Houston

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

Ready, Set, Glow at Glowzone Houston: Indoor Fun for Kids of All Ages

There is no shortage of great indoor play spaces around the greater Houston area, that's for sure. And unique additions like Glowzone are what make that play scene so great - this indoor spot is lit by black lights and glowing colored lights and full of fun. From the go-karts to geometric climbing walls, there is so much to do it's impossible to feel bored. It's a great indoor playground for families with preschool-age children through teenagers. (And even just adults!)

Tidying Up Kids' Stuff: 2 Easy Takeaways from Marie Kondo

While the world binge-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and my social media feeds filled up with photos of freshly organized sock drawers, I didn't bother tuning in. After all, I'm already a Very Organized Person—the kind of mom who sorts her kids' toys according to category, and who may have an addiction to The Container Store. What could I possibly have to learn?

Then an image sprang to mind of me, huffily sorting papers on the kitchen counter while a hundred other urgent matters vie for my attention. When things get hectic, the piles of mail, magazines, kids' artwork, school forms, and other random papers crowding our countertops suddenly seem like a five-alarm fire. My husband calls it "angry organizing."

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Clifford Exhibit, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Jan.26-27

Y'all, we aren't just closing out January this weekend... we're closing out January with a bang! There are so many cool events happening that the biggest problem we're facing is how to narrow down what to go to, and that's a really good problem to have. Let's just take a moment to reflect on how awesome our city is for always hosting so many family-friendly events. <Insert moment of silence here.>

So where do we even begin? If it's educational fun you're after, we recommend Spanish lessons at LaCenterra, the STEAM & International Festival in Sugar Land, the Texas Children's Art Festival, or Nature Discovery Center's Walk on the Wild Side. For preschoolers, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is coming to Cullen Theater and an entire exhibit dedicated to Clifford The Big Red Dog is taking over The Woodlands Children's Museum. And that's not all! The 2019 Houston Astros FanFest is happening, Monster Jam is coming back to town, and HMNS is partnering with Arhcaeology Now for a family-friendly Ancient Games Tournament

This is just a sneak peek at what this weekend has to offer, too. Crazy, right? You can also check out our event calendar for even more daily activities and events and our January GoList for an overview of the month's biggest and best. If you have an event you want to share, we'd love to know! Just submit your event to our event calendar for publication.

Happy weekend planning, friends! It's going to be a good one, we just know it.

Texas' Largest Indoor Playground Opens in Houston and It Lives Up to the Hype

When we got wind of that the largest indoor playground in Texas was opening just south of Houston in Webster, we knew a visit needed to be at the top of our to-do list for the new year. The Play Space is part playground, part imaginative play area, part arcade, and exactly everything we love about our favorite local indoor play spaces all rolled into one 16,000-square-foot space. Located in the middle of a shopping center, the exterior is completely unassuming, but as soon as you step inside, you're in for Texas-sized fun!

100 Things To Do in Chicago with Kids Before They Grow Up

Chicago is home to so many incredible parks, playgrounds, museums, and things to do with kids that one childhood doesn't seem like enough time to fit them all in—though who could blame you for trying? That's why we rounded up this list of great things to do with kids in Chi-town. Whether it's racing with your toddler through the sprinklers at Mary Bartelme Park, wowing your preschooler at the Field Museum, gliding with your grade-schooler on the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, or taking in engineering marvels with your tween at the Chicago Architecture Center, take advantage of everything this beautiful city has to offer kids of all ages. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to the Windy City, we hope you can use this list to make some great new memories with your kids. Now I'm off to scarf some Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo's.

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.

The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family

Everyone wants to raise their family in a healthy, safe, and yes, fun community. But, how do you go about finding the right corner of this country for your family? Trial and error perhaps, but WalletHub is also throwing a little data our way on just this subject. The credit report and personal finance site just released its ranking of the best and worst 50 states in which to raise kids.

It weighed a number of factors to determine the top family-friendly states, looking at schools, housing, crime, childcare costs and quality, parental leave options, salaries, and of course, the amount of family fun per capita, including access to parks and playgrounds.

Read on to find out how your state stacks up—and where you might want to consider relocating to with the kids!

Get Creative: Best Art Camps for Houston Kids

If you're scratching your head and wondering how it's possible that we are already talking summer activities, you're not alone. Luckily, Houston has plenty of options for every child. If you have an artsy kid, keep their creative juices flowing by enrolling in summer art camp.

And for more summer and vacation camp ideas, check out our comprehensive camp guide and full directory of camp listings.

MLK Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Parades, Parties and More

The first long weekend of the year is here, and it's to celebrate and honor the life of the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In true fashion, Houston has an array of awesome events lined up to commemorate the event, from parades like the 41st Annual "Original" MLK, Jr. Parade and the 25th Annual MLK Grande Parade to the Children's Museum I Have a Dream WonderWeek and Rothko Chapel's MLK Day Audio Installation

This is also a big weekend for runners and running enthusiasts The Annual Chevron Houston Marathon is taking over downtown, and everyone is invited to the party. All you need to do is grab your noisemakers and scarves ('cause it's supposed to be chilly!) and get ready to cheer on all the dedicated runners to the finish line. 

In case you missed it, we've shared some great stuff over the past couple weeks: 

Be sure to stop by our event calendar and January GoList when you're running low on activity inspiration, and sign up for our weekly newsletter to have all of our published content emailed to you in one or two short, sweet emails per week. 

It's time to bust out those calendars and get to planning the weekend ahead!

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