Keeping Your Kids Busy This Summer

Keeping Your Kids Busy This Summer

Summer holidays are finally here and the kids are home. Long summer days stretch out before them and everyone is excited about having more free time. But now they’ve parked themselves in front of the television and are spending hours on the internet or playing video games. Before they start complaining about being bored, here

Summer holidays are finally here and the kids are home. Long summer days stretch out before them and everyone is excited about having more free time. But now they’ve parked themselves in front of the television and are spending hours on the internet or playing video games. Before they start complaining about being bored, here are some ideas to keep your kids occupied this summer.

Summer Camp

With a variety of lengths and interests, there is a summer camp for everyone. Are your kids interested in science, robots, and dinosaurs? The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers weeklong camps throughout the summer for children aged 6-12. For parents with older kids interested in science, mathematics, and engineering, the University of Houston-Downtown hosts Houston PREP, a free summer enrichment program for middle and high school students held from June 15 to July 24.

Are your kids creative? The Museum of Fine Arts Glassell Junior School has an extensive summer course catalog for students aged 3-18 on diverse subjects ranging from mixed media to animation. Splash Kids offers one-month art classes on topics like paper mache, painting, and drawing. City Art Works holds 4-, 6-, and 10-week camps on sculpture, printmaking, painting, drawing, and other art forms for children aged 3-12. Several local theater companies, including Main Street Theater, Alley Theatre, and Wildfish Theatre, also offer summer camps for kids interested in acting and musical theater.

For overnight camps, check out YMCA Camp Cullen or Camp Olympia, which are both located in Trinity. At YMCA Camp Cullen, kids can adventure, go horseback riding, and enjoy water sports during weekly themed sessions. At Camp Olympia, campers can choose from 40 different activities, ranging from archery to rock climbing and wakeboarding, for a personalized summer schedule.

More information:

Houston Museum of Natural Science

5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, TX 77030

713-639-4652

xplorations@hmns.org

http://www.hmns.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=148&Itemid=155

Houston PREP

1 Main St., Houston, TX 77002

713-221-8686

HoustonPREP@uhd.edu

http://www.uhd.edu/academic/colleges/sciences/ccsds/hou_prep/

Glassell Junior School

5100 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006

713-639-7700

juniorschool@mfah.org

http://www.mfah.org/visit/glassell-junior-school/

Splash Kids

8951 Ruthby St., Houston, TX 77061

713-882-9878

http://houstonart.webs.com/summer-camp-registration

City Art Works

1330-R Wirt Rd. Houston, TX 77055

713-681-1331

http://www.cityartworks.org/in-our-community/summer-art-camps/

Main Street Theater

Four locations in Houston

713-524-7998

http://www.mainstreettheater.com/ed/summer.html

Alley Theatre Play Makers

Carnegie Vanguard High School

1501 Taft St., Houston, TX 77019

713-315-5424

playmakers@alleytheatre.org

http://www.alleytheatre.org/Alley/Camps_and_Classes.asp

Wildfish Theatre

1703D1 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056

713-899-7595

wildfishtheatre@gmail.com

http://www.wildfishtheatre.com/

YMCA Camp Cullen

460 Cullen Loop, Ste. A, Trinity, TX 75862

936-594-2274

http://www.ymcacampcullen.org/

Camp Olympia

723 Olympia Dr., Trinity, TX 75862

1-800-735-6190

campinfo@campolympia.com

http://www.campolympia.com/

Waterparks

Summer is the perfect time to cool off at the waterpark. The newly renovated Splashtown in Spring features an expanded kids’ area, with eight water slides and an exclusive toddler-only play area. Two new rides, the Big Kahuna, a tube raft ride, and Flow Rider, a simulated wave system, offer fun for the whole family. The 26-acre Schlitterbahn in Galveston boasts more than 35 water rides and attractions, including the Transportainment River System, which floats guests throughout the entire park, twister slides, freefall slides, and a wave pool. Several attractions are designed just for kids for fun at all ages.

More information:

Splashtown

21300 I-45N, Spring, TX 77373

281-355-3300

http://www.wetnwildsplashtown.com

Daily admission: $30.99-$39.99

Season pass: $64.99; family four-pack: $59.99 each

Parking: $10

Schlitterbahn

2625 Lockheed St., Galveston, TX 77554

409-770-9283

http://www.schlitterbahn.com/galveston

Daily admission: $38.99-$48.99

Head to the Country

Escape the city for a fun family outing in the country. Your family can pick summer seasonal fruit at a number of orchards throughout the Houston area, including peaches, nectarines, and blackberries at E&B Orchards, jujubes and pears at Matt Family Orchard, and strawberries at Froberg’s Farm. Your kids can interact with farm animals and learn about the beef and dairy industry at Oil Ranch or try horseback riding at Hickman Ranch, which specializes in Western and English riding lessons, or Needville Horseback Riding, which offers hunter, jumper, and dressage lessons.

More information:

E&B Orchards

28268 Clark Bottom Road, Hempstead, TX 77445

979-826-6303

http://www.eandborchards.com/

Matt Family Orchard

21110 Bauer Hockley Road, Tomball, TX 77377

281-351-7676

http://www.mattfamilyorchard.com/

Froberg’s Farm

3601 West Hwy 6, Alvin, TX 77511

281-585-3531

http://www.frobergsfarm.com

Oil Ranch

3501 Macedonia Rd., Hockley, TX 77447

281-859-1616

info@oilranch.com

http://oilranch.com/

Admission: $14.95/per person

Hickman Ranch

2403 Miller Road, Rosharon, TX 77583

832-689-2285

kayhick@attglobal.net

http://www.hickmanranch.org/index.htm

Needville Horseback Riding

8610 Padon Road, Needville, TX

301-646-3200

needvillehorse@gmail.com

http://www.needvillehorseriding.com/

Summer Reading Program

For families not traveling this summer, why not take your kids to the library? Through books, your kids can access other lands and cultures, visit imaginary worlds, and catch glimpses of other people’s lives. Every year, the Houston Public Library hosts a summer reading program to encourage kids to read and participate in workshops, performances, and other library events held throughout the summer. Kids can win rewards based on the number of books they’ve read, including tickets to see the Houston Dynamo or Houston Dash. The grand prize this year is an Xbox One console.

More information:

Visit your nearby library branch or access http://houstonlibrary.org/summer.

by Michelle Ong

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