Where to Eat with Kids Around Houston

Before I became a parent, there are a lot of things I never considered doing or saw myself doing later on down the road. Eating at McDonald’s was definitely one of those things. However, when the summer heat hits Texas and your kids really need a place to run around with air conditioning…. McDonald’s starts to sound better and better.


Around the same time I finally caved to the tune of McDonald’s, I also discovered these Secret Life of Pets gems. Another thing I didn’t realize I had in me: I felt this strange urge to collect these  toys. I don’t even think my kids cared about them that much, but mark my words we were now officially collectors.


This will forever be known as the summer that The Secret Life of Pets toys controlled my life….

It’s like an innocent, “one-time” trip to McDonald’s turned into an obsession and I knew we had to find some new options quick. So with that, I give you a few of our favorite places to eat with kids in the Houston area.

1. Valley Ranch in Spring


The food here is decent, and it’s always a plus if even my kids will eat it. A simple meat plate with some fries and beans wins my kids over every time. The play room is an added bonus, although the best part about this place is the electric train they have running above the restaurant. My kids are more into watching the train than the toys.


2. Maryam’s Cafe in the Heights


This place is a little pricey, but worth it. They offer a lot of vegetarian friendly dishes as well as breakfast items so there’s a little bit of something for everyone. We usually get my kids the hummus plate and the portions here are huge! You can easily get away with sharing a plate. I have been a few times and the playroom in the back is usually not too crowded, although it is a little small. I have been maybe one time where it was hard to find a table near the play room so we ended up eating in the front and then moving to the back. This place also has yummy cupcakes and ice cream to boot!

3. Santa Fe Flats in Spring


My husband and I were so excited to find this place! They have a fun patio with a sandbox, and my kids love anyplace that they can get away with eating chips & queso for dinner. While this play area is not indoors, it stays fairly shaded. The kids can also get an ice cream or cookie with their meal, so there’s no arguing with that!


4. Chuck E. Cheese’s


OK, I know… this isn’t much better than McDonald’s. This is another place I swore I would never take my kids,  but if you go during the week, you can’t beat the $5.99 buffet. My kids are both under 3 as well, so they eat free. $10 gets you about 40 tokens and that easily lasts us 2 trips (but only because mine are so little, you might not be so lucky if you have older kids). My kids LOVE the Chuck E. Cheese song as well. We have a blast when we come and we never turn down pizza for lunch.

I know there are some other great options around Houston, but this is a list of where we frequent in our area. Big Kid Small City also has an excellent list of Kid Friendly places to check out as well.

Here are some more of our top restaurant picks, but some of these are more of a drive for us:

Frey’s Backyard in Tomball | Tin Roof BBQ in Kingwood| The Shack Burger Resort in Cypress | The Boot in Houston Heights also has a great patio & sandbox


Where do you like to frequent for lunch with kids?


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