Houston Children’s Festival
Houston, Texas 77002
Date: March 31 to April 1
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 6 :30 p.m.
Price: Click here for tickets
Entertainment and education abound with more than 300 activities, including visits by young television stars Raini Rodriguez and James Maslow, at this year’s Houston Children’s Festival. This Baker Hughes sponsored event has been named the largest children’s festival, held around City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. It benefits Child Advocates, Inc. who have seen more than two decades of success saving children from abuse and neglect.
Music and Entertainment
The festival’s entertainment choices include five stages featuring musical entertainment, juggling and magic acts and dance troupes. It is a veritable cornucopia of concerts for the little ones. They may watch the fun or join in and perform their favorite songs in the karaoke area. Here are the best bets for fun at the Houston Children’s Festival.
Backstage Meet & Greet
Price: $50 in addition to the price of admission
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Meet the 2012 Disney celebrities with your backstage credentials. Meet Raini Rodriguez, aka Trish on “Austin & Ally,” and James Maslow, who plays James Diamond on Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush.” Guests will receive one autographed photo. You will also get the opportunity to take a photo with the stars with your own camera.
Baker Hughes Circustown
Check out the Big Top Show and the Baker Hughes Juggling Jubilee for some of the best circus acts the city has to offer. The Giant Space wheel will amaze. Watch the tricks of Rola Bola Acrobatic Balance Bonanza. The motorcycle balance act and Angelina’s famous high trapeze act, will surely fascinate the kids and have them dreaming of life on the high wire.
Apache Super Science World Stage
Science can be fun, and the Apache Super Science World makes it entertaining. Mad Science and the Houston Museum of Natural Science offer breath-taking experiments with slime and hovercrafts, and educational entertainment about everything from gardening to gas. Check out the optical illusions and get your hands dirty with a fossil dig, or stick around for the Radio Disney dance crew’s performance.
H-E-B Healthy Kids Kingdom
If you find it hard to get your family to make healthy choices at meal time, stop by the Healthy Kids Kingdom where kids get into cooking fun with Clive Berkman. This cool Chef Dude gives instructions on making yucky foods tasty. Decorate a chef’s hat to take home to commemorate your day in the kitchen. Let the kids dance, do tae kwon do and watch the Ronald McDonald show for an all-around exciting, healthy session in the Kids Kingdom.
CBS Houston Insider’s Tips: Snacks are priced from $1 to $8. Some rides are an additional cost of $1 to $5. An all day fun pass gives attendees unlimited rides and access to all inflatables for $30, in addition to festival admission. Festival parking is available at any of the nearby surface lots or underground parking. Theatre District Parking is just $7. Kids younger than 3 are admitted for free. Military personnel will enjoy $8 admission at the gate with military identification.
Related: Houston’s Best Stuff for Young Kids
Where to Stay
Robin’s Nest Bed and Breakfast
4104 Greeley St.
Price: from $99
To make this trip a weekend to remember, stay at Robin’s Nest in fun, eclectic rooms at this pet-friendly B&B. With two breakfaast times and options to invite a friend, this is the perfect place to book a few rooms for a family get together over delicious, organic food and a festival the family won’t soon forget. Take a soak in one of two whirlpools, play in Montrose or explore the lush gardens and historical homes here.
Sarah’s Inn on the Boulevard
941 Heights Boulevard
Price: from $115
Collapse into some of the coziest beds in the city. Seriously, these folks invested a pretty penny in Serta Executive Suite mattresses to make this a guaranteed good night’s sleep for the whole family. The owners, and their pup, live in the nearby carriage house, putting them in arm’s reach of guests who prefer an accommodating, but private stay. Breakfast is delicious, but primarily continental, with the option of made-to-order eggs to fill up hungry bellies.
Nicole Sonnier is a freelance writer living in Houston and covers Nightlife & Music. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.