date ideas houston

Editor’s note: This was a guest post by Dana DuTerroil and Joni Fincham, founders of Trip Chandler, a two-woman team who creates guides to Houston and give tours of the city to visitors and locals looking for something new to do. We ave updated the post in September 2020 to reflect current date ideas that are feasible during the pandemic.

 

Looking to plan the perfect date? Whether it’s your first date or your 500th, there are tons of fun things to do in Houston and the surrounding area for couples. The best part? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. With these free and cheap date ideas in Houston, you can have a night to remember while staying safe during these uncertain times and without breaking the bank.

Note: Prices shown are per person.

Trip Chandler Tip: Always bring cash for the tip jar! It’s a move that never fails to impress.

 

1. Take a bike ride around the city

Things to do in Houston featured

Rent BCycles (check out this Groupon deal!) or take your own bikes along the city’s expansive network of trails. Check out our guide to the best biking trails in Houston and the surrounding area and see the city from a whole new perspective.

 

2. Get a CityPASS and see the city’s best attractions

space center houston

Explore 5 of Houston’s top attractions, including the Houston Zoo, Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Kemah Boardwalk, and more, over the course of a weekend for nearly half off the regular price with Houston CityPASS.

 

3. See the bats fly at sunset

Meet at dusk for the evening emergence of Mexican free-tailed bats at the Waugh Drive Bat Colony Bridge along Buffalo Bayou. It’s a classic way to start a date night in Houston.

 

4. Go berry picking

Visit a local farm to pick strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and/or vegetables of all types depending on the season. Prices vary, but it’s normally very affordable and a great way to enjoy some fun outdoors.

 

5. Take advantage of free museum days at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston

museum of fine arts houston coupons

Head to the Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday for free admission plus happy hour. Advance timed tickets are recommended right now. Trip Chandler Tip: Take in the view from the top of the newly opened BBVA Compass Roof Garden across the street.

 

6. Stop and smell the roses at this public garden

Take time to smell the roses with a stroll through the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park.

 

7. Head underground for a unique tour

 

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Staircase to….? #bbpcistern #houston #buffalobayou #buffalobayoupark ?: @13plottwists

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Go underground with a tour of the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern featuring an immersive art installation by Carlos Cruz-Diez. Please note that face masks are currently required and additional safety measures are in place. (Starting at $7 per person)

 

8. Put on your hiking shoes and hit the trails

Houston Arboretrum Trail

Hike the trails of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center or any of the other great hiking spots in Houston. This is a great choice if you’re an active couple looking for date ideas in Houston.

 

9. Catch a drive-in movie from the comfort of your car

best little drive in htx

Enjoy a drive-in movie at the Showboat Drive In or any of Houston’s new drive-in theaters that have recently opened. Check Groupon for their current offers for the Showboat Drive-In, allowing you to see a double feature of movies for just a few bucks.

 

10. Get your sweat on

free fitness classes in houston

credit: Levy Park

Check out the free online workouts currently offered by local parks like Levy Park, Discovery Green, and more for a safe and healthy at-home date idea!

 

11. Enjoy free art at the Menil

Meander the Menil Collection’s art-filled campus paired with a picnic on the lawn. Note: The Menil’s buildings are open Wednesday-Sunday.

 

12. Have a movie night at home

new shows movies on hulu

Do a movie night at home with a free one-month trial of Hulu. Choose from thousands of movies, from current hits to classics to cult favorites and more.

 

13. Check out this storytime for adults


Check out the popular Grown-up Storytime series. You’ll laugh, think, and maybe even cry at the various stories. The event is being held virtually right now, but once the pandemic ends, it will once again be held at a local venue on a recurring basis.

 

14. Have a laugh at a comedy show

pjs free comedy night houston

Laugh until your sides hurt at one of the great free or cheap comedy nights in Houston. Many of these comedy nights have recently resumed after being postponed for a few months.

 

15. Rock out with this epic Beatles cover band


Hear the Fab Four cover band, Beetle, play their longstanding Thursday happy hour gig at the Continental Club from 7-10 pm. The event is being held virtually during this time due to the pandemic.

 

16. Head down to the beach

galveston beaches reopen

Head down to Galveston and enjoy a walk along the beach with your partner. Does it get any more romantic than a beach walk at sunset?

 

17. Go on a mural tour around town

east end murals

credit: @streetartlibrary Instagram

Houston has a ton of great murals all across the city, from Montrose to the Heights to Eado. Take a drive around town and enjoy free public art.

