Nob Hill Park: Fish bridge, giant tree house, stand up swing, stand up teeter totter and more!

Nobb Hill Park Playground
Address: 10300 Timberoak Dr, Houston, TX 77043

We’ve seen a lot of Houston parks, and this is a GOOD park!  The playground at Nob Hill Park has some very cool equipment in a nice neighborhood setting.

Fish bridge, giant tree house, stand up swing, stand up teeter totter and more!

Nobb Hill Park Treehouse
Nob Hill Park has a walking trail, ball field, small gazebo… and the very cool playground.  Free parking is available on the street.

When we arrived  on a weekend afternoon, a lot of people were walking or jogging and a birthday party was wrapping up at the playground.  Lots of people were enjoying this place!

nobb Hill Park Stand Up Teeter Totter
Some playgrounds have one neat feature, but at Nob Hill we kept running around and finding more cool things to do.  Over the fish bridge (and under for the fish monkey bars), up the giant tree, to the stand up swing, to the stand up teeter totter… and to the little kid play structure.

There is so much to do, it’s a little hard to decide what is the best.  My youngest thought maybe it was climbing over the fish bridge.

Nobb Hill Park Fish Bridge
The great playground is in full sun, so wear the sunscreen and be ready for hot equipment during the summer.  Also, I did not see restrooms… so plan ahead!

Nobb Hill Park Swings
 

Nobb Hill Park Gazebo
 

Nobb Hill Park Trail
 

DSC_0338
 

 

Find more Houston parks:



NOW FULL – BigKidSmallCity Meet Up: Fire Station 16 Tour – June 6, 2016 – 12:00pm

James Spraying Fire House at Fire Station 16
Well friends, it’s been a long time since we hosted one of these tours… and it is sure to fill up quick.  (If it’s like past fire station tours… it will be closed within minutes!)

BigKidSmallCity is touring Fire Station 16, in Montrose, on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 12:00pm.  (Corner of Dunlavy & Richmond.)  On our last tours, we had the opportunity to meet the fire fighters, sit in the truck, spray the fire hose and tour the station! Join us as we do it again!

Since this is an active station, keep in mind that: “If for any reason the assigned station is unable to participate due to an emergency response call, you may not receive advance notice of their absence. If the station receives an emergency response call during the scheduled activity, they are required to proceed to the emergency, but will make every effort to return upon completion.”

During the last tours, the trucks left and came right back. All the kids got to see the fire fighters suit up and head out! Just be ready to have the outing not go perfectly as planned!

If you want to join us on June 6, 2016, you must:

1. Fill out the form below.  You will also be required to accept the terms of PARTICIPANT WAIVER AND HOLD HARMLESS FORM
2. Be one of the first 25 to respond. Spaces are very limited! The last tours filled very very quickly. You will receive an email saying you have a spot or you are on the waiting list.
3. If you get a spot, bring your little fire fighters to Fire Station 16 in Montrose on June 6, 2016.
4. The event is FREE. Feel free to bring a homemade card or some goodies if you want to thank the fire fighters.
5. Make every effort to attend. Since spaces are so limited, we want as many little fire fighters to get a chance as possible. If you need to cancel, email me at Jill @ BigKidSmallCity.com right away.

If you cannot see the form on your device, try THIS.



Reserve Your Spot for the Summer Break Party at Gallery Furniture! June 7, 2016 (North Freeway) and June 10, 2016 (Grand Parkway)!

Join BigKidSmallCity and KatyMomsBlog for TWO Summer Break Parties as Unique as Houston!  Mattress Mack has invited us back out to the wild Gallery Furniture.  

One party will be on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the 6006 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77076 location and the other will be on Friday, June 10, 2016 at the 7227 West Grand Parkway South, Richmond, TX 77407 location!  Both are 11:00am-1:00pm.

NOW FULL:  At North Freeway on June 7, kids will get to see the monkeys and exotic birds, make crafts, race down the giant slides, jump on mattresses and eat as much lunch as their parents allow!

NOW FULL:  At Grand Parkway on June 10, kids will get to see the monkeys and birds, make crafts, watch sharks swim, jump on mattresses and eat as much pizza and ice cream as their parents allow!  They will also get to meet Jessica from Happy Family Brands, get a snack and do some Happy activities!  AND they can meet Tracy from SheLovesScience, and make some science projects!

