Known for being the first word spoken from the moon, Houston is definitely among the most exciting cities to visit in the US with kids. The city is electric, and buzzing with all kinds of events and activities to have the whole family take part in. Prepare yourself to take in the finest dining, cultural experiences and marvelous green spaces. Despite the well known quote, you’ll soon realize that in Houston you’ll definitely have no problems.
We hope you enjoy the fourth largest city in the US as much as us. Let’s get started:
Best Time To Travel To Houston
Spring (March, April, May)
Houston in spring is our favourite time to travel. The intense summer crowds haven’t started forming yet, and the warm weather makes spending time outdoors easy and enjoyable. Affordable accomodation is available year round, but you may want to take advantage of the emptiness of the city at this time to find good options at good prices. As for festivals, we recommend you make sure to plan your trip around the San Jacinto Day Festival or Battle Reenactment in April, kids absolutely love it.
Summer (June, July, August)
Summers in Houston are pulsing with tourism. Besides large crowds, the weather tends to be extremely hot and humid, which can be quite uncomfortable for young kids. When indoors you’ll find that there’s lots of aircon available, but summer truly is the time you want to spend outside. If you visit Houston in summer, make sure to keep an eye out for hail and thunderstorms! They like to make appearances during these hot months. The Dragon Boat Festival and the Pasadena Strawberry Festival are also quite popular, don’t forget to check them out.
Fall (September, October, November)
The weather during fall is much better than in summer; pleasant temperatures stretch across the season. However, hurricanes can come through the city during this time as well, which can cloud over outdoor activities. However, fall nevertheless remains a popular time to visit Houston, especially because of the Dia de los Muertos Festival and Fiestas Patrias, due to the high concentration of Mexican population in the city. These two festivals are incredible! They’re definitely among our favourites, we couldn’t recommend them more.
Winter (December, January, February)
Winter is the coldest season of Houston. Because of the weather, there are less festivals and outdoor activities to do. But on the bright side, since the tourist season is over, you’ll be more likely to find accomodation at more affordable prices. However, because of the not so sunny weather, we recommend visiting the city any other time.
Where to stay in Houston
When looking for places to stay in Houston with kids, Downtown is probably the first place you should look. Being at the heart of the city, Downtown is at the heart of the metropolis vibrating with energy, beautiful green spaces, stadiums, cultural centers and small businesses. You can be sure that you’ll always find something to do here with the family; whether it’s festivals, pop-up bars, and concerts and shows at their incredible venues. Downtown also has some of the best options for accommodation eager to meet all your needs.
Located west from downtown Houston, Montrose is the city’s most lively and eccentric neighbourhood. Known as having one of the most bohemian atmospheres, it seems like the artists and creatives of the 60s have never left – making this area one of the most memorable and iconic areas to stay in Houston. Here, you’ll be able to find among the best restaurants in town as well as unique local businesses, and kid-friendly museums like the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the zoo.
Previously known as Old Chinatown, EaDo has quickly become a popular area to stay in for its quirky personality. The colorful street art at every corner screams for your attention, but there are plenty of other things going on to keep you busy throughout the year. If you’re thinking of staying with your family in EaDo, we recommend booking an Airbnb in this area – its homes tend to be beautiful and cozy.
Northwest of the center you can find The Heights – a beautiful, historical area in Houston perfect to stay in with the family. With iconic century-old Victorian houses giving it its idyllic image, it’s difficult to resist. You can easily find an amazing range of restaurants scattered around the neighbourhood, as well as Victorian styled bed and breakfasts and local inns. This area is close to natural spaces where you can find hiking trails, and a bunch of different antique stories, art galleries and boutiques to discover. If you’re looking to go on adventures that are different to the usual, The Heights is a great place to base yourself in.
How to get around Houston
The METRORail system is probably the most convenient form of transport you’ll find in Houston with kids. It will take you to the most popular destinations in the center, across some of the areas you’re likely to want to visit such as the Museum District and the Theater District. We recommend taking day passes, they only cost $3!
