My sister lives in Houston, as does one of my cousins. So this is a city I'm going to get to know pretty well, probably. However, the only time I've been there was before my sister moved there, and I was visiting my cousin, who had one child at the time (now she has three), and the baby was 9 months old. So, these suggestions sort of reflect the period in which I was there, meaning, we had a baby in tow. :) And since I stayed at her house, I have no hotel suggestion.
However, here's what we did, and what I can suggest:
Museums and Shops
- Johnson Space Center: 1601 Nasa Parkway. I seriously had a blast here, and the baby didn't get bored! Besides visiting Historic Mission Control (where Apollo 13's MC was based--the actual event, I don't think the movie was filmed here), it's also a great museum with rotating exhibitions (when we were there it was Star Wars), a play place for kids, and fun science experiments (like figuring out how much you'd weigh on other planets, and what the soil makeup on the moon is). It is expensive. I think we had coupons or something. But kids under 3 are free, and kids from ages 4-11 have a reduced price. (There's also the CityPass, which I talk about below, and will save you a bundle.)
- Brazos Bookstore: 2421 Bissonnet Street OK, I had wayyy too much fun here. You know how much I like my independent book shops, and this is one of the best in the country! There's a great kids area and I even found a copy of The Stranger in French, which I didn't buy, and I kick myself for that a lot. If I'm ever back there, I will try to hunt it down again!
Houston Museum of Natural Science: 5555 Herman Park Drive. We had a lot of fun visiting the butterflies at the Butterfly Center, but there are also other cool things to see here. Kids and adults will like it.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: 1001 Bissonnet. I also love art museums, so this was a great place. Their collection of impressionists is.....impressive. (See what I did there?) I also really liked their selection of European art. You can buy tickets ahead of time on the website.
TAKE NOTE! If you're planning on doing the Space Center, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Museum of Fine Arts, I highly suggest getting a City Pass. Save yourself some money!
Freebirds: Like Chipotle, but better. Locations around the city.
We did take a trip to Galveston the same day we did NASA. In Galveston, we drove around and had dinner at Gaido's, which was enjoyable. There's a great view of the Gulf from inside, too! We took the baby to the beach and went wading for a bit. The water is like bath water. My parents have spent more time down there than I have, and they really like it. So it might be worth checking out, and of course spending a beach day, if that's your thing. You don't have to pay to use the beaches and there's street and lot parking. Fees for the parking vary.