With so many different things to do in Houston, deciding what to do on a trip there can be overwhelming. From museums, to parks, to rodeos, there is never a dull day in Houston, Texas. The city’s rich history, unique culture and excellent entertainment make it stand apart from other major cities, even cities within Texas, as a vacation destination. Read on to learn more about some special things to do that Houston has to offer, and how you can make the most of even a weekend trip.
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1. Museum of Fine Arts
If you appreciate art and the finer things in life, then spending an afternoon wandering through the exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts is a must. The exhibitions frequently rotate, so even if you have already been to the Museum of Fine Arts, it is worth it to revisit, since the exhibitions change over time. The exhibitions range from colonial narratives to documentary photography to art from optical illusionists, so there is almost guaranteed to be something interesting for everyone, even people who are not art fanatics.
2. The Menil Collection
If the Museum of Fine Arts was not enough art for you, look no further than The Menil Collection. The collection consists of over 17,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, books, photographs and drawings, that were all once privately owned by John de Menil and Dominique de Menil. Now that the Menil Foundation is a nonprofit, these artifacts are open to the public to enjoy.
3. Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park is one of the most well-known Houston landmarks, and for good reason. It is both a feat of engineering and a popular spot for the perfect Instagram photo. The cascading water evokes a sense of peace, creating a sort of nature refuge in the middle of the huge city. The waterwall is surrounded by trees and grass, making this park the perfect place to stop, relax and simply take in the beauty that Houston, Texas brings to the table. Notably, about 11,000 gallons of water fall every minute in this water park.
4. Space Center
Who doesn’t love outer space! The Space Center, located in Houston, Texas is a crowd pleaser for adults and children alike. The space center pioneers education programs for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as showcasing amazing exhibits for visitors. Exhibits include “Mission Mars,” which discusses the challenges and progress made in sending humans to planet Mars. There is also an incredibly comprehensive spacesuit collection from over the years, complete with scientific explanations for how each individual spacesuit works in low-pressure, low-gravity environements.
5. Houston Botanic Garden
The Houston Botanic Garden is perfect for those seeking a serene and beautiful activity. The Houston Botanic Garden celebrates plants native to to region, and the sheer amount of biodiversity Houston has to offer. There are also regular events hosted in the Houston Botanic Garden, which could completely elevate the experience. Events include workout and yoga classes taught in the midst of the natural beauty of the garden, art classes, gardening tutorials, cooking classes, and walking food and drink tours around the gardens. Even with all of these events, the Botanic Garden is just as fun to get lost in with no event or activity in mind.
6. Cockrell Butterfly Center
For people who enjoy plants and nature, the Cockrell Butterfly Center is a gorgeous, immersive place to go. It is best known for its living butterfly habitat, where people can walk through and gaze at a myriad of butterfly species. The Cockrell Butterfly Center does not simply house butterflies. It also contains a rainforest conservatory and many plants from all over. The Butterfly Center is a quick, fun and easy activity to fill your time on a trip to Houston, Texas.
7. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Get a taste of authentic Texas culture at a real-life rodeo. For a few weeks in March, Houston hosts the annual Livestock Show and Rodeo. This event is far from simply a rodeo, as there is plenty of food, music and entertainment besides the rodeo. The rodeo and livestock shows, however, remain the main attractions. In terms of things to do, this event is probably the most bang for your buck, since tickets start at about $24, and you can spend the entire day enjoying Texas culture. From barbequeue to country music and Latin pop, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo truly offers something for everyone, young and old. If you do not have the stomach to watch a rodeo, there are also plenty of ongoing livestock shows, so you can enjoy the animals without nail-biting apprehension.
8. National Museum of Funeral History
Though it sounds slightly scary, or even downright odd, you will likely not see anything like the National Museum of Funeral History, located in Houston, Texas, anywhere else in the country. Satisfy your morbid curiosities by learning about different burial traditions and rituals from around the world. This museum covers everything from grieving customs from the 19th century, to the jazz funerals from New Orleans. The scope of this museum stretches well beyond the borders of the United States, going as far as Ghana to explore their unique fantasy coffins, or transporting museum-goers to Vatican City to learn about a comprehensive history of pope burials.
There may not be any beaches but when it comes to finding fun things to do in Houston, there are a plethora of options (beyond what’s on this list!) But hopefully, these versatile suggestions can help you plan the perfect trip to Houston, Texas.