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By Liz Grimm

Kids grow up so fast! As the old adage goes … “in the blink of an eye”.  The Woodlands – which has recently been named the #1 best community to live in America – is a wonderful place to raise a child. There are so many outdoor fun activities to enjoy this summer for families or by yourself.

With health and wellness top of mind, wide open green space and outdoor activities are abundant.  “We are proud to have preserved 28% of open space in our community, a vision of George Mitchell, founder of The Woodlands, and a commitment Howard Hughes continues to honor today,” said Jim Carman, President – Houston Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Throughout the years, we have designed and built 148 parks, 220 miles of nature-laced nature trails, 14 community pools and spraygrounds, some as joint projects, and are proud to have conveyed these amenities over to The Woodlands Township to operate for residents to enjoy.”

Here are some highlights of entertaining summer activities to explore at the amenities in The Woodlands:



  • 148 parks throughout the villages of The Woodlands


  • Get your groove on at one of the outdoor concerts this summer including Creekside Park Unplugged at Creekside Park Village Green in May; Rock The Row at Hughes Landing Band Shell and Park (returns in July); and Waterway Nights at The Woodlands Waterway Square.


  • Enjoy a picnic at one of the many parks that have covered pavilions for comfortable shade along with BBQ pits, picnic tables and convenient restrooms.


  • Lighted tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts can be found at many parks along with Bear Branch Disc Golf Course. You can also play Pickleball on courts!


  • Each weekend, you can visit a different playground with play equipment designed for little ones as well as big kids. From baby swings to interactive, high-touch toddler elements to fast slides and high swings, parks offer something for all ages. Many parks include play fields too!


  • There are many skate parks with ramps and cement bowls for practicing and showcasing your talents for skateboarding and BMX moves.


Nature Trails

  • 220 miles of hike-and-bike trails


  • Nature trails offer a plethora of paths for walking, jogging, cycling or rollerblading. Each path is interconnected throughout the villages.


Splish, Splash

  • 14 Community pools
  • Take in some water sports action by renting a kayak or a stand-up paddle board (SUP) at Riva Row Boat House on The Woodlands Waterway or Lakes Edge Boat House on Lake Woodlands at Hughes Landing. Riva Row Boat House also offers water bike and paddleboat rentals.


  • Each pool features a different theme, such as the Bear Branch pool’s whimsical whale, Village of College Park’s alligator theme and the Cranebrook pool’s family-style wide slide and interactive water features. Several pools also have zero entry, spraygrounds and dedicated lap lanes.


  • The area spraygrounds offer a great option for toddlers. These whimsical pop-up spouts of water provide surprising fun for little ones. In addition to several spraygrounds within the community pools, you’ll also discover a fun sprayground at The Woodlands Waterway Square.


  • Watch the adorable ducks and their baby ducklings swimming and bobbing along the beautiful Lake Woodlands at Northshore Park or numerous ponds and lakes throughout the community.


  • Grab your tackle box and fishing pole and head to one of the local, catch-and-release fishing ponds around the villages.


“The recreational amenities in The Woodlands offer unprecedented advantages that significantly add to the quality of life for residents and their families in our hometown,” said Kelly Dietrich, Senior Parks and Recreation Project Manager for Howard Hughes. “Our area parks, nature trails and pools are strategically-designed within walking distance to neighborhoods in each village.”

Along with the 28% of open space, filled with amenities, perhaps the best feature of raising a family in The Woodlands is the favorite past-time of simply stepping out your front door and catching up with your neighbors.