by Mike Mira


Summer is in full effect and that means fun family activities to either soak up the sun or stay away from its blazing rays. Although gas prices went up from this past February’s much-embraced low cost, and the current price per gallon is only slightly cheaper than last July’s, it shouldn’t dissuade your family from exploring this large, beautiful state. In fact, you don’t even have to go far to have some good times with your family and friends. So we’ve made a list of 5 staycation ideas you can check out this July. Whether you’re into outdoors or looking to stay cool inside, our county has a little something for everyone.

1. George Observatory: No summer activities list is complete without mentioning George Observatory, which is deep in the heart of Brazos Bend State Park. George Observatory has been a consistently popular day trip for families since its telescope began pointing to the heavens. The great thing about George Observatory is its location. You can enjoy the network of trails at Brazos Bend State Park, take selfies with free-roaming alligators, and have a picnic after you’re done looking at the cosmos. Amateur astronomers can also come by every Saturday night and bring their own telescopes.

2. Wake Nation Houston: This place is one of the hidden gems of the area, which is just down Highway 6 from Sienna Plantation, off 288 in Rosharon. Wake Nation Houston boasts an impressive aerial ropes course, the Aqua Glide Waterpark, a paintball course, and cable wakeboarding. If you’re new to wakeboarding, fear not, they also offer classes for all ages. This is a great way to work on that tan whilst tearing through the waves.

3. Sienna Stables: For a calmer family outing, check out Sienna Stables, which offers therapeutic riding for patrons looking to get in touch with nature. If you want to learn equestrian skills such as English or Western Riding, Sienna Stables offers lessons for all age groups as well. They also feature horse shows throughout the year if you want to simply admire these beautiful creatures.

4. Santikos Palladium: in Richmond may not be on the same level of the iconic Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, but this aesthetically beautiful and sleekly modern movie theater has been accumulating a lot of rave reviews from locals. The Ancient Greek theme does not feel gimmicky like other venues that try to pull off such branding, because the well-replicated Greek architecture harmonizes perfectly with the Texas-sized space of the venue, and luxury hotel feel. Whether you want to impress your date, chill with friends, or watch the latest superhero movie with your kids, Santikos Palladium is always the right choice on a Friday night.

5. Fort Bend Museum: Fort Bend County has always been a place that warmly embraces newcomers, which is why it has seen an exponential population boom over the last decade, and will continue to grow out of the shadows of big brother Houston. If you’re one of the new settlers in the area, I suggest you take your family to the Fort Bend Museum and learn about this county’s very fascinating history. The museum features many artifacts and exhibitions that chronicles interesting historical events, such as the Jaybird-Woodpecker War and its former seedy reputation as a haven for organized crime. So much for being a sleepy little place, eh? On the grounds are also the well-preserved Moore Home and Long-Smith Cottage.

See? You don’t have to go too far to add some excitement and fun to your summer. So forget the stressful road trips or Tokyo vacation for now—stay close to home and explore your own backyard first, because you’ll never know what you might find.