Winter Bucket List: 50 Things To Do in Houston with Kids this Winter
Yes, we are in the midst of (another) pandemic winter, but the great news is there are still plenty of fun, socially distanced activities to do around Houston as well as at home this season. Plus, the mild winters in Houston allow for plenty of outdoor fun. From the best winter break events to our favorite rainy day activities to our Winter Activities Guide, we have a long list of fun things to do in Houston this winter.
We are continuing to update our guides and reviews with latest updates or changes to operations due to COVID-19. For options that don't require leaving the house, check out our Stay-at-Home Guide with hundreds of ideas for kids of all ages.
Watch a special storytime performance by the Houston Grand Opera on January 6 as they perform "Lula the Mighty Grio" during Free Family Night at the Museum. This mix of picture books and singing storytellers is sure to captivate audience members of all ages.
Who says gingerbread houses have to disappear after Christmas? Visit the Gingerbread Village at City Place until January 7.
Squeeze out the last bit of holiday magic by touring Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo. The lights are on display until January 9.
Watch as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceTM comes to life on the concert stage in this special production January 14-16. Your favorite moments from the popular movie are projected on the big screen and accompanied by music performed by the Houston Symphony.
Attend the MLK Grande Parade in Midtown on January 17 to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year's theme is Social Inclusion and seeks to bring diverse cultures together in a spirit of love, service, and unity.
6. Celebrate the Lunar New Year
These locations aren't just perfect for visiting during the winter, they're also close enough to Houston that you can make a day trip out of it. Whether you're wanting to stay indoors or get out and explore outside, we have you covered with places to visit in every direction.
Move to the beat of the drums on January 22 as The Indian Music Society of Houston presents an exciting and unique Tabla drumming concert by students of Guru Pandit Shantilal Shah.
Ice skate with some of your favorite storybook stars at the outdoor rink on Saturdays through January 27.
10. Escape rooms
See if you and your kids can make it out of one of Houston's escape rooms on a cold winter day. Most currently offer private events for small groups only.
Gear up and explore one of the Houston area’s many family-friendly trails.
Sample your way through The Woodlands throughout the month of January at the annual Taste of the Town event, featuring appetizers, entrees, desserts, pastries, and drinks from more than 40 of the area's finest restaurants, caterers, bakeries, delis and beverage companies.
Burn off some energy at home on cold days with these exercise games.
Get ready for a performance that is full of sparkles and shine as Nickelodeon's JoJo Siwa takes over the Toyota Center on January 29. This sure to be an unforgettable night of dancing and singing as JoJo finally performs her D.R.E.A.M. tour after having to reschedule in August 2021.
Monster Jam comes to Houston this winter. Photo courtesy of Monster Jam
Monster Jam is at NRG Stadium January 29 and February 5-6, and you don't want to miss fan favorites such as Grave Digger, Gas Monkey Garage, and more battling it out around the track and performing crash-worthy stunts and freestyles.
Spend a day volunteering in your community.
17. Railroad museums
Mini-golf is one of the activities we can still do, and the glow-in-the-dark version takes it up a notch.
Head to Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary on February 2 to discover and learn about the animals that live life underground through outdoor adventures, crafts, games, and more.
Escape the cold and burn off some energy jumping on trampolines. Most have reopened, though reservations may be required at some locations to keep crowds small.
Go bowling at one of these places in Houston to bowl with kids.
Step into the enchanting world of the famous Disney Princesses as they come together for an unforgettable performance that combines songs, animation, and stories. Don your favorite Disney Princess dresses and attire and get ready to sing your hearts out on February 4.
23. Roller skating
Go retro and visit a Houston roller rink for indoor fun this winter.
Discovery Green Ice Skating Rink. Photo courtesy of Houston Prime Realty
24. Ice skating
For a more wintery skating option, take the whole family to one of Houston's ice rinks.
The friends of Sesame Street want to throw a party, but picking a party theme turns out to be much harder than they ever imagined. This isn't just as interactive show, it's also one of the funniest, furriest parties on Sesame Street and you can be a part of it February 11-13.
Feel like the kids are bouncing off the walls? Try taking them to a place where it's OK to climb the walls.
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Bikini Bottom is in trouble, but luckily an unexpected hero surfaces to save the day. Watch as this delightful musical unfolds and SpongeBob and his friends save the day. Performances are February 14-16.
Make a batch and sip it on a cold winter night.
Spend the afternoon engaging in some old-fashioned outdoor play with bubbles, hula hoops, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, and more. Parents are welcome to join in on the fun, too! Bubbles and More Play Day is February 19.
Shape, light, and shadow collide at Discovery Green's newest art installation: Mosaic of Light. By day the sculptures look like gold jewels, while they light up into glowing structures at night. Look for all the surprises hidden in the light and shadows. You have until February 27 to check out this unique art installation.
31. FREE museum days
Take advantage of free admission at Houston museums on select days.
32. Play at a park
We love these free spots to play around Houston.
33. Paint rocks
This activity involves painting rocks and hiding them at local parks for other folks in the know to find.
RELATED: Free Things To Do Indoors with Kids in Houston
Armand Bayou Nature Center is a great place to spend a mild winter day. Photo by Ashley Jones
Visit the Nature Center for an outdoor day of exploration spent hiking, looking for wildlife, and learning about the world around us.
Using items you probably already have at home, we rounded up a long list of easy-peasy science experiments.
Many indoor playgrounds around Houston now require reservations and have reduced capacities, but you can still beat the cold at several play spaces.
Who needs a germy play gym? Build your own indoor obstacle course at home.
38. Bike rides
Bundle up and bring the bikes to enjoy one of Houston's kid-friendly bike trails.
Explore a National Park for FREE during one of their free entrance days.
A Mini Hereford at the 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, photo courtesy of the show
Giddy up! The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is making a comeback in 2022, so grab your little cowboys and cowgirls for some good, old-fashioned rodeo fun.
Head to Nature Discovery Center to enjoy an evening by the campfire roasting hot dogs and s'mores and take a guided night hike through the park.
Did you know that there are multiple places near Houston that allow you to get up close and personal with alligators? Spend a day safely learning about these creatures for a unique activity that will wow the kids.
43. Explore Hermann Park
Hermann Park is home to more than just the Houston Zoo. Your kids can go on a train, pedal boat, AND play in fountains all in one park, and we've assembled a beginner's guide that makes exploring this 445-acre park easy and fun.
Photo courtesy of Seismique
44. Tour Seismique Interactive Art Museum
Escape from reality when you visit Seismique, Houston's newest interactive museum. The space transports you directly into a world that is a fusion of the inside of Dr. Seuss' imagination, Tron, and some added Bladerunner for a kick.
Houston saw some exciting openings for new activities, restaurants, and things to do for kids all over the city in 2021, and if you haven't checked them out yet now is definitely the right time. Whether your kids love entertainment centers, art, nature, science, or just a great donut, there is something for everyone on this list!
Texas has some pretty amazing museums, and while many are well-known, there are a handful of hidden gems that are nestled in small towns and suburbs. These museums are bursting at the seams with fun and hands-on learning for kids of all ages and offer the perfect solution when you're in need of something new to do during the colder months.
When the weather takes a turn and you're in need of something fun to do inside the house, check out this awesome list of rainy day activities.
Spend the day discovering new ideas and concepts with little learners or explore subjects like history and science with older kids when you visit one of these educational destinations.
The shorter, colder days of winter can have everyone craving a change of scenery. When you're in the mood to leave, but not go far, go into town and have a staycation at one of these family-friendly Houston-area hotels.
There are no shortage of awesome things to do and see when you visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated annually.