Gallery Furniture Grand Parkway Jumping Mattresses
And it’s all FREE to those that get a spot!

If you want to join us on June 7 and/or 10, you must:
1. Fill out the form below.  Select the event you plan to attend.
2. Be one of the first 100 to respond at each location. Spaces are limited! You will receive an email saying you have a spot or you are on the waiting list.  (Emails are sent within 24 hours.)
3. Understand that the animals will only come out to meet the kids if they are in good moods. If they are too overwhelmed, they will stay in their cages/rooms! Kids will be able to see them no matter what.  (And from past events, they are more likely to come out at North Freeway.)
4. If you get a spot, bring your kids to Gallery Furniture!  (Tuesday, June 7, 11:00am: 6006 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77076.  Friday, June 10, 11:00am: 7227 West Grand Parkway South, Richmond, TX 77407.) The events are FREE.
5. Make every effort to attend. Since spaces are limited and we want as many kids to get a chance as possible. If you need to cancel, email me at Jill @ BigKidSmallCity.com.



Give Away: Family 4 Packs to the Children’s Museum of Houston!

Childrens Museum of Houston Building
Reliant is hosting an interactive exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston focused on teaching kids where electricity comes form and the importance of energy efficiency.  To celebrate, Reliant has provided us with MORE tickets to giveaway!  Jennifer and Jessica won the last set, but we have 2 more family 4 packs to give away!

To win a family 4 pack of tickets to the Children’s Museum, sign up below!  We will pick 2 winners on Wednesday, June 1, 2016!

Update: Congratulations to Rebecca C and Jamilah D.

Contest Ends: June 1, 2016 at 9:00am.
Official Rules: http://wp.me/P2efXF-9kV



Wet’n’Wild Splashtown: Tips for Visiting Houston’s Biggest Water Park with Kids!

Wet N Wild Junior
Address: 21300 Interstate 45 N, Spring, TX 77373

It must be summer break because the kids are out of school, the splashpads are running around the clock and the water parks are open!  And we got to kick off summer right because Wet’n’Wild Splashtown invited us out for visit.

Wet’n’Wild is Houston’s biggest water park and there really are activities for kids of all ages.  Little kids can play at Wet’n’Wild Junior, Tree House Island, Blue Lagoon, Paradise River and the Wave Pool.  Bigger little kids can body board at Flow Rider, tube down Big Kahuna and race down a lot of slides.  And the bigger big kids can try slides that are so steep, my knees got weak just looking at them.

Wet N Wild Splashtown Treehouse Island Ropes
The only trouble with all the things to do was keeping all 3 of my kids in the same place.  The activities are generally spit between “little kids”, “above 42in”, “above 48in” and “really big kids”.  Since my kids fit 3 of these categories, I was lucky to have had brought my dad along for the adventure.  We spent the day trading kids and exploring everything at the park.

We went on a weekday, with rainy weather, so the crowds were small and we never had to wait longer than 5 minutes for a slide.  Actually, for the big slides, we spent more time climbing to the top than waiting.

Up until this trip, we had not spent much time at water parks.  In fact, we’re not huge theme park people.  But, at Wet’n’Wild, where we were constantly swimming and splashing, we had a great time.

Wet N Wild Splashtown Flowrider
If you are thinking of a trip to Wet’n’Wild, here are our tips for taking the kids! Affiliate links included.

