Activities for Kids in the Houston Area

Children's Activities in Fort Bend County, Texas

Family Fun Centers

In the town of Katy you will find Katy Miniature Golf and Batting Cages. Your kids can putt around on either of the 18-hole mini golf courses or take a few swings in the batting cages. For an exciting laser tag experience, Laser Zone in Sugar Land has a three-story arena with mazes and special lighting effects. The Funplex Entertainment Center in Houston provides kids with everything they could want in a fun center. It has a two-story soft-play structure with interactive elements, go-karts, a Ferris wheel, kiddie rides, roller skating, bowling, an arcade and plenty of appetizing carnival food options.

Gymnastics and Open Gyms

Sugar Land Gymnastics in Sugar Land offers classes in all levels of gymnastics for both boys and girls, tumbling, dance and karate. Gymnastics camps are available in the summer, teaching kids the basics of gymnastics through an engaging and entertaining environment. In the city of Richmond you will find Iron Cross Gymnastics. Your children can enroll in recreational or competitive gymnastics classes, tumbling classes and day camps. Also offered are parents night out programs and open gym. The Little Gym in Katy is another option. It aims to develop crucial motor skills through festive music and movement classes, karate and dance.

Museums

The Houston Museum of Natural Science in Sugar Land offers an abundance of discovery activities for kids. It has an amusement park science exhibit, a 200-gallon saltwater aquarium, a fossil digging adventure, space exploration, a digital dome theater, an art gallery for kids and a T-Rex skeleton display. The Fort Bend Museum in Richmond is another intriguing option for kids. It features a program designed to take kids back in time to see what it was like living on the frontier. Through role-playing, engaging activities and costumes, kids will enjoy the imaginative program while learning a bit about the history of Fort Bend.

Parks and Outdoor Adventure

Located along the Brazos River in Sugar Land, you will find Memorial Park. It is over 420 acres of recreational space, including playgrounds, walking and biking trails, picnic pavilions, a lake for fishing and open playing fields. For more of a wilderness setting, Brazos Bend State Park in Needville is an excellent choice. It has six different lakes for fishing, hiking trails, a nature center, campsites, horseback riding opportunities and plenty of wildlife to see.

Evening Activities for Kids in and around Atascocita, Texas

Bowling and Skating

There are a few places to take the kids bowling near Atascocita. Max Bowl is about 10 minutes away in Humble. It has bumper lanes for beginners, cosmic bowling nights featuring glow lighting and music, and a video game room. Also in Humble, AMF Humble Lanes has 32 lanes, billiard tables and an arcade room. Another fun option in Humble is the Humble Family Skating Center where kids can roller skate around the rink to the sound of fun music, and perhaps even take a skating lesson. The rink also hosts special fun Friday nights like Silly Sock Night, Pajama Night and Silly Face Night.

Game Centers and Playgrounds

In the northern part of Houston, 19 miles from Atascocita, you'll find Zuma Fun Center. Here, the kids can putt around on either of the two mini-golf courses, race around in the go-karts or rookie go-karts for the younger racers, have fun on the bumper boats, take a few swings in the batting cages and play some air hockey, skee ball and redemption games in the arcade. Another fun option is Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf, located in The Woodlands, about 28 miles from Atascocita. This is an indoor, 18-hole course with glow-in-the-dark features, a 3-D play option and colorful special effects sure to wow the kids.

Fun Eateries

If you're looking for a kid-friendly place to eat, look no further than Chuck E Cheese, located in Humble. Here the kids can eat pizza, and then play in the video arcade room, ride the kiddie rides and slide around on the play structure. For a delicious after-dinner treat, head over to Culver's in Atascocita. It has numerous ice cream flavors, toppings and cone choices, providing a fun and yummy experience for young ice cream connoisseurs.

Primetime Fishing

One of the best times to go fishing is in the evening -- and Atascocita has a few prime spots nearby. Lake Houston Wilderness Park is 20 miles away in New Caney. You can bring a kayak or canoe to get out on the water or just fish from the shore. You might also want to pitch a tent and camp the night away. Another spot on Lake Houston is River Grove Park in Kingwood, 8 miles from Atascocita. It has a boat launch, fishing areas and tables for picnics.

Children's Activities Near Northwest Houston

Water Fun

Spend the day enjoying the water with your kids at Splashtown Houston, 22 minutes away in Spring. Inside this huge water park, you'll find an assortment of family water activities, such as Tree House Island with slippery slides, interactive spray features and a water dump bucket and the Guadalupe River Adventure where you and your kids can relax while floating down a lazy river. Other attractions include water rides, a wave pool and some exciting water slides. Alternatively, take your kids for a visit to one of the splash pad parks in northwest Houston, like Aron Ledet Park or Nottingham Park, both featuring brightly colored play areas with interactive spray features.

