Where to stay in Houston for families with kids: 5 Best areas

Hi guys, on my website, I already wrote articles about Houston without a car and for first-timers (I will put the link to them at the end of this article). In today’s article, I will help you to find the best places to stay in Houston for families with kids.

I will share with you what I believe are the best areas to stay in Houston for families, along with a map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Houston and recommend some of the best family-friendly hotels in Houston for visitors with various budgets.

Before going into the main topic of this article, let’s look at some facts about Houston.

Houston is Texas’s most populous city in the state of and the United States’ fourth-most populous city. It is located near the Gulf of Mexico in Southeast Texas and is known for its diverse population, strong economy, and cultural attractions.

The city is home to Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, which is operated by NASA and serves as the training center for astronauts and the mission control center for human spaceflight missions.

It has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous museums and cultural institutions such as The Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Menil Collection.

The city has a passionate sports fan base and hosts major sporting events. It is home to Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Astros (MLB), and Houston Dynamo (MLS). 

Houston has a number of parks and green spaces, including Hermann Park and Buffalo Bayou Park, which offer recreational opportunities and outdoor activities.

Due to its diverse and multicultural population, Houston is also known for its Tex-Mex cuisine, barbecue, and a wide range of international dining options.

Is Houston a good place to visit with family?

Yes, Houston is a fantastic place to visit with family as it offers a wide range of attractions for all ages. Your family can explore the Space Center Houston to learn about NASA’s history, visit the Houston Zoo, or enjoy interactive exhibits at the Museum of Natural Science. 

You can discover the Green Park for outdoor fun, and the Kemah Boardwalk for rides and waterfront dining. Foodies can savor diverse cuisines, and the city’s multicultural vibe ensures something for everyone.

Where to stay in Houston for families with kids?

The best areas to stay in Houston for families with kids are Downtown, Museum District/ Houston Zoo, Galleria/ Uptown, Northwest Houston, and NASA Johnson Space Center. These areas offer a variety of kid-friendly accommodations for all budgets.

Downtown and Museum District are the best locations for families who are looking for a mix of attractions, family-friendly neighborhoods, and easy access to public transportation. 

Galleria/ Uptown is an excellent base for shopping, dining, upscale hotels, and proximity to Memorial Park. If you prefer a quieter and more residential environment, Northwest Houston may be suitable. For a space-themed adventure, NASA Johnson Space Center is a unique choice.

On my trip to Houston, I stayed in Downtown at the 3-star Holiday Inn, an IHG Hotel. Its central location provides easy access to major sights both on foot and public transportation. It also offers a free shuttle to nearby attractions and restaurants, as well as a parking for those who drive.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Houston for families. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Houston for families with kids
Map of the best areas to stay in Houston for families with kids

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Houston, especially for families. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Houston have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Best areas to stay in Houston with family

1. Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston is a convenient area to stay in Houston for families with kids who want easy access to many of the city’s attractions, restaurants, and cultural amenities. 

Downtown is the heart of the city and is home to several popular attractions, including Discovery Green, the Downtown Aquarium, and Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros). These sites will offer entertainment and activities for both kids and adults.

Its central location also offers easy access to cultural institutions like the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

There are often events, concerts, and cultural festivals happening in downtown Houston, providing entertainment options for the whole family. The Theater District, with venues like the Houston Symphony and the Alley Theatre, also offers cultural experiences.

The downtown area is relatively walkable, making it easy to explore on foot. This can be especially convenient for families with strollers or young children..

Additionally, Downtown is well-connected to Houston’s public transportation system, including the METRORail, which can make it easier to get around the city without needing a car.

Downtown Houston offers a wide range of dining options, from family-friendly restaurants to upscale eateries. You’ll find a variety of cuisines to suit different tastes.

Best places to stay in Downtown Houston for family with kids:

  • Luxury ($$$): JW Marriott Houston Downtown, 5-star family-friendly hotel, centrally located on Main Street, Downtown Houston. It is a short walk from major sights such as the Alley Theater, Theatre District Houston, Wortham Center, Downtown Aquarium, and Discovery Green Park.
  • Mid-range ($$): AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown, great 4-star hotel that features family rooms, located within walking distance from Minute Maid Park, BBVA Stadium – Houston Dynamo, and Houston Toyota Center.
  • Budget ($): Holiday Inn Houston Downtown, an IHG Hotel, great 3-star children-friendly accommodation, welcomes children of all ages, but children 18 years and above will be charged as adults.

2. Museum District/ Houston Zoo

Museum District is a safe area for families who want a mix of educational experiences, outdoor activities, and the chance to explore cultural institutions. It’s particularly well-suited for families with an interest in museums and the natural world due to its concentration of educational attractions.