  • Lockers are available for $10-$20.  I’m not sure how to get around renting the locker if everyone plans to swim and you have keys and a phone.  Plus, I had my camera so I was planning on spending the money. The small locker will hold your keys, towel and change of clothes… and not a whole lot more.  The jumbo held my camera, phone, sunscreen and clothes for 5 people… but it’s not gigantic.  The good thing is that you can open and close all day for one price… so store your sunscreen and water… swim… and come back for more.
  • Parking is $10.  You can save a few quarters if you buy online.
  • Outside food is not allowed in the waterpark… BUT you can bring in water, infant formula and food for those with special needs.  You can also leave a cooler in the car and re-enter the park.
  • Food inside the park has amusement park price tags.  Most things are around $10, but it looks like you can find tacos, pretzels and popcorn for $3-$4.  Bottles of water are $3.
  • Water shoes would be useful.  We had flip flops… but a lot of the pools and slides are connected… so we left them at Wet ‘n’ Wild Junior and did not remember them until we were on the other side of the park.  No big deal for dollar store flip flops… but water shoes would have let us wear shoes all over the park.
  • It turns out that going to a water park is a good way to unplug.  With all the water, I locked away my phone and was offline all day.  The only trouble was that I had no idea about the time.  Next time I’ll wear a waterproof watch.  (I also saw lots of people with waterproof phone cases.)
  • Tubes are available for all the slides that require tubes.  There are also tubes you can rent… but you can skip this expense (unless you are determined to float and not swim down the lazy river).
  • Life vests are available for free, all over the park.  You can also bring in your own devices.  My youngest wore his Puddle Jumper and my daughter wore her Life Vest (even though she can swim… but so her mom was less worried about watching 3 kids).
  • Strollers are allowed in the park.  (But all the strollers I saw had one parent watching over them.)
  • Wet’n’Wild will stay open in the rain and they only close the attractions for lightning/severe weather.  When we went, it was rainy, which kept the crowds away and only had to leave the water one time.  If you want to gamble and go on a rainy day, you might also see fewer crowds… and who cares if you get wet at the water park?  The catch is that NO rainchecks are issued… so if you spend a lot of money on tickets and then lighting closes the rides, you lose on the bet.
  • All of the attractions say that those with injuries, conditions or are pregnant should not ride…. but it seems like they let the patrons make the decisions.  For me, the pregnant mom, I did the things that are less strenuous than my daily routine… but not those that were more dangerous.  So, the lazy river is easier than getting 3 kids ready for school, so I floated down.  The giant slide might be more dangerous than hauling kids to baseball practice, so I skipped it.
  • For us, a water park visit is a 2 adult adventure.  There are activities for little kids, for those over 42″, for those over 48″ and for adults.  Since I have a kid in the “little”, 42″ and 48″ category, it was much easier having another adult to help haul around the big and little kids.

So, if you were wondering if Wet’n’Wild had something for your kids… the answer is probably yes.  If you are wondering if it is worth the price, take a look at the pictures below and see what you think.  We really did have fun and you can get discounts online, with coupons at McDonalds and with the season pass!

Wet N Wild Splashtown Monkey Bars
 

Wet N Wild Splashtown Lazy River
 

Wet N Wild Splashtown Wave Pool
 

Wet N Wild Splashtown Baby Swings
 

Wet N Wild Junior Slides
 

Wet N Wild Splashtown Treehouse Island
 

Wet N Wild Splashtown Lifevest
 



Cool Off All Summer at the Quillian Center Pool, Noah’s Ark Splashpad & Playground

Quillian Center Pool Slide and Alligator
Address: 10570 Westpark Dr, Houston, TX 77042
Hours: Check HERE.
Admission: $7.50/person (access to both pools), Playground is Free

You probably know about Noah’s Ark and the Quillian Center Playground… but there is also a pool for big kids!  The playground is free, and open after hours to the public, and the splashpad and pool has one admission price for access to everything.

The Quillian Center Pool has dual slides, diving boards, basketball hoop and a giant alligator.  Noah’s Ark is a shallow pool with slide, tunnels and water fountains. (And is amazing for little kids.)

Quillian Center Pool Alligator
Both swim areas are completely fenced in and are right next to each other. You do need to select the pool you will swim in, so you can watch your kids… but it’s easy to switch between the two pools.

The Quillian Center has locker rooms and a concession stand with prices that are really quite reasonable. You can also bring in a small table sized cooler (but not a big one).

Noahs Ark at Quillian Center Boat
We have been to Noah’s Ark many times, but we had the chance to visit the big pool for a party last week.

With all the cool things to do at the pool, EVERYONE was drawn to the alligator. I tried to convince my youngest to go down the slides or jump in from the sides or do something else, but he was determined to be part of the group climbing up, falling off and going under water.

The lifeguards were watching, and I had my eyes glued on him… but that darn alligator was too attractive to my new swimmer. And he showed us all by managing to recover after every fall.

Quillian Center Pool Slides
My other kids moved on from the alligator to jump off the diving boards and slide down the slides.

