Don & Sylvia Collins Park in Spring… 3 Story Treehouse, Toddler Playground & Covered Play Area!

Address: 6727 Cypresswood Dr, Spring, TX 77379

Collins Park is one of my favorite Houston area parks! It is right behind the Barbara Bush Library in Spring and has 55 acres of things to do!

There are 5 softball fields, 4 baseball fields, 1 soccer field, 1 basketball pavilion, 1 sand volleyball court, 2 playgrounds, a skate park, an amphitheater, a nature trail along Cypress Creek, covered picnic tables, grills, restrooms, a canoe launch, fishing… and THREE great playgrounds.

We had been to the big three story treehouse and the green toddler playground… but now there is also a covered playground! This shaded play area stays dry in the rain, has a soft rubber mat (with no mulch or dirt) and equipment that is small enough for little kids but creative enough for bigger ninjas!

To see our past posts, go HERE and you can see just how awesome this park is. It goes on forever and there is so much to do. Even when there are parties and sports games, there is plenty of room for everyone at the park.

Check out all the pictures below:





Find more Houston area parks:… Not Just a Laundry List of Everything You Could Do… But What Houston Parents Recommend Doing!

On BigKidSmallCity, we provide weekly events, a Houston area park review, a family friendly restaurant review and lots of things to do with kids.

It’s not just a laundry list of things to do… but actual parent reviews and recommendations.

Here’s what I mean…

A while back, I was at Target, looking for a Bingo game.  I was standing in front of a hundred games and did not see Bingo… but I did see Zingo.

I asked my mom, “If Bingo is good, Zingo must be better, right?”.

Just then, a dad came over and told me that Zingo means there are 10,000 plastic pieces on your rug that won’t fit back into the dispenser and makes everyone angry.

That is not what the box said, but that is a good parent review.

When we provide reviews and recommendations on BigKidSmallCity, we’ve pushed a stroller through the giant crowds, found restrooms in the worst of locations and pleaded with three tired kids to get from the very back of the zoo to the parking lot.

We also use all our photos and no stock photos.  You get to see what we saw when we visited.

That said, we also believe that a rising tide lifts all ships.  We’re not here to say we know everything to do in Houston.  In fact, I’ll share my favorite things to do in Houston and hope you will do the same.

Some of my favorites are below… and please comment with your favorite things to do (big and small!):



Button on Preston Street Bridge from Wortham Theater
Mysterious Red Button on Buffalo Bayou – Have you heard about the Big Bubble in the Buffalo Bayou? Have you seen the mysterious red button on the Preston Street Bridge? A friend told us that their 5 year old’s favorite thing to do in Houston was to, “burp the bayou”, and we just had to know what this meant.


Looking at Airplanes at Black Walnut at Conroe Airport
Black Walnut at Conroe North Houston Regional Airport – This is the restaurant where you can watch planes and helicopters land… right next to your table!  See the pictures HERE!

Waugh Bridge at Dusk
Waugh Bridge Bat Colony – Just down the bayou from the Fish Family play area is a bat colony.  Each night at dusk, watch hundreds of thousands of bats emerge in the middle of the city!


Boys at Mounted Patrol Stables
Mounted Patrol Stables – Visiting the Houston Police Departments Mounted Patrol Stables might just be the coolest free thing to do in Houston.  Bring your own carrots, quartered apples and peppermints, and you can stop in to visit the horses, during visiting hours.

Bring a giant bag of carrots… like the ones you get a Costco… because there are nearly 40 hungry horses to feed!


Joe Hermann Park Conductor for a Day
Engineer for a Day – My son counted the days until he was 7 years old and could be Engineer for a Day at Hermann Park. Now 8 years old, he asked to drive the train again as his Christmas gift.

Kids arrive in the morning and help open up the train barn, perform safety checks, wash the train and get the railroad ready for the day. After about an hour of preparations, they sit right next to the conductor and help take the train around to Kinder Station.

Magnafying Glass at Swap Shop
Swap Shop – In nature or in a book, find something that interest the kids. Learn about it and bring the item to the Swap Shop at the Houston Zoo. If you don’t have a shell or bone or physical item, you can bring in your “knowledge” or you can bring in a poster, report, diorama… anything to leave at the shop.The kids earn points and get to swap it for items in the shop!  There are stones, shells, bones and more!

The Alice and Wonderland Sculpture at Evelyn’s Park –  There are 150 different elements from the book within the sculpture! For example, you can find a small Humpty Dumpty or the White Queen, on the legs of the table and benches.


