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Spring in Houston

by Susannah Wollman

We are all so glad that spring is here after the long winter of Covid, lockdowns, and cabin fever! At least I am, aren’t you? But it’s been so long since we were able to get out and enjoy the mild weather some of us have forgotten what to do with this freedom. So we’ve decided to give you some ideas, along with safety tips that will help you enjoy all Houston has to offer in the spring.

Family-friendly things to do in and around Houston in the spring

Let’s start with stuff you can do with kids. Even if you’re not the parent of a child still living at home, you’ll enjoy the things we’ve curated for you!

1) The 66th annual Sylvan Beach festival

Oh, if you are a beach lover, this one is definitely for you! But even if you aren’t, this festival that has happened for 66 years continuously will provide something for you and all the kids to really enjoy.
First up, there is a full carnival. And who can resist the carnival rides and rollercoasters?

Next, there are a variety of vendors to satisfy your shopping urges and lots of festival food as well.
Speaking of food, the festival hosts a BBQ cook-off with some of the best BBQ you’ve ever tasted. Some people come back year after year just for that!

Enter your pretty little ones into the children’s pageant or enter yourself in the Miss Sylvan Beach pageant. So much fun competition!

Don’t want to watch the beauties walk the runway? How about watching the live gator show instead? It’s a different kind of show, for sure, but you’ll love looking at these headturners!

And lots of live entertainment as well. If you only get to do one thing this spring, the Sylvan Beach festival is the one to hit. You can find out more here.

Safety tip: Keep your kids in sight at all times. Use plenty of sunscreen to prevent sun damage, and carry extra water with you.

2) Kaleidoscope Street Festival

Another wonderful festival is the Kaleidoscope Community Celebration and Street Festival in Sugar Land, only about half an hour’s drive away. It happens this year on Saturday, April 23 from 6-9 pm. This is an awesome experience inspired by light that you don’t want to miss.

Polyphonic Spree and guests Cirque Bezerk are putting on a one-of-a-kind musical and theatrical performance that must be experienced to appreciate.

The art exhibits are interactive and collaborative and will delight you whether or not you are an art connoisseur.

The kiddos will laugh their heads off as they get down at the kids’ disco dance party.

Three new restaurants will be open on the Town Square: BB Italia, German Donor Kebab, and Williams Smokehouse. Just the thought makes my mouth water!

Of course, you can grab beverages and bites from some of the all-time favorites like Japaneiro’s, Jupiter, Kilwin’s, State Fare, and The Sweet Boutique.

It’s all free, but you have to reserve tickets in advance. (Naturally, drinks and food are on you!)

Safety tip: Watch out for the bugs that love lights and biting people! Take along some bug spray to keep yourself and your kids off the menu!

3) Game Night Deluxe (just for the adults)

This relaxed adult atmosphere offers so many fun games to play without the kids stealing the show! Along with your food and drinks, enjoy life-size games, Connect Four, UNO, Chess, Checkers, Taboo, Heads-up, Sorry, The Big Switch, Musical Chairs (with a twist), and that’s just to start. Admission is 10.00 for this not-your-average game night!

Safety tip: If you plan on drinking alcohol, make sure someone with your group is a designated driver, or catch an Uber to get home. Drink responsibly!

Things to do inside and outside the Loop

You can find fun outside or inside the Loop in Houston. Here are some winners to take advantage of that lie outside the Loop. Fun for everyone. Now is the time for memory-making with your family!

1) Go kayaking down Buffalo Bayou!

Buffalo Bayou, located mostly inside the Loop just next to Downtown, is just waiting for you to kayak or canoe along the twists and turns of the bayou and eventually emerges with Houston’s iconic skyline on the horizon. You can bring your own kayak or canoe, but rentals are available at Buffalo Bayou Park. This is a great adventure without having to go outside the Loop.

Safety tip: If you haven’t paddled before, you can take introductory courses or even book a guided tour. If you’re an old hand, remember to take your life jacket and wear it the whole time you’re in the water!

2) UHD Thursday Night Concerts Series

Love music? We have something you’ll really enjoy each and every week through May 19th. Hear musicians from Houston, Mexico, and around the Great State of Texas. Grab a buddy and get ready to groove with live music outdoors at the beautiful Discovery Green! Want to see the lineup? Here is  where you can find it all!

Safety tip: Since these concerts are outdoors at night (7-9:30 pm), remember to bring the bug spray!

3) Include the family pup at Houston’s many Bark Parks

Houston has some of the highest quality dog parks you’ll ever see! Several off-leash dog parks excel in their amenities for your four-footed friend with splash ponds, obstacle courses, and wash stations. There are separate areas for both large and small dogs so your pup gets to play with friends his own size. Lots of shade and seating for pet owners, too, or take a walk around one of the walking trails and get your own exercise as well.

Safety tip: Bring water and a bowl for Fido and pack your own water bottle as well if you are planning to hike. Be prepared for anything, from impromptu races to rough and tumble wrestling matches among the canine citizens!