If you’re looking for the best things to do with kids in Houston Texas, well, look no further, because we have got your covered right here!
Did you know! The Houston region has one of the biggest child populations in the United States of America! That means it is brimming with great options for your family.
From the best of kid and family-friendly museums, theme parks, the zoo, and even a delightful little dessert bar, we’ve looked hard to find you the best of the best! And don’t worry, we didn’t forget the iconic Space Center Houston, a must for every visitor!
No matter what your kids are into, there is something here for everyone! We’ve got options to suit every budget, and every length of stay!
If you find yourself roadtripping around Texas you might also want to check out list of the best things to do in Texas, the ultimate TX bucket list!
For the very best activities with kids in Houston, read on!
15 Fun Things To Do With Kids In Houston You Must Visit
Smither Park is a quirky and offbeat urban green space in the heart of Houston Texas and it’s so unusual that we we love it and recommend it as one of the best free things to do with kids in Houston!
Smither Park is a vibrant open space featuring incredible mosaics made by members of the local art community, from found and recycled materials. This includes things like bottletops, shells, broken ceramics and tiles. It is truly phenomenal and has to be seen to be believed! Over 300 local artists contributed to this cultural centerpiece, which gives you an idea of the scale of this giant artwork.
Open every day from dawn until dusk, Smither Park is a great way to spend some time in the beautiful outdoors while fostering a little creative thought in your kids.
Smither Park is definitely one of the best things to do with kids in Houston TX – and it’s free. Check it out!
Gerald D Hines Waterfall Park
An absolute must see and one of the best free activities for kids in Houston Texas is the Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park.
Located in the heart of uptown Houston TX, the Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park nearly 200 giant oak trees, across nearly 3 acres, the centerpiece of which is the 64 foot high semi-circular waterfall. Watch 11,000 gallons of water cascade down this stunning landmark every minute!
It’s an architectural and public art triumph and is bound to impress even the most cynical person in your family, while no doubt delighting the little ones who will be mesmerised by the scale of the waterfall.
If you’re lucky you might even get to witness a marriage proposal or another milestone event, as it’s such a popular place and backdrop for special occasions!
For gorgeous uptown Houston TX attractions for families you just cannot beat the Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park. It is spectacular, and will provide an unforgettable experience for you and your family.
City Tour By Bus
The best way to see a new city is to sign up to a tour, and the classic tour experience is the hop on, hop off bus. It’s one of the most fun things to do with kids in Houston Texas!
The Houston City Tour by Bus service runs on an 80 minute loop. Including commentary from a local guide who will tell you more about the significance of the places you pass by and share some cool stories too!
Including the best landmarks of Houston, including the Market Square Historic District, Sam Houston Park and Heritage Society historic homes, and Graffiti Park at Old China Town, this is a cost effective way to see the best a city has to offer – and Houston has so much to offer.
For one of the best activities with kids in Houston TX and a fun-filled, active day out, definitely give the City Tour by Bus a go. You’ll love it!
Check ticket rates here: GetYourGuide.com
Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a must do if you’re looking for downtown Houston Texas attractions for families!
As one of the most popular museums in the United States, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more impressive or immersive learning experience that’s also super fun!
With a huge range of exhibitions ranging from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, the planetarium and observatory, or the butterfly centre (see our dedicated entry about it further down!) there’s something at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for everyone in your family.
If you’re looking for a different kind of museum experience, the Houston Museum of Natural Science also offers an overnight stay! Treat yourself to an evening filled with scavenger hunts and checking out the exhibits after hours, before spending the night among the exhibits! Super cool!
For one of the greatest things to do with kids in Houston, definitely add the Houston Museum of Natural Science to your to do list!
Check ticket rates here: getyourguide.com.
The Mad Potter
The Mad Potter is one of the most fun things to do with kids in Houston Texas.
The best thing about the Mad Potter is that you can walk in at any time without a booking, which makes it a great spontaneous activity if you’ve got some time going spare!
With three convenient locations available around Houston, there is bound to be a Mad Potter near you!
The Mad Potter is a delightfully creative way to spend an afternoon. Choose from one of the 250 ceramic pottery items and paint and decorate it! Do note though, you’ll need to wait four days before you can collect it to take home, so you might want to adjust your little one’s expectations before you go to avoid disappointment that they can’t take it with them on the day! This might also be useful knowledge for planning your visit!
