In a city as big as Houston, there’s a plethora of great attractions, events, and things to do for families. In fact, the city is routinely ranked among the most family-friendly in all of the country. But with so many things to do in Houston with kids, how can you know which ones are really worth your time and money?
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of more than 50 of best things to do in Houston with kids and toddlers in 2020, including many year-round attractions as well as some upcoming one-time events. Being a great parent, you’ve likely already done some of these, but hopefully, there are a few surprises on this list that will give you something new and exciting to do with your little ones!
Things to Do with Kids & Toddlers Winter 2020
Before we dive into our list of 50 things you can do with your little ones any time of the year, let’s take a look at a few upcoming events this winter you don’t want to miss:
- Check out the Houston Auto Show (Jan 22-26)–The Houston Auto Show comes once a year, and it’s a fun event for the whole family, especially if your little is into cars. Kids 5 and under get in free, while kids 6 to 12 get discounted admission. And right now, adults can get 40% off tickets with this Groupon deal.
- See The Little Mermaid live on stage (Jan 25-Feb 15)–Kids love The Little Mermaid, and this production by The Company OnStage brings the classic tale to life in an engaging performance for all ages. Get tickets for just $5 with this deal.
- Visit Moody Gardens on the cheap (limited time offer)–Moody Gardens is one of the area’s best family-friendly attractions, offering tons of fun for kids and adults alike. With a range of attractions that include 3D and 4D special effects theater, an aquarium, rainforest exhibits, and more, there’s so much to do at Moody Gardens! Get single-day value passes for up to 57% off with this limited-time Groupon offer.
- See Pinocchio live on stage (Mar 14-Apr 4)–The charming tale of Pinocchio comes to the stage as part of The Company OnStage’s Young Audience series with family-friendly matinee performances. Get tickets for $5 with this special offer.
50 Year-Round Things to Do with Kids & Toddlers in Houston
- Visit the Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science! You’ll have a full day of adventure plus a chance to view dozens of butterflies at once. Get nearly 50% off admission to the center with your Houston on the Cheap reader discount! It’s one of the best things to do in Houston with kids!
- Take selfies at some of Houston’s best murals, like the Biscuit Paint Wall, Michael Rodrigues Fox Mural, and more!
- Walk the Woodlands Waterway. Catch a free show at the Pavilion then walk down to the fountains for a colored and choreographed light and fountain show in the evening.
- Visit the free Menil Collection and run around the nearby parks.
- Make a cheap day of fun at Memorial City Mall. Play at Frolic’s Castle, ride the Carousel and attend one of their premier events.
- Visit every exhibit at the Houston Zoo and save big on this and 4 other top destinations with CityPASS.
- Visit the scenic Hermann Park for a splash pad, water features, Japanese Gardens, and Art in the Park.
- Spot the gators at Brazos Bend State Park. Go geocaching, fishing, and hiking, then check out the nature center before you leave!
- Explore old firetrucks and visit the locker room at Houston’s Fire Museum.
- Reservations are not required but you can reserve seats to see the show at Twilight Epiphany. The James Turrell Skyspace on the Rice University campus creates a light sequence during dawn and dusk.
- Pet the farm animals, take a train ride and play at the “children’s paradise” on Old MacDonald Farm.
- Get your science on at Space Center Houston. Get a CityPass to see five of Houston’s major attractions for the price of three!
- Bring your own apples, carrots, and/or peppermints to feed the horses in the barn at Houston’s Mounted Patrol Station. Check their visitor’s page for hours and information.
- Have a picnic in the park and enjoy a free live concert at Discovery Green, Market Square Park, and more!
- Bring drinks and a snack to get your skate on or watch the skateboarders at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark.
- Who says you need to go to the beach to build a sandcastle? Bring the kids to the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area and Picnic Pavilion.
- Visit the Stingray Reef at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium, also included with CityPASS options.
- Take a long nap during the day, then camp out at the George Observatory during a meteor shower. Or, just go for the day and check out their telescopes for stargazing.
- Get lost in the Downtown Tunnels. Get some shopping done, have a quick lunch, and take photos while you’re there!
- Visit Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts for amazing architecture and art galleries. Bring your own picnic and have lunch on the plaza.
