See & Do

Houston City Guide content to help you explore the city's wealth of attractions, events and celebrations.

Guide to our favorite parks in Houston

Fact: Houston is home to some of the biggest and best parks in the country. This is a list of Lodgeur’s favorite Houston parks.

Hermann Park

Hermann Park

Hermann Park is one of the most popular parks in Houston and features a variety of amenities for visitors to enjoy. The park has a golf course, a pond with paddleboats, a kids’ train, several gardens, and a museum. Hermann Park is also home to the Houston Zoo, which is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

The golf course at Hermann Park has been around since 1923 and features an 18-hole championship course with a driving range, practice greens, and a pro shop. The pond in the park offers fishing opportunities as well as boat rentals so visitors can explore the area and spot some of the local wildlife. There are also several gardens throughout the park, including the Chinese Garden of Friendship, McGovern Centennial Gardens, and Miller Outdoor Theater’s garden. (For more information, check out the blog post on Lodgeur’s favorite Houston gardens.) The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located within the park as well.

The Houston Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Hermann Park. The zoo opened in 1922 and features over 6,000 animals from all over the world including African elephants, orangutans, gorillas, flamingos, giraffes, zebras and many more. New exhibits focus on the Galapagos, the Brazilian Pantanal and Lowland Gorillas. The zoo has a secondary entrance backing up to the Texas Medical Center and is a popular destination for hospital patients looking for some fresh air.

Memorial Park

Memorial Park

At nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park, Memorial Park is located in the heart of Houston and is one of the most loved parks in Houston with 4 million visitors each year.

The Seymour Lieberman Exer-Trail is a 3-mile running trail that ranks as the most popular running trail in the United States with 10,000 runners daily. The 3-mile trail forms a loop and parking is available much of the way around the trail.

Memorial Park has roughly 30 miles of hiking trails, and 2 lakes. Memorial Park is also home to the Houston Arboretum, which is a nature center that offers classes and programs for visitors of all ages.

Memorial Park also has an 18-hole golf course, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and volleyball courts. There is also a bicycle trail system with over seven miles of trails winding through different parts of the park. Hines Lake is a popular spot for picnics, photos and walking short boardwalk trails with young children.

Memorial Park is also the site of Houston’s massive Bayou City Art Festival every March, which we write about in another blog post.

Discovery Green

Discovery Green is a 12-acre park that opened in 2008 in downtown Houston. The park has a playground, an amphitheater, several gardens, and a dog park. Discovery Green also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts and festivals.

Discovery Green is an urban oasis located in the heart of Houston, Texas. This vibrant 12-acre urban park features a number of attractions, including a playground, two interactive water fountains, a lake with paddle boats, an amphitheater, several gardens and lawns for picnicking and relaxing, and a one-of-a-kind dog park. The park is also home to numerous permanent public sculptures created by renowned local and international artists as well as rotating public art displays.

Every year the park attracts thousands of visitors who come to experience its beauty and enjoy all it has to offer. One popular attraction is the Brown Promenade—a large walkway that connects the larger downtown area to Discovery Green. The promenade features lush landscaping and lighting displays that create a stunning visual effect at nightfall.

The Kinder Lake at Discovery Green is great fun for both adults and children alike. The lake offers paddle boats available on summer weekends for $5.

At any time of day or night visitors can take advantage of the two interactive water fountains located in Jones Lawn near Hermann Square – perfect for cooling off during hot summer days!

On some evenings during summer months movies are projected onto a huge outdoor screen complete with surround sound speakers so visitors can watch films under the stars with friends or family members – definitely an unforgettable experience!

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park is 160-acre park that runs along the Buffalo Bayou river in Houston. The park has hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and public art installations.

One of the most popular attractions is the picnic area, which includes plenty of space for families and friends to gather for picnics and barbecues. There are also two playgrounds located near the picnic areas, perfect for entertaining little ones. And there are several public art installations throughout Buffalo Bayou Park that allow visitors to explore and appreciate local artwork.

Another interesting attraction at Buffalo Bayou Park is The Cistern – an underground reservoir built in 1926 that now serves as a public art space and event venue. This unique structure offers visitors the chance to experience art from both national and international artists alike in a special environment like no other in Houston. Check out our other post for more about the Cistern.

