Houston is one of the largest cities in the US and the largest city in Texas. Once in this city, you are guaranteed not to be bored. There are more than enough interesting places here. Houston is known for its theatrical life. Many plays take place in the open-air theater of Miller, located in Herman Park. During the summer period, the Houston Symphony Orchestra performs there and it’s completely free.
From entertainment, Houston can also offer a lot to its guests. Both adults and children will easily find some interesting things to do in Houston. In the very center of the city there is a large oceanic complex “Aquarium” with a huge collection of fish from all over the world and hand ramps that can be patted. The city’s zoo has more than five and a half thousand animals, a large number of which is no longer in the natural environment. In the city there is one of the largest parks in the country. The park has everything for active recreation: tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools and much more. Houston is filled with the spirit of America, and it is the Texan color that serves as the visiting card of this country.
- Thing to do number 1: Observe nature in the Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Thing to do number 2: Visit the Houston Zoo
- Thing to do number 3: Have fun in the Kemah Boardwalk
- Thing to do number 4: Go to the shopping and entertainment complex Galleria
- Thing to do number 5: Watch the American football at the Rice Stadium
- Thing to do number 6: Have fun in the huge water park SplashTown
- Thing to do number 7: Have a walk in the Hermann Park
- Thing to do number 8: Watch ballet at the Houston Center for Ballet Dance
- Thing to do number 9: Go to the Space Center
- Thing to do number 10: Enjoy great performances in the Alley Theater
The Houston Museum of Natural Science, as it is officially called, is located in the northern part of the huge Hermann Park, in an area where many museums are concentrated. The area is museum and called – Museum District. The Museum of Nature, as it can be briefly named, was founded in 1909, it is more than a hundred years old.
The museum complex consists of several buildings. In the main building on four floors there are halls of modern nature of various natural zones and continents, and objects of long-disappeared inhabitants. There is a large collection of minerals and paleontological artifacts.
The museum has:
- its own planetarium (the Burke Baker Planetarium),
- the beautiful cinema of the IMAX Theater (the Wortham IMAX Theater), which shows films about the animal world, natural phenomena, volcanic eruptions, etc.
The most amazing and original in the Museum there is the Butterfly Zoo-Cockrell Butterfly Center. It was opened in 1994, it is located in a three-storeyed circular glass building, where special conditions of a moist rainforest are created and butterflies of different colors and sizes fly.
Another amazing exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences is Foucault’s pendulum, which was exhibited for the first time at the World Fair in 1851 in Paris. It is named after its inventor of the French physicist, and demonstrates the rotation of the planet Earth. In general, to inspect everything that the museum has, one visit is not enough, one must go several times, or at least stay there all day.
Interesting: The museum is one of the most popular in the US, annually it is visited by more than 2 million people.
There are no kids as well as their parents who don’t like visiting zoos as it is always fun. Houston Zoo – one of the oldest and largest in the US! It is already 110 years old!
In early 1900, a small private zoo was established in Sam Houston Park, where rabbits, raccoons, Mexican eagles, a black bear, prairie dogs, a capuchin monkey and an alligator lived. In 1920, the federal government donated bisons to the zoo, and the question arose about the expansion of the zoo. In 1921, for an increasing collection of animals, the town municipality acquired a part of the land in the Herman Park, a fence was erected, and service premises appeared. The first keeper of the collection of animals, and then the director of the Zoo was Hans Nagel. By 1925, the zoo contained over 400 different animals, including Asian elephants and sea lions, for which a special pool was built.
Now the zoo covers an area of 55 acres – 22 hectares, and contains more than 6000 animals belonging to more than 900 species. Every year the Houston Zoo is visited by 1 600 thousand people. For large animals, special houses have been built:
- the house of lions,
- the house for large cats,
- separately for bears,
- for various reptiles, etc.
- huge cages for giraffes and elephants.
A lot of birds of all kinds, both waterfowl and land. Especially beautiful you will find pink flamingos! And how much joy it gives to children and adults to visit the “orphanage” – where the young animals live.