For a quick ride across a couple blocks, the bus system is quite good. One-way tickets are only $1.25, a very air price when travelling with young kids as well. Better yet, just like in the rail system, bus rides for kids under 5 years old are free! No worries about catching the bus late at night; even when there’s heavy traffic, buses run every 15 minutes going until the high hours of the night.
In Houston, there is a $6 flat rate for all trips Downtown. When travelling with kids and strollers, opting for a cab ride may be more convenient. On the other hand, we do recommend moving around by rail or bus if your kids no longer need equipment like strollers.
Things to Do in Houston with Kids
Space Center Houston
When visiting Houston with kids, it’s close to impossible not to go take a look at the Space Center. Its mission is to educate the public about science, technology, engineering and math; the four pillars that NASA is able to stand on to lift rockets high up into space. At the center, there are over 400 interactive exhibits, space artifacts and films – including moon rocks and lunar samples.
Besides the permanent exhibits, there are always new temporary presentations and experiences going on – make sure you do a little research to see what you’re in luck for.
Website: Space Center Houston Address: 1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, Texas, USA 77058 Hours: Daily 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Cost: Adult $29.95 Senior $27.95 Child (4 - 11 years old ) $24.95 Child ( 3 and below) Free
Urban Harvest’s Saturday Farmer’s Market
Since 2007, the Urban Harvest Saturday Farmer’s Market has grown to be a widely loved community outlet. Here, you can find over 70 vendors selling their fresh produce. It’s a great place to bring kids to learn more about locally grown products, share some laughs and good energy. We recommend coming here for breakfast and trying out as much food as you can from all the lively food trucks that come to the square.
Besides the market, Urban Harvest also offers a wide range of classes and experiences at community gardens for the family. It’s a great time! Take a look at their website to check what they’ve got going on.
Website: Urban Harvest Saturday Farmer’s Market Address: 3302 Canal Street, 73 Houston, TX 77003 Hours: 8:00 AM - noon
Dewberry Farm makes it their mission to celebrate the past and future of farming. Besides their countless of activities available for kids (such as flower picking, playgrounds, and corn mazes), their objective is to generate an interest for the way our food and clothes are made in kids. Every season brings its own set of activities. During the winter, families love coming to pick their Christmas tree, or visit the pumpkin patches in the fall. If you’re looking for a quick day when visiting Houston with kids, you can be sure that Dewberry Farm will have your back.
Website: Dewberry Farm Address: FM 362 & Morrison Rd Brookshire, TX 77423 Cost: (Over 3 years old) $19.95 Child (under 2) Free
Discovery Green Park
Discovery Green Park could easily be called the Central Park of Houston. That being said, it’s definitely one of the best attractions you should visit when travelling to Houston with kids. As the name itself indicates, Discovery Green Park offers a gorgeous patch of green filled with trees, outdoor art installations, fountains and playgrounds. It’s the perfect place to spend time on a warm sunny day – the hours will pass quickly. At the same time, you can also find all sorts of concerts, live music, temporary art exhibits and events dedicated exclusively for kids. We recommend visiting their website to catch up on any future events and festivals you don’t want to miss!
Website: Discovery Green Park Address:1500 McKinney, Houston, Texas 77010
Rooftop Cinema Club
With a mission to make movie nights more memorable, the Rooftop Cinema Club has done their best to envelop their guests in the enchantment of movies and fantasy. Their program is packed with cult films, classics, to new films your kids will be begging you to see. As you may expect, the movies are screened outdoors, where you’ll be able to sit on comfortable deck chairs wrapped in cozy blankets in their Rooftop location at Post Oak. In their location at Runnels Street, you’ll be able to watch it from your own car, like back in the days. No movie can be seen without a good snack – which you’ll be able to have in their well assorted box office. To make it short, if you’re looking for a relaxed evening activity in Houston with kids, you shouldn’t look further than the Rooftop Cinema Club!
Website: Rooftop Cinema Club Address: 1700 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, USA 2300 Runnels St, Houston, TX 77003 Hours: Doors open at 6:30 PM Cost :$18-$27 per vehicle
Children’s Museum of Houston
Recognized as one of the world’s leading museums, the Children’s Museum is one of the best places to visit in Houston with kids. They have well identified the needs of the community’s children, and are always working to address them through their amazing exhibits. One of the things we found most impressive is that they strive to promote education in an attempt to reduce the effects of poverty, and their efforts to encourage a multicultural population.