- Stretch your dancing feet during Live Music in the Plaza at City Centre. The plaza has seating, green space, water features, and plenty of restaurants to grab a quick bite.
- Get soaked at one of the local neighborhood spraygardens. Be sure to read the rules and hours before you go- and bring towels!
- Tinker, dabble and play with the exhibits at Children’s Museum Houston. You can also use CityPASS to get 48% off of admission to Houston’s best attractions.
- Let Fido loose at Johnny Steel Dog Park or any of the other great dog parks in Houston. If you don’t have a dog, bring the kids to play with someone else’s!
- Enjoy a children’s story hour and tour at the beautiful Rienzi. Tour the amazing gardens for free! Check out our guide to all of the free storytimes around Houston too.
- Take advantage of Free Outdoor Movies at some of Houston’s best green spaces. Bring your own picnic, blankets, and bug spray for a lazy summer night!
- Be enchanted at one of Houston’s theater productions. Take in a show, then re-enact it at home!
- Wander around the pier, feed the fish, and steer model boats at Kemah Boardwalk.
- Support the Coogs and local artists by visiting the student art gallery at Blaffer Art Museum. While you’re there, you can also wander the beautiful University of Houston campus.
- Experience the unique and gorgeous Glenwood Cemetery. Leave flowers and pebbles on the graves or talk about the circle of life with the kids.
- Go planespotting at Hobby Airport and stop by the 1940 Air Terminal Museum (get discounted tickets with Groupon). Admission is cheap and you can not only visit photo and video galleries but see vintage and restored planes in the hangar.
- Check out the Outbreak exhibit, the DeBakey Center, and the Amazing Body Gallery at the Health Museum.
- Enjoy a free, 90-minute boat tour of the Houston Ship Channel.
- Get a dose of art, culture, and nature at the Cullen Sculpture Garden and visit Houston’s own “bean” sculpture, Cloud Gate.
- Go during dusk to visit the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony and watch the bats make their daily venture out from the bridge for their nighttime feeding.
- Park near the Preston Street Bridge, wander near the Sesquicentennial Park and dare the kids to push the Big Red Button on Buffalo Bayou.
- Settle in for storytime at Houston Public Libraries. Bring snacks and a drink and be sure to stay afterward for activities like finger play and songs.
- Explore Phoenicia Specialty Foods and let them pick their own meal then eat it there! You can also bring the kids to their MKT bar for live music and drink specials.
- Catch a basketball game with our Houston Rockets! Check out our guide to getting cheap Rockets tickets so you can save big on your visit.
- Go people-watching, get in a workout, visit the dog park, and cool off at Niko Niko’s in Market Square Park.
- Get ready for your close up at the Gerald D. Hines Water Wall. The water feature is great for photo ops and you can also bring your own picnic and play Frisbee in the park.
- Shop local and get your fix of handmade good at City Hall Farmer’s Market. Check out our full guide to farmers markets in Houston, too!
- Hop aboard Noah’s Ark at the Quillian Recreation Center at First United Methodist Church on Richmond. The center has a huge pool area with water features and a Noah’s Ark replica with slides, all for a nominal fee.
- Play and jog at all the best parks in the Houston area– bring your sunscreen, bug spray, and a camera!
- Catch a free play or show on the hill at Miller Outdoor Theater. Be sure to bring your blankets, bug spray, and a picnic to enjoy a totally free event with the kids! It’s always one of the best free things to do in Houston on the weekend!
- Dive into the world of the fun and the funky at Smither Park, home of the Orange Show, the Beer Can House, and the Art Car Museum. It’s the weirdest and best thing to do with kids and toddlers!
- Check out Free Museum Family Days on Thursdays and get free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and several other museums!
- Stroll through the Project Row Houses and see their art exhibits or one of their demonstrations. Get a tour to find out more about the history of the area and the installations.
- Burn off some energy at Wonderwild, Houston’s best indoor playspace for kids with jumping pillows, 3-story playscapes, giant slides, and more!
- Head down to Dewberry Farm for an afternoon of fun. It’s a short drive from Houston and boasts dozens of great attractions, plenty of eating spots, live entertainment, and more!
What are some of your favorite things to do in Houston with kids? Comment below and let us know! And don’t forget to visit Houston On The Cheap daily for more great ideas for fun activities all year long.