The zoo offers a lot of interesting things for kids:
There are exhibitions, various thematic excursions, lessons of nature. In many pavilions there are huge TVs, where you can see animals in their natural surroundings, or see how zoo workers look after animals.
Interesting: On the territory of the zoo there are several souvenirs shops, and several cafes, where you can relax and eat something delicious.
Though Houston is a very large city, there are no permanent parks with attractions here, only small mobile parks with attractions appear somewhere in one place or somewhere else. But here there is a small town of Kemah, where the year round you may have fun, listen to music sounds, enjoy various attractions, loot at a marine aquarium, eat in cafes, restaurants, and even you can see a ship with scarlet sails! The full name of this small town is “Kemah Boardwalk”. It is located exactly halfway between Houston and Galveston, (about 40 miles or 30 minutes drive), and two minutes from NASA, the Houston Space Center, on the shores of Galveston Bay, part of the Gulf of Mexico. Kemah from Indian means “wind in my face”. Thanks to the bay, breezes are constantly blowing here, and even in the hot season of the Houston summer, it’s not so hot here.
On Saturdays and Sundays, on the days of holidays, a lot of people are rushing to Kemah, so huge parking lots for cars are crowded because there are a lot of things to do for the whole family:
- Here there is the huge yacht club of Houston, in terms of the number of yachts, it ranks third in the US. There are also small fishing boats on the other side of the canal, opposite the amusement park.
- Along the gulf, a wooden promenade is built, alongside it there are rails of a miniature railway, in the trailers of which not only children and adults ride with pleasure.
- There is a marine aquarium.
- On the square between a large hotel and a complex with cafes and restaurants, fountains-crackers beat, the kids jump with pleasure under the streams of water.
- Nearby there is a stage, where various musicians perform – jazz, rock, pop music sound constantly.
- Well, and of course, all kinds of attractions, such as carousels, roller coasters, etc. You can ride boats and small motor ships.
It is very the best pastime for the family weekend as here each may choose the most suitable entertainment according to his interests.
Interesting: Several restaurants, numerous cafes and pubs, souvenir shops complement this city of entertainment.
One of the many attractions of Houston is a shopping and entertainment complex called Galleria, which is a bright representative of the buildings in the Art Nouveau style. It is located in the center of the city and includes a private health club, two hotels, office space, called the Galleria Towers, as well as a huge shopping center, which houses the boutiques of world famous brands.
The total area of Galleria is about 27,000 square meters, on which, besides all the above, you will find:
- an aquarium,
- a gym,
- and a small ice rink.
Also on the territory of Galleria there are several playgrounds, so be sure that your children will not be bored. Galleria is perfect for a family holiday. Even if you do not plan to buy anything, a walk in this complex will bring you a lot of positive emotions.
Interesting: After a shopping trip, you can relax in one of the 50 local restaurants.
It is not a secret that all boys love football as it is considered a game for real men. That’s why why not visit the stadium and watch football with the whole family?
You won’t regret visiting exactly this stadium due to the following reasons:
- Rice Stadium is rightly considered one of the best stadiums for American football.
- Throughout its history, it has been the home arena for many American football teams, right now the Rice Owls club is based here.
- The stadium was opened in 1950, the cost of its construction was 3.2 million dollars. It was built within the record period of time-7 months.
- The arena was built exclusively for football matches, so there are no treadmills on it, which made it possible to place the stands directly near the playing field. Thanks to this decision, the stadium does not have “dead zones in the stands.
Interesting: Rice Stadium is also famous for the famous speech of J. Kennedy in 1962, in which he announced plans for Americans to fly to the moon.
Water parks are perfect for visiting with kids as everyone wil have one here. SplashTown is a huge water park, which is located north of Houston in Texas, USA.
Initially, in its place was located another entertainment complex, called Hanna-Barbera Land. In 1984, SplashTown bought these lands and organized a huge water complex here, which is one of the most popular in the United States.
In April 2006, a major reconstruction of the water park was completed, as a result of which the attractions, utility rooms were completely updated, and a new water purification system was installed with the help of sand filters.
