We meticulously test and assess everything we review. Learn more about why you can trust us.

The Ultimate Guide of Things to Do in Houston

The Ultimate Guide of Things to Do in Houston

Houston has activities to spare, whether you’re in town for business, a quick weekend escape, or a family vacation. The city’s cuisine, retail, and cultural offerings, as well as its vibrant nightlife, are well-known across the country. 

Today, we’ll go over the many exciting things to do and see in Houston. The best part is that many of these things are either free or won’t break the bank.

Things to Do with Children 

Things to Do with Children

Houston has no shortage of family-friendly activities, from boat rides on Buffalo Bayou to the nation’s best children’s museum. Not just kids but all in the family can enjoy an exciting or instructive field trip in Houston.

Learn about the human body at The Health Museum

  • Website: The Health Museum
  • Address: 1515 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-521-1515

The Health Museum is an interactive, Magic School Bus–style journey through the human body, where children may learn about themselves, their future selves, and a wide range of medical topics.

Families can spend summers at SplashTown

  • Website: SplashTown
  • Address: 21300 I-45, Spring, TX 77373, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 281-355-3300

SplashTown is the largest and most diverse water park in Houston. The Stingray Racer is one of the thrill rides in the park and features six lanes of water slides that extend 55 feet in the air. 

There is also the Tornado, where brave riders start on a platform 75 feet in the air before being propelled along a tunnel 132 feet in length and hurled into a massive open-ended funnel.

However, do note that SplashTown is only open during the summertime.

Get lost in exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Houston

At the Children’s Museum of Houston, children can explore the museum’s 90,000 square feet of hands-on, bilingual exhibits showcasing cutting-edge research and innovation in science, technology, history, medicine, and the arts. 

Their exhibition Kidtropolis allows children to act as mayors and produce TV news reports. While the Invention Convention lets them build their inventions, FlowWorks allows them to experience the power of water. 

By the way, for kids under three, Tot Spot is an exciting playground full of exciting things to do.

Surround yourself with nature at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

At the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, children can learn about wildlife. More than five miles of nature trails take children through various ecosystems, such as woodland, pond, marsh, and meadow.

There are also educational seminars for children to learn more about plants and animals.

Become a scientist for the day at the Houston Museum of Natural Science 

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has over a dozen permanent exhibits for all in the family to love and explore. 

This includes a paleontology hall packed to the rafters with dinosaur relics, a groovy planetarium, a 3D IMAX Theater, and a spectacular butterfly exhibit.

Pretend to be art curators at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston 

With exciting family activities, including Creation Station, Family Packs, Target Free First Sundays, Story Time, and Family Tours, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is a place for families to experience art together while having fun.

Spend the day with wildlife at the Houston Zoo

  • Website: Houston Zoo
  • Address: 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-533-6500

At the Houston Zoo, children can get up and close to animals while learning about the natural habitat around them. 

The Houston Zoo has an array of adorable baby animals, a giraffe-feeding station, and more than anyone in the family can enjoy.

Take an adventure into space and beyond at the Space Center Houston

  • Website: Space Center Houston
  • Address: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 281-244-2100

Space Center Houston‘s Kids Space Place allows kids to fantasize about being astronauts and experience the wonders space holds. 

From the classic Build-A-Rocket to the cutting-edge Mission Kidtrol, kids can have a blast while learning about space and seeing how it may be used in real life.

Become potters for the day at The Mad Potter

  • Website: The Mad Potter
  • Address: 1963 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-807-8900

This paint-your-own pottery studio is a great place for youngsters to explore their creative sides and maybe even discover their inner Michelangelo.

Take a train ride with Houston Area Live Steamers

On the third Saturday of every month, Houston Area Live Steamers opens up the 4,700-foot track in Zube Park in Northwest Harris County and gives away free rides. 

Family members of all ages can enjoy the 15-minute rides on their model train.

Immerse yourself in a world of chocolate at The Chocolate Bar

Immerse yourself in a world of chocolate at The Chocolate Bar
  • Address: 2521 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-520-8888

The Chocolate Bar is stocked with chocolate versions of modern conveniences like cell phones, hand tools, and even cars. 

A large window in the back allows curious youngsters a peek at the kitchen where the chocolatey wonders are done. Moreover, their ice cream freezer houses a dozen unique flavors made of chocolate.

Take a stroll through Bayou Bend Collection Gardens 

Take a stroll through Bayou Bend Collection Gardens

The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is on 14 acres of meticulously maintained landscaping in Houston’s historic River Oaks district. 