If you’d like take part in organized activities, Buffalo Bayou Park offers kayaking tours, bike rides throughout the park, outdoor movie screenings during summer months, birding lessons and more! You can even take a ride on one of their unique group bikes (which holds up to 14 people!) and explore different parts of Buffalo Bayou Park with friends or family members!

Market Square Park

Market Square Park is a small urban park located in downtown Houston known for the nearby Houston is Inspired mural and Niko Niko’s casual greek cuisine with outdoor dining. Market Square Park is a popular spot for residents, visitors and office-goers alike to spend their lunch hours, relax after work or bring the kids on weekends. A winding path runs through the middle of this area, lined with benches perfect for relaxing and people watching. There are also two dog runs where local canines can run around off-leash, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult.

On Saturdays from March to December, Market Square Park hosts a farmers market featuring vendors selling farm-fresh produce, flowers, handmade goods and more. Local vendors also set up food stands offering delicious treats like tacos and ice cream all day long.

Other features of Market Square Park include public art installations such as sculptures made by local artists that add color and character to the space. The park also features a stage area used for live music performances throughout the year.

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Miller Outdoor Theater

Located in Hermann Park, the Miller Outdoor Theatre is a beloved destination for Houstonians and visitors alike. The theatre is home to free concerts, plays, lectures, and more throughout the year. With a seating capacity of 3,500 and a large stage, the theatre provides plenty of space for performers and audiences to enjoy their favorite shows. Tickets to see the performances from the seated section of the theater should be booked in advance, but the hill next to the theater is open seating. Visitors often bring chairs, blankets and coolers to picnic during performances.

George Bush Park

Located in west Houston, George Bush Park is a 7,800-acre park and the largest city park in the country. The park has seven lakes, over 50 miles of trails, two 18-hole golf courses, 8-acre bark park, and several playgrounds. George Bush Park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including festivals and outdoor concerts. For those looking to explore nature further, the park has two nature centers offering educational programs and guided hikes.

George Bush Park is known for its extensive sports facilities, including basketball courts pickleball courts, soccer fields, launching pads for drones, shooting ranges and baseball fields. Especially popular is the 8-acre Millie Bush Bark Park with two pools and a dog-washing area. Additionally there is an 18-hole disc golf course located within the perimeter of George Bush Park where guests can play a round or two while enjoying the sights of nature surrounding them.

Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park is located about 40 miles south of downtown Houston in Angleton, Texas. The 4,897-acre park features five lakes and 40 miles of hiking trails, and is popular with trail runners. Wildlife sightings are common here as the park is home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The park also features an observatory operated by the Houston Museum of Natural History where visitors can learn about astronomy or catch a glimpse of the night sky on Saturday nights.

Brazos Bend State Park is a great place to visit for nature lovers, hikers, and stargazers. It features five lakes and 40 miles of trails, making it perfect for exploring the diverse wildlife and scenery that the park has to offer. The park is home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and even alligators that can be seen along the banks of the lakes. There are also several observation decks where visitors can watch the sun set over the lake or catch a glimpse of passing birds and other wildlife.

Brazos Bend State Park is also home to beautiful landscapes and unique ecosystems that are open for exploration with hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging difficulty levels. Visitors will have an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature while trekking through forests full of trees such as oaks, cedars, pines, maples and bald cypresses; swamps full of lily pads; fields filled with wildflowers; marshes full of wading birds; meadows filled with deer; ponds full of frogs; and rivers full of fish.

For an easy hike where you are sure to spot alligators, check out the 1.2 mile 40 Acre Lake Trail. There is a viewing platform overlooking two lakes, and the trail will bring you into close contact with alligators and wading birds. In the spring, masses of water lillies are in bloom.

Sheldon Lake State Park

Sheldon Lake State Park is located east of Houston near Sheldon Lake. This 640-acre park offers plenty for visitors to enjoy including fishing spots along the lake’s shoreline, over 15 miles of hiking trails and bird watching opportunities at one of three bird sanctuaries onsite. Visitors can also take advantage of the Nature Center here which provides educational programs and interactive exhibits about ecosystems found in Southeast Texas.

A variety of wildlife can also be found around the lake, including herons, cormorants, egrets, and even bald eagles during certain times of the year. The park offers catch-and-release fishing. Hikers can admire spectacular views of native vegetation like live oaks, loblolly pines and American elms while exploring a vast array of wildlife habitats ranging from marshes to grasslands. Prepare for mosquitos and check out the observation tower.

