17 Excellent Ways To Enjoy The Summer In Houston


Rewind a few years ago, and Houston hit the national news headlines in a big way. The catalyst was Forbes’ annual edition of “America’s Coolest Cities.” Guess which city ranked number one?

If you guessed Houston, and the surrounding communities, including The Woodlands and Spring, you probably read the article, along with the many professionals and families that began a slow and steady migration in the direction of the nation’s fourth largest city.

But Houston isn’t just a mecca for job opportunities and an economic cost of living. It is also rapidly becoming one of the nation’s major cultural centers as well. No matter when you arrive in Houston, you will have your pick of fun things to do. Houston’s summer season is coming fast, these activities should top your list of ways to beat the heat and enjoy summer.

Miller Outdoor Theater

Spend one evening enjoying the free entertainment at Miller Outdoor Theater and you’ll be hooked. Arrive early to nab free covered seating or bring a picnic to enjoy the vast green lawn space. They also have a generous selection of daytime events for kids.  This an Amazing event for families, but remember, no pets allowed at the theater.

Discovery Green

Discovery Green sits on 12 acres in the center of downtown Houston. This kid-friendly, dog-friendly park has it all — outdoor movie nights, daytime yoga classes, weekday kid activities, farmers markets, art fairs, and fabulous seasonal features (come back during winter and you can go ice-skating!)

Summer In Houston

Houston boasts such a widespread assortment of museum attractions that the area of the city where most of them are located is now known as the Museum District. Many museums host monthly free days and some museums are always free.
Especially worthy of note:
  • The Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  • The Contemporary Arts Museum.
  • The Houston Children’s Museum.
  • The Menil Museum.

          Houston Zoo
A few years ago, USA Today ran a readers’ choice poll, asking its readers to pick the top 10 zoos in America. The Houston Zoo came in at number seven (not too shabby in a nation that numbers more than 2,400 zoos)!

This fabulous local nonprofit is as nature-centric as it gets, with a packed schedule of kid-friendly day and evening programs plus field trips, walks, hikes, and trips. Budding young scientists can enjoy week-long science camps while the younger set enjoys afternoon story hour.

Memorial Park is one of Houston’s true natural treasures. Situated right in the heart of the city, the Park offers over 30 walking/hiking and biking trails, a summer free family pool, a full playground with picnic areas and lots of tree shade, an indoor workout center, croquet and tennis courts, and sports fields.

Buffalo Bayou runs throughout the city, which means the Partnership oversees several indoor and outdoor sites with tremendous natural beauty and historical and ecological interest. Especially worthy of note is the Buffalo Bayou Nature Park near the Port of Houston, the Buffalo Bayou Cistern near downtown Houston, and plenty of summer activities and tours.

Located not too far from Memorial Park, the Houston Arboretum has been a time-honored Houston treasure for decades. Kids love the indoor nature discovery center and the many summer programs and classes. Adults also love it for the evening adventures, beer and wine socials, art and photography classes, and many family-friendly events.

 Summer In Houston
While technically not located within the Houston metro area, who can resist venturing a hop, skip, and jump outside town when there is a beach this close by? And not just any beach, either Galveston Island is a real island connected by a massive arching bridge and featuring The Strand, a historic shopping, and eatery district that dates back to the turn of the century. Make plans when you know traffic should be light.

Located near the Museum District, DiverseWorks is just one of so very many art spaces to enjoy in the Houston area. Featuring visual, literary and performing art installations, and events, there is always something new to experience.

         Downtown Houston
Locals can remember a time when the downtown Houston area was run-down and largely vacant in some areas. Well, not anymore. Today’s downtown Houston is a literal melting pot of variety, activity, culture, cuisine, shopping, nightlife, historic architecture, pubs, and so much more.

Houston Public Library

Houston has a public library system unlike any other. But the downtown branch, in particular, is a must-see (and a great place to go for a little air-conditioned break in the heat of summer)! The architecture is gorgeous and the reading material and special events are extensive and very kid-friendly.

Theater District

If you love plays, musicals, dance, ballet, opera, the symphony, art, comedy, and shows, you will simply love the diversity and variety of Houston’s downtown Theater District.

Sports in Houston

Lest we neglect sports, regardless of your favorite, Houston has a team to root for. With nine sports stadiums and recently hosting this year’s Super Bowl, you can cheer for all the football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, and other sports you can handle.

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

This amazing architectural wonder features a 64-foot wall of water that pumps 78,500 gallons every 3+ hours. The grassy knoll beneath it offers a perfect place for a summer picnic.

Hermann Park Conservancy

Paddle boat with ducks, geese, fish, and turtles, and then hop on over to the Hermann Park Railroad and enjoy a ride or head for the Zoo to get up close and personal with the wildlife. You can also use the many walking trails to head over and enjoy a free event at Miller Theater.

Summer in Houston

Saint Arnold Brewery

Free beer? Beer tours? This local brewery — Houston’s oldest craft brewery — is a true friend to Houstonians and visitors with its free tours, beer, and edibles; making it a must-visit stop for summer refreshment!

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