Both pools are in full sun, so we applied sun screen often. (There is quite a bit of seating in the shade… but I would scope it out when you arrive so you do not get stuck in the sun!)

After a couple hours of swimming, we packed up and played at the great Quillian Center Playground. (This is used by Wesley Academy students and by the Quillian After School Program but is open on weekends and evenings to the public.)

See the pictures below and check out the Quillian Center this summer!

Quillian Center Pool Basketball Hoop
 

Quillian Center Pool Diving Boards
 

Quillian Center Pool Umbrellas
 

Noahs Ark at Quillian Center Pool Mushroom
 

Quillian Center Playground Climbing Circles
 

Quillian Center Playground Climbing
 

Quillian Center Playground Swing Disk
 

Quillian Center Playground Climbing Wall
 

Quillian Center Playground Spinning Wheel
 

Find more Houston Parks, Pools & Splashpads:



Things to Do in San Diego – A (Used-to-be) Locals Guide to Exploring San Diego with Kids

Ocean Beach San Diego Pier
Many years ago, I was a Navy wife in San Diego.  And for the decade that followed, I traveled from Houston to San Diego every few weeks for work.  And when I was especially lucky, I would take my kids with me.

I love Houston, but San Diego is pretty fantastic.  The temperature is usually a perfect 70 something, there are miles of beautiful beaches and, Houstonians will appreciate this… there are no mosquitoes.

My friends often ask for tips for where to visit on their San Diego vacations, so let me share my favorite spots from a (used-to-be) local mom.

Ocean Beach San Diego View from Pier
Where to Stay:

My recommendation to my friends is to stay west of Interstate 5. I like all of San Diego, but if you go too far inland, you will see shops and restaurants and businesses like Houston (but with more palm trees and nicer weather). To the west of Interstate 5, you will have miles and miles of beautiful beaches.

Let me give you a quick overview of the beaches in San Diego… and yes, it’s over simplified but will give you an idea of where to go.

In San Diego, you fly into Downtown which is very nice.  It’s changed a lot since we first moved there… the views are beautiful and there are great restaurants and shops.

Just a little south of Downtown is Coronado with giant beaches, the famous Hotel del Coronado and a Navy Base (with the other Navy Base in Downtown).

Just a little north(ish) is Point Loma and Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach is old-fashioned, laid back and the destination for a lot RVs and Volkswagen Vans. It’s also were I lived.

Further north is Mission Beach with nice beaches and a little bay (where I learned to surf). North of this is Pacific Beach with a lot of young adults, bars and restaurants.

North of this is La Jolla and then Del Mar… with zip codes that everyone dreams of having one day. Beautiful houses, nice shops and restaurants and nice beaches.

My husband was on the Navy Bases in Coronado and Downtown, we lived in Ocean Beach, and I worked near La Jolla… so this strip of coast is what I know best… and are what I always recommend to friends.  If you go further north… I bet you can also find great places by the beach.

Hotels are up and down the coast… so try to stay west of I5… or make sure you vacation takes you there!

 

Seaport Village San Diego View of Navy Ships
What to Do:

1.  Coronado Island:  Take the big bridge over to the island, or ride the ferry.  Here you will find really big beaches and nice shops, restaurants and the Hotel del Coronado (as seen in “Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe).

Coronado is also home to a Navy Base (and where I visited a certain Aircraft Carrier pretty frequently).  You cannot get on the base without an ID, but you might see Navy Seals training on the beach.

 

2.  Downtown:  When we first arrived in San Diego, Downtown was so-so and there was a constant conversation about whether or not we should gamble and buy property.  Well, 15 years later, I can say that this would have been a really good purchase.

In Downtown, you can go to a Padre’s baseball game and visit the new Children’s Museum (which I have not seen yet!).  This is also the one time I will recommend stopping by a shopping mall… Horton Plaza is an outdoor mall with the craziest design I’ve ever seen.   It has stairs and bridges darting all over the place and it is like you are in a Dr. Suess book.

Be sure to also visit Seaport Village and the Embarcadero.  Here you will find a lot of shops, great views of Navy ships, the Star of India and the USS Midway Museum (which is a ship you can tour).

