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14 Fun Things to Do in Houston with Kids

Katelyn van Sligtenhorst
Latest posts by Katelyn van Sligtenhorst (see all)

Put the parental stress aside because our trusty list of things to do in Houston with kids will help you map out the perfect Texas getaway for tots of any age.

From immersive museums to sprawling parks to kid-friendly restaurants, we’re breaking down the best spots to bring your little ones in the Bayou City.

Houston, the fourth largest city in the US, is known for its world-class arts, culinary scene, and entertainment, but fewer people know that there are family-friendly versions of all of it!

14 Things to Do in Houston with Kids

Browse through this list to get the lowdown on prices, special events, and other need-to-know info. We plan so you don’t have to!

Pssst: If you want to take the kids on a little vacation, you might want to check out these all-inclusive resorts in Texas for the entire family!

1. Learn Through Play at The Children’s Museum of Houston

Visiting the Children’s Museum is definitely one of the funniest things to do in Houston with kids
Visiting the Children’s Museum is definitely one of the funniest things to do in Houston with kids – Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

Ninety thousand square feet of action-packed, hands-on fun await at Houston’s premier family-friendly museum. 

With more than a dozen exhibits and countless learning opportunities, there’s something for everyone here.

Bounce, roll, spin, and slide your way into a better understanding of the laws of motion at Newton Know-How. 

Become a citizen of Kidtropolis, USA, where the little ones are in charge! Solve puzzles and conquer challenges to complete your mission in the SECRET Spy Game.

The Children’s Museum also boasts an events calendar packed with kid-approved activities, from princess parties to chemistry labs to poetry readings.

Tickets are $17 for adults and children, but you can snag complimentary access on Free Family Nights, every Thursday from 5-8 PM.

Alternatively, you could buy the Houston CityPass, which offers up to 47% discount at 5 top attractions in the city.

2. Ride the Rails at Hermann Park

Railroad at Hermann Park in Houston, Texas
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

When the weather is nice, one of our favorite things to do in Houston with kids is a trip to this gorgeous, activity-packed park.

The Hermann Park Railroad has been a favorite with children for over 50 years. 

Climb aboard the miniature red steam engine and take a scenic, 15-minute spin all around the green space, with several stops where you can hop on and off.

Keep an eye out when you pass through the train tunnel, as Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock has transformed its walls into a vibrant, fantastical landscape full of quirky characters.

Then, head to the edible, interactive Family Garden, designed to showcase vegetables, herbs, fruit, citrus, and berries native to the region. 

Children are invited to use all their senses as they walk around the beds.

Shaded walking trails and a pedal boat lagoon that gets you up close and personal with the park’s ducks are also well worth exploring.

3. Run Wild at Houston’s Best Indoor Playspace

Funny cute happy baby playing on the playground

Between a giant ropes course, a 3-story playscape, massive jumping pillows, an action-packed pedal car track, and more thrilling family-friendly attractions, your little ones are guaranteed to burn off tons of energy at Wonderwild.

Pop in for open play, or check their calendar for seasonal events and themed parties held throughout the year.

There are separate play areas for kids age 6 and under as well as kids age 4-11, so tots of all sizes can enjoy. Food and drinks aren’t served onsite, but you’re welcome to bring your own.

Tickets cost $15 for walkers and $12.50 for non-walkers. Parents enter for free, and are encouraged to join in on the fun!

4. Share a Family-Style Meal at Crisp

Savoir is one of the romantic restaurants in Houston

Amidst the many exciting things to do in Houston with kids, there’s one guarantee: You’ll need food to fuel all those adventures. 

And you might as well make your dining experience fun for the little ones, too.

That’s where CRISP comes in. You’ll often find families filling the tables at this spacious, super-inviting Italian restaurant, which dishes up comforting classics like sandwiches, pasta, and wood-fired pizzas.

Their Critters menu, available for kids age 12 and under, features tot-approved favorites like grilled cheese, nuggets, and PB&Js.

While they wait for their meals, let the kids loose at CRISP’s 5,000-square-foot garden patio, which features swings and a ping-pong table.

5. Make a Splash at the Woodlands Resort

Children eating ice cream at Woodlands Resort, Houston
Photo courtesy of

Just 40 minutes from downtown Houston, the Woodlands neighborhood is aptly named for its lush forested surroundings, fresh air, and abundance of local parks.

