Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth most populous city in the country. With over 2 million residents, it’s no wonder there are so many fantastic things to do in Houston. This diverse area continues to grow in cultural cuisines, performing arts and exciting festivals. Check out our definitive guide to all of the fun things there are to do in Houston and see for yourself why Houston is the place to be.
Houston is an exciting city to visit with a culture like no other! There is definitely no shortage of things to do, see, and explore while you’re in town. If you’re on a budget, even better! There are endless things to do that are free for not only the locals but also for visitors! We’ve put together our list of the best free things to do in Houston.
One of the most exciting places to visit in Houston is the Contemporary Arts Museum. This Museum offers free admission for all, year-round! Not only can you see phenomenal exhibits that are changed throughout the year, but this museum also offers drop-in events for all ages where you and your family can participate in an interactive art experience.
Another free admission gem in the city of Houston is the Miller Outdoor Theatre. Here you can experience top-notch performances for free while lounging on the grassy hill of Hermann Park. Bring your lawn chair and a picnic, then sit back and enjoy! Check out the current performance schedule for Miller Outdoor Theatre to attend the next live musical event.
Skateboarders and rollerbladers, you must stop by the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark, one of the premier skateparks in the state! Grab your board, skates and protective gear, and enjoy grinding, flipping, and wheeling around this 30,000 square-foot park. Be sure to visit the Jamail Skatepark website for upcoming events!
Head over to Houston’s Art Car Museum for some funky, cool and artistic transformations of all types of cars. You’ll see cars covered in hand-painted flowers and buttons and others that have been totally transformed into evil bunnies and giant sea creatures! The Art Car Museum reopens soon with its newest exhibit. Check the website for the reopening date.
Wild, weird and wonderful is the Mexican free-tailed bat colony that lives under the Waugh Drive Bridge. One of the best-kept secrets in Houston can be viewed from the bat observation deck at Buffalo Bayou Park. As the sun goes down you can watch as over 1 million bats feed and fly. Trust us, it’s a sight to be seen!
For all the outdoor lovers, check out the beautiful and serene trails at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. You can hike or jog on one of the 13 trails or try your skills as a forest detective to complete the wildlife scavenger hunt. Bonus: the trails here are all free and dog-friendly, so leash up Fido and bring him along for a day of exploring!
From modern & contemporary art to American paintings & sculptures, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has it all. You could easily spend all day exploring the different exhibits and collections here. Lucky for you MFAH offers free admission on Thursdays to all, and anytime for participants in the Texas Lone Star Card program and Bank of America cardholders.
GreenStreet is the hub of entertainment in downtown Houston. The four-city clocks that makeup GreenSpace are filled with giant art installations, scrumptious culinary creations and jamming live entertainment. Located in the middle of GreenSpace is The Lawn, where free community events are held. Tuesday Tunes and Friday Flicks on the Lawn are a couple of these ongoing events. Check the GreenSpace event calendar for more fun free things to do in Houston.
Houston is full of kid-friendly attractions and new adventures for the whole family just within city limits. From museums and space centers to zoos and aquariums, here are the top 12 things to do in Houston with kids.
Kids of all ages will love to play at the Children’s Museum of Houston, and you’ll love that they’re learning while they do it. There are over 20 exhibits for you and your family to explore like the Power Science Lab, Maker Annex and Invention Convention–just to name a few! Admission is $12 for adults and children. Free Family Nights are hosted every Thursday night from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
With over 6,000 animals to see, there’s no way your kids will be bored when you visit Houston Zoo. There are 15 exhibits within the park to explore including the Texas Wetlands exhibit that is the home to native Texas animal species: whooping cranes, American alligators and bald eagles. Spend all day roaming the zoo, grab a snack at one of the onsite dining facilities or go shopping for a unique gift at the Trading Post. Ticket prices vary by time of day. Reserve a time slot online in advance. Free admission is available on the first Tuesday of every month from open to close.
What’s cooler than thinking about the infiniteness of outer space? Getting to tour a museum that’s all about outer space! View the Astronaut Gallery at Space Center Houston and learn all about the first pioneers of space exploration and how exploration has changed over time. There are so many great exhibits to tour throughout the Space Center, your kids will be begging not to leave. General admission is $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids 4-11. Discounted tickets are available for active and retired military with U.S. Military ID.
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is one of the permanent exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. You’ll have a magical experience as you explore the home of hundreds of species of exotic butterflies! You and the kids can walk through the Rainforest Conservatory and experience for yourself the delicateness of these beautiful creatures. Take learning to the next level with a visit to the Brown Hall of Entomology where kids get a hands-on learning experience with insects and other creepy crawlers. General admission is $12 for adults and $12 for kids.
Check out the fun there is at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences like the planetarium, the observatory and the giant green screen theater.
