As Texas’ largest city, Houston is bustling with exciting activities both indoor and outdoor. With the summer months approaching, it is time to put on your sunscreen, step outside and enjoy the wide variety of fun outdoor Houston activities with your family. Read below for a few ideas about where you and your family can go in Houston to enjoy these sunny summer months.
1. Discovery Green
Discovery Green is a twelve acre park situated in downtown Houston that features a wide variety of exciting activities for children and adults alike. There is no better time than a warm summer’s day to take your family to Discovery Green to enjoy all that it has to offer. You can stroll down beautiful tree shaded walking paths that lead to serene ponds, have a picnic on a grassy lawn and soak up the stellar views of downtown Houston. If you are looking for a new place to get some physical activity this summer, you can try going for a jog around the new trail surrounding the park or have some fun watching the model boats set sail around the Model Boat Pond. If you would like to enjoy some fun outdoor games with your family, head to Discovery Green for a game of bocce ball or horseshoes. You can also play a game of golf cart croquet, where you can rent a four wheel golf cart filled with all the equipment you will need to play an hour to two of croquet.
Do not forget to bring your appetite with you when you visit Discovery Green! Visitors can choose from a wide variety of dining options within the park. Stop by The Grove for a premier restaurant experience featuring beautiful oak tree views through an all glass exterior, or visit The Lake House for a lakeside restaurant atmosphere offering American fare, fast and convenient counter service and a casual environment. Both of these delicious Houston restaurants proudly serve up a menu comprised of award-winning Chef Robert del Grande’s culinary creations.
Read below for more exciting activities to enjoy at Discovery Green:
The Andrea and Bill White Promenade
This large granite promenade surrounds Discovery Green and acts as a space for visitors to enjoy transient art exhibitions and a variety of other fun activities. You can enjoy a 360 degree view of Houston from The Andrea and Bill White Promenade.
Covering more than an acre, Kinder Lake invites visitors with its beautiful water gardens, model boat area and shallow pool for remote-control boats.
Anheuser-Busch Stage and Fondren Foundation Performance Space
You can enjoy live music, theater performances, films and dance at this amphitheater. When not being used by performers, this space is free for visitors to use as a work space or to relax.
At 1.5 acres and as Discovery Green’s biggest green space, Jones Lawn can be used to host any major event including concerts, festivals, gala events, receptions, charity events, weddings and more.
Brown Foundation Promenade
Enjoy the cool shade of 100 year old oak trees as your stroll along the Brown Foundation Promenade.
John P. McGovern Children's Playground
The John P. McGovern Children's Playground is carved into a shady hillside and features a theme of major migratory flyways for birds that pass over Houston as they migrate. The playground includes imagery of these birds for a whimsical outdoor and educational experience.
Not only is Discovery Green a fantastic place to bring your family for some outdoor summer fun, but this park also keeps their facilities eco-friendly by incorporating recycling, composting, green cleaning products and biodegradable product packaging. As the park was constructed, it was committed to using green building practices including solar panels and sustainably-sourced wood.
2. Explore Hermann Park and McGovern Lake
McGovern Lake is a scenic, eight acre lake located in Houston’s Hermann Park. This summer, you and three of your loved ones can explore McGovern Lake by pedal boat. This stunning lake features fountains and three islands, with two of these islands used to host migratory birds. Rent your pedal boat and pedal around Lake McGovern to get a closer look at the ducks or to splash around near the water fountains. If you would prefer to stay on dry land, you can head over to Bob’s Fishing Pier with your kids for some catch and release fishing fun or take a ride by train on the Hermann Park Railroad. After a long day of fun in the sun at Hermann Park, head to the nearby Pinewood Cafe for some lunch or a sweet summer treat.
3. Enjoy The Stunning Organically Maintained Bayou Bend Gardens
Bayou Bend is home to the Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of rare objects which date back to 1620. This collection is situated inside of the former residence of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg and features 28 period rooms where visitors can gaze in awe upon these beautiful and unique decorative art pieces and paintings.
The exterior of Bayou Bend features a number of beautiful gardens created by Ima Hogg where you and your family can take a relaxing stroll through each, soaking up the beauty of nature and enjoying the stunning sculptures that live in each garden. Bayou Bend Gardens is comprised of several different gardens, each offering a different perspective on nature and a different theme based on Ima Hogg’s various interests.
Clio Garden is one of Bayou Bend’s beautiful ornamental gardens which was created in 1927. In this garden, you will find white Indicia azaleas, blue pansies and wisteria blossoms. Bayou Bend staff introduced roses to Clio Garden for an extra pop of color and a touch of drama during the summer and fall months. You will also find a statue of the muse Clio, who in Greek mythology represents history, a passion of Ima Hogg’s.
