Spring Break is the highlight of the March calendar — and whether families have small children or teens, there's plenty to do for everyone and every taste.
We've gathered some of our favorite options, from limited-series to enduring Houston classics. That means Houstonians can pack their week or cherry pick an item or two. No matter what, there's a ton of fun to be had.
Camp for Y'all
Book a cabin and stay for a couple of nights at this campsite hosted by Camp for All. The stay includes family-friendly activities like hiking and canoeing, and meals are covered. Best of all, a stay here helps keep Camp for All, a space that offers enriching activities to children and adults with special needs, can continue its mission.
Whether families head to this popular beach destination for a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a full week of activities, there's plenty to do. Get sandcastle building tips March 12 and 13 and March 19 and 20. Visit King's Confectionary, a beloved island sweet shop, and check out the taffy pulling. Book a kayak adventure with Artist Boat that includes an exploration of the Texas coast and a plein-air watercolor lesson. That's just some of the great adventures that await. See more here.
Immersive Frida Kahlo
Neighboring the popular Immersive Van Gogh, this exhibit takes visitors into the world of the enigmatic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. See the world through her eyes — politics, miscarriages, marriage, and more in lively images set to motion in a giant warehouse, all set to enchanting Mexican folk music.
Step into this sprawling, 12,500-square-foot exhibition that shuttles viewers into a never-before-seen perspective of life on the International Space Station, bringing an almost-too-real feeling of being in outer space. the show boasts new footage from the first-ever cinematic spacewalk captured in 3D — 360-degree virtual reality shot outside the ISS — while offering visitors a self-directed experience aboard the ISS itself and uncanny shots of the rotating Earth.
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
One of the city’s premier attractions, the Cistern gives visitors a glimpse of Houston’s former drinking water reservoir. Built in 1926 and decommissioned in 2007, it’s now an architectural space with art installations and a magnificent example of Houston’s past. Private tours are available to book, and public tours take place daily.
Part interactive installation, part immersive experience, this attractions allows guests to explore the joy of color. Wander from room to room to see a series of artistic expression designed to showcase the wonder of art and an excitement of expression.
One of Houston’s downtown gems, this 12-acre park is a great place to stroll and take in the public art installations, check out a concert, kayak on Kinder Lake or visit one of the park’s restaurants. There’s a dog run, a playground, a putting green and ample space to picnic and relax. Spring break is also the last week to catch the whimsical and popular Pixar Putt attraction, open through March 20. And for those seeking out STEM activities or international dance or a drum workshop, see the park's Spring Break schedule of events, packed with fun things for kids of all ages.
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Tucked next to Memorial Park, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is home to plants and animals. Visitors will find wildflowers, shrubs, butterflies and other insects along the winding trails. Take a self-guided hike and marvel at the natural beauty that exists right within our busy city. There is a series of special Spring Break programming, including a pre-school-aged friendly Armadillo Adventure and a chance to learn about birds at the Second Saturday Bird Survey.
Houston Botanic Garden
Engage the senses at this beautiful natural space featuring plants from around the globe. Walk the winding path through the garden, encountering everything from wetland habitats to a fragrant pine grove to prairie environments. The garden beckons visitors with a lane lined with live oaks, helping to heighten the transition from Houston’s hustle and bustle to the lush quiet of this spot.
More than 6,000 species call these 55 acres in Hermann Park home, and it’s a terrific place to explore and learn about wildlife and wildlife conservation. The daily Keeper Talks schedule is updated each morning and allow guests an up-close look at giraffe feeding, the sea lions and giant river otters, among other Zoo residents. Those who want a more VIP experience can opt for an Animal Encounter, getting some face time with orangutans, gorillas, Galapagos tortoise, sloths and more. Beginning March 14, the popular petting zoo is open with limited hours. Guests can also check out the giraffe feeding every day at 11 am and 2 pm.
Space Center Houston
It's easy to spend a full day at this space exploration and learning center. From kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits to the NASA tram tour, there are more than 400 things to see and do. Dedicated to chronicling the U.S.’s space exploration journey, visitors will find everything from moon rocks to space suits to the control room that helped put man on the moon. There are several permanent exhibits, including rockets and a space shuttle replica, and rotating ones. There's a new spring exhibit to check out, POPnology, an immersive experience that fuses popular culture and technology.
Family Friendly Ideas
Children’s Museum Houston
This “playground for your mind” is a great place to engage young people, from tots to tweens. Hands-on exhibits allow kids to see how things work, create their own inventions and let their imaginations run wild. Whether kids are into math or art or anything in between, they’ll find something that’s sure to spark their interest. The museum's Spring Break Bash includes events such as a shaving cream pie fight on Pi Day (March 14), interactive performances every day, a glow maze, and more. See the museum's website for more details.
Head east toward Beaumont for this exciting adventure, where alligators are the star of the show. Buy a pack of hotdogs and feed the gators or take a swamp boat tour where there may be a glimpse of the creatures up close.
Head south to this family entertainment complex that features rides, shopping and dining. Cruise out into Galveston Bay aboard the Boardwalk Beast, or ride the Boardwalk Bullet rollercoaster. Feed the stingrays and check out the arcade games. It’s easy to spend a day here – and still want to come back for more!
Play on an inflatable obstacle course; reserve resort-style cabanas on the beach and on the water; and ride kayaks, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards at this Texas City entertainment mecca. Food trucks are available when families need sustenance, and there are even yoga classes if guests a want a little zen after all that activity. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online.