Houston Parks – We love to find new park and explore new parks of town.


Adventure Kids Playcare Memorial… Guilt Free Childcare when you need it!

At some point, every parent is going to need childcare.

For work, for evenings out, for emergencies or just when the usual care falls through… you need a reliable place for on demand child care, like our sponsor, Adventure Kids Playcare in Memorial.

At Adventure Kids Playcare, they offer guilt free childcare when you need it… daytime, late nights, Saturdays and most holidays.  Kids 6 weeks to 12 years old. can play, explore, and learn while in a safe and secure environment.

Parents have a reliable place for childcare and kids love it.  Here’s what parents say about the Memorial location:

“My son had his first visit last night—he had so much fun and was talking about it all day.”

“My son loves coming to Adventure Kids Playcare. There is a lot to do and it is clear they do lots of singing and playing with the kids because my son always comes home singing new songs and wanting to teach me the new games he played.”

“My 4 year old has declared he wants to live there. So, I guess he loves it. We will be back!”

AND if you want to take your kids, get 1 HOUR FREE at the Adventure Kids Playcare Memorial location with code BKSC1HR!  You can find it at 10403 Katy Fwy, #220, Houston, TX 77024, (713) 838-1414.

Good for Toddlers & Big Kids Too… James Driver Park!

Address: 10918 Bentley St, Houston, TX 77093

Look at the play equipment at James Driver Park!

This big park is includes a skate park, basketball court, playground and community center.  There is free parking.

Fun2Go Misters went recently… and check out the pictures!

The lime playground has great ramps, bars all the way to the floor to prevent slipping through. and lots of ropes and slides.  At ground level, there are lots of cool things to climb and spin!  (There used to be a smaller red playground… but now it’s gone.)

This park really was good for big ninjas and toddlers too.  Plus… it’s close to our favorite Mounted Patrol Stables.  Go feed the horses after you visit the park!





Find more Houston area parks:


Things to do in Midtown, Montrose and River Oaks, with kids!

From Houston Mom, Melissa:

Sometimes living so close to the heart of the city can be challenging with little ones; bumpy sidewalks for strollers, busy streets, lots of crowds…

Still, there are many great places in the Midtown, Montrose, River Oaks area that are wonderful for the whole family and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Here is a list of little gems that we wanted to share:

1. Midtown Park– 2811 Travis St, Houston, TX 77006

This beautifully maintained park boasts a large lawn and a great hill for rolling down, a wetland pond, swings, an art wall and a stage area. They have FREE family activities listed on their events page here, including capoeiria classes and b-boy hip hop for all ages. The playground features a large rope climbing area, a fun rock climbing structure for older kids and a rock play pit with movable tables that toddlers adore.


2. Cherryhurst Park– 1700 Missouri Street, Houston, TX 77006

This is a charming, shady park with a community center, a vertical garden, tennis courts and a small playground. On Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 10-11am drop in to the community center for free toddler playtime. (Note this program runs from September to May 1st). This is a fun place for an easy picnic, and it’s close to many restaurants on Westheimer.

3. West Gray Park -1475 West Gray Houston, TX 77019

Officially known as the ‘Metropolitan Multiservice Playground’ and affectionately known as the “Playground Without Limits,’ this wheelchair friendly park is a wonderful place for family time. There is no shale, but rather a rubber turf which is great for crawlers. The older kids can bike or scoot around the smooth path which is fenced in around the baseball diamond.


4. River Oaks Community Center and Pumpkin Park – 3600 Locke Ln, Houston, TX 77027

Pumpkin park has great equipment and it’s fully fenced in. Furthermore, on Thursdays, the River Oaks Community Center, right beside the park, has a toddler craft from 11am-12 noon. (Note this program runs from September to the end of April)


5. Montrose Library – 4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

This library has a great toddler time and baby time on Tuesdays. Beside the library is the Black Lab which has an outdoor large size chess set! We love to play here in this shady patio area. It’s fun for all ages, from crawlers to adults.


6. Buffalo Bayou Park – 105 Sabine St, Houston, TX 77007

A great place for a bike ride! The trails are beautifully smooth, and there is a large, beautiful dog park at 2929 Allen Park Way. There is artwork along the trail where you can stop for photos and to explore and interact with the sculptures. There is a fun outdoorsy nature park at the Sabine Street Bridge. On the other end of the park, you can check out the Dunlavy Kitchen.


