7 Unique Houston Experiences
There’s a lot to love about our city, including hidden charms you just can't find anywhere else. Whether you’re a tech-savvy space enthusiast or fine art aficionado, we've got you covered with these uniquely Houston activities.
One of our favorite under-the-radar events, Blanket Bingo allows attendees to enjoy the Houston skyline from revamped Market Square Park. A mere $10 will get you a bingo packet (approximately nine games) and additional games and dabbers can be purchased for $1 each. To get the full experience, bring your favorite blanket, a picnic dinner and your game face. Admission also includes music and prizes and the event benefits Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Space Center Houston
With more than 400 space artifacts, permanent and traveling exhibits, theaters and additional attractions, the Space Center is worth the trip. The Center has the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public view and is the home of NASA Mission Control. Newly opened Independence Plaza features the shuttle replica Independence, mounted on top of the original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft. It’s the only place the public can enter both types of planes, getting a rare glimpse into the historic shuttle era.
One of Houston’s most unique museums, the Art Car Museum is an exhibit forum for local, national and international artists with an emphasis on art cars. Known as the Garage Mahal, the museum opened in February 1998 and fuses together fine, folk and public art. Houston has the largest number of art cars of any city and the cars feature everything from flames to golden jewels. The Art Car Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
While Houston boasts no shortage of fine art museums, The Menil Collection in particular is worth a visit. Designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, the Menil Collection building and Cy Twombly Gallery are a sight to behold. The main building of the Menil is illuminated by changing natural light, bringing the art to life. The museum features several interesting collections, including Arts of Africa, Medieval and Byzantine Art, Modern and Contemporary Art and Surrealism. And be sure to check out the world-famous Rothko Chapel while you're there!
Miller Theatre in Hermann Park has been hosting free outdoor performances since 1923 and is the only proscenium theater in the country offering a culturally diverse eight-month season of free performances. From daytime programs focused on children to family-friendly evening performances of classical jams, ballet, musical theater, Shakespeare and more, Miller Outdoor Theatre has it all.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s pontoon boat Spirit of the Bayou is available for a flat rate of $500, or $675 if you’d like a historian included on the cruise. The boat fits 21 people and takes guests on a 1.5-hour ride through Downtown along Buffalo Bayou. The trip includes stunning views of the Downtown skyline, and goes past Allen’s Landing, Sesquicentennial Park, Sabine Promenade and historic McKee Street Bridge, and offers a glimpse of the industrial side of Houston. The organization also offers shorter 30-minute boat rides for $7 a person (bring cash) in March, April, May, September and October.
The downtown tunnels have been a part of our city since the 1930s and are open for exploration Monday through Friday from 6am to 6:30pm. Located 20 feet below Houston’s Downtown streets and spanning more than six miles, the tunnels include restaurants and retail and connect 95 city blocks. Wells Fargo Plaza and McKinney Garage on Main offer direct access from the street to the tunnels, providing the perfect escape from the Houston heat (although we're pretending this cool weather will last all year).