Houston is a popular landing spot for Desi’s whenever they visit the USA; for it being densely populated with immigrants from all around the world. Having some relatives living in Houston is a plus point for us desis, in terms of free accommodation, however, if one wishes to go for hotels/rentals, then they are too quite affordable as compared to other big cities of America.
We found Houston pleasant in terms of climate, spacious housing, the growing Muslim community, family-friendly atmosphere and several fun things to do with kids. Moreover, the recently opened various halal food restaurants around the city made us feel like home, while the kids enjoyed spending time with their cousins.
Here is a list of affordable & fun places for kids, in and around Houston city, where the whole family can enjoy some quality time during holidays and long weekends.
Best Kids Activities in Houston, Texas
Johnson space center sounds like a place for adults only, but that’s not true. Being in a space center and seeing the space shuttles up close is one of the most interesting things that stuck in my toddler’s little mind during our trip when she was only 3 years old.
The space galleries and rides give you a magical and once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience for sure.
The visitor ticket to Johnson Space Center Houston is for about $25 for kids and $30 for adults.
It might sound a little pricey if you have a big family, but once you go in, make sure you have 4-5 hours to spend inside for utilizing the ticket properly.
Starship Gallery, alien making, robot games, and the ice cream maker robot hand were on top of the list of fun activities there for my kids. The day trip was one dream-like experience, learning so much in such a short period.
- Chuck e Cheese
One of the most famous and the best joy-land for kids is Chuck e Cheese. This is one of the most popular indoor entertainment joy lands for young children, and it’s branches are widely spread across Houston as well as America. No matter how many hours you spend here, the kids will never want to come out.
You can buy as many coins and get lots of tickets for redeeming in return for toys.
Nothing really fancy-schmancy, but we had a good time.
One of the top tourist attractions of Houston, Kemah Boardwalk is located a little far from Houston city. However, the distance shouldn’t matter much when it’s about having fun with the family.
It’s an excellent all-in-one tourist attraction where families can enjoy food, fountains, rides, aquarium, and lots more.
Moreover, the best part of this Houston attraction is that the majority of the boardwalk area is free to enter! Yes, you read that right, even if you don’t wish to spend, you can relax and enjoy your holiday evening by the water, absolutely free.
The kids’ train tour around the deck and the carousel was one of the several cheap rides that our toddlers enjoyed the most. Another popular attraction at Kemah Boardwalk is their play fountain where we cooled off after the tiring long drive.
The best ride I loved (as an adult) was the wooden-framed electrifying roller coaster; which left me dumbstruck for a few minutes while papa bear screamed with joy.
The ideal time to visit Kemah Boardwalk is in the late afternoon/evening; for Galveston beach tan is really bad during summers.
One more cool Houston attraction for kids to enjoy hot Texas afternoons is Hurricane Harbour Splashtown, formerly known as Wet n Wild Splashtown.
The waterpark was recently acquired and renovated by the Six Flags group, which means even more awesomeness.
Hurricane Harbor’s children and family rides are equally entertaining as in their adults’ section rides. It is completely toddler-friendly, however, the kids must be accompanied by adults at all times.
Get your swimsuits from any nearby Walmart if you haven’t packed any, and splash in!
Park tickets are for $35/child and $50/adult.
This amazingly designed rain forest themed cafe is so eye-catching, you cannot simply walk past by it. Whenever we came across it in the malls, my kids won’t stop insisting until we get in there, took some pictures and buy them a souvenir animal toy. Their menu is quite big but because it’s not halal, you can try from veg options such as Mozerella sticks, onion rings, tortilla chips, salads, and most importantly their coconut shrimp.
Located in Galveston, Moody Gardens are the perfect place for a short yet complete vacation experience around Houston.
This amazing family-friendly park is divided into 4 major parts: aquarium, rainforest, discovery, and waterpark. The good part is that you can choose to plan & buy entry to whichever parks you like, instead of paying for the whole park.
Free Family Fun Parks & Kid-Friendly Activities in Houston, Texas
Buffalo Bayou is a massive urban park spread over a massive area right beside the main Houston downtown area.
Apart from the several onsite activities and attractions for families in the park, we were most interested in watching Houston skyline from up there.
Buffalo Bayou Park is a perfect free picnic spot for families, especially those who have little kids with them. The park facilities include BBQ, dog park, boating in the water streams flowing through the park, cycling and lots more.
Houston Children’s Museum is an amazing place to visit with younger kids.
It is loaded with hands-on activities from science to arts & culture, covering almost everything a young mind is capable of learning.
Not only the kids, we adults enjoyed it equally and I would highly recommend it to families with kids up to the age of 8 years or so.
Our favorite activities at the Houston Children’s Museum were water-play, watching the process of living things grow, and arts & craft area.
Since it is located in the museum district, finding free parking around is impossible. Taking an Uber or using public transport to it is a good idea if you’re traveling with manageable kids.
The standard ticket for Children’s Museum Houston is for $12/person, but the best part is that you can avail “FREE FAMILY NIGHT” offer every Thursday evening from 5 pm till 8 pm.
HMNS is an excellent space for teaching kindergarten-primary level kids all about natural sciences.
The Museum complex is divided into various sections exhibiting: gems & minerals, chemistry, wildlife, fossils, energy, space, history, nature, and lots more; out of which, our kids loved the dinosaur fossils the most, followed by Egyptian mummies and the butterfly section.
Regular ticket for Houston Science Museum is $16/child and $25/adult, however, this too can be availed for free every Thursday between 5-8 pm.
Hermann Park Conservancy too is a beautiful, clean urban park in the heart of Houston city’s downtown area to stretch after a busy day.
We hadn’t planned to visit it, but the train which starts near the Houston Zoo gate caught our attention and we decided to take the park train tour.
It wasn’t anything extraordinary but was a nice entertaining ride against a $3 ticket.
- Water Wall Houston
Out of the many interesting free things to do in Houston with kids, this beautiful man-made waterfall and it’s adjoining park is a great spot for chilling with family.
Wrapping it up, Houston turns out to be one exciting city with lots of free as well as affordable attractions for families with little kids.
Are you planning to visit it soon?
Let me know about your experience in the comments below.