Phew! So I have a lot in store for you guys today, but first let’s start with a workout… My oldest kiddo, Colette, asked me to get her up early this morning to go for a run/walk with me- so I jumped on the opportunity to have a workout buddy:) I rolled her out of bed around 7:30 am(ya, that’s summer’s version of early) and we hit the pavement just before 8:00.
She got a side cramp pretty early on, but she definitely powered through. I ran quite a bit more than normal(thank you partner motivation) and used my Runkeeper app to track it. However, I guess I entered my walk workout incorrectly, because my phone said I ran 4.4 miles with a 5 min per mile average- ha!
Anywho, when we got back to the house we were sweaty, exhausted messes. Colette requested a repeat of yesterday’s smoothie, and I happily obliged.
Dennis very kindly left me some of his infamous eggs, so I dug into those as well-
Alright two things before I leave you with my loooong post. First, yesterday while swimming with the girls at the local pool, we saw this:
What the heck is that thing?! We were completely stumped/fascinated/disgusted with this little guy- I’ve never seen anything like him! If anyone out there knows what he is, please let me know!
Next thing, I forgot to show you my haircut from Wednesday. It’s nothing over-the-top or even that exciting. I asked the lady to take 2 inches off the bottom, with a little angling around the face. So, here ya go:
Okay ya’ll get ready for this… I have compiled a list of fun things to do while in Houston!! I assume most of you will be visiting this awesome city this summer (wink, wink), so I threw in everything I know about my favorite places, as well as some places I’ve heard of, but never been. All of them have convenient links to check out, and a small description curtesy of moi’. Some are free, some not so free, but I hope this inspires visitors as well as residents to take advantage of all our great city has to offer:) Enjoy!
Super Fun Things To Do While Visiting Houston!!!
Discovery Green A place for to hang out on a vast green lawn to kick back and dive into a book. Or bring the kids and let them splash around in the “mist tree” and water gardens. For the active adult- there are free yoga, zumba, and kayak classes- and for the family- there is a kids summer reading program, Thursday night music concerts, and the HEB Family Celebration tent(up for rental). There is always something new going on and everything is FREE.
Space Center Houston With an exhibit for kids called Angry Birds Space Place, how can you go wrong? Space Center Houston has something for everyone, including the Saturn 5 Rocket and a peek at Mission Control. Check it out, tickets start at $13.95.
Houston Public Library Ahh, a place to chill out and cool off from the hot, humid Houston heat! Check out as many books as your heart desires and take advantage of all of the library’s free programs and passport services(get there early!). There are tons of daily kids programs and reading clubs. The library is always FREE- yay!
Houston Zoo What can I say? It’s a family-friendly zoo with lots of critters to see. We used to take Colette, when she was a wee little one, to the Halloween Zoo Boo. She would dress up in costume and collect candy from various stations set up. It was a lot of fun(although still hot in October!). They have remodeled a bit over the years, and now have an African scavenger hunt for the kiddies and fabulous new Giraffe feeding platform. We have yet to feed the giraffes, but will definitely be doing that in the near future. They also have Zoo Lights at Christmas time, and options to host birthday parties and sleepovers as well. It’s a great place, check it out- tickets are $10 for kids 2-11, $14 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children under 2 are FREE.
Miller Outdoor Theatre It’s an outdoor, open air theater, with an angled grassy hill for seating. There are some reserved seats in the covered area near the stage that require advanced reservations. There are plenty of summer shows, including: the annual Shakepeare Festival in August and Exxon Mobil’s Star Spangled Salute on the July 4th. The best part- it’s all FREE.
Old Town spring As the website says: “Texas Historic 1900’s Railroad Town. The perfect place to shop, dine and step back in time.” With dozens of colorful, tiny shops lining cobblestone streets, this place has tons of unique, quirky shopping. I recently hosted my older sister Shannon’s baby shower at Ellen’s Cafe in Old Town Spring. The food was great(try the chicken salad!) and the homemade fudge is to DIE FOR. I highly recommend this for a ladies day out.
Astros/Dynamo- Houston is home to our beloved(although often frustrating) Houston Astros. The games are fun to watch and the stadium is nice. Food is expensive, so expect to pay$$ or grab a deal online through their website. They always have awesome summer deals. The Dynamo soccer team is another attraction that people seem to love. Although, I must admit I’ve never been to a Dynamos game, it sounds like fun:) Check out their website as well.
