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10 Places to Cool Off With Kids in the
Hot Houston Heat

beatheathoustonHouston summers are known for their hot, muggy days that can keep kids home enjoying the AC instead of being out having fun. This is no way to spend the summer vacation months! The best way to beat the heat is to find family friendly destinations that combine cooling off with with fun activities for kids of all ages. Here is a list of ten great places to take the kids to cool off while making the most of summer at the same time.

1. Discovery Green

In the heart of Houston, Discovery Green offers many great activities as well as ways to cool off. The park has a mist tree and the Gateway Fountain as well as a dog park and other amenities. There are also indoor activities and restaurants if the kids need a break from the sun. The park is on over 12 acres and even includes a lake where the kids can pilot remote control boats.

2. Underground Shopping

If the sun is too much to bear to be outside, don’t go inside, go underground instead! The downtown tunnels offer six miles of movie theaters, retail shops and restaurants located 20 feet below ground. Take the kids to a matinee or for lunch while enjoying the cool comfort of being below ground.

3. Space Center Houston

Explore the great unknown world of space and stay cool at the same time. The Space Center offers great tours that combine learning with fun activities for the kids, including their Kids Space Place and movies in the center’s theaters. It is a great destination for the entire family, with something for everybody.

4. Pirate’s Bay

Although technically not in Houston, Pirate’s Bay is located only 30 minutes east of Houston in Baytown and is worth the drive. The water park is pirate-themed throughout and has a river that flows through the park for relaxing and cooling off. Even small kids can have fun with their zero-depth beach for wading and the bigger kids will love the surfing simulator.

5. Hermann Park Conservancy

If you want a low cost option, Hermann park is free and has a great playground for the kids. They also have a Japanese garden to meander through, with bridges, waterfalls and beautiful exotic plants. To stay even cooler, rent a paddle boat and splash around Lake Plaza. When the hot sun gets too much, you and the kids can jump on the Hermann Park Railroad for a ride around the park.

6. Kemeh Boardwalk

This fun filled family destination is located just 20 miles from downtown Houston and is located right on the water overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. There is all types of amusement games and rides along with shopping and restaurants. All day passes are available for unlimited rides at economical prices. Throughout the year there are a variety of events and festivals to enjoy as well.

7. Williams Waterwall

Take the kids out for a picnic lunch in the Waterwall Park while enjoying the cooling mist of the Williams Waterwall, an iconic Houston landmark. The man-made falls are almost seven stories high and are in a horseshoe shape, releasing about 11,000 gallons of water every minute in breath-taking beauty.

8. Houston Zoo

Over 6,000 animals call the Houston Zoo home and it is a great place to watch and learn about many different types of animals and ecosystems. Indoor exhibits such as the Natural Encounters give kids a chance to see the animals up close and personal, with a clear tube that goes right through the piranha exhibit.

9. Children’s Museum of Houston

This interactive museum was rated America’s #1 children’s museum by Parents magazine. The museum has several stories of exhibits to explore inside and the Flow Works water play zone outside. It is a great place to cool off while the kids learn through many hands on activities.

10. The Galleria

Nothing says cool like ice skating on a hot summer day. The Galleria shopping center not only has close to 400 shops to choose from, it also has an indoor skating rink! Take the kids out for some needed exercise on skates. Afterward, have lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants that the Galleria has to offer.

Although the summer can be stiflingly hot in Houston, there are still many places to go that will keep you cool while having fun with the kids. Don’t let the heat stop the kids from having a great summer full of fun!




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I am delighted with the outcome, and enjoyed the process.
Dr. Rick Smalley, Professor Rice University, Nobel Peace Prize Honoree