Houston Galveston Staycation Day Trips Memorial Day Weekend
Our first real outings in Houston and Galveston for a Staycation over Memorial Day weekend during the pandemic!
We have been in isolation for so so many days! We have been home as a family unit of 4 and haven’t been seeing even grandparents. We ventured out to be the only guests sister-in-law’s wedding, a nursery to buy milkweed for our monarch population, and a walk around a Houston park to scope out one of our favorite urban areas. While things in Texas have been opening up slowly all month, we have been taking a much more cautious approach. We are masked when near others and keeping hands clean and sanitized. This has been a bit of a struggle with my younger gal but we are just doing what we think is best with what we have. These are absolutely odd times for sure. In our experience, it is very apparent that you are fully at the mercy of those around you. The crowds in Galveston had no regard for distancing or for masks. I do believe that it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and make the best decisions for you and your family.
Houston Galveston Staycation Day 1:
Professional Family Photos with the talented Chelsea Davis https://www.chelseadavisphoto.com/
This is an unusual way to start a staycation, but we wanted to commemorate being out of the house. KIDDING! These pics were rescheduled from mid-April. When these pics were rescheduled I honestly had some reservations about even going because we had been in lockdown and I was not fully on board with being out yet. Fortunately, we always seem to prefer the first timeslot of the day. It made me feel so much better being the first one in. We have known and used Chelsea for over 8 years now and I fully trust her to be safe and take every precaution. Plus, the pics are always amazing! When you can love the way you look in every photo, you keep that photographer FOR LIFE! For real, she is amazing!!! Check her out and book her fast!
Why You Should Get Family Photos Taken (coming soon)
East Beach Galveston, Texas https://www.galveston.com/
Believe it or not, our big plans for this day were the beach!
Best dressed I have ever been heading to the beach for sure. The weather prediction was looking pretty terrible and this was the best forecasted day. So we had a minivan wardrobe change and headed to Galveston, about an hour south.
Once we hit the island, we headed over to one of the pay access beaches. We have never done this but we got a later than usual start and felt that some sort of distancing might be inforced in an official city area. We packed lunch, swam, played in the sand and had a wonderful day. Sand everywhere but totally worth it! We went to a less crowded area and for the most part, everyone kept their distance.
Things I keep on hand while traveling can be found here
Houston Galveston Staycation Day 2:
So we looked at just renting a hotel room in Galveston since we wanted to head down there for more than 1 day but, we just weren’t ready to stay in a hotel. Also, not ready for the cost since everything wasn’t open fully yet. Add a large chance of rain and spending money on a beach hotel seemed less than ideal!
Moody Gardens Galveston Texas (link here) https://www.moodygardens.com/
We have a membership to Moody Gardens. We go as often as we can and try to arrive at opening. Their first day back in business was May 23rd, the day before. This trip was quite different. Maybe half of the attractions were open because the rest are unsafe in the current climate for one reason or another. We fully enjoyed what we could do.
For a pre-pandemic look, check out this video here
The facility was trying their best to maintain crowd metering and distancing, however, the patrons just weren’t. We were one of a couple groups in masks. I also saw exposed water fountains and a picture location for kids that was not roped or taped off. No idea if the fountain was on, but still enticing for little ones.
They did a great job and I am sure some kinks will be worked out as time goes on. We will definitely be back soon.
Rainforest Cafe Galveston Texas (link here) https://www.rainforestcafe.com/
The rain rolled in just as we had loaded into the van, perfect timing. We were planning to save lunch until later in the day but chose to amend the plan since the next stop was outdoors. I had a birthday credit that would expire soon so we decided to head to Rainforest Cafe. We love the novelty of it and the girls always enjoy it.
This place is always packed. This was our first time in a restaurant in over 2 months. I knew that it would be intense, however, I was not prepared. There was absolutely no distancing going on in the shop lobby area. It is essentially a gift shop on steroids. I made my way to the check-in stand and presented my Landry’s select club card (link here.) I was told the usual wait was an hour, ours would be 30 minutes, and we were called in at 15 minutes. I was shocked to see them still operating their River Adventure raft ride. All of their build-a-bear sets were still out and even the pieces available for play were still out. They did have a sandwich board near the front door telling of the safety steps they were taking and a centrally located table with a large pump top sanitizer.
