If you are looking for things to do in Houston with kids, then you have come to the right place! Houston is a great city with so much to do! But planning a trip with kids can be a little complicated! You have to pack all their cute little clothes, things to keep them entertained on the journey, and so much else, so you should not have to worry about activities! For that, we are here to help!
Visiting Houston with kids can be such a breeze! With museums, zoos, aquariums, there are so many activities for kids in Houston! The list below will give you lots of options with various activity levels and price points!
We would be remiss not to mention that if you and your partner can sneak away, Houston also has a lot of great date night spots! We are so excited for you to explore Houston with your family!
15 Fun Things to do in Houston with Kids you Shouldn’t Miss
Children’s Museum Houston
Easily one of the best places to visit in Houston with kids is the Children’s Museum. With over 9,000 square feet of fun and activities, this is the place to go! The Children’s Museum has close to twenty different exhibits to explore.
FlowWorks is an outdoor exhibit that allows kiddos to experience the forces and properties of water through waves, vortices, hydropower and rapids. In the Matter Factory, they dive into the periodic table of elements and learn about the building blocks of matter!
On the list of what to do in Houston with kids, this will always be near the top! With so many exhibits, there is so much to learn about and explore!
One of the best activities with kids in Houston is visiting the Downtown Aquarium! The babies and toddlers will love the calming water and watching the fish swim around. The older kids will get a kick out of learning about all the different fish, seeing the stingrays, and riding the rides! That’s right, the Downtown Aquarium has six fun rides!
The Downtown Aquarium is one of our favorite attractions in Houston with kids, but we may be biased. The aquarium was always the elite field trip. The exhibits at Downtown Aquarium are titled things like Texas Bayou, Shipwreck, and Tiger’s of the Maharaja’s Temple among several others!
Space Center Houston
One of the best Houston activities with kids is the Space Center Houston! People of all ages have a deep fascination with space. From the moon landing in the 1960’s, to the space race, to the International Space Station and extra-terrestrials, there is so much we know (and don’t know)!
The Space Center Houston works to answer a lot of the questions about the unknown in a fun and approachable setting that is geared for people of all ages. Some of their exhibits include the NASA tram tour, Spacesuit Collection, Mission to Mars and so many others! The expansive imagery and interactive displays make this one of the best family activities in Houston!
One of the best things to do in Houston with kids is visiting the Houston Zoo. Honestly, any zoo is one of the best things to do with kids! Most kid shows have animals as their main character and a kid’s first parlor trick is making animal sounds so seeing these animals in person is such a wonderful melding of their world! Depending on when you visit, some of their special events include lights at the zoo or even spending the night which is one of the coolest things to do in Houston with kids at night!
The Houston Zoo has animals from all over the world. From a native Texan Swift Fox to the Amazon Milk Frog, to the Asian Elephant, to the Chilean Flamingo and so many more! With 6,000 permanent residents, you are sure to find a new favorite animal! Make sure to grab breakfast because this day will be filled with a lot of walking!
Cockrell Butterfly Center
Located in the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences is the Cockrell Butterfly Center! One of our favorite fun things to do with kids in Houston that is also educational! Walking through this living butterfly habitat allows you and your family to experience the conditions and areas where butterflies actually live!
The rainforest conservatory is a three story glass structure built around a fifty foot waterfall! The simulated tropical oasis is filled with exotic plants and an array of butterflies! It is estimated that there are up to 2,000 butterflies in the exhibit spanning 60 species of butterfly! The Cockrell Butterfly Center is one of the many exciting family activities in Houston!
Express Children’s Theatre
Express Children’s Theatre is one of our top recommendations for Houston kids activities! As Houston’s oldest and largest multicultural performing arts and education organization, the Express Children’s Theatre is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
You and your family can catch a show at the theatre. They show everything from A Christmas Carol for kids during the holidays to Maria’s Magical Music Adventure and The Aztec Princess which are both bilingual shows! If you think you have a budding actor in your brood, they also offer workshops! The workshops teach the ins and out of theatre, but also confidence, communication, leadership, perseverance, and collaboration.
Express Children’s Theatre is one of the best activities for kids in Houston!
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
One of the oldest nature education facilities in Texas, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a great spot when visiting Houston with kids! With thirteen trails within a two mile loop you will see so much and the kids will have space and opportunity to walk out their wiggles!
Their Arboretum at Night even is one of the best things to do in Houston with kids at night! The world is a different place at night with different animals, bugs, and plants taking center stage. For the day trippers, we love the North Meadow, Ravine, and Couch Birding Trails because it showcases so much flora and fauna.
