Pasadena/Deer Park

Best Houston Neighborhoods and Homes for Viewing Holiday Lights

During the most magical time of the year, there are many ways to get your holiday light fix. Houston has beautiful public lighting displays, but nothing beats driving the family around a neighborhood in your Christmas pajamas. For those evenings when you want to enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at your own pace, it's helpful to know which Houston neighborhoods go above and beyond in the decoration department. We've rounded up the neighborhoods with must-see lighting displays, so all you have to do is gather the family into the car, turn on some holiday tunes, and explore the Bayou City on your own time. However, many neighborhoods prefer visitors between 6-10 p.m. Lights are typically up from Thanksgiving through New Years. Also, for all things holiday in Houston - from free events to shows - check out our holidays guide.

Natural Beauty & Stellar Play Areas at Houston's Bay Area Park

Nestled on the edge of the Armand Bayou Nature Preserve in Southeast Houston, is a beautifully shaded park with newly renovated playground equipment for children of all abilities, two dog parks, a canoe launch, and plenty of ducks to feed. Bay Area Park is also home to a host of wildlife living in natural marsh lands, making it a great place to visit for nature lovers. The park even has its own designated campground for scout troops. Whether you're fishing or hiking, playing ball or picnicking, this park is sure to delight. This 64-acre park is a mere minutes away from our home now, but with so much to do here, we found ourselves frequenting the park even when we didn't live nearby. Take a look at what makes Bay Area Park is one of our favorites in the Bayou City. 

Artsy Birthday Party Places Around Houston

If your child loves painting, drawing, working with clay, or just being creative in general, an art-themed birthday party could be a great option. Kids will be busy and focused on a task for most of the party, they will get to create something that they can take home with them, and they are almost guaranteed to have a positive experience.There are endless options for creative birthday party locations in Houston. We've put together a list of some off-the-beaten-path art studios and organizations that offer birthday party options so you can throw your little artist a truly one-of-a-kind party for their special day!

Affordable Preschools in Southeast Houston

In what seems like the blink of an eye, first smiles, first words, and first birthdays fly by leading up to one of the biggest firsts of all: The first day of preschool! So many factors play a prime role in determining what is best for a family when it comes to choosing a preschool. Price is definitely a major consideration that many families must make. Finding the perfect place for your little one to call their home away from home for a few hours a day can prove to be just a bit overwhelming…but it doesn't have to be. To make this big decision just a little easier, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite affordable preschools in Southeast Houston.

Retro Fun: Roller Rinks Around Houston

Being a child of the late 80s and early 90s meant I partook in a lot of awesome and awesomely horrible trends. Feathered bangs: check. Acid-wash jeans: check. Walkman: check. Roller skates and afternoons spent at the roller rink: check, check, check. While some of these things are now rightfully obsolete (feathered bangs and Walkman, I'm looking at you), some of them are making a resurgence in popularity. Acid-wash jeans: suddenly and questionably - cool again. Roller rinks: ALL OVER IT. 

Disco music, retro carpet, strobe lights, a smell that is entirely unique to roller rinks everywhere, and hours spent rolling in circles around the skate floor are making a BIG comeback, and there are a ton of roller rinks around Houston. Want to double down on your skating skills? Be sure to check out our list of Houston area ice rinks!

How to Spend a Day Exploring the San Jacinto Battleground

With a new school year starting in just a couple of weeks, we decided to ease our kids back into the learning game with a fun and informative trip to the San Jacinto Battleground. Filled to the brim with Texas history, this state historic site is home to the iconic San Jacinto Monument and museum, the USS Texas Battleship, and tons of green space to explore with historical markers and informative plaques. It's often challenging to find a family activity that all four of our kids (ages 3, 5, 8 and 11) will enjoy, but we were pleasantly surprised by how much there was to see and do at the battleground. 

Exploring the Armand Bayou Nature Center

Tucked away on the edge of Clear Lake, right inside the Pasadena city limits, is one of the best-kept secrets in southeast Houston. Armand Bayou Nature Center features 2,500 acres of land that boasts miles of trails, vast marshes, and several educational venues that are perfect for families to explore. They offer free admission on the first and third Sunday of each month, giving families the perfect opportunity to explore the center and learn more about the special events and classes available throughout the year.

Where to See Fourth of July Fireworks Around Houston

Stars and stripes, street festivals, live music and fanfare all make the Fourth of July spectacular, but no celebration is complete without an impressive display of fireworks. Luckily, when it comes to celebrating our nation's independence, there's one thing that's certain: the Bayou City knows how to light up the sky and throw down (...in a family-friendly way, of course). 

Free and Cheap Summer Concerts for Houston Families

Summer wouldn't be summer without popsicles, splashpads and FREE concerts! Many of these concerts aren't aimed directly at kids but don't be afraid to bring your children, as it's a great opportunity to expose them to all different kinds of music. Whether you bring the whole family or make it a date night, grab your dancing shoes or just grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and enjoy some blues, jazz, bluegrass, rock 'n roll, or pop music! (But if movies are more your speed, check out our roundup of free and cheap summer movies.)

16 Houston Parks With Lots of Shade

Being outside pretty much tops our to-do list every day, and we're constantly going from one activity to the next, be it to a neighborhood splashpad, a nearby playground or a park with plenty of trails for biking. Basically, staying inside all day isn't an option; we would all go stir crazy! With summer upon us, I'm not willing to sacrifice that time outside as the temperatures start steadily climbing, but I am more aware of which places offer some shade so we can beat the heat... even if only for a few minutes. Here are some great parks in Houston that offer at least a moderate respite from the brutal summer temps.

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