As the name implies, Downtown Aquarium is in fact an aquarium, with multiple exhibits, but it is unique. Instead of only displaying fish, the aquarium is designed to be an underwater adventure that your children will love. Exhibits include the Louisiana swamp, shipwreck, rainforest, and sunken temple. There are also games as well as rides such as a Ferris wheel, carousel, and frog hopper. You can even eat a meal at the restaurant or visit The Dive Lounge, the upscale bar on site.
The Children's Museum of Houston is packed with interactive exhibits designed to give your children a glimpse into science, history, technology, different cultures, and more. There is even a Building Zone where children can construct while learning about engineering and physics and a Chevron Maker Annex for working with animation and robotics. With a dozen different permanent exhibits, your children can happily spend hours playing and learning at the same time.
The Galleria is not only one of the most popular malls in the state, but it is also the largest shopping center. You can find 400 restaurants and stores within the 2.4 million sq. ft. of space. Whether you want to go shopping, swimming, ice skating, or visit the post office, the Galleria can help you. With so many stores, you can easily spend the entire day shopping and relaxing. Featured stores include Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gucci. There are also casual shops such as Gap and J. Crew.
You can find the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center right next to Memorial Park. It spans 155 acres and is a nonprofit nature sanctuary right in the middle of urban Houston. Here you can find fun and educational exhibits and activities that are perfect for all ages. Children will enjoy the Discovery Room in the Nature Center. This is a great option for those on a budget as you can spend a relaxing afternoon on the 5 miles of walking trails for free. There are events and activities geared towards all ages whether you just want your children to have fun, you are looking for adult activities, or want something for the whole family to enjoy together.
Only 20 miles away from downtown, Kemah Boardwalk is perfect for adults, children, and families. You will find rides for all ages, such as a double-decker carousel or train for kids and the Drop Zone for more adventurous riders. There are also a dozen dining options along the boardwalk offering snacks as well as meals of all types, with a focus on seafood. If you want to buy a souvenir from your trip, simply stop at one of the many stores or kiosks. When you plan on visiting Houston, be sure to check out the special events along the boardwalk as even during the winter months, there will be at least some unique event most weekends, such as the Blast from the Past vintage car show.