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Spring break staycations: Family-friendly things to do in Houston

Spring break is coming up and you don't have to drive or fly to faraway places to have fun and make memories with your family!
Credit: Discovery Green

HOUSTON — If you're staying close to home for spring break, you're not alone! 

Tighter budgets and higher gas prices are putting the brakes on spring break trips for a lot of families.

Fortunately, you don't have to drive or fly to faraway places to have fun and make memories with your family! 

Here are a few staycation ideas in and around Houston. 

More Hidden Gems around the Houston area.

Arboretum & Nature Center

The Houston Arboretum on the western side of Memorial Park is a great option for outdoor outings and it's free for all ages!

The 155-acre urban nature sanctuary was one of the first nature education facilities for children in the state of Texas. Visitors can enjoy 5 miles of nature trails, while learning about local plants and wildlife.

Grounds and trails are open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. 

The Nature Center Building is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Art Car Museum

The one-of-a-kind Art Car Museum gives visitors a chance to see the wild and wacky art cars year-round. 

"Art cars are a uniquely new American art form and they should be shown with fine art because they are fine art," Alicia Duplan explained when KHOU 11's Brandi Smith featured it in a Hidden Gems segment. 

It's free for all ages and open Wednesday-Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only. 

Beer Can House

Another weirdly wonderful spot unique to Houston is the Beer Can House lined with an estimated 50,000 flattened beer cans. 

Right in the middle of Houston’s Rice Military neighborhood, the 1930s home was covered in aluminum by a guy named John Milkovisch. 

You can see it for $5 and children under 12 are free. 


Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

This museum is a great place to learn more about the history of the African Americans who have served proudly in every great American war. 

In 1866, through an act of Congress, legislation was adopted to create six all-African-American Army units. They represented the first Black professional soldiers in a peacetime army. 

General admission is $10 and $5 for students. Seniors 65+, children 5 and under and members of the military with a valid ID get in free. 

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays. 

Admission is free on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Children s Museum of Houston

The Children's Museum has a week of special events planned for spring break, March 11-19. 

It kicks off Monday, March 11 with the "Rock the Block Street Fest," which includes carnival games, mini golf and a live DJ. 

The rest of the weeks includes dinosaurs a Pi Day pie fight, a snow day and much more! 

Admission is $17 for adults and children

Thursdays feature free family nights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

‍Cockrell Butterfly Center

After being closed for renovations, the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is reopening just in time for spring break.

Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children.

Discovery Green Park

This 12-acre oasis in downtown Houston offers many free events and art installations along with other affordable activities and entertainment.

Discovery Green has several things planned for spring break week, including an outdoor roller rink. 

You can also kayak on Kinder Lake for $5 per person.

Houston Zoo

The zoo is extending its hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 11-19 and it's open seven days a week. 

They're expecting big crowds that week so they advise people to book their tickets early with online flex pricing. Online reservations for non-members are required. 

By visiting the Houston Zoo, guests help save animals in the wild with a portion of every admission ticket sold supporting its wildlife-saving efforts around the world.

Admission is approximately $22-$27 for adults, depending on the day and time.

They offer 20% discounts for kids ages 3-12 and seniors 65+.

Students from the University of Houston, Rice, Texas Southern and St. Thomas get in free with a valid ID.

Museum of Natural science

The Museum of Natural Science is a popular spot for families with a variety of exhibits that make learning fun and interesting for all ages.

They're extending spring break hours from March 11-19 to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

  • Admission is free on Thursday, March 16, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Adult tickets are $25 (ages 12 and up) and $16 for kids 3-11. Children 2 and under are free. 
  • Discounts are offered for seniors 62+, college students and military members with valid IDs.


You can easily keep your kids entertained for hours with everything the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has to offer. There are petting zoos and pony rides to a nursery for newborn farm animals.

The carnival also has rides and games geared toward younger children and they can learn all about agriculture in AGVENTURE.

There's also plenty to see and do if you have older kids.

Woodlands Children's Museum

Step into Spring BreaKation at The Woodlands Children’s Museum with a week full of special performances, music, Science Palooza and more!

Each day will also feature a new artist on the museum’s performance stage.

Admission is $8 for adults and children 1 year and older.


Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

Fridays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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