Having fun with the family and exploring Houston can be easy! If you have a few hours, we have ideas on how to spend them with the kids.
In this Half Day in Houston series, find a place to park, play, explore and eat… all in one spot. Pick what you like or combine with another Half Day post!
In this adventure, find 3 playgrounds, a zillion restaurants and shops and explore "not-your-usual" market!
For most half day adventures, we park once and walk. For this one, we have a lot of ground to cover and need to drive to each location. That said, each spot listed has plenty of free parking.
If you find yourself on I10, between 610 and 8, there is a lot of fun to be found! I'll start the adventure at 610 and 10... but you can start at 8 and 10 if you are coming from the other side of town! (See the map below!)
Start the adventure at this mostly shaded park in the Spring Valley Village in Memorial. It has big and small play structures, zip line, monkey bars and swings. There is also a jogging trail, gazebo and restrooms.
Once you are ready to cool off, head down the street to 99 Ranch Market!
When you arrive at 99 Ranch, you will quickly realize this is not your usual trip to the grocery store. The front of the store is full of shops and restaurants... and the back has groceries your recognize and many you do not. This is an Asian grocery store with (mostly) reasonable prices and lots of new things to try.
Grab lunch at the little cafes or grab snacks for the park. My favorite is the wall full of iced tea and the bakery.
After your 99 Ranch visit, swing over to the other side of I10. Here you can find 2 Bendwood Parks! One is a Spark Park, open to the public after school hours and on weekends. The other is a public park, open all the time.
Both parks have great equipment. The Spark Park has a spot that is full shade, a spot that is full sun and a spot that is part shade for toddlers. The Park has an explorer theme with a jeep and hidden codes to break. Here you can also find a big playground and little playground.
Play here and eat your treats from 99 Ranch.
Just north of Bendwood Park is CityCentre Plaza. This is an outdoor shopping center with a central green space for running around, outdoor movies and live music. You can eat at Ruggles Green if you are hungry, or you can just go and play.
Check their website for outdoor movies and live music.
Next up is a big shaded park, right next to the Spring Branch Library. It has a toddler play area, big play structures, teeter totter, climbing sculpture, swings, bars, hippos and more.
Play here and then cool off at the Spring Branch Library, right next door.