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How much time do I need?

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Lebanon, New Jersey
posts: 69
reviews: 104
How much time do I need?

Wondering how much time to set aside for the Space Center, the Aquarium, and the Zoo in Houston? I'm not planning on doing them all in one day. Just trying to figure out how to work them in with other activities.

Kingwood, Texas
Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 2,668
reviews: 49
1. Re: How much time do I need?

The really depends on your interest. Space center minimum of 4 hrs - maybe up to 6. Zoo - about 4. Aquarium - this is really a restaurant. It has been a long time since I went there and I don't know what they have added but I would say 30 mts.

posts: 4
reviews: 10
2. Re: How much time do I need?

Travelreadykid.com is doing family group tour of Houston sites on June 29 which might be of interest.

Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 1,780
reviews: 194
3. Re: How much time do I need?

VanDo--IMHO, Aquarium is not one of those "must-see" things in Houston. The restaurant is only mediocre (read reviews for yourself), and I've seen many far-better aquariums. A better alternative would be the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science--far more interesting for both kids and adults alike. One hour is enough there. (I'd agree with Kingwood's time assessments on NASA and Houston Zoo, by the way, but be prepared for heat at zoo if you're coming during summer months--I'd try to schedule this visit starting when they open before it gets too hot.)

Houston, Texas
posts: 357
reviews: 29
4. Re: How much time do I need?

As GeneT noted, the Downtown Aquarium is not all that great. I would recommend a drive down to Galveston and a visit to Moody Gardens instead for a better aquarium experience. http://www.moodygardens.com/

If you are still interested in the rides and games that are offered at Downtown Aquarium, you can always go to the Pleasure Pier while you are in Galveston. Both are Landry's Restaurant creations, so I'm sure they are comparable.

Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 1,296
reviews: 306
5. Re: How much time do I need?


The Moody Gardens Aquarium is great, we love the penguin habitat, so expect a good 20 to 30 minutes there if you have children;you can watch them topside, and then walk down to watch them below the water...great, cool fun for the Texas summer!

For lunch or breakfast, head to the Sunflower Bakery and Cafe in the historic area of Galveston,about 20 minutes from Moody Gardens:


After lunch, you can explore The Strand area.

Then, head back to Houston before 4pm to beat the traffic, and head to the pool at your hotel!

Enjoy Houston!



Evansville, Indiana
posts: 13
reviews: 48
6. Re: How much time do I need?

I'd say for both Space Center and Zoo it depends on the age of people in your party. Several years ago we took our then 13 year old neice ot Space Center. Most the stuff was too kiddish for her to enjoy so we just did the tours and the blast off simulator and we were only there maybe two hours. If she would have been a bit younger (7-10) I could have seen spending a good 6-8 hours.

We just went to the zoo over Memorial Day weekend with a 2 year old and 3 year old. It took us about 4 hours but we did not do any of the buildings (bird house, reptiles) or watch the sealion show. The kids would have spent hours in the kids zoo had we let them (lots of things to play in/on). I agree that you need ot watch the heat while at the zoo as it is Houston but I found the Houston zoo to be very shady which will help. Just bring plenty of water.

Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 1,296
reviews: 306
7. Re: How much time do I need?

oops, I wasnt saying you just need 30 minutes at Moody Gardens Aquarium; it would be more like 2 1/2 hours total. You could do Nasa in the morning, quick lunch, then head to Moody Gardens, do the Aquarium, and afterwards, go to their "beach', which a waterpark type feature, and you need to be in the water, in the afternoons,in Texas..or indoors.

I would allow a day for each area of exploration; so a day in Houston proper, say for the Zoo,etc, and then a day in Galveston. With drive time and traffic, fitting two of these areas in,in one day would be too much, even for adults.

There is also Schlitterbahn Water Park, as an alternative to Moody Gardens Beach:




8. Re: How much time do I need?

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