There’s plenty to love about Houston, but year-round warm weather has to be near the top of the list.
And when the weather is warm, it’s a great time to be outside and enjoy a picnic with family and friends.
The COVID-19 pandemic really opened everyone’s eyes — including Houstonians — to the importance of appreciating the great outdoors and big public spaces where we can spread out, relax and enjoy time with our favorite people.
We also know that Houston on the Cheap readers love a good deal. So, what’s more affordable than enjoying a meal you prepare yourself at one of our great city’s amazing parks?
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the top picnic spots across Houston where you can enjoy a nice lunch, throw around a frisbee, and simply enjoy being outside.
These are the top picnic spots in Houston.
Address: 1423 Branard St., Montrose, Houston
Located on the campus of Houston’s largest collection of free, public art that rotates throughout the year, Menil Park is the ultimate picnic spot. Take in the incredible, large-scale art before unfolding your blanket and enjoying your meal for the day. Don’t want to prepare anything to eat? The Menil Collection museum has a cafe on its property where you could take food to go to enjoy outside.
Market Square Park
Address: 301 Milam St., Downtown Houston
Nestled in Houston’s Theater District is Market Square Park, a quaint little park that’s perfect for an afternoon date. If things are going well, you’ll want to stay a little longer and enjoy a free moving screening outdoors. You could also take in a show at one of the nearby theaters in the neighborhood. Those are just three reasons to love Market Square Park. Here are 97 more.
Terry Hershey Park
Address: 15200 Memorial Drive, Houston
If you want to feel like you’ve escaped the big city for a dose of Mother Nature, Terry Hershey Park is the picnic spot for you. Bikers and joggers love the sidewalk trails that meander through this park, but for a picnic, you’ll love the tree cover to keep you shaded on a hot day. After you eat, you have plenty of opportunities for a nice scenic walk.
Buffalo Bayou Park
Address: 1800 Allen Parkway, Houston
Stretched along the Buffalo Bayou, this park is great for exercise and taking in public art, but it’s also our favorite picnic spot — especially if you want to bring your dog with you. Buffalo Bayou Park may have one of the best dog parks in the city. So, take your dog to the dog park first to get him or her nice and tired, then head for the picnic pavilion where you can enjoy your lunch at a comfortable table. Oh, did we mention you can get take in incredible skyline views of Houston? It’s the perfect backdrop to your picnic.
Address: 6001 Fannin St., Houston
Home to the Houston Zoo and a reflective pool, Hermann Park is one of Houston’s top parks for picnics. The amount of open space is incredible. And after you’re done picnicking, you have the option to rent a boat and pedal around McGovern Lake. Better yet, bring some lawn sports with you — like corn hole — to enjoy on the countless acres of open space at your disposal. If you’re driving here, beware that zoo parking can be tricky.
Address: 1500 McKinney St., Houston
This tiny park is surrounded by plenty of restaurants and food trucks, so don’t bother bringing your picnic with you. Go support local restaurants and order out! There are no picnic tables here, so bring a nice blanket to relax on while you enjoy your meal. If you’re driving here, there’s a nearby parking garage with reasonably priced parking spots.
Address: 1901 Sunset Blvd., Houston
It’s not uncommon to see multiple birthday parties taking place in Fleming Park. That’s because it’s a nicely shaded park with great, old school playground equipment for your kiddos. Because of that — and because the museum is only a few blocks away — this is the ultimate spot for a family picnic.