Address: Preston Street Bridge, Preston and Smith, Downtown Houston
Appropriate Age: Any age
(12/30/19: This isn't always working... so plan on THESE close by activities to save the day!)
Have you heard about the Big Bubble in the Buffalo Bayou? Have you seen the mysterious red button on the Preston Street Bridge? A friend told us that their 5 year old's favorite thing to do in Houston was to, "burp the bayou", and we just had to know what this meant.
In the middle of the brick column on the south(ish) side of the Preston Street Bridge, is a little red button. When you press it, the water it bayou will bubble for several seconds. I realize that this is just a button and some bubbles, but if you are going to visit it, you really have all the materials you need for a great adventure.
First off, there is no sign above this little button. It is just a mysterious red button in the middle of Downtown Houston. You don't know whether you should press it or not. And if you do press it, what will happen? Where should you look? And say you see or hear the bubbles, what is causing it? Did you wake a bayou monster? And if a boat is traveling down the river, what would happen if you timed the bubbles just right?
For best results, tell your kids you hear there is a mysterious red button in Downtown Houston and you need to find out what it does. Get them close to the bridge and see if they can find it. Once you find it, ask for ideas on what it might do and see who is brave enough to push it.
Once pressed, try to find the bubbles and ask what could be causing them. Finish up with several minutes of pressing the button, running to the side of the bridge, watching the bubbles and giggling with delight.
The bubbles are to aerate the slow moving water. The water is aerated automatically throughout the day and whenever a brave passerby presses the button.
Go HERE to see what others are saying about this mysterious big bubble. Go HERE to get things to do in Houston, like this goofy adventure, in your inbox each week! And go (affiliate) HERE to learn all about Houston's Bayous.
Tiffany, Adam & Samuel says
We are so glad you had fun. We loved it. We pushed the button quite a few times. We walked on the path underneath for awhile afterwards. Then we went back and pushed the button a couple of more times. We are planning to go back during the bayou pontoon boat rides to burp a boat!
Thanks so much for the tip. We loved it!!
Thanks for this! My neighbor and I took our kiddos recently. We all enjoyed the 'hunt' for the button and then pushing it to see the bubble. The kids pushed it at least a dozen times, lol. Afterwards we walked around exploring, enjoyed packed lunches and used coupons to visit the downtown aquarium. Great day!
Great! Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love this part of the city.
I'm wanting to take my daughter to the JP Morgan Observation Deck and then to Burp the Bayou. We are new to the area and in fact live outside of Houston, can you tell me the best route to get to the Observation Deck and then to the Bayou? If at all possible using the metrorail, she loves trains and would love to ride this.
Jill Jarvis says
Tonya - This sounds fun! You can take MetroRail. Park at Hermann Park or in Midtown next to Natachees. Take METRORail north to the Preston Street Station. Facing the direction the train is going, the building and button will be on your left. On Preston Street, walk until you hit the bridge over the bayou. This is where you will find the button. (Note that with all the rain, there is a chance the bubble won't be too big!) If you turn around and walk back towards the train tracks, take a right on Milam and head to the tallest building... the JP Morgan Chase Tower! This is open weekdays during working hours. Just go in and tell the guard you want to go to the observation deck.