Houston

Houston Rodeo With Kids: What You Need to Know

It's finally here! The 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs Feb. 25-March 17, 2019 and opens at 8 a.m. every day. Even if you're a rodeo regular, donning those cowboy boots and braving the crowds and traffic are still daunting tasks. And when you get there - it's just so....big. We've broken down some essential information to know before planning your visit, and we also recommend downloading the RODEOHOUSTON app for maps, schedules, and more (available for both Apple and Android products). 

Check out our Rodeo Houston Guide for more posts on enjoying the rodeo with kids.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: GoGames360, Haz tu Propio Reguilete, Feb. 9-10

Free February has a nice ring to it, right?! We're committed to helping you stay on track with your budget while still having plenty of family fun, which is why we've rounded up tons of free events and activities happening this month. The Houston Family Magazine Camp Fair, 2019 Lunar New Year Festival, and Asia Society Lunar New Year at the Galleria are just a sampling of events from our Free February list, and they just so happen to be going on this weekend, too. 

And did you know that there are 20 - yes TWENTY - different museums around Houston that offer free admission on certain days and times? Couple that with a Kids Eat Free night and you've got the makings of an awesome day around Houston at minimal cost. 

While we're on the topic of free, Girls Who Code is once again offering their free summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The camp offers teenage girls the opportunity to spend a portion of their summer learning valuable skills in robotics, web design, and mobile development, all at no cost. Spots for this incredible opportunity won't last long, though, so register soon!

Make sure you also check out our event calendar and February GoList for even more free and cheap events happening around the city. There are so many great things happening you don't want to miss!

Kid-Friendly Mardi Gras Festivities in Houston and Beyond

What kid doesn't love a good parade? Floats decorated in bright colors, candy, music, and during Mardi Gras, lots and lots of shiny beaded necklaces to catch and wear have kids loving every minute. Mardi Gras has come to be known over the years as mainly an adult affair, but there are so many options around the Houston area for celebrating the festive season with kids. From pet parades to fire trucks, and even a boat parade, each of these family-friendly events aims to entertain kids and adults of alike. 

Cartoon Network Hotel to Open in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Fans of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, and other programs are getting a treat this summer. The TV network and Palace Entertainment are working together to open the Cartoon Network Hotel, a kid-friendly resort steeped in the channel's animated world, for summer 2019.

The nine-acre, 165-room property will be located in central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County along Route 30. It will neighbor Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, which is also owned by Palace Entertainment, so a family could easily enjoy both attractions in one trip. It is the Cartoon Network's first themed hotel.

Seems like there's one more reason to plan a Pennsylvania weekend getaway with the kids.

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Overnight Summer Camps for Houston Kids

If there's one thing I remember distinctly about my childhood summers, it's summer camp. When I first started going to camp, I was around 7-years-old and dreaded the thought of spending an entire week away from my parents. However, after my first summer at camp something changed; I spent a week waking up to music, befriending my cabin-mates, learning how to (somewhat) perfect my (otherwise non-existent) archery skills, and painting, including a ceramic raccoon I was VERY proud of (Mom, I hope you still have that!).

Here are 13 overnight summer camps that are all about two hours or less from the Houston area. Most of the camps offer week-long stays for campers, with a couple offering shorter or longer stints as well. All of them promise to give your kids a hefty dose of fun and memories to last a lifetime. And for more summer and vacation camp ideas, check out our comprehensive camp guide and full directory of camp listings.

Free STEM Summer Camp from Girls Who Code Opens Registration

Looking for more than mindless hanging out and screentime for your teenage daughter this summer? Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of women in computer science fields, is once again offering its FREE summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The 7-week STEM summer camp offering FREE coding lessons and more crucial skills will take place in select cities across the country, including the NYC metro area, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Chicago.

Keep reading to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and when and where the program is happening in summer 2019. Hurry, because the early application period for this FREE summer program is already open!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Lunar New Year Celebrations, P.A.W.S. Reading Program, Feb. 2-3

This time of year can be a little tricky. We're in the long stretch of school, the days are still short on light, and it's a constant toss up what the weather is going to be like; will it be a balmy 70-degree day today or somewhere below freezing? No one knows!

Which is why we like to have a handy little arsenal of indoor activities packed away, ready to bust out at a moment's notice. Some of our very favorites include:

And did you see that Texas' largest indoor playground opened up in Houston? Now that is definitely worth making a little day trip down to Webster to visit. 

We also highly recommend printing out a copy of our 100 Things To Do With Houston Kids Before They Grow Up so you can start checking these Houston favorites off your bucket list. Don't forget: our event calendar is always serving up daily inspiration, and our February GoList is your go-to place for the hottest happenings throughout the month. Staying in the loop with all the events and activities in our city has never been easier (especially when you sign up for our weekly newsletter!).

With so many fun places to go and see, the hardest part is picking what's going to make the cut this weekend! 

Best Spots Around Houston for Hosting a Birthday Party on a Budget

Planning a fantastically fun birthday party that your child and their friends will remember for years to come can seem like a daunting task, especially when you start counting out invitations and pricing venues. Making the most of a birthday party budget means getting the best deal possible on space, food, decor, and entertainment. Luckily for Houstonians, there are several great options for planning birthday parties on a budget all over town. 

Whether you prefer a more traditional party with streamers, balloons, and a bounce house, or want to go for a more unique experience like a museum tour, we've got you covered. Read on for our suggestions on where to go and what to do when you want to make the most of a birthday party budget, and consult our Birthday Party Guide for more ideas.

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