I would have to say that, like any other city, Houston can be as good or as bad a place to raise children as you make it.
There are tons of family-oriented things to do in and around town and your children would definitely grow up being exposed to other cultures… Events like the International Festival and Rodeo have children’s areas, we have a Children’s Museum, The Museum of Natural Sciences, The Musuem of Fine Arts, The Museum of Modern Art, The Menil Collection and teh Rothco Chapel.
Admission to the Museums of Fine Arts and Modern Arts is free on Thursdays, The Menil Collection and Rothco Chapel are always free. I’ve never been to the Children’s Museum, but I’m sure it’s not very expensive. All of the Museums get together and have Museum District Day every summer, with lots of events at the museums and free admission for everyone. Independent art projects in Houston Include the Orange Show of Houston, which helps people see art in everyday things and make art out of unusual objects and the Art Car Museum, which shows mainly art cars, but also art made of other things. The Annual Houston Art Car Parade is one of the biggest in the world. The Blaffer Gallery, a small, Gallery-Style Museum on the campus of the University of Houston, attracts world-renowned artists and their works and admission is always free. There is also a wonderful Zoo in Houston and we have an extremely active theatre district as well as a Symphony, an Opera, and a Ballet.
Living within the city limits of Houston is iffy, as some neighborhoods, like the 3rd and 5th wards are definitely not good places to raise children, but areas like Memorial, West University or River Oaks are. Also, you need to be careful which schools your children would attend.
In HISD, most of the schools aren’t that great, but there are some excellent and affordable private schools in town. Once you get into the more suburban areas (outside the loop) the schools get better. Katy, Klein and Friendswood all have excellent public schools and are fairly close to Houston itself.