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50 Things to do This Summer in Houston

50-Things-to-do-This-Summer-in-HoustonLooking for some fun things to do this summer in Houston? Look no further. Beat summer boredom by taking advantage of some of these family events, date ideas for couples, kids-only activities and more.

As a Family

Sometimes you just need some good family fun. Check out these 10 ideas for summer fun!

  • Catch Pippi Longstocking: The Family Musical. Head out to the Main Street Theater at Chelsea Market to giggle at the adventures of this precocious red head. The show plays through August 4, 2014. Check theater for new shows.
  • Rent a pedal boat. For just $10 for 30 minutes the family can rent a pedal boat and pedal around the pond at Hermann Park. Bring along some bread or crackers to feed the ducks, then go to the fountain to cool off.
  • Attend Shakespeare in the Park. The Shakespeare Festival is held at the Miller Outdoor Theater. Check with the University of Houston for current offerings.
  • Watch a Movie Under the Moon. Watch a movie outside and bring a picnic supper or snacks at First Colony Church of Christ. Movies are played once a month.
  • Go to a Swift Night Out Events. Head to the Nature Discover Center to join in the fun of counting chimney swifts, which are birds that nest in chimneys. These events are perfect for the whole family and run from August to September.
  • Watch the bats emerge at sunset. This family event takes place on the first and third Friday all year. Come about a half hour before sunset to hear a presentation about the bats and why they act the way they do at the Waugh Bridge. The city has some guidelines you can check out at Houston TX.
  • Rent and drive model boats. The Model Boat Basin located at Discovery Green rents boats for $5 for half an hour or you can bring your own model boat for free.
  • Bring the whole family to watch some baseball. Houston is home to the Astros professional baseball team. Check the schedule to get your tickets for the next game.  Ticket prices vary.
  • Have a blast riding bumper boats, go karts and more. Zuma Fun Centers includes arcades, batting cages, mini golf, kids’ rides, go karts and bumper boats for family fun time. Go as a family or bring some friends for a birthday party. You can enjoy an all-day pass for $23.99.
  • Visit the wild animals. The Houston Zoo houses over 6000 animals that you can visit daily. Explore Natural Encounters, which lets you get up close and personal with the wildlife.

Just for Kids

Looking for something just for the kids? These 10 ideas will help keep the kids from being bored this summer.

  • Check out the Pre-School “Beat the Heat series”. Bring the kids to the Rosenburg Railroad Museum every Wednesday throughout the summer. The kids enjoy a story, a craft and a snack for a nominal charge. Stay and tour the museum at a reduced rate.
  • Learn the basics of kayaking. For $5 per child you can hire a guide to show your kids how to paddle around the pond at Discovery Green. The kids get to practice paddling and enjoy watching the wildlife on the pond. No reservation is required.
  • Discover your “super power”. Take a trip to the Children’s Museum where the theme this summer is The Summer of Epic Adventure: Where Superheroes Discover their Powers. Bring the kids in their favorite super hero costume so that they can discover their own super power. Tickets are $9 for adults and kids.
  • Burn off some energy at the gym. My Gym that is. From 6 weeks to 13 years, your kids can stay fit and have fun. Try your first class for free to see if your kids love it. During the summer you can get two classes for the price of one.
  • Enjoy some good clean fun. Leave the electronic games at home and let the kids enjoy the petting zoo, zip line, rock wall, horse shoe pit, sand box and more at 7 Acre Wood.  Kids can even take a pony ride. Prices start at $6 for admission and then you pay for extra activities, like paintball, once inside.
  • Get the acting bug.  Upstage Arts is a theater where kids can get cast in a play or simply enjoy watching a performance. This experience is open to kids of all ages, but certain shows may be limited. Tuition varies depending on show.
  • Go bowling. Beat the heat and head inside to Main Event for bowling, laser tag, billiards, rock climbing, gravity, bocce ball and more. Spend the day for only $15.95 per person.
  • Visit the aquarium. Take the kids to the Downtown Aquarium for some deep sea fun. Kids can touch live sting rays and ride the shark voyage train through a 200,000 gallon tank full of sharks. Enjoy the view from the Ferris wheel and ride the sea life figures on the carousel. Tickets are $18.99 for an all-day pass.
  • Blast off to outer space. Let the kids imagine themselves as astronauts at NASA. Get the wiggles out in the giant climbing structure and try holding a live snake. The theater shows two movies, Space Shuttle Launching and Destination Station: The International Space Station. Plan on spending the entire day as there is a lot to do.
  • Stroll down the boardwalk. Head to Kemah for a day at the amusement park. The kids will love the rides and attractions, while mom and dad will love the nostalgia of it all. Tickets are $22.99 for kids and adults 48 inches and up and kids less than 48 inches are $17.99.

Adventure Seekers

If you are looking for adventure, there are a lot of things to choose from in Houston. You can zip line, bull ride, horseback ride, deep sea fish, parasail and more.

