27 Free Things To Do in Houston On Cold and Rainy Days: Indoor Places To Play

Art Car Museum is a fun, free indoor activity. Photo courtesy of the Art Car Museum
Art Car Museum is a fun, free indoor activity. Photo courtesy of the Art Car Museum

Looking for free indoor playgrounds and other free things to do? We have a list of the best free indoor places to play in Houston.

Whether you're a stay-at-home parent just trying to find something to do during the day or a mom wanting to spice things up on the weekend - but without spending a bunch of cash - this post is for you. Especially when the weather isn't exactly welcoming, free things to do indoors in Houston are the way to go.

These businesses and church indoor playgrounds around Houston are free! Remember to check our calendar because it is always packed with free things to do every day. For more ideas, check out our Indoor Fun Guide for Houston Families.

Now, read on for 27 free things to do indoors with kids in Houston.

To get more free fun at home and in your town delivered to your inbox sign up for our newsletters and discover all the free events and activities near you in our Free Things To Do with Houston Kids Guide.

Free Indoor Things To Do In Houston: Tours and Museums

The Menil Collection in Houston 
Photo courtesy of the Menil Collection

1. Visit One of Houston's Free Museums

Learn something new at one of Houston's many free museums, including the Houston Museum of African American Culture, The Menil Collection, and Lawndale Art Center. (The amazing 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport is just $5 for adults and $2 for children.)

2. Check out Free Days and Times at Houston's Big Museums

Better yet, check out one of the city's bigger museums for free by checking out our guide to days and times where admissions are waived.

3. The Galveston Railroad Museum is Free for Babies and Tots Under 3

For South Houston families with little ones: Visit the Galveston Railroad Museum where kids ages 2 and under play for free! Kids ages 3-12 are $6.

4. Try Your Hand at Free Crafts in Houston

Participate in a free craft at the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts during Hands-On Houston, which is held on the first Saturday of every month. The events are led by a teaching artist and relate to the current exhibition. Families and children of all ages are welcome to attend. 

The Art Car Museum in Houston 
Photo courtesy of the Art Car Museum

5. See Some Cool Cars

Admire the amazingly weird "cars" at the Art Car Museum. There are pieces and displays from local, national, and international artists.

6. Peep the Houston Police Department Museum

Visit the Houston Police Department's downtown headquarters to see the Houston Police Museum. You'll find old and new uniforms, memorabilia, and a memorial wall. Admission is always free.

7. Check Out WWII-Era Airplanes

See World War II-era aircraft, memorabilia, and more at the Commemorative Air Force Houston Wing Museum and Hangar. It is open to the public the first and third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for FREE.

8. Drop-In on a Free Art Experience

Every Saturday you can head to the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston for a free drop-in experience. These experiences are family-friendly and include activities that help you interact with the current exhibits from a distance in a unique way. Feel like staying home? Each drop-in experience is also released online!

Free Indoor Playgrounds In Houston

9. Visit the Playspace at Sugar Creek Baptist Church

Both the Richmond/Rosenberg and Sugar Land locations of Sugar Creek Baptist Church are home to massive, colorful, and free indoor playgrounds for kids ages 10 and under.

The Discovery Room at the Houston Arboretum 
Photo courtesy of the Houston Arboretum

10. Explore Nature at the Discovery Room

Visit the Discovery Room at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center to learn all about the different habitats at the Arboretum and the plants and animals that call them home. The Discovery Room is full of many exhibits and live animals, and afterwards kids can hit the trails for even more exploration. On nice weather days, be sure to stop by the Nature Playscape while you're there! 

RELATED: 34 Free Places to Play in Houston This Fall

11. Frolic Through Frolic's Castle in Memorial City Mall

Let the little ones explore Frolic's Castle inside Memorial City Mall (this is free pending you're able to resist any shopping urges).

The Little Galleria in Houston 
Photo courtesy of the Houston Galleria

12. Spend a Day at The Little Galleria

Watch the skaters at The Galleria and let the kids play in The Little Galleria. If you're a longtime Houstonian like me and have never heard of this, don't feel bad. But don't let any more time go by without visiting! It's a 2,000-square-foot miniature mall made of foam slides and lots of climbing structures. Park in the Yellow garage for easiest access.

