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Houston Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

Image: Houston Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home
Space Shuttle Independence OV-100 on display at Space Center Houston. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Monday, 23 February 2015 11:31 PM

Although the weather can be hot and humid, Houston was once called one of the coolest cities in America by Forbes thanks in part to its thriving multicultural scene. As a family vacation or staycation destination, Houston has something for everyone including science and technology, amazing Barbeque and Tex-Mex restaurants, and massive shopping opportunities.

Here are seven great places for families on vacation or staycation in Houston to visit:

1. Houston Space Center: NASA's official center for human spaceflight suggest visitors "Prepare to be thrust into an amazing adventure!" The center provides behind the scenes tours that give "unprecedented access to see the real world of NASA up close and personal," science shows, exhibitions and interactive presentations. Earth travelers will get as close as possible to experiencing space without ever leaving the ground.

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2. Museum of Fine Arts: Over 63,000 works of art from all over the world are housed at this museum, which is one of the largest in the nation and is "a dynamic cultural complex comprising two gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, visitors center, library, movie theater, gift shop, café, two art schools, and two house museums." With such an impressive number of collections, films, and exhibitions, the museum wisely offers a visiting toolkit for families to help them plan their day.

3. The Galleria: Shopping on a massive scale is what the 2.4 million square feet of the Galleria provides. However, although it has over 400 stores, the Galleria provides more than just a shopping extravaganza. It provides all day entertainment and one-stop services with "a full-size ice rink for recreational and figure skating, a state of the art children’s play area, two swimming pools, a video arcade, three full-service national and international banks, two tailor shops, 12 beauty salons, and a post office."

4. Downtown Aquarium: "This magnificent six-acre entertainment and dining complex is a 500,000-gallon aquatic wonderland, home to over 200 species of aquatic life from around the globe. With a full-service restaurant, an upscale bar, a fully equipped ballroom, aquatic and geographic exhibits, shopping and a variety of amusements, Downtown Aquarium has it all!"

5. Houston Zoo: This attraction is not to be missed by families on vacation or staycation in Houston. From the African Forest, Asian Elephant Habitat, and World of Primates to the Reptile House, Giraffe Feeding and Kipp Aquarium, the zoo is an all-day adventure. For an additional cost, visitors can take special tours, which provide a "behind-the-scenes peek into the back of house animal areas, a meet-the-keeper experience with an expert from the Zoo's animal care team, and an unforgettable up-close and personal animal experience with the Zoo's most prestigious animal ambassadors."

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6. Texas Style Barbecue: No vacation to Houston would be complete without the culinary delight of Texas style barbecue. Thrillest recommends nine barbecue joints where families can "engage their inner caveman" including Gatlin's BBQ, Killen's Texas Barbeque and Ray's Real Pit BBQ shack which features, "hellaciously juicy housemade sausage sandwiches, stupidly large baked potatoes, and a side of “Big Daddy Beans” laden with chunks of brisket and more sausage."

7. San Jacinto Museum: The Battleground of San Jacinto is just one feature of this history museum, which was established "not only to honor those who fought here in 1836, but also to re-visualize the history of Texas and the Spanish Southwest." Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in "all that makes the Lone Star great. From rich displays of armaments and uniforms to an exciting retelling of the road to Texas freedom."

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Although the weather can be hot and humid, Houston was once called one of the coolest cities in America by Forbes thanks in part to its thriving multicultural scene.
Houston Staycation, Family, Fun, Travel, Texas
Monday, 23 February 2015 11:31 PM
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