Houston Travel with Kids
The Children’s Museum of Houston , 1500 Binz St., (713) 522-1138, offers 90,000 square feet filled with fun, interactive exhibits for children ages 12 and under. Older kids can use math skills in Cyberchase, test their agility in the Challenge Course and showcase their creativity in the Maker Annex, while the Tot Spot has activities to engage infants and toddlers.
Children ages 12 and under are admitted free every day at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston , 1001 Bissonnet, (713) 639-7300. The museum houses more than 65,000 works of art from around the world, along with fascinating temporary exhibitions. Drop into the Kinder Foundation Education Center first, where staff can suggest ways for your family to make the most of your visit.
Barnaby’s Café, 1801 Binz St., (713) 874-1454, is a kid-friendly restaurant in the museum district that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with an extensive menu offering something for everyone in the family, from healthy eaters to the mac and cheese brigade.
When it comes to fun things to do with kids, you can’t beat a great zoo. Little ones will love seeing elephants, giraffes, lions and more than 6,000 other animals at the Houston Zoo , 6200 Hermann Park Dr., (713) 533-6500. The McGovern Children’s Zoo features a petting zoo, playground and live shows.
The Boardwalk Bullet, a 96-foot-tall wooden rollercoaster, twists and turns as fast as 51 miles per hour just a few feet from Galveston Bay at Kemah Boardwalk , 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah, (877) 285-3624. This fun spot on the waterfront features carnival rides, shops and dining. In the summer, enjoy “Rock the Dock” concerts on Thursday nights and fireworks every Friday.
Sharks, stingrays and other fish swim past your table in a 50,000-gallon tank in Aquarium Restaurant, 11 Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah, (281) 334-9010. This underwater-themed casual spot is a fun place for lunch or dinner where you can feast on seafood, steak, chicken, pasta or burgers, then visit the stingray touch tank and view piranhas, scorpions, snakes and tarantulas in the rainforest exhibit.
Courtesy of Wet â™nâ™ Wild Splashtown
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown , 21300 I-45 N., Spring, (281) 353-7946, is a great place to cool off from May through September. Speed through the 60-foot-tall Alien Chaser, drop down the 7-story Brain Drain or catch the always-perfect wave on the Flowrider. When it’s time to chill, grab an inner tube and float down the Paradise River. At dusk, head to the wave pool for a “Dive In Movie.”
Space Center Houston , 1601 E. NASA Pkwy., (281) 244-2100, is a must-see if you’re planning a trip to Houston. See spacecraft including Gemini V and Apollo 17, and walk inside the Skylab Trainer Module where the first astronauts prepared for space travel. Go behind the scenes at Johnson Space Center on a tram tour, or experience an action-packed space adventure on a simulator ride. Little ones will enjoy interactive exhibits in the Kids Space Place.
You’ll find four floors of fascinating exhibits, along with a butterfly habitat, planetarium and giant screen theater, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science , 5555 Hermann Park Dr., (713) 639-4629. Dinosaur fans will love the paleontology hall, one of the country’s largest with 60 skeleton mounts including three T. Rex.
Not far from the museum district is Picnic, 1928 Bissonet (713) 524-0201, a bakery and coffee shop where you can pick up boxed lunch to take to a nearby park, or you can dine in. A variety of sandwiches, house-made breads, soups, salads, cookies and pastries are available.
If your trip is in late February to mid-March, don’t miss the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo , 1 NRG Pkwy., (832) 667-1000. It has what is said to be the world’s largest livestock exhibition and a prestigious horse show, along with competitions, concerts, a carnival and children’s activities.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Municipalities may impose additional rates of up to 2 percent on the statewide 6.25 percent sales tax. Sales tax in the city of Houston is 8.25 percent; rates vary in the suburbs. The hotel occupancy tax in Houston is 17 percent.
Time and Temperature
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, (281) 890-4285; Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center, (713) 704-4000; Houston Northwest Medical Center, (281) 440-1000; Houston Methodist Hospital, (713) 790-3311; Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, (832) 355-1000; West Houston Medical Center, (281) 558-3444.
701 Avenida de las Americas Suite 200 Houston, TX 77010. Phone:(713)437-5200 or (800)446-8786
Houston has two airports for visitors with airline flights.
Hertz, 2120 Louisiana St., offers discounts to AAA members; phone (713) 652-0436 or (800) 654-3080.
The Amtrak rail station is at 902 Washington Ave.; for train schedule and ticket information phone (713) 224-1577 or (800) 872-7245. METRORail light rail service connects downtown, the Museum District, Texas Medical Center and NRG Stadium and costs $1.25 for one-way service and $2.50 for round-trip service; ages 0-5 ride free.
The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station is at 2121 S. Main St.; phone (713) 759-6565 or (800) 231-2222.
You can hire a taxi at cab stands near the major hotels in the downtown area or phone for one. One of the larger companies is Yellow Cab, (713) 236-1111. The standard fare is $4.75 for the first mile and $2.20 for each mile thereafter. A surcharge of up to $2.80 is added for trips between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Air-conditioned buses crisscross the city and suburbs. Limited and local fares are $1.25. Passengers must have exact change. Park-and-ride bus fares range from $2 to $4.50 and vary according to location. For details phone METRO Transit Authorities, (713) 635-4000.
Houston is a leading world seaport, and the Port of Houston accommodates passenger ships.