Kid Fun Places To See Animals
It's time to enjoy Kid Fun Places to see animals and visit the best wildlife parks, zoos, and animal attractions in Houston and the surrounding areas. The Greater Houston Area is home to hundreds of animals, birds, insects and mammals. We are lucky to have animal encounters all over town.
Why should kids visit animals?
Children love animals, and they enjoy seeing them up close. We have several options in town to see animals, touch animals, feed animals and take pictures of animals. Animals can provide amazing opportunities for learning and entertainment. Most children are naturally drawn to animals which is why schools often use animals within the curriculum and lessons. When you visit places with animals, your children learn compassion, empathy, and responsibility for animals. It's important for children to see how animals relate to our everyday world.
Places To See Animals:
There are so many neat places in town to visit animals, and many of them are free. Here is a detailed list full of places to see all kinds of different animals.
1. The Houston Zoo
The zoo is a 55 acre park filled with over 6,000 animals and 900 different species. The Houston Zoo is the 10th most visited zoo in the United States. The zoo offers various specials such as Free Afternoons on the first Tuesday of the month (not during the summer) and $4 off after 4pm during the summer months.
2. The Downtown Aquarium
The Aquarium is a 500,000 gallon aquatic wonderland with six acres of entertainment. They have over 200 species of aquatic life including fish, sharks, stingrays, and more. You can also visit their white tigers. The Aquarium offers a special deal "2 for Tuesdays" throughout the summer and occasionally throughout the year.
3. The Aquarium Restaurant in Kemah
When you visit this restaurant, you'll enjoy the 50,000 gallon tank with a variety of fish, sharks, stingrays, and more. The Aquarium is located at the Kemah Boardwalk. There is a stingray reef where you can touch and feed live stingrays.
4. Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens is an educational destination that has lots of animal exhibits. The aquarium is filled with fish and marine animals. The Rainforest is filled with tropical plants, animals, birds, butterflies, reptiles, and other animals such as monkeys and sloths. Moody Gardens is located in Galveston, and it's a fun place to visit.
5. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
The Houston Arboretum is located in Memorial Park. It is a 155 acre sanctuary that teaches about the natural environments of plants and animals. Visitors can enjoy the walking trails for free. They also have events, Tyke Hikes, and other educational activities developed for children. The Discovery Room has interactive exhibits and activities. There are trails, forests, ponds, wetland and meadow habitats.
6. Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Natural Science Museum is located in Hermann Park. It ha 16 permanent exhibitions such as the dinosaurs, Hall of African Wildlife, and the Hall of Texas Wildlife. You'll also enjoy the Panetarium, Giant Screen Theater, and Butterfly Center. There is also a HMNS location in Sugar Land. The HMNS is free on Thursday afternoons.
7. Bayou Wildlife Zoo
The Bayou Wildlife Zoo is located in Alvin. The zoo is filled with over 500 animals including 60 different species. The animals come from 19 different countries. During your visit, you'll take a safari like ride through the park, and you can feed the animals from the train. There is also a petting zoo and pony rides. If you book a group of 15 or more people, you'll receive a significant discount on the admission rates.
8. Crocodile Encounter
The Crocodile Encounter is is located in Angleton. During your visit, you'll tour the property filled with alligators and crocodiles. There are secured gates and walkways for your protection, but the tour guides step into the encounters and feed the animals. It is fun and exciting. You'll also have a chance to feed the tortoises; I suggest that you bring large pieces of lettuce. The gift shops sells lettuce and crocodile food as well. While you're there, you might see other land animals such as pigs and reptiles.
9. Nature Discovery Center
The Nature Discovery Center is located in Bellaire. It's a house filled with discovery rooms, and it's located at Russ Pitman Park which is 4 acres of trees and natural habitats. The center offers educational programs to teach children about hands-on science which include indoor exhibits, outdoor investigations, live animal demonstrations, and more. They offer a free story time every Wednesday at 4pm. They have rabbits, snakes, bearded dragons, spiders, turtles, and lots more.
10. Armand Bayou Nature Center
The Armand Bayou Nature Center is located in Pasadena. The 2500 acre space consists of a boardwalk through the forest and marshes, live animal displays, educational experiences, bison and prairie areas, butterfly gardens, and a farm site. They offer guided canoe or pontoon boat tours on Saturdays, owl prowls on Friday nights, and a Prairie Wildflower Tour. There is free admission on the third Sunday of each month.
11. Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
The Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens are located in Humble. The area is 20 acres of beautifully maintained gardens with bamboo, daylilies, endangered species, etc. The trails have a walking area, ponds, courtyard, and visitor's center. The area also features two playgrounds, a picnic area with 58 tables, two barbecue pavillions, boardwalk, cypress swamp, etc. They offer free events such as story time and lunch bunch.
12. Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary (Houston Audubon)
The Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, also known as the Houston Audubon, is located in West Houston. The 17.5 acre nature sanctuary features a log cabin, native wildlife, ponds, forest, etc. You will see native plants and animals such as turtles, snakes, reptiles and amphibians. They offer Saturdays in Nature on the second Saturday of each month which is a free event for families. They also offer owl prowls, field trips, bird walks, and more.
13. Dewberry Farm
Dewberry Farm is located in Brookshire, and it's a perfect place to visit in the Fall and Winter seasons. The farm has over 35 attractions from pumpkin picking to tree cutting to children activities such as train rides, a corn maze, slides, hay rides, etc. They have animals such as ponies, goats, ducks, and pigs.
14. Blessington Farm
Blessingtown Farms is located in Wallis, and it's full of family fun. They offer strawberry, blackberry and blueberry picking throughout the year. The fall is a blast with the pumpkin season festivities. You can enjoy the Farm Funland year round which has mazes, slides, rides, pedal cars, sand mountain, hay rides, barrel train rides, a jump pad, a hay maze, etc. There is a fishing pond and tons of other activities. They also have an animal encounter with chickens, goats, lambs, and dogs. You'll also see camels, miniature donkeys, and livestock.
15. Oil Ranch
The Oil Ranch is located in Hockley, and it has over 50 acres of fun. There is a train ride, hay rides, pony rides, playgrounds, a jumping pillow, a swimming pool, hamster wheels and lots more. They have a dairy barn where you can milk a cow, see chicks hatch, feed goats, etc. You can also fish, play miniature golf, visit the animal barn, play paintball and more.
16. 7 Acre Wood
7 Acre Wood is located in Conroe, and it's a 7.5 acre park filled with activities. They offer a petting zoo, mini golf course, western play town, playgrounds, a large sandbox, a rope slide, horseshoes, barrel train rides, pony rides, etc.
17. Old McDonald Farm
The Old MacDonalds Farm is located in Humble, and it's 15 acres of fun. They offer a petting zoo, playgrounds, train rides, volleyball, pony rides, tetherball, hay barn, sand mountain, a duck pond, and a swimming pool.
18. TRG Exotic Wildlife Park
TRG Exotic is located in Spring, and it's filled with over 100 animals that represent over 25 species. You'll see exotic and endangered animals during your visit. They have animals such as a Bengal Tiger, an American Bison, Muntjac Deer, a Red Kangaroo, a sloth, a wallaroo, a warthog, water buffalo, a lemur, and lots more. Their guided walking tours last about 1 1/2 hours.
19. Halter Inc
Halter Inc is located on Clay Road, and their focus is to use animals (such as miniature horses) to provide support to the lives of others. They train miniature horses as Pet Therapy animals to help special needs children. They offer special events, birthday parties, toddler rides, etc.
20. Froberg Farm
Froberg's Farm is located in Alvin, and it's known for it's fruit picking and homemade products. They grow their own fruits and vegetables and offer seasonal activities such as a pumpkin patch, corn maze and fall festival. This outdoor farm has beautiful trees, plants and natural animals such as birds.
21. P-6 Farms
P-6 Farms is located in Montgomery, and they offer fun and educational activities to the community by sharing "agriculture in the process". They offer a fall festival with pig races, paintball, barrel train rides, duck races, water canons, a jumping pillow, hay rides, a spider web, tube slides, a corn maze, etc. It is open to the public in September, October, and November.
22. George Ranch Historical Park
The George Ranch Historical Park is located in Richmond, and it's located on 20,000 acres. It features a working ranch with historic homes, costumed interpreters and livestock. They offer a variety of events, group tours, and historic meals.
