5 Fun Things to Do with Teens in Houston

Ya’ll, I am going to tell you something very few people ever say…Teenagers are fun! Seriously, I don’t know why there are so many gloom-and-doom parents out there. I am not saying raising teenagers is easy; it definitely comes with its challenges. However, you can actually reason with these young people instead of them screaming and lying on the floor at your feet for, I don’t know, peeling a banana! Teenagers do get upset, scream, or cry as they throw themselves on the bed or even slam a door. But then you can take the door off the hinges or ask them politely to close their door so that you can watch Yellowstone!

One thing I have learned as I raise my tiny humans to taller-than-me humans is that what they need and want the most is me. I know some days they may not seem to want anybody. They may not show their affection and may think I am annoying. Yes, I am the rule enforcer, the expectation setter, and the mom. Yet, they still want my time and my attention.

If you are intentional about making time for your teenagers, they’ll want to make time for you. If you practice presence, put down your phone, and be available to them to talk, these growing up years can be the best years full of good times and definitely not as horrible as some would have them be. Spend time with your teens and go out and have lots of fun because it makes life all the more fun too. Our city has no shortage of fun things to do with teens in Houston, and we’ve got 5 ideas for you here!

5 Fun Things to do with Teens in Houston

Shopping at the Galleria

I have so many fun memories and shopping at the Galleria with my mom as a teenager. My mom worked in the financial towers and so I would go to work with her every chance I could so I could go shopping during the day, meet up with friends or spend her lunch and the late afternoon with her. When my kids turn 13 I take them to the Galleria for some fun shopping, like a sort of coming-of-age day. We start with coffee at Starbucks, haircuts at Visible Changes, or they can even meet with a beauty stylist at Nordstrom’s for free skin care and beauty routines. Afterwards, peruse around great stores like H&M or Aeropostale, lunch or dessert at the Cheesecake factory, and maybe a little ice skating to round out the day.

teen poses with macaroon statue at the Houston Galleria

Take some IG-worthy Pics!

If you have a IG or TikTok fan around your house, one of the most fun we have had is traveling around town finding graphic walls to take pics at or do dances in front of! Get out of your comfort zone and do a few tiktok dances with your kids, I promise you will never laugh more! You can find a ton of great murals around town and our Houston Murals Guide can definitely help out! There is also an Instagram tour you can take for about $60 that you can check out here. Or you can even visit the TFTI Interactive Art Museum where they have over 15+ rooms set up for IG worthy pics of all kinds for about $30.

Family poses in front of Houston mural

Museums, Museums, Museums

Houston has some of the best museums and here’s the thing…we tend to take our kids to all these places when they are little, but something happens when they get older and we just sort of stop. Why do we do that? THIS is the best time to go to museums with your teens in Houston. This is when they get really interesting, when they start to form ideas and thoughts about life and art and history, this is when having conversations with them is lifegiving! No matter how old they get, that kid who loved dinosaurs at 3 will still love them at 13, promise. The artsy kids who loved to paint and create at 4 will still love to paint and create and admire art at 14. So take them to the Science Museum, all of the art Museums, and every museum in between! Check out our Guide to the Museum District. You can also visit the Color Factory, a Sensory and color-filled museum open until the end of May 2023!

teenager and mom at a science museum

Go to the Park

Again, this goes along with what I stated above…no matter how old your kids are or what they are interested in, parks have something for everyone. Buy a spike ball net (this one is an easy set up that my kids love!) and head to the park to play. Grab a book and a blanket and sit under some trees (because HOUSTON!) and read aloud to them or each of you read your own book and talk about what you are reading. Or just hit up a trail and walk, people watch, enjoy their company and just talk. And guess what, HMC has an amazing guide for the best parks all over the city.


Every year we plan a staycation weekend. A weekend where we turn off our phones, cancel any plans and our main objectives are to eat and play and rest! Teenagers need rest. We need rest. Life is busy and full and oh so good, but we have to make it a priority to not just enjoy each other, but to enjoy being home too. So plan so yummy food, grill some burgers, or create a teen-friendly charcuterie board. Play some games, get out the old board games, have a Nintendo switch marathon, do a puzzle, watch some old movies…just be together and enjoy each other.

hand reaching for playing cards on a board game

Spending time with my teenagers brings so much fun and youth to my life. I have loved this season more than I could have ever imagined. Embrace it, embrace them because mama’s I promise, it only gets better!

What are your favorite activities or places to take your teens in Houston? 

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Andrea Portilla
Andrea is a true Houston native! Other than her college years at Baylor and a few summers with family in Guatemala, she has lived around the Houston area forever and cannot imagine living anywhere else. Especially because of family nearby as built in babysitters, so many friendships built throughout the years, and the great people of this city, Houston is so dear to her heart. In junior high her family moved to the Sugar Land area, but she attended a high school in town and spent as much time as possible at the Galleria in the 90s! After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Secondary Education, she married her high school sweetheart, Orlando, and they moved to the Richmond area where they have been ever since and where she homeschools their son and 2 daughters, ages 15, 12 & 9. Andrea is very active in Women’s ministry at her church and in her community. She began writing for more therapeutic reasons when the kids were small and soon began writing publicly, remembering her love for writing and realizing the gift and calling that it was in her life. She published her first book, Breathless: Prayers from a Mother Learning to Exhale in 2018, a devotional last year and is currently working on a few new projects. In her down time, Andrea loves alone time, especially because she’s an enneagram 4! She also loves coffee, hanging out with her family and friends, traveling, New York City, musicals, especially Hamilton, fair trade jewelry, and charcuterie boards! You can find her writing at www.andreaportilla.com or follow her on Instagram @dreaportilla and on Facebook.


  1. Seismique
    Galveston has many museums
    Department of Wonder
    Immersive Gamebox
    Houston has many bike trails to discover for example White Oak Bayou
    The Woodlands Riva Boat House


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