Houston offers a ton of cool places to take your family and friends for a day of adventure. From sports to amusement parks and encounters with sea creatures, get everyone’s hearts racing with these seven fun and family-friendly places around H-town.
Space Center Houston
For quintessential Houston adventure, go to the moon and beyond at Space Center Houston‘s historic mission control. Yes, see the actual place where Houston discovered they had a problem. Take a NASA tram tour, visit the mission briefing center, and learn about space exploration at the Starship Gallery. There are even exhibitions for kids, making this a place where groups of all ages can have fun.
With two locations, in The Woodlands and the Memorial area of Houston, iFly lets groups literally take flight in custom-built chambers that simulate skydiving. Children as young as three years old can don a helmet and experience simulated skydiving (though anyone under the age of 18 will need a parent to sign their waiver). And if someone in your group doesn’t feel like flying, there’s an observation area for enjoying the view.
Experience skyscrapers in the background as you dine alongside more than 200 varieties of sea creatures that live in 500,000 gallons of glass-walled aquatic space at Downtown Aquarium. This restaurant and aquarium exhibit spans six acres and has themed areas like a 17th-century Spanish shipwreck, a Louisiana swamp, a rainforest, and an exhibit dedicated to the white tigers of India. Ride a Ferris wheel, visit the education room, track sharks in real time, and feed stingrays at an indoor reef.
Galveston’s Pleasure Pier
If one Ferris wheel isn’t enough for the clan, Galveston’s Pleasure Pier has classic beachside amusement rides like the Iron Shark Rollercoaster, the Cyclone, the Gulf Glider, and the Pirate’s Plunge water ride. (There is also a carousel that is a focal point for the pier as well as a crowd favorite.) Pleasure Pier is a throwback to boardwalks of yesteryear, with carnival games and food, plus a handful of higher-end dining options overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The pier is right on Galveston Beach, so everyone can have fun whether they want to lie out on the beach or have a heart-racing time on a rollercoaster.
On a completely different beach, Kemah also offers boardwalk amusements and eats, including its own Aquarium restaurant similar to the one downtown. Kemah also has a stretch of shops for those who’d rather spend their time doing some retail therapy. For thrillseekers, a zipline stretches across the parking lot, adding another level of excitement beyond the Boardwalk Bullet coaster. Private charters and public cruises depart from Kemah to take the day’s adventure out to sea.
Astros Game & Tour
We all remember that crazy, seven-game series in 2017 when the Houston Astros won their first World Series, right? The convertible Minute Maid Park (yes, the top opens!) is home to the Astros and one of the coolest fields in baseball. Located in the heart of downtown, pregame tours start about three hours before each game and take you behind the scenes to view batting practice, different suites in the stadium, and Diamond Club seats. No game that day? You can still take tours most mornings.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Low-key group adventurers take note: Just north of downtown sits one of the finest beer gardens in Houston at Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Designed to look like a cathedral, the garden is as impressive as the brews served there, and also has a full dining menu. Tour the brewery to find out how the beer is made, then sit out on the covered patio and enjoy a pint or two.
Houston has no shortage of group outings to choose from. To book these and other action-packed adventures, check out the available options at www.groupguides.hilton.com/Houston.