As the largest city in Texas, Houston is also a favorite among tourists. Family trips to big cities can be risky, with the potential for overwhelming crowds and off-putting, rowdy nightlife. Houston, however, is a safe bet: families seeking a southern vacation that caters to both the grownups and the little ones will find plenty to satisfy their needs in Houston, a city with a plethora of high-class family friendly leisure and recreation options. Easily accessible, endlessly entertaining and educative, these attractions will make a Texan holiday memorable for all the right reasons, for all the family. Families visiting Houston will also be happy to know they needn't avoid the fancy restaurants; gourmet southern comfort food is sure to please the kids, too!
Houston's Children Museum is a fully interactive experience. Even just calling it a museum is perhaps a misnomer here, as this is more of an involved and activity-based attraction. The museum takes families on a journey through a child's development and education via hands-on exhibits that allow kids to live like grownups in an imaginatively recreated adult world on a kid's scale. Kids can try their hand swiping a mini ATM, visiting a toy-sized grocery store, reading the news on TV and even learning to rock climb; there's a whole day of fun on offer for kids here. This attraction is perfect for a range of age groups, from toddlers to ten year olds.
Houston Zoo is an enormous and scenic park with around 6000 animals from all corners of the world. While the expansiveness of this zoo might seem overwhelming, families who take a full day out to visit will be rewarded with a leisurely, charming and memorable experience. Divided into worlds or environments, the Houston Zoo cleverly introduces kids to various species and ecosystems. With a packed schedule of events throughout the day here, you're sure to witness at least a couple of feedings, shows or talks even without planning ahead. The Houston Zoo is great for adults, kids and teens alike.
The name doesn't do the Houston Museum of Natural Science justice; it's much more than a simple science museum. The complex encompasses an IMAX cinema which typically presents entertaining short movies on a feature of the natural world, a planetarium and even a huge, hands-on butterfly exhibition which kids will love (as long as they're not afraid of creepy crawlies!). This is a popular museum which gets a lot of traffic, but it's spacious enough that families are unlikely to feel cramped even during peak hours.
The Space Center is, naturally, one of the first attractions tourists in the city - with or without kids - will intend to visit. But is it worth the hype? For anyone with even a passing interest in science and space, the Space Center is sure to entertain. There's an impressive range of activities at the Center on a daily basis, most of which are aimed at kids of at least 5 years old (though they're more likely to appreciate the pretty weighty, sensational exhibits from around age 8 and older). Historical space suits, spaceships which visitors can investigate first-hand and a tram ride around the Johnson Space Station are just a few of the many highlights. Be prepared to wait in line at the favorite attractions, however, as the Center is typically crowded.
With an accessible location downtown, the city of Houston has transformed a standard urban park into a veritable urban retreat. The Discovery Green is an expansive green space which caters for innovative, large-scale outdoor events in an ambience that seems miles away from the busy downtown bustle outside the park. Visit on any day to enjoy the gardens, the lake and the playground, or schedule your trip around the wide roster of events including outdoor markets, performances and exhibits.