23. HPD Mounted Patrol
The Houston Police Department Mounted Patrol Facility is located on Little York Road. The stables are home to the Houston Police horses. You are welcome to visit the facility and feed the horses apples, carrots, and peppermints. You can schedule a demonstration or tour by contacting their office.
24. Bear Creek Pioneers Park
The Bear Creek Park is located in West Houston. It is 2,154 acres of park filled with playgrounds, ball fields, a walking track, etc. They have a free mini-zoo filled with birds and animals. *Please note that the park is currently closed due to flooding.
25. The Fish Gallery
The Fish Gallery is located on Fountain View, and it's an aquarium store that sells freshwater and saltwater fish along with tons of other items. They specialize in beautiful aquariums, and there are locations in Houston, Dallas, Austin and The Woodlands. We love The Fish Gallery because they offer free story times during the summer. The free events are filled with fun, stories, feeding fish, touch tanks, crafts, etc.
26. Pet Smart
Pet Smart is a retail chain store located all over town. They sell pet supplies, pet accessories, and offer pet services. If you visit a store, you'll see a variety of dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, and small pets. There are some locations that will offer free guided tours for your play group. For example, the store located at 5414 West Loop South will offer them, but you must book the tour in advance.
27. Waugh Bat Colony
Houston has thousands of bat that emerge from under the bridge on Waugh Drive. Each day at sunset, you can see the bats come out and fly through the Houston skies. There are free bat chat events offered on the first and third Friday of each month.
28. Wabash Feed & Garden Store
The Wabash Feed & Garden Store is located off of Washington Avenue. It supplies feed, seed, and farming supplies. They are also a hardware store, a pet shop, an organic herb garden, and an antique market. You can find holistic pet treatments, vegetable and native plants, natural pet foods, bird feeders, fertilizer, and farm poultry. We love to browse the store and outdoor area to see the dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, birds, etc.
29. Clay's Restaurant
Clay's Restaurant is located on Clay Road, and it's a country-style restaurant that serves burgers and fried steak. They have animals located in the barn area such a birds, a peacock, chickens, and goats. There are pony rides available at specific times typically on the weekends.
30. Houston Polo Club
The Houston Polo Club is located on Memorial Drive, and it's home to the sport of polo and equestrian activities. It's located on 26 acres, and it's a beautiful place to watch events or Sunday Polo.
31. Hermann Park
Hermann Park is one of Houston's most visited parks. The park is full of green space, and it has a Japanese Garden, pedal boats, Pinewood Cafe, a train, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. You can enjoy story time in the family garden, feed the ducks, watch a free show at the Miller Outdoor Theater, play golf,play at the playground, enjoy the splash pad and visit the zoo. At the park, you'll find native plants and wildlife.
32. Brazos Bend State Park
The Brazos Bend State Park is located in Needville. It is a 4,897 acre state park located along the Brazos River. It's 45 miles from downtown Houston, and the park is full of nature, hiking, fishing, etc. You might see alligators, horses, fish, and other wildlife.
33. Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center
The Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center is located in Humble. It is 312 acres that are open daily and free of charge. There is a variety of plant and wildlife species, white sand beaches along Spring Creek, swamps, cypress trees, and pine forest. There is an 8 miles pedestrian trail and over 12 miles of paved trails. They have a permanent display of live snakes, live amphibian and live aquariums.
34. Eddie Gray Wetlands Center (Baytown Wetlands Center)
The Eddie Gray Wetlands Center is located in Baytown, and entry is free. There are guided tours and educational programs offered for a fee. It is on the banks of Goose Creek. The 9,000 square foot exhibit hall has a variety of exhibits such as Gator World, the Land Over Milk and Honey, Wings Over Wetlands, The Bat Cave, etc.
35. The River Oaks Garden Club (Azalea Trail)
The River Oaks Garden Club is located on Westheimer, and it has gardens called the Azalea Trail. They maintain the 14 acre gardens of Bayou Bend.
36. Texas Snakes & More
Texas Snakes is a reptile show offered all over the city. You can hire them to attend an event or party. They will bring a variety of snakes and reptiles to entertain your crowd. Kid Fun has hosted them at several events, and they're always a big hit.
37. Gallery Furniture
Yes, it's a furniture store. Gallery Furniture has large showrooms, but they also have entertainment for children and families. Their locations vary but they typically have monkeys and birds to entertain the guests.
38. Houston Humane Society
The Houston Humane Society is a non-profit Pet Rescue, Pet Adoption, and Animal Shelter servicing the Houston area. It is located on Almeda Road, and they have a variety of animals.
39. Houston Rodeo
The Houston Rodeo is here once a year, and it's a great time to see animals. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is full of animal related events and excitement. They have camel rides, fun on the farm activities, pony rides, mutton bustin', pig races, a petting zoo, a birthing center, breed row barn, fisheries, honey bees, a horticulture exhibit, a milking parlor, a poultry exhibit, the Rodeo events, and lots more.
40. Healthyway Dairy
Healthy Way Dairy is located in Santa Fe, and they sell raw milk, eggs and raw milk products. They milk their cows daily, and you can watch the process. If you're lucky, you might even get to see a calf.
41. Seabourne Creek Nature Park
The Seabourne Creek Nature Park is located in Rosenberg, and it has a 164 acre nature park perfect for walking, jogging, or biking. The park has wetlands, a prairie restoration area, a butterfly garden, and a 4 acre lake with bass, perch, and catfish.
42. Sea Center Texas
Sea Center Texas is located in Lake Jackson. It is a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and nature center with a touch tank and lots of aquariums. There are sharks, large red drum, gray snapper, Atlantic spadefish and an eel. The wetland's area has over 150 species of birds. There is a salt water marsh and a fresh water marsh. You'll see damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies, and frogs.
43. Baywatch Dolphin Tour
The Baywatch Dolphin Tours are based out of Galveston. They're located on Pier 21 in front of the Harbor House Hotel near the strand. The boat has a covered interior and is a dolphin safe tour boat. The boats seat 36 passengers, and the prices are reasonable at $10 per adult and $5 per child 12 and under. During the boat ride, you'll go up close to view the dolphins in their natural habitat.
44. Texas Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Center
The TWRC is located on Hammerly Blvd, and they value the life of all animals that enter their facility. They have an emergency room for wildlife as well as a help line. They offer a baby bird program, a baby squirrel program, an opossum and pals program, and plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
45. Gator Country
Gator Country is located in Beaumont, and they offer shows, tours and personal interactions. The recently started offering swamp boat tours. They have alligators, snakes, turtles, reptiles, etc.
46. Texas Ranch Life
Texas Ranch Life is located in Chappell Hill, and it's 1800 acres. The ranch has horses, American bison, Texas longhorn herds and other wildlife. They offer lodging in their bed and breakfast facilities, and it's perfect for events, family gatherings, and get togethers. They offer horse riding, Kawasaki adventures, ranch work demos, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, skeet shooting, and more.
47. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is located in San Antonio. The ranch has a petting barnyard, walking animal encounters with giraffe and kangaroos, and a driving safari encounter where you can feed the animals on your drive. They have over 500 animals and 40 different species. As you drive through 450 acres, you'll see zebras, camels, rhinos, ostrich, lemurs, and animals with horns and antlers.
48. H.E.B Grocery Stores
The grocery store can be a quick form of entertainment for your children. If you ask the staff, they'll often pull out a live lobster. Your children will love seeing them move, and they might ask you a ton of questions about the rubber band on their claws. It's a quick, free form of excitement and it might help you survive a trip to the grocery store.
49. Berings Hardware Store
Berings has a store on Westheimer and a store on Weslayan. They have stationery, children's clothing, china, crystal, grills, housewares, gifts, and lots more. If I need something quick, this is a fun place to stop. They have a pet parrot at both stores. My children love to visit the parrot, talk to the parrot, and watch it. It's another quick, free form of entertainment, but I'll take it. I often chose my errands wisely, and stores like Berings help to make it more pleasant.
50. Katy Fire Station
The Katy Fire Station has a fire dog named Katy. It's free to visit a fire station, and kids love to meet fire dogs. The dalmatian is sweet and loving. If you've read books about fire dogs, then your kids might have the urge to meet one. My son asked to meet one as soon as we read about a fire dog in a book. Katy is a sweet dog and a fun friend to meet.