Fun Centers

Enjoy some thrills with your kids at one of northwest Houston's fun centers, like Mountasia, with attractions that include mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, bumper boats and a huge game room with state-of-the-art video and arcade games. At Zuma Fun Centers, your family can zip around the regular or rookie go-kart track, splash each other in the bumper boats, play a game of mini-golf on one of two courses and play games like skee-ball and air hockey in the video arcade.

Events and Festivals

Take your children to some of the festivals and events that take place in the area, like the Christmas in July family event that takes place at Fallbrook Church, with activities that include music, dancers and comedians. In September, take your family to the Garden Faire Fall Festival at the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 20 minutes away in Humble. This event includes family-friendly activities such as an art and craft show, live entertainment and free children's activities and games. Also enjoy the family events at Creek Fest Art and Soles, including children's concerts, races and children's library activities.

Other Activities

Take a stroll through Traders Village, a market place with over 100 acres. Your family can enjoy amusement rides like The Freefall, Carousel and Star Dancer, and climb, slide and play in The Rumpus Room, a humongous interactive playground. Traders Village also has shopping, restaurants and events such as the annual Fiestas Patrias and annual Boo Bash. You could also take your kids to the Sam Houston Race Park for some exciting horse races, a delicious meal and live entertainment.

Family Water Activities in the Houston Area

SplashTown

SplashTown (splashtownpark.com) is located in a suburb of Houston called Spring, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Houston. This water park boasts Treehouse Island, which is a 3-story playground complete with ladders, slides and buckets that dump 1,000 gallons of water over the entire structure. Visit Crocodile Isle to play on a pirate ship or ride an inner tube down the lazy river. Leaky Pipes is a play area designated for children and has slides and a tire swing. Older children might enjoy the Space Rapids, Thunder Run and Zoom Flumes, which is a 95-foot tandem tubing slide.

The Quillan Center and Noah's Ark Pool

Located right in Houston is the Quillan Center (quilliancenter.org), which has a large swimming pool for adults and older children. It includes a diving board and space to swim laps. The center also has a swimming pool for smaller children, too. Perhaps one of the largest draws to the center is the Noah's Ark Pool, which is a large structure that looks like the ark, and is designed for toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary-age children. The play structure is decorated with animals and includes slides, a climb-through and several other water features that spray and dump water as the children play.

Pirate's Bay Water Park

About 30 minutes from downtown Houston in the suburb of Baytown is Pirates Bay Water Park (baytown.org/piratesbay). This water park is designed with a pirate theme and features a large pirate ship play structure. The ship has slides, climbing areas and dumping buckets. The park also boasts a 671-foot lazy river, several water slides and surf machine that mimics the action of ocean waves. Your family can even zoom down the giant water slide on plastic mats, which increase your speed -- and make the slide even more thrilling.

Parks and Lakes

You're family isn't limited to water parks to enjoy water activities in the Houston area. Visit Hermann Park (hermannpark.org), which is a 445-acre park nestled right in the heart of Houston. The park has a large lake where your family can rent paddle boats, go fishing and view native animals on the three islands in the lake. Pack a picnic to enjoy along the banks of the lake, too. Lake Conroe, also located in the Houston metropolitan area is about an hour north of downtown -- and offers boating, fishing, water skiing and swimming areas.

Summer Day Camps for Kids in Houston, TX

Visual Arts Camp

If your mini-Monet is looking for a summer day program that will help her to learn about art, try new techniques and make her own masterpieces, send her to an art camp. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Glassell Junior School offers one- and four-week summer day sessions for kids ages 4 through 18 years. Kids can take classes with preschool-friendly themes such as animals or super heroes and more process-based courses on painting or drawing techniques for tweens and teens in the museum's administrative building. Another artsy option in Houston is Art Mix's summer camps. This Texas creative space offers day camps for kids ages 3 through 13, with morning, lunch-time or a combo camp options. Children can learn about art from around the world and make their own crafty creations to take home.

Sports Camps

The YMCA of Greater Houston offers summer day sports camps for kids of all ages. The specific activities vary by site, but typically include soccer, football, baseball and volleyball. If your child is a tennis enthusiast, the University of Houston's Nike Tennis day camp is a five-day long program, with technique training for kids from ages 7 through 18. Another sports day camp, also at the University of Houston, is the Cougar Baseball Camp. Children ages 6 through 12, or 13 to 18, can learn baseball and hitting techniques during the summer in two- or four-day programs.

