Top 7 Things to Do in Houston in the Rain, with Kids.

Baby Spashing in Rain Puddles
So you had big plans to visit the park and to explore Houston’s great outdoors… but it starts to pour.  The kids won’t settle for staying home, so what should you do?  Below are the top 7 picks for things to do when it’s raining in Houston. Find the video HERE!

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Butterfly on Bench
1.  Cockrell Butterfly Center & Houston Museum of Natural Science – Head inside the Houston Museum of Natural Science and to the rain forest.  Climb the stairs, gape at the giant waterfall and identify the hundreds of butterflies darting around your head.  Learn about insects in the education center or play games in the play area.  A trip to the Cockrell Butterfly Center lets you get “outdoors” without getting caught in the rain.

Besides visiting the butterflies, you can watch an IMAX movie, visit the planetarium or explore the exhibits.  The huge new Paleontology Hall is a must see, the Chemistry Hall often has demonstrations and the Energy Hall has movies and interactive exhibits.

Maps in Downtown Underground Tunnels
2.  Downtown Tunnels & JP Morgan Chase Tower Observation Deck – If it’s a week day during working hours, go explore the miles of tunnels under Downtown Houston.  Take METRORail to the Main Street Square Station.  Walk a block south to where the tracks cross the fountain.  You can duck inside the 1000 Main Street building (with UBS listed on the sign) and access the tunnels.  Stop at any of the shops or restaurants and find the maps posted on the wall.  Weave your way to the JP Morgan Chase Tower (or find your way from street level).  From the lobby, you can take the elevator to the 60th floor observation deck.  The best part is that the tunnels and tower are open to the public for free!

MetroRail Train in Mid Main
3.  Ride METRORail End to End – I know some kids that love trains.  If it’s raining outside, make a day of riding one.  Park at Hermann Park, for free for 3 hours, and run over to the Hermann Park METRORail Station.  Buy a ticket for $1.25 for everyone over 5 years old and jump on board the north bound train.  Take the train to the University of Houston Downtown.  Here you will jump off and board the southbound train.  You can take it back to Hermann Park or keep going south towards NRG Park.  Feel free to bring a stroller onboard or to let the kids sit on the seats.  If you get the one behind the driver, you can feel like you are driving the train.

Fire Museum Play Room
4.  Houston Fire Museum – One of the best Houston play places is inside the Houston Fire Museum.  Currently housed in the old Fire Station 7, the back of the Houston Fire Museum has a kids room with fireman uniforms, real cab of a firetruck, fireman pole and more.  Kids can slide down the pole, put on their gear, jump in the truck, listen to the scanner, turn on the lights, drive to the fire and put it out.  There are also books, games and videos all on fire safety.  This is a fantastic place to spend a rainy day, Tuesday through Saturday.

Climb
5.  Children’s Museum of Houston – I don’t think there is a “Top Picks” list for Houston that does not include the Children’s Museum.  The award winning museum has a tot spot for the littlest ones and lots of interactive exhibits for the big ones.  You can build, drive, shop, draw, problem solve, get wet, stay dry, climb, slide, play and just about anything else you want.  This is the perfect place to get rid of all that extra energy.  Just be ready for the crowds because everyone loves this museum.  My tip is to find the least crowded spot and spend your entire visit here.  There is so much to do, the kids won’t get bored… and you won’t have a headache from chasing kids through swarms of people.

Houston Zoo Jelly Fish
6.  Houston Zoo – The cool thing about the Houston Zoo is that most people avoid it while it’s raining.  The even cooler thing is that there is quite a lot to do at the zoo that is indoors!  Crawl through the Piranha tank tunnel in Natural Encounters, look at scorpions in the Bug House, hide in the Bat Cave and visit the Swap Shop.  I wouldn’t go in a thunderstorm, because you still need to run between buildings, but on a misty miserable day, the Houston Zoo has lots of fun… without the usual crowds!

7.  Splash in the Puddles – If it’s not lighting and it’s not raining too hard, go outside.  You’ll probably have Hermann Park and Discovery Green to yourself.  Pack some extra clothes and go splash in some puddles.

Another idea is to check the list of current events HERE and find one that is great for a rainy day!


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