Free and Cheap Summer Activities List 2012

New entries will be added to the top as I come across new places! So check back often.. Subscribe to my blog and sign up for automatic updates :)

There are websites that I subscribe to and they send me free and cheap things to do in the houston area.. sign up is free
-- there is a mom section on there that is good with tips and activities

Sugarland Skeeters! -NEW baseball team in town! Splashpad and Park near the lawn seating- super fun!

Skyzone: Indoor Trampoline Park: Fun!
713-292-500010207 S. SAM HOUSTON PKWY W.HOUSTON, TX 77071

Sky High Sports: Indoor Trampoline Park: Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77043

Learning Express Toy Store- Located in the Pearland Town Center near Barnes and Noble. Locally owned! TONS of free activities for kids that are always FREE! Story Times - Mondays @ 10:30, Thursdays are Activity days @ 10:30, Saturdays are FULL of fun activities.. read my post about Learning Express.

Premiere Cinema Pearland - Located at McLean Rd. and 518. We LOVE to go to this theater because it is so cheap! Kids are always 2.00 all day! These are new releases.. not old ones! Adults are 2.00 for matinee and only 4.50 at night! They also offer free popcorn flavored seasonings, and if you look in the coupon book that comes in the mail-- the green one-- there is a coupon for a free small popcorn. The only difference between this theater and Cinemark, is there is no stadium seating.. we are talking old school seating.. but it is clean and cheap and the staff is really friendly! We always go here now. *Update- prices went up 1.00-- they now have digital screens and 3D!

ShowBoat Drive In Theater - LOVE LOVE LOVE this place. It is NOT close but it is so worth it. There are 2 screens and each screen plays 2 new releases movies. One is more kids centered. Each screen is a Double Feature and it is only 5.00 per adult and 4.00 for kids.

Cinemark Summer Movies Clubhouse
1.00 Movies or buy the 10 pack for 5.00
All shows start at 10:00 A.M. June 5-6 Journey 2 (PG) June 12-13 Happy Feet 2 (PG) June 19-20 Rio (G) June 26-27 Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG) July 3-4 Despicable Me July 10-11 Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 (PG) July 17-18 Dolphin Tale (PG) July 24-25 Puss and Boots (PG) July 31-Aug. 1 Winnie the Pooh (G) August 7-8 Yogi Bear (PG)

Museum of Fine Arts Houston-- Now, i am by no means, an Art Museum kinda girl, BUT, i will say that the kids activities were pretty neat. We went last week on Thursday, during free admission, and the kids really enjoyed it! They highlight a different artist each week. The kids activities are on Thursdays 11-2 and Sundays, but thursday is free admission. When we went, we participated in an art hunt and then had a yoga mat and book to read that corresponded to the art piece we chose. We also learned about Andy Warhol and made our own pop art. We also were able to sketch and gain a mystery clue. There will be 1 clue each week and at the end of 10 weeks, you put all the clues together and figure out the mystery art! Keep in mind, regular museum rules still apply, so under 5 is probably too young.

Tons of Parks and Splashpad/Spray Parks in our area.. check out

Chillin Time in Friendswood on 518 next to Stevenson Park (The one with the Gazeebo)
I took my kids here and they loved it. They have shaved ice, new Orleans style snow balls, yogurt and smoothies-- tons of add ons! You can even get fresh fruit and whip cream inside your shaved ice bowl! It has glass patio doors all around, and inside it has lush tropical plants and beach chairs and tables to sit at, so you feel like you are outside, but the best part-- it's air conditioned! They sell a kid size cup for .99 cents. The regular size is 2.50-- and is HUGE!

Please add the chick-fil-a Pearland Silverlake and Dixie Farm Rd. to your facebook! They have TONS of free family entertainment.. I listed some of it below, but if you "Like" them on facebook, you will see updates and upcoming activities in your news feed.

Vacation Bible Schools FUN FUN FUN!
Second Baptist Church: South Campus - On Shadow Creek parkway.
Kinder-4th VBS July 16-19 9-noon
5th-6th VBX
Same Week choose South Campus Second Baptist Church - South Campus (off Shadow Creek Pkwy)
This is THE place for kids! The children's dept. is top notch! They offer lots of free summer fun for little ones and school age. Check their website and choose the South Campus. It is located off Shadow Creek Parkway.
Summer Movie Days, Family Worship Nights, Wednesday Summer Family Fun Nights!

Library Story Time:
Pearland Library on Liberty Drive near Pearland Parkway
Tuesday @ 10:30 a.m. - Toddler story time
Thursday @ 10:30 a.m. - Preschool story time
NEW Westside Library Satellite location
2150 Country Place Pkwy. Next to the Westside Event Center
Can Reserve books and return books here... no browsing section yet.
Lots of children's activities here!
Preschool Story time 2nd and 4th MONDAY @ 10:30 a.m.

Putt-Putt Fun house in Webster off of 45 - I haven't been yet, but i did sign up for their email list and send out LOTS of coupons. It looks fun and Indoors!