  • Face your fear of heights. Head to Moody Gardens to try your skills on the tallest ropes course on the Gulf coast, then take a turn on the zip lines. Prices for the ropes course are $18 and the zip line is $18 or you can purchase both for $27.
  • Saddle up. Spend some time with the guide on a trail ride or venture off to an endurance competition with Cypress Trails. Lessons are available in endurance riding and Adventure Trail Rides start at $50 for an hour and go up to $135 for all day. Meals can be included for a fee.
  • Go bull riding. Come to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to watch or enter the bull riding event. You can also enter the barrel racing and bareback riding events. The cowboys and girls that enter these events can win some pretty big money.
  • Cast your line. Ever wanted to catch a fish big enough that you didn’t have to exaggerate its size? Try your hand at deep sea fishing off the gulf coast. Charter a boat with Get Hooked Fishing and learn how to catch the big ones.
  • Try scuba diving. Houston Scuba Academy provides scuba diving lessons and certification. They also host diving trips that you can go on once you are certified.
  • Go water skiing. Take advanced water skiing lessons with M2 Sports. Lessons start at $45 for 25 minutes.
  • Fly up and away. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the gulf when you go parasailing! Prices start at $90 when you go to Galveston Parasail.
  • Feel like a bird and go soaring. Take a test flight on a sail plane with another pilot at the Greater Houston Soaring Association. 30 minute flights are $75.
  • Get a workout and go rock climbing. Stone Moves Indoor Rock Climbing has extensive indoor climbing routes that change monthly. Practice the basics and learn advanced rock climbing moves at this indoor location.
  • Work on landing an Ollie. Head to Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark to practice your daredevil skateboarding moves. Not only can you work on an Ollie, but you can practice your kick flip and spins, too. There’s no charge to skate at the park, but you need your own equipment.

Couples Only

Reserve a nanny for the night and enjoy an evening out on the town. These 10 ideas are perfect for a date night.

  • Float above Houston to celebrate a special event. Hot air balloon rides are romantic and allow you and your loved one to enjoy a spectacular view of Houston. Prices vary, but two people cost around $400 at Soaring Adventures of America.
  • Go to a wine tasting. Pleasant Hill Winery is open for tasting and shopping on the weekend. Come on a Saturday at 11am or Sunday at 12pm. Check out the various wines they have on their site.
  • Learn to cook. Take a cooking class together at Well Done Cooking Classes. The roasted chicken class starts at $89 per person.
  • Relax with a couples massage. Petit Retreat offers several options for a romantic afternoon or evening. A side by side one hour massage is $180 and you can enjoy further relaxation in the Jacuzzi for an additional $70.
  • Enjoy some music. Live music and dinner is available at The House of Blues. Shows vary, so check to see what’s playing before making a reservation.
  • Take a romantic horse drawn carriage ride. A to Z Events offers horse drawn carriage tours of downtown Houston. Pick up is at the Aquarium and you can reserve a set time by calling and paying ahead.
  • Head to the drive-in. Enjoy a flash back date night by eating dinner at a local diner and then heading to The Showboat Drive-in. Tickets for adults are $6 each. First run movies start at dusk.
  • Try a dinner cruise for a romantic evening. Boardwalk Fantasea Dinner Cruises provide a three hour tour of Clear Lake while you enjoy dinner. If you head out on Friday night you can even see the fireworks over Kemah. Prices start at $99.99 per person.
  • Go for dinner and a movie at the same time. Studio Movie Grill has a full bar and kitchen where you can enjoy cocktails and dinner while enjoying first run movies in comfortable chairs.
  • Take in a view of the city. Head to the observation deck at the top of JP Morgan Chase Tower to get fabulous pictures of the incredible view. There’s no charge to head up to the 60th floor, but it’s only open during business hours.

Summer Cool Down

There’s no shortage of places to go to cool off on a hot summer day in Houston. From city pools to splash pads to water parks and swimming holes, there’s something for everyone.

  • Splash Town. Come enjoy the water slides, wave pool and brand new Flow Rider surfing ride at Splash Town. Tickets are $34.99 for adults and $30.99 for kids under 48 inches. Soft sided coolers filled with water bottles are allowed inside the park. There are picnic tables outside the park to enjoy a picnic lunch or you can buy food inside.
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Spend the day staying cool and having a great time at Schlitterbahn, which is home to the Whitewater River, Torrent River, Soaring Eagle Zip Line and more. Tickets are $55.98 for adults and $45.98 for kids and include a refillable souvenir bottle.
  • Head to a splash pad. There are over 27 different splash pads in Houston. Each splash pad has its own theme, so be sure to try more than one.
  • Try out a place that has water rides and zip lines. Splashway is a water park complete with a lazy river, wave pool, slides and more. They also recently added zip lines to the property. Tickets for the water park are $24.99 and the zip lines are $45. There are also campgrounds with cabins close by.
  • Get lost in the space bowl or drenched under the bucket. Try these attractions and more when you go to Baytown. In addition to the standard water slides, Baytown also has exciting attractions like the space bowl, a surf machine and the relaxing lazy river. Prices start at $15 for kids under 48 inches and $20 for everyone else.
  • Swim at an area pool. You can find a listing of all of the pools in Houston on the city website. These pools offer swimming lessons for the young and water exercise classes for the young at heart.
  • Try out for the swim team. Check out the YMCA for the details on trying out and joining the swim team. You can also attend swimming lessons through the YMCA.
  • Dive right in. Head over to W. W. Emmons Natatorium for diving practice. In addition to diving, competitive swimmers can enjoy the 25 yard lap pool.
  • Swim in the ocean and ride the waves. Mustang Island has beaches where you can build sand castles and body surf on the waves. You may even be able to find some pretty shells to collect.
  • Find a local swimming hole. If you are looking for a fresh water option, try a local swimming hole. Check out the list of 10 on TPW Magazine.

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