When it comes to planning an affordable and unforgettable getaway for the family, look no further than deep in the heart of Texas. Family values are as big as the sky in Houston, where you won’t have any trouble at all finding all kinds of activities and meals to please kids and adults alike.
Get Outside for Some Free Fun
Houston has a pretty warm climate year-round, and that adds up to plenty of chances for outdoor fun. Many great parks around the city offer a free way to spend a relaxing day communing with nature. Start with Buffalo Bayou Park, just west of downtown. With 160 acres to explore, your clan can take it all on by renting bikes or paddleboards, checking out the public art, strolling the gardens, or simply enjoying a lazy picnic in the shade.
Levy Park is another popular spot for families, with activities like children’s bingo and yoga classes adding to the affordable fun. When you arrive, check out their website to see what’s happening for the day. The choices are often pretty cool.
Feed the Stingrays
At the Downtown Aquarium, you can feed the stingrays by hand – if you dare! There’s also a Spanish shipwreck to explore, a Louisiana swamp, and a real rainforest to explore. You can save on this and other big attractions in Houston by purchasing a CityPASS online – pass holders get to skip the lines, too!
Play Together for Free
The Children’s Museum of Houston is one of a handful of hands-on play and learning spots for kids in the state, but this one has an added benefit: On Thursdays, families can enter and play for free. Do you like your kids to work those little brains when they play? This is the spot for taking on a challenge course, dabbling in engineering – who can make the coolest paper airplane? – splashing at the water table, and so much more.
Have Ice Cream for Dinner
Aw, come on! It’s vacation! Visit Hank’s Ice Cream to have a banana split or a scoop of butter pecan during your Houston stay. If sweets aren’t your main thing, check out places like Punk’s Simple Southern Food, where you can order up some finger-lickin’ fried chicken, and Little Matt’s, a non-profit restaurant that even has a candy shop attached. (You know, just in case any of your little ones need some more sugar.)
Honor Firefighters with Fun
To burn off extra energy, speed on over to the Houston Fire Museum, where you can find all kinds of educational exhibits that honor the important work of firefighters. There’s a junior play area that’s perfect for kids to pretend to fight fires, and on the second Saturday of each month, the play area is open from noon to 4 p.m. with kids allowed in for free!
Looking for even more tips for a memorable family vacation in Houston? Check out our other budget-friendly H-town guides.