The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. runs the Space Center of Houston, which is actually the top attraction for international tourists. The Space Center first opened in 1992 and since then, it has had 17 million visitors who come to see the educationally fun, and interactive exhibits. One highlight is the largest collection in the world of lunar samples and moon rocks that the public can see. There are even weekly opportunities to meet real astronauts and occasional special events.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is home to more than just its dozens of permanent and special exhibits. It also hosts a Planetarium and Butterfly Center for those who want to learn more about space or interact with butterflies. Those who want to save money should consider visiting the museum on Thursdays as admission is free. Most people will take at least two hours to see all of the permanent visits, but you can easily spend the entire afternoon, especially if you visit the special exhibits as well.
Those looking for a relaxing attraction in Houston should head to Bayou Place. This entertainment complex is in the middle of Houston's Theater District and includes several event venues and attractions, such as the Hard Rock Cafe, Verizon Wireless Theater, and Angelika Film Center. You will also find many restaurants and bars, including the RocBar nightclub where there is occasional live music. You can either park your car yourself or take advantage of the convenient valet service.
At first glance, the Houston Zoo is just like any other zoo you will find around the country. In reality, this zoo draws in 2 million guests annually to visit their over 6,000 animals. In addition to seeing the wide range of animals at the zoo, your children can also take a ride on the Texas Direct Auto Wildlife Carousel, experience fun and educational 4D films, cool off at the Kathrine McGovern Water Play Park, or even feed the giraffes. Be sure to bring your swimsuit if you plan on playing in the water, but there are changing stalls available.
One of the biggest annual attractions in Houston is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This is actually a charity event focused on education and science that also provides entertainment. In fact, since the first event in 1932, this event has donated $375 million to a range of charitable causes such as scholarships and research. The rodeo always includes live music, a run, a horse show, parade, trail rides, and plenty of activities for kids.