View Full Version : Toddler friendly activities in Houston/Galveston area
06-26-2006, 10:02 AM
We're planning a trip to Houston and Galveston in late July. We're already planning on going to the children's museum for sure because our science museum pass from here works there too. We have several other ideas on the list of possibilites (zoo, downtown aquarium, schlitterbahn [probably not so toddler friendly, but my sis is coming with us so we can trade off on kylee duty]). What other things would you recommend? If it's free or cheap, that's even better! TIA!
06-26-2006, 10:16 AM
You could go to the Kemah Boardwalk. There are childrens rides, play areas, fountains to play in, a train and several other things I can't quite think of. It isn't cheap but you don't have to break the bank to have fun. There is a restaurant called the Aquarium that is a little price but is really a cool place to eat. They have HUGE aquariums all throughout the place and it is right on the water. It was fun to go there at least once.
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06-26-2006, 10:18 AM
I went last summer and got some great suggestions from people here. Loved the children's museum. People also recommended this boardwalk type place - Kemah - that has a little train and this squirting water fountain for the kids to play in. That was a very fun day.
I'll check for the thread later, but if you want to search, it was last June.
If the kids are old enough, there is an ice skating rink in a big mall. Mine just looked at it, but it was neat.
Have fun !!
06-26-2006, 12:26 PM
Hi - we live in Houston. I think the Children's Museum is a great activity (it's apparently one of the best in the country). It is really big and great for all ages.
We love our zoo, and go all the time - but not usually in the summer because it is REALLY REALLY hot in Houston. If you do go to the zoo I'd suggest you are there when it opens at 9am and plan to leave by 10:30am (last time we went we were out of there by 10am b/c we were just too hot). But there is a new-ish small little spray park in the Children's section of the zoo, so that is a way to cool off (bring bathing suits / swim shoes for the kids if you plan to do that).
Here are 2 other suggestions that I have not been to but plan to go.
This place, called Noah's Arc, is in a church and lots of people I know have birthday parties there. It's supposed to be really fun, and a great summer time activity.
This place, called Bayou Wildlife Park, is an "exotic animal paradise" and supposed to be good. We heard about it recently but decided to hold off on visiting till it cools off in the fall. It's kind of in between Houston and Galveston, I think.
Have a great trip!
06-26-2006, 03:09 PM
Thanks! We'll definitely check out Kema. I've been there before, but didn't remember all those ride options. Hopefully dd will be tall enough to ride some of them because my little daredevil gets quite irritated if she's not allowed to ride something she thinks looks like fun!
Noah's ARk and the Bayou animal place sound fun too. I'm questioning going to the zoo due to the heat, as was mentioned. Plus we just went to our zoo on father's day.
And Lynnie, I did find that old post. Thanks for pointing me in that direction! Did you go to Old McDonald's farm? Was it fun?
Any more ideas? Thanks again!
We were just in Houston in March and went to the Children's Museum twice because it was just that good!
06-26-2006, 08:24 PM
We went to visit my parents last summer and were looking for some of the same things. They live literally 5 minutes or less from Kemah and yes, it was fun, but there are lots of height limits on the rides. There were plenty of kid rides, too though, if I remember right. They do a $15 ride all day pass that also includes the train, and DS and his cousin (14) had a blast doing it all. There were concerts there on the weekends last year that were fun but made it very busy. My parents have been saying there are fireworks there every Friday night this summer.
We skipped the zoo, I couldn't imagine it in the heat.
The Children's museum was everything previous posters have said, we will definitely go again.
Galveston was fun just for the beach - the water is crazy-warm and very shallow at the beach we were at. Tiny waves, too. DS played for hours in that water without getting cold.
We went to the Moody Gardens (water park, science museum, aquarium, Imax, sternwheeler ride) which was fun, but crazy expensive. By the time you add up all that stuff I couldn't believe it. You can do just parts of it I think.
Most everything else we did was just blah. It was so hot there in August I don't have great memories of much besides the pool!
06-26-2006, 10:49 PM
There is a Butterfly Garden in the Houston Museum of Natural Science that DH and I loved. There are always lots of kids there.
06-27-2006, 11:03 AM
I'm glad to hear that. Can't wait!
06-27-2006, 11:06 AM
I know...it isn't my idea of the right place to visit this time of year either, but it's what worked out. At least we'll get to take dd to the beach. She's never been, but she loves to play in sand, so I think it will be a lot of fun.
I can't decide about Moody Gardens. It seems neat, but the price tag is definitely steep.
I think my mom's friend that lives down in that area must have mentioned the fireworks at Kema because mom was talking about that. We're waiting to see how dd handles fireworks on the 4th before we decide if we're doing Kema on Friday or some other time.
Thanks for your input!
06-27-2006, 11:07 AM
That sounds neat! DD enjoyed the butterflies at our zoo recently, so we might have to look into that. Thanks for the tip!
06-27-2006, 06:44 PM
I like to take DS to the Museum of Natural Science. They have a kids section downstairs that DS adores, and has always loved. Plus, he likes the chemistry hall section (near the dinosaurs in the exhibit halls) because there's lots of hands-on activities there. There are also scuttlefish upstairs, near the shell exhibits, but that's about all that's upstairs.
I second the Children's museum and zoo, but on the other side of the zoo, there's a park (free) with a water section (pretty big). This is different from the water section in the petting area of the children's zoo (which, by the way, has a really slippery wooden platform in it about which i've not had a chance to write to the zoo's general counsel yet).
Another activity you may consider is the Pump it Up at the Edwards Marq*E Cinema complex off I-10 near Silber. They have a huge indoor moonwalk complex inside with several moonwalks. It's usually only for parties, but every Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings (10-12), you can take your individual children to play for $6 each. Cheap and fun. Socks required.
There's another complex in Houston, Monkey Bizness, but I don't remember where it's at (DH usually takes DS to these).
I also take DS to Memorial City Mall, which has not only an ice skating rink, but, even better, near the rink, a kids play castle. It's covered in a kind of bumper foam, which makes it safe, and it's endless (and I do mean endless) hours of fun for DS. It's usually pretty busy, but that's because it's not huge. If you go early, it's likely to be very relaxed and laid back. The mall opens at least by 9 a.m.
That's all I can think of. I also second Kemah, but more for looking than participating (except the train ride). There's a toy store there, though, and it's really expensive, so be aware. It's near the hotel.
Hope you have fun!
06-27-2006, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the tips! I added your suggestions to our lists of possible activities. How old is your ds? Is he able to do enough at pump it up/ monkey bizness to make it worth it? DD's never been anywhere like that, but judging by how much she enjoys jumping on the bed, it'd be a hit.
06-28-2006, 07:04 PM
DS is now 4.5, but he has always loved moonwalks. Once he saw the other kids doing it, he was on his way!
It's hard to think of things to do w/ a toddler/young one, but when you live here, you kind of have to come up with something! I'm glad I could help, and only wish I could help more.
Have a wonderful stay, and if you have any other questions, just ask; I'm born and bred here, so I'm pretty familiar.
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