The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, located in The Galleria, is truly a sight to be seen. You’ll be mesmerized as you watch the water cascade over this monumental fountain, 11,000 gallons of water per minute to be exact! Pack a picnic lunch and create a day of unforgettable memories. Admission to the park is free.
Not your average public park, Discovery Green is filled with art installations and murals, green spaces and restaurants. The park also hosts multiple events throughout the year including live music, fitness classes, cultural festivals and flea markets. The kids will love getting to run and play in the wide-open spaces here or splash around at the larger-than-life water features like Gateway Fountain and Mistree. Admission to the park is free.
Travel to the depths of the ocean and see for yourself 300 different species of sea life that live at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium. There are so many exhibits to experience like the Shipwreck where you can see clownfish, groupers, a giant Pacific octopus and more! Make your trip extra special by adding on a ticket to Stingray Reef where you’ll have the chance to feed a stingray! General admission is $14.99 for adults and $12.99 for kids under 42”. Grab an All-Day pass for the best value and full access to all of the underwater exhibits.
A nursery rhyme comes to life in Houston, TX. Old MacDonald’s Farm is the perfect place for a family outing! The Farm has a petting zoo, a swimming pool, pony and train rides, a pumpkin patch and more. All activities are included in the price of admission, $15.00 per person.
All aboard! Grab the kids and head over to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, a place that is about everything trains. Explore the inside of an old railroad car, play with model trains or enjoy a guided tour throughout the museum. General admission is $7.50 for adults and $5 for children ages 2-14.
If you’re looking to wind down the day and find a tranquil place for the family, head to the Japanese Garden at Hermann Park. As you wander the stone paths, you will find beautiful Japanese maples, cherry blossoms and crepe myrtles. Listen as the waterfall features pour into the pond or enjoy a peaceful resting place at the teahouse featured in the garden. You’ll find the garden’s entrance near the Pioneer Memorial obelisk.
If you think the symphony is no place for a kid, you haven’t seen the upcoming performance list. Coming to the Houston Symphony in January 2022 is Harry Potter in Concert. Relive the sixth installment of the Harry Potter saga with a live symphony orchestra as the movie is shown in HD. Tickets are on sale now starting at $34.00 each.
If you are planning to visit Houston during the summer months, take a day to relax, cool down and have a blast at Hurricane Harbor SplashTown. The 48-acre waterpark is filled from end to end with family fun rides, thrill rides and kiddie rides. There are also several food vendors on-site serving made-to-order meals, sweet treats and salty snacks. Season passes for 2022 start at $49.99 each and include admission to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. One-time tickets start at $25.00 each.
Houston is a city that comes alive at night and its nightlife scene really deserves to be explored. While the word “nightlife” may conjure up visions of bars and clubs, there is plenty more to see and do in Houston during the evening hours. No matter the reason you’re out after dark in Houston, there are plenty of places that will welcome you in! Here’s a broad list of a few fun things to do in Houston at night.
If you’re in town on a Sunday during football season, consider picking up a ticket to catch the Houston Texans play at the NRG Stadium. There’s nothing in the world quite like a live football game! Make it a full day of fun with a tailgate party for your pre-game celebrations.
Broadway Across America brings some of the best theater shows in the world to Houston. The plays brought here are the best of the best from New York’s Broadway and London’s West End theaters, so you know you’re in for a memorable show! Check out the best of Broadway as it returns to Houston’s Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
If live music is what you’re into, the iconic music store Cactus Music has local talent perform most Saturday nights. Come on a good night, and you might just get to see Houston’s best musicians in action before they make it big! Best of all, performances at Cactus Music are free!
Want to enjoy a night out on the town without having to drive all the way into town? Plan an evening at Scott Gertner’s Rhythm Room in the Bayou Bend neighborhood. This live entertainment venue hosts some of Houston’s top talents. Regular events include Skybar Wednesdays and Flawless Thursdays, plus weekly performances by David DeLaGarza, Rick Marcel and Melanie Covington. Bottle service and a full dinner menu are available nightly.
Feel like grabbing a late-night bite? Many of Houston’s restaurants are open until 2:00 a.m. or later on weekends! A few places are even open 24 Hours. Katz’s Deli “never kloses” and is the perfect spot for a late-night nosh. If you’re really hungry, go for the New York-style pastrami sandwich.
As you begin to plan your next Houston vacation, be sure to check out the beautifully renovated accommodations at InTown Suites. All of our properties in the Houston Metropolitan area offer Premium Suites with fully renovated kitchens, totally upgraded bathrooms and endless additions of comfort, convenience and style.
See the full list of our Houston hotels below. Each property boasts weekly and monthly rates to provide the most affordable Houston vacation.
What are you waiting for? Book one of our Houston hotels today, and we’ll see you in H-Town!