School’s Out! Fun Things to Do this Summer
Summer is prime time for outdoor adventures and some lazy afternoons, too. The challenge is to find exciting activities for a summer bucket list that will keep the kids engaged and occupied. Fortunately, we’ve collected some great ideas to have summer fun near some of our communities in both the Austin and Houston areas. Let’s get started.
Austin Family Fun
1. Go on a family hike. In the Austin area, families can find a plethora of kid-friendly trails. Take a hike up the famed staircase to Mt. Bonnell for a spectacular view or enjoy swinging under giant oaks after a trek at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Bonus: many of the natural areas with trails allow pets and picnics. Check before you go. With an abundance of trails to explore, you can enjoy the great outdoors all summer.
2. Enjoy a concert. For families, there’s no better place to experience live music in the Live Music Capitol of the World than Blues on the Green, a series of free summertime concerts in Zilker Park. Bring the kids, a blanket, cold beverages and light bites.
3. Cruise a cavern. Inner Space Caverns, located in nearby Georgetown, is a cool 72 degrees year-round and offers a fun underground experience. Kids can learn about amazing formations like stalagmites and soda straws still growing in one of Texas’ best-preserved caves.
4. Learn about nature. Discover the Austin Nature & Science Center, with hands-on exhibits and activities to increase appreciation of our environment. After a visit to the center, located in Zilker Park, head over to famed Barton Springs Pool to cool off in spring-fed waters averaging 68-70 degrees year-round.
5. Take in a movie. Visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum for an enlightening look at Lone Star State history and its IMAX theater for new movies and releases for all ages. Or check out a local Alamo Drafthouse, which offers fun activities and family movie events during the summer.
Houston Family Fun
1. Spark their imaginations. The Children’s Museum of Houston is packed with 14 galleries and exhibits, 90,000 square feet of play space, a café, library and family learning center. Children can make robots work, anchor the news or climb a three-story tower. Families can visit for free on Thursday nights from 5-8 p.m.
2. Expand minds at the museum. Discover the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where small fry can explore outer space, learn about dinosaurs or marvel in a living butterfly habitat.
3. Go out to a ball game. Houston Astros’ home games at Minute Maid Park on Sundays are designated Family Sundays. Family 4-Pack options include four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas.
4. Enjoy an animal or aquatic adventure. Walk on the wild side at the Houston Zoo. From toddlers to teens, there’s plenty of animal adventure and entertainment. Enjoy “Meet the Keeper” talks and feeding every half hour, plus a water play park, Sneak Peek tours and “Vet for a Day” programs. Or discover thrilling aquamarine creatures and their watery habitats, like a hands-on stingray exhibit, at the Houston Aquarium. A Houston CityPASS allows you entrance to the zoo, aquarium and other Houston attractions.
5. Take off for the exciting world of space flight. At the famed Houston Space Center, you’ll learn about manned missions to the moon and outer space, plus see the largest collection of moon rocks and space suits in the world.