houston with kids

Get hands-on at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. (Photo: Getty Images)


Why Houston with Kids Is Outta This World

Houston is an extremely family-friendly destination — this sprawling city (Texas’s largest) is chock-full of museums, parks, outdoor theaters and green spaces, plus it’s home to the Space Center (where kids can pretend to be astronauts for the day!), the Downtown Aquarium and Minute Maid Park, where the Astros are always up to bat.

Read on to discover the best things to do in Houston with kids.

Experience the Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science houses world-class exhibit areas, including the Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Burke Baker Planetarium, plus a variety of permanent exhibits that examine space, science, astronomy, paleontology and Texan wildlife.

The museum has a popular summer camp series for kids, as well, such as Chemistry Camps, Space Camps and Dinosaur Camps.

Play and Learn at the Children’s Museum of Houston

Featuring 90,000 square feet of interactive and bilingual exhibitions, the Children’s Museum of Houston is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with kiddos of all ages. Kids can run their own city at Kidtropolis, program robots, check out the forces of hydropower at FlowWorks and more

Tour Minute Maid Park

Home of the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park can house as many as 40,000 fans; going to a game here is a quintessential Houston family experience. Or opt for a tour, which gives guests a behind-the-scenes look at where the Astros play, including historic Union Station, the broadcasting booth and press boxes, and the dugout areas.

Check Out Hermann Park

houston with kids
All aboard! (Photo: Getty Images)

A 445-acre playground, Hermann Park is where you’ll find the Houston Zoo, the peaceful Japanese Garden, a lake with paddleboats, the Hermann Park Miniature Train and the Miller Outdoor Theater, a family-friendly outdoor venue with free concerts and plays.

Go to Storytime at Brazos Bookstore

The focal point of the literary community in Houston, Brazos Bookstore is a special place for book lovers young and old. Though Brazos specializes in literary fiction, local literature, art and architecture, they also have a wonderful children’s section and a jam-packed calendar with kid-specific special events — think storytime, book clubs, book-themed parties and book signings by children’s authors.

Ride Bikes or Hike at Buffalo Bayou Park

houston with kids
Spend the day outdoors. (Photo: Getty Images)

If your family needs a nature fix amid all those gleaming skyscrapers and miles (and miles) of freeways, Buffalo Bayou is the place to be.

This 160-acre city park is sliced by part of the 52-mile slow-moving Buffalo Bayou waterway and offers lovely views of diverse urban nature, along with beautiful gardens, hike-and-bike trails, paddleboat and bike rentals, public art, a dog park and much more.

Pretend You’re an Astronaut at the Space Center Houston

Home to NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and Mission Control, Space Center Houston is the only working space center in the world where families can watch astronauts train for their missions.

Attractions include interactive exhibits, more than 400 space artifacts, a shuttle replica, space simulators, the Northrop Grumman IMAX Theater and Martian Matrix, a kid’s play area. You can even take a behind-the-scenes Mission Control Tour, to “land” a space shuttle.

Get Your Art Fix at the Museum of Fine Arts

houston with kids
Interactive activities await. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s never too early to expose kiddos to one of the most lauded art collections in the U.S. at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Plus, families can take part in interactive weekly programs, like art workshops, storytime circles and kid-oriented tours designed especially for children and adults to explore art together.

Make a Fishy Friend at the Downtown Aquarium

Families will adore the Downtown Aquarium, with its dazzling habitats and attractions, including carnival-style games, a shipwreck exhibit, a tropical rainforest, the Shark Voyage and the Discovery Rig, where kids can touch horseshoe crabs and stingrays.

Run Around Discovery Green

Discovery Green is downtown Houston’s premier green space: This 12-acre park has it all, from tree-shaded trails and a new jogging trail to bocce ball courts and an art cart that’s always stocked with supplies. There are playgrounds, interactive water features, restaurants and an amphitheater; plus, the park hosts events and activities throughout the year.