My Family Took a Staycation in Houston {and You Should Too!}

We love working with fun partners like Hilton Hotels in order to bring our Houston families great ideas for quick getaways like in Houston!

There are so many times that I just want to blow off my schedule and to-do lists and just run away. Just me, my husband, and our two girls, running off to a paradise vacation spot. Quite often my husband will ask what I want to do that day and I will answer, “Run away to Mexico,” because sometimes life just gets to be too much. All I want is my family unit and maybe some tacos. 

But, alas, my husband is in a new job with a small amount of vacation time stored and I have deadlines to meet and schedules to follow. So vacations are few and far between. We love taking weekend trips to places, fitting them into our schedule without interrupting work, but we couldn’t think of any places we wanted to go for an upcoming weekend stay. I remembered that we created The Ultimate Summer Bucket List over on Houston Moms Blog, and I decided we would check some things off that list with a staycation. 

If you aren’t familiar with the term, a staycation is a vacation in your town. No to-do lists. No schedules or routines. You are exploring your city with your family, just as you would if you went to Chicago, San Francisco, or DC. In our staycation we decided on a few things :: new restaurants, new experiences, and good old family fun. We checked out Hilton’s “Texas-Sized” Savings Package for Houston to book our vacation at a discounted rate. 

To follow along with our whole trip,check out the staycation in our IG Stories Highlights

Our Staycation Hotel

We stayed at the brand-new Home2Hilton Suites in Westchase. It was so clean and the staff was super friendly! The pool was great and the gym was stocked with great equipment. {Pro-tip :: Use the water refill station in the gym of a hotel to fill up your water bottles!} The suite was huge, with a giant curtain separating our bed from the pull out couch our kiddos slept on. It was nice to have some privacy during the trip. Also, the room was super cold when we walked in, which is basically my number 1 requirement of a hotel room. It felt more like a studio apartment than a hotel room and there was FREE wifi. The breakfast was a great touch for my early risers {7:00am}. They also allow pets! Just let them know that you have a fur baby in your room and you are good to go. 

Westchase is a perfect area for a staycation because it is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the popular destinations in Houston. It’s close to every major freeway, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown, a prime vacation spot. 

Staycation Stops #1 & #2 :: FOOD


We made sure to try new restaurants while we were on our staycation, which basically just means NO Chick-Fil-A! For dinner on Friday we went to City Centre for bowling and pizza! Bowl and Barrel was the perfect family night location {Great for after-work Happy Hour, as well}. The look on my kid’s face when she saw the giant pretzel says it all! 

Family fun is definitely a goal of all of our vacations. Bowl and Barrel is running a “$10 Kids Bowl” special through August that includes one hour of bowling, shoe rental, lunch, and a drink from Sunday through Thursday from 11 am – 4 pm. If you need some cheap family fun, head over here! Also, if you book the  Houston Hilton “Texas-Sized” Savings offer, you’ll receive 15% off your food at Bowl & Barrel. 

Saturday morning we came back to City Centre, next door to Bowl and Barrel, for brunch at The General Public. BTW, with the Houston Hilton “Texas-Sized” Savings offer, you’ll also receive 15% off your food at Bowl & Barrel. 

The atmosphere at The General Public is very cool and the food is amazing. We started with the banana, honey, peanut butter toast and my kids were in love. They were so great to make some “mocktails” for my kiddos to go along with the Bloody Marys and Mimosas the adults were enjoying! They also have a great reverse Happy Hour from 9pm-11pm with $5 Burgers and $5 Bourbon for the adults-only time. My kid {and husband} enjoyed the burgers more than anything!

Staycation Stop #3 :: The Houston Museum of Natural Science

I’m going to admit that we go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science a lot, so this wasn’t technically a new thing for us to discover. The new part was we actually got to do all of the “extra” exhibits and movies that I am usually too cheap to pay for. 