Currently, the following attractions are located in the SplashTown water park:
- Stingray Racer – a huge winding hill with six spans,
- Tornado – a hill with an ascending stream of water, allowing you to develop maximum speed when descending,
- Texas Freefall – the most extreme attraction, whose height reaches 48 meters,
- and Wild Wave Pool – a huge pool with a constant circulation of water, creating high waves.
Interesting: In addition to all of the above mentioned, the SplashTown Water Park has numerous attractions for children, as well as cafes, restaurants and cozy summerhouses for recreation.
Hermann Park is one of the most popular public parks in Houston. It is located within walking distance of the Reliant Stadium and the Texas Medical Center. Its name was given in honor of the patron of the city George Herman, who gave these lands to the city in 1914.
The total area of the park is 180 hectares, where many cultural institutions are located, such as a zoo, a garden center, the Museum of Natural Sciences, a golf club, and a beautiful open-air theater.
Also on the territory of Hermann Park there are:
- musical fountains,
- cozy recreation areas,
- and a beautiful Chinese pagoda.
After visiting this place, you can admire the fine examples of park art, as well as unique architectural solutions. This place is perfect for a quiet family holiday.
Interesting: Particular attention is devoted to safety, so you can take photos only with the permission of the authorities of Houston.
The Houston Center for Ballet Dance is the largest dance complex in the United States, with an area of almost 115,000 square feet.
Here you will find:
- dance and art studios,
- as well as exhibition halls, restaurants, cafes,
- a huge stage and an auditorium with a capacity of about 1700 people.
Light, spacious interior studios offer a magnificent panorama of Houston, fascinating with its inimitable beauty.
In 2005, there was opened a school of ballet, which takes children from 6 years. In 2007, the floors in the studios were lined with a special coating, to ensure the safety of the training of dancers. The Houston Center for Ballet Dance is one of the most technologically advanced buildings in Houston – it employs about 10 escalators, 6 elevators, and has the latest system of acoustics and video surveillance.
Annually large-scale dance events are held here, in which dancers from all over the world participate.
Interesting: The center is impressive not only with its interior decoration, but also with its exterior. The complex pleases the sight of tourists with its modernist architectural solution.
One of Houston’s numerous attractions the Space Center, operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) is worth visiting. It was opened on October 16, 1992 and immediately gained tremendous popularity. The exposition of the Space Center is connected with the development of American space exploration.
Here there are:
- rare examples of lunar rovers,
- various simulators, which are usually used to train astronauts.
In addition, the exhibition halls of the center store various artifacts, such as original photographs taken during flights, as well as books and personal diaries of astronauts. Since from 1977 to 2003, some of the exhibits were in the open air, they began to be gradually destroyed by fungus and mold.
In 2004, the capital reconstruction of the center was completed, as a result of which the interior and exterior decoration of its buildings was updated, and samples were restored. Currently, the Houston Space Center enjoys great popularity.
Interesting: There are a lot of tourist, student and school entertainment and sightseeing tours organized.
Alley Theater is an indoor theater located in the heart of Houston. It was built in 1948 and initially served as a dance studio. This theater has an impressive design: it is supported by nine massive columns, between which there are luxurious, wide terraces. Inside the structure there are spiral staircases that connect the hall and the auditorium. Many tourists note that when you enter the Alley Theater, you are mentally transferred to a medieval castle.
In 1968, a large-scale reconstruction of the Alley Theater was carried out, as a result of which the interior and exterior decoration was completely restored. Currently, there are two auditoriums open – 824 and 310 seats. Currently, the theater is run by art director G. Boyd, thanks to whom a pop dance group was organized here that gained popularity far beyond the city limits.
Thanks to the newest acoustic system, the Alley Theater often hosts:
- performances by world-famous theatrical companies,
- as well as musical groups and dance ensembles.
Visiting this place, you can not only have a good time but also enjoy the beautiful design of the structure.
Interesting: In March 2011, the Alley Theater was awarded the Texas of Arts Award.