By Christina Whitworth
Houston is city that is meant to be explored. There are a seemingly never-ending treasure trove of parks. The west side is probably the most covered with amazing free splash pads and other parks, but I’ve discovered that they don’t own the monopoly. You can google parks in Houston, or just start a conversation with another mom, and ask them for the scoop on parks in your area. Family-friendly parks are sure to be a great conversation starter! Some of the top parks to visit are Hermann Park, Discovery Green, Menil Park, Memorial Park, Donovan Park, Ray Miller Park, and Spotts Park. McClendon Park on the west side of Houston was always one of our favorite haunts when we lived on that side. My kids affectionately named it the “Star Park” because of all the lone stars that decorate the place. It has a splash pad, and various rock climbing walls, a toddler playground, a big kid area, walking trail, a disc golf course, an amphitheater, a big soccer field area, swings that include a handicap swing. There is even a butterfly garden and a nature trail.
I also want to introduce you to an activity that you have to do it at least once, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing it again….The Houston Airshow! We have done this many times! It happens every October. We love it! If you have an airplane enthusiast, you might want to invest in seat tickets, but if not the view if just fine on the green with some folding camp chairs or a blanket on the ground. There is lots of fair like food, and old aircraft to check out, helicopter rides (extra), and bouncy house fun, and shopping for fun memorabilia. We love the stunt pilots! Just make sure you get some noise reducers or ear plugs for all of your little ones when the Blue Angels get ready to fly!
Another fun activity is visiting the Battleship of Texas. It’s docked in the Houston Ship Channel, and you can go on board and tour a ship that was part of many major naval battles including ones during both world wars. Your kids can imagine life as a sailor and then you can have a picnic at the nearby San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Park.
Berry picking is also a popular option for my kids. The thrill of getting to pick and eat your own berries is a wonderful treat. Moorehead’s Blueberry Farm has a picking season in June and July and they are open rain or shine. At the Matt Family Orchard you can pick blueberries, blackberries, figs, pears, jujubes, persimons, and various citrus fruits depending on the season.
From parks, to air shows, to berry farms, to museums, and to the circus (this has become a family tradition is July for us), Houston is a city that has amazing things to offer families ready to explore and enjoy various activities. My advice is to just get busy and set a plan! Have fun! Be adventurous! Invite some friends! Make new friends! Life is not boring in the city, and day trips make for great memories! So go get exploring Houstonians!
What parks and fun activities in Houston do you enjoy? Let us know in the comments!
Nature and Outdoor Camps for Kids in Houston:
Why outdoor play is important: