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Houston for first time in a decade... With kids


Horny04
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Moved from Houston almost 10 years ago to New England. My oldest was born there but hasn't been back since we moved. We're taking a trip in March during rodeo with the 4 kids. Looking for recommendations on stuff to do. My wife and I are already planning on visiting many of our old favorite restaurants, but I know a lot has changed since '12. Kids are currently 10, 8, 6 and 1.

 

We are going to take the kids to the rodeo one day for sure. Gonna do the space center and children's museum. I want to take the oldest 2 boys to a rockets game if I can. Wife wants to take daughter to do some girly stuff, so looking for some fun activities for me and the boys during the day.

 

What restaurants should I try to go to? Will have kids with us for these meals so we aren't looking for the fancy, high end stuff unfortunately. What's the best BBQ these days? Breakfast tacos? Have to get my fill of all the good stuff these Yankees are ignorant of.

 

Staying downtown but have rental minivan, so I can travel (in style). How safe is downtown these days, specifically around discovery green/convention center, to walk around with kids?

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3 minutes ago, Updawg said:

Maybe do Kemal or Galveston? Why stay downtown the whole time?

Pasadena, Texas city?

True.  My kids loved all that NASA stuff back in the day.  Also that whole Galveston ecosystem pyramid, as well.  All along with a fabulous dinner at Gaido's or Damian's.  [Caveat - I'm old.  have no idea about what is going on now.}

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Downtown is OK. Main St by the light rail stops are pretty hairy at any hour. Christ Church Cathedral is a beautiful church, and they do great work, but homeless people congregate there. You shouldn’t have any problems on Discovery Green and Market Square. Nice restaurants by Minute Maid Park. I’ve always liked the tunnels. Kind of a uniquely Houston thing. 

Seconded on Ninfa’s and Kim Son. J Bar M seems to be the new hotness in Eado bbq. 

Memorial Park has changed a great deal since you left. It’s really pretty now. 

Same goes for the Heights. Pretty much hike/bike paths with stores and restaurants from 6th to 25th. 
 

Good choice on the Rodeo. I’m happy to hear y’all are attending. 
 

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7 hours ago, Horny04 said:

 

Moved from Houston almost 10 years ago to New England. My oldest was born there but hasn't been back since we moved. We're taking a trip in March during rodeo with the 4 kids. Looking for recommendations on stuff to do. My wife and I are already planning on visiting many of our old favorite restaurants, but I know a lot has changed since '12. Kids are currently 10, 8, 6 and 1.

 

We are going to take the kids to the rodeo one day for sure. Gonna do the space center and children's museum. I want to take the oldest 2 boys to a rockets game if I can. Wife wants to take daughter to do some girly stuff, so looking for some fun activities for me and the boys during the day.

 

What restaurants should I try to go to? Will have kids with us for these meals so we aren't looking for the fancy, high end stuff unfortunately. What's the best BBQ these days? Breakfast tacos? Have to get my fill of all the good stuff these Yankees are ignorant of.

 

Staying downtown but have rental minivan, so I can travel (in style). How safe is downtown these days, specifically around discovery green/convention center, to walk around with kids?

 

Pinkertons or Truth for BBQ, chilosos for massive bfast tacos. All are heights ish and a small hop from downtown. 
 

asian food…go viet near is town or just got to Chinatown. or golden bowls? Or if they want something nicer, Mein. 
 

hillcroft area if y’all want Indian, Himalayan. 
 

You probably have plenty of these kind of things up north, but Cidercade in Eado looks cool, and I’m sure you and the kids will have fun. 
 

obviously the zoo is awesome, and you can spend another half day at the park doing the train and boats and walking the Japanese garden. 
 

as for the rest of the food, man it’s Houston. Every meal should be awesome without trying. 
 


 

 

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Check out CityPass for Houston and you can probably save some money on admission for these places. Right now, I think you can get the following:

Space Center Houston
Downtown Aquarium
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Choice Ticket 1: Choose between Houston Zoo OR Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Choice Ticket 2: Choose between Kemah Boardwalk All-Day Ride Pass OR Children’s Museum of Houston

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Thanks for the recs. The reason we chose downtown is the Marriott marquis, with its big lazy river pool and stuff we can do for downtime with the kids. Plus we stay at a lot of Marriott properties and like to earn points. We were originally going to do Disney that week but not willing to spend my dough on a sub par Disney experience, so we canceled and are last minute planning this trip.

I like the idea of the city pass and the minute maid park tour if they're doing it. Boys would enjoy as they're both baseball players. Also very familiar with zoo and Hermann Park as I spent 8 yrs in the med center there, might do that too.

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47 minutes ago, billfromlaketravis said:

I thought to CTJ was a Clear Lake guy? I'd say that's definitely the nice side of South Houston. 

He was literally conceived in the Gilley's parking lot. Do not doubt his Pasadena bona fides, sir.

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4 hours ago, SydneyCarton said:

Cidercade in Eado looks cool, and I’m sure you and the kids will have fun. 


cidercade has a long line in the evenings, thurs to Sunday. Go early. The pizza place next door is not bad, Southside flying pizza or ninfas / el tiempo two blocks away. They do not serve food at cidercade 

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25 minutes ago, billfromlaketravis said:

I looked up the original Gilley's location at 4500 Spencer Highway in the Get Down Dena. It's a used car lot now. 