 

18. Visit this purr-fect coffee shop right meow

 

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Notice me, future owner.

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Hang with the cool cats of El Gato Coffeehouse for an hour of feline therapy in their Cat Cottage. Reservations are currently required. Trip Chandler Tip: Set the mood with a look at Emily Ding’s mural, Oneness, depicting two elephants with intertwining trunks on the side of the nearby Nia Moves building.

 

19. Watch a movie in an old church


Take a seat in 14 Pews for interesting films screened in a former church (returning in September). ($10) Trip Chandler Tip: Discuss your movie reviews over Mai Tais at nearby tiki bar, Lei Low.

 

20. Take in the city’s best architecture

old buildings houston

Take a self-guided architecture walk and discover Houston’s history led virtually by docents from Preservation Houston.

 

21. Immerse yourself in this breathtaking laser light show


Mellow out at the laser light show set to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at the Planetarium in the Houston Museum of Natural Science. ($9)

 

22. Take a boat tour through Downtown

buffalo bayou boat tours

credit: @buffalobayou Instagram

Go with the flow on Buffalo Bayou during their 30-minute Second Saturday Boat Ride which will hopefully resume in October (public boat tours are currently canceled through September 30). ($5)

 

23. Show off your roller skating skills

 

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New carpet, paint, glow lights and freshly recoated ! We have roller skates and inlines skates plus adjustable toddler skates

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Couple skate on Thursdays during adult skate night at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. ($7 entry; $3 skate rental)

 

24. Go on a group bike ride and make new friends

 

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#karbachbrewscruise

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Check out a social group bike ride, like Karbach’s Brews Cruise, Critical Mass, SW HTX Bike Club, and others. Visit BikeHouston.org for info about weekly and monthly rides in the area.

 

25. Discover your new favorite mystery novel


Hear true crime tales, thrillers, and mysteries at Murder by the Book’s author signings and readings, and browse their excellent collection of books while you’re there.

 

26. Free your mind at the Rothko

Meditate and relax at the Rothko Chapel. Trip Chandler Tip: Plan your visit when the Rothko Chapel offers concerts on the plaza with complimentary beverages from St. Arnold’s Brewing Company. (Donations welcome)

 

27. Shop local at a farmers market

farmers markets in houston

Browse Houston’s excellent weekly farmers markets to shop locally made goods.

 

28. Do some kayaking in the heart of the city

 

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YOUR chance to accept the DGChallenge!

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Kayak on Discovery Green’s Kinder Lake. ($5) This is another one of those fun things to do in Houston that’s perfect for active couples! Trip Chandler Tip: Whisper sweet nothings with the help of the Listening Vessels in the Wortham Foundation Gardens.

 

29. Drive around town and see some remarkable roadside attractions

houston roadside attractions

credit: @jackie_t88 Instagram

Houston has a number of impressive attractions you can see from the comfort of your car or get out and see up close. Highlights include the President Heads sculptures, Beer Can House, We Heart Houston sculpture, and more. Check out our full guide to the best Houston roadside attractions for more info.

 

30. Walk the loop at Memorial Park

Walk (or jog if you want to work up a sweat!) the trail at Memorial Park. One lap around the park trail is just under 3 miles, and you’ll enjoy some great trees and plants along the way.

 

31. Head to The Woodlands for some outdoor fun

woodlands water bike rentals

Cruise down The Woodlands Waterway on a water bike, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard for a relaxing date, and then enjoy some dining and shopping after.

 

32. Taste the city’s best local craft beers

saint arnold restaurant

Sip some local craft beers at any of our great Houston breweries, like Saint Arnold Brewing, Karbach, New Magnolia, 8th Wonder, and more. Most local breweries have an outdoor beer garden area that’s perfect for social distancing.

 

33. Cruise around the Ship Channel for free

Note: This is temporarily suspended at this time due to the pandemic but will hopefully return soon.

Set a course for adventure aboard the Sam Houston for a free cruise around the Houston Ship Channel. Advance reservations required. This is one of the most unique and fun things to do in Houston for couples.

 

34. Let loose with a friendly game of paintball

 

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Welt, welt, welt… that was fun. ??? ??? #pewpewpew #birthday? #birthdayjustkeepsgoing

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Let your competitive streak shine with some outdoor paintball at Urban War Zone Paintball, the only field inside the 610 loop.

 

35. Bring your four-legged friend out for a day at the park

Take your pups along on the date for some fun at any of the great Houston dog parks around the city.

 

What are some of your favorite date ideas in Houston? Let us know by commenting below!