Winter Bucket List: 50 Things To Do in Houston with Kids this Winter

If you haven't been yet, put the Houston Museum of Natural Science on your list for this winter. Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science
If you haven't been yet, put the Houston Museum of Natural Science on your list for this winter. Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

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. 

1. Storybook Opera - "Lula the Mighty Grio" at CMH

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.

2. Gingerbread Village at City Place

Who says gingerbread houses have to disappear after Christmas? Visit the Gingerbread Village at City Place until January 7. 

3. Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo

Squeeze out the last bit of holiday magic by touring Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo. The lights are on display until January 9.

4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince™ In Concert at Jones Hall

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. 

5. MLK Day Grande Parade

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

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at The Woodlands Children's Museum on January 22 or head to Asia Society Texas on February 5 to ring in the Year of the Tiger.  

7. Take a winter day trip 

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.

8. Indian Music Society of Houston at CMH

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.  

9. Skate with Santa & Storybook Stars at Discovery Green

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.

11. Kid-friendly hiking trails

Gear up and explore one of the Houston area’s many family-friendly trails.

12. 2022 Taste of the Town Month

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.

13. Indoor exercise games

Burn off some energy at home on cold days with these exercise games.

14. Nickelodeon's JoJo Siwa at Toyota Center

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

15. Monster Jam at NRG Stadium

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.

RELATED: How To Make Hot Chocolate Bombs in 5 Easy Steps

16. Volunteering

Spend a day volunteering in your community. 

17. Railroad museums

Explore the railroad museums in Rosenberg and Galveston this winter.

18. Glow-in-the-dark mini golf

Mini-golf is one of the activities we can still do, and the glow-in-the-dark version takes it up a notch.

19. Wild Wednesday: What Lurks Beneath Our Feet?

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.

20. Indoor trampoline park

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.

21. Bowling

Go bowling at one of these places in Houston to bowl with kids.

22. Disney Princess - The Concert at Smart Financial

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

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.

25. Sesame Street Live! Let's Party! at NRG

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. 

26. Indoor rock climbing

Feel like the kids are bouncing off the walls? Try taking them to a place where it's OK to climb the walls.

27. CYT Presents: The Spongebob Musical

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.

28.  Hot chocolate on a stick 

Make a batch and sip it on a cold winter night.

29. Bubbles and More Play Day at Nature Discovery Center

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.

30. Mosaic of Light by HYBYCOZO at Discovery Green

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.

Armand Bayou Nature Center is a great place to spend a mild winter day. Photo by Ashley Jones

34. Armand Bayou Nature Center

Visit the Nature Center for an outdoor day of exploration spent hiking, looking for wildlife, and learning about the world around us.

35. Easy science experiments

Using items you probably already have at home, we rounded up a long list of easy-peasy science experiments.

36. Indoor play space

Many indoor playgrounds around Houston now require reservations and have reduced capacities, but you can still beat the cold at several play spaces.

37. Indoor obstacle course

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.

39. Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

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

40. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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. 

41. Family Campfire Night at Nature Discovery Center

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.

42. Get up close with alligators 

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.

45. Top 10 Kid-Friendly Things that Opened in Houston in 2021

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!

46. Texas' Hidden Children's Museums You Have to Visit

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. 

47. 35 Fun Rainy Day Activities For Houston Kids

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. 

48. 8 Educational Day Trips to Take With Houston Kids

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.

49. Best Family-Friendly Houston-Area Resorts And Hotels

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.

50. Best Things to Do at the Houston Museum of Natural Science with Kids

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.

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Cirque Italia's Big Top - various times Pick
Kemah Boardwalk Wintertime Blues
Kemah Boardwalk - 9:00 AM
Crayola Creativity Week: Personal Identity
Virtual - Facebook Live - 9:00 AM
Open Gym at Texas Star Gymnastics
Texas Star Gymnastics - 6:00 PM
The ICE at Discovery Green
Discovery Green - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides