Unique things to do in Houston!
You can always find the list of current event round up on this website... but here are some weird things you could do any day of the year!
This list does not include usual favorites... so you won't find the awesome Children's Museum here. Instead, you will find things with fewer crowds, some that are a little quirky, and all that are just as much fun as the well-known spots.
Below you will find: Restaurants, Parks, All-Time (Unusual) Favorites & Experiences. Check the links for holiday hours... and get to exploring!
Black Walnut at Conroe North Houston Regional Airport
This is the restaurant where you can watch planes and helicopters land... right next to your table! See the pictures HERE!
This wooden fortress is one of Houston's coolest playgrounds. Train, castles, ropes, bridges and more at Donovan Park!
This is not a Houston public park... and was built by the Houston Heights Association. The sign at the park and the website says it's for all kids to enjoy.
Travis Spark Park
This Houston park was designed by kids... and has dinosaur bones, a rock wall and very cool play structure.
Travis Spark Park is in the Houston Heights and is open to the public on evenings, weekends and holidays. See the pictures HERE!
Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area at Buffalo Bayou Park
Right along Buffalo Bayou, next to the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area at Buffalo Bayou Park!
Not only does it have a slide, climbing structures, water features and drums build in to the landscape, but this park has an amazing view of the downtown skyline, access to the Buffalo Bayou trails, has free parking, new restrooms at the Water Works building… and a newly uncovered historic cistern.
Also, very close by in the Buffalo Bayou Park is the Waugh Bat Colony and at dusk you can see hundreds of thousands of bats emerge!
(Need more parks? Find them HERE!)
All-time favorite unique things to do
Mysterious Red Button on Buffalo Bayou
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. (Update: The bubble hasn't been working every day, but there are plenty of other fun things to do!)
The Observation Deck is NOW CLOSED to the public.
JP Morgan Chase Tower Observation Deck - The JP Morgan Chase Building is 75 stories tall, making it the tallest building in Houston and one of the tallest buildings in the United States. The observation deck is on the 60th floor. During business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm, this observation deck is open to the public for free.
Tunnels Under Downtown
Under Downtown Houston, there are miles of tunnels with shops and restaurants! Go down during working hours and make your way from one side of downtown to the other.
Caninos Market & El Bolillo
Visit Canino’s Produce Market and be amazed by the cases of pastries at El Bolillo!
Art Car Museum
This funky museum is small and free. Stop by with the kids while you are in the Houston Heights!
Orange Show and Smither Park
Experience art so unique you can only find it at a monument celebrating oranges. Visit the Orange Show and then picnic at Smither Park!
Beer Can House
When you drive up, you think you’re in just any residential neighborhood until you see a shiny silver house with beer can chimes blowing in the wind.
This house belonged to John Milkovisch who was a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad. He was tired of mowing the grass, so in 1968 he started creating “art” by adding marbles and rocks to concrete and making unique lawn ornaments. When the yard was full, he started to cover the house in beer can siding.
Mounted Patrol Stables
Visiting the Houston Police Departments Mounted Patrol Stables might just be the coolest free thing to do in Houston. Bring your own carrots, quartered apples and peppermints, and you can stop in to visit the horses, during visiting hours.
Bring a giant bag of carrots... like the ones you get a Costco... because there are nearly 40 hungry horses to feed!
Waugh Bridge Bat Colony
Each night at dusk, watch hundreds of thousands of bats emerge in the middle of the city!
Engineer for a Day
Engineer for a Day is a pretty cool experience. Kids arrive in the morning and help open up the train barn, perform safety checks, wash the train and get the railroad ready for the day. After about an hour of preparations, they sit right next to the conductor and help take the train around to Kinder Station.
Feed the Giraffes
At the Houston Zoo, the Giraffe Feeding Platform opens to guests. You can walk up the ramp, so you are eye level with the animals, and feed them dinner.
For $7, you can buy 3 pieces of lettuce. Use a 3 for 1 person, or share them between kids.
It might seem like a lot of money for a little lettuce, but when you get face to face with the Masai giraffe family, and see their cute faces and long black tongues, you might just change your mind.
Once you are done feeding the giants, visit the Swap Shop. You can bring in things you found in nature, earn points, and swap for something new.
At the Cockrell Butterfly Center inside the Houston Museum of Natural Science, you can find lots of butterflies fluttering around, lots of interactive displays on insects... and a vending machine full of bugs. Some are chocolate coated, some are coated in sour cream and onion flavor... and none are something I want to eat.
My kids are much braver and enjoy the black ant chocolate cookies. The ants make them crunchy. (Yikes!) If you are bored with the usual Snickers bar, check out the butterfly center!
And if you are still looking for more fun, check out these suggestions for parking, exploring and eating, all in one stop. Here are over 30 Half-Day in Houston ideas!
Sherrie Holland says
Sherrie Holland says
Raina Willick says
Jill, this might be the best list you've ever made! Thank you!
Jill Jarvis says
Thanks Raina! I really appreciate it!
Ellen Rubin Delap says
Great ideas! Thanks for posting!
Jill Jarvis says
Sir Roark says
Wonderful site - so many ideas for my grandson - TY !
Jill Jarvis says