One of the finest collections of American ceramics, paintings, and furnishings in the world is on display here, and travelers can explore it on their own or with a guide. 

Don’t worry about the cost because kids (up to age 12) go in for free.

Go to Houston Funplex for fun immersive adventures

  • Website: Houston Funplex
  • Address: 13700 Beechnut St, Houston, TX 77083, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 281-530-7777

No matter the weather, the whole family can have a good time at Houston Funplex. 

In Houston Funplex’s dedicated esports arena, five or more players can enjoy playing popular multiplayer games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. 

Even kids can have fun with games like Minecraft and Roblox. 

The roughly 200 arcade games range from old favorites like Pac-Man and Skee-Ball to newer titles like Injustice and Pump-It-Up, and all of them have award tickets that can be redeemed for prizes at the end of the day. 

There are virtual reality vehicle simulators and roller coasters in the park, but there’s plenty more to do except ride simulators. 

The Houston Funplex features a 40-lane bowling alley, restaurant, indoor go-kart track, and roller rink. 

Parents may take a break and let the kids run wild in a two-story, Texas-sized playground with arcade games, a treehouse, ball and foam pits, inflatables, slides, and trampolines. 

A Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a drop tower are just a few of the rides that make Funplex a legitimate amusement park, even though it is located entirely within a building.

FREE Things to Do in Houston for Kids and Adults

FREE Things to Do in Houston for Kids and Adults

Here are a few free things to do in Houston for children and adults. 

Learn about photography at the Houston Center for Photography 

The Houston Center For Photography hosts courses, a cutting-edge digital darkroom, and a wide variety of award-winning contemporary photography exhibitions.

Relax at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market

Visit the Urban Harvest Farmers Market on the weekend and unwind. Spend a day at the market window shopping for fresh fruit and trying out tasty complimentary samples.

Take your skateboards for a spin at Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark

If you like grinding and boarding, look no further than the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark. This skatepark is home to what is likely the world’s largest cradle.

Observe the art at the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum 

New works by established and emerging artists worldwide are showcased at Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum.  

Besides exhibits, they provide talks, special events, and a fantastic gift store stocked with one-of-a-kind books, trinkets, and souvenirs.

Take a trip to The Art Car Museum 

Take a trip to The Art Car Museum
  • Website: The Art Car Museum
  • Address: 140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-861-5526

The Art Car Museum, sometimes known as the “Garage Mahal,” is an extraordinary place. 

Only there can you find the Rochester, an automobile outfitted with antennae and wings, or the Honda motorcycle converted into a red rolling stiletto art car.

Watch the Twilight Epiphany Show 

Watch the Twilight Epiphany Show
  • Website: Twilight Epiphany Show
  • Address: Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, Houston, TX 77005, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-348-2787

James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University provides a spectacular light show at sunset or daybreak. 

In a forty-minute spectacle, the grass-covered pyramid glows and changes hues as sunlight reflects off the building. You can watch the show for no charge every other day besides Tuesday.

Walk around the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Visit the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft to view the works of local and international artists who use craft media such as fiber, metal, glass, clay, and wood. 

The Asher Gallery at the HCCC is home to cutting-edge displays and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. There is never an admission fee.

Check out the Lawndale Art Center

  • Website: Lawndale Art Center
  • Address: 4912 Main St, Houston, TX 77002, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-528-5858

The Lawndale Art Center is a Houston institution that is a must-see for every art lover. It is free to the public by means of appointment.

Remember the lives of those lost at the Holocaust Museum 

  • Website: Holocaust Museum Houston
  • Address: 5401 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-942-8000

Houston’s Holocaust Museum offers a somber, eye-opening look at the tragedies that rocked the entire world during World War Two, demonstrating how prejudice and hatred can spiral out of hand. 

The level of knowledge, the number of artifacts, and the assortment of tales make this the fourth-largest of its kind in the country. On Thursdays from 2 to 5 o’clock, admission to the museum is on the house. 

Catch a performance at the Miller Outdoor Theatre 

  • Website: Miller Outdoor Theatre 
  • Address: 6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 832-487-7102

The facility is open from March to November and features various performances such as ballet, dance, film, Shakespeare, and more. 

Pack a picnic and settle in for the show with your own alcoholic beverages because this theater in Hermann Park accepts BYOB.