If you’re looking for great Houston kids activities, the Mad Potter is where it’s at!
We love the slogan for Houston Zoo. See them – save them. Just as a zoo should be! The Houston Zoo is fantastic, like all the best zoos it is one of the best attractions in for kids in Houston TX.
Do note, tickets must be reserved online before you visit!
You’ll want to check out the schedule as well to plan your visit. It’s updated every morning prior to the zoo opening at 9am.
Are you keen to see the elephant bathing? Or the giraffe feeding? How about hearing from a zookeeper about the wonder and beauty of a blue-throated macaw?
Importantly, there are some great food options at Houston Zoo, so don’t feel like you need to bring a picnic, although of course, you can if you prefer!
Houston Zoo is a brilliant day out for the whole family. It’s easily one of the best things to do with kids in Houston. Do tell the orangutans we said hello!
Winfield’s Chocolate Bar
If you’re looking for what to do in Houston TX with kids, and a little bit of indulgence is on the cards, we highly recommend a visit to Winfield’s Chocolate Bar!
Whatever your jam is, there’s a treat here for everyone! We love their Bodacious Brownies, two layers of dense chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and topped with dark chocolate ganache!
The red velvet cake here is also incredible, it’s a classic and it cannot be beaten.
They also have some great specialty desserts like the Peanut Butter Wishes, chocolate silk ice cream topped with a peanut butter and jelly truffle and a peanut butter cup. So good!
With three locations around Houston, there will be a Winfield’s Chocolate Bar near you!
You won’t regret a visit to Winfield’s Chocolate Bar! Even if it means your little ones a little more active than usual afterwards! It’s one of our favourite activities for families in Houston.
If you’re looking for other great places to eat in Houston, check out our list of the best places for brunch in Houston you must try!
One of the best activities with kids in Houston TX is Kemah Boardwalk!
The Kemah Boardwalk, which is situated just 20 miles from downtown Houston, is a super fun attraction for the whole family, and importantly, it’s open every day so if you find yourself in Houston on a holiday, you can rely on Kemah Boardwalk to be open!
With great sideshow amusements and rides, a swathe of retail options and beautifully situation restaurants, it’s bound to be an action packed day out for the whole family. Throw in regular festivals and daily shows and your day out is set.
If you’re really looking to maximise the experience, there’s even a hotel on the boardwalk!
Kemah Boardwalk is definitely one of the most fun things to do with kids in Houston. And adults will love it too! It’s a great experience for the whole family.
Space Center Houston
Houston, we have a problem! Mutter these iconic words to yourself as you peruse one of the world’s leading space exploration and science centers! Whether you’re young or young at heart, everyone will love this top attraction – put it at the top of your Houston bucket list! No matter their ages, Space Center Houston is one of the best things to do in Houston with kids.
As the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Centre, it has the worls’ largest collection of lunar rocks and samples! It is literally out of this world! There’s also more than 400 neat space artefacts, a huge bunch of exhibits, interactive and immersive experiences, and theatres showcasing the USA’s contribution to humanity in space. Epic!
Go behind the scenes of NASA Mission Control, the International Space Station Mission Control, as well as astronaut training! There’s so much to learn here!
We recommend checking ahead before you visit to see what’s on, with a great calendar of events so you can time your visit to coincide with one of their exciting events.
It’s also a certified autism center, which is fantastic if you or one of your family members needs a low sensory environment to fully enjoy the Space Center. Check local guides to see how you can benefit from this.
Check ticket rates here: GetYourGuide.com
If you’re looking for free things to do with kids in Houston, you’ll want to swing by Hermann Park!
Hermann Park sprawls across 445 acres in central Houston, and is home to some dazzling attractions that will please everyone in the family, whatever their age.
From the great attractions you’d expect to find in an urban park, such as pedal boats, a delightful pagoda and lush gardens, and an outdoor theatre.
There’s the lovely McGovern Lake with Bob’s Fishing Pier if your little one likes to cast a line, or there’s the Molly Ann Smith Plaza, with four beautiful interactive fountains. If your kids are a bit older you might also like to treat them to the Mecom Fountain at night, which is beautifully lit up.
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is also located at Hermann Park! It’s so wonderful that it deserves an entry of its own, scroll down further to read all about it!
And of course, we couldn’t not mention the Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children.
It’s the perfect spot for a picnic but honestly you could easily spend a day in this extremely well kept and well thought out public space. We love public spaces and Hermann Park is no exception.