Levy Park

Levy Park is an urban park located near the upscale Upper Kirby neighborhood. The park was opened in November 2017 and features six acres of green space with native trees, plants, and flower beds. There are two playgrounds, a dog park, two performance stages, an interactive water feature, dining areas with food trucks and a bar, an amphitheater for live music performances, a community garden and nature trails for hiking and biking. Levy Park is easily one of the most popular Houston parks for kids with its playscape of tunnels, slides and water splash features.

The Levy Park Conservancy is responsible for maintaining the park’s beauty and integrity by offering educational programs such as STEM classes, story times for kids and exercise classes. The conservancy also hosts events throughout the year including movie screenings on Frisbee Golf Fridays and family nights with live music every Saturday night. There are also free yoga and dance classes offered under a covered pavilion.

Get out there!

With so many great parks to choose from, it can be hard to pick just one. But with a little research and some exploration, you’re sure to find the perfect park for you in Houston. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!

Explore Houston’s Most Popular Art Institutions for Free


Visitors to the sprawling Houston Museum District can enjoy free admission to many of the city’s leading art institutions. Located in an area spanning from Downtown Houston to Montrose and across to the Museum Park, visitors can easily explore some of Houston’s best museum offerings for free.

Among them are the Museum of Fine Arts, The Health Museum, Houston Zoo and Menil Collection as well as many other museums located in the Museum District. Most offer free admission on specified days or times, while others are always free.

Free Museum Thursdays

Houston’s cultural attractions have a tradition of offering free entry on Thursdays. Some museums are free the whole day, while others have limited hours with waived admission fees.

  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston (Free Thursdays 10am – 9pm). Note that special exhibits and screenings usually have an additional fee.
  • Houston Zoo (Free Thursdays 2pm – closing)
  • Holocaust Museum Houston (Free Thursdays 2pm – 5pm & Sundays 11am – 6pm)
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science (Free Thursdays 5pm – 8pm, always free for children under 3). Note that special exhibits, the butterfly habitat and planetarium usually have an additional fee.
  • Children’s Museum (Free Thursdays, 5pm-8pm). Parking is tight for this popular night. Local tip: arrive early and stop first at the kids-oriented Health Museum next door, which is always free.

Houston Museums that are Always Free

The majority of Houston’s museums are always free. Most of the smaller museums are closed on Mondays.

More information on arts destinations in Houston

Check out our blog post about getting to Houston’s Museum District on the METRORail. For more on Houston’s art, check out our blog posts on unique art twins, hidden art stops in Houston, and the Bayou City Art Festival.

Lodgeur’s favorite public gardens in Houston

Houston is a vibrant and bustling city with plenty of green spaces to explore. There is so much green space in Houston that we have a post on gardens and another just for parks. Here is a list of Lodgeur’s favorite public gardens in Houston:

McGovern Centennial Gardens

Centennial Gardens
The spiral path at Houston’s McGovern Centennial Gardens.

McGovern Centennial Gardens is a Houston landmark that offers visitors an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in Houston’s Hermann Park, Houston Centennial Gardens provides visitors with a tranquil and peaceful environment to explore nature and relax. The garden features lush landscaping, beautiful sculptures, meandering pathways, fountains, ponds and plenty of seating areas for picnicking or simply enjoying the view.

Houston Centennial Gardens features a large hill that rises at the heart of the garden, giving visitors a beautiful spot to admire Houston’s skyline and bask in the beauty of nature. The hill is covered with lush green grass and is dotted with trees, providing a scenic backdrop for picnics and family outings. From the top of the hill, visitors can take in Houston’s skyline and also catch a glimpse of Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre and Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Additionally, Houston Centennial Gardens also houses several native plant species including Texas live oaks, magnolias and wildflowers – making it an ideal spot for bird watching too! With its picturesque landscape full of vibrant colors year round – Houston Centennial Garden is sure to be one of Lodgeur’s favorite spots in Houston!

Nature Discovery Center

Located in Houston’s Bellaire neighborhood, the Nature Discovery Center is a great place to explore Houston’s natural beauty. The center features over four acres of lush gardens and trails, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to observe native plants and wildlife. With its interactive exhibits, educational programs and events for all ages, the Nature Discovery Center is an ideal spot for families looking for a fun day outdoors. Visitors can also take advantage of bird watching areas or stroll through various butterfly gardens onsite.

