Can you believe summer is almost over! Today is the last official Creating Really Awesome Free Trips post for awhile. Next Thursday, I will share a round up of all 30+ cities! I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts as much as me. I ‘m excited to plan a few road trip adventures with Andy this year. Key West is first up on our list, and we will most likely be in H-Town for Christmas where I will insist we do a few items on today’s list!
Hi! I am Taylor from Taylor Made showing you around Houston, TX! Houston is different from many big cities because it includes so many areas. I actually live in a suburb outside of Houston, but for us Houstonians, a 30 minute commute into town is nothing! Here are some of the thing I love to do with my family and friends without breaking the bank.
14 Free Things To Do in Houston:
1. Discovery Green Park: This park is awesome, it is 12 acres of green space located right smack dab in the middle of downtown. It has a splash pad and an awesome playground for kids, it has a few restaurants and an upscale bar. I love the super cool color blocked wall that is becoming a popular photo shoot background. There is also a stage that hosts free live bands.
2. Astros Game at Minute Maid Park: Home of the Houston Astros. Now, this isn’t totally free but you can get tickets in the”nose-bleed” section to a game for only $5.00 a ticket. Another plus is that kids 14 and under are free all summer long and on Sundays, your kids can run the bases after the game.
3. Farmers Markets: Houston has a TON of farmers Markets. I have even done a Farmers Market Bike Tour which is a 15 mile ride stopping at 3 farmers markets. I love them because even if you don’t buy anything (which isn’t possible) most of them have live bands, and artists and samples!
4. Shopping at 19th Street in the Heights: The Heights is an area of Houston with a rich culture. It is up and coming for the hip young crowd of Houston. It’s “inside the loop” (Houston terms for city living) but it is affordable. It has a cool vibe with unique restaurants and fun little shops. My little sister actually lives a few blocks from here.
5. Kemah Boardwalk
The Kemah Boardwalk is about 25 minutes from the city of Houston (in Texas we explain distance in minutes, ha!) It is located very close to NASA wish is also where I am located! I grew up going to the Boardwalk often but it is actually a huge tourist attraction. There is a nice hotel, a ton of restaurants and bars, games, rides, and a splash pad for the kids.
6. The Beach – Galveston: Galveston is not technically located in Houston, in fact someone could probably do a whole C.R.A.F.T. post just about free things to do here. But like I said before, Houston is huge and since its less than an hour drive, Houstonians would easily make a day trip of the beach. I am lucky enough to live in a great suburb that is located right in the middle of both. Between the seawall, the strand (eating and shopping) and the beach you could spend all day here! Parking at a spot on the seawall and packing a lunch make it totally free!
7. The Water Wall: This is Houston’s #1 most photographed location. At any given time, you can see a woman in her wedding dress and family portraits going on. It’s basically just a huge water fountain, but there is a lawn in from so you could bring a picnic too.
8. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: This last one isn’t free. But I think it is a must see because there is nothing quite like it. It is the World’s largest rodeo and runs for about a month at the end of February every year. It is like a culture here Y’ALL. We kick it off with the Chili Cookoff, everyone in all of Houston talks about it, all of the local elementary schools even have go Texan day the week before. Houstonians don’t just go once, we go as many times as we can until the next year. The cool thing- all of the workers are volunteers, so its also the worlds largest group of volunteers in one place. There are concerts every night, but if you just want to experience it, tickets are pretty cheap just for the carnival and livestock show at around $7.00. Put it on your bucket list.
9. Brazos Bend State Park: Located just south of Houston is an incredible state park. It’s home to miles of walking trails, alligators, and tons of amateur stargazers. Hit this park on a clear night to gaze up at the big and bright Texas skies, or visit from 3-10 pm on Saturdays to gain access to the George Observatory for a nominal fee. This site is far enough out of the city to be able to see tons of stars, but the stargazers would appreciate you bringing a red or green flashlight instead of a white light so others can see the stars better. Check here for information regarding campsites, fees, activities, trails and more! My tip to you, don’t stray off the path as you might run into this gal
10. Sam Houston Boat Tours: The tour is free. Reservations on a first-come, first-serve basis are required at least 24 hours in advance. Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday. This boat tour last 90 minutes round trip and fun to see all the vessels from all over the world. Not many outsiders get access to the port, so take this opportunity when you can!
11. Houston Arboretum: I remember taking pictures here as a child. It is one of the most beautiful outdoor nature exhibits I have ever seen. Not only home to plants, but beautiful birds, butterflies and other small critters. Also, there is a discovery room to take your kids to for some educational fun. Check their website for class schedules throughout the summer. Here’s one of the pictures from the arboretum that I thought would be fun for you to see. The plants look even more gorgeous now! (I’m on the left!)
12. Memorial Park: This is one of America’s largest and most used public parks. It has a beautiful 5K walking loop, baseball fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, bike trails, fitness center and country club golf course. Take a walk around the crushed granite path, and take a stop at one of the many restaurants close by!
13. Jamail Skatepark: Thought to be the largest of its kind, it operates daily in Eleanor Tinsley Park. This in-ground skatepark is a perfect place to bring your boys, or just to come watch the skaters working on their moves!
14. Williams Tower: Houston is home to the largest skyscraper outside of a business district, the Williams Tower. It’s over 60 floors tall! Try to get a view from the top to look out on the cat-shaped lake. Afterwards take a picnic by the reflecting pool and water wall. Oh, maybe make you’re way over to the Galleria too. What girl can resist three floors of shopping?!
Thank you, Taylor! I think I’ve said it before, but I grew up in College Station, TX and went to Houston often, and I have not done a few of the things on Taylor’s awesome list! I want to see the water wall and definitely need to stop by 19th street for some shopping! The miller outdoor theater is an awesome spot to see free shows. My cousin is a ballerina in the Houston Ballet, and last summer we got to see her perform at the outdoor theatre. Do you have any other must do Houston, TX activities?