Color Factory Houston
One of our favorite attractions in Houston with kids is the Color Factory! This interactive art museum encourages us to experience the joy of color! With interactive installations and immersive rooms, this museum is a feast for the eyes! Color Factory collaborates with artists, art institutions, and nonprofits to create these all encompassing experiences!
In the past they have partnered with NASA and created a ball pit inspired by the Lunar Landing. They have also partnered with Harvey & John to use the Bernoulli Principle where balloons will float on columns of high flow, low pressure air. With plenty of interesting experiences and amazing photo opportunities, this is one of the best Houston activities with kids!
Located in the heart of downtown Houston is Discovery Green, a twelve acre park! One of our favorite free things to do with kids in Houston, this park has so many activities! During the holiday season they have a rink for ice skating! For the family pup they have two dog parks, one for larger dogs and one for smaller.
The John P. McGovern Playground offers families a lot of play space and jungle gym equipment! You can also go kayaking on Kinder Lake, practice at the putting green, have a game of bocce ball, run through the Gateway Fountain, explore the art installations and so much more! Discovery Green has so many activities for children in Houston and it is a must!
Sheldon Lake State Park
When planning out what to do in Houston with kids, the Sheldon Lake State Park deserves an honorable mention! Houston lakes are some of the most beautiful in Texas and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Popular with locals and visitors, Lake Sheldon is the spot to go for fishing, boating, and kayaking.
The environmental learning center on property will tell you what birds and other wildlife to look out for. There is a nature study available for children as well as wildlife demonstrations put on by the staff! The observation tower provides the park visitors with amazing panoramic views of the wetlands, Lake Sheldon, and the prairie. Sheldon Lake State Park has a plethora of activities for children in Houston!
The Health Museum
Perhaps more than ever before, our children are aware of their health. From the recent pandemic to just more education in schools about how important food and movement are to feeling strong and healthy, our kids’ knowledge is leaps and bounds greater than ours are their age. The Health Museum is one of the best fun and educational places to visit in Houston with kids!
Some of their exhibits have included Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World which provides information on how epidemics spread in an age where we do more traveling than ever before. Their Amazing Body Gallery Exhibit features a twenty-two foot long backbone with ribs which creates the illusion that you are inside a giant rib cage. All of our Magic School Bus dreams are coming true! If you are looking for educational things to do in Houston with kids, The Health Museum is an excellent option!
Smither Park is one of our favorite free things to do with kids in Houston! Developed by artists and friends in memoriam of John Smither, the whole park is filled with self-taught art! Over 300 artists have contributed permanent mosaics throughout the space.
We love this for kids for a couple of reasons. First, any time you can get them outside and get sunlight in their eyeballs and space to run out their wiggles is a good thing. Mostly, we love that these artists are self-taught. That alone highlights the beautiful inherent creativity of people and might encourage your kids to pursue their own artistic endeavors! Walking through Smith Park and talking about all of the unique art that came straight from their own experience is one of the most inspiring Houston kids activities!
Houston Fire Museum
Located in a Romanesque building, the Houston Fire Museum is one of the best things to do in Houston with kids! Opened in 1899 and a working firehouse until 1969, Station 7 is the oldest firehouse in Houston, listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, and a Recorded Texas Landmark.
Besides all that, most little ones go through a phase of wanting to be a firefighter! The Houston Fire Museum has a room catering these little ones and their dreams! There, they can dress up as firefighters and slide down a (kid sized) fire pole! The Houston Fire Museum will always be one of our favorite fun things to do with kids in Houston!
Houston Area Life Steamers
One of the best activities with kids in Houston takes place on the third Saturday of every month in Zube Park. The Houston Area Life Steamers is an organization that is devoted to live steam modeling. They have everything from locomotives to stationary engines! One Saturday a month they give free rides on their model trains that run on diesel and steam along a 4700 – foot track!
Getting stuck behind a train is no fun, but getting stuck behind a train with a kid in the car is a whole different experience! They love trains. and they will love this unique opportunity to ride a miniature one!
Cypress Trails Ranch
One of the great Houston kids activities is a horseback riding lesson at Cypress Trails Ranch! Texas is the land of cowboys and there is nothing more cowboy than riding horses! You have the option for a private lesson given in one hour increments or a group lesson if you have a handful of kids that want to learn!
If they already have experience, they do have gentle horses that you can take on adventurous trail rides or more agile horses for faster rides! Riding horses at Cypress Trails Ranch is a memorable experience for the whole family and a great option when visiting Houston with kids!