The Woodlands, a small town of 8,434 Texans as recently as 1980, now fits the cliche that "everything is big in Texas" with over 100,000 residents and an expected population of 118,310 by 2017. This master-planned community was designed by the Howard Hughes Corporation on 28,000 acres 27 miles north of Houston. Children and teens alike will be thrilled with the tremendous variety of entertaining things available for them to do in this Texas boom town.
Even though The Woodlands is a booming, modern city, it has a host of options if your youngsters or your teens enjoy an outdoor adventure. The Woodlands offers an amazing 120 parks with over 200 miles of pathways. Consider a family picnic at Town Green Park. This 4-acre green space in the heart of town includes an amphitheater, a sculpture garden and, for the younger children, a labyrinth with life-size Aesop's fables characters. Teens can kayak at the Riva Row Boat House year-round due to the temperate Texas climate.
The Woodlands Children's Museum is located in a 11,000-square-foot facility in the Panther Creek Village Shopping Center. This interactive playground offers a host of permanent activities as well as frequent special events such as Mad Science days, puppet shows, Lego specials and celebrity birthday celebrations. This museum specializes in entertaining and educating children 7 and under. Houston, a short drive from The Woodlands, offers the Houston Museum of Natural Science, as well as fine arts and children's museums.
For Music Fans
If you enjoy outdoor concerts, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is home to high-quality concerts. Past acts have included Sting, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett and Dave Matthews Band. The Houston Symphony Orchestra performs at the pavilion throughout the year as well as annually during with the community fireworks show with the adjacent Town Green Park as the backdrop. Market Street’s Central Park is also home to outdoor concerts as well as art and car shows. The Woodlands additionally boasts a city concert band and a ballet company that performs at various indoor and outdoor venues in town. Northshore Park also offers a Sunday concert series with a variety of acts from all genres of music performing nearly every Sunday for free.
Other Options for Children
The Gorilla Hole is a special activity program geared toward pre-teens in fifth and sixth grade. Admission in this safe, supervised venue includes food as well as music and fun activities. It is typically open two days a month within the larger Woodlands Recreational Center. Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf uses black lights and 3-D glasses to provide your child with an unusual sporting experience. The shop also includes a Cannonball Air Blaster target range that uses foam balls to knock down targets. The Rob Fleming Aquatic Center includes a 500-foot lazy river, splash pads and slides for children and shaded areas for parents who choose not to swim.
Other Options for Teens
If your teen is a shopper, consider the beautiful Market Street shopping area. This luxury experience offers over 100 events throughout the year and includes many trendy teen and adult clothing and accessory stores. The Woodlands houses three frisbee golf, or frolf, courses for teens and adults alike. The Woodlands Recreational Center and the YMCA offer a variety of activities and games. There are also 14 public swimming pools spread throughout The Woodlands for your teen's swimming pleasure.