Hermann Park is one of the most delightful things to do with kids in Houston at night, or in the day – anytime really!
Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston is one of the very best Houston kids activities, with hours of engaging entertainment and education for the whole family!
We love the slogan for the Children’s Museum of Houston – a playground for your mind! How cool is that?
The Children’s Museum of Houston is designed for children from infancy to 12 years of age and their families (which also means you can’t visit as an adult if you don’t have a child with you).
With exhibits designed to appeal to children of all ages, there is something here to occupy and engage every little mind. All the exhibits are developed by experienced educators who work to promote the key executive functions of the brain. So your little ones will be learning so much while they’re busy living their best little lives!
We particularly love the EcoStation, where you can learn about he natural world and how to embrace sustainability at every age, as well as the Tot Spot, an immersive play and learn experience for toddlers.
They also offer a Family Free Night every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm, where admission is free!
We love the Children’s Museum of Houston, it’s one of the best Houston activities with kids. Create some wonderful memories to last a lifetime!
If you’re visiting Houston with kids, you’ll want to add the Downtown Aquarium to your to do list!
The first cool thing about Downtown Aquarium is that the building itself was redeveloped from two historic Houston landmarks, the No 1 Fire Station, and the Central Waterworks Building.
It’s been converted into an incredible entertainment precinct, brimming with fantastic food options offering something for everyone, even the most fussy eater in your family will be happy here!
The aquarium itself boasts more than 300 specifies of aquatic creatures from all around the world. It is truly magnificent, a 500,000 gallon aquatic paradise. You can certainly find Nemo and Dory here, as well as all their friends!
If you’re short on time or money you can also buy tickets just for the stingray reef, so there’s an option here for every family and every budget.
In addition to the aquarium and dining options, there’s also some great education exhibits, as well as shopping and a range of other rides and amusement options.
This six acre complex is so magical, you’ll need to see it to believe it. It’s one of our favorite downtown Houston attractions for families.
Cockrell Butterfly Center and Brown Hall of Entomology
One of our favourite places to visit in Houston TX with kids is the Cockrell Butterfly Center and Brown Hall of Entomology.
This wonderful museum is both entertaining and educational, with a living butterfly habitat to marvel at, as well as some cool games and quizzes, as well as specimens of all kinds of arthropods.
While you’re here you can learn more about how you can do your bit for your garden to be more friendly to pollinators.
And! There’s also a Rainforest Conservatory, a three-story glass building around a 50 foot waterfall and brimming with the most delightful exotic plants. It’s glorious.
Do note that strollers are not permitted in the Butterfly Centre, but stroller parking is available!
Definitely check ahead before you visit as they may be underoing renovations, but hopefully not, because the Cockrell Butterfly Centre and Brown Hall of Entomology is, hands down, one of the most memorable family activities in Houston.
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is one of our favourite activities for children in Houston TX!
This 155 acre nature sanctuary is located a short distance from downtown Houston, next to Memorial Park. The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a non profit facility, set up in 1967 and providing nature education to more than 600,000 visitors each year!
Offering some fantastic children’s programs, there is something here for kids of every age! There’s the Tykes Hikes, the Family Friendly Arboretum at Night tour, and Naturally Wild Families where you can learn about sustainability and the environment together! They also have regular one-off events such as archaeology day, and tea parties, so definitely check before you visit to see what’s on!
You can also hold your child’s birthday party here! What a great idea!
So if you’re planning your itinerary and looking for the best things to do in Houston with kids, definitely add Houston Arboretum and Nature Centre to your bucket list! It’s lovely, we love it – you will too, and more importantly, so will your kids!
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown
For a great day out for the whole family, you’ll want to add the Six Flags Hurricane Harbour Splashtown to your Houston Texas bucket list, it’s one of the best places to visit in Houston with kids!
Packed full of rides to satisfy thrillseekers, kids and families alike, there’s so much to do and see at this great family theme park.
With a range of restaurants and dining options to suit every taste, don’t feel like you need to carry a picnic around to get a good meal (although, of course, everyone loves a picnic!)
There’s also gift shops and merchandise stands so you can find the perfect souvenir from your day out, or gift for a loved one back home!
Everyone loves a theme park and Six Flags Hurricane Harbour Splashtown is another one for you to love! It’s truly one of the best places to visit in Houston with kids.