In Downtown’s Gaslamp District, you will find a lot of restaurants and bars.  And, the Little Italy district, with outdoor dining and farmers markets, is where I wish we had bought that condo.

 

3.  Balboa Park: Very close to Downtown is the San Diego version of Houston’s Hermann Park.  Balboa Park has gardens, museums, theaters and the San Diego Zoo.

This park is beautiful and there is a lot to do and places to eat.  Check the latest Reciprocal Membership Program for where you can use your Houston memberships in San Diego.

 

4.  Ocean Beach:  I used to live in Ocean Beach (OB), so you can be sure that I am biased in my review.  Saying this part of San Diego is laid back is an understatement.  Here you will find a RVs, VW vans, surfers, sunbathers, restaurants, bars, local shops and a beach dedicated to dogs.  When you get to Newport Avenue, you will feel like you’ve entered a different decade.  It is unlike anywhere else in San Diego and you need to check it out.

OB has 1 of the longest piers in Southern California and has a hole-in-the-wall restaurant and bait shop in middle.  Also, each week you can visit the Farmers Market that takes over Newport Avenue.

Also, if you walk or drive along the coast from Ocean Beach towards Point Loma, you can find the most beautiful cliffs… called Sunset Cliffs.

 

5.  Mission Bay: Just north of Ocean Beach is Mission Bay.  The calmer bay is where I took surfing lessons (through the OB Surf Shop).  It is also the place for water sports, picnicking and playing.

 

6.  Pacific Beach: Just north of Mission Beach is Pacific Beach… and where a lot of college kids and young adults hang out. It’s beautiful and has nice beaches, restaurants, bars and bathing-suit-wearing rollerbladers. Feel free to go… but I’m no longer hip enough.

 

7.  La Jolla: Now this is the zip code and everyone wants to have one day. Nice houses and beautiful beaches are in La Jolla.

La Jolla Cove is especially nice with shops, high end restaurants, a small family beach and a whole lot of sea lions.  La Jolla Shores is also very nice and has a bigger beach for the kids.  We’ve spent a lot of time digging and building fortresses on this beach.

 

8.  Theme Parks:  If you are looking for theme parks/zoos, check out San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park, Sea World and Lego Land.  I’ve been to all off them over the years and taken the kids to a few… but really, my personal preference is to spend time in the city and at the beaches rather than spending tons of time and money at the parks.  But, if your family is a theme park family… go!

Seaworld San Diego
More Information:

If you are headed to San Diego, check out LaJollaMom.com for not-used-to-be-local… but living-there-everyday guide to San Diego!

 

 

San Diego USS Midway BigKidSmallCity



Give Away: Family 4 Packs to the Children’s Museum of Houston!

JChildrens Museum of Houston Grand Hallway
Reliant is hosting an interactive exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston focused on teaching kids where electricity comes form and the importance of energy efficiency.  To celebrate, Reliant has provided us with tickets to giveaway!

To win a family 4 pack of tickets to the Children’s Museum, sign up below!  We will pick 2 winners on Wednesday, May 25, 2016!

Update: Congratulations to Jennifer J and Jessica E!

Contest Ends: May 25, 2016 at 9:00am.
Official Rules: http://wp.me/P2efXF-9hk



Hiking, Fishing and Camping… Just 30 Minutes Away. Tips for Visiting Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Fishing Hole BigKidSmallCity
Address:  25840 FM 1485, New Caney, TX 77357

My son has been asking to go camping for approximately his entire life. And I have been asking to not go camping for approximately my entire life.

I knew that the kids would have fun hiking on trails, building campfires and waking up to the sound of birds chirping… but I am simply much better at exploring cities. And staying in hotels.

But my oldest son is especially persuasive and got his dad to agree to a Houston camping trip. And if Joe was going, the younger kids wanted to go. And if the whole family was going, I was not about to miss the adventure.

So, last weekend, I did it. I planned a camping trip, packed the supplies, stayed the night at Lake Houston Wilderness Park and had the best time with the kids. And considering this trip was in the middle of a massive rain storm, that is really saying something.

Lake Houston Wildlife Park Screened Shelter BigKidSmallCity
Lake Houston Wilderness Park is Houston’s only park that allows overnight camping.  Located just north of Kingwood, it’s just about a 30 minute drive from downtown Houston… but this huge park is nothing like the city.