Once we had checked in, the restaurant seating area was skipping tables and the workers all had masks on. Those masks are much less effective when about a quarter of the employees had them down their chin not covering their nose or mouth.
There is no way we will be going back until long, long after this whole virus mess has a nice resolution.
Magic Carpet Mini Golf (link here) https://www.galveston.com/whattodo/outdoorfun/magiccarpetgolf/
The rain had cleared and we were ready to do a drive-by to see if mini-golf was open. It was, and it honestly wasn’t very busy at all!
MAGIC CARPET MINI GOLF ONLY ACCEPTS CASH AND CHECK!
The cost for adults was $10 and kids $7 per 18 hole course. They have 2 courses. I had just enough cash for 1 round of 1 course.
This was such a great time! This summer my little turns 4 and we are coming into that sweet spot of her being able to be a bit easier. There was not a stroller in sight all weekend, she hasn’t been in diapers in a long time, and she can vocalize her feelings. She also has the ability to listen and follow directions, though she rarely proves that.
Mini Golf was outside, not busy, and a naturally distancing activity. It was sunny but breezy and so much fun. The girls were able to play as well. We have done mini-golf in the past but Amelia could actually play and Marilyn understood the concept well enough to enjoy it with the rest of us.
La King’s Confectionary Strand District Galveston Texas (link here) https://lakingsconfectionery.com/
Hot island summer days call for ice cream! La King’s Confectionary on the Strand in Galveston makes their own ice cream, sweets, and has an antique taffy machine operating daily. We always love to stop here and enjoy a treat when possible. The tables that I have seen in the past have been replaced by a serving counter. I did not see any safety or distancing measures being taken other than a sanitizer station. We took our scoops to go and ate them outside on a bench.
Houston Galveston Staycation Day 3:
Houston Museum of Natural Science https://www.hmns.org/
HMNS had actually opened up the weekend before but we were not ready to head there yet.
We had a guest star for this portion of our weekend! Visiting Grandpa has been missed terribly in our home. He usually comes for dinner once a week and my kids are just gaga for him. Paul and I are not ready to have people in our home yet but meeting him out in a public place seemed like a great idea. We reserved and printed our member tickets online before going. They have a strict mask required for those over 10 policy. Whole portions of the museum were closed off if those places encouraged touch or interactivity. The crowd level was very low. We did the general exhibit and the Cockrell Butterfly Center. We had a wonderful time! The large moon exhibit has been replaced by a large Earth exhibit. The hardest part was seeing the large Swallowtail Caterpillar statue that we have taken pictures sitting on for 8 years, every single time we go, missing. It was just a blank space and made me pretty sad.
There have been a few things that really smack me in the face that the world is forever changed and a new normal isn’t here yet. This missing caterpillar was one of them.
HMNS was so well prepared! Their precautions and the actions of every single employee were well thought out and executed. It may have helped a great deal that crowds were so low and dealing with other people’s versions of acceptable behavior was not really an issue. I will gladly go back to HMNS very soon.
Los Tios Mexican Restaurant https://www.lostiosrestaurant.com/
This is our favorite restaurant. We go as frequently as we can, it is all of our first choice. We have ordered take out 2 times during this whole mess but it honestly just isn’t as good unless fresh. No-fault of theirs, I feel this way about every place we have ordered from. We ate at an off-peak time on a holiday usually associated with cookouts. They were spacing tables well and we set practically along in an area. All workers and servers had masks and gloves. It was so nice to see familiar faces there. It was great to feel good about supporting a business that was adapting to the times. Also, MARGARITAS!!!
Exhausted from our fun-filled Houston Galveston Staycation Day Trips, we were eager to just enjoy some quiet time at home. Nothing like a few little jaunts to make you appreciate the place you have been stuck for months!
We came home to check on our caterpillar flock, 9 at last count. More on that in a different post.
We played legos and games from our Timberdoodle curriculum kits. Had snacks for dinner and enjoyed some circa 2002 America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Clean girls and an early bedtime wrapped up out wonderful Staycation Memorial Day weekend!
Timberdoodle kit unboxing found here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzzGqiUPPglrLLDJsURCyv5KjhSi5I6AR
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Share in the comments how you spent your 3 day weekend.