Spring break arrived and caught you unprepared. You just don’t have the time to get away for a week, but know you need a little escape. From resort experiences to leisurely strolls in the park, Houston is the place to stay-cation.
The Woodlands Resort Family of Four Fun Package
Price: $229 to $259 per room/night
Hours: package and rates are available through Sept. 14; Click here for dates and availability
The Woodlands Resort offers the experience and amenities of a luxury resort vacation just minutes north of Houston and it designed a getaway package with the entire family in mind. The Family of Four Fun Pack includes accommodations, daily breakfast, a half-day bicycle rental for the family and unlimited access to the resort’s amenities. The resort’s amenities include a steam room, sauna, fitness center and a lagoon-style pool and lounge area, the Forest Oasis Waterscape.
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Sam Houston Park and Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours
Price: park and museum admission – free/historic house tours – $10 adults/$8
seniors 65 and older/free children 18 and younger
Hours: park is open daily from dawn to dusk; Click here for historic house tours.
Price: $7 adults/$5 children ages 4 to 12/cash only
Children younger than 4 years old not permitted
Hours: every 30 min from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, or charters scheduled by appointment
Here’s a great Saturday for the family that wants to know more about the historical roots of Houston. Start from home — or book a Friday-night stay in one of the many downtown hotels — and head to Sam Houston Park to tour a collection of preserved historic buildings and the Heritage Society Museum, which houses documents, artifacts and exhibits that offer a glimpse into the history of the city. Guided tours of the historic buildings in the park provide insight into life in Houston during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the tour, stroll through the rest of the park and take in the historic monuments on the park grounds, including a World War I monument that lists Houstonians who lost their lives in that conflict.
After a picnic lunch at the park, head a few blocks east to the Sabine Street Bridge North Boat Landing in Buffalo Bayou Park to catch a pontoon boat tour offered by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The 30-minute tour includes a look at Allen’s Landing, where the Allen Brothers first set foot in the area that would become Houston, and hints at what the Allens may have experienced in 1836.
Houston Zoo & Hermann Park
Price: $13 adults/$7 for seniors 65 and older/$9 children ages 2 to 11/free children younger than 2 years old/$2.50 carousel
Hours: Daily – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: park and Japanese Garden admission is free/railroad admission is $3/pedal boat admission is $9 for a 30-minute ride
Hours: daily, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Japanese Garden daily – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Hermann Park Railroad Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m./Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; pedal boat rentals available Sat and Sun – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Always a popular spring break destination, the Houston Zoo and the neighboring attractions at Hermann Park can fill up a day or an entire weekend. The zoo’s animal habitats are among the best in the world and educate as well as entertain.
Leave time in your day to take a ride on the Hermann Park Railroad, a miniature-scale train that winds through the park, or rent a pedal boat on the lake. Walking trails lead you to the beautiful and peaceful Japanese Garden or the big playground for the kids.
Price: varies by museum, but 10 of the 18 are free
Hours: vary with individual museum; Click here for details
Houston is a world-class museum city, and 18 of the city’s museums in the Hermann Park/Mecom Fountain area joined together to form the Houston Museum District. Spring break week is not a long enough time to take in every museum in the area, but the stay-at-home
vacationer can find a wide variety of interesting and educational exhibits in the forums that include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Contemporary Arts Museum, Children’s Museum, Holocaust Museum Houston, Buffalo Soldiers Museum and Museum of Fine Arts.
Lonnie King is a freelance writer living in Houston. His work can be found at Examiner.com.