The science museum is a huge gem for our city. They have the largest Paleontology Exhibit {Dinosaurs} in North America and over 1 million square feet of exhibits for you to explore. The Weiss Hall of Energy is my favorite floor at the museum because it helps me explain to my kids what my husband {and many of our friends and family members} do for work. I have family members in oil and gas {onshore and offshore}, nuclear power, fracking, and more, and the interactive map of Houston shows each and every one of those businesses. We also never miss the Butterfly Exhibit. It’s so cool to see the life stages of a butterfly  and walk around the rainforest with butterflies flying around. 

Another favorite part of the science museum is they take the seemingly boring-to-kid exhibits and make them interactive. My husband really loved “The Art of the Gunsmith”exhibit, but my kids were not into the guns. They had stations set up for the kids to stamp and learn about gun-making. At the end, if they got each station’s stamp, they received a cool commemorative coin.

The best part is, with Hilton’s “Texas-Sized” Savings offer, you’ll save up to 60% off your tickets at HMNS. That makes it wayyyy more likely that I am going to see the movies and buy tickets to the extra exhibits. This is definitely a great idea for a staycation vacation. 

Staycation Stop #4 :: The Houston Dynamo Game

The Dynamo game was the highlight of our trip, to be honest. It was so much fun! We were able to do the “Ultimate Fan Experience” and watch the players warm up on the field and meet the players afterwards. The Dynamo games are packed with dedicated soccer fans who cheer their team on with vigor! It is easy to see why, since the Houston Dynamo were the 2018 U.S. Open Cup champions. 

There was a rain delay for the game we went to, so we spent quite a while at Diesel’s Corner at BBVA. Hilton is now the presenting sponsor of this kid area and it is so much fun. They have free balloon creations, face painting, games, chalkboards, and more. It’s also perfectly located by a Chick Fil A stand. Genius. Starting August 20th, the corner will be completely transformed into a kids stadium experience and will be renamed ‘Diesel’s Corner presented by Hilton.’ We can’t wait to see that. 

A fun fact we learned, each season, the Houston Dynamo now hold ‘713’ nights catering specifically to Houston’s loyal fans with $7 tickets to the game, $3 beers, and $1 hot dogs. Be on the lookout for more games next season!

Staycation Stop #5 :: Hurricane Harbor Splashtown

Our final staycation activity was Hurricane Harbor Splashtown. We have not been to this location, mainly because of the negative reviews it has had recently. This year the park was purchased and revamped by Six Flags, so we were excited to see the changes. All season pass ticket holders from Six Flags Fiesta Texas or Six Flags Over Texas are granted complimentary (aka free) admission to Six Flags Splashtown!

We loved Splashtown. It was a cool environment. Instead of a feeling like a waterpark plopped down in the middle of a big city, it actually has a resort-like vacation feel to it. We loved the rides and all of the cool pools. Our favorite was the long, fast-ish lazy river. It was the perfect speed to relax in.

Overall, our staycation was so much fun. We were able to relax and get in some much needed family-time. These days, with how busy we all are, it is important to get in family time however we can. Even though we were 20 miles from our house, it felt like a true vacation. It’s even better when we can do it at such a great price. With the ‘Texas-Sized” Savings offer through Sept 30th at participating Hilton hotels and enjoy up to a $25 hotel credit along with up to 60% off local dining and experiences. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Connect with Hilton & “Texas-Sized” Savings…

San Antonio | Houston 

Enjoy up to a $25 hotel credit AND exclusive local discounts on all of the hottest attractions! 

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Jennifer is a native outside-the-loop’er growing up and living in the Richmond/Rosenberg area. She has a Bachelors in theology and political science from Texas Lutheran University and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University. She and her husband Greg met in 2010 through and fell in love on their first date. They married exactly one year later and have fought lovingly and constantly since. They have two amazingly brilliant girls, Kaitlyn {June 2013} and Elizabeth {June 2015} who Jen stays home with during the day. When Jen is not curled in a little ball rocking back and forth with Peppa Pig on in the background, she can be found crafting with her Silhouette and/or binge watching The Office for the millionth time. Jen has an uncanny ability to be comfortable in almost any situation put in front of her, thanks to growing up in politics and on the debate team. Before having kids of her own, she had the opportunity to help other kids through teaching, youth ministry, and generally being a helpful, kind soul. You can check out more about Jen on IG @themommymiddle.



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