The Diana Garden at Bayou Bend is a stunning combination of house and garden with an outdoor room outlined by walls of evergreen hedges. These lush hedges separate the Diana Garden from the natural woodlands which lay beyond and are emphasized by the gorgeous deep purple and red tones of crepe myrtles in June and July. Pink flagstones cover the floor of the Diana Garden terrace, adding a whimsical feel to the experience. An awe inspiring statue of muse Diana, the goddess of hunt, can be found in these enchanting gardens.
In Greek mythology Euterpe is the muse of music, and because music was another passion of Ima Hogg’s, she decided to dedicated this garden to Euterpe. This less formal garden offers a less stiff interpretation of the garden room in Clio garden. The statue of Euterpe is situated in front of columns of Japanese yew and is shaded by branches of pine and oak trees. At the statue’s base, you will find maidenhair fern, George Tabor azaleas, Formosa and Judge Solomon azaleas. Nearby, you can also find redbuds, purple Mexican plum trees and pink oriental magnolias. In May and June, you and your family can enjoy the captivating fragrance of magnolia flowers.
Carla Garden is named after Hurricane Carla which devastated Houston in 1961. Instead of becoming discouraged by the destruction that Carla imposed on Bayou Bend Garden, Ima Hogg saw an opportunity to establish a beautiful garden in a clearing made during Hurricane Carla. This particular garden in Bayou Bend features a subtle carnival theme with boxwood borders emulating the shape of a carousel. The circles of colorful azaleas are vibrant and cheery, imitating the lively atmosphere you might find at a carnival.
The East Garden was conceived by Ima Hogg as an outdoor room with lengthy hedges that hide the garden from the entry drive and from the nearby woodlands. This garden features a raised terrace with a small octagon shaped pool that is framed by a semicircle bush and an iron fence. This fence includes a lyre theme, paying more homage to Ima Hogg’s love of music. In this garden you will find camellias and azaleas that were some of the first to be introduced to the Houston area. Beautiful pink azaleas and Duchesse de Caze pink camellias are arranged around the hedge to bring a breath of color and life to this quaint garden.
The Butterfly Garden is one of the more playful and colorful garden areas you will find at Bayou Gardens. This garden is situated in a forested area and was first created when Ima Hogg planted purple and yellow pansies. Currently, the flowers you will find at the Butterfly Garden, including Christmas Cheer, Coral Bell, Hexe and Hino-de-giri are all arranged in the shape of a butterfly giving a very lighthearted feel to this plot. Perhaps this garden will be a hit with your children!
The White Garden at Bayou Gardens is situated deep within the woods and offers a private and quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. This garden is the only to always feature blooming flowers and plants, including viburnums and daylilies in the summer months. Because the White Garden was a favorite of Ima Hogg’s gardener, she dedicated this particular area to him, placing a plaque, two bronze deer and a bench in his honor. This bench is a great place to rest, reflect and soak up the beauty of nature in the garden.
The Woodland Trails are situated behind the Bayou Bend House and are comprised of native trees and shrubs that offer a stunning background for this beautiful Houston destination.
4. Get Your Dose of Nature At The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Another fantastic destination to enjoy nature in Houston this summer is the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. This 155 acre nature sanctuary helps to educate visitors of all ages about the natural environment and is essential in protecting native plants and animals in Houston as urbanization threatens their livelihoods. This sanctuary is located on the edge of Memorial Park and provides a welcome retreat from busy city life. During your visit, you can take a walk on the five mile trail at no charge and explore the Wildlife Garden that teaches guests about which plants you can introduce to your home’s yard to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and various other wildlife. As the latest addition to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, the Carol Tatkon Sensory Garden will excite your smell, sight and sound with fragrant and colorful flowers, buzzing from pollinating bees and more.
5. Spend Some Quality Time In Memorial Park
Memorial Park is known to be the biggest urban park in Texas making it a great place for you and your family to spend some quality time outdoors! You will have plenty to do during your visit to Memorial Park, as this massive park features an eighteen hole golf course, tennis courts, softball fields, soccer fields, track, croquet, swimming, volleyball, cycling, a running course and in-line skating. You can also take a bike ride on the Ho Chi Minh Trail or saunter around the many creeks, ponds or open fields present at the park. If you are looking for a more peaceful park experience, you can admire the lush foliage and vegetation or go bird watching, as the Pine, Swainson's, Kentucky, and Hooded warblers breed within Memorial Park.
Although Houston is the largest city in Texas and is considered to be an urban landscape in most regards, there are plenty of opportunities for you and your family to escape the urban sprawl this summer and spend some time soaking up the sun in the great outdoors. Whichever activity you choose to enjoy this summer, you are sure to have a great time exploring the nature that can sometimes feel hidden within the hustle and bustle of the great city of Houston. All of us at Natran Green Pest Control hope you have a wonderful summer with your loved ones!