Make contemporary art at Blaffer Art Museum 

  • Website: Blaffer Art Museum 
  • Address: 4173 Elgin St, Houston, TX 77004, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-743-9521

The Blaffer Art Museum is a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. 

Their goal is to use the museum’s many public events and exhibitions to encourage participation and dialogue among its many different types of visitors. 

From Wednesday to Sunday, everyone is welcome to attend for free.

Take part in the events at Discovery Green 

  • Website: Discovery Green 
  • Address: 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-400-7336

Discovery Green is a multi-use park where fun events are regularly held. Enjoy ice skating on Kinder Lake in the winter, and spend happy hours in the spring and fall listening to live performances by local musicians.

Watch a film screening at Market Square Park 

  • Website: Market Square Park 
  • Address: 301 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-650-3022

Market Square Park, a historic location, regularly shows movies for free and organizes other free events.

Take time to walk through and observe The Menil Collection 

  • Website: The Menil Collection 
  • Address: 1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-525-9400

More than sixteen thousand objects, from the Paleolithic age to the present day, make up the Menil Collection, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest collections of the twentieth century.

Cool off or take a selfie on humid days at Waterwall Park or 

Cool off or take a selfie on humid days at Waterwall Park
  • Website: Waterwall Park 
  • Address: 2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-850-8841

Waterwall Park is a tranquil spot for shoppers and visitors. It is a fountain designed to seem like a horseshoe of streaming water. 

Many people flock there to take the perfect selfie or to cool off. 

Take a boat tour from the Houston port 

Take a boat tour from the Houston port
  • Website: Sam Houston Boat Tour 
  • Address: 7300 Clinton Dr, Houston, TX 77020, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-670-2631

Hop aboard a boat for a guided tour of Houston’s port that lasts 90 minutes. Aboard the 90-passenger vessel, you can learn about the port’s past and see enormous ocean freighters and barges make their way along the 50-mile route. 

The tours run Tuesday through Saturday and are free with advance registration.

Relax at Marshall Lake

  • Website: Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve 
  • Address: 20215 Chasewood Park Dr, Houston, TX 77070, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-274-4299

This gorgeous 80-acre parcel of lush forested land encircling Marshall Lake is just what the doctor ordered when the hustle and bustle of downtown Houston gets a little much. 

Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve is well-loved by the community due to its abundance of picnic areas, sand volleyball court, fishing piers, and various simple and moderate paved trails.

Things to Do in Houston for Adults

Things to Do in Houston for Adults

Here are some things to do in Houston for adults. 

Catch a film at Rooftop Cinema Club 

Seeing a brand new, critically acclaimed film, what could be better? 

Doing so in the pleasant Houston evening air, with a glass of champagne in one hand, some tasty goodies in the other, and a breathtaking view of the cityscape on each side of the screen. 

Check the schedule of the highly regarded Rooftop Cinema Club to see what old and new films will be shown.

Go to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show 

Go to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show

Suppose you want to experience a range of cliches associated with Texans. In that case, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo provide more than your fill of yee-hawing, rope-slinging, cowboy-boot-wearing Lone Star entertainment. 

This indoor stadium hosts the world’s largest cattle show and has a barn area with lambs, calves, adorable little piglets, elaborate rodeo shows, and concerts.

Watch the Houston Rockets play at the Toyota Center

  • Website: Toyota Center
  • Address: 1510 Polk St, Houston, TX 77002, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-758-7200

The Toyota Center, where the NBA’s Houston Rockets play, is one of the country’s loudest and most exciting venues when it’s packed to the rafters.

Cheer for the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park

  • Website: Minute Maid Park
  • Address: 501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-259-8000

From April through October, Houston’s Major League Baseball team, the Houston Astros, calls Minute Maid Park home.

Although nothing beats hearing 41,000 cheering fans after a home run, this stadium also features locker room areas and holds concerts and events throughout the offseason. 

Watch an event at NRG Stadium 

Watch an event at NRG Stadium
  • Address: NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054, United States
  • Contact Info:  +1 832-667-1400

Monster trucks, rodeos, conferences, sold-out pop concerts, and family-friendly musicals are a few examples of the wide variety of events held at the NRG stadium throughout the year. 

One of NRG’s biggest draws is the NFL’s Houston Texans, who play their home games there. Regardless of the weather, the crowd always shows up in force.

