School is out, it’s hot and the kids are bored. Whether you wanting to relax and have fun, acquire a little culture or just cool off, Houston offers a little bit of everything. When the rallying cries of “I’m bored” push parents to get resourceful, this city offers everything they need to get those kids right back on the fun track.
Space Center Houston
1601 NASA Pkwy.
Houston, Texas 77058
Price: $22.95 adults/$18.95 children ages 4 to 11
Space Center Houston is the perfect place to escape from the Houston heat and learn a bit about space. Visitors experience space through amazing exhibits that display historical space artifacts with hands-on interactive options, presentations and movies in the center’s large theaters. The Kids Space Place area offers interactive attractions for exploring the different aspects of space. Also included in the price is a behind the scenes tram tour of NASA, including a stop at Historical Mission Control Center and Rocket Park, home of the Saturn V Complex.
Houston, TX 77010
In the heart of downtown Houston, Discovery Green’s 12-acre park offers great summer outdoor entertainment for the entire family. Across from the George R. Brown Convention Center, it’s only blocks away from the Houston Center, Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center. Inside of the park, a shaded playground along with a splash pad and fountain promise a cool, relaxing day for the whole family. Bring along your four-legged family members for a romp in the dog run as well. The park boasts beautiful gardens to walk through and a trail for running or biking. Visitors may grab a bite to eat at one of the two restaurants in the park, or bring a lunch to enjoy in one of the many picnic areas. Check Discovery Green’s calendar here to drop in on any one of more than 400 events throughout the year.
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5300 East Road
Baytown, TX 77520
Price: $12 children shorter than 48 inches/$17 children taller than 48 inches
Just 30 minutes east of Houston, Pirates Bay features attractions for everyone with a zero-depth beach entry for small tots to wade, a large Pirate-themed water play center for all ages and a lazy river for relaxing. The main attraction a thrilling surfing simulation, the Flowrider. The park also offers a climbing wall, body slides and a small lap pool. Visitors may bring a picnic lunch or dine at the park’s concession stand. Special events include Dive In Movie Days and the Itty Bitty Beach Party for children younger than 5. Click here for a calendar of events.
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215 Kipp Ave.
Kemah, TX 77565
Click here for prices
Kemah Boardwalk, one of the area’s top family getaways, boasts specialty shops galore, including an all things Christmas shop. On one end of the boardwalk, an amusement park overlooks the Gulf of Mexico with rides for all ages including a train ride around the perimeter of the boardwalk. In the courtyard, visitors may cool off in the dancing fountain or cool zones, and on Thursdays catch a concert during the Rock the Dock series. Several nearby restaurants serve amazing fresh seafood. Click here for a calendar of events.
Hermann Park Conservancy
6201-A Hermann Park Drive
Houston, Texas 77030
Hermann Park offers a wide variety of fun, inexpensive entertainment. Begin the perfect day at Buddy Carruth Playground, which features play equipment for children of all ages and an interactive water play area. The playground area is also an excellent spot for a picnic. Take a relaxing walk through the Japanese Garden, with bridges, waterfalls and stone paths that wander among azaleas, dogwoods and cherry trees. Paddle boat rentals are available at Lake Plaza, and fishing is permitted at McGovern Lake. While at Lake Plaza, snag train tickets for the Hermann Park Railroad to circle Herman Park in style. Riders may get on and off at locations around the park. Click here for a calendar of events.
Laurie Danas is a former first grade teacher of 10 years, three of which were in Clear Creek ISD. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. She is now a stay-at-home mom of three daughters, two of which are twin toddlers and the other an eight-year-old. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.