Planet WOW 10601 S. Sam Houston Pkwy West (between W. Airport & S. Gessner) 832-390-4WOW (4969) or (via mobile phone) **Special offer: Mention this blog by name and get $1 off admission for any regularly scheduled open play session; times listed on website on Open Play calendar.

Sugarbaby's Cupcakes- Located on Shepherd.. of hwy 59. I have been to crave by the galleria, and imo, while they are modern and fancy..Sugarbaby's tasted better! I love the atmosphere there too-- Super Cute- very french shabby chic-- perfect party room for smaller gatherings. 3310 South Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 527-8427

Sprinkles Cupcakes In Highland Village - Follow them on Facebook and they have a code word for a free cupcake each day.

Pearland Parks and Rec - There are TONS of classes, camps, leagues and activities for kids and adults. Check out
Check their website for summer concert and movie series!

Pearland Town Center- Shopping and fun! Pet adoptions on saturdays, fountain for the kids to play in. Movie nights on Saturday Nights too. Schedule coming soon..

Sugarcreek Baptist Church - Located in sugarland near 59 and hwy 90. Huge church that has an indoor play area that is FREE. Times vary so check the website. Huge enclosed play area and a connecting cafe with lots of seating to sit and watch the kids play. Cafe includes a chick fila and starbucks as well as other menu items! You can also bing in your own food.

Pearland Farmers Market-
2nd and 4th Saturday of each month
9:00am - 1:00pm
Zychlinski Park
2243 Grand Blvd.
Pearland, Texas

LOTS of pick your own farms out there around the city/state..
Our favorite is Frobergs which is in Alvin and already on my list below.. but go to this website to check out some others.

Pirates Bay Waterpark- Brand New Waterpark in Baytown They really had terrible customer service and my 5 year old was injured there due to faulty engineering. We went to the ER and Pirates Bay basically wrote us off, instead of correcting the problem.

Angleton Rec Center - GREAT water play area that is indoor- $2.00 per person to get in or 10.00 for the family. Has a lazy river, a hot tub, pool, zero depth entry water play area with buckets and slides and sprays, and a big water slide for big kids.

Pitch Putt and Play-- Mini Golf, bumper boats, a few arcade games, a train ride and water balloon wars. They always have coupons in the mail and also check their website for deals throughout the week. If you have an Entertainment Book, they are in there too. O'day road and 518.

Bass Pro Shops-- is an excellent venue to entertain your kids this summer without spending any money. With free activities for kids all weekend (plus Tuesday and Thursday) and workshops for adults, there’s something for everyone! (Thanks Houston on the Cheap!) Location in Pearland and Katy
Family Summer Camp activities such as casting pond, shooting gallery, s’more-making and more. Free crafts on the weekend from noon to 2 p.m. are always a big hit — or from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Discovery Green Park Downtown - Between Minute Maid Park and George R. Brown
They have lots of free activities, go to their website and sign up for email updates. They have a fountain, a model boat lake, theatre.. and more. Outdoor movies on Friday and Saturday nights-- they are fun!

Wonderwild- located in the Heights off I10 and Shepherd. Indoor play area, classes and parties. I had my kids party here last year! Great for babies - age 11. They have a separate play area for babies/toddlers, kid powered train rides, huge play structure, slide and jumping pillow. Awesome!

Stomping Grounds - Indoor play area and Cafe located in Sugarland. FUN! 15415b southwest freeway
sugar land, texas 77478
(next to Michael’s in the First Colony Commons shopping center.)

Movies - AMC Summer Movie Camp 2010 -- 1.00 movies, check their website for location and movies These are cancelled for summer 2011

Noah’s Ark Pool and Waterpark at Quillian Recreation Center – 3663 Westcenter Dr., (Beltway 8 @ Westpark) Perfect pool for 6 and under. There is also a regular size pool with 2 tube slides for bigger kids. You can rent this facility for birthday parties, it is really neat. We LOVE going here because it is all gated in and the water is shallow and the lifeguards are plenty!

Miller Ourdoor Theatre -- summer schedule Lot's of productions for kids and even some by kids... all free! Disney Camp Rock june 9-12! Free - Port of Houston Free Boat Tour

Four seasons nursery -- petting zoo on pasadena blvd. and vista

P Street Pool in La Porte -- 1.00 for adults and kids -- 225

WavePool in La Porte -- (near Sylvan Beach Park- also good place for a picnic.)
600 S M St
La Porte, TX 77571
(281) 470-1966

Froberg's Farm - GREAT Pick your own strawberry farm for kids and also a great farmers market-- located in Alvin.

Chik Fil A
Each location has LOTS of free events for kids throughout the week. I believe MOST have family night on Tuesday from 5-8 and many times it is a free kids meal with the purchase of an adult meal. The play area is GREAT for the under 5 crowd. It is enclosed with huge glass windows and you can watch them while you eat.
Story/Craft Times:
go to and locate the store closest to you and they will have their schedule of events.

Barnes and Noble Jr. Storytime
They have a great kids section that has areas to read and play and if you have train lovers like we do.. there is a thomas the train table at each location with trains to play with and you can read any books off the shelf and just put them back.