Visitors can go for the day to picnic, hike or fish… or you can stay for the night (with a reservation).  There are campsites, screened shelters and cabins, and I chose the screened shelter.  It was less than $30 for a night and comes with a very basic wooded shelter (like a backyard storage building) with screened sides, a light, power plug and outdoor faucet.  It also has a picnic table and fire pit.

So, if you do not have a tent (like me!) or want to rough it without really really roughing it, this is a good option.  Also, since we happened to camp on the night of a massive rainstorm, I am not sure we would have stuck it out in a tent… but the shelter was a fun way to hang out close and dry, while eating, talking and playing cards.

Rain poured down for most of the evening as we listened to it from our cots, and in the morning, we were rewarded with a sunny day, a nature hike and fishing from the coolest little beach.  The park has over 20 miles of trails and several fishing spots.  We went to the fishing and canoe launch on Peach Creek and found sand, a tree swing and picnic tables.

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Tree Swing BigKidSmallCity
So after many years of refusing to camp, my son got the family to Lake Houston Wilderness Park… and I’m glad he did!

If you are like me and know nothing about camping or the Houston park, let me give you some tips, picked up from our stay… and also tell you what I packed.

  • The park entrance fee is $3/adult, regardless if you are staying the night or not.
  • To camp, you can reserve a spot for just $7… or pay as much as nearly $300.  There are group camping sites, a dining hall, a lodge that sleeps 26 people… as well as spots for individuals and families.
  • There are 2 kinds of screened shelters.  The A Frames have no power and no water, and cost nearly $40/night… but the screened shelters have a light, power plug and water faucet for under $30.  The A Frames are on the lake, so I’m guessing that is why they are more… for less stuff.  (For me, I really really liked the water and light.)
  • The screened shelters were in a group of 5 buildings.  Each one was mostly surrounded in trees, but you could see your neighbors come and go.  Across the way was a giant group of high school or college kids (and maybe an adult).  So, the shelter listing says it sleeps 6, but it was obviously a hang out spot for a lot of kids.  AND the park “quiet time” is 10pm to 6am but it was a little noisy next door.  It was not a really big deal… but my point is, you do not know who your neighbor is going to be.
  • At the screened shelters, there are screened sides, a roof and a screen door.  I know we were camping, and there are no deadbolts on tents… but it’s not like we were the only people for miles and I’m a scaredy cat.  I would have been worried all night without another adult with me.
  • The mosquitoes are insane.  When we stepped out of the car, each kid instantly had 10 mosquitoes on them.  I usually hate bug spray, but we used nearly an entire can in one day.
  • Gathering firewood is not allowed, but it can be purchased at the front of the park.
  • Whether you spend the night or not, you can visit the park, take guided nature hikes and visit the nature center.  You can also pick up a kids scavenger hunt in the nature center.
  • This park is not very far from downtown Houston.  It seems like another world, but really, you could drive home and come back if you forgot something.
  • My youngest son kept asking why our house did not have a bathroom (or kitchen).  I told him it was fun to live in nature (for a night).  It turns out the park does have public showers and restrooms… and a restroom in the nature center during open hours.
  • My husband, the one that agreed to the trip in the first place… and the Eagle Scout and one person in our house that knows how to camp… was not around the week leading up to the trip.  So I packed up everything I thought we might need… and listed it below.  We actually had everything we needed…except we had to get lighter fluid because there were no dry leaves to start the fire.  If you have essentials you pack on your trips, tell me and I’ll add it!
  • What we packed: affiliate links included
    • Maybe the most essential:
    • For sleeping in the shelter:
      • Cots (Big and Little)
      • Sleeping Bags (and blankets… because we do not have 5 sleeping bags… and we were not worried about cold weather)
      • Folding Chairs
    • For the Fire:
      • Firewood (bought at the entrance of the park)
      • Charcoal
      • Lighter/Matches
      • Lighter Fluid (because there were no dry leaves at the park)
      • Leather Gloves
    • Groceries:
      • Bread
      • Peanut Butter
      • Marshmallows
      • Graham Crackers
      • Chocolate
      • Water
      • Snacks (Granola Bars, Trail Mix)
      • Supplies for Foil Dinners
        • Foil
        • Tongs (for taking them off the fire)
        • Vegetables
        • Hot Dogs
        • Butter
        • Salt
        • Cooking Supplies:
          • Knife
          • Veggie Peeler
          • Cutting Board
          • Paper Towels
          • Paper Plates
          • Sporks
          • Cups/Water Bottles
          • Plastic Bags (for storing food)
          • Cooler
        • More supplies:
          • Box Fan (we had a power plug!)
          • Lantern/Flash Lights
          • Duct Tape (for covering small holes in the shelter)
          • Pocket Knife
          • Hand Sanitizer
          • Trash Bags
          • Deck of Cards
          • Phone/Charger
        • Should have packed:
          • Biodegradable Soap (because we have a faucet!)
          • Towels (because of all the rain!)
          • Lighter Fluid (because there were no dry leaves… we ended up driving to Dollar General to buy it)

