Planning a trip to the Lone Star State’s largest city? Along with a sizable population and sprawling footprint, the Space City is packed with restaurants, entertainment, parks, museums, and awesome Houston activities for every interest. Although you may be tempted to take a hint from Houston’s legendary astronauts and perform some detailed analysis on your itinerary options, we have a better idea. We’ll help you spend less time planning your trip and more time taking advantage of fun things to do in Houston with this helpful article, which outlines some of the best ways to spend your time in the Bayou City.
Dine at Houston’s best restaurants
Though it’s known as the Space City, Houston’s dining scene is the farthest thing away from vacuum-sealed astronaut food. Here, you can find just about every cuisine, from Mexican (check out Oaxaca-inspired Xochi) to Japanese (like Uchi). But let’s not forget about the Texas essentials, too. For that classic Tex-Mex kick, head to El Tiempo Cantina or Irma's Southwest, and for finger-lickin’-good barbecue, you’ll want to go to The Pit Room. Hungry for a classy business lunch or a romantic dinner? Some of Houston’s very best restaurants include the Barcelona-inspired BCN Taste & Tradition, Potente for modern twists on Italian classics, and Southeast Asian-influenced AQUI.
Shoot for the stars at the Space City’s space-themed attractions
If you always wanted to be an astronaut when you grew up, Space Center Houston is probably the closest you’ll get to living out that dream without heading back to college to study astrophysics. One of the most popular Houston activities, this iconic educational institution covers the entire history of space exploration, from the Gemini missions to the space shuttle. Some highlights include the actual space suits worn by famous astronauts like Sally Ride and Ed White, spacecraft like the Apollo 17 Command Module, and a replica of the space shuttle. To cross off more space-themed bucket list items, visit the NASA Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center, where astronauts and scientists pioneered space travel. To infinity, and beyond!
Catch one of Houston’s famous sports teams in action
Searching for things to do in Downtown Houston? Here’s some good news for sports fans: you don’t need to venture far to watch the game. And since a whopping six professional sports teams call Houston home, you can pretty much always count on a home game somewhere in town. At Minute Maid Park, you’ll find the Houston Astros baseball team running the bases, and at the Toyota Center, the Houston Rockets basketball team shoots hoops. Side note, the Toyota Center is just a couple blocks from Stay Alfred on Caroline Street. For more excitement, marvel at the Houston Dynamos and Houston Dash soccer squads’ fancy footwork at the BBVA Compass Stadium or head out of Downtown to the NRG Stadium for the Houston Texans (football) or AVENA Stadium for the Houston SaberCats (rugby).
Keep the party going all night at Bayou City’s bars
If you’re looking for things to do in Houston at night, you’re in luck. This city works hard and plays hard, with a vibrant nightlife scene that rivals any of its fellow major metropolises. In Downtown Houston, why not sample some whiskeys at Reserve 101 or wines from around the world at La Carafe. If you’re in the mood to bar hop, create your own bar crawl around Market Square Park, which is surrounded by a variety of eclectic bars, all within steps of each other. Start at The Pastry War, which gets the evening started early with a daily happy hour, then jump over to Dean's Downtown for classic cocktails or Notsuoh for craft beer and poetry readings.
When it comes to things to do in Houston, Friday night offers endless possibilities. Grab a drink at a happy hour, then catch a show at Warehouse Live, see a play at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, or laugh out loud at a comedy show at The Music Box Theater.
Find family-friendly fun at these things to do in Houston with kids
On the hunt for things to do in Houston today with family? Take the kids to the Museum District, which may not sound like the most thrilling part of town, but we can guarantee that it’s a fantastic place to spend a day. This area features the Houston Zoo, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Children’s Museum of Houston, so there’s no shortage of hands-on excitement. Over 6,000 animals, including a white rhinoceros, a rescued sea turtle, and a giant octopus, call the 55-acre zoo home, and the habitats were designed to replicate their natural landscapes as much as possible.
If the weather’s nice, spend some time in the great outdoors at Discovery Green. This Downtown Houston park has a playground, a pond where you can kayak, and lots of funky sculptures, plus it’s only a 12-minute walk from Stay Alfred on Fannin Street. Looking for more? Other fantastic things to do in Houston with kids include the Downtown Aquarium, The Health Museum, and the sprawling Buffalo Bayou Park.
Plan your visit around exciting Houston events
If you’ve ever wanted to have a quintessential Texan experience, plan you trip to coincide with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which runs for three weeks every year between late February and early March. For each year since 1932, the rodeo has drawn cowboys and cowgirls from far and wide to compete in events like barrel racing, bull riding, and more – all for a good cause, since the event supports scholarships for local kids. Even if rodeo itself isn’t your thing, the event is definitely worth a visit for the mouthwatering barbecue food and big-name concerts.
No matter what brings you to the Space City, you’re sure to have a visit that’s truly out of this world.