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The holidays are here, and for many of us that means hosting family and friends for days on end or even weeks on end — if that's the case, godspeed to everyone involved.  For those in need of family-friendly excursions, ways to explore the city without spending loads of dough, and downright awesome reasons to get out of the house and soak up the best Houston has to offer, here's a little help for delighting visitors young and old.  

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Houston's 5 Best Public Gardens

From touring the estate of philanthropist Ima Hogg to checking out the 20-acre Mercer Botanical Garden in Humble, these public gardens make for a lovely stroll that will put you back in touch with nature after a season of shopping and Starbucks. 

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The Other Best Spot for Bat-Watching on the Bayou

Did you know that Garden Oaks has its own bat colony?  Along the White Oak Bayou Greenway, where Watonga meets T.C. Jester, you'll find the city's lesser known dusk-destination.

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4 New — And Newly Renovated — Parks We Love

 In 2017, a handful of parks had us falling in love from the Third Ward to Bellaire, and everyone in the family, from birdwatchers to those dying for a picnic, will be happy no matter what new park you choose to peruse.

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The Ultimate Guide To Buffalo Bayou Park

Yes, the park is still recovering from Harvey, but that doesn't mean its numerous sculptures, incredible views, and miles of quality walking/running/biking trails aren't open and ready to impress visitors.  

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Bufkin Christmas Wonderland is magical.

Check Out This Christmas Wonderland in Pasadena

In Pasadena, the Bufkin family wraps up their 25th and, sadly, final year of free holiday tours at its Bufkin Christmas Wonderland house, including a train room, oodles of nativity scenes and Christmas decor, and a backyard filled with lights and Santa himself, delighting kids of all ages.

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