The Best Parks In and Around Houston

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It’s springtime in Houston! Oh, wait, it’s actually been spring since February, but that’s why we love Houston, right? One of the great things about our city and surrounding suburbs is all of the great parks that are free for us to enjoy. Our contributing team chose our favorite parks from all areas of town to share with you, so get outside while we still have this beautiful weather and have a blast with your kiddos at these local parks!

The Best Houston Parks List…

Deer Park :: Dow Park is a 40-acre park with a swimming pool, pavilion, one-mile track, tennis courts, splash pad, skate park, and brand new playground equipment. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around, and the play structure is feasible for young toddlers to older elementary age kids. I particularly love the shady spots, the rubber surface, and the rollers on the slides!

Downtown :: Discovery Green has it all – just avoid it when there is a major event going on! This park is so unique to our city, and it has fun for kids of all ages. Whether it’s canoeing, reading, or jogging, attending movie nights, practicing at the putting green, playing in the mist tree or on the playground, Discovery Green is a one-stop destination for all things FUN!  A full scale rebuild of the playground is in the works, with the current playground undergoing repairs so make sure to check here before if you head out if you are planning on playing there.

Nature Play Area at Buffalo Bayou Park is one of our favorite parks to plan a day at.  The play area is inspired by nature and features a stream and waterfall, climbing logs and stones, and a 33 foot slide.  We love to bring our bikes and ride the trails along the bayou as well.   

Heights :: Donovan Park in the Heights features wooden play structures built by the local residents when they recognized the need for their neighborhood to have a safe, fun park for the kids. This extra-large park has enough variety to keep children occupied for a while, and even features a fun train they can climb aboard. The park has a side for younger children, a challenging side for older kids, and a hill that is perfect for rolling down!

Katy :: Katy City Park, also known as the “Train Park,” is a great park in the Katy area. According to their website, they are the “state’s largest innovative playground for multiple-impaired and profoundly deaf children.” It has a 13,000 square foot playground, custom designed to feature the old Katy railroad. It’s huge and promises hours of fun for your little ones!

Exploration Park is another amazing park in the Katy area.  There is a large slide tower in the middle of the park, many different swing features, a musical bridge and a sensory garden.  There are also different levels of rocks to walk on, a hill slide and an interactive wall that demonstrates the water cycle.  A covered pavilion makes it perfect for enjoying lunch or a snack there as well.  To note, there are no public restrooms at the park, which is always good to know beforehand when visiting with young children.

Kingwood :: River Grove Park has piers, covered picnic areas, tons of space for families, and four different playground areas for all ages. There is access to boat ramps, a shaded fishing dock, exercise stations, disk golf in the woods, and restrooms too. What more could you ask for in a local park?

League City :: Hometown Heroes Park is a great place to stop if your in the League City area.  It has a cute playground, indoor basketball gyms, sports fields and a pool that’s open to the public.  

Medical Center :: Hermann Park is perfect for your outdoor loving kids! Whether you want to feed the ducks, use paddle boats, or roll down the hill outside Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park is perfect. Bring a picnic along, and make time to ride the train! While you are there, check out Centennial Gardens! Parking can be a bit tricky in this area on the weekends, so plan ahead.

Memorial :: Hedwig Park is right by Spring Branch Public Library and is a great park nestled in the heart of the Spring Branch area. With plenty of shaded trees, it’s a comfortable place, even in the heat of summer. There’s a fenced-in area for toddlers and great options for older siblings too!

Northwest :: A quick survey of my Cypress friends put Zube Park on my radar. With a large playground, splashpad, covered pavilion, and restrooms, this park checks all the boxes for a day of fun. Add in the adorable Zube Park train {schedule here} and it’s easy to see why this park is such a favorite.

Goforth Park is another great stop in Northwest Houston. It’s a large park with a fully enclosed dog park on one side of Horsepen creek and a large playground on the other side. There are lots of picnic tables {some are covered} and large areas to play tag {my kids favorite game}. There is also a nice trail around the creek where you can go fishing, ride bikes or walk.

Oak Forest :: Candlelight Park is a cute, neighborhood park that after 5:00 pm, is packed with locals and their kids. They don’t have an impressive play structure, but it does the trick. The best part is that the park is surrounded by nine acres of green space that is perfect for flying kites or kicking soccer balls.

Pearland :: Centennial Park has a huge splash pad, disc golf course, playground, picnic tables, a large field for free play, fitness stations, and an exercise trail. The park is well-kept and features a toddler area just for your littles as well as a big-kid playground for the older ones!

Sugar Land ::Sugar Land Memorial Park is another great park.  In addition to the playground, there is a dog park, bike trails, and fishing {must have fishing license}.  Before you leave make sure you check out the veterans memorial monument. 

The Woodlands :: North Shore Park is an absolute gem in The Woodlands! It’s on the lake, so bring bread to feed the ducks. They have playground equipment for older and younger kids, and lots of green space for family activities. Check their website for special events like family-friendly concerts!

Timbergrove :: Jaycee Park is a neighborhood park that is one of the best-kept secrets inside the loop. It’s got a small splash pad, great playground equipment, and plenty of street parking. This park is perfect for toddlers!

Upper Kirby :: Levy Park is one of the newest parks in Houston, and our contributors think it’s amazing! After undergoing a $15 million dollar renovation, the park is so unique to this area of town. There is a modern climbing wall, musical steps, observation deck, community garden, and a large lawn perfect for running around!  Check out the events calendar, because there is always something going on.

West University/Southside Place :: Firetruck Park is named after a retired firetruck that sits inside the park. This park is so great for wobbly walkers to active preschoolers and elementary age kids. It has a rubbery surface, is well-maintained, and just underwent a significant upgrade in 2012. Kids can even play fireman and pretend to drive the firetruck structure!

 

Best Houston Parks | Houston Moms Blog

And one more thing you should know about our city’s parks…

The City of Houston has launched a campaign called Playgrounds Without Limits, which are accessible for all children, regardless of their disabilities. These playgrounds feature ramps and transfer systems, sensory activities, and braille and sign panels. Find a park near you on the list of Playgrounds Without Limits in Houston too!

Be sure and let us know in the comments below if we missed your favorite local park.  We’d love to keep growing this list with your suggestions also!


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After graduating college, Jessica moved to Fort Worth to pursue her love of fashion, listen to some Texas country music and have a little fun. One night out with a friend, 615 miles would be erased when this small town southeast Texas girl met her tall west Texas boy. Eventually jobs would move them to Houston where they would settle down into suburban life and have two sweet and VERY active boys, Jett {January 2011} and Jay {November 2012}. It wasn’t until having kids and becoming a stay at home mom, that Jessica truly fell in love with Houston. Her perfect day with the kids would begin EARLY at the zoo {because we all know parking there} with a strong cup of coffee, around lunch time they’d hop on the Hermann Park train and head over to Centennial Park for a picnic lunch and then they would end the day checking out the dinosaur exhibit at HMNS. When not exploring Houston, Jessica loves to shop online for amazing deals, watch Texas A&M football and basketball, and plan their next family adventure.

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