Being honest, their exhibitions are among the best we’ve ever seen. They seamlessly integrate sustainability, sports science and art with fun and creativity – the perfect combination for an engaging center to spend time in when visiting Houston with kids.
Website: Children’s Museum of Houston Address: 1500 Binz St, Houston TX 77004 Hours: Cost: Adult and Children $12 Child (under 1) Free
One of Houston’s best kept secrets is the Waugh Drive Bat Colony. Take your kids by surprise by showing them the massive colony of bats that emerge at sunset. Make sure to get a good spot at the Observation Deck or by booking a tour on the Pontoon Boat Tours. You’ll be able to get a full explanation of the way bats live, behave, what they eat, and most importantly, how they’ve ended up here on this very bridge.
Address: Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Observation Deck, Waugh Dr & Allen Parkway, Houston, TX 77002 Cost: Viewings are free, Pontoon boat tours are $40 per person.
Houston’s art scene is one of the best ones, in our opinion. The city’s street walls are incredibly vibrant, colorful and reflect the community’s personality exquisitely. Street art is quite representative of the city, so we recommend wandering the streets of downtown while enjoying a good scoop of ice cream as you go. Our kids absolutely love posing in front of their favourite walls!
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
The city of Houston is great and all, but spending some time in nature is just as great, especially with kids. The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center has incredible things to offer – from bird watching, hiking trails, family and children’s activities. We suggest planning a day covering one or a couple of walking trails; they vary in difficulty so you can be sure there will be something suitable for you. If you have time we also recommend looking into the family activities they have – we really enjoy them and can keep the kids busy (and happy!) for hours.
Website: The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Address: 4501 Woodway Drive Houston, TX 77024-7708 Hours: Daily 7:00 AM until dusk Cost: $5 per vehicle (free on Thursdays!)
The Houston Zoo is a no-brainer when visiting Houston with kids. With the intent of connecting communities with animals to save wildlife, the zoo is a great option for a day trip on any day of the year. Besides meeting some of the most extraordinary animals around the world, you can learn more deeply about them in the exhibits, and in their safari experience. There are also plenty of places to eat and dine in so you don’t have to worry about making your own food while you’re there.
Website: The Houston Zoo Address: 6200 Hermann Park Drive Houston, TX 77030 Hours: Daily 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Cost: Adult $27.95 Child $22.95
Best Things To Eat in Houston
Queso (Tex Mex)
Tex Mex food is a big one in Houston. Queso is among the most kid friendly meals there are. And yes, it’s exactly what you think it is – a pile of delightfully melted cheese. You can eat it with pretty much anything, but getting nacho chips or corn tortillas to eat it with is definitely our best pick.
Having such a dense Mexican population in the city, Mexican food is simply delightful here. If you had to pick anything to eat, we definitely recommend eating tamales. Made from dough, tamales can be stuffed with cheese, chicken, vegetables, and even fruits if you go for a sweet one. Kids love to eat them as a light dinner but watch out – you’ll have a hard time tearing them away!
Chicken and Waffles
Chicken? And waffles? Of course. Kids are big fans, and you’ll be able to find it pretty much anywhere. You can go as casual or as fancy as you like when it comes to eating this popular dish in Houston – one thing’s for sure: your kids will never get enough.
When have burgers ever failed anyone? When visiting Houston with kids, a good old burger is definitely the go-to dish whenever you’re trying to find kid-friendly meals. In a big city like Houston, finding a burger restaurant won’t be a problem. You might even have problems finding one that doesn’t have them!
In tune with the vast quantity of Mexican food available, we couldn’t recommend you trying ‘elote’ more. It’s quite simple – an entire corn on a stick, slapped with lime juice, cheese and mayo (with an extra option of hot sauce, of course). It’s without a doubt the most exquisite street food snacks you can eat in Houston with kids, let us know where you find the best one!
There you go! The entire guide to Houston with kids. We’re certain this city will meet above and beyond your expectations with its electric energy and wide range of activities to take part in. Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!