As one of the great Texan metropolises, Houston offers a good variety of family-friendly places where you and your kids can get inspired and be entertained. For one, it’s famous as the command centre of the United States’ manned space flights, and its Space Center continues to inspire the next generations of rocket scientists and space explorers.

    You can take the kids to see great apes and African wildlife at Houston Zoo, spend an exciting day out splashing and sliding at a waterpark, and even learn to skydive without leaving the ground! Here’s a list of great things to do with your family in Houston, showing you some of the best family-friendly places in this fun-filled city.


    Space Center Houston

    Fly your own supersonic jet

    Peek into mission control of the United States’ manned space flight programme at Space Center Houston. The special visitor hub of NASA’s Johnson Space Center has lunar mission exhibits, flight simulators, and programmes where you can meet and listen to stories from real astronauts. You can enjoy compelling space documentaries in one of America’s largest 4K theatres. Out on Independence Plaza, check out the magnificent Independence space shuttle replica, piggybacking on a historical carrier jet.

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    Location: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 281-244-2100


    photo by Romain2k (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    iFly Indoor Skydiving

    Where you can live your dream of flying

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Kids as young as 4 years of age can enjoy the exhilarating freefalling sensation of skydiving, all in the safe and controlled environment of a specially designed indoor chamber. Slip into a special flight suit, strap on a helmet and protective goggles, and the fun begins. It’s like trampolining, but on a constant upright flow of fan-blown air. You’ll be getting the hang of floating mid-air and doing all sorts of flips and manoeuvres under the guidance of a skilled skydiving instructor.

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    Location: 9540 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77055, USA

    Open: Monday – Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm, Fridays from 10 am to 10 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 10 pm, Sundays from 9 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 281-942-4359


    Houston Zoo

    One of the most popular zoos in Texas

    Most of the enclosures at Houston Zoo are designed to closely resemble the natural habitats of the animals in its varied collection. The McNair Asian Elephant Habitat has a herd of the gentle giants roaming and playing freely and you can get up close to and feed some of the giraffes. Other exciting encounters for kids include learning about the animals from the zookeepers, and even get kissed by a seal. Tickets are around $23 for adults and $20 for kids.

    Location: 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm (Thursdays until 5 pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 8 pm)

    Phone: +1 713-533-6500


    photo by Susan Shepard (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Children’s Museum of Houston

    A hands-on world just for kids

    • Families

    The Kidtropolis is the main attraction at the Children’s Museum of Houston. It has a bank, a market, a government, and jobs that would make a city tick. Kids can choose whatever they want to be. It fosters creativity and a hands-on experience. They can become a mayor that other kids elect, while others can choose to become business owners and customers. Other features in the museum are obstacle courses, 3D printing labs, an Invention Convention exhibit, and an outdoor EcoStation where they can learn about nature and solar energy.

    Location: 1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004, USA

    Open: Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm (Thursdays until 8 pm), Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 713-522-1138


    Downtown Aquarium

    Feed stingrays and ride a Ferris wheel

    Families can have a great time at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium. It’s a massive, 6-acre leisure and dining complex, and its onsite aquatic attraction is home to over 200 species of marine life. You can enjoy a full-service restaurant with an upscale bar here, as well as shopping and amusement rides such as the eye-catching Ferris wheel. The aquarium itself isn’t very large, but there’s enough to see to keep the little ones curious. Some kids will love the stingray tank, where you can feed and pet them.

    Location: 410 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002, USA

    Open: Sunday – Thursday from 10 am to 8.30 pm, Friday – Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 713-223-3474


    photo by Katie Haugland Bowen (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Houston Museum of Natural Science

    Travel back to the Jurassic period through dinosaur exhibits

    Inspire your kids’ awe with the magnificent collection of dinosaur exhibits at The Houston Museum of Natural Science. The Morian Hall of Palaeontology features towering dinosaur fossils such as those of a T-Rex, a triceratops, and other prehistoric beasts. For stunning IMAX documentaries, check out The Wortham Giant Screen Experience. For a close-up view on nature, the Butterfly Centre features colourful living specimens. It showcases chrysalises and the intriguing metamorphoses of some of the world’s most beautiful butterfly species.

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    Location: 5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 713-639-4629


    photo by Ed Schipul (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Splashing slides to ride

    • Families

    As Houston’s largest waterpark, Wet'n'Wild SplashTown offers a collection of fun slides and pools to suit varying ages and thrill levels. The 429-foot-long Alien Chaser is one of the top options for those wanting the ultimate thrills. Its tower rises around 6 stories high, and you zoom through tunnels and into 3 gigantic bowls. Younger kids can enjoy the Paradise River lazy river pool with mum and dad. The Wild Wave Pool also offers fun for all ages.

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    Location: 21300 Interstate 45 N, Spring, TX 77373, USA

    Open: Monday – Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm, Friday – Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 281-355-3300


    Jumping World Houston

    Trampolining fun!

    • Families

    This trampoline park in Houston is where your active kids can bounce to their heart’s content. It has an adjoining foam pit where young and old can jump in from ropes like Tarzan, into thousands of squishy foam squares. You can also run, bounce high, and score slam dunks into basketball rings, or team up and play some rounds of dodgeball. Jumping World Houston offers more than just bouncing. There’s a dedicated court for toddlers with inflatable castles, and a video game arcade as well.

    Location: 14147 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77040, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 12 am

    Phone: +1 713-996-7811


    Track 21 indoor karting

    Fun races and more

    • Families

    You can settle any sibling rivalries on this mini indoor racecourse. Track 21 has multiple karting tracks where you can don a helmet, squeeze into a colourfully painted and well-maintained go-kart, and put the pedal to the metal to fight for first place. Family packages for four drivers are around $50. Whoever comes out as winner, you can have some extra fun at the facility’s 2 other exciting and unique offerings: laser tag games and black light mini golf.

    Location: 4815 Hwy 6, Houston, TX 77084, USA

    Open: Monday – Thursday from 12 pm to 10 pm (Fridays until 11 pm), Saturdays from 10 am to 12 am, Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 281-200-2600


    Memorial Park

    Green urban space for biking, strolling and playing

    The massive grounds of Houston’s Memorial Park offer vast green spaces with tree-shaded pathways, hiking and jogging trails, and cool playgrounds where your kids can go climbing, sliding, and balancing along rickety bridges. Come in springtime and you can find patches of the Texan state flower – bluebonnets – in full bloom. Right next door to the park is the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, where you can enjoy birdwatching and nature walks.

    Location: 6501 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77007, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 713-863-8403

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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