendly activities. This means that the traveler traipsing through town with assorted young ones in tow has no cause for panic. Big city it might be, but there are plenty of ways to keep all ages occupied for days on end, many of them educational to boot.
As one of the nation’s most visited zoological facilities, the Houston Zoo definitely deserves a spot atop the list of possibilities. Set in pretty Hermann Park, this 55-acre zoo should slow them down a little, and if it doesn’t there’s always a walk through the surrounding park, with a long stop at the park’s playground to wear down the exceptionally energetic ones.
Deterred by the prospect of Houston, Texas, during those hot months? When the pavement starts to sizzle come soaring summer temperatures, don’t be put off. Spend pleasant air-conditioned hours wandering from rainforest to shipwreck and back again via the Gulf of Mexico at the Downtown Aquarium, with a breezy evening ride on the Diving Bell Ferris Wheel for a scenic glimpse of Houston at night. Or, continuing along with the air-conditioned theme, plan for a full day of it at the top-rated Children’s Museum of Houston in the Arts District. Nearby, is the Houston Museum of Natural Science which is also an educational place to while away the better part of an afternoon, as is The Health Museum, where you’ll find enough hands-on activities to keep all but the really young ones focused.
You know you have a problem, Houston, when you can’t get your crew enthused about a trip to the Johnson Space Center. Take the NASA Tram Tour for a very cool glimpse of the Mission Control Center (both current and historic). Reward your budding astronaut for out-of-this-world behavior with a leisurely stop at Kids Space Play, an indoor themed play area that they’ll think is the next best thing to moon cheese.
Finally, after lessons learned about everything from lizards to lunar surfaces, throw in the towel and plan a day at Splashtown Waterpark. It’s not exactly educational but who wants all work and no play anyway?