A Day In: Houston, Texas

It’s not Dallas and it sure doesn’t look much like olde San Antone.  The largest city in the lone star state has a lot of BIG things to offer: a thriving port, headquarters of the world’s oil and gas companies and a thriving underground city.   But it also has many offerings for families.  Here’s a quick selection for a day in Houston.

Eat: Cottonwood

This outer loop restaurant is first and foremost a bar.  So if kids and bars are not your thing  we’ve got a back up restaurant for you to check out below (Pizzaro’s Pizza Napoletano).  But kids and bars are kinda my thing- especially finding one the merges the social aspect of the bar/restaurant with a kid friendly atmosphere.  Craft beer and food pairings are delicious and kids will enjoy the dogs lounging on the patio, life-size Jenga and bocce ball.

Cottonwood

 

Play: Discovery Green 

Playground at Discovery

I’m a huge fan of city parks.   I’ve found that when you are traveling for business or attending a conference etc. you are likely to be staying in a downtown hotel.  With all that city around you its hard to find spaces to play and while I have been known to sneak into a hotel ballroom in order to allow the bear to run in circles (again and again and again), its not optimal.   Located right by the convention center in downtown Houston Discovery Green has a large playground, open space and lots of activities- think splash pads in summer and ice skating in winter. It serves as the start/finish area for the Houston Marathon and offers outdoor concerts during the comfortable months.   Even better there are two permanent restaurants at the park- you’ll want to try out the Lake House with younger children, the Grove for those who can sit happily and quietly.   There is a running trail on site (running stroller delivery to your hotel available from http://www.babysaway.com) which is always a nice addition.

Restaurant at discovery

 

Learn: Sam Houston Park

Houston has an incredible zoo  and of course there is the Space Center and a great children’s museum.  These are fantastic offerings.  The Space Center is incredible, but I’m guessing you already know that.  Keeping with this downtown theme for our Play and Learn suggestions, Sam Houston Park sits in the City as a group of historic homes among skyscrapers and freeways.   Dating from the 1840’s on, this collection of fully restored properties serves as a physical history tour of how the city of Houston was built, replete with merchant mansions and slave quarters.   Surrounded by a large open park, the space allows older children to observe and learn, toddlers to run, and a safe strolling space for infants.

Theoldplace

 

 

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