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Half Day in Houston: Ride a train, pedal a boat, take a trip through Japan & play at Hermann Park!

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, ride a train, pedal a boat, take a trip through Japan and play at the park!  Head to Hermann Park for enough fun to fill a half day (or a day)!

Look below for a map of the walking route.  You can also combine it with the (very close) walking trail and Houston Zoo adventure HERE.


Cherie Flores Garden Pavillion at Hermann Park Centennail Gardens from Parking Lot
Park or Ride:  Find a parking spot in Hermann Park’s free lot by the Centennial Gardens (Lot C, accessible on Hermann Drive by the Health Museum)… or make the trip more fun by taking METRORail to the Hermann Park Stop.



Hermann Park Centennial Garden
1. McGovern Centennial Gardens – 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston, TX 77004 – Free

Start the day with a walk through the beautiful Centennial Gardens.  Climb the mound or meander through the gardens!  Read more about it HERE!


Hermann Park Japanese Garden Bridge
2.  Japanese Garden – 6000 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030 – Free

Once you are done at the Centennial Garden, cross the street towards the big Miller Outdoor Theatre.  Leisurely walk past the theater, by the reflecting pool and to the Japanese Gardens.

This fenced-in garden is right in the middle of the park and free to enter. Walk right in to be amazed by the waterfalls, bridges, paths and trees.

Take a stroll through the lush gardens and let the kids run through the paths and play on the bridges.


Hermann Park Bigger Playstructure
3.  Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children – 6001 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030 – Free

After your trip through the Japanese Garden, get ready to play at the playgrounds.  Walk to the edge of the park, near the medical buildings, and find several sets of equipment for all ages.


Hermann Park Train at Kinder Station1
4.  Kinder Station –  6104 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030 – $3.25/person for Train Rides, $10 for Pedal Boat

Finish up your trip with a walk back towards Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Zoo.  Here you will find the train station, pedal boats and Pinewood Cafe!

Tickets for the train and boats can be purchased in Kinder Station!


View from Pinewood Cafe
5.   Pinewood Cafe – 6104 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030 – Reasonable

Finish up the day with a trip to Pinewood Cafe! Build your custom grilled cheese or find other cafe items.

Sit in the air conditioned building or on the patio overlooking the lake!

If you are up for more fun, add in a walking trail and the Houston Zoo.  Details are HERE.

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