Step back in time at Bayou Bend Collection and Garden. This well-preserved, historical treasure is the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s museum for American decorative arts and paintings. The museum is set in the home of philanthropist Ima Hogg, who curated an impressive collection of antique furniture, paintings, and ceramics over her lifetime. Visitors can tour each room of the house and learn about the craftsmanship and history of each piece. After touring the house, explore the 14 acres of gardens surrounding the house, featuring native Texas plants, sculptures, and fountains.
Bayou Bend Collection and Garden, 6003 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 639 7750
Spring Street Studios
Spring Street Studios houses 80 artist, designer, and creative studios in a large brick warehouse that was once a storage facility. The remodeled interior features a sleek hallway gallery displaying artists’ work during events. Stark Naked Theatre Company, Tiny Lions, Mir Anwar Studios, and Soody Sharifi can be found at Spring Street Studios. Spring Street hosts several events every month including plays, film screenings, gallery events, and interactive exhibits. Every second Saturday of the month, the artists of Spring Street open their studios to the public for free tours.
Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 862 0082
Beer Can House
When he began covering his home in over 50,000 beer cans, John Milkovisch never intended for his home to become a work of art called Beer Can House. But that’s exactly what happened. Milkovisch began covering his yard in metal, concrete, and wood in the late 1960s, and then he moved on to his house. Milkovisch covered his house in aluminum cans to save on electricity. It soon became a shiny spectacle of the neighborhood. Today, it is a permanent exhibit of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art Buffalo Bayou Park. You can visit the beer can house every Saturday and Sunday for $5.
Beer Can House, 222 Malone St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 926 6368
If you want to spend some time outdoors, Memorial Park has an activity for everyone. Run, jog, or walk around the 2.93-mile Seymour Lieberman Exer-Trail loop, which has exercise stations and water fountains spread throughout. If you’re looking for a sports day, hit the courts for a game of volleyball, tennis, or even croquet. The park also has great trails mountain bikers will enjoy. For a casual family outing, the park has playgrounds and picnic areas that can be reserved for a fee.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Visit the Houston Arboretum for a relaxing escape into nature. Houston Arboretum contains 155 acres of native Texas plants and wildlife. Visitors can explore the arboretum trails, each suited to different types of Texas trees and plants. As you explore, you will find ponds, gardens, and boardwalks. Houston Arboretum is a wildlife sanctuary, so visitors are asked to be respectful of the area. The arboretum is great for the entire family, including leashed dogs. The arboretum also hosts several fundraising and educational events for adults and families.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 681 8433
Kung Fu Saloon
If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends in a relaxed environment, check out Kung Fu Saloon. This Austin-based establishment is the perfect blend of arcade bar and sports bar, with a large dance floor and great music for a fun Saturday night. Kung Fu Saloon has a full bar and dozens of beers on tap. The bar is famous for their spread of 17 vintage arcade games and board games that are free to play, including Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Mario Kart, and giant Jenga. You can also book a private karaoke room for your group.
Kung Fu Saloon, 5317 Washington Ave, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 864 0642
Art Car Museum
The Art Car Museum is a contemporary art museum honoring the intricate and imaginative designs of art cars from Houston and around the world. What is an art car? An art car is a vehicle that has been transformed as a form of personal expression through sculpting, metal work, painting and other methods. Houston is home to the most art cars out of every other city in the world and holds a parade to honor these wacky creations every year. The Art Car Museum displays art cars for local artists as well as traveling exhibits all year long.
Art Car Museum, 140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 861 5526
Station Theater is the go-to spot in the neighborhood for improv, sketch comedy, and stand-up shows on the weekend. Every Thursday through Sunday, Station Theater presents several regular and special event shows. Admission is only $6, and all shows are BYOB. If you want to get in on the act, attend a free beginner lesson on Friday. Then stick around for the Supernova + Loteria show at 8:30 when audience members will join the cast and become part of the performance.
Station Theater, 1230 Houston Ave, Houston, TX, USA, +1 832 786 0413
Buffalo Bayou Park
Buffalo Bayou Park is a newly renovated 106-acre park along Houston’s famous waterway. Located along Allen Parkway, Buffalo Bayou Park is a great urban escape in the center of several of Houston’s busiest neighborhoods. The park offers recreation options like jogging and bike trails, picnic areas, performance spaces, and beautiful views of the skyline. The park also has a great fenced dog park divided into separate spaces for large and small dogs. As a part of the renovations, the park now features several public art pieces that are worth a view, including Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance statues.
Buffalo Bayou Park, 2929 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 752 0314
Catalina Coffee is a cozy spot for a great cup of espresso. This coffee shop takes their coffee seriously, creating high-quality espresso drinks that pair nicely with their fresh-baked pastries. Their fresh-roasted beans are supplied locally by Amaya Roasting Co. Try their cortado for a powerful boost. Their lattes are worth trying for the fantastic coffee art. If you’re looking for a quiet place to study, Catalina has plenty of table space and free wifi. The shop is open early on weekdays so you can pick up a coffee to go on your way to work.
Catalina Coffee, 2201 Washington Ave, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 861 8448
By Barbi Barbee