Texas with Kids
When Travel Texas contacted me with an invitation to discover family-friendly Texas in advance of their Find More Texas Sweepstakes, they let me select our destination. I immediately chose Houston. I have several friends who live in Houston who are always posting to social media, and the city looks dynamic and amazing for kids (important, since I’ll be bringing one of my kids with me). Plus as a United frequent flier I change planes at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport at least a dozen times a year, but I’ve never gone into the city. Time to change that!
Our Houston Itinerary
I did A LOT of research into what there is to do in Houston. The purpose of this post is to sketch out what we chose and what’s still on the maybe list, in order to help with your own Houston trip planning. Plus I’d love suggestions as to things we’re missing. I want this to be the coolest possible three days in the city.
Day One (Friday)
We fly in from California at 1:40pm. We’ll be waiting for luggage, renting a car and driving to our hotel (the Houston Marriott Medical Center / Museum District), so I’m going to give us some time and not schedule anything immediately. Plus we have a fun night planned!
Houston Astros vs Boston Red Sox
My 10-year-old son has never been to a baseball game. Given that the Houston Astros are the defending World Series Champions, what better place to start? Plus they’re playing the Red Sox, and as I’m writing this post, both teams lead their divisions. I bought us tickets in section 126 – close to the field near first base.
There are a lot of great restaurants near Minute Maid Park, and we looked through dozens of menus. Our final choice for a pre-game dinner: Xochi. The chef is a James Beard award winner, and the menu leapt out at my foodie son – especially the Pato Crujiente (crispy duck), Barbacoa de Res de Zaachila (braised skirt steak) and Cordoniz (bacon-wrapped quail). No idea which one he’ll go for. I’m eyeing the Pulpo (wood-roasted octopus) and the Cochito Istmeño (dry-rubbed pork shank). If I timed our reservation right, we should be able to finish dinner, walk to the field and find our seats in time for the first pitch.
How good does this look?
Day Two (Saturday)
Space Center Houston
After breakfast at the hotel we’re heading to Space Center Houston. I’m not sure which one of us is more excited! My son loves math and science, so this is perfect for him. And I’ve never seen a Space Shuttle in person. I’m giving us several hours there.
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Planning your #SpaceCity spring break? Check out our visitor info page with tips and advice to help you plan the ultimate space adventure: https://spacecenter.org/visitor #spacecenterhou #spacecenterhouston #houston #spacecenter #space #science #education #stem #htown #galveston #pearland #sugarland #pasadena #clearlake #webster #htown #family #spring #nerd #spacenerd #friendswood #travel #adventure #explore #springbreak
Then, since it’s so close (I used Google Maps a lot in planning this trip!) we’re heading over to Kemah Boardwalk – a large waterfront amusement park. My son’s not a big rollercoaster fan, but we’ll have fun with the Ferris Wheel and games. My plan is to have lunch there as well – unless we spend more time at Space Center Houston and decide to eat there first. If you have a suggestion, please let me know!
As far as I can tell, Smither Park is a large outdoor art space – part of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. It looks amazingly eclectic on Instagram, and I can’t wait to visit! Plus every friend of mine in Houston had it in their recommendations for me. Our goal is to visit Saturday, since that’s when the artists are there.
Night two we have a dinner reservation at Tiny Boxwoods, only a few miles from our hotel. Like Smither Park, Tiny Boxwoods was consistently recommended to us, so how could we not go? The menu looks amazing – just a few main courses, but that’s usually a good sign. The fig and prosciutto pizza caught our eye, as well as the lamb burger and buffalo fillet with blue cheese risotto. Unfortunately we’re missing movie night (below) by one week. Next time!
Day Three (Sunday)
Houston Museum of Natural Science
A short drive (or 20-minute walk) from our hotel, the Houston Museum of Natural Science looks absolutely perfect for my son. Dinosaurs, ancient Egyptian artifacts, a Hall of Chemistry, a 2000-carat blue topaz, a temporary exhibit on Sherlock Holmes and scientific observation – this could easily be the highlight of the trip! We’re planning on arriving right when they open at 9am and spending several hours there.
Golden Dim Sum
We love dim sum, especially for Sunday brunch, and Golden Dim Sum was highly recommended by several Houston connections. Bring on the pork buns, sesame balls, shrimp dumplings, and red bean pancakes!
Hermann Park is close to our hotel and looks like a great place to get outside and play for an afternoon. We may take out a pedal boat, or explore the Japanese garden, or just take a Frisbee and play. No idea how long we’ll stay. I want to leave part of Sunday afternoon open for spontaneous exploration as well.
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If you’re ever in Houston, be sure to stop by the beautiful Japanese Garden 🌳🌳 I definitely could’ve spent all day there! . . . #japanesegarden #houston #houstontx #texas #roadtrip #garden #pond #bridge #koi #koifish #fish #travel #instatravel #traveler #travelersofinstagram #adventure #wanderlust #latergram
Sammy’s Wild Game Grill
Another restaurant recommendation from local friends, Sammy’s Wild Game Grill looks perfect for my son, who always orders crazy things when we travel. According to the website, Sammy’s serves: “Water Buffalo, Bison, Venison, Antelope, Elk, Camel, Kangaroo, Goat, Ostrich, Lamb, Wild Boar, Pheasant, Rabbit, Duck, Iguana, Python, Alpaca, Llama, and Alligator”. Usually we’d have to go to several continents to find all of that! I’m a huge wild boar fan. My son loves venison, pheasant, and duck, but I would guess he’ll go for some far more exotic dishes. Stay tuned!
Day Four (Monday)
Battleship Texas State Historic Site
Our flight isn’t until early afternoon, so it seems to work perfectly to spend a couple hours at the Battleship Texas State Historic Site before heading to the airport. We’re excited to explore, and climb around, the battleship. Neither of us has been on a battleship before! Local friends with kids say it belongs on our “must-do” list.
This schedule is still flexible! I’d love to check out the Rothko Chapel and its murals and Broken Obelisk, and the underground cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park looks interesting. Please provide feedback on what else we should add in. And if there’s something that you don’t think will work as I’ve set it out, I definitely need to know that! Per my introduction, I want to have the coolest three days possible with a food and science-loving 10-year-old. Please comment below or message me!
Find More Texas Sweepstakes
I mentioned it above, but be sure to enter the Find More Texas Sweepstakes to win a similar trip! It runs through July 13, 2018.
Note: This trip is sponsored by Travel Texas. I am 100% in charge of our itinerary and content. Thank you to Claudia Laroye for the featured photo from Space Center Houston.