Free Things to Do Indoors in Houston With Kids

Whether you're a stay at home mom just trying to find something to do during the day or a working mom wanting to spice things up on the weekend - but without spending a bunch of cash - this post is for you. Especially when the weather isn't exactly welcoming, inside activities are the way to go.

These businesses and playscapes around Houston are always free and remember to check our calendar because it is always packed with free things to do every day. For more ideas, check out our Indoor Fun Guide for Houston Families.

Now, read on for X free places to play and spend time with the kids around Houston.

2017 Houston Bestie Guide

Houston families, we asked you to tell us your favorite businesses around the city, and you've been heard. Our inaugural Houston Besties sought to find the best family businesses and resources in categories that range from best restaurants, parties, activities, and more. With all the great family fun experiences and resources around Houston, it was hard to choose just 24, but you were up to the task. Each winner was selected from a competitive crop of 10 nominees in each category.

Before we announce our winners, we'd like to thank our Bestie Sponsors, including Sublime Travel and Sweet Pecks Photography. And congratulations to the lucky voters who were picked at random to enjoy some amazing prizes!

The votes are finally in, and we couldn't be more excited about our winners. We've grouped them into three winning categories: Parenting Resources, Enrichment Programs, and Family Fun. 

Without further ado, here is your guide to the best of family-friendly Houston, the 2017 Houston Besties!

Best Parenting Resources Winners |  Best Family Fun Winners | Best Enrichment Programs Winners 

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Wreathmaking, Chanukah Wonderland, and The Nutcracker, December 9 & 10

We haven't set up our tree, and I've barely begun the shopping or even ordered the cards, but I heard the weather report say that there's a (very slim) chance of snow this weekend and suddenly I've located the holiday spirit within. Let it snow--but please, not enough to delay school by even one moment! This weekend, we're diving in with some Nutcracker viewing, a little wreathmaking, a torchlight parade, a Chanukah Wonderland, and perhaps even a visit with Santa

10 Reasons to Explore La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge

Most LA parents know that Pasadena has loads to offer families, but far fewer have discovered nearby La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge. These quiet suburban enclaves remain two of the San Gabriel Valley's best-kept secrets, boasting an outdoorsy, family-friendly appeal, with bucolic highlights like Descanso Gardens and its unique Enchanted Forest of Light. These communities are just a short drive up the 2 freeway yet feel like a world away from Los Angeles' big-city bustle.

Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in New Jersey

Too pooped to put on Christmas this year? Not to fret! There are plenty of restaurants in New Jersey where you can pull up a chair on Christmas Day. So, once all the presents under your Christmas tree have been unwrapped and the stockings scavenged, you can lounge in your PJs, sip your coffee, and watch the kids play with their gifts and goodies without having to worry about cooking and cleaning before guests arrive.

We’ve rounded up 13 of New Jersey’s best haunts to feast on festive fare. Call ahead to secure your spots at the table, and then start mapping out the holiday light displays you can catch after dinner. You won’t have to build in extra travel time, because chances are you’ll have the roads all to yourselves. Merry Christmas!

A Holiday Weekend Itinerary in NYC with Preschoolers

We are all fully aware that a tired child is an unhappy child—which makes for an unhappy family, especially when said brood is trying to simultaneously fend off tantrums and take in the town during the holidays.

That's why we've created a NYC holiday itinerary specifically geared to the under-five set: something a little more mellow for those preschoolers visiting from out of town, or even locals wanting to check out all the holidays festivities the city has to offer. It's set of activities that respects the limits of a preschooler's emotional and physical mileage.

Planning ahead? Check out what special events might be taking place during your visit with our always-up-to-date NYC Event Calendar.

The Heart of Robin Hood: A Swinging Family Show at the Wallis

If you've had your fill of Nutcrackers and Scrooges and were hoping to branch out a bit theatrically this holiday season, there's a branch well worth seeing in Beverly Hills: it's the one Robin Hood swings and leaps from in the Wallis' production of The Heart of Robin Hood. Not a traditional Christmas play by any means (in fact, the holiday is barely mentioned at all), but the adventure, exuberance, excitement, and spectacle of this retelling of the old tale make it an event worth squeezing into your busy holiday schedule. I brought a tween and a teen (no easy audience), and they were delighted—particularly by one unexpected feature. 

Long Island Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve & Day 2017

The holidays are a joyous time ... unless you are the one cooking. It's a lot less fun if you're hustling in the kitchen while the rest of the family is celebrating.

If you’d rather enjoy a meal out than spend hours preparing one, some Long Island restaurants are open to serve dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some even have kid-friendly menus. So take a look at this list to see which spots have the right menu for you. Call ahead for reservations, and for more seasonal activities and events this month, check out our holiday guide and December GoList.

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