The first thing an expat may realize is that children are not as independent in Houston as they may have been in their home country. Younger children are often only seen in the presence of their parents. Older children not of driving age, generally rely on their parents to drive them from place to place, activity to activity. There are both safety and distance reasons for this.
Houston is a very large metropolitan city with busy streets and a lot of traffic, often lacking sidewalks in neighborhoods and no designated bicycle paths. Play grounds can usually only be found in parks. Luckily, there are a lot of parks in Houston and many families can be seen having BBQs and playing games with their children on the weekends.
Many parents prefer the outskirts of Houston with quieter family-friendly suburbs, often indicating “We Love Our Children” and “Children Play Here” through signs on roads to alert drivers. Many suburbs also include a community pool and play ground areas within the neighborhood.