Expat kids in Houston will fall in love with its abundant parks, Disney-designed aerospace centre and the roar of a home run at the Minute Maid Park.
The city is incredibly child-friendly, both in terms of the infrastructure in place to support families and the activities on hand to entertain the little ones.
Expat parents in Houston
Despite being the fourth-largest city in the country, Houston offers expat parents many of the perks of a smaller, suburban community.
Housing and living costs are below the national average. Even families with a single breadwinner can often afford a more spacious home and better quality of life than they're used to.
Most families look for accommodation outside the city centre. And whether they settle into an exclusive neighbourhood like River Oaks, a planned community like Sugar Land or the villages of Woodlands, most have little trouble finding a safe neighbourhood that suits them.
Parents must evaluate the educational landscape of an area before they move. Attendance at public schools in Houston is based on catchment zones, so they'll want to choose accordingly since some school districts perform better than others.
Furthermore, traffic can be treacherous in this ever-expanding metropolis. Parents will want to choose an area with easy-to-reach amenities that's close to work and school.
Parents can also take comfort in the exemplary standards of healthcare in Houston. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) contains multiple nationally ranking institutions, and the Texas Children’s Hospital is internationally renowned. The city's medical professionals are top-notch and expats only have to ensure they find appropriate health insurance to cover what can be high fees.
Expat kids in Houston
With its hot summers and mild winters, kids in Houston can spend most of the year exhausting themselves outside. And there's plenty to do indoors if the summer heat gets unbearable. One of the best things about living in the suburbs of Houston is that kids are likely to find playmates aplenty. Children can make friends fast, and more sociable kids often spend time playing games in their neighbours' yards and houses.
Parents can also sign up sporty children for one of the city's numerous youth athletic leagues. Nearly every sport is represented in some way, and teams are organised through churches, community centres and formal leagues – a fantastic way to introduce children to potential friends.
For indoor pursuits, the legendary Space Center Houston and Children’s Museum of Houston are popular attractions. Both offer interactive and educational experiences for kids. And even if expats tire of this routine, there's always an event in Houston to look forward to, such as the Livestock Show and Rodeo or the Renaissance Festival. Not to mention, the freshwater lakes of Galveston Bay are just an hour's drive away. Families can escape from the city's push and pull, rent a boat and spend the day water-skiing, tubing or just relaxing on the water.