Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Houston, Where Kids Can Play While Parents Eat
Relaxing on the patio with good food and drinks is something that, prior to kids, we used to love to do... and then we had kids, and going out to eat got nixed from our weekend plans. All seemed lost, and we resigned ourselves to spending our evenings out at Chick-fil-A, until we found these awesome Houston restaurants with play spaces for kids (we also spent an exhaustive amount of time eating near the green area at CityCentre).
Talk about a game changer—it's like these restaurants knew that we parents needed a space to unwind a bit with the kids in tow, and they deliver with patios that open up to enclosed playgrounds, sand pits (ok, this one is a catch-22 because of sand everywhere), and toys. For more ideas on where to eat around the city, visit our Houston Restaurant Guide for families.
Note that while some local favorites have not bounced back (yet?) from the pandemic, all of the family-friendly restaurants below are open for business again, including the areas that make them so special for our kids.
1. Jimmy Changas - Around Houston
Multiple locations around Houston. Find one closest to you here.
For a fresh take on Tex-Mex, you'll want to check out Jimmy Changas. The chain is local to Houston, has a tasty margarita menu and boasts an enclosed playground for the kids (sans the sand, for all those who aren't keen on their kids leaving in need of a bath). Insider tip: while the wait can get lengthy, by downloading the nowait app you can get in line before you even get there.
2. Crisp - Heights
2220 Bevis St.
Crisp is a gastropub in the Heights with a great beer on tap, wine and comfort foods, and it also has a great outdoor space. There are games and a fountain that my kids always get a kick out of playing around.
Swinging at The Shack. Photo courtesy of Rachael Cherry
3. The Shack Burger Resort - Cypress
16602 Cypress Rosehill Road
This is no ordinary burger joint; at The Shack you'll find unparalleled craft burgers, a wide selection of craft beer and an expansive outdoor play space for the kids, making this burger joint a must when it comes to family-friendly dining everyone will enjoy. Burgers and fries are ordered à la carte and offer unique combinations like The Bad Decision - a burger with grilled cheese sandwiches in place of the buns - and Southern Rock fries which are smothered in brisket and cheese.
4. Bellagreen - West Houston
801 Town & Country Blvd.
When it comes to healthy fare that is both delicious and made from premier local and organic ingredients, Bellagreen tops the list. Add in that the CityCentre location has a patio that opens up to the famed green space for kids, and you've hit the jackpot for family dining.
5. Texas Borders Bar & Grill 1093 - Richmond
26440 FM 1093 Road 400
With a blend of American fare and Tex-Mex favorites, an outdoor enclosed playground for the kiddos, daily specials and live music on the weekends, Texas Borders Bar & Grill 1093 is a preferred dining choice for Richmond and Katy locals. As if that weren't incentive enough, Kids Night! starts at 5PM and kids' meals cost only $1.99 with the purchase of an adult entree.
The playground is officially open at No Label Brewing Co. and ready for action. Photo courtesy of No Label Brewing Co.
6. No Label Brewing Company - Katy
5351 1st Street, Katy
Craft beer on tap, both indoor and outdoor picnic areas, a playground for the kids, an ever-changing selection of food trucks and a laid-back vibe that can't be beat - what more could you ask for when it comes to kicking back with friends and family on the weekends? Known for its unique location in an old rice silo, this brewery in Old Katy is a favorite destination for kids and adults alike. Love spending time at breweries? Check out our guide to the best family-friendly breweries Houston has to offer.
7. Little Matt's - West University Place
6203 Edloe St.
You'll find more than good food and a kid-friendly atmosphere at Little Matt's. There's an entire wall devoted to encouragement and support of children and families struggling with cancer. You can leave a wish and donate to charities Little Matt's supports.
8. Live Oak Grill - Sugar Land
12935 Dairy Ashford
There's not just one patio at Live Oak Grill, but two, allowing plenty of space for families to dine outside. The patio area is covered with fans (can I get an AMEN! for that one, especially for summer dining) and there's play equipment for the kids to stay occupied and entertained. You'll find a little bit of everything on the menu here, so dining out is easy for even the pickiest of eaters.
A patio with a view and green space for the kids can't be beat. Photo courtesy of Karbach Brewing Co.
9. Karbach Brewing Co. - Spring Branch
2032 Karbach Street
This brewery doesn't just boast amazing craft beer, but also has its own restaurant on site that's touted as having dynamic, world-class cuisine that pairs perfectly with the beer selection on tap. Combine this with a patio that allows space for the kids to be, well, kids and you have a weekend destination that can't be beat.
10. The Del - Uptown
6585 Del Monte Drive
This trendy Uptown spot serves brunch, lunch, and dinner featuring dressed up American classics and has a fabulous patio where you'll often find yard games.
The sandbox at Red River BBQ & Grill is ready and waiting for your kids to enjoy. Photo courtesy Red River BBQ & Grill via Facebook.
11. Red River BBQ & Grill - League City, Katy
1911 East Main St.
281-332-8086 or 281-578-3800
You'll find delicious barbeque items on the menu at Red River BBQ & Grill in League City and Katy, but you'll also find a huge outdoor space and a sandbox filled with kids toys to play with at the Katy location. Kids will love spending time playing with the sand while you enjoy eating your fill of barbeque and listening to live music on the patio.
12. Hubcap Grill - Heights
1133 W 19th St.
If you're looking to grab a great burger while your kids sprawl out on a massive patio, Hubcap Grill's Heights location is the place you want to be. While they have multiple other locations around Houston, the outdoor dining area in the Heights is totally laid back and allows kids to be noisy.
13. Jenni's Noodle House - Heights
602 East 20th St.
Kids can play inside of a giant concrete tube structure and draw on it with sidewalk chalk, as well as run around a green space right outside of Jenni's Noodle House in the Heights while you dine on tasty Vietnamese food.
14. MOD Pizza - Pearland
2682 Pearland Pkwy, Suite 120
Although there are multiple locations throughout Houston, MOD Pizza's Pearland spot has a playground where kids can play until they're nice and worn out after they eat their fill of delicious pizza.
This post originally published in June 2017.