School is almost out, and you’re gearing up for some quality family together. Whether you want to get away, beat the heat, or explore, I’ve put together a list of family-friendly activities that my own family enjoys. Some are simple and don’t cost a dime and while others offer a little extra if you want to splurge. Whatever you choose, let the family fun begin! I’m curious, what’s on your summer 2021 family bucket list?
Dazzling Diva Photography’s 2021 Family Bucket List
1. Houston Zoo (FREE option available)
Located within Houston’s Hermann Park, take a zoological trip around the world. Watch the penguins zip into the water and the monkeys hang upside down. The Houston Zoo is the second most popular zoo in the U.S., housing over 6,000 animals. They provide a unique zoo experience with opportunities for animal encounters. Be sure to check out their schedule for Free Tuesdays, and book your reservation in advance.
2. Stewart Beach Galveston
We love taking the kids on a day trip to Galveston for a quick beach getaway. Stewart Beach is great for families because it has easy access, plenty of parking, food options, clean restrooms, showers, and even a kid’s play area and sand volleyball court. You can rent chairs and an umbrella, too. They keep the beach very clean, and its more family friendly than other beaches in the area. Weekday entry is $12, weekend admission is $15, or get a Season Pass for $50.
3. WG Jones State Forest (FREE)
Located in the North Woodlands/Conroe area off of FM 1488, WG Jones State Forest is not only one of my favorite places to photograph families, but to explore with my own family, too. When we need a breath of fresh air, we’ll head over to this lush forest featuring towering pines, well-kept trails, several picnic areas, and two peaceful ponds. This park is a great entry-level introduction to hiking (perfect for little ones who can’t trek very far).
4. Lake Conroe
Lake Conroe offers all kinds of watersports adventures such as boating, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. Depending on what you want to do, they have a public boat ramp off of FM 830 and Lakeview Marina for picking up necessities. Or, visit Lake Conroe Water Sports to rent a boat, kayak, or water ski. Alternatively, you can relax and play the day away at Lake Conroe Park. Then, grab a bite to eat lakeside from Papa’s on the Lake or Fajita Jack’s.
5. Conroe Waterpark—Candy Cane Lane
This new waterpark opened in Summer 2020. Given the number of amenities and attractions, it’s very reasonably priced, and they allow visitors to bring food and coolers as well. Whether you have a little one who wants to try the wading pool and splash area or an older kiddo who’s ready for the large slides, this park is a ton of fun! Check out their feature in the Houston Chronicle for more info. Check summer dates and hours ahead of time as they change often.
6. Margaritaville Lake Resort—Conroe
This family-friendly resort showcases gorgeous views of Lake Conroe. Margaritaville offers several bars, grilles, and even a coffee café. Mom can enjoy some time at the spa while Dad and the kids hit the waterpark or go for a round of mini golf. When you aren’t relaxing poolside, head over to Einstein’s Surf & Boat Shop to rent a pontoon boat, kayak, jet ski, or SUP board.
7. The Woodlands Splash Pads/Spraygrounds (FREE)
These are weekly adventures for us when we want to get out of the house and beat the heat. The Woodlands has several shaded spraygrounds and playgrounds (most of these parks also have restrooms and a pavilion available as well). Our favorites are Sawmill Park, May Valley Park, Shadowbend Park, Timarron Park, Village Green Sprayground, Shenandoah Park, and the Market Street Fountain.
8. Houston Museum of Natural Science (FREE option available)
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is fascinating for both kids and adults. They change out the exhibits regularly, so you never know what you’re going to discover next. The museum is currently displaying Victoria the T. Rex and Body Worlds (among others). View their schedule for current and upcoming exhibitions. The museum offers free admission every Thursday from 2-5pm for permanent exhibits.
9. Kemah Boardwalk
Just 30 miles southeast of Downtown Houston, this charming boardwalk always brings a sense of nostalgia. During the day, you can ride the amusement park rides, shop the boutiques, and get a scoop of ice cream while you walk around. In the evenings, Kemah Boardwalk often features live music or concerts by (typically) family-friendly bands. During the summer, they have a Rock the Dock concert series every Thursday night. Check their event schedule to see what piques your interest.
10. Space Center Houston
I couldn’t leave this one off the list! If you’re in Space City, you have to experience this out-of-this-world museum, which is the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and a Smithsonian Affiliate. It probably won’t surprise you that the home of NASA Mission Control also displays the largest collection of moon rocks. Even if you’ve gone before, they’re always showcasing new exhibits! Visit Space Center Houstonfor a full galaxy of adventure.
Book Your Family Session with Dazzling Diva, Houston Family Photographer
While checking off family bucket list, don’t forget to capture these precious moments of childhood. Summer is the perfect time to update your family photos. Beat the fall rush and take in the sunset together with a summer family portrait session with Dazzling Diva Photography. Now booking for summer 2021. Get in touch with me today to save your spot. Check out recent family sessions here.