Fire trucks are a big deal in our house - my toddler loves them - so it's natural that one of my family's favorite Houston museums to visit is the Houston Fire Museum. Formerly Houston Fire Station No. 7, the facility was built in 1898 by the Houston Fire Department and remained active until 1969. In 1980, it was renovated into its current state as a museum and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Driving up, you can see how well the outside of the building has been preserved, and the station exudes an unparalleled authenticity.
Latest posts by Rachael Cherry
My son loves to visit museums, and frequently requests repeat visits to the butterfly museum, the "museum with the dinosaurs," and the Children's Museum - all of which we've been to many times in his short three years of life. As a result, I'm always on the lookout for new ones to visit, particularly those that fall into the category of being lesser-known museums that offer a little something extra. The Rosenberg Railroad Museum landed on my radar a few months ago, and when we found ourselves with an open morning on a beautiful day, checking it out became a top priority.
If your kids are anything like mine, they tumble, roll, and try to balance on curbs just as often - if not more - than they walk in a straight line. The inherent need for my toddler to constantly tumble and move is one reason we love trampoline parks and play spaces so much! We've also begun to dabble in the world of preschool sports this year, and our focus has been on finding activities that are both fun and functional for our son. It's why we love taking him to gymnastics classes. This powerhouse sport focuses on conditioning movements like balance, flexibility, stamina and overall strength - which all transfer well into basically every other sport out there - while still being just plain fun, making it an ideal sport for preschoolers like my son.
And for more ideas on classes for kids of all ages, check out our classes and enrichment guide for Houston kids.
One of the most exciting milestones my husband and I have experienced with both our kids was hearing them utter their first words. The thrill that comes from the realization that repeatedly saying "dada" and "say ma-ma-ma-ma-mama" has finally clicked and then being able to watch your child's vocabulary explode is one of those experiences that you never forget. The months leading up to that, however, can be wrought with frustration for parents and babies as you both try to communicate to each other. There is a solution, though - baby sign language.
Baby sign language allows your child to effectively communicate with you well before they are verbal, and can ease the frustration and tantrums that are often a result of the helplessness born from not being able to communicate a need or want. Learning another language so early also paves the way to multilingual success as your child grows, and can be a fun and unique bonding experience for the two of you. Here are some sign language classes around Houston for you and baby to learn and grow together.
Being a child of the late 80s and early 90s meant I partook in a lot of awesome and awesomely horrible trends. Feathered bangs: check. Acid-wash jeans: check. Walkman: check. Roller skates and afternoons spent at the roller rink: check, check, check. While some of these things are now rightfully obsolete (feathered bangs and Walkman, I'm looking at you), some of them are making a resurgence in popularity. Acid-wash jeans: suddenly - and questionably - cool again. Roller rinks: ALL OVER IT.
Disco music, retro carpet, strobe lights, a smell that is entirely unique to roller rinks everywhere, and hours spent rolling in circles around the skate floor are making a BIG comeback, and there are a ton of roller rinks around Houston. Want to double down on your skating skills? Be sure to check out our list of Houston area ice rinks!
When my toddler turned 1 year old, summer was fast approaching and we were anticipating spending a lot of time at the pool. We wanted him to be comfortable in the water before summer arrived, so we decided to enroll him in mommy & me swim lessons at our local YMCA. While he didn't come out of it an Olympic swimmer, he did gain a lot of confidence in the water, going from not wanting to get in the water at all to not wanting to ever get out in one short month. And, as a first-time mom, I was able to ease my anxiety of sending him into the water by being in the pool with him as he learned the foundations of swimming and water safety.
For all the parents and caregivers out there who want to try out infant and toddler swim lessons and be involved in the process, read on for seven different places you can enroll your kiddos in baby and me swim lessons. Ready to have your little one tackle the water solo? Head over to our swim lessons and camps post instead!
My husband and I both went to college at Texas State University in San Marcos, which (in my obviously unbiased opinion) is arguably one of the most beautiful college campuses in Texas. Being tucked in the Texas Hill Country and surrounded by rivers means there is no shortage of water related activities to do. My husband even took kayaking as one of his electives! Our kayaking adventures came to a dead stop when we moved back to Houston post-graduation, though, largely because we made the same assumption that many people probably make: there's really nowhere to kayak or canoe in the Bayou City. But after doing some research, boy, were we wrong.
One of Houston's best-kept secrets is that it isn't just home to numerous hike and bike trails but also an abundance of waterways perfect for paddling and just waiting to be explored. Here are five of my favorite spots to kayak and canoe in Houston.
When you mention beaches near Houston, everyone's first thought typically trends toward Galveston. However, Galveston's many beaches are not the only ones close enough for a day trip, and while we've trekked down there plenty of times, it's definitely not the end-all-be-all. In fact, one of our favorite spots is the quiet town of Surfside where the beach is clean and full of sand (not seaweed).