The fourth largest city in the United States is full of fun, adventure, and wonder- even on the cheap! The best part is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to have fun in Houston Downtown. There are a number of affordable activities and attractions that you can enjoy. Read more below for our write-up of the best things to do in Downtown Houston without breaking the bank.
Editor’s Note: Our staff works hard to bring you the latest information. However, all information mentioned in this article is subject to change. As always, please confirm before heading out.
The Best Free and Cheap Things To Do in Downtown Houston – Things to Do in Downtown Houston for Adults
Travel Through the Best Bike Trails in Houston
Rent Bicycles (check out a deep discount on bike rentals) or take your own bikes along the city’s expansive network of trails. You’ll be able to get your heart pumping while enjoying the scenic routes of Houston. Check out our guide to the best biking trails in Houston and the surrounding area and see the city from a whole new perspective.
Explore the Underground Tunnels of Downtown Houston
Did you know that Houston has the most extensive downtown tunnel system in the US? Get to explore it and the incredible metropolis just underneath Texas’ largest business district which hosts many of Texas’ most noteworthy Fortune 500 corporate headquarters and historical venues with an Underground Tunnel tour (air-conditioned).
As part of this day tour, you’ll visit multiple historical and artistic sections of Downtown Houston’s tunnels as well as the corporate buildings that lie on top of them. Make sure to bring your smile and camera for the unique photo-op opportunities and inside secrets that most native Houstonians don’t even know about!
Book your Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston TODAY!
Hike the Best Trails in Houston
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 and your partner enjoy the outdoors. Houston has plenty of options.
Try Out the Best Local Craft Beers of Downtown Houston
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 enjoying the wonderful evening ambiance.
Check out our complete guide on the 10 Best Breweries in the Houston area!
Things to do in Downtown Houston – Food Trip at Houston’s Best Food Places
Try Out Houston’s Escape Rooms
Put your nerves and your ability to think under pressure in a fun way at one of Houston’s escape rooms! Grab your friends, get locked in, and attempt to solve various mysteries that will be the key to your freedom. Don’t worry if you don’t get out in time. There are plenty of escape rooms in Downtown Houston and there is no limit on how many times you try until you succeed with your friends.
Here’s a look at the 10 Best Escape Rooms in Houston!
Go Museum Hopping in Houston’s Best Museums
Downtown Houston contains some of Houston’s most beautiful and unique museums. From the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Moody Center for the Arts to the Houston Police Museum and the Railroad Museum of Gulf Coast, there are plenty of areas for you to explore. You won’t only see the usual art installations and paintings but all sorts of creations commemorating and celebrating Houston and its artists.
Check out our complete list of 14 Top Museums in Houston!
Things to Do in Downtown Houston at Night
Relax to Live Entertainment
Downtown Houston is a musical mecca. You can find plenty of restaurants and bars offering live music on the patio. Batanga, for one, has great food, great drinks, and an expansive patio featuring live music and dancing all under the beautiful night sky! If you’re just looking for a great music place, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is a great place to be. You can bring your own eats or have them delivered to the venue while you enjoy the performance there for the night.
Get the latest updates on Music in the Houston area
Watch the Bat Flight at Buffalo Bayou
Witness this amazing sight with friends or family! Meet at dusk for the evening emergence of Mexican free-tailed bats at the Waugh Drive Bat Colony Bridge along Buffalo Bayou. It’s not something you’ll see every day, especially in the midst of a bustling city like Houston but it’s one of the city’s best wonders.
Laugh Out Loud at Comedy Nights in Houston
When it comes to things to do in Downtown Houston at night, this is one of your best bets. 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. And they’re making a great comeback. They’ll surely take any ounce of stress away but beware, it’s not guaranteed you won’t come out with sore stomachs.
Things to Do in Downtown Houston for Couples
Catch a Drive-In Movie
In recent years, drive-in movies have made a comeback and we’re all here for it. They provide quite the nostalgic route to watch some of your favorite films from the comfort of your cars which makes it one of the best things to do in Downtown Houston for couples. It’s chill, it’s safe, and everyone loves movies. We don’t think any date could go wrong here.
Show Your Competitive Streak with an Exciting Paintball Game
Let your competitive streak shine with some outdoor paintball at Paintball USA. And get to know your date a lot better when they’re under a bit of pressure and when something is at stake. Also, keep your eyes peeled open because there are always plenty of deals all year round.
Watch Award-Winning Shows
Catch seats and watch award-winning shows and groundbreaking new stage plays or musicals at one or more of Houston’s premiere theaters including Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Alley Theatre, Wortham Theater, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, and Society for the Performing Arts. Each new season features new things to watch so keep your eyes peeled for what’s new and exciting.
Join Houston Scavenger Hunts
When it comes to fun stuff to do in Downtown Houston, scavenger hunts are in the top 10. They’re the best way to get to know Downtown Houston a lot better with tons of fun. You can do it alone or with your friends, family, or special person. In these hunts, you’ll be able to discover hidden gems in Downtown Houston and get to know the deeper history of this part of the city while having tons of fun. The best part is that you might even get amazing prizes at the end. So good luck!
Things to Do in Downtown Houston for Families
Tour the Best Art Attractions in the City
If our restaurant and foodie scene is poppin’ then our art scene is on fire! The Heritage Society has a gallery open to the public daily and tickets start at just $2 for children and $5 for adults. You can also get a tour of the historical buildings starting at $6 for students.
Downtown Houston also has a budding public art community. There are always public installations free for the public to view around city parks and other public places. So always be ready with a camera because you might just stumble into one without even expecting it.
Get the latest updates on Museums & Attractions in the Houston area
Explore Houston’s Best Attractions with a CityPass
If you’re looking for classic fun things to do in Downtown Houston, getting a Houston CityPASS would be your best bet. With this CityPass, you can explore 5 of Houston’s top attractions, including the Houston Zoo, Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Kemah Boardwalk, and more for nearly half off the regular price. It’s the perfect activity for a weekend of fun with friends or family.
Pick Fruits at Local Farms
One of the most fun things to do in Houston Downtown especially when it’s all sunny and fine is to visit a local farm and pick the fruits of the season. You can 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. It’s a great idea for dates, weekends with the kids, or simply some fun time with friends.
Explore Houston’s Excellent Farmers Markets
Every week, Downtown Houston is filled with tons of excellent local farmers markets filled with local products, handcrafted goods and items, and fresh produce that you’ll want in your home. You can even find unique items like artisan dips and oils to try out and art creations that you can give as gifts. The possibilities are endless and you’ll just have to check it out to see what piques your interest.
Free things to do in Downtown Houston
Enjoy the Outdoor Activities
Houston has no shortage of parks and recreational facilities to enjoy your day. The famed Buffalo Bayou Park runs 160 acres from the Memorial area to downtown. Walk the pathways downtown near the Preston Street Bridge and find the red button to “burp the bayou”.
The Discovery Green Conservancy also always has something exciting going on. This is one of Houston’s best parks downtown and it’s filled with free and fun activities.
Other parks and pocket parks near Downtown include Sam Houston Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Market Square Park, Tranquility Park, and more!
Tour Houston’s Wonderful Murals
Houston has a ton of great murals all across the city, from Montrose to the Heights to Eado. The best way to enjoy these is to take a drive around town and enjoy free public art. You can even get out of the car for your favorite ones and take a photo. Be careful though, it can be hard to choose the best ones because they’re just all so good.
Check out our complete list of the Best Murals and Wall Art in Houston!
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