Houston’s Nature Discovery Center is an ideal spot for families looking to explore Houston’s natural beauty. The center features over four acres of lush gardens and trails, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to observe native plants and wildlife. With interactive exhibits, educational programs, bird watching areas and butterfly gardens, the Nature Discovery Center offers something for all ages.

Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday from 1pm-4pm; admission is only $5 per person or $15 for a family up to six people. So come out and enjoy Houston’s hidden gems!

Houston Arboretum

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is located on a 155-acre site along Buffalo Bayou. Its mission is to provide education about the natural world and promote environmental stewardship through its unique blend of nature programs, recreational activities, and conservation initiatives. Visitors can explore Houston’s native plants in the five miles of trails winding through woodlands, wetlands, meadows and ponds or take part in educational classes like birdwatching or gardening workshops. The meadows trail in particular offers great backdrops for photos.

For kids, the Arboretum offers weekly classes, camps during school breaks, and weekend activities. The new playground is often reserved for birthday parties on Saturday morning, but a nature scape playground is available near the older activities building. Parking is $8, paid with the Park Houston app.

MFAH – Bayou Bend

The Bayou Bend Gardens at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston are an oasis of natural beauty and historical charm. Located on 14 acres along Buffalo Bayou, these gardens offer visitors a richly landscaped outdoor experience with a wealth of stunning flora, winding pathways, tranquil seating areas and outdoor art installations. Originally built as a private residence in the 1920s by oil heiress Ima Hogg, the mansion and gardens were donated to MFAH in 1957 and are both open to the public.

Visitors will find lush displays of native plants, trees and flowers including azaleas that burst into vibrant color during the spring months. The Andrews Pinetum is filled with towering pines and ancient oaks while the Flower Garden offers colorful bursts of blooms throughout the year. The Asian Garden features intricately placed stones that create a peaceful atmosphere while providing highlights to colorful koi fish swimming in the pond below. In addition to its exquisite plant life, Bayou Bend features unique sculptures from renowned local artists as well as other iconic objects like two 19th century European fountains.

During special events such as holiday celebrations or summer concerts, guests can explore hidden corners of the garden or relax on one of several gazebos located within its boundaries. One highlight is a restored 1790 house known as “The Pavilion” which was once owned by Stephen F Austin’s brother James Austin. The Christmas celebration requires purchasing a ticket but MFAH hosts regular family-friendly events which are free to the public.

Mercer Botanic Gardens

Mercer Botanic Gardens is a 40-acre oasis situated in Humble just north of Houston. Here visitors can explore gardens filled with an array of colorful flowers and plants as well as enjoy stunning views from overlooks along its trails. Mercer Botanical Gardens also feature interactive learning areas for kids such as a butterfly garden and an herb garden where they can learn about different plants from experts at the gardens’ staff.

The gardens are divided into different sections each featuring its own unique landscape and ecosystem. Highlights include a Japanese Garden which includes a traditional teahouse and koi pond, a Rose Garden with over 200 varieties of roses, a Sculpture Garden where visitors can find sculptures created by local artists, and an Herb Garden with hundreds of herbs for visitors to learn about.

In addition to its gardens, Mercer Botanic Gardens also offers educational programs for kids such as guided tours, workshops and classes on gardening topics such as pruning techniques, seed propagation and composting. Visitors can also take part in family activities such as fishing in one of the six ponds found within the park’s grounds or bird watching at one of three bird sanctuaries located onsite.

The Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden is located in Hermann Park near Downtown Houston. The 8 ½ acre gardens offer tranquil oases amidst beautiful landscapes inspired by traditional Japanese design elements – ponds with koi fish paddling around them included! Visitors can take strolls along winding paths lined with cherry blossom trees or observe art installations while admiring large koi fish swimming in one of four large pools onsite before stopping off at one of two tea houses serving Japanese green teas overlooking tranquil settings perfect for meditation or reflection.

Houston’s Japanese Gardens are a stunningly beautiful place to explore and discover the many elements of traditional Japanese design. The gardens are filled with winding paths and trails that meander through landscapes inspired by the beauty of Japan. There are four large pools full of koi fish, which visitors can watch as they make their way along the paths and trails. Along the way, there are cherry blossom trees and art installations for people to admire. People can also take a stop at one of two tea houses located on the grounds, where they can enjoy a cup of Japanese green tea while admiring the tranquil surroundings. The park is also home to many other attractions, such as sculptures, fountains, waterfalls, traditional Japanese bridges, and a bell tower that chimes every hour.