Take a Brewery Tour 

Take a Brewery Tour

Houston is a city with a strong love for beer, so it’s no surprise that there are several small and medium-sized breweries in the area, many of which provide tours of their facilities.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company 

Eureka Heights Brew Co 

  • Website: Eureka Heights Brew Co 
  • Address: 941 W 18th St, Houston, TX 77008, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 832-953-4677

Drive a supercar at Grandsport Speedway 

Drive a supercar at Grandsport Speedway
  • Website: Grandsport Speedway
  • Address: First Street &, Avenue G, Hitchcock, TX 77563, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 409-986-7223

If your idea of fun in Houston entails high-octane speed and non-stop thrills, the supercar driving experience at the Grandsport Speedway should be at the top of your list. 

The hot lap experience, which should be reserved in advance online to avoid disappointment, allows participants to drive a stunning V10 Lamborghini Gallardo at terrifying speeds. 

Throughout the process, you’ll have the support of a trained instructor.

Take a selfie in front of the Houston Graffiti Building

Take a selfie in front of the Houston Graffiti Building
  • Address: 1503 Chartres St, Houston, TX 77003, United States

If you’re looking for a fresh profile photo to show off on social media, the Houston Graffiti Building is a great option. 

It’s nestled among a few blocks of repurposed factories, and every available surface is covered in vibrant street art like murals, slogans, scratchy tags, and a humongous sign proclaiming “Houston.”

Soar to new heights at the Lone Star Flight Museum

  • Website: Lone Star Flight Museum
  • Address: 11551 Aerospace Ave, Houston, TX 77034, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 346-708-2517

The Lone Star has more than its fair share of historically noteworthy aircraft, including models like the B-17 Flying Fortress, P-47 Thunderbolt, and F4U-5 Corsair stashed away in its hangars. 

The museum does an excellent job of teaching the basics of flight through various interactive exhibits, in addition to displaying more than 15 planes in excellent condition.

Have a delicious slice of pie at Houston House of Pies

  • Website: Houston House of Pies
  • Address: 6142 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77057, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-782-1290

A warm, homemade pie is a delight to the taste buds of just about everybody. 

This local treasure has been serving delicious pies for over 45 years, making it a Texas institution. 

Pick a favorite, whether it’s to go or to eat in, and enjoy it; the key lime, lemon, sweet potato, and buttermilk options are particularly well-liked among locals, but the truth is that they’re all delicious. 

Get lost at the quirky The Orange Show 

  • Website: The Orange Show
  • Address: 2401 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-926-6368

Located in eastern Houston, The Orange Show is a gigantic folk art installation created by Jefferson Davis McKissack over approximately 25 years. 

McKissack transformed the area into a maze-like museum-like stage full of sculptures, doors, and displays, all devoted to his favorite fruit, the orange, out of discarded materials, old tiles, and random bits and ends of junk metal.

Experience a good ol’ Houston pub crawl

Experience a good ol’ Houston pub crawl

One of the more exciting ways to see Houston is to join Houstonians on a pub crawl packed with drinks, chatter, and awful dancing moves. 

Participants will be led by a local to some of the best watering holes in town, where they will receive free shots, VIP treatment, and a whole lot of laughs as they visit a variety of bars and clubs, including one that turns from a tailor shop to a busy bar by night.

Pedal Saloon Houston 

  • Website: Pedal Saloon Houston 
  • Address: 430 Bremond St, Houston, TX 77006, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 832-356-4123

Nightly Spirits Ghost Tours 

Go throughout the city on a hop-on-hop-off bus 

  • Website: Houston City Tours
  • Address: 1302 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77002, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 832-388-8434

Taking passengers to Buffalo Bayou, the Museum District, BBVA Stadium, Minute Maid Park, the Theater District, and many other Houston hotspots, the double-decker buses make stops all over the city. 

While the open top provides an excellent opportunity to work on your tan, the prerecorded voice commentary makes it a learning experience.

Get the ultimate shopping experience at Tanger Outlets 

  • Website: Tanger Outlets
  • Address: 5885 Gulf Fwy, Texas City, TX 77591, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 281-534-4200

The Tanger Outlets are the perfect destination for shopping therapy. 

With over 80 outlet stores selling everything from high-end designer labels to more affordable brands like Adidas and Kate Spade, this shopping destination has something for every shopper. 

Have a good laugh at The Music Box Theater 

  • Website: The Music Box Theater
  • Address: 2623 Colquitt St, Houston, TX 77098, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-522-7722

The Music Box Theater has been a favorite of both locals and visitors for years because of its unique blend of live music and humorous comedy performed in an intimate club setting. 

