Houston

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Meet the Animals at Nature Discovery Center, Bastille Day, July 13-14

Feel like you're officially tapped out on spending money on activities this summer? We get it. While the start of summer brings that rush of "DO ALL THE THINGS," by mid-summer, spending money to go places can start to wear on a parent. To ease that burden, we accumulated a list of 50 FREE activities you can do this summer that will keep the kids busy and entertained without the extra expense. Plus, did you know that there are a ton of museums around Houston that offer free admission on certain days or at certain times? Sign us up for that!

The midpoint of summer can also bring that pull to stay home a little more - at least it does in our house, on both my end and my kids' end - and when we're all feeling a little burned out from being on the go so much, we pull out this handy little list of indoor activities and exercises. These allow us to stay home, but also to expend some energy, which is a win-win on those days when it's just too hot to be outside running. 

And if that weren't enough, we have our July GoList, which is one of our favorite monthly features to give to you, and our event calendar, which is always primed and ready for you to take advantage of, highlighting as many activities - many that are free! - around Houston and the surrounding areas as possible. If those links aren't bookmarked on your computer yet, they need to be! 

Before we sign off, did you hear that about the Mommy Poppins Great Big Summer Giveaway? Each week we're featuring an awesome prize package that we want YOU to win! 

Now, without further ado, let's get to crackin' on this weekend's events.

21 Things to Do With Preschoolers in Houston Before They Turn 5

A child's first few years before kindergarten are some of the most precious. They are rapidly growing and developing in front of our eyes, and while the days may be long, that means there is lots of time to visit Houston's many amazing kid-friendly attractions. There is so much to do with your preschooler before they turn 5 and heads to school, but here are some of our favorites.

For more family-friendly fun, check out our list of 100 Things to Do With Houston Kids Before They Grow Up.

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Water games are an easy way to keep the kids entertained—and cool—this summer. From a simple water balloon toss to fancier DIY fun like sprinkler Twister, these outdoor games are sure to please all ages.

One year, I found myself home with both kids for a whole summer due to a shift in my career path, so we got pretty creative with the water games. There were 10 weeks to fill after all! Read on for our favorites—and you can also download this free printable with all 25 top water games for kids.

Need more free and cheap activities for the kids this summer break? Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep them busy (and tired out). Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and Free Summer Fun Ideas. But their absolute favorites are the water games for splish-splashy, low-key summer fun.

A Tiny House Hotel Vacation Means Big Fun for Families

For traveling families, a tiny house rental can make the perfect hotel solution. It often comes with multiple beds without the cost of a pricey multiroom suite, as well as family-friendly amenities, such as stocked kitchens. It doesn't hurt that they're so very cute and often set among pretty landscapes, from beaches to forests and mountains. 

Tiny houses have grown in popularity in recent years as many of us try to reduce our footprint and that means a tiny house getaway is all the more accessible. There are now villages of tiny houses available for American vacationers. Tiny home resorts have cropped up, too, while some campgrounds and even urban areas have added a handful of rentable tiny homes to their grounds.

So pack light and check out these seven tiny house resorts that allow you and the kids to try on tiny living for size.

Best Family-Friendly Houston-Area Resorts And Hotels

Spending a family vacation at a local Houston-area hotel or resort means that you get to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer without traveling too far from home. Stay-cations are all the rage right now because they involve little to no travel time that can often eat away at the precious few days of vacation time that you would rather be spending lounging poolside or eating delicious food.

The accommodations at these Houston-area resorts and hotels are perfect for Houston families of all sizes looking for a vacation experience close to home. Or, if you're visiting Houston from out of town, you can stay at one of these family-friendly hotels and resorts while you tour local museums, visit the zoo, or relax on the beach in Galveston. No matter where you're traveling from, staying at a family-friendly hotel is a must for parents and at these Houston-area hotels and resorts, you're sure to find just what you're looking for. 

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: 4th of July Festivities

Who's ready for some fireworks?! This weekend is an extra fun one with the 4th of July holiday falling on Thursday, and there is no shortage of fireworks' displays to be seen around the city as well as plenty of festivals and parades for even more family fun. The long July 4th weekend also means this is the perfect time for a day trip or to stay in town and take advantage of the many FREE things to do around Houston this summer.

The Fourth of July is just the beginning to another month of fun - check out our July GoList filled with lots of great things to do for the whole family.

For everyone celebrating the weekend with an extra day off on Friday, we encourage you to check out our event calendar and summer fun guide for the best thinsg to do around Houston this season. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter to have all of our content delivered right to you.

Get Ready for the World's Largest Inflatable 5k Obstacle Course

If you and your children adore trampolines and bounce houses, this family-friendly 5k will be right up your alley: Get "pumped up" to grab your running shoes and your most breathable clothing, because the Insane Inflatable 5K is coming your way.

Touring the country this summer and fall—including stops in Chicago, the Hudson Valley, the Poconos, and Houston—this unique fun-run features giant inflatables which form an enormous obstacle course. Inflatable fun that parents and kids can enjoy together? Count us in! 

Best Fourth of July Activities for Kids That Aren't Fireworks

It's Fourth of July week, and the kids are itching for something fun to do before the big fireworks show. Keep them entertained with these Independence Day activities, including patriotic crafts, cooking projects, and even day trips.

We've rounded up plenty of kid-friendly things to do this Fourth of July, including for toddlers and preschoolers who might prefer to avoid those startling (and thunderous) sky explosions. But we didn't neglect the big kid and teen activities either.

Find more at-home activity ideas in our Boredom Busters for Kids guide, including 100 Awesome Crafts and the Ultimate Summer Play List.

Coolest Rivers in Texas for Kid-Friendly Floating & Tubing

Lounging on a rubber inner tube and soaking up the summer sun while dipping your toes into chilly river water is basically a Texas rite of passage. There's no time like the present to introduce kiddos to the great adventure that is floating down the river. While any river will do, these five Texas rivers near Houston are our go-to spots. They've all go family-friendly runs (i.e. few or gentle rapids), great tube rental services, nearby accommodations, and gorgeous views to top it all off.

Whether you go for the weekend or carve out a bit more time to soak in all that tubing has to offer, these rivers make the perfect family vacation. Stick with our list of kid-approved river trips near Houston and you won't be disappointed, and for more summer trip ideas, check out our favorite family-friendly lakes close(ish) to Houston.

Mommy Poppins Great Big Summer Giveaway!

Yes, Mommy Poppins is your go-to for fun all year round, but especially summertime – our Summer Guides and local family event calendars are jam packed with outings and activities galore. But we wanted to put a little extra sizzle in your season, so this summer we’re hosting our biggest giveaway ever! Each week, for the entire summer, we’re giving away a different awesome prize package.

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