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14 Things To Do in Houston With Kids Before Summer Ends

Summer is quickly drawing to a close, so it's time to squeeze in as much seasonal fun as you can before the back to school grind begins! My oldest is starting his last year of preschool in the fall (cue the tears), and in an effort to make sure we have as much fun together as possible before he starts his last year as a toddler (can I still call him a toddler? Please say yes!), I've started compiling a list of activities and events that we can do to take advantage of our fleeting time together. If you're in a similar situation - or you just need to keep the kids occupied and out of the house for a few days a week - this summer bucket list of sorts is exactly what you need because most of these events won't be available in the fall! 

Want even more ideas? Then be sure to check out our summer fun guide for Houston kids.

10 Free Pools in Houston Kids Will Love

I grew up in Northern Michigan in a town that often makes the news for beating the record for the most snowfall and the coldest temperatures, and somehow I was lucky enough to have a pool in my backyard. I loved jumping into that pool after working out or having friends over to swim, and now that I live in a city with weather that could accommodate an almost endless pool season, there is, unfortunately, no pool outside my back door. Instead, we take advantage of Houston's many free community pools.

The city of Houston has 37 FREE community pools open June 1- Aug. 11 (in the 2019 season) from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and from August 17- Sept. 1 on Saturdays and Sundays only, and 29 water spraygrounds that are open year round.

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best FREE pools with great features and amenities. And be sure to check out our recommendations for Houston splashpads and playgrounds, as well as our Summer Fun Guide, which has water park recommendations, parks with shade, and more!

Free and Cheap Summer Camps Around Houston

It's hard to believe it, but it is already time to start making summer plans for your little ones, and one thing every kid looks forward to in the summer is going to camp! Summer camp is a chance for kids to have fun while learning new skills and making memories with new friends. From overnight campsoutdoor campsscience campsdance camps, arts camps, and music and theater camps, Houston has so many different types of summer camps, including the following camps that won't break the budget.

To find a summer camp that your little one and your wallet will love, check out this list of inexpensive or cheaper camps that we've rounded up, all of which cost around $100 - $150. Also, keep in mind that many camps offer early bird (get on it now!), multi-week, and sibling discounts, as well as discounts for members, and some even offer scholarships. And for more summer and vacation camp ideas, check out our comprehensive camp guide and full directory of camp listings.

Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets In and Around Houston

Ready to get a jump on all of your holiday shopping, but don't want to frequent the same tired stores you always visit? A holiday craft market and fair is the perfect answer. You'll find an assortment of handmade treasures crafted by local artisans that will make unique gifts for everyone on your list. Check out these markets around town.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving in Houston

While a traditional turkey dinner enjoyed at home with close family and friends may be the first image that comes to mind when thinking of the Thanksgiving holiday, it's not always a feasible reality. Whether you're overwhelmed with the thought of hosting a large group, facing a variety of dietary restrictions or preferences or just wanting to try something different this year, there are plenty of Houston restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day ready to take the stress out of the holiday for you. 

It's Fall Y'all: Family-Friendly Festivals in Houston

There’s no better way to usher in the harvest season than with a fall festival. With tons of events happening in the Houston area over the next few months, the opportunities for enjoying cooler temperatures (okay, that may be a bit ambitious for October) and good, old-fashioned family fun are endless. Here’s our roundup of fairs and festivals taking place this autumn. 

Family-Friendly Summer Festivals in Houston Not To Miss

There is just something about summertime that feels different, even when you're all grown up. Maybe it's because school is out and kids are running around everywhere enjoying their newfound freedom, or maybe it's because the days are longer, which means there are more hours to fill with activities. On those days not spent at pool parties, water parks, and camp, Houston's many festivals will help you plan even more exciting family adventures! Choose from festivals celebrating Houston's diversity to music and food.

Shop Local & Fresh Goods at These Houston-Area Farmers Markets

Family trips to the local farmers' market are the best. There's just nothing that quite compares to walking past stands stocked with colorful produce and local treasures and knowing that whatever you bring home is going to be fresh, seasonal, and bursting with flavor. It's also a great way to encourage healthy eating with your kids; I know mine loves to pick out fresh fruits and vegetables to bring home each week!

No matter where you live in the greater Houston area, there's a farmers' market nearby. The city is also home to several farms where you can pick your own produce! Now, what are you waiting for - check out these local gems.

Guided Hikes for Houston Toddlers and Preschoolers

Hiking around Houston and its surrounding areas is one of our favorite active pastimes; there's just nothing quite like exploring the great outdoors with your little ones and watching as they discover new things happening in their environment. Our city is full of great trails to tackle with the kids in tow, however sometimes having a guide lead the way is the best option for budding explorers and naturalists. We rounded up four of the best options for getting out and about in nature with your toddlers and preschoolers, turning hiking into an activity that is both educational and fun. 

17 Festivals for Houston Families in May

April showers bring May flowers...and festivals! A lot of festivals. Houston is a diverse city and many festivals give Houstonians the opportunity to explore different cultures through music, dance, and traditional foods. This month there are also art, music, and literature-focused fests as well as themed festivals, from Star Wars to the Renaissance. So, in addition to celebrating Mother's Day and planning your summer vacations, make sure to get out of the house and take the whole family to an amazing festival in the Bayou City. 

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