Whether you’re visiting Houston for the first time or have lived here since birth, you can always expect a good time sightseeing and visiting some of Houston’s top attractions. From the museum district to Kemah Boardwalk, there are plenty of sights to keep the whole family entertained.
However, these trips come with a price. You could try your luck to a couple of spots on a free-day, fighting your way through the hordes of families who had the same idea. But even still, not all of the city’s most popular attractions offer free days. Or you can save almost half off on admission tickets for five different attractions using Houston CityPASS.
Check out our full 2021 Houston CityPASS review below where we’ll tell you all about what it is, how it works, what you’ll get to see, and whether or not it’s actually worth it. We’ll also share some updates about how CityPASS works right now during these pandemic times.
How Houston CityPASS works
With CityPASS, Houston sightseeing is a breeze. You can purchase it online.
When ordering online, you’ll have to print out a voucher or present it on your mobile phone when you arrive at your first attraction. You’ll receive a CityPASS booklet with tickets for all the sights. Once you have your booklet and use your first ticket, you’ll have nine days to visit five attractions in any order, at your own pace.
Please note that right now many venues around town are requiring advanced reservations. Most of the venues can be reached by telephone or email to make a reservation with your CityPASS, and upon arrival at the attraction, you just present your tickets at entry.
The Houston CityPASS gives you access to:
- Space Center Houston
- Downtown Aquarium
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- An option of the Houston Zoo OR Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- An option of Kemah Boardwalk OR Children’s Museum of Houston (temporarily closed so you can’t choose this option right now)
For the option tickets, you will pick one attraction or the other. This does not have to be decided at the time of purchase, so you have the option to mull it over and see what works best with your family’s schedule.
Houston CityPASS Review – Attractions Covered
Space Center Houston
Explore the wonders of space and let your imagination soar. Go behind the scenes at NASA Johnson Space Center to see the past, present, and future of the space program. CityPASS covers general admission which includes access to Independence Plaza and the NASA tram tour. Learn more about Space Center Houston.
Experience the wonder of the underwater world as you tour the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, a 500,000-gallon aquatic wonderland. Discover 400 species of marine life from around the globe, touch and feed live stingrays, and catch a glimpse of the magnificent white tigers of the Maharaja’s Temple. CityPASS includes general admission to the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit. Learn more about Houston’s Downtown Aquarium.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Delight in the natural world at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, with four floors of dynamic permanent exhibits that will entertain and educate every age group. Explore the vast timeline of fossils, gems and minerals, African wildlife, Texan wildlife, and more. HMNS also boasts one of the largest dinosaur halls in the U.S. (because everything is bigger in Texas, of course). CityPASS gives you general admission to the permanent exhibit halls. Learn more about the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The Houston Zoo is the second most-visited Zoo in the nation, and for good reason. Bears, giraffes, elephants, lions, chimpanzees… you name it, you’ll find tons of majestic creatures at the Houston Zoo. Over 6,000 animals call the Houston Zoo home. CityPASS covers general admission to the zoo. Learn more about the Houston Zoo.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Explore and admire over 67,000 works of art from every era of history and all seven continents. Take advantage of an ever-changing schedule brimming with activities and programs for all ages. CityPASS gives you general admission to permanent collections and non-ticketed special exhibitions. Learn more about Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Fast becoming one of the top attractions in the Houston area, the Kemah Boardwalk has it all — theme park rides (including the Bullet roller coaster, 140 ft. tall Drop Zone, and Ferris wheel), waterfront dining at 9 great restaurants, shopping, live music, midway games, and a whole lot more. CityPASS gives you an All-Day Ride Pass for all amusement rides (excludes Stingray, Boardwalk Beast, and Iron Eagle). Learn more about Kemah Boardwalk.
Children’s Museum of Houston
At this playground for the mind, your children will harness the power of water as FlowWorks unleashes a tsunami of wet, wild fun; run an entire city at Kidtropolis; leap, jump, crawl and climb up PowerPlay; and create, concoct and invent their own gadgets in the Invention Convention. CityPASS covers general admission to all exhibits. Learn more about Children’s Museum of Houston.
Houston CityPASS Review – CityPASS Pricing
When you use Houston CityPASS, you end up getting 47% off the total price of admission for five locations. With this deal, you might as well be getting a free ticket for every other person. See the price breakdown below:
|For Adults (12+)||$121.18||$64.00||-$56.06|
|For Kids (Under 12)||$92.44||$54.00||-$37.32|
To get more discounts or learn about upgrades to tickets, plan your visit with CityPass.
Along with the incredible CityPASS discount, there’s other benefits that this deal gets you:
- Skip the lines. When you get to your attraction, you’ll already have tickets! No need to spend quality family time in line trying to get tickets. Additionally, some attractions may allow you to skip the entry-line all together with fast lanes for CityPASS holders.
- Value. If you can’t make it to five different attractions within the nine days, it’s okay! Because you’re receiving such a huge discount, just going to three out of five is already worth your money. Additionally, check out the back of your booklet for coupons to help you save more on shopping, dining, entertainment, and transportation.
- Convenience. All your tickets are in one booklet, making it easy to keep track of your tickets. Now you don’t have to fumble around in your bag when you arrive at the door.
- Flexibility. Unlike other tourist passes, Houston CityPASS gives you the freedom to visit the attractions in any order at any time. It’s almost like a self-guided tour of Houston, except bigger and more exciting.
Important Things to Know
- As mentioned before, the tickets are valid for 9 consecutive days, including the first day of use. Note that this is NOT when you purchase the booklet, but rather when you visit your first attraction.
- If you purchase online and receive a voucher, you MUST redeem the voucher at one of the partner attractions and get your ticket booklet within six months of purchasing.
- The booklet will not expire for at least one year from date of purchase.
- DO NOT rip out tickets from your booklet. Let the people at admissions handle that. Ripping them out prior invalidates the ticket and you lose the pass.
Houston CityPASS Review – Is It Worth It?
If you want to see the best of what Houston has to offer, absolutely. The convenience and attractions wrapped up in an incredible deal that could literally save you hundreds of dollars? It’s a no-brainer. If you’re planning to visit the city or just want to spend an exciting weekend in Houston with the family, the Houston CityPASS is the way to go.
Have your own Houston CityPASS review? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Don’t forget to bookmark Houston On The Cheap for daily fun in the city.