Experience it all and more at the sprawling Woodlands Resort, an oasis full of outdoor adventures, family-sized accommodations, and one of the city’s best waterparks.

Kids will love the racing slides, waterfalls, 1,005-foot-long lazy river, and year-round pools (they’re heated during the colder months and even feature underwater music).

For tiny tots, Puffy’s Sprayground provides hours of fun with fountains, waterspouts, and other interactive features.

The property also features an arcade, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and numerous onsite restaurants with options for even the pickiest of eaters. Settle in and stay the weekend!

Click here to book it

6. See How Astronauts Train at Space Center Houston

visiting Space Center Houston is one of the best things to do in Houston, Texas

If your little ones love all things outer space, then this is easily one of the coolest things to do in Houston with kids. 

The Space Center is full of hands-on experiences and fascinating interactive exhibits for all ages.

Embark on the popular NASA tram tour for a behind-the-scenes look at astronaut training facilities, Mission Control, and more. 

Experience a virtual Martian sunset, climb into a simulated Orion capsule, and touch an actual piece of the Red Planet in the Mission Mars exhibit. 

Step inside a full-scale replica of the Independence shuttle and its carrier aircraft.

The Space Center also hosts a number of fascinating, in-depth experiences designed for parents and children to enjoy together. 

With their family overnight program, you’ll camp onsite and participate in creative challenges and activities designed to build STEM skills.

7. Explore an Urban Oasis at Buffalo Bayou Park

Enjoying a picnic at Buffalo Bayou Park is one of the cool date ideas in Houston

When it comes to free things to do in Houston with kids, the iconic Buffalo Bayou Park has plenty.

Their one-of-a-kind playsets swap brightly-colored plastic and too-tight tunnels for imaginative, nature-based play. 

Climb funky wooden structures, build a castle in the sandpit, and splash around in the water features.

Don’t mind spending a bit of money? Bike rentals allow you to enjoy the park’s many scenic, shaded trails, most of which are flat and accessible for any age. Kids’ bikes are available, as well as trailers for tots who can’t ride quite yet.

You can also hit the waters of Buffalo Bayou itself in a kid-friendly tandem kayak. 

Meanwhile, older adventurers might prefer a solo canoe or stand-up paddleboard.

Those traveling with kids age 9 and up will definitely want to book a tour of the historic Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, a cavernous former reservoir that now serves as a gallery for temporary art exhibits.

8. Enjoy Fun in the Sun at Kemah Boardwalk

Exploring Kemah Boardwalk is one of the cool things to do on a weekend in Houston
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

One of the best things about Houston is its proximity to the coast. Drive just 40 minutes, and you can indulge in all the sun, fun, and carnival-style attractions of Kemah Boardwalk.

Between thrilling rides, midway games, and dozens of kid-friendly dining options, this seaside spot provides the perfect family getaway, especially if you’re visiting during the summer.

Zoom through the Galveston Bay and get soaked in the splash zone on the Boardwalk Beast’s 25-minute thrill ride. 

Experience exhilarating drops, twists, and turns on a one-of-a-kind wooden rollercoaster. Soar high above the crowds and score excellent ocean views on the Aviator.

Between attractions, grab a fresh waffle cone full of ice cream at Sweet Scoops, or bite into indulgent, Oreo-stuffed goodness at Funnel Cakes.

9. Go Ice Skating at the Galleria

Children skating at ice rink at The Galleria Mall in Houston, Texas
Moab Republic / Shutterstock

Not visiting in the winter but craving some icy activities? Have no fear! The Galleria’s year-round rink is a great go-to when it comes to children’s attractions in Houston.

Pop in for a public session, or opt for private, one-on-one walk-on lessons if your little ones need extra assistance.

If you’re traveling with a larger group, rent the whole rink for a broomball game. 

It’s played on the ice but in tennis shoes, so no skating experience is required, and this hockey-like sport will spark tons of friendly competition.

General admission costs $15.50 for adults and $13 for kids age 5 and under. 

Skate rental is $5.25 if you don’t have your own. Once you’ve purchased tickets, you’re able to skate as long as you’d like!

10. Watch Batty Acrobatics at Waugh Drive Bridge

Watching a Batty Ballet at Waugh Drive Bridge is one of the unusual things to do in Houston, Texas
Watching a Batty Ballet at Waugh Drive Bridge is one of the unusual things to do in Houston, Texas

If you’re searching for novelty and unique things to do in Houston with kids, look no further than this natural spectacle, which takes place every year from March-October.