Houston gonna Houston. 


they could open up a new ‘Gilleys’ and that place would be packed 

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Definitely do Kemah Boardwalk for a waterfront lunch and rides on the day you go to NASA. They’re  only 15 minutes apart. Unfortunately, it’s almost all Landry’s restaurants but that should be ok for young kids. 

Edited by TonyTexas
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I would skip Kemah, but if you're down there and don't want to eat at those ridiculous chains, go to Pier 6 in San Leon.

Truth, Pit Room, JBarM and Pinkerton's are all in the area

Brothers Taco's on the Eastside of downtown.

La Mexicana in Montrose is good for breakfast

Laredo Taqueria is also solid.

The area just on the other side of 59 from the Marquis has a ton of places...Truck Yard, Rodeo Goat, 8th Wonder, Vinny's Pizza.  Tiny Champions in that area is really good too.

 

I didn't know people still went to Kim Son.  There are a million better places.

 

 

 

Edit--Rockets tix should be cheap AF.

Edited by Tylerocks
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Subscribed. I'm visiting from April 2 - 6 with the family. Staying at the Omni near the Galleria.  We went to the kid's discovery place last time, and we'll probably do the Space Center this time.  What's are the board's views on Caracol and Kenny & Ziggy's?  Heard a lot about those places but I'm wondering if it's just hype.

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27 minutes ago, zlavydra said:

Subscribed. I'm visiting from April 2 - 6 with the family. Staying at the Omni near the Galleria.  We went to the kid's discovery place last time, and we'll probably do the Space Center this time.  What's are the board's views on Caracol and Kenny & Ziggy's?  Heard a lot about those places but I'm wondering if it's just hype.

Love Kenny & Ziggy's.  Last I saw though, they are closed as they are moving into the old Luby's Galleria location.  Reopening date is TBD. 

Updates will be here:  https://www.kennyandziggys.com/

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3 hours ago, Tylerocks said:

I didn't know people still went to Kim Son.  There are a million better places.

 

Point taken.  I was more focused on their hotel location and wasn't thinking about sending them out west to Little Saigon or Chinatown.  No doubt that the food is way better out that way.

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1 hour ago, tx 3 putt said:

 

Monument Inn has decent fried seafood, nice views of the bayou / ship channel.

You can take a tour of the Ship Channel. I did this when I was kid and thought it was really cool. It’s also free. 
 

https://porthouston.com/sam-houston-boat-tour/

Edited by billfromlaketravis
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21 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:


that’s a pretty good ride 

It's impressive to see the scale of the container ships. We all know what what one looks like on the back of a truck driving down the interstate. It's incredible to see 24,000 of them on a ship. 

I believe the tour guide also explains what the tug boat captains and ship channel pilots do in some detail. They are compensated very well, but that job takes nerves of steel. Aggy's Maritime Academy is one of very few of their academic programs I respect. 

Edited by billfromlaketravis
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38 minutes ago, zlavydra said:

Are Truth and Pinkertons wait-in-line-longer- than- a- kid- can- handle type places like Franklins? Or more along the lines of Stiles Switch?

They are both longer that this adult can handle.  I've done Blood Bros. a couple of times recently.  Manageable line and good 'cue.

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Like you, I did my stint in the med center area a while back, so I know you've experienced it, but I'll echo that when I took my boys on a trip down there a few years ago (10 and 12 at that age), they really loved the zoo and goofing around in Hermann park.  That whole area has really changed (Capt. Obvious), but that and the RIce VIllage area are still pretty cool, and it was a lot of fun to revisit some old places we used to hang out.

The Natural History museum is indeed awesome for kids.  Don't forget the butterfly museum portion.

If y'all are okay splitting up to take the older ones for dinner,  I took mine to the Mucky Duck for an early show and pub grub.  I don't even remember who it was, but they had a great time and still talk about it.  I love that place.

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1 hour ago, zlavydra said:

Are Truth and Pinkertons wait-in-line-longer- than- a- kid- can- handle type places like Franklins? Or more along the lines of Stiles Switch?


Truth bbq today @ noon. Almost zero line, but the douche in front of me had 7 orders. Moves fast 

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If you're here Mar 4-6 the Horns are playing at Minute Maid.
Thanks for the tip. Didn't think the season started yet. Boys (and I) would love this. Would only be able to make the game on 6th if they're still playing
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2 minutes ago, Horny04 said:
20 hours ago, UTPhil2006 said:
If you're here Mar 4-6 the Horns are playing at Minute Maid.

Thanks for the tip. Didn't think the season started yet. Boys (and I) would love this. Would only be able to make the game on 6th if they're still playing

It's a round robin so they will for sure be playing.  Texas vs. UCLA at 3pm.

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On 1/21/2022 at 8:47 AM, billfromlaketravis said:

I'd skip the Kemah Boardwalk. It isn't worth the drive from Downtown, and it could be cold as shit. 

Bill, what the fuck? That’s just a terrible take. 

@Horny04 I have 4 kids around your age group and we take the kids to Kemah a couple of times each year. There are plenty of rides and then they beg for shitty Landry’s food that they also get basically only when we visit the boardwalk. 

On 1/21/2022 at 10:02 AM, HenryJames said:

He was literally conceived in the Gilley's parking lot. Do not doubt his Pasadena bona fides, sir.

You rat bastard. 

A guy who was 3 years older than me and in the 6th grade with me beat my ass for being a smart aleck once. 6-8 years later he was paid by Sherwood Cryer to burn the closed Gilley’s down for insurance money. This idiot was busted by police running from the scene of the crime with a gas tank still in his possession about a mile down the street. 

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