Main Street Theater’s Theater for Youth
With its lineup of shows designed specifically for young people, Main Street Theater’s Theater for Youth programming is perfect for kids and parents alike. Several stories are based on popular children’s books, and the fully staged productions are among the country’s finest. During Spring Break, families can catch a performance of Pete the Cat.
Spend a day. Spend the weekend. But certainly make time for this Galveston favorite that has plenty for the whole family. There’s an aquarium, a rainforest, a museum, 3D and 4D theaters, not to mention season offerings throughout the year. Stay-and-play packages are offered by the adjacent hotel.
Old Macdonald’s Farm
With a petting zoo, pony and train rides, a swimming pool, and playgrounds, this spot in Humble offers lots for kids to do and see. Guests are welcome to pack a picnic or snacks, and will also find a concession stand. In the fall, the farm offers a pumpkin patch from mid-September to the beginning of November, while a Winter Wonderland highlights November through the second week of January.
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
Located in the former mansion of Miss Ima Hogg, this collection of furnishings and decorative arts provides a glimpse into Houston’s past. The gardens are meticulously maintained and guests can stroll its 14 acres. Across the year, the museum offers special events including concerts and talks.
Holocaust Museum Houston
Recently renovated, this museum's exhibitions showcase the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society. Among the collection is a 1940s Danish fishing boat, similar to the ones that carried Jews to safety during World War II, and a 1942 German railcar. The museum's sobering message carries with it tremendous hope for a better world.
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Every day during Spring Break, budding artists can try their hand at making cool stuff. From jewelry to silk prints to clay, there's an array of options. All activities are first-come, first served, until supplies run out. The 25-minute sessions run daily from March 14 through March 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Located in Hermann Park and popular with all ages, this museum showcases everything from dinosaurs to artifacts from Egypt. The Cockrell Butterfly Center allows guests to stroll through the living environment, and the planetarium offers astronomical selections and movies. There’s also an IMAX theater, with an ever-changing selection of shows.
Lone Star Flight Museum
Celebrate the Texas’ proud history with the great blue yonder in a pristine, $38 million, state-of the-art facility at Houston’s Ellington Airport. The museum houses dozens of historic, can’t miss aircraft; vessels here at the 130,000-square-foot destination range from a 1940 Anderson Greenwood AG-14 to a Predator craft which is remotely flown.
Meanwhile, enthusiasts can check out the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and myriad, dynamic exhibits. Kids of all ages will love the flight simulators. For an added gift, book a flight in one of the historic planes, a treat for pilots, fans, and anyone who loves to take to the skies.
The Menil Collection
Always free, this incredible collection of artwork from around the globe is popular with Houstonians and out-of-towners alike. Nearly 10,000 artworks were gathered by founders John and Dominique de Menil, and its size has nearly doubled since 1997, now boasting 17,000 pieces. Guests can view sculptures and paintings, drawings and other art, with an emphasis on the contemporary.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Home to one of the largest collections of art in the country, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has paintings, sculpture, photography, and objects d’art from around the globe and across history. Its Museum District complex houses both permanent and changing exhibits, ensuring each visit to the museum is unique. The MFAH Shop is the perfect place to find unique and eclectic gifts, while Le Jardinier, the museum’s signature restaurant, is a great spot for dinner after a day of exhibit viewing.
During Spring Break, families can take part in geometric art making and see an Ebru paper marbling demonstration as part of the Islamic Arts Family Experience, or visit pop-up studio tents in the Cullen Sculpture Garden for a chance to create their own works of art. Check the museum's website for details on these and other Spring Break activities.
This collection of European decorative arts is housed in the former home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III, and was designed by prominent Houston architect John Staub. Look for paintings, furnishings, porcelain, and miniatures throughout this exquisite space. The intimate experience requires that tickets be purchased in advance, and it’s a must-see for art lovers.
Art Car Museum
One of Houston's most-loved events is the annual Art Car Parade. This museum houses several of the cars that have rolled down the parade route. It's engaging as it is entertaining, it will give visitors a new way to think about what's considered art, and how creativity can run wild.
The Houston Farmers Market
Located in the east side of The Heights, this is Houston’s oldest and only daily market. More than 40 local vendors currently offer produce, spices, herbs, chilies, exotic fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea, seeds, and plants. Take your guests shopping in a market oasis nestled in a urban setting.
National Funeral Museum
Unfurling across more than 30,000 square feet, this museum touts itself as the largest educational center for funerary customs in the country. On display are antique hearses, exhibits on embalming and presidential funerals, an epic Day of the Dead display, and caskets from around the world.
The Orange Show Monument
This East End attraction is an epic maze of folk art. Constructed of concrete, brick, steel and found objects including gears, tiles, wagon wheels, mannequins, tractor seats and statuettes, it's the sort of place that has to be experienced more than explained. All of it was constructed by a former postal worker, Jefferson Davis McKissack, who built it between 1956 and 1979. Tours are given every 30 minutes.
Boasting 16-acres and 550,000 square feet, this new downtown facility serves up a diverse selection of offerings in the sprawling, first-floor food hall. A focal point (and Instagram favorite) are three bottom-to-top stairwells that unite the design. The roof opens to stunning and scenic views of the downtown skyline, with lush greens offering spots to lounge, the arts atrium, fountains, a covered pavilion, and the verdant, 210,000-square-foot rooftop park and urban farm.
Project Row Houses
The shotgun houses and structure that make up PRH are designed to foster community engagement and a deeper understanding of the arts. An ever-changing series of installations and exhibits makes each visit unique and offers plenty of reason to return.