Pottery Barn Kids
Each PBK location has story time and craft every tuesday @ 10:00
You can also go there and play with all their kitchen kids furniture and doll houses and fire station and art stuff any time you like for free! My boys love to do that.
They also have a sing-a-long concert with a kids band/concert thing

Woodlands Mall
Just a great mall in general... BUT, they have a GREAT childrens play area for younger kids. They also have a carousel that is 1.00 i think. There is also a boat taxi along the waterway and a trolley that run that you can ride. They have a new part along the waterway that is a huge fountain with sprays of water that the kids can run through.

-- Woodlands market place, right next to the mall, there is alot of shopping and restaurants and a big lawn to run and play on and a movie theatre right there... lots to do in the woodlands!

--Safari Stop -- indoor play area for kids with climbing structure/slides/tunnels, and it's free! There is a cafe there as well if you want to grab lunch. it is all located inside Woodlands United Methodist Church, off Panther Creek.

--The Woodlands Children Museum - We used to go to the location inside the mall but it closed. They are re-opening July 10 at a new location. 4774 W. Panther Creek Drive next to the Sears Hardware in the Randalls/CVS Shopping Center located at the intersection of Woodlands Parkway and Gosling Road.

Memorial City Mall -- has the best Childrens play area inside a mall-- has a guard at the entrance and they only let a certain amount in at a time. They also have ice skating there, a carousel, and a new train ride that takes you around the entire mall!
--On a side note, they have a store called Crazy 8's, that is owned by Gymboree, but is in the same price range as Children's Place-- also one at the galleria.

The Houston Galleria-- Not my favorite place to take my kids, BUT they do have a new train ride and trampoline thing to jump on. They also have the ice rink and the rain forest cafe. In the new section of the galleria near the Disney Store, is the upside down water fountain, and the kids like to watch the water fall. Now they have a new indoor kids play area in front of Borders that is GREAT! The restrooms/changing are are perfect!

The Disney Store-- only at the Woodlands, Galleria, and Willowbrook mall. They have various activities and promotions throughout the year-- have to sign up on the website or call the local store to see. Brave Activities coming up!

LakeShore Learning - Every Saturday they have a free craft from 11:00 - 3:00

Family Fishing- Free
I believe every saturday is free family fishing day at Sheldon State Park-- it was during the fall and spring-- may want to check about summer.

Cinemark Pearland - 288 and 518 and Cinemark Hollywood off beltway 8 and Pasadena blvd.
1.00 kid movies on tuesdays and wednesdays @ 10:00 a.m.
-- just a side note-- Hollywood has really cleaned up their place and it is mostly families and a regular adult ticket price in the evening is only 5.50! And they have pizza, cappucinnos, funnel cakes and ice-cream in addition to candy and popcorn!

The Home Depot
Kids Workshops are free "How-To Clinics" designed for children ages 5-12. The workshops are offered on the first Saturday of each month between 9:00 a.m. and noon at all The Home Depot stores.
Pearland/518 in Silverlake

Lowes Kids Clinics - check your local Lowes for saturday times and activities.
Pearland Parkway Location.. Must register in advance!

Splashway Waterpark near columbus, TX past Katy Mills Mall -- Is really fun! They are family owned and operated and if you become a fan on facebook, they have lots of discounts available.
Splashway Family Waterpark
5211 Main St.
Sheridan, TX 77475
p: 979-234-7718
f: 979-234-7728

Houston Area Live Steamers
Visit their website at
This is GREAT for train lovers!! These are miniature steam locomotives that run on tracks and you can ride them. The tracks go all through the woods and on this property and have little bridges and water towers-- very cool. It is run by a group of old men that do this for a hobby and they open it to the public on the 3rd saturday of each month for FREE! Ride as many times as you like. It is located on/near Zube Park, which has gazeebos to eat a picnic under and parks to play on. It isn't super close, but it is def. Fun! You go out I-10 west to 290. I think it took us about 45 minutes to get there. Remaining dates:
July 19th, August 16th, September 20th.

Bounce USA - Baytown
7.00 under 12
Tuesday, Wed and Fri. 12-6
Saturday 9-11

Jump n Jungle - Pearland
Open Playtime Hours
TWO-PUNCH TUESDAY-10:00 am -2:00 pm
(Get a double punch on your frequent JUNGLE card every Tuesday!)
WEDNESDAY - 10:00 am-2:00 pm
THURSDAY-10:00 am-2:00 pm & 5:00 pm-8:00 pm (FAMILY NIGHT) WEBSTER
THURSDAY-12:00 pm-7:00 pm PEARLAND (new Summer Hours)
FREE SNACK FRIDAY-10:00 am to 2:00 pm
(1 capri sun and 1 snack of your choice with each paid full price admission)
Reserved for Private Parties - Call for availability for OPEN PLAY!
$7.00 per child for ages 2 and up (adults are always free!)
$3.50 per child under 2 (free with paid sibling!)

Gymboree Play and Music -- - NEW LOCATION OPEN IN PEARLAND- Next to Bed Bath and Beyond on 518.
Sign up for a free class-- first class is always free!
They have Art, music, Play, Yoga and Family classes.
Classes can be a little pricey, but they have a GREAT sibling discount!
My boys loved it. They have different locations, but we went to the one on Post Oak near the galleria-- across the street there is a Lakeshore learning and a lubys!

