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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.

20 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.

20 Kid-Friendly Restaurants With Room to Play in Houston

Relaxing on the patio with good food and drinks is something that, prior to kids, we used to love to do... and then we had kids and going out to eat became nothing short of a nightmare that quickly got nixed from our weekend plans. All seemed lost, and we resigned ourselves to spending our evenings out at Chick-fil-A until we found these awesome Houston restaurants with play spaces for kids (we also spent an exhaustive amount of time eating near the green area at CityCentre).

Father's Day Ideas Houston Dads Will Actually Love

He ties shoes, fixes every broken toy, plays ball in the backyard, always knows how to make mom smile... and he is easily one of the hardest people to shop for. Dad is a superhero in his own right, and with Father's Day right around the corner, it's time to start brainstorming ideas to let dad know just how much we appreciate him. This Father's Day, we recommend giving dad the gift of a fun experience and quality time.

Whether the dad in your life is active or into the arts, is someone who appreciates fine dining and a superb wine or wants to spend the afternoon outdoors with a cold beer and crawfish, we've got you covered with fun Father's Day events spanning all of Houston - from Kemah to The Woodlands and back.

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!

Best Indoor Play Spaces for Babies & Toddlers Around Houston

All moms of toddlers can probably agree that their mini humans are full of an overwhelming amount of extra energy. It's incredible to me (and, quite frankly, exhausting) to see just how fast my own toddler can run circles around the house no matter what time of a day it is. For this reason, we have a running list of favorite outdoor parks, playgrounds and splash pads to head to when his energy levels are at an all-time high and we need to get out of the house. But on those days when the weather isn't cooperating or we just need a change of scenery, Houston is home to great indoor play spaces that serve the same purpose. As an added bonus, many of these places also have areas for babies to "play" and learn, which is the perfect combination for my almost 3-year-old and almost 3-month-old.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Houston

Gathering around the table with family and friends to enjoy a festive meal is a hallmark of the holiday season, and one that is often enjoyed multiple times throughout the November and December months due to Thanksgiving and Christmas occurring in rapid succession. However, having two big holidays so close together can become overwhelming for even the most dedicated cook, and there's no shame in needing a break from the kitchen come Christmas Day (and no judgment on our part if you treated yourself to a Thanksgiving dinner out, too!).

We've rounded up a variety of restaurants around Houston that are opening their doors on Christmas Day, spanning everything from fancy brunches to low-key diners, so you can take a break from the kitchen and enjoy a meal out with the family. And don't forget to check out our holiday guide for more events and things to do during the season.

Best Places for Trick or Treating in Houston

Halloween is only a couple weeks away, which means it's time to start finalizing costumes (just realized you're in a pinch? We've got you covered with easy, last-minute costume ideas!) and determining where you're taking the kiddos trick or treating, especially if you're looking to branch out past your own neighborhood this year. Not sure where to start looking? Check out these Houston neighborhoods and hotspots for fun, safe, and friendly trick or treating this Halloween.

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. 

Summer Fun: Free & Cheap Movies for Houston Families

Pool days, water parks and splash pads may be the name of the game when it comes to summer - especially in Houston where any day below 90 degrees is considered cool - but sometimes you need something a little more low-key to entertain the kids. You know - an activity that involves less sunscreen, towels, wet swimsuits and sunburns and more air conditioning and sitting (relatively) still. The solution? You take the kids to see a movie. The problem? Going to the movies can get pretty pricey, especially when you have multiple kids in tow who all want popcorn and candy. But fear not, there are plenty of free and low-cost movie screenings around Houston this summer, both indoor and outdoor just waiting for you. 

Read on for lots of free flicks you can enjoy under the stars (just grab a blanket or lawn chairs) and cheap movies at the theater (think $1 or less) you can hit up during the day, and visit our Summer Fun Guide for more things to do around Houston. 

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