Kids are usually encouraged to “go outside and play,” but with so many things to do in the great metropolis that is Houston, it’s just as easy to stay inside and have loads of fun for the whole family. Whether the weather is extra hot and steamy or you just want a cool way to spend time together, here’s a list of places and experiences that provide fun for the toddler and the grandparent alike!
Jumping for Joy
One cool indoor activity the whole family can enjoy is trampoline parks. Houston boasts several places where kids and adults alike can burn off some energy while jumping high in the sky. Jumping World is one trampoline park with locations seven locations in and around Houston. And if you’re looking for a little more than trampolines, Jumping World also offers foam pits, dodgeball, basketball dunking, ziplining and more.
Drive, Park, Enjoy
This option isn’t exactly indoors, but it is inside your car so that counts, right? Take a trip back in time to when drive-in movies were all the rage with Showboat Driven-In Theater. Located just northwest of Houston, it’s one of the country’s last movie theaters of its kind. One ticket gives you admission to watch two movies, and a concession stand offers all the popcorn, snacks and drinks you can stand.
Ice Skating at the Galleria
You don’t have to wait for winter to put on a pair of skates and hit the ice at the Galleria Mall’s ice skating rink. Ice at the Galleria offers year-round skating for all skill levels, so whether you dream of being in the Olympics one day or you just want to have some fun with family and friends, this is a great option, especially during the hot summer months.
Children’s Museum of Houston
The beloved Children’s Museum of Houston is a staple in the city that has provided fun, entertainment and education for families for the past 40 years. Interactive “exhibits” allow children to break away from digital gadgets and explore the creativity of their own minds. Whether it’s challenging obstacle courses, thrilling science experiments or secret spy games, kids will enjoy hours and hours of fun and learning. The museum is also a Certified Autism Center, providing sensory activities for children on the autism spectrum.
Take your laser tag game up a notch at Battlefield Houston, the largest indoor tactical battlefield in the United States. Kids will maneuver through challenging obstacles to complete exciting “missions.” Virtual reality rooms add an even more interactive and fun element to the entertainment.
Houston Public Library
Although digital games and books are pretty popular these days, kids actually still enjoy a trip to the library, and Houston has some of the best. Whether you’re visiting the main library downtown or one of the many branches located throughout the city, there’s nothing like browsing through thousands of selections of books, videos and audiobooks. Many libraries also have kid-friendly activities such as story time. Bring the whole family to the library for a good time… just be sure to use your inside voice.
Let’s go 'Stros! Cheer the Astros on to victory at Minute Maid Park. It’s a time-honored, American tradition to catch a game with family and friends, so break out your jersey and best baseball cap and get ready for some hot dogs, peanuts and lots of home runs! Go 'Stros!
Lone Star Flight Museum
This isn’t your typical museum by a long shot. The Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Airport features actual historic aircraft in its 130,000 square foot facility. Kids can take turns playing pilot and have fun with the hands-on, interactive and educational exhibits in the high-tech Aviation Learning Center. Little visitors will also be able to explore the Aviation Heritage Gallery, where they can learn about the history of military, commercial and general aviation.
Show off your inner dare devil at iFLY Houston, where you’ll get to experience indoor skydiving. Unleash your inner superhero as a guided instructor helps you take flight and get a bird's eye view of your surroundings. Flyers as young as three years old can participate, and the coolest part is, people with different physical abilities can fly as well thanks to the iFly All Abilities program.
Houston Fire Museum
What kid wouldn’t love to take a swing down the fire pole at the Fire Museum of Houston? The museum’s not only fun, it’s educational, with changing exhibits that share the history of Houston’s fire service and lots of fun activities. Kids will have a new appreciation for firefighters and get to take a walk in the shoes of community heroes.