The Little Gym - Next to CiCis Pizza on 518
We did a free preview class here as well. The first class is always free. This is fun, but more gymnastics than gymboree is. They have lots of locations as well. Closest will be 518 near chick fila.

KICKS indoor Soccer
This is an indoor soccer facility and workout gym located on Shepherd. They have classes for all ages including 2-4! Classes are year-round so you can join anytime. They can even be dropped off in the 2-4 year old class with the coaches. While they play, parents can use the workout gym for FREE! It overlooks the field they are playing on. On Fridays, they have mommy and me play soccer for 5.00 a kids-- adults are free. They have all the practice equipment and balls on the field for the kids and you to play with.
Mondays @ 5:00 - 2-4 year olds
Fridays @ 4:00 - Mommy and Me class
Class Prices
1 class - 22.00
4 weeks - 140.00
8 weeks - 175.00
Camps 3-6 year olds - 135.00 a week - every day

Buckhorn Ranch & Lake – 15627 Garrett Rd., Houston, 77044, #281-4567-0841. -- Heard it is open to the public now. They have petting zoo, train ride, carousel.

Soccer Tots -- Indoor soccer classes and leagues for kids ages 18 months - 6 years old
Closest location is on 518 at Athletic Dreams or behind Toys R Us on Fairmont Pkwy and one in Friendswood

Blue Willow Bookshop - TONS of cool activities for kids-- check them out- Located on Memorial drive.

CityCentre - in town and Country. has a ton of great shops and eateries and a big courtyard for kids to run and play and a movie theater.

Young Chef's Academy - cooking classes for all kids! Looks really neat-- Watch Groupon for these-- we went and the kids loved it! They have a location in Katy, Memorial, Woodlands and Sugarland. They also do birthday parties and camps.

Childrens Museum Houston
1500 Binz
Have a great play area for the under 3 crowd-- Tot spot.
LOTS for the older kids. Under 1 is free.
They also have lots of extras-- storytimes, exhibits, facepainting-- check their website

Houston Fire Museum
Cute! They have a junior firehouse to play in that has a a big firetruck to play on and firehats and coats to wear and a ladder with a firepole to slide down. It is also a museum for the adults. it is in an old firestation at 2403 Milam. It is not superhuge, so it wont take you long to see and do everything, but it is great for little boys and girls that like firetrucks!
3.00 for adults and 2.00 for kids-- 3 and under is free. There is a coupon in the Entertainment book.

Oil Ranch
Sounds kinda like old mcdonalds farm with a lot more stuff- we have never been here, but here is the website

Old MacDonalds Farm- petting zoo, train ride, play area, etc.
3203 FM 1960 East
Humble, TX 77338
+1 281 446 4001
Open Hours
Mar-Oct: 10am-dusk daily; Nov & Feb: 10am-dusk Sat-Sun; Closed Dec-Jan

Armond bayou Nature Center
Armand Bayou Nature Center
8500 Bay Area Blvd.
Pasadena, Texas 77507
We have never been there, but they have a nature trail, and they also have stuff to do at night!
Saturdays at the Nature Center we offer activities that only a nature persevere can offer. Experience Armand Bayou at water level via a canoe or pontoon boat. The boat trips are very popular and fill up weeks in advance.
For the night Owls, not only do we offer a Moon Light pontoon boat cruise we also give visitors the opportunity to experience the Nature Center's night life. Encounter the Nature Center's nocturnal residents as they come out to forage for food.

The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake
ALL free art classes and projects for adults and kids. I believe the age starts at age 4, but they sometimes do toddler parent classes as well.

Memorial City Mall, DeerBrook Mall, Katy Mills, Woodlands Mall all have good play areas!

Lupe Tortilla Restraunt
Great fajitas! And they have a really large sand box/play area for kids, but it can get pretty crowded! One is at 59 and kirby next to academy, another in clear lake/webster, the woodlands and i know one is sugarland too. check their website for more locations. *Pearland has a location now, but NO playarea.

Amazon Grill
Great Food, and all you can eat fried plantain chips. They have cool kids meals and you can get "Smores on the Table" for dessert where you actually roast marshmallows over a little flame at your table!

Willys - On beltway near fairmont - has a giant sandbox to play in

The Houston Zoo and Herman Park Train Ride
Hermann Park 6001 Fannin
The Playground for All Children
Located just west of the Houston Zoo on the site of Hermann Park's original playground, the eight-acre Playground for All Children, is nestled under large oak and pine trees. More than five million people visit Hermann Park each year and thousands of children make their way to the Playground for All Children. The innovative playground is the flagship of Houston's park system and provides a safe, yet challenging environment for children of all ages and abilities.
A Water Play Zone features timed spray elements on a blue rubber surface. In-ground sprays, poles, palm trees and a spiral provide a variety of water effects for all children to run through.
Two large beaches create a sand play zone adjacent to the water play area. Here children of all abilities can enjoy the fun of sand on the ground.

Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Waller- 34843 Betka Rd., #1, Waller, TX 77484. #800-347-5106. A wonderful camp ground with a water park, cabins, outdoor movies, fishing lake, petting zoo, mini golf, and tons more! WOOHOO! Looks really close to here!

Other Stuff --
Madpotter Studios - paint your own pottery!
Build-a-bear Workshops - as low as 10 bucks
Kemah Boardwalk-- although NOT cheap
Aquarium Downtown - carnival stuff, a cool shark train ride, the fish and white tigers on display
The NEW Herman park train - 2.50 per rider
Miller Outdoor Theatre - ALWAYS FREE
ITZ Pizza --- check website for daily specials
Chuck E. Cheese - New Location on 518 in Pearland
Houston SPCA - we go there and look at all the cute animals!

Battleship Texas State Historic Site – 3523 HWY 134, La Porte, 77571.

Bayou Wildlife Park – 5050 FM 517, Alvin, 77511, #281-337-6376. Big safari ride where the wild animals come up and eat food out of the buckets you are holding! It is kinda pricey, but there is a coupon in the Entertainment book.

Big League Dreams - 1150 Big League Dreams PKWY, League City, TX, 77573. #281-316-3400. This is incredible! Replica’s of famous stadiums that serve as a multi-use recreational facility for sports such as baseball, soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, you name it! They also have batting cages, a restaurant/concession area, and covered pavilions. You can have corporate parties or birthday parties! Awesome!

Blue Barn Fun Farm - FM 1458 (3 miles North of Brookshire), #281-375-6669. I love places like this. Milk a cow, pet baby goats, hayrides…the good life!

Bryan Beach - Located in Brazoria County, near Freeport (hence the word ‘free’ because this is one of the few Texas beaches you can still get on to without paying) It is beautiful, untouched, and no crowds. Fish, camp, relax on the beach!

Camping, this is a GREAT list of parks and campgrounds along the Gulf Coast. Great resource guide. There is also

Chinatown – Downtown Houston – 2 websites to browse: & the kids love going down here. Filled with dragons, kimonos and toys from the other side of the world. Great food and fun. Check out their festival listings.

Chmielewski Blueberry Farm – 23810 Bauer Hockley Rd, Hockley, 77447, #281-304-0554. . How cute is this place? I love all these ‘pick it yourself farms’. I had some friends go and really enjoyed it!

Dewberry Farm So much fun! On a perfect fall day with a group of kids, right before Halloween, it doesn't get any better! Pick your own pumpkins right off the vine, hay rides, the giant corn maze, private events, petting zoo, I LOVE IT!!! Only open during late summer/fall. Wear your walking shoes.

Heights First Saturday - #713-802-1213. In the heart of the Houston Heights, a wonderful market every first Saturday! Kid friendly, great food, gorgeous art, shops, you name it! email

Bear Creek Park – 3535 War Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77084. Buffalo, goats, play systems, baseball, you name it this park has it!

Galveston: Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Research Center, free admission, Free tours are given on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. Call for tour appointments.

Horseback Riding, Cypress Trails - Her evening dinner rides, birthday parties, or just a stroll down the trails. Fun for the entire family any time of year!!

Houston Arboretum 4501 Woodway Dr., Houston, 77024. The trails are beautiful and they welcome our beloved pets! (always free to walk the trails & open year round!)

Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, one mile N of FM 1960, FREE. #281-443-8731.

Minute Maid Park Behind The Scenes Tour, fun for baseball lovers.

Montessori Miniature Horses, 9300 HWY 105, # 979-836-9652. So cute! We haven’t been yet but will make a trip this summer.

Moorhead's Blueberry Farm - 19531 Moorhead Rd, Conroe, 77302, #888-702-0622 (toll free). Beth Blute wrote to me about this fun place: Moorhead's is family run, very friendly, neat, with only blueberry bushes for acres in the piney woods. You also see birds, rabbits, and deer out there when you pick in the evenings. You can eat all you want right off the bushes and take home all you pick at $1.50 a pound. Extra blueberries are great gifts for grandparents and other hosts on those summer trips. Picking is June and July, but call first.

Nature Discovery Center – 7112 Newcastle (Bellaire) #713-667-6550. I have been visiting my Mom & Grandmother every week in Bellaire and had no idea this place existed! My friend Kim O’Quinn recommended this cool place!

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, 18430 K-Z Rd., # 281-351-NOAH. We adopted our 2nd dog from here They are always in need of volunteering & donations so I got some of the local teenagers doing this and they love it. They also have a big play ground for kids. It is a ‘no kill’ shelter so we love that. This is NOT a place for babies or toddlers. The dogs run around the grounds and tend to jump, just FYI. They have horses, pigs, & other fun animals.

Ikea – So not only do the kids have a fabulous play area here, but you get to drop them off, you get a pager, and you can walk around and shop kid-free while they play in an amazing kid zone. Pretty cool! Good and cheap cafe upstairs for adults and kids!

Gallery Furniture - 6006 I45 North between Tidwell and Parker-- Monkeys, play area, free food, it's like a jungle in there-- kids love it.. oh, and you can buy furniture if you want to!