For more on Houston’s green spaces, check out the post on Lodgeur’s favorite Houston parks.

Houston’s February events and celebrations

Houston is a vibrant and lively city with plenty of events and activities to enjoy all monthlong. From the Houston Rodeo and Garden Show to the Lunar New Year Festival and free, local events, there’s something for everyone in Houston this February.

Lunar New Year Night Market & Lantern Festival

Free entry

Chinese dragon at the festival

Image courtesy of Visit Houston.

Houston’s Lunar New Year Night Market features a wide variety of traditional foods, activities, and entertainment for all ages. Visitors can enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine from numerous vendors while watching vibrant cultural performances. As part of the celebration, attendees can also participate in the light sculpture decorating and lantern lighting for an additional fee.

Event details.

Feb. 4 & 5
401 Franklin St., Houston, TX 77201
10 am – 11 pm

Hands on Houston: Beaded Bracelets


Hands on Houston is a volunteer organization that hosts events for the community to come together and create art. One of their most popular events is Beaded Bracelets, where participants can learn how to make colorful beaded bracelets. This event provides an opportunity for people of all ages to get creative while having fun with friends or family. During the event, attendees will have access to a wide selection of beads in various shapes and sizes, allowing them to design unique pieces that reflect their own personal style. They’ll also receive guidance from current resident artist Lakea Shepard. The event is free and open to the public while supplies last.

Event details.

Feb. 4
4848 Main St., Houston, TX 77002
11 am – 3 pm

Houston Home + Garden Show


The Houston Home + Garden Show is an annual event that celebrates the beauty of nature and brings together home improvement professionals, green living experts, and local businesses. This year’s show is chock-full of new exhibitors, experts, and activations with an emphasis on gardening that will capture the essence of the Spring season: making old things new and giving a fresh take to your treasured spaces.

Event details.

Feb. 3 – 5
NRG Park
$10 general admission

First Saturday Arts Market


people on the picture gallery

Image courtesy of First Saturday Arts Market.

Houston’s First Saturday Arts Market is a popular outdoor event that takes place the first Saturday of every month in the Historic Houston Heights. Enjoy live music, grab a bite to eat from one of the food trucks, and check out some of the featured works from local and regional artists. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or just want to enjoy an afternoon in the company of artisans, First Saturday Arts Market is the perfect way to experience Houston’s thriving local art scene.

Event details.

Feb. 4
540 W. 19th St., Houston, TX
11 am – 6 pm

Monster Jam


monster trucks

Image courtesy of Monster Jam.

This monster truck extravaganza features the world’s best drivers competing in intense races and performing outrageous stunts. You won’t want to miss out on all of the high-octane action as these massive trucks tear up the track while they perform jaw-dropping feats of strength and agility. Get ready to witness an unforgettable spectacle at the Monster Jam in Houston!

Event details.

Feb. 11
One NRG Park
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Tickets start at $20

Valentine’s Day at Solstice


people walking on the street

Image courtesy of SOLSTICE by Studio Iregular at Discovery Green.

Studio Iregular’s art installation, Solstice, wraps up its final art programming event on Valentine’s Day! Solstice is comprised of a series of mirrored and LED arches that reflect the transformation of Earth when the sun is at its closest and furthest from the equator. Guests will be able to experience the longest day of the year to the shortest in an explorative and interactive format. And later that evening, Will Brandon of America’s Got Talent will perform a spectacular fire show from 6-9 p.m.!

Event details.

Feb. 14
Discovery Green
6 – 9 pm

The Love Project Live “Til Death”


“The Love Project is a Documentary and Live Music event focused on the journey of falling in love. We interview Houston residents, asking them about their deepest love and their most difficult heartbreak. These filmed responses are woven into our documentary, as we compose music that represents the feelings conveyed, and we play them live.  Our goal is to create an all-inclusive space where we can all come to connect, heal and grow as lovers.” -Sharee Davis

Event details.