       

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Fishing BigKidSmallCity
So, to wrap it all up, I’d say that our stay at Lake Houston Wilderness Park was no hotel trip, and I was not really well rested after my stay in the shelter… but I really really enjoyed the time with my family.  I had them all within arms reach, all wanting to help cook, roast marshmallows, play cards and snuggle close during the rain storm.  And, I have lots of other nights to spend in a comfortable bed but not as many chances at this.

Take a look at more pictures below and if you are interested in other places to camp, with kids, near Houston, look HERE!

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Rain Storm BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Screened Shelter Lit Up BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Wash Station BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Shelter Water BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Camping and Foil Dinners BigKidSmallCity
 

Foil Dinners at Lake Houston Wilderness Park BigKidSmallCity
 

Foil Dinner Results at Lake Houston Wilderness Parks BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Making Marshmallow Stick BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Roasting Marshmallows BigKidSmallCity
 

Kids Camping at Lake Houston Wilderness Park BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Nature Center Reptile Room BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Nature Center Reading Tree BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Nature Center BigKidSmallCity
 

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Trail BigKidSmallCity
 

Picnic Tables at Lake Houston Wilderness Park BigKidSmallCity
 

Fishing at Lake Houston Wilderness Park BigKidSmallCity
 

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Frolic’s Castle, the Indoor Playground at Memorial City Mall!

Memorial City Mall Play Area
Address:  303 Memorial City Way, Houston, TX 77024 (Inside the mall, near Sears.)
Appropriate Age: Kids must be under 48″
Cost: Free
Hours: Open during mall hours.

This week’s park review brings us indoors, to the new(ish) Frolic’s Castle. And the cool thing about this indoor playground is that it is free.

It’s as much fun as many little kid play centers… but it costs nothing. And it’s a pretty neat little place. Dragons, a castle, bridges, trees, giants, trolls and more… all made from soft material and ready for kids to climb. Some even have little sound effects for when the kids pass by.

The catch is that kids need to be little (so my oldest is too tall) and it can get crowded! Early mornings seem to be best.

Frolics Castle at Memorial City Mall Troll
The playground is over 3,000 square feet and has a small space for toddlers (or maybe it should be the smallest toddlers). The rest of the closed in area is for the bigger little kids to play.

The castle is 3 stories and is like a fast food play structure… but the canvas on the side makes it look like a stone castle… and very very cute. The one trick is that once kids go up to the 2nd or 3rd floors, you cannot really see them from the bottom or the from the benches.

Frolics Castle Memorial City Mall
My friend and I took a 2 and 4 year old there and they thought the place was amazing. It was busy at 10:00am, but not uncomfortably full. My 4 year old climbed through the castle while her 2 year old crossed the troll bridge about 5,000 times.

All in all, it was a great trip to the playplace. It was dry, air conditioned, free and a lot of fun.

Memorial City Mall Play Area Dragon and Bridge
A guard is at the front of the play place and is counting people and measuring kids. Stroller parking is also right in front.

The mall has restrooms. Also, Memorial City Mall also has shopping, restaurants, a trackless train, carousel and ice rink… so you could spend a lot of time and money here!

Memorial City Mall Mushrooms
 

Memorial City Mall Play Place Dragon
 

Memorial City Mall Play Place Horse
 

Frolics Castle Rules at Memorial City Mall
 

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