Performing Arts Camps

Your young dancer, mini musician and dramatic child can get creative at one of Houston's performing arts day camps. Dance Houston's No Limits Dance Camp has separate sessions for kids ages 4 through 7 years and older children who are 7 through 17 years. Campers will take classes on creative movement, hip hop, jazz, contemporary and Latin styles from professional dancers and choreographers. The Christian Youth Theater in Houston features a summer camp for children during the day that includes Broadway style musical theater classes, voice and drama. Children who are musically inclined might learn a thing or to at Houston Piano Company's summer music program. These one-week-long day camps run during June and July.

Science

Science-themed day camps provide an inspired way for kids to have fun and beat the summer heat. Houston's Mad Science camps have hands-on explorations, outdoor games and class-type activities. The specific themes vary by year, but do include separate groups for preschoolers and school aged kids. The Houston Museum of Natural Science provides kids ages 6 through 12 with an array of science-themed one-week day programs. Age groupings include separate camps for children 6 to 7, 8 and 9, and 10 through 12.

Family Activities for New Year's Day in Houston, Texas

Wildlife and Nature

New Year's Day may be the ideal time to head over to the zoo or aquarium. The Downtown Aquarium features numerous live animal exhibits, including exotic snakes, rain forest creatures, shark tanks, white tigers and a touch-and-feel sting ray tank. There is a train ride that will take you through a shark tank for up-close views, a Ferris wheel and an aquatic-themed carousel. The Houston Zoo is open year-round, featuring a wide array of creatures such as lions, monkeys, zebras, giraffes and bears. It also has a 4-D movie experience that brings movies to life.

Museums

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has something for everyone in the family. Exhibits include an energy discovery station, ancient Egypt artifacts, realistic displays of Texas wildlife, chemistry experiments, gems, African wildlife displays and interactive computer stations. The museum also has a planetarium and an indoor butterfly garden. Another option is a visit to the Space Center. There you will have the opportunity to see a full-scale space shuttle replica, experience what it is like in space, have lunch with an astronaut and tour the mission control center. The kids can enjoy the indoor play structure known as the Angry Birds Space Matrix.

Family Fun Centers

Family time on New Year's Day may be best spent at a fun center. Zuma Fun Centers has two locations in Houston. You can float around on the bumper boats, race each other with go-karts, play the arcades, putt through the mini-golf course, swing a few in the batting cages and let the young ones enjoy the kiddie rides. For an indoor option, The Funplex Entertainment Center has plenty to do. It features bowling, roller skating, arcade games, a Ferris wheel, kiddie rides, a play structure, go-karts and plenty of food.

Ice Skating

A day out on the ice is usually associated with the holidays, and Houston has plenty of places to skate on New Year's Day. At the Houston Galleria Mall, there is an indoor ice rink providing skate rentals and open skate time for all ages. Ice Skate USA is another option located in the Memorial City Mall. It has open skate sessions, skate lessons and hockey lessons. The Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex features special effects lighting and lively music during its public skate times.

Good Places to Cycle With Kids in Houston

Cycling Through the City

With various bike paths, on-street and off-street trails, rails-to-trails projects and urban multi-use paths, the Houston Bikeway Program features 345 miles of cycling opportunities. For a tour through downtown, you and the kids can hop on the Central Business District Bikeway and enjoy the 63 miles of on-street designated paths and trails within the 610 Loop area. The Columbia Tap Rails to Trails is another urban option, featuring over 4 miles of a 10-foot-wide concrete path. Once the location for the Union Pacific Railroad track, it now serves as a scenic greenway for cyclists into downtown.

Nature Trails

Kids would most likely enjoy a bike ride through nature areas where they can see wildlife, wooded thickets and picturesque waterways. The Buffalo Bayou is a waterway that runs through town with several miles of hike and bike trails on both sides. A good access point to the trail is at Sesquicentennial Park. The trail follows along the shoreline featuring greenways and plenty of trees for shade. Terry Hershey Park features a bike trail with dips and turns making it a bit of a challenge. It is still fairly easy, though, and okay for beginners. The park also features wetlands and a creek area creating excellent views from the trail.

Terrain for the Advanced Riders

Perhaps you have some older kids who would be thrilled with a challenging bike trail. Houston has plenty of options that would get the adrenaline pumping. Memorial Park has 6 miles of mountain bike trails along the bayous. Parts of the trail have steep drops and big turns, so make sure you are ready for it. George Bush Park has a bike trail that is not too difficult, but still challenging. It is just 2 miles long with some uphill climbs that would make for great exercise for the kids.

Cycle at an Event

The Bicycle World of Houston has a Kids Club. It is a family-friendly recreational organization aiming to teach kids how to ride properly, build a habit of exercise and promote a family atmosphere. It has several cycling events throughout the year, such as races, triathlons and tricycle events for young kids. Adults are welcome to participate in the training and racing. If you are looking for an excuse to keep the kids up late, consider participating in the annual Moonlight Bicycle Ramble. Held in late October, riders wear costumes and cycle through downtown with creatively lit bicycles.