13. Jump and Play at Gallery Furniture

 Gallery Furniture isn't just for shopping: There is an indoor playground, a giant sized mattress that kids can jump on, and exotic birds around the store. Honestly, sometimes it's just fun to look at furniture and plan your dream home!

14. Slide into Fun at Christ the King's Presbyterian Church

 Christ the King Presbyterian Church has a free indoor and outdoor playground with a two-story slide and climbable area. It's located just northwest of Memorial Park (home to the Houston Arboretum and Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens), so it's a great area to head to if you're looking for things to do.

15. Work out Wiggles at the First Colony Mall

The play area at First Colony Mall in Sugar Land is the perfect spot for the little ones to get out some wiggles while shopping. 

RELATED: Top Indoor Play Spaces in Houston

Free indoor playground at The Woodlands Church
The massive indoor play structure at The Woodlands Church. Photo courtesy The Woodlands Church

16. Play at The Woodlands Church's Play Area

There is no shortage of free indoor fun when you visit the play area at The Woodlands Church. Toddlers can play in their very own section where big kids won’t trample on them, and kids ages 5-12 can explore a multi-level structure with a 22-foot corkscrew slide! In total, this play structure boasts seven slides and is perfect for hours of entertainment.

17. Take a Shopping Break at The Woodlands Mall Play Area

The play area at The Woodlands Mall in front of JC Penney boasts a forest-themed wonderland for kids under 42 inches to explore. The play area is a great for small children to take a break from shopping and get some of the wiggles out.

18. Visit the Playground at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church

Kids ages 2-10 years can play for free at the Memorial Drive United Methodist Church West Campus indoor playground. The playground is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 

19. Multi-Levels of Fun at Memorial Church of Christ

A multi-level free indoor playground awaits preschool and elementary-aged children at Memorial Church of Christ. There is even a small area with padded obstacles for babies to explore. To enter the play area, ring the doorbell under the covered doorway near the largest parking lot. Be sure to check the calendar ahead of time to see when the playground is open. 

20. Second City Play Place for Littles

Second Baptist Church Woodway campus has a play place called Second City for children under 48" tall. It is a really cool play area with plenty to keep your kiddos entertained for up to 45 minutes. Open from Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

21. Play at Safari Stop at The Woodlands Methodist Church

Kids ages 3-9 can run and play at animal-themed indoor playground at The Woodlands Methodist Church fondly called Safari Stop. Safari Stop is located at the north end of the main building.

22. Spot Disney Junior Pals at the Katy Mills Mall

Shopping at Katy Mills Mall? Be sure to take a shopping break at the Disney Junior Play Zone! Kids 10 and under will find all of their favorite Disney Junior characters in interactive displays, games, activities, and play sets. Plus, there is a comfortable lounge area for parents or caregivers to relax at while the kids play. 

23. Spend Time at the First Baptist Church Playland

Children ages 2-10 are welcome to enjoy the free indoor playground and game room at First Baptist Church. You will find the church off of the Katy Freeway. Just contact them before you head there if the weather is bad because First Baptist Academy utilizes the facility on those days. 

Share the Fun of Reading with Your Little One

Storytime at a Houston Public Library 
Photo courtesy of the Houston Public Library, Facebook

24. Visit Your Local Library

Head to your local library for storytime, to play with the puzzles, or browse the books.

25. Storytime at a Bookstore

See what Brazos Bookstore has going on; there are regularly kid-friendly readings and releases, they have great book recommendations for kids of all ages, and they sell educational toys and gifts. Blue Willow Bookshop on Memorial is also a great place to stop in and they offer weekly storytimes and art activities for kids. 

Indoor Volunteer Opportunities for Houston Families

26. Volunteer with the Houston Food Bank

Spend some quality time serving the community at the Houston Food Bank's Portwall Warehouse. Kids ages 6 and up are able to volunteer and help distribute and sort food.

27. Lift Up Families with Little Lights Houston

Little Lights Houston works with a dozen local organizations to set up volunteer opportunities for families with young children. Check with them for activities in which you can participate.

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