The Houston Zoo is a major highlight of this area. It’s a fantastic family-friendly attraction with a wide variety of animals and interactive exhibits that children will love. The zoo often hosts events and activities for families as well.

Hermann Park, located nearby, provides ample space for outdoor activities,  picnics, and walking. You can also take a ride on the Hermann Park Railroad or take a pedal boat ride on McGovern Lake.

This area is home to some of Houston’s most renowned museums, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. These museums offer educational and engaging exhibits suitable for both kids and adults.

Best places to stay in Houston in Museum District with kids:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Zaza Houston Museum District, 4-star family-friendly hotel, featuring an outdoor swimming pool, easy access to kid-friendly Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, and Hermann Park/Rice U Station. You can enjoy free shuttle service and free bikes.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Westin Houston Medical Center – Museum District, popular 4-star hotel, featuring spacious family rooms, paid airport transfer services, and free use of Bicycles. It is located within a short distance from Houston Zoo, Rice Stadium, and Rice University. 
  • Mid-range ($$): InterContinental Houston Medical Center, an IHG Hotel, 4-star kid-friendly hotel, featuring outdoor swimming pool and very breakfast. The hotel welcomes children of all ages but Children 18 years and above will be charged as adults.

3. Galleria/ Uptown

The Galleria/Uptown is a great base in Houston for families who enjoy shopping, dining, and staying in upscale accommodations.It is a popular and upscale district known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 

The Galleria Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in Texas and offers a wide variety of stores, including many kid-friendly options. It also has an indoor ice skating rink, which can be a fun family activity.

The Uptown area is home to numerous restaurants and eateries, ranging from casual to fine dining. You’ll find diverse culinary options to suit different tastes and preferences.

Memorial Park, one of Houston’s largest urban parks, is nearby and offers green spaces, jogging trails, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

The Galleria/Uptown area is centrally located, making it relatively easy to access other parts of Houston, including Downtown and the Museum District, by car or ride-sharing services like Ubers and Lyfts.

Best places to stay in Houston in Galleria/ Uptown with family:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria, 4-star hotel situated only 10 mins walk from Galleria shopping center, also offers shuttle service to places within 3 miles of the hotel. It has and outdoor swimming pool and family rooms.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hilton Garden Inn Houston/Galleria Area, 3-star children-friendly hotel, conveniently located within a short walk from  Galleria Shopping Mall. Also a short Uber ride from major attractions.
  • Budget ($): Drury Inn & Suites Houston Galleria, great family-friendly hotel that offers A daily hot breakfast, 24-hour fitness facility, and outdoor swimming pool.

4. Northwest Houston

Northwest Houston is a great choice for families who are looking for a more relaxed and budget-friendly stay and don’t mind a bit of travel to reach the city’s major attraction.

Accommodation options in Northwest Houston are often more budget-friendly compared to downtown or upscale areas like the Galleria/Uptown.

Northwest Houston is farther from many of Houston’s central attractions, such as the Museum District and Downtown. Expect longer travel times if you plan to visit these areas.

Best places to stay in Northwest Houston with children:


5. NASA Johnson Space Center

The NASA Johnson Space Center is a unique and exciting destination for families with kids who have an interest in space exploration and science. It’s located in the Clear Lake area of Houston, about 25 miles southeast of downtown. 

The NASA Johnson Space Center offers a wealth of educational and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. You can tour the Space Center and learn about space history, astronaut training, and current NASA missions.

Depending on your timing, you might have the opportunity to meet astronauts or witness astronaut training exercises, which can be inspiring for kids.

The Space Center often features hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and simulators that allow children to experience aspects of space exploration firsthand.

In addition to the Space Center itself, you can explore nearby attractions like Space Center Houston, which offers a space-themed playground and the “Tram Tour” that takes you behind the scenes at NASA.

The Clear Lake area is situated near the coast, offering scenic views of the bay and recreational opportunities like boating and fishing.

Best places to stay in NASA Johnson Space Center for families with kids:


In conclusion, Downtown, Museum District, Galleria/ Uptown, Northwest Houston, and NASA Johnson Space Center are the best places to stay in Houston for families with kids. These are popular areas for tourists to book hotels when visiting Houston, so your families will have plenty of things to do and see.

Keep in mind that Houston is a sprawling city, so having a car can be advantageous for exploring various neighborhoods and attractions.

If you don’t plan to rent a car, you can check this article: Best areas to stay in Houston without a car. I also recommend reading this article: safe areas to stay in Houston for first-time visitors.

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas and neighborhoods that you can stay during your family trip to Houston. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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