Summer Fun for Cheap in The Woodlands, Texas

The summer months may be awful in Texas but in The Woodlands the trees and countless outdoor community events make it impossible to stay inside. From outdoor concerts on the waterway, live music at the local farmers market and splash pads and organic snow cones to keep us cool we don’t have many excuses to not take advantage of all the outdoor activities. The Cynthia Woods Pavilion hosts amazing concerts and free events alike. Instead of paying to see popular performances, we like to pack a picnic and enjoy the music in the grassy area right outside the pavilion. The Houston Orchestra plays and usually has free lawn seating. We bring snacks and a blanket and enjoy kid appropriate shows. Last year we enjoyed watching Matilda while Danny Devito narrated and the orchestra played the music accompaniment. This year we fell in love with Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Check the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion website for more information on events. We are pros at keeping cool and staying out all day. Here are five ways we beat the heat and cure summer boredom.

1) Stay in the trees-

One second we are in a busy shopping center or a bustling restaurant and the next second we walk 100 yards to this beautiful and peaceful little area waiting to be discovered by my little explorers. The Woodlands has truly been a magical place for our family. The town boasts 100,000 people but most of the time we feel like we are the only people that know about some of these little gems. This area lies just between our brunch spot, Black Walnut Café and The Woodlands Township Corporate office.

Our neighborhood has a fantastic creek nearby that we visit with the dogs multiple times a week. During the summer we pick, wild flowers, blackberries and bring home the occasional turtle.

2) Keep on Swimming-

Rob Fleming Pool is a local favorite and is one of 14 pools in the area that is included in our seasonal membership. Guests can enjoy the day for $10/person, children under 4′ pay $8. The small water park has big fun, including a winding, lazy river, tubing water slide and a huge play structure that dumps gallons of water on its patrons every minute. All the other neighborhood pools are only $6/ person. For more information on the pool schedule, rules and membership for residents and non-residents, click here.

Our favorite pools are Wendtwoods Park because of the short lazy river, lily pad obstacle course and beach entrance with a large play structure and slide. More pool information here.

Cranebrook pool is another favorite, it also has a play structure and a wide slide that the whole family can slide down together.

Sawmill pool has a fun rock climbing wall right out of the pool along with slides and a diving board.

3) Cool Places and Treats

We love going to the Grogan’s Mill Farmers market held every Saturday from 8-12. They have organic snow cones, local vegetables, sausage, plants and even earthworm castings. We also get our honey here. There is always a food truck and a variety of treats from fresh lemonade to made to order waffles with amazing toppings. My girls love nutella and whip cream on top.

We also visit the South Regional Library for cool computer game fun and a variety of activities hosted by the library. They have animal encounters, magic shows, movies and reading to dogs. Check their website for their upcoming events.  After a few hours you can take a short walk through the Town Green Park toward River Row Boat House and pay to ride the new Swan Paddle Boats or Rent a Kayak for a few hours. Click here for hours and prices.

If after the library you would like a sweet treat or something a little bigger head over to HEB for made to order $10 pizzas or make your way through Market Street for Starbucks or a number of restaurants. We like to grab a milkshake and bag of chocolate chip cookies at Potbellies.

Our favorite after library adventure is to take a picnic to the waterway where we stop and eat while playing in the splash pad. If we have enough time and I have enough energy we take the trolley back to the library and stop by the Woodlands Mall. Make sure to get off at the Cheesecake Factory and make the short walk past Barnes and Nobles to the Mall entrance. Marble Slab is located just through the doors on the right, enjoy a cool treat and watch the fishies swimming in the nearby tank. You can also head to the mall’s indoor play place. The trolley drivers are more than happy to help you navigate your way. The trolley makes several stops and now also travels all the way to Hughes Landing. 

4) Splash pads and impromptu fountains-Another fantastic spot to stay cool and absorb artistic surroundings would be Waterway Square. They have Summer concerts during the the beginning of the summer. We pack a picnic and some blankets to relax on. The girls play in the splash pad nearby. Sometimes we just go there during the week and enjoy walking along the waterway admiring the sculptures and rolling down the hills. You can hear Another way we enjoy the Waterway is to park at the local library and take the air conditioned trolley to Waterway Square. We picnic under the trees. You can also eat at one of the many restaurants located around the square. The trolley has many stops around town including the mall and movie theater. There are 5 splash pad parks located in The Woodlands. Check locations here. Story book area between the South Regional Library and Town Green Park.

Waterfalls Riva Row  Boat House The Woodlands, Texas
The New waterfall structures located off the waterway near Riva Row Boat House
Bench near Cynthia Woods Pavilion on the Waterway
Art piece and seating near the Cynthia Woods Pavilion near Town Green Park
Red Snow Flake Bench on the Waterway, The Woodlands, Texas
Art seating on opposite side of the Waterway from Cynthia Woods Pavilion

5) Indoor play places- A fantastic spot to get FREE air conditioned indoor play and also has a splash pad would be the Woodlands Church. They have a two-story play structure inside their church with a fair trade market and coffee and snack shop on the first floor. This place is open to the public during the week from 8am-4pm and great for play dates. On rainy days you can expect crowds. But this is a perfect summer spot, to end the day and really guarantee a nap let the kids run crazy in the splash pad just outside.

The splash pad wasn’t open so we made use of a very inviting baptism fountain located in the front entrance of the grounds. I’m pretty sure this is not allowed. But there are times that I feel it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Another free indoor play facility is Safari Stop located at the Woodlands United Methodist. It is open to the public Sunday through Thursday from noon-6pm, Friday and Saturday 8am-6pm.

Also check HELLO WOODLANDS for a community events calendar.

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