Inspired by Inside Atlanta, a series created by Atlanta Expert, Kate Parham Kordsmeier, we'd like to introduce Inside Houston. Each month, we'll be interviewing prominent Houstonians on their favorite things to eat, see and do in the Bayou City. Last month, we spoke with Vanessa O'Donnell, owner of Ooh La La Dessert Boutique.
This month, we're sitting down with Kelly Davis, founder of the Houston Moms Blog, a Houston-based site that offers practical information, personal stories and advice for families in the Houston metro area. Their popular Family Directory has become an essential guide for many parents in the Bayou City looking for more information and guidance on where to go for things like family photo shoots, birthday parties and summer camps, as well as essentials like medical facilities, schools and childcare, and postpartum or pregnancy support.
Davis, a long-time Houstonian and mother of two, started the Houston Moms Blog in an effort to help make the city feel a little less overwhelming for moms and families. "Houston is such a huge place," Davis said. "My goal is to make it feel a little bit smaller."
With over a million page views per year and more than 30,000 social media followers, the Houston Moms Blog connects Houston-area moms both online and off. The site also hosts a variety of family-friendly events year-round and has more than a dozen contributors from around the city posting experiences and inspiration — all in an effort to promote a small-town community feel in the fourth largest city in the country.
Overseeing the site — and being a parent herself — provides Davis with a keen insight on how families with kids of all ages can explore and appreciate Houston, including advice on some of the best family-friendly events, activities and sites for locals, transplants and visitors alike.
I live in ... “a suburb on Houston’s west side. It’s super family-friendly. From the activities to the restaurants — everything is geared toward families. It’s such a perfect fit for a family with two small kids.”
You can find me ... “shuttling kids to and from school and extracurriculars. We have a million and one activities that consume our weekly schedule. Thankfully, weekends are a little slower paced, but during the week it’s pretty bananas.”
I wish people knew ... “that even though Houston is one of the largest cities in the United States, we still value our southern roots. We say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ We hold doors for other people. We wave to our neighbors. Pay it forward in the Chick-fil-A line. Even though it’s such a big city and a big place to live, we value those pleasantries.”
It's dinner time. I'm headed to ... “With kids, our favorite place to eat is probably Lupe Tortillas, especially the locations that have an awesome play area. If I can sit on the patio and watch them play and at the same time drink a margarita and eat some chips and queso, bring it on!
“Without kids, we don’t necessarily have a go-to. We love trying new restaurants, so usually it’s a toss-up as to where we end up. If I had to pick one place, though, I’d say Max’s Wine Dive. The overall atmosphere is just our speed, and I love that they do classic foods — with a twist.”
Houston’s best-kept secret is ... “its arts scene. I’ve been to some really fantastic museums that are off the beaten path, as well as small neighborhood theaters. There are also great satellite museums, like the Houston Museum of Natural Science Sugar Land satellite campus. There’s so much more to Houston’s arts scene than just the Museum District.”
When I'm playing tourist, I like to go to ... “an area on the outskirts of Houston and soak up all that they have to do. We will take a day trip to Conroe, for example, and enjoy the lake and some of the fun restaurants there. We might go to Galveston to play on the beach and eat on the strand. We love finding one specific part of town and then really taking a day to explore all that it has to offer.”
When I want to unwind, I go to ... “my house. I’m constantly driving all over the place, so when I want to unwind, I like to stay home, maybe lounge around in my backyard with a glass of wine. That’s my happy place.”
My favorite place to get fresh air in the area is ... “one of the nearby hike and bike trails — places I can hook up the trailer on my bicycle and take a family bike ride. Houston has so many good ones.”
My favorite weekend activities in the Houston metro area ... “depend on the seasons! During the fall, winter, and spring months, we love anything outside. We love restaurants with patios and going to parks. We love outdoor sporting events. We love to ride bikes. We like to go to the little farms — Blessington Farms is hands down my favorite — as well as seasonal festivals and fairs. In the summertime, we love to swim, head to the beach or find water-related activities to help keep us cool.”
I like to spend money at ... “boutiques and storefronts in outdoor shopping areas, like Sugar Land Town Square, and farmer’s markets. I love to support local when I can.”
The thing I love most about Houston is ... “the people — absolutely the people. Houston is such a melting pot. It’s so diverse and so fun. Everybody I run into has an interesting story and something to add to my life.”