The Children’s Museum of Houston
Houston, TX 77004
The Children’s Museum of Houston is one of the most popular venues in Houston’s Museum District and certainly one of the best places for preschoolers in the city. A variety of the exhibits here are just perfect for children of this age. They might enjoy the Kids’ Hall, which includes a long hallway of tables, each featuring a different activity, such as face painting and puppet shows. They might also work off some energy in the PowerPlay area, which includes an adventure course and light chase. Since the museum appeals to a variety of ages and stages, some exhibits may be too advanced for preschoolers, but there will be plenty to suit their level of development, and the museum’s general atmosphere and colorful decor will make them feel right at home. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The museum is closed most Mondays, except for school breaks and certain holidays.
3403 FM 1960 West
Houston, TX 77068
Jumpin’ Jak’s is a locally-owned indoor play place in Houston that is both fun and affordable. The mazes, ball bits, slides and other activities are great for fostering development and helping preschoolers learn to interact with others. It’s also a great way to tire them out before nap time! When all that running around and socializing helps your preschooler work up an appetite, there are also hot snacks, chips and drinks available. Children ages one through 12 are welcome. A “pay your age” system is in place for children one through four ($1 to $4); admission for children age five to 12 is $5. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday open for birthday parties only.
Armand Bayou Nature Center
8500 Bay Area Blvd.
Pasadena, TX 77507
Located approximately 25 minutes southeast of downtown Houston, in Pasadena, Texas, is the Armand Bayou Nature Center. This unique center, focused on helping people “reconnect with nature,” offers stewardship and educational programs and special events. The center offers unique Mommy & Me classes for children aged 24 months to four years and accompanying adults. If you’d like your preschooler to gain a deeper appreciation for nature while having fun with other young children, these classes are worth the short drive. Classes teach children about plants, animals and various nature topics via art, literature, live animal demonstrations, music, storytelling, games and movement. Eight different sessions are offered from September through June; these include nests and eggs, fur and camouflage, raccoons, ants and seeds. Thanks to the variety, you could easily bring your preschooler back for each session. Just be sure to call early for your reservation, because classes are small, and they fill up fast. Center hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.