The 5 “Must Do’s” For Your Spring Break in Houston (2023)

Being the fourth largest city in the US, you are guaranteed to have plenty of activities during your Spring Break in Houston. The variety of activities span from theme parks to zoos, from museums to arcades and everything in between. 

We chose to go to Houston as our destination for Spring Break 2022. For us, it was a bit of a last minute plan. But even with the last minute nature of our planning, we found hotels to be quite affordable and none of the activities we planned were sold out or overcrowded. 

For us, Houston is only a 4 hour drive. We typically drive down for one thing or another 3 or 4 times per year. We are fairly familiar with the city. We know the good places to eat. The fun places to play. Where we can get deals on hotel rooms. But with Houston being so large, we learn something new every trip!

In this travel review, we will provide recommendations and our expert opinions of the lay of the land for Spring Break in Houston. We will let you know where we stayed, plus provide several more recommendations based on where we have stayed in past trips. We will provide some insight into great places to eat. 

Where To Stay During Your Spring Break in Houston

For most of our trips to Houston, we like to stay in the Webster area. We enjoy staying here for several reasons. Hotels are almost always significantly cheaper than hotels in Houston. It is only about a 30 minute drive to the zoo, museum district, downtown, etc. Webster is also much closer to some of the other area attractions such as NASA and Kemah Boardwalk. Extra bonus: Galveston and its beaches are just another 30 miles down the road.

Another thing we like about staying in the Webster area is that many of the hotels are newer. This area has seen significant growth over the last 5-10 years. This has brought in tons of new hotels, restaurants, and shopping.

Here are our recommendations:

  • Tru by Hilton Houston Webster NASA– This is where we stayed during our Spring Break in Houston 2022. New hotel. Outdoor pool. Super friendly staff. Free breakfast. Our boys LOVED the automated pancake machine where they would watch their pancakes get poured, cooked, and delivered on a little conveyor belt. Great prices.
  • stayAPT Houston NASA Clear Lake– A hybrid hotel/apartment, these units also have a full kitchen. This is great for those looking to save some money by cooking some meals as opposed to always eating out. No breakfast, no pool.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Houston Webster– Newer property. Free breakfast. Outdoor pool. Some units are equipped with full kitchens to allow some meals to be prepared in your room. 
  • Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Houston NASA/Webster– Free breakfast. Indoor pool.

Hotels closer to Houston attractions:

All of the hotels listed above have a minimum guest rating of 4.5/5 stars. In our experience, guest ratings of 4.5 or higher virtually guarantees a great stay. If there aren’t any 4.5’s available or they are too pricey, ratings above 4.0 are usually solid bets as well.

Search for all Houston area hotels below:

Things to Do During Your Spring Break in Houston

We purchased a Houston CityPASS and it was the absolute best thing we could have done. It included ALL of the things we were going to do anyway, with HUGE cost savings. It saves you approximately 50% of what you would spend for all of the activities without a Houston CityPASS. When you purchase the CityPASS, you get access to:

  • Space Center Houston (NASA)

Then you choose four more attractions from this list:

  • Downtown Aquarium
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science 
  • Houston Zoo
  • Kemah Boardwalk
  • Children’s Museum Houston
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston

You do not need to choose your attractions in advance. Once you redeem your first attraction, the CityPass is valid for 9 days, including that first day. 

When we went, we chose to see the Children’s Museum Houston, Space Center Houston, Houston Zoo, Kemah Boardwalk, and the Downtown Aquarium. Here is our take on all of these attractions, specifically if you go during Spring Break. 

Space Center Houston was cool, but very crowded. They did not offer timed entry. You could show up at any time. Despite the crowds, we had fun. Many of the displays would have been appreciated more if the boys were a bit older. Ours were 3 and 6 at the time. Regardless, the boys were in amazement with how large many of the aircraft, rockets, shuttles, etc were. Plenty of good photo opps. They LOVED the gift shop. Our older boy, Ian, bought his Halloween costume there. It is a replica NASA space suit. In fact, ever since this visit, he has told us that he either wants to be an astronaut or a pilot when he grows up.

Children’s Museum Houston was our favorite attraction. This was our third time visiting but the first time for our younger boy, Easton. This attraction was crowded but not too bad. They had timed entry (you can still do timed entry with CityPASS with a quick phone call that CityPASS provides when you purchase). There is something here for all age ranges. Almost everything is interactive and challenges the kids’ minds. Our favorite area was where you could make your own rockets, parachutes, gliders, cars, etc and then test them in their launch and flight zones.

Houston Zoo- We really enjoyed the zoo, but the parking situation was awful. The parking is free, so it is hard to complain. However, there isn’t nearly enough parking to handle the amount of people that are in the area, especially during Spring Break in Houston. And because the area is so congested during Spring Break weeks, the police have lanes closed to help the flow of traffic, but it looked like that may have taken away some street parking. We made sure we went super early before the zoo opened, got a decent parking spot, and waited until the zoo opened. Once inside, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. 

Kemah Boardwalk- We always enjoy our time here. It was busy, but not too bad. One thing that we were warned about was that some rides would have long lines. They were still experiencing staff issues in March 2022. The employees that were there had more to do. Not ideal, but workable. We also went here fairly early in the day. It probably got worse later in the evening. This was the one place where we spent considerable money beyond what they CityPASS Houston covered. The boys wanted cotton candy, to play the carnival games, buy bubble machines, etc. Costly, but they had fun.

Downtown Aquarium- This was OK. The boys liked it. Jill and I are from the Chicago area, so we were used to the Shedd Aquarium. Any other aquarium is kind of blah. But again, the boys liked it and that is what matters. 

We would absolutely purchase a CityPASS Houston again. CityPASS offers their bundled attractions in many other cities also. Check out what they offer here. 

Places to Eat During Your Spring Break in Houston

I pride myself on finding dining options that have good food for both the adults and the kids. I even often go the extra step in finding dining establishments that have things for kids to DO. It is kind of my thing…

Here are places we have eaten at during our previous trips to Houston.

  • Jimmy Changas– A local Tex-Mex chain with locations all around Houston. Food is solid. Drinks are cold. And every location has an outdoor but fenced in play area. If you eat outside, you can enjoy your meal and drinks while your kids run and play (and occasionally come by for a few bites). 
  • Barnaby’s Cafe– They have several locations around Houston, but the museum district one is especially great. The kid’s menu is great. Parents will love their dishes. They have coloring pages and toys to play with. 
  • Little Matt’s– This restaurant was made FOR kids, not just a kids menu afterthought. They have an entire wall focused on encouragement for children with cancer. The owners of Little Matt’s donate toward childhood cancer research. 
  • Preslee’s– We love the close-knit neighborhood feel of this place. Even though we aren’t from Houston, whenever we visit here, we feel like we are. The hosts and patrons are so welcoming. The food is great. Drinks are great. The outdoor patio is spacious and has plenty of areas for kids to roam and play. 

Time to Start Planning Your Spring Break in Houston

While we managed to plan this trip last minute with minimal issues, we do recognize that we probably overpaid for our hotel. Especially when traveling during high traffic times such as Spring Break, it is always recommended to plan and book early to get the best pricing. As of the time of me writing this article (10/23/22), I found many hotels for Spring Break week for $85-120/night for 4.0+ guest rated hotels. 

Use our guide, book your hotels, buy your CityPass Houston and have an amazing time during your Spring Break in Houston!

And if you are driving to your Spring Break in Houston, be sure to check out some our Best Road Trip Games ideas!

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