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5 Must-See Attractions in Houston, Texas
Houston, known as the Bayou City, is the 4th largest city in the U.S. and there are a lot of fun things to see and do here. When I was planning our trip I was excited to come across the Houston City Pass. I have used similar passes in other cities like Boston, Seattle and London and love using them because they are such a great value. I want to share our experience visiting these 5 must-see attractions in Houston….
With the Houston City Pass you can visit 5 of these top Houston attractions with a savings of 48% vs. paying entrance fees to each attraction separately AND you get to skip having to stand in line to buy tickets.
CityPASS Admission Includes
- 1Space Center Houston
- 2Downtown Aquarium
- 3Houston Museum of Natural Science
- 4Houston Zoo OR Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- 5Kemah Boardwalk OR Children’s Museum of Houston
We chose to visit the following Houston attractions:
Houston Space Center-
The Houston Space Center was at the top of my list of attractions to see in Houston. We headed there first thing on Monday morning so as to be there when it opened.
Because we didn’t book our tram tour ahead of time online, we went straight back there to get in line to do the tour first before it got too crowded. I would suggest booking online before you go that way you won’t have to wait in line. Luckily we only waited about 10 minutes before we were able to board a tram, but when we returned the line forming was really long and I am sure those guests were having to wait quite some time to do the tour.
The Tram tour takes you into the working facilities where astronauts train and prepare for their missions.
Unfortunately the Monday we visited was also Columbus Day and so all of the astronauts were home enjoying the holiday and we weren’t able to see them in action. We did get to see the first Mission Control Room ever used which was really cool. The building housing this control room has other control rooms currently being used to monitor space missions, satellites and other space programs.
Notice how outdated the computer stations are? These were first used back in the 1960’s.
We also saw some of the previously flown spacecraft, like the Gemini V, Faith 7 and Apollo 17.
After the tram tour we explored the interactive attractions of the Houston Space Center, watched a couple of films and took a look at what it’s like to live in space.
The Houston Space Center has an optional Astronaut Audio Tour that you can purchase for an additional $6.05 (for City Pass holders). With this option you can hear first-hand stories from real astronauts who made the dream a reality as they guide you through the Houston Space Center. *Tip- purchase the audio tour online or at the ticket booth before you enter the building.
You can either choose the Kemah Boardwalk as one of your 5 attractions or the Children’s Museum of Houston. If you have a family of small children you will want to opt for the Children’s Museum, but where we were all adults we chose to go to Kemah Boardwalk.
Kemah Boardwalk is a small outdoor amusement park located right along the water’s edge in Kemah, Texas. It’s not far from the Houston Space Center so we headed there in the afternoon, right after visiting the Space Center. Again, since it was a holiday, part of the boardwalk options were closed that day such as; the upgrade options, gift shops and kiosks. That was kind of a let down. 🙁
But there were some fun rides like the 65 ft. Ferris Wheel, the Drop Zone, Roller Coaster and others.
Check out my video of Kemah Boardwalk!
Houston Downtown Aquarium-
The Downtown Aquarium is one of the smaller aquariums I’ve been to but what it lacks in size it makes up for in displays. I was surprised by the fun exhibits like this Louisiana Swamp.
With alligators, turtles and catfish.
Their other experiences are; a sunken shipwreck with living coral reefs and colorful fish, a rain forest with piranhas, stingrays, frogs and birds, and a white tiger in the Maharaja Temple.
I always love the hands-on experiences, like this one at the sting-ray reef. Here you can touch or feed the stingrays. This is an optional exhibit that costs extra, the fee is $3.50 to enter and $2.99 for a cup of fish. You can choose a value pass option for $6.00 that gets you entry and the fish to feed the sting rays. The sting rays are so soft and silky feeling.
Feeding them was so much fun. They know when you have food to feed them and they all come swarming up to you flapping their wings and splashing water everywhere. Having them suck the fish from between your fingers is the most interesting feeling. At first I didn’t know where their mouth’s were and so I wasn’t sure where to hold the fish, but it didn’t take long for the sting rays to show me how they wanted to be fed.
Click here to view my video of the Downtown Aquarium.
The Houston Downtown Aquarium also hosts an outdoor theme park with a few rides for an additional $6 (for City Pass holders) and the Aquarium Restaurant upstairs with views of a beautiful 150,000 gallon aquarium.
The Museum of Natural Science-
The Museum of Natural Science is huge with many different displays. We started off by heading to the Ancient Egypt exhibit, where they hold hundreds of artifacts including three mummies!
We were here on a weekday and it wasn’t crowded so we felt comfortable taking our time and enjoying the exhibits.
The mummies were really interesting to view and were so well preserved.
There is a prehistoric dinosaur exhibit….below is a view from above.
They have a sea shell exhibit with thousands of different types of sea shells.
They also have a large gem exhibit with stones and gems collected from around the world.
Along with the Gem exhibit there is a display by Fabergé
The Houston Museum of Natural Science also includes a Butterfly Exhibit that is in addition (optional and costs to get in) to the City Pass but is well worth the money to enter. Check out my video of the butterfly exhibit here.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston-
This was the last attraction we chose from our Houston City Pass. The other option to this one would be The Houston Zoo, but since we were short on time we knew we wouldn’t be able to see all there is to offer at the zoo and opted for a quick walk through of the Museum of Fine Arts.
Over all we enjoyed using the Houston City Pass and visiting these 5 Must-See Attractions in Houston. If you are planning a vacation in the Bayou City be sure to purchase your City Pass and go explore the different attractions it has to offer that your whole family will enjoy
For more of Houston watch for my upcoming posts.
Until Next Time……Travel On!
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