Come here if you think a wonderful show should consist of drinking and watching cabaret acts.

Take horseback riding classes on Houston’s outskirts 

Take horseback riding classes on Houston’s outskirts

Tours on horseback are available at ranches on the city’s outskirts, and they are enjoyable for riders of all experience levels. 

It’s suitable for riders of all experience levels, including complete novices, as long as a knowledgeable guide is in charge. 

You may get horseback riding tours at the following location.

Centerline Training

  • Website: Centerline Training 
  • Address: Aldine Westfield Stables at 19907 Aldine Westfield Road Houston, TX, US 77338
  • Contact Info: +1 281-798-6718

Foodie lovers can take a food tour

Foodie lovers can take a food tour

Houston is known for its generous serving sizes, high-quality cuisine, and unparalleled Tex-Mex influence. 

Whether in Downtown or The Heights, a guided culinary tour will allow you to sample up to ten different types of cuisine. 

If you want more out of your culinary tour than just filling your face, consider booking a haunted one. Listed below is Houston’s most well-known food tour provider. 

Best Bites Houston

  • Website: Best Bites Houston
  • Address: 700 Louisiana St Ste 3950, Houston, TX 77002, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 832-413-1764

Spend the evening with the Houston Symphony Concert

There is nothing like taking in a performance by the world-class Houston Symphony at Jones Hall on Louisiana St. Regularly. 

The main stage hosts live concerts showcasing new compositions and adaptations of classics like Beethoven’s Fifth. 

In the warmer months, the orchestra makes a detour to the Miller Outdoor Theatre to perform for a captivated crowd beneath the stars.

Watch a lively show at Stages 

  • Website: Stages
  • Address: 800 Rosine St, Houston, TX 77019, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-527-0123

Most of the nightly events at Stages, Houston’s largest performing arts facility outside the downtown theater district, are experimental. 

Still, the venue does present a wide range of engaging plays and foot-tapping musicals.

Shop til you drop at the 19th Street in The Heights

Boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, toy stores, and a live music venue make up this Houston gem, which is always bustling with activity. 

After spending all your money on trinkets, you can relax with a latte or a pinot grigio at one of the many little cafes that dot this hip street in the Heights.

Treat yourself to a spa day 

Treat yourself to a spa day

Get some much-needed zen at any number of Houston’s spas and wellness centers. Here are two of Houston’s best spas for a spa day. 

Trellis Spa 

  • Website: Trellis Spa
  • Address: 111 N Post Oak Ln, Houston, TX 77024, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-685-6790

Trellis offers spa day packages for groups that include a variety of carefully curated treatment combinations. 

You can also relax in the Trellis lounge by the fireplace or take in the scenery from their garden-view patio.

Milk and Honey 

  • Website:  Milk and Honey
  • Address: 2800 Kirby Dr a134, Houston, TX 77098, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 713-231-0250

Milk and Honey provide services using all-organic, non-chemically produced materials. 

Waxing, hair, and natural nail therapy are just some of the natural beauty services offered here, making this a one-stop shop on the road to total detoxification.

Watch a play at The Hobby Center for Performing Arts

Located in the middle of Houston’s bustling downtown, the famous Hobby Center is often considered the city’s best theater complex. 

There are two theaters within the complex, the larger Sarofim Hall (with 2,650 seats), the smaller Zilkha Theatre (with 500 seats), and the Humphreys School of Musical Theater. 

There are a wide variety of plays, musicals, and concerts to choose from, so there’s something for everyone.

Take a wine tasting class with friends or family

  • Website:  The Cellar Door 
  • Address: 829 Mason Rd #280, Katy, TX 77450, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 281-599-3303

A wine-making and tasting class may be more your speed if you’re not into beer and prefer a more complex blend of grapes. 

About thirty minutes west of Houston, in the city of Katy, wine lovers can indulge in a private tasting at The Cellar Door and learn from expert tasters how to distinguish between merlot and chardonnay. 

While walk-ins are always welcome, the best deals are found when you reserve your spot in advance online.

Race till your heart’s content at Houston Motorsports Park 

  • Website: Houston Motorsports Park 
  • Address: 11620 N Lake Houston Pkwy, Houston, TX 77044, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 281-458-1972

The asphalt Houston Motorsports Park is motorsports’ Mecca, regularly hosting events such as oval races, drag races, and street meet-ups. 

Related topics