Learning Express, Pearland Town Center - Unique toys, birthday registry (love that!!), gifts, gift wrap (amen!), STORY TIME, and more!

IT’Z - 18355 Tomball Pkwy (@ Grant), Houston and a newer location on Fairmont Parkway. Kids 2 & under eat free! We got here at about 8pm one Friday night and it was perfect timing! No crowds, lots of fun, indoor mini rollercoaster, bumper cars, GREAT party rooms for birthdays.

Jumpin’ Jax – 3403 FM 1960, #281-537-8833, Very fun. No inflatables, all wood, like a giant tree house. My kids love to go here! There are 2 rooms to choose from and both are included in the price. Don't be fooled by the shady looking exterior! It is fun for kids on the inside. There is a coupon in the entertainment book.

Space Center Houston - Close to Kemah and Galveston. Be sure to check out all of their ‘behind the scenes’ tour options. I hear the ‘Level Nine’ tour is way cool (age 16 & up),

Noah’s Ark Pool and Waterpark at Quillian Recreation Center – 3663 Westcenter Dr., #832-668-1800. (Beltway 8 @ Westpark) Be sure to contact the ‘Westchase’ location. They have changed their website and the only contact number I found is directly to the church. You can rent this facility for birthday parties, it is really neat.

Old Town Spring So much fun! Great shopping, food, and festivals. Love it here!! One of my top favorite places to shop with the gals!!

Orange Show open Weds - Sunday FREE - This place is a Houston icon. Made from beer cans, scrap metals, and any other type of tin and this and that. Been around forever. Everyone has a different take on it, kids think it is wild and weird and usually love it. Fun just to stop in, check it, and say to people 'Yes, we have been to the Orange Show'.

San Jacinto Monument & Museum– 1 Monument Circle, La Porte, 77571, #281-479-2421. Experience the world’s tallest monument tower! Remember school field trips here as a kid? While there you also need to visit our Battleship too.

Schlitterbahn Galveston, Schlitterbahn Padre Island, The Original in New Braunfels.

The Bluebell Creamery in Brenham --Only open for tours during the week-- call ahead-- NOT open on weekends!
Blue Bell Ice Creamery & Waterpark in Brenham - This was fun, the tour was ho-hum but at the end you get a scoop of fresh FREE ice cream, it was yummy! We have yet to visit the Waterpark but we saw it driving in, it looked great! After that you need to head over to The Southern Flyer Airport and Restaurant, aka ‘The Poodle Skirt’ because all the waitresses wear poodle skirts! Awesome shakes and burgers. About 10 minutes away from the creamery. Fried pickles anyone? Best Onion rings in Texas!!
The Bluebell Aquatics Center – 1800 East Tom Green, Brenham, 77834, #979-337-7250. Take a dip here after you visit the creamery! Then head over to ‘Southern Flyer’ for lunch (see restaurants above). The hours are squirrelly so be sure to check out the website.

Splashtown, 21300 IH 45 N., Spring TX, #281-355-3300, I always forget about this place. My neighbors went last year and said it was tons of fun. They have new rides and more play areas for toddlers.

Texas Air Adventures, Hot Air Balloon Rides - #281-379-3165. I have ALWAYS wanted to try this! Great website, great events, super fun!

The Houston Audubon Society - Many wonderful things for parents and children of all ages. Check out the Titmouse Club for ages 5 and under. This wonderful society sponsors education programs for adults and children, including meetings, field trips, seminars, classes and camps.

Redd School - They offer horseback riding, petting zoo, etc... They also offer horseback riding lessons, Family owned and operated, by The McDonalds (coincidence?)

The Woodland’s Town Center, Resort & Market Street– or or They have it all! Fountains for kids to play in (that light up at night). Very family friendly hotel, incredible pool at Marriot Waterway, tons of events and entertainment, a Kid’s CafĂ© with story times, and tons of places to shop.

Stuff that is not necessarily close...

Adamson Lagoon in College Station – 1900 Anderson, Bee Creek Park, College Station, 77840, #979-764-3735. Super fun! The tropical atmosphere in this exciting mini waterpark provides a pleasant and safe environment for the whole family. Attractions include: a large serpentine water slide, a stump slide, tadpole slide, lily pad walk, water basketball, and tube rentals. Party packages are available.

Alkek Velodrome - 19008 Saums Rd., Houston, TX 77084. #281-646-7790. This is flippin’ AWESOME! Your kid ever mention wanting to become the next Lance Armstrong? Or just want to give cycling a try all together? Then check this place out! They offer a youth cycling league and it sounds killer!

All Harris County Parks & All Houston Parks - site for locating all parks in Houston, from water parks to dog parks. I hear the Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center is awesome for kids, shaded play areas, trails, small indoor exhibit, & a frontier town you can tour on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Very Cool!

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Hindu Temple - 1150 Brand Lane, Stafford, TX 77477. 281-765-2277. WOW! This place is amazing! The architecture alone is worth the trip, not to mention the light show at night. Try something different and venture out to see this gorgeous new landmark.

Traders Village – 7979 North Eldridge Rd., Houston, 77041, #281-890-5500.The kids love this place, so much to see and do and BUY! Go early to beat the heat!!

