1. San Jacinto Battleground
If you’ve studied history, you might find this one interesting. The San Jacinto Battleground is where the Texans defeated the Mexican arms and forced their retreat. You may even notice this 100-foot tall monument when you’re driving around. The park is a total of 1,200 acres, features a museum, the USS Texas battleship, and you can ride the elevator to the top of the monument.
2. Armand Bayou Nature Center
If you’re in the mood for some family fun outside, then the Armand Bayou Nature Center might be just what you need. This 2,500-acre park has private kayak tours, family night hikes, more than 5 miles of nature trails, and tons of animals. Their main walk is called the Discovery Loop which takes you through a variety of landscapes including wetlands, grasslands, prairies and the forest. On this trail, you’ll see native wildlife for each environment. It really is a discovery experience you don’t want to miss.
3. Houston Space Center
If you’re a space buff or at least have some interest in space shuttles and other space-related things, the Houston space center is amazing. You know how they say “Houston, we have a problem” in the movies? This is the space center they’re referring to. At the center, you’ll find old rockets you can explore, movies, tons of galleries, and even a gift shop for the kids.
4. Houston Museum Of Natural Science
The Museum Of Natural Science is an enormous building consisting of exhibits ranging from a butterfly center to a planetarium and everything in between. If you’re planning a visit, you’ll want to set aside the whole day or close to it in order to explore all of the cool things it has to offer. Another cool thing about this venue is that there are both permanent and temporary exhibits so it’s always changing. If you’re interested in dinosaurs, the history of the earth, animals, etc. you’ll find lots of interesting stuff.
5. Jumping World
Alright, so the kids have had enough of the museums and you want to get them out for a day of play. Enter Jumping World. They have foam pits, tons of trampolines, arcade games, a basketball dunk area, and even a separate area for toddlers. The fees are hourly and cheap so you can just buy a few hours and let the kids go to town. If you’re here in Pasadena on vacation with the kids, you’ll be able to spend some time relaxing while they play away on the many fun games.
6. Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo is a great place for the whole family to visit. It has hundreds of animals from unique African frogs to elephants, big cats, monkeys, sealife, and everything else you can imagine. If you want to give your kids the experience of learning about the different species and getting some face time with animals from around the world, the Houston Zoo will deliver. Another perk is that kids get to visit the petting zoo where they can play with animals and even feed a giraffe. And if you get hungry while you’re here, you can grab food from one of the two cafes or any of the themed food trucks spread throughout the park.
7. Kemah Boardwalk
Just outside of Pasadena you’ll find the Kemah Boardwalk. This family-friendly boardwalk is one of my favorite places to take family and friends because of the sheer variety of activities. They have a ton of quality restaurants ranging from tacos and margaritas to higher-end seafood and steak houses. Other attractions include an arcade, stingray & rainforest exhibit, and tons of rides for the whole family. There are also several shops from candy stores to stuffed animals so everyone can have fun.
8. Visit Galveston
While it’s not in Pasadena, Tx, it’s just a short drive over to Galveston where you’ll find sandy beaches and rolling waves. It’s about a 50-minute drive (41 miles) from Pasadena and attracts visitors from all over Texas who want to get away for a beachfront weekend vacay. What I like is that there are plenty of free things to do including the beach and there’s also a nightlife, rides, historical monuments, and plenty of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. It’s a nice getaway for the whole family.
9. Strawberry Park
Strawberry Park is a family-friendly water park with tons of fun activities for kids and adults of all ages. The park was created by the city so ticket prices are also very affordable and there are plenty of lifeguards on duty at all times. Some of the best attractions include slides for kids and adults, water volleyball, water basketball, waterfalls, and playgrounds with giant water buckets that dump on the equipment every two minutes. There’s also a lazy river where the tubes are free to use as well as the lifejackets for kids that can’t swim yet.
10. Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts is an expansive collection of more than 64,000 paintings, sculptures, antiques, and more. Some of the pieces even date back to as far as 3000 B.C. The museum also features art collections by geography including Latin art, modern, African art, European and more. They often get new pieces in and have classics on permanent display including paintings from artistic masters like Monet and Renoir. If you’re interested in seeing some of the most impressive and valuable art pieces in Texas, this is the place to go.