7. Bat Colony at Waugh Bridge – Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77002

This is a fun evening activity that our family enjoys. We ride bikes down to the Bayou and sit quietly along the embankment at dusk, waiting for the bats to come out! It’s truly amazing to see thousands of bats fly out from under the bridge and take off in a black swarming cloud across the city skyline. The first, third and fourth Friday of the month, there is a ‘bat chat’ with volunteers.


8. Spotts Park– 401 S Heights Blvd.

Fun playground at the top of the hill and a smaller playground next to the covered basketball courts at the bottom of the hill. It’s a good place for parents to get a workout too. There is a nice set of stairs for stair running. And there are often folks working out here, even sprinting up and down the large hill.


Other fun places we like to explore in this area are the Wilson Spark Park at 2100 Yupon street and a small, quiet toddler playground at West Webster Street Park.

Find the map below… and for more to do in Montrose, go HERE!

Sideways Stories from Wayside School is at Main Street Theater through May 19, 2018

Wayside School is sideways. That’s how the builder built it. Instead of making thirty classrooms side by side, he built them one on top of the other – which explains why all kinds of crazy things happen there. Join them for high adventure at this wonderful, wacky, mixed-up school!

Sideways Stories at Wayside School is at Main Street Theater through May 19, 2018 and includes performances that are sensory friendly, audio described and with ASL.

All the Main Street Theater Youth Shows are done by professional actors but meant for families.

Get all the details HERE!

Move One Place On… The Alice and Wonderland Sculpture at Evelyn’s Park!

My new favorite thing in Houston is the Alice and Wonderland Sculpture at Evelyn’s Park. I know, I know, I’ve been posting a lot about it lately… but did you know that there are 150 different elements from the book within the sculpture?! For example, you can find a small Humpty Dumpty or the White Queen, on the legs of the table and benches.

AND, did you know that the name of the sculpture is “Move One Place On”?  As you sit down for tea, you are to honor someone with master of ceremonies and they will stand up and yell , “I want a clean cup move one place on.”.

If you follow the artist, Bridgette Mongeon, on Instagram or Facebook, you can see as she reveals the hidden items and the #MoveOnePlaceOn videos!

Go HERE to learn more!

Give Away: 4 Tickets to Sideways Stories from Wayside School at Main Street Theater

Wayside School is sideways. That’s how the builder built it. Instead of making thirty classrooms side by side, he built them one on top of the other – which explains why all kinds of crazy things happen there. Join us for high adventure at this wonderful, wacky, mixed-up school!

Sideways Stories at Wayside School is at Main Street Theater through May 19, 2018… and we have tickets to give away!

You can win one of two family four packs of tickets,  good for opening day, this Sunday, April 15, 2018.  Winners can choose between the 12:30 or 3:30pm show.

Register to win below (or HERE).

Update:  Congratulations to Melina S and Irene M!

Contest Ends: Friday, April 13, 2018
Official Rules:

Hamilton Lottery in Houston: 32 TICKETS FOR EVERY PERFORMANCE $10 EACH!

Hamilton will be at Houston’s Hobby Center from April 24 through May 20, 2018… and there will be 32 $10 orchestra tickets for each performance.

You can enter the #HAM4HAM LOTTERY two days before each show!

This is how it works:

  • Thirty-two (32) orchestra tickets will be sold for every performance for $10 each. The digital lottery will open at 11:00 AM CT on Sunday, April 22 for tickets to the Tuesday, April 24 performance. Subsequent digital lotteries will begin two days prior to each performance.
  • Use the official app for HAMILTON, now available for all iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
  • You can also visit THIS website to register.
  • The lottery will open at 11:00 AM CT two days prior to the performance date and will close for entry at 9:00 AM CT the day prior to the performance.
  • Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent at approximately 11:00 AM CT the day prior to the performance via email and SMS (if mobile number is provided).
  • No purchase or payment necessary to enter or participate.
  • Each winning entrant may purchase up to two (2) tickets.
  • Only one entry per person. Repeat entries and disposable email addresses will be discarded.
  • Tickets must be purchased online with a credit card by 4:00 PM CT the day prior to the performance using the purchase link and code in a customized notification email. Tickets not claimed by 4:00 PM CT the day prior to the performance are forfeited.
  • Lottery tickets may be picked up at will call beginning 2 hours prior to the performance with a valid photo ID. Lottery tickets void if resold.

Get more details, more rules HERE.

Look What’s Being Installed at Evelyn’s Park! Mad Hatter Tea Party Sculpture!

Look what’s going up at Evelyn’s Park today! The Mad Hatter Tea Party is finally being installed… and is bigger than I ever imaged!