USS Cavalla Submarine -Seawolf Park, Galveston. #409-763-6564. The USS Cavalla is a memorial to the lost submarine USS Seawolf. Take a tour or have a sleepover or birthday party on a piece of underwater American history!

Washington on The Brazos, #936-878-2461 Great experience for the entire family. We use to take trips here in Elementary school and during summers as a kid. Check out the event calendar!!

Water Wall @ the Galleria – I sometimes forget about this place. I drive by it all the time underestimating how much kids love it. Pack a picnic!

Ice Skating, Aerodrome – 8220 Willow Place Dr. (near Willowbrook Mall) #281-84-SKATE. Great way to cool off this summer!

Ice Skating, Galleria - 5015 Westheimer, Suite 1260, Houston, TX 77056. #713-621-1500. Floor level of the Galleria.

Iceskating, Memorial City Mall, I10 West and Bunker Hill

Arts of Glaze - 13215 Grant Rd., Suite 800, Cypress, 77429, #832-717-5450. How great can this place be! a wide arrange of summer activities for kids and she even offers a ladies night! Great place to have your child’s birthday party or even a wedding shower, let your guests paint some plates for ya!

Fitwize 4 Kids! – 17817 FM 529, Suite 112, Houston, 77095, #713-471-2929. Grand opening June 2nd! Youth circuit training program. Offers Summer programs, Kids night out, Birthday parties, Boy/Girl Scout Fitness Badges, Private Parties, Drop-off youth training.

Glazed Over Ceramics – 14627-B Memorial Dr. (@ Dairy Ashford), #281-497-7272. Kids love to paint and this is also a great place to have indoor parties. They along with most pottery places offer specials and discounts throughout the month.

Harry The Potter – S. Mason Rd (near I-10), #281-599-7775.

Houston Family Arts Center

Houston Museum District always fun and great learning for kids. Children's Museum and Health and medical have free nights on thursdays.

Houston Symphony Great summer schedule for kids! Click on ‘Sounds Like Fun’ in the June and July calendar. Free admission and very fun!

Sea Center Texas is a state-of-the-art marine fish hatchery and aquarium located on 75 acres in Lake Jackson, Texas. Always FREE.

Skydive Houston - 15355 Penick Rd, Waller, TX, 77484. #281-550-8070. Ok, this is nuts…I know. But maybe it’s just time to be crazy. Family fun (well, you have to be at least 18…but the little ones can come watch)!

Stephen F. Austin State Park - PO Box 125, San Felipe TX, 77473-0125
979-885-3613. Located on the Brazos River, activities include picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, golf, and nature and historical tours. Beautiful camping spot!!

Studio Movie Grill – 8580 HWY 6 (@ West Rd.). #832-593-6684. The Copperfield Summer Series offers $1 movies for kids ($2 per adult)!!! Yes, they are oldies but will get you and the kids out of the house and for a couple of bucks! WOOHOOTY!

The Art Car Museum, 140 Heights Blvd., #713-861-5526, Free admission
Wednesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the orange show link (under outdoor play) to read more about the Art Car Parade held in May every year, it is INCREDIBLE!! Or click here, Art Car Parade

Potter’s Wheel & Gifts - 5419 FM 1960 West (@ Champions), #281-537-8447. How cute is this place?!?! Go check it out!!! Make some actual pottery! Then paint them. Then glaze them. Or buy a gift. Cool! They offer Kids Summer Programs too! I likey!

Track 21 Indoor Racing – 4815 HWY 6 North (near Bear Creek) #281-200-2600. (must be over 8 and at least 54” tall to do this). Looks like a lot of fun!

Weather Museum – 5104 Caroline, Houston, 77004, #713-529-3076. Great place to visit if you have a little scientist on your hands! Meet ‘Radar’ the channel 2 weather dog!

Heritage Society Homes - 1100 Bagby, Houston, TX 77002. #713-665-1912. Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm. Sun, 1-4pm. Fun for the entire family that wants to learn about Houston’s history! Tour the homes or walk at your leisure and explore the beautiful grounds.

Oil Rig, Offshore Energy Center - Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, Pier 19, Galveston, TX, USA. #409-766-STAR. Ever wonder what it is like to be out on an oil rig? Want to have your birthday party on one? Located in Galveston, there are tons of fun things the Ocean Star OEC offers!

JP Morgan Chase Tower Skyscraper - Want the highest public view of Houston (without being in an airplane of course)? Then grab the kids and head down to the JP Morgan Chase Tower at 600 Travis in Downtown Houston. JPMorgan Chase Tower offers the highest public view of Houston from the Sky Lobby on the 60th floor. This floor serves as an observation floor as well as a transfer point to shuttle tenants to floors 49-59 and 61-75. The Sky Lobby is open to the public during the working hours of 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Disheveled Woman and Personage and Birds are also on display in the Sky Lobby. At the base of the building you have restaurants such as Ninfa’s, Pasta Fagoli, etc. Plus the tunnels and shops!

Bayou Bend Gardens – Ima Hogg Mansion Free Family Days – 1 Wescott St., Houston, 77007, #713-639-7750. Great way to expose your kids to this beautiful home & let them have some fun while enjoying a free tour! Crafts, cookies, dress-up, fun!

