Jen’s Top 10 Things to do with the Family during Spring Break


By Jennifer L. Evans

Spring Break in Katy is March 11th – 15th. If you are going to stay close to home, you can still have a wonderful time with your family. Whether you are new to the area or are looking for fresh ideas, keep this list handy as you plan your week.

90876541 – Try a gravity ropes course.The newly opened Main Event Entertainment, located on the Katy Freeway in Katy, features a fun gravity ropes course. You must be 48 inches tall to try your luck, but this is sure to keep your bored tweens busy. And, it’s a gender neutral activity! www.mainevent.com 

2 – Pack a picnic lunch. Pack your favorite lunch and take the whole crew to downtown Houston’s park Discovery Green located at 1500 McKinney in Houston. Bonus: On Tuesday, March 12th, Houston Ballet II will give a free performance at noon – a surefire way to introduce your children to one of Houston’s finest arts institutions. www.discoverygreen.com 

3 – Let’s rodeo!  Get your cowboy/cowgirl on at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™! Even if you don’t want to spring for concert tickets – and there are some great ones – you can still buy general admission tickets. Enjoy the carnival rides and midway games and venture into the Rodeo properties for petting zoos, art displays and other daytime activities. Check the online daily calendar of events. www.hlsr.com 

4 – A day at the park.  Speaking of parks, visit Katy’s own Mary Jo Peckham Park on the north side of I-10, near the Grand Parkway. Catch some fish, play mini golf or take a nature walk around the trail and look for critters. Bring a frisbee and just let everyone cut loose! www.pct3.hctx.net

5 – Head to the beach.Day trip to Galveston Island and pretend you are in the tropics because, well, it will likely be that hot!  An easy one-hour commute from Katy, you can make this trip on a budget or you can splurge. On a budget? Pack towels, chairs, toys and a picnic and head to Stewart Beach where, for a small fee, you can park on the sand near the water and play all day. Shower off at the clean pavilion and leave by 3 pm to avoid traffic. If you are splurging, be a tourist for the day and hit Schlitterbahn first thing. Wrap up at the Pleasure Pier for dinner and a few thrills, then hit the road at 7 pm and be home within the hour. Or, go all out and book an overnight stay at one of the island’s lovely hotels. www.galveston.com

6 – Shop ‘til you drop.Avoid the heat and spend the day at Katy Mills Mall. With many new shops, a large arcade, movie theater and numerous restaurants, you can easily kill a few hours at Katy Mills. But, don’t just show up. Map out the agenda with your family so you can do the things most important to you all. www.simon.com/mall/katy-mills

7 – Get crafty.  If you are the creative type, start stocking up on inexpensive craft projects at the local Hobby Lobby. Then, execute in the back yard and invite the neighborhood kids and parents over to join you. Not crafty? No biggie! Just pop into Ceramics by Tess, Pinot’s Palette or Harry the Potter and let someone else lead. www.hobbylobby.com; www.ceramicsbytess.com; www.pinotspalette.com and www.harrythepotterinkaty.com

8 – Get wet and wild. Cool off at Splashway Water Park, located in Sheridan, approximately 90 miles from Houston. Admission is a little less than other area water parks and a little more low key. With some strategically placed shade and neat activities for wee ones, this is a more relaxed experience – especially if you are going it alone. www.splashwaywaterpark.com

9 – Got culture?  Any top ten list for the greater Houston area is incomplete without mentioning the Houston Museum District and Theatre District. If you did not know, Houston’s art scene is internationally renowned. I won’t play favorites here, because each of these gems offers something unique. Some are free or cheap, others can put a serious dent in the wallet. But all are spectacular! www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org; www.downtownhouston.org/district/theater

10 – Visit historic halls.  Got a history buff in the family? Visit the Katy Heritage Museum, which is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of most weeks. Explore a little of Katy’s farming history and see artifacts and equipment used by Katy residents in years past. Venture down the street in Old Town Katy for lunch at Los Cucos Mexican Café. Also be sure to ask your waiter to tell you about the Cabrera brothers who founded Los Cucos. www.katyheritagesociety.com; www.loscucos.com