Feb. 14
339 West 19 Street Houston, TX
7 – 10 pm

Indian Film Festival of Houston


The Indian Film Festival of Houston is an annual event that celebrates the wonders of Indian cinema by showcasing a variety of films, documentaries, and short movies. Drawing in audiences from all walks of life, this 3-day event strives to provide inspiring and thought-provoking stories from India’s vibrant film industry.

Event details.

Feb. 23 – 25
1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004
Tickets start at $19

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo


Houston rodeo

Image courtesy of RODEOHOUSTON.

Houston Rodeo is an annual event that celebrates the city’s rich western heritage. This 3-week event features a variety of activities and attractions including professional rodeo competitions, live music performances (Parker McCollum performs Opening Day!), carnival rides, interactive exhibits and more. From bull riding to barrel racing to mutton bustin’, this family-friendly extravaganza offers something for everyone. With over one million visitors each year, Houston Rodeo has become one of the largest events in the state. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure or just want to experience the legendary Wild West culture first-hand, don’t miss out on this incredible event!

Check out our post here on the top 10 things to do at Houston Rodeo and here for where to stay and how to get to Houston Rodeo.

Event details.

Feb. 28- March 19
NRG Stadium

The perfect staycation weekend in Houston

Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge at The Continental Club

If you’re looking for a perfect weekend staycation in Houston, Midtown is the place to be! With its plethora of great restaurants and bars, as well as its close proximity to downtown attractions, Midtown makes for an ideal destination for those looking to enjoy all that Houston has to offer without needing a car.

From delicious eats at some of the city’s best restaurants, craft cocktails at hip bars and lounges, and plenty of entertainment venues – there will never be a dull moment during your long weekend in this vibrant neighborhood. So if you’re ready to have an unforgettable time while staying close to home, keep reading – we’ve got all the details on where you should eat, drink and play during your fantasy weekend in Midtown Houston!

Head to Midtown Houston on Thursday for an unforgettable weekend of food, drinks, and entertainment! From delicious eats at some of the city’s best restaurants to craft cocktails at hip bars and lounges, you’ll find plenty of options throughout the vibrant neighborhood. So get ready – it’s going to be an amazing long weekend in Midtown Houston!

Thursday evening

There’s a special event (almost) every first Thursday of the month: Mid Main First Thursday. This is your chance to explore local shops while sampling tasty bites and listening to live music – all while supporting a great cause. Catch live music at Winnie’s over seasonally-inspired cocktails.

restaurant with people in front
Winnie’s is a Midtown favorite for sandwiches and craft cocktails.

And if you’re looking for some fun after dark, then don’t miss out on Beatle’s cover band Beetle, playing at the historic Continental Club! Beetle has earned a devoted following over 20 years of performances at Continental Club, and First Thursdays are your chance to see them without a separate cover charge. Check out our blog post on First Thursdays, Midtown’s block party.

music band image
Beetle has played weekly at the Continental Club for 20 years.

Friday morning

Start off your staycation Friday with the perfect casual breakfast spot in Midtown: Tacos a GoGo! This popular eatery serves up delicious Mexican cuisine all day long and is sure to start your day off right. The menu features traditional tacos made with fresh ingredients, as well as specialties like chilaquiles, migas and huevos rancheros. And don’t forget about the amazing selection of drinks including Mexican coffee and aguas frescas.

wall with images
Tacos a GoGo is your go-to for tacos and coffee in a no-frills setting.

Once you’ve had your fill of filling eats, explore the area with a self-guided walking tour of Midtown Houston. With its impressive collection of murals and public art, you’ll be sure to find plenty of Instagrammable moments throughout your journey! (Check out our blog post on Midtown’s rich mural scene.)

Friday afternoon

Big Kat's Barber Shop
Freshen up with the barbers at Big Kat’s.

Stop by Big Kat’s Barber Shop to get weekend-ready with a fresh haircut. Located right in the heart of this vibrant neighborhood, Big Kat’s offers old school barber services with a modern twist. From classic cuts and fades to more contemporary styles such as undercuts and edgy looks, Big Kat’s Barber Shop will get you on point for the weekend.

Friday evening

food image
Mai’s Restaurant was Anthony Bourdain’s regular stop in Houston.

It’s time for dinner! Enjoy an upscale dinner with friends at Mai’s Restaurant. This Vietnamese eatery is known for its flavorful, made-from-scratch dishes that pair perfectly with their vast selection of wines and beers. From delicious starters like the imperial rolls and spring rolls to entrées like the bun thit nuong and com tam bi do, you won’t be disappointed. Anthony Bourdain made a point of stopping by on every Houston trip. You should, too.