Galleria– The Houston Galleria is located in Houston’s Uptown area. It houses hundreds of stores/boutiques/shops from high-end stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, to everyday markets like Old Navy and Sephora. It also houses more than 30 restaurants including The Rainforest Cafe and The Cheesecake Factory. It’s an easy way to spend the day window-shopping at Tiffany & Co while sipping a latte and pretending to be Audrey;)
Washington Ave– Located in the Heights district, it’s street lined with bars and restaurants- very happening on a Friday and Saturday night. Dennis and I recently ate at a little hole-in-the-wall called Woodrow’s Heights- the crawfish was delish! Washington is a fun locale for date nights!
Museum district– There are the obvious choices: The Museum of Natural Science, The Children’s Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, etc. (and they are ALL fantastic!) but there are also the lesser known, unique museums that may interest you as well: Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Holocaust Museum Houston, The Health Museum, and The John C. Freeman Weather Museum, as well as MANY others.
Houston Symphony/Opera/Ballet– The Houston Symphony is fantastic, the Opera is amazing, and the Houston Ballet is wonderful. I recommend you check them all out. My girls love the ballet’s Nutcracker at Christmas time. They have a meet the character tree lighting which is always a hit.
Aquarium– The Houston Aquarium(I’ve never been, but would love to go) is an underwater adventure full of exhibits, dining, and a giant blue-lit ferris wheel over-looking downtown Houston. Tickets start at $6.99 and children 2 and under are FREE.
Splashtown– My 8th grade field trip was to Splashtown, and I’ll never forget it! They have tons of water rides, slides, and an entire area dedicated to little ones. This is always a hit with kids in the summer time. Tickets start at $28.99, with season passes available as well.
LaFuente Winery– Looking for something a little different? LaFuente Winery has it! They host wine tastings with appetizers every Saturday from 2-6pm. Check their website for more info.
Terry Hershey bike trails– I added this one to the list because they are such extensive trails (12.5 miles!) with lots of dips and turns- I knew all of the active folks out there would love it! But aside from Terry Hershey, there are hundreds of fantastic parks throughout Houston to appeal to every sport you can think of. Seriously. Check them out!
St. Arnolds brewery– Why have I never done this? Because I never knew it existed until Dennis mentioned it to me today-agh! This sounds like fun. Tour the brewery(receive a souvenir glass), no reservations are required, and folks 15 yrs and older are $8 per head. They also offer lunch from 11 am- 1:15 pm, and it sounds AMAZING. ‘Tomato and Avocado Salad with Queso Fresco and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette’? Sign me up! <—And that’s just one of their many delicious sounding menu options!
Just Outside of Houston:
The Woodlands Resort and shopping(Very nice, but expect to spend $$. The resort boasts a fun water slide, beautiful pool and spa, nice rooms, and daily activities for the kids including karaoke, outdoor movie nights and s’mores.)
Galveston Beach(What can I say about Galveston Island? It’s always fun to go to the beach. It’s not the cleanest beach, but there are pay beaches with nicer amenities than just parking along the strand. There is a ton of shopping along the sea wall, and for the more active types you can rent all kinds of bikes and buggies to venture out along the bay. Have fun and watch for the occasional jellyfish!)
Kemah Boardwalk(Lots of fun, shopping, rides- including a crazy scary wooden roller coaster that I may or may not have drug Colette on last year even though she was completely terrified 😉
Moody Gardens(My family goes just about every year. Has an aquarium(we love the penguins!), rainforest, and education center. As well as an outdoor ‘water park’ with a few water slides and spray pools.)
Pleasure Pier(Fairly new, so I haven’t been yet, but sounds fun. Roller coaster rides and games.)
Schlitterbahn Galveston (Giant water park, fun for the whole family. It gets crowded fast, so arrive early to hit your favorite rides.)
State parks– Livingston/Huntsville(my family loves to go camping and Dennis is an obsessed fisherman, so we pack the tent and boat and head to one or both of these parks at least twice a year. Livingston is a huge lake, while Huntsville State park is on Lake Raven, a much smaller scale lake- and Dennis’ favorite to fish on. Livingston offers horse back riding (for a fee), a nice fishing pier and lookout, swimming pool, and childrens’ nature program. Both have bathrooms/showers, a small store, and Huntsville even has a roped off swimming area in the lake.)
I hope this inspires you to explore Houston a bit more this summer!