20 Things to Do in Houston — From Rodeos to Art Museums

Here are 20 of the best things to do in Houston on your next trip.

Aerial view of skyline downtown Houston and highway traffic at buffalo bayou park, Houston, Texas

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Houston, Texas, America’s fourth-largest city, is home to more than two million people. It’s a place where the culture is rich, the food is divine, and the sightseeing is top notch. Visitors can spend days on end exploring the streets and never see it all. But, if you want a little help honing in on what to see and do in Space City on your next visit, we have you covered. Here are 20 fun things to do in Houston, Texas.  

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See the exhibits at the Museum of Natural Science.

Stretching across several floors, Houston’s Museum of Natural Science is home to thousands of artifacts that will teach you about everything from ancient Egypt to the modern-day animal kingdom. Don’t miss the Everyday Fabergé exhibit for something luxe. 

Japanese Garden at Hermann Park in Houston, Texas

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Get fresh air in Hermann Park.

Explore every inch of Hermann Park’s 445 acres, which offer rolling hills, lakes, gorgeous little bridges, and gardens that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. For something special, rent one of the pedal boats so you can see the park from a whole new view. 

Delve into science at Space Center Houston.

Get inspired by paying a visit to Space Center Houston, where science comes to life. From its NASA tram tour to its space suit collection, it will have you yearning to join a STEM program ASAP.

Take a peek under the sea at Downtown Aquarium.

Hang with the fishes — in a good way — by visiting the Downtown Aquarium. The space is home to hundreds of aquatic creatures, which you can learn about in interactive exhibits and on its thrilling rides.

Do some laps around Speedy’s Fast Track.

Catch an adrenaline rush at Speedy’s Fast Track, a popular go-kart attraction for families or those just looking for a little fun. After racing your friends, try winning a few goodies at the arcade, take home bragging rights at laser tag, or play a round of mini-golf.

Shop ‘til you drop at The Galleria.

Looking for some retail therapy? Make your way to The Galleria, where you’ll find everything from high-end designers like Gucci to more affordable fashion finds. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as this place is absolutely massive.

Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park

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Root for the home team at Minute Maid Park.

If you’re visiting during baseball season, snag tickets to a Houston Astros game at Minute Maid Park. With a total capacity of 41,000 fans, it’s always a good time. (And it has plenty of stadium-favorite meals too, including the requisite ballpark hot dogs, pretzels, and more.)

Find a little peace and quiet at Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Learn about the lifecycle of butterflies at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. From lessons on their journey from caterpillar to flying critter to seeing them float around you in the three-story glass conservatory, you can feel one with nature here. The center is currently closed for renovations, so check the website for reopening details.

Get cultured at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Flex your artistic knowledge with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Here, you can check out works by masters like ​​Alberto Giacometti and Gordon Parks, and even get interactive with exhibits like Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish. 

Or see outdoor art at Hines Waterwall Park.

Let out a deep, meditative exhale as you gaze upon the cascading water at Hines Waterwall Park. The 64-foot-high waterfall may be the main attraction, but there are also 2.77 acres to explore and 186 live oak trees to say hello to.

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See a show at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Want to see a show without spending a dime? Visit the Miller Outdoor Theatre during its eight-month season, showcasing some of the coolest acts and shows from around the world. See its schedule and plan a trip around a theater performance, musical act, ballet, and more.

Dig into the history of flying at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.

Pay homage to aviation past at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Built in 1940, the building once acted as the Houston Municipal Airport. Now it features exhibits on everything from the history of planes to crew member uniforms.

Get a little Houston style at Pinto Ranch.

Pick up some fine Western wear at Pinto Ranch. Offering a stellar range of cowboy hats and cowboy boots, you’ll surely find something in the shop that will make for an excellent (and fashionable) souvenir.

James Turrell, Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion at Rice University

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See the stunning Twilight Epiphany Skyspace.

Find more free outdoor art at Rice University with the gorgeous Twilight Epiphany Skyspace. Built in 2012, the James Turrell-designed pyramid is a dazzling display of light and architecture, all meant to mimic the sun’s arc. 

Find a little bit of everything at Discovery Green.

Find 12 acres of fun at Discovery Green, a park created out of a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. From taking a walk to taking in a show to workout classes and everything in between, you’re bound to find something to delight here. 

Learn about local history at the San Jacinto Monument and Museum.

The San Jacinto Monument and Museum is hard to miss. It’s one of the tallest and most well-known monuments in the city, commemorating the Battle of San Jacinto, an important battle during the Texas Revolution.

Discover how your body works at The Health Museum.

Bodies. We all have them, and in Texas, you can learn more about them. Head to The Health Museum to learn all about the inner workings of the human body, including how we get colds and how to avoid them.

Smell the flowers at the McGovern Centennial Gardens.

One more must-see garden space in Houston is the McGovern Centennial Gardens. With eight acres of manicured gardens, including some 490 trees made up of more than 50 different species, it’s a place of pure natural wonderment.

Watch a lively show at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Come by the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, whose mission is to create a “world-class cultural center by providing a premier performing arts facility,” that also places emphasis on musical acts. Catch a classic like "Chicago," or a new show like "Pretty Woman: The Musical," all in one spot.

See real cowboys at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

If you visit in late February or early March, don't miss the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Here you can experience everything from cow roping to BBQ events, wine shows to massive country music shows, and so much more. 

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