Who says you can’t “chill out” in Houston during the summer? You don’t have to sweat it out to have fun. We’ve come up with the ultimate list of 20 “cool” things you can do with your kids to beat the heat during the scorching days of summer.
1. Check out the “cool” view of our amazing city!
JP Morgan Chase, Free
Show your kids the amazing view of Houston from the JP Morgan Chase high rise! Take the Sky Lobby elevator to the 60th floor for the express view trip. The building also links up the Downtown Tunnel System!
2. Tunnel Tour and Ice Cream Stop
Free to tour tunnels, food prices vary
While you are downtown, take a tour down under in the nice, cool air conditioned tunnels. The underground tunnel system is 6 miles long! There are various restaurants and shops if you would like to grab a bite to eat.
3. Memorial City Mall (claim to be the world’s largest) indoor playground, Free
The newly renovated play area inside of Memorial City mall is three levels high and is 3,000 square feet! The “Frolic’s Castle” features dragons, wizards and princesses. There are tunnels, slides and a separate play area for very small children.
4. Water Wall, Free
You might get sprayed with ice cold water while visiting this dramatic 64-foot U-shaped fountain with water rushing down its inside and outside walls. The Water Wall pumps 78,500 gallons of recycled water every three hours and 20 minutes. There are also huge live oaks that offer a cool shade if you would like to pack a picnic.
5. Catch a Summer Kid-friendly Movie, Discounted rates, some free!
Various movie theaters around town offer summer movies for kids at a discounted rate or even free! Below are some of the places where you can check out kid friendly movies with lower volume and lower lights.
6. Ice Skating at the Galleria, $15 per skater
Nothing says a summer trip in Houston than making a trip to the Galleria for an ice skating adventure! You can skate for the day or take a lesson.
7. Free Air Conditioned Boat Tour of the Port of Houston, Free
First come, first serve for this free public tour boat! This 90-minute round-trip cruises along the Houston Ship Channel in a roomy air conditioned boat.
8. Houston Public Library, Free
We can’t leave off the library! There are organized events for kids this summer including story time and play groups for all ages at various public libraries around town.
9. Learn a new skill – DIY classes, Free
Pop Shop America:
Free DIY arts & craft classes offered at various public libraries around town.
Other free options include:
10. Kegg’s Candy Factory Tour, $8.50 over 3 years of age, $5 under 3 years of age
Must make reservations at least 7 days in advance and must have 10 people or more in your group. Each paid visitor will receive a special treat to take with them.
11. Free Museums
Check out all the free museums in our area! From the Houston Center for Photography to the Art Car Museum, there are plenty of options for everyone in your family to find something that interests them.
12. Grab a Snow Cone!
Nothing says cool better than a nice, cold shaved ice topped with cream or even fresh fruit! You may have a favorite snow cone spot in your part of town, but if you don’t, check out these three roaming food trucks that serve shaved ice!
13. Visit a splash pad or water park!, various fees, most free
Click here for our comprehensive list of pools, splash pads and water parks in our area.
14. Cool Nights at the Houston Zoo, children $12, adults $16
Even when it’s hot during the days the Zoo is filled with spaces to cool down and re-energize. There are 14 indoor, air-conditioned Chill Zones to give you a break from the sun. The Zoo will stay open until 8:30 on Friday nights during the summers.
15. Houston Roller Derby, $15 per ticket
Here’s something you probably haven’t done before. Check out an old fashioned roller derby. League games are held on the third Saturday of each month from March through September at Bayou Music Center.
Cool things to do at home:
16. Make a homemade ice slip and slide using a tarp in the backyard. Dump ice and water and enjoy!
17. Have an ice cold water balloon fight! Then, our favorite part, assign each kid a balloon color and have a contest to see who can pick up the popped balloons the fastest!
18. Make homemade “healthy” popsicles. Blend up 4 strawberries, 1 apple and 1 cup of orange juice & pour into popsicle containers and freeze!
19. Indoor Ice Castle – use white sheets and make “ice castle” tents in the living room.
20. Have a cool duck party! Buy a cheap pool and rubber ducks. Number each duck on the bottom. Take out each duck, put in numerical order and return them to the water. Kids enjoy doing this over and over again!
What else do you do around your house to beat the heat during the summer months? Do you have any other “cool” activities to add to our list? Share in the comments so we can check it out!