Downtown Tunnel System - a 7 mile system of fun!!! Yes, 7 miles of shops, restaurants, and buzzing downtown employees. The kids will LOVE it! Sandra, owner and tour guide, also does Ghost Tours called Broomstick Adventure! GREAT website!!! Be sure to see the JP Morgan Chase tower Skyscraper listing!!!

George Bush Presidential Library & Museum - WOW! This place is awesome! Classic film night, Baseball card swap Saturdays, Summer Programs! Oh, and there are books too! Lots of em’!! Worth the trip! We have other fun things to do in this area so please stop in and take a peak!

Mrs. Baird’s Bakery Tour - 6650 N.Houston-Rossyln Rd., Houston, TX 77091, #713-996-5000, etx5000. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED, at least 2 weeks in advance!! You must be over the age of 6 to do this tour. Friends help friends eat yummy warm bread fresh out of the oven!!

Imagination's Animal Factory - Hidden near the food court at Willobrook Mall, this is a great place for kids. Paint ceramics, plan a party, stuff a new cuddly friend and more!

K2 Academy of Kids Sports – 12603 Louetta Rd, Suite 114, #281-655-7272. Claire loves this place. We go around 10am and it's not too crowded. You can sit on the floor and see the entire place!

KidsTown Play and Party Center – 9440 Louetta Rd., #281-370-2700. Indoor play for kids!

Laser Quest – 6560 FM1960 West (in Champions), #281-397-6612.

Lazer-X – 13529 Skinner Rd. (@ Spring Cypress) – they have inflatables, laser tag, and video games.

Monkey Bizness, Beltway 8 @ West Rd.

Plaster Fun House & Ceramic Studio – 14520 Memorial Dr. (near Dairy Ashford) #281-496-5618. This place is so cool! Not only can you paint pottery you can actually create plaster pieces as well. Great fun!

Playhouse 1960 – 6814 Grant Rd., #281-587-8243.

Rice Epicurean Markets Cooking Classes-2020 Fountainview Dr., 713-954-2152. Classes start at 5 years old for summer camps and birthday parties Hands-on: 2 hour classes from 10 up to 24 people Demonstration classes: 10 up to 45 people

Rienzi Storytime Tours – You can access it through the Museum of Fine Arts. Basically a house in River Oaks and its collection of porcelain were donated to the museum. Reservations are required but the children get a tour of the house with different stories read in the various rooms such as the Ball Room etc. It is from 10-11. I think on Tuesday and Thursdays. Best of all - it is FREE. Great way to introduce children to fine art.

More For the Road Trippers....

Dinosaur Valley State Park - P O Box 396, Glen Rose TX 76043. 254-897-4588. Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. Dinosaur Valley State Park, located just northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County, is a 1524.72-acre, scenic park set astride the Paluxy River.

Fast Track Go-Carts – 11440 Hempstead Rd (off 290 & Antoine), #713-957-8803. They have just added mini-golf too!

Kings Orchard – in Plantersville, #936-894-2766, this place is so great, really gets kids excited about eating fruit! They get to pick their own and have many events throughout the year. Great fun!

Lake Somerville, Great place to camp and fish too (if you want to stay somewhat close to town)

Matt Family Orchard - 21110 Bauer Hockley Rd., Tomball TX 77377 (keymap page 326 section B). #281-351-7676. 33 acres of pick your own fruit & berries! They have a Harvest Festival, Bow Hunting, you name it! Their pumpkin pickin's look mighty fine!!!

In San Antonio: A GREAT park for children with Special needs -- a great tip from a reader! Morgan's Wonderland -
Morgan’s Wonderland is located in San Antonio, Texas. It is the World’s First Ultra Accessible Family Fun Park designed specifically for children and adults with special needs, their family members, caregivers, friends and the entire community. This 25-acre park is a unique oasis, that through the spirit of inclusion, allows people of all abilities to play, learn and share life changing experiences together, in a fun and safe environment.

If you are in or near Dallas/Grapevine--
Great Wolf Lodge Hotel and indoor waterpark! I have been hearing GREAT things about this place and can't wait to try it out.

Brazos Bend State Park - 21901 FM 762, Needville, TX 77461. #979-553-5102. Brazos Bend State Park, approximately 28 miles southwest of Houston, covers roughly 5000 acres. Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, equestrian, and fishing. Six lakes are easily accessible to fishermen, with piers located at 40-Acre, Elm and Hale Lakes. Visitors are cautioned to pay due respect to alligators, which are numerous in some areas of the park. COOL!

Wonderworld Amusement Park -- San Marcos, TX-- Don't forget the outlets!

Wonderland Park - Amarillo, TX

Going Bonkers indoor play area located near Dallas in Lewisville, TX
Fiesta Texas - San Antonio
Schlitterbahn - New Braunfuls
Sea World - San Antonio
Americana Kiddie Park - San Antonio
Wet N Wild - Arlington
Six Flags over TX

1 comment:

  1. just fyi, is no longer "in business"; they shut down last year. I used to be an active member.