As a parent, finding just the right balance of learning and play feels like the ultimate win. Kids love to explore new places and learn new things, and the added benefit of gaining some educational insight during a family outing is truly awesome. That's why we've rounded up some of our favorite spots for learning where families can spend the day discovering new ideas and concepts with little learners or explore subjects like history and science with older kids. These destinations are not only fun, but can provide children of all ages with tons of knowledge.
Latest posts by Ashley Jones
Keeping older kids engaged in something other than video games and electronics can be tough. But what better way to entice kids to get out of the house than to let them get messy shooting paintballs at each other? Luckily, Houston has several great spots to take older kids, tweens, and teens where they can run off some steam and engage in a rousing game of paintball. Racing around rugged terrain, ducking and darting around obstacles, and feeling the rush of competition while trying to dodge splattering paintballs at every turn can make for a fun family outing, group event, or birthday party. Read on for some of our favorite places around Houston to get kids in on the thrill of playing paintball.
Houston is a melting pot with cuisines from all over the world. Many of the city's restaurants are well known, and they have been featured on television shows like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Eat Street, Unique Eats, Man vs. Food, Cupcake Wars, Bizarre Foods, and Food Paradise. If you and your family enjoy trying different foods, you have to check out these Houston-area restaurants featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network, and Cooking Channel. Some of these incredible places offer kids menus and outdoor spaces for children to play while parents enjoy conversing over incredible eats.
For us, summer is all about seeing how many water activities we can pack in to a three month span. Neighborhood pools and splash pads are always on our to-do list! We also love a good water park trip during the hot summer months, but sometimes the crowds, long lines for rides, and admission costs make trips to Schlitterbahn or Hurricane Harbor something that we tend to only do once or twice per year. Luckily, we recently discovered a hidden gem in Pasadena where we can squeeze in some waterslide fun for a fraction of the cost of a day trip to a bigger water park.
We can get our slide and lazy river fix in and our littlest guys even have their very own space to splash and play on a kids structure. We've discovered that this park has so much to offer, and is a great way for families to play together and beat the Texas heat.
Beach blown hair, rolling waves, and sandy toes can all make for some beautifully creative photographs of your kids on Galveston Island. But since most of us are not professional photographers, getting that picture perfect beach shot is super tricky...especially with toddlers in tow! Luckily, Galveston is home to several amazing scenic spots that give you a cool background to stage Instagram-worthy photos regardless of whether or not your kiddo has mastered the art of posing in front of a camera. Plus, they're all fun, kid-friendly areas where you can soak up some of that island sun any time of year.
Looking for a serene spot to connect with nature that's large enough to take your entire extended family? Look no further than Challenger Seven Memorial Park in Webster. Known for it's miles of winding trails, lush green spaces, stellar playground equipment, and plenty of picnic tables and pavilions, this park is a hot spot for family fun.
Finding an indoor family-friendly activity to beat the heat in Houston doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Bowling is the perfect choice for families with kids of all ages who want to enjoy a fun sport in a cool, air-conditioned atmosphere. Little ones can use bumpers to keep gutter balls at bay, while older kids can get a little more competitive with each other and their parents. Some bowling alleys even offer tasty food options and arcade games to keep the good times rolling and create a memorable experience for the entire family.
I can hardly remember a month of May from my childhood without a trip to the Pasadena Strawberry Festival. Growing up in southeast Houston, one of the sure signs that summer was near was the yearly festival featuring tons of carnival rides, games, and live music. The festival features every strawberry-themed food and drink imaginable, including the world's largest strawberry shortcake! As an adult, I've found that it's just as fun as it was as a kid to kick off summer with a trip to one of the area's most revered family festivals.
Because the entry fee is FREE for kids under age 5, the festival is a great opportunity to celebrate the start of summer as a family. Community volunteers work to make the festival bigger and better each and every year, and have added even more fun activities for the entire family to enjoy in 2018. Take a look at some of the festival's kid-friendly activities not to miss at this year's celebration.