An estimated 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats call the Waugh Drive Bridge home, and they emerge at sunset during the warmer months to hunt for insects. The result is an agile, high-flying show that the little ones will delight in.

The critters move at an estimated 99 mph in horizontal flight and have been observed feeding on insects up to 10,000 feet in the air!

Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before sunset to grab a good spot. 

On Friday nights, Houston Area Bat Team members are on hand to answer questions and chat about the bats.

11. Dig Into Iconic Texan Cuisine at Feges BBQ

Juicy pork barbecue ribs

Not only is this one of the best kid activities in Houston, but it’s also something any visitor to the city should indulge in!

After all, you can’t leave Texas without trying some of the state’s most legendary cuisine: barbecue. And where better to do that than at Feges?

This popular restaurant actually has 3 locations in and around the city, so it’s super accessible regardless of where you’re staying, and their abundance of deals means you get the most bang (and BBQ) for your buck.

Visit on Tuesdays from 5-9 PM to snag the famous Feges Board for only $50. 

Loaded with brisket, ribs, turkey, sausage, your choice of 3 sides, and dessert, this deal easily feeds a hungry family of 4.

Every Wednesday from 5-9 PM, kids 12 and under eat free! All dishes on the Kids Menu, including fan favorites like grilled cheese and chicken tenders, come with a choice of one side and a cookie.

12. See a Show at Express Children’s Theatre

Theater performance for children on stage

As “Houston’s oldest and largest multicultural performing arts and education organization dedicated to children and families,” Express has plenty of experience entertaining the little ones.

They feature poetry performances, musicals, dance acts, and interactive shows that get the audience involved.

Although many of the performances take place at the Children’s Theatre itself, you can also catch them at Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theater during the summer.

Check their website before your trip to see current seasonal offerings and snag advance tickets to your favorite show.

13. Escape the City at Dewberry Farm

Happy young family in pumpkin patch field

While there are dozens of things to do with kids in Houston, a trip just outside the city center affords even more excellent options.

At Dewberry Farm, let the kids trade the hustle and bustle for some fresh air and fascinating outdoor activities. No matter the season, there’s always family fun brewing here!

In the fall, it’s all about the pumpkin patch until Halloween brings late nights, haunted houses, and a cast of creepy characters. 

Winter visitors will score lights galore and have the chance to cut their own Christmas tree, while Spring Fest features freshly picked floral bouquets and baby barnyard animals.

Year-round, over 40 popular attractions keep the energy high, from classics like a Ferris wheel, hay bale maze, and pedal cart race track to quirky gems like the Goatel 6 and a pit full of corn kernels to jump in.

Kids can also mine for gemstones, get their faces painted, and shoot blaster cannons at a target wall.

14. Make Your Own Masterpiece at the Mad Potter

Woman making pot with clay

Last but not least of our favorite things to do in Houston with kids is something the whole family can get in on.

In this artsy experience at the Mad Potter, you’ll pick from a huge selection of pottery pieces, including plates, mugs, fun animal collectibles, and more, then decorate your item to your heart’s content.

Four days later, simply pop back in to pick up your finished masterpiece, which doubles as a beautiful souvenir of your time in Texas.

For parents of tiny tots, you can even do a hand or footprint press to create a cherished memory that lasts long after the trip ends.

Walk-ins are welcome; No reservations required here!

More Fun Things to Do in Houston with Kids

Picnic at the Discovery Green Park or Memorial Park

Dive into the world of the fun and the funky at Smither Park

Teach the little ones about wild animals in the Houston Zoo located at Hermann Park

Learn about the natural world at Houston Arboretum

Check out the permanent exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Take a stroll down Bob’s Fishing Pier at McGovern Lake

Tour the historical homes at Sam Houston Park

Watch the Astros playing at Minute Maid Park

Check out the flowers at the Market Square Park

Let the waterfall at McGovern Centennial Gardens awe the little ones

Learn about the human body at the Health Museum in the Museum District

Go on a day trip to Galveston Island State Park or walk down Pleasure Pier

Check out the live snakes and baby alligators at Brazos Bend State Park, only 40 miles from Downtown (and one of the best state parks near Houston)

Did you enjoy this article about things to do in Houston with kids? Then share it with fellow parents who might also find it useful!