Directly across from The Woodlands Mall, shopping goes upscale at Market Street, an amenity-filled open-air center featuring high-end retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Tumi, Johnny Was, Sur la Table, Trina Turk and Michael Kors. There’s always great people-watching here, either from the central lawn—which hosts everything from concerts to wine walks—or from a prime patio seat. Our favorites? The inviting, relaxing outdoor tables at Tommy Bahama, Jasper’s and Crú.
9595 Six Pines Dr., 281-419-4774, marketstreet-thewoodlands.com
The Woodlands Children’s Museum
Tucked into an unassuming shopping center near a Randalls, this little museum is easy to miss. But what it lacks in architectural grandeur, it makes up for in pure fun—you can find kids of all ages here, playing together deliriously, every day of the week. “It’s just a fun educational opportunity for the kids that’s not like their regular classroom day at school,” says Mary Phillips, the museum’s community relations manager. “It’s very relaxed, very collaborative.” In June, the museum kicks off its summer workshops—think everything from Superheroes Adventure to Advanced Robotics—for kids ages 4 to 10.
4775 W. Panther Creek Dr. #280, 281-465-0955, woodlandschildrensmuseum.org
The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center
Nestled on 28,000 acres of natural forest, this resort feels far, far away from daily life. The spa is open to all, as is the killer happy hour at Robard’s Steakhouse. And while you have to be a guest to partake in other amenities—like a round of tennis or access to two championship golf courses—a staycation here is worth it. Have we mentioned the sprawling pool complex, with its three waterslides and secluded lazy river? Order a piña colada and enjoy the ride.
2301 North Millbend Dr., 281-367-1100, woodlandsresort.com
The Game Preserve
No, this place isn’t for hunters, unless you’re talking about Duck Hunters. $15 a day gets gamers unlimited access to a massive coin-free collection, offering everything from Ms. Pac-Man to Donkey Kong to restored pinball machines, including one called 4 Roses that dates back to 1962. There’s a big party room, plus an ’80s-heavy jukebox stuffed with New Order and Duran Duran. Got a competitive streak? $5 gets you into monthly pinball tournaments.
473 Sawdust Rd., 281-353-5189, gamepreservehouston.com