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Citizen Enfants

An Insider Guide To Houston, Texas with Natalie Steen

Mum-of-three Natalie Steen tells Citizen Enfants why Houston, Texas is a great place to travel with children.

Digital content creator Natalie Steen gives us the inside track on where to stay, eat, and hang out with (and without) little ones in the Lone Star state’s biggest city.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 

I am the creator of The Nat Note, a weekly, fashion-focused newsletter that delivers ready-to-shop style suggestions for women, kids and the home in signature collages – the ‘Notes’. I have been sharing curated shopping edits since 2017 and they are a reflection of my style – fresh, colourful and inventive. I’m a Cuban-American based in Houston, Texas and a former attorney. I’m also a mother of three: Whit (aged five), George (almost three) and Nell (aged one).

When is the best time to visit Houston with children?

I’d suggest avoiding the summer months, because the heat can be pretty excruciating. The rest of the year gets my green light – especially as fall turns to winter and as winter turns to early spring.

Which hotels should we check into for a family-friendly stay? 

The Houstonian, The Post Oak Hotel, and Thompson Houston are all great for families and very welcoming of little ones.

Where should we take kids for breakfast? 

Avalon Diner, Goode Company Taqueria, Tiny Boxwoods, who serve delicious food and kid-favourite dishes such as egg sandwiches (Avalon) and pancakes (Tiny).

What are the sights to see with children?

The James Turrell Skyspace is a magical spot to enjoy with children; the structure is located on the Rice University Campus and is available to the public throughout the day. It offers a unique experience for adults – who can appreciate the dynamic light spectrum – and children will enjoy running and rolling around on the nearby grass. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic.

Where can we take them to play?

To the playgrounds and museums. The Commons at Hermann Park is a newly-opened space with several playgrounds and gardens, and we also love The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and the Children’s Museum of Houston.

Your favourite family-friendly restaurants?

Don’t leave without trying a chocolate chip cookie from Tiny’s Milk & Cookies. My kids also love the smoothies and snow cones from Bebidas. Or end the day at Nonno’s Pizza, which offers pure-90s pizza-parlour nostalgia (complete with a mini arcade!).

Where do you shop for your kids in Houston? 

And to shop for yourself?

If I’m shopping in-person (rather than online) then I’m shopping vintage from Cheeky Vintage or Window Shop. I also love popping into Courtney Barton, Kick Pleat and St. Bernard.

If mums have a few hours sans enfants where should they go? 

Hire a babysitter at your hotel and enjoy a parents’ night out at March or The Marigold Club (opening next month!). For an escape during the day, the Trellis Spa at The Houstonian hotel is lovely.

The best things to do and see in Houston overall with kids?

Houston’s nickname is ‘Space City’ for a reason – so a visit to NASA seems like the obvious suggestion here. While it’s not necessarily conveniently located, its significance to the city and country as a whole cannot be overstated. You’ll leave with an appreciation for the history of the space programme, and its role in shaping Houston.

Any top tips for visiting Houston with children? 

Visit during Rodeo season (late February – early March). The Houston Livestock and Rodeo is the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world, and a very unique experience. From the food and the fair rides to the nightly live concert experience – the Rodeo is a Houston must-do.

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