East Soundview website
6201 Golf Course Drive
Hermann Park Description
Houston's ultra-sleek METRORail trains may be the latest in urban transport, but if you're about six years old, they pale in comparison to Houston's other form of public transportation: the Hermann Park miniature train. The bright red, kid-sized train makes 20-minute leisurely loops around the city park, past the oak trees, the lovely reflection pool, and the waving pedestrians. It's a couple of bucks for a rite of passage, and so fun they'll want to do it a more than once.
Babies: The park is a wonderful oasis. The one downside: The paths are dirt, which can make pushing a stroller a bit of a challenge. A baby carrier is a better bet.
Toddlers & Pre-K: On a hot day, you'll see lots of kids cooling off under the interactive fountains at the north end of McGovern Lake. Bring a swimsuit or a change of clothes.
- Construction zone. The once sagging landscape is getting a facelift thanks to a local conservancy. New train stations (a few of them) are among improvements planned for Memorial Day 2009. Until then, the train entrance (and paddle boat ticket office) is located under a temporary awning near the zoo parking lot.
- Pedal around. The train is but one way to enjoy the park -- another is riding the pedal boats in McGovern Lake.
- Take a walk. Get some Zen in Hermann Park's Japanese Garden, located next to the reflection pool.
- Partner up. The park is also home to the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Both are within walking distance of the train and other attractions.
- Ample free parking. There's no charge for parking in the central parking lot near the zoo, near the Miller Outdoor Theatre, at the Houston Garden Center, and at the golf course club house; a fee is charged at the parking garage of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Just the Facts
Hours: Train: Daily 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Call for pedal boat hours.
Fees: Under $10
Recommended Time: 2 - 4 hours