I can’t believe that Spring Breaks have already started! Where is the year going? Whenever there is a en extended break from school, we try to do a day trip somewhere, or an afternoon trip, so the boys won’t want to sit around playing video games all week. However, we’ve gone to NY twice in the past 6 months, and we are in the middle of planning a big Disney vacation we are taking later on in the year. (We cannot wait to share it with you!) My kids have their Spring Break this week, so we have been coming up with ideas of what to do this week that will not cost an arm and a leg.
Here are our top 5 (inexpensive) places to go in Houston:
Once a month, usually the last Saturday of each month, Wunderlich Farms is open to the public to come and explore what it was like to live in the early 1900’s. Local vendors also set up tents and sell some crafts, produce, and other goodies. Volunteers dress the part and walk around tending to the animals and teaching visitors about the houses on the farm and the people who lived in them. We love animals, so if there is a chance to give them some love (and food), we are more than happy to participate.
The boys love when they get a chance to participate in activities. Unfortunately, this is most likely the only time they will be excited to iron a piece of cloth or plow a garden. We love Wunderlich Farms, so we have gone many times. It’s fun, it’s educational, and the best part is that there is no admission. The only exception is their Old Fashioned Christmas. Even then, it is very inexpensive, and you can join the festivities for just $1 a person plus a canned good to be donated.
Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
This is another one of those places that are just cool to visit. We like going when flowers are just starting to bloom, although I could do without the bees. We also love going to the pond to watch the turtles. There are so many turtles! Because of the flowers, it is a hot spot for people to hire photographers and meet them there to take amazing pictures.
We love exploring and seeing what we can find. The boys still laugh uncontrollably at the time a gecko fell out of a bunch of bamboo stalks and almost scared their dad. And just like Wunderlich Farms, there is no admission fee to enter the Gardens.
The Houston Zoo
We have been to a lot of zoos over the years, but this is one of our favorites. We have gone many time and I still find it easy to get turned around and lose my way because there is so much to do. Although it was a temporary thing, the boys really liked the dinosaur exhibit (and hamming it up for the camera). They spit out water, moved, and they were just pretty darn cool.
After doing the math, we decided to purchase the Zoo Membership. It just made sense. After just 2 visits, the membership has already paid for itself. We have also found it to be helpful if we decide to visit other zoos. When the boys were little, we had a Zoo Membership to the local zoo back home. We were able to visit the Buffalo Zoo, the Aquarium near Niagara Falls, and even the Houston Zoo for 50-100% off the price of admission, just because we had our membership. The discount isn’t as good as it once was (you only save 25-50% off admissions now), but the membership is still worth it. I’d pay 50% over full price any day! We also get one Free Day Pass with our membership, so if we have family come visit us and they want to visit our zoo, we can gift one family member a free trip to the zoo. We just renewed our Membership, so who is going to be the lucky person this year??
Who doesn’t like a day at the beach? In our case, it ended up being a half of a day due to some swimmers seeing some jellyfish (yikes!), but we had a blast while we were there. We could have done without all the sand that inevitably came home with us, though.
There is so much to do on Galveston Island. Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and Pleasure Pier all in close proximity to each other. Plus, there are dozens of restaurants nearby, if you get hungry. However, we just enjoyed swimming, building sand castles, window shopping, and watching the ocean through the telescopes the day we went. And we went home spending no money that day. 🙂
Space Center Houston
Of course, this is more of a costly option than the other locations I’ve mentioned, but I still felt like I had to include it. It’s a really great place to visit, if you can. You can find coupons quite often in Houston, which makes admission a little cheaper. I’ve seen them at McDonald’s and Randall’s, and while my parents were visiting us, they picked up some coupons that were in their hotel lobby. Space Center Houston’s website also lists other locations to find coupons, in store and online, to save you $5-$7 per ticket. With so many ways to get discounts, there is no way I could ever pay full price.
The Tram Tour that was pretty cool and very educational. I am not a History buff (I actually really hated History in school 😦 ) and even I found it to be interesting. There’s just something about seeing a piece of History in person that is just so cool. However, small children can get pretty bored, so you may want to prepare yourself ahead of time and bring something to entertain little ones during this time.
After the Tram Tour, we headed back to the main building for the kids to play. The boys loved it. There was a lot of hand-on exhibits to play with like remote land rovers and building your own alien. I even crawled into a small shuttle and watched a real launch from inside.
We haven’t lived here long and I know that there are so many places that we would love to add, but with school, band, football, and jobs, we just don’t always have the time to go exploring. I have heard that the Children’s Museum of Houston offer Free Admission on Thursdays, so that is something that we would love to check out one day.
We have some ideas as to what want to do this week, but we haven’t made any concrete plans yet.
Check back in a few days to see what the boys decide!
I’d love to hear some fun activities that you like to do to keep your kids busy when school is out!