After dinner, stop by Double Trouble for craft cocktails on the ground floor of Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts. This hip bar specializes in classic drinks with a twist, like the “Smoke & Mirrors” made with mezcal and passionfruit. Enjoy the music of local DJs (and sometimes national acts) as you listen to great tunes and sip on your favorite libations.

cocktail image
Order doubles of Double Trouble’s coffee and cocktails.

Saturday morning

The Brass Tap’s famous brunch boards are perfect for sharing with friends or family – they come loaded up with all sorts of tasty treats like charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, meats and vegetables. And if that doesn’t sound tempting enough, the mimosa flights let you sample four different flavors of bubbly goodness – from classic orange to guava-pineapple. Remember to make your reservations in advance as the Brass Tap has lines every weekend.

Bring friends to help with the Brass Tap brunch board.

Saturday afternoon

After lunch, spend your afternoon wandering around Midtown’s independent shops. My Flaming Heart is great for handmade clothes you won’t find anywhere else. Sig’s Lagoon is great for browsing through vintage record albums. FYHA Shop is the place to get cool Houston gear.

Saturday evening

Holman Draft Hall
Holman’s open-air setting is best at sunset.

After a day of exploring, kick off your Saturday night with a drink at Holman Draft Hall. This open-air watering hole is well known for its impressive selection of craft beers and cocktails. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try their signature cocktail – the “Midtown Mule” made with local Houston vodka. Then grab some friends and test the swings outside while you munch on chicken tandoori nachos.

Sunday morning

Breakfast Club
The long lines outside every day are proof of great food at The Breakfast Club.

Treat yourself to a Sunday brunch at The Breakfast Klub. This soul food spot is renowned for its chicken and waffles, but they also serve up other classic breakfast favorites like omelets, pancakes, and French toast. The line is consistently long – even on weekdays. Go early and enjoy some great food with friendly service.

Sunday afternoon

building image
MATCH brings theater and dance productions to an intimate stage.

After brunch, spend your last day in Midtown enjoying a performance across the street from Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts at MATCH Theater. This venue is one of the best spots in town to catch live music, dance performances and plays.

No matter what kind of activities you choose to take part in during your stay in Midtown Houston, this district is sure to provide plenty of entertainment and excitement. It’s basically a walkable buffet for the senses.

More recommendations

For more Midtown recommendations, check out Lodgeur’s posts on the best brunch spots, cool shops in Midtown and the places you can easily walk to from Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts.

Guide to Houston’s Art Car Parade

art car

The Houston Art Car Parade is a beloved Houston tradition that has been entertaining locals and visitors alike since its inception in 1986. Every spring, Houston’s downtown streets are filled with hundreds of art cars – vehicles transformed into colorful works of art by their creative owners. The parade showcases the fun and funkiness of Houston culture, as well as the creativity and ingenuity of the city’s residents. If you’re looking for an exciting way to celebrate Houston’s vibrant art scene, then you won’t want to miss this amazing event that attracts 300,000 attendees each year!

Orange Show Center for Visionary Art

The Houston Art Car Parade is hosted every year by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Houston’s unique culture and art scene. Founded in 1977, the Orange Show has since become a beloved Houston institution that celebrates the city’s vibrant spirit of creativity and self-expression.

Each spring, they bring together hundreds of art cars from around Houston – vehicles transformed into colorful works of art by their creative owners – and host what many consider to be one of Houston’s most exciting events. The parade showcases both Houston’s funkiness as well as its artistic ingenuity – an event that no fan of Houston culture should miss!

Cars as Art

When and Where

This year, the 36th Annual Houston Art Car Parade will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023 from 11am-4pm in Houston’s historic downtown district.

The best seats are in the VIPit at Hermann Square in front of Houston’s City Hall, but you can watch the parade for free along the parade route. We suggest bringing a chair or blanket to sit on, along with bottled water.

Getting to the Houston Art Car Parade

Paid Parking in Houston’s Downtown District

Houston’s downtown district is full of paid parking options for visitors attending the Houston Art Car Parade. With so many lots to choose from, visitors can easily find a spot near the parade route and avoid potential traffic jams on the day of the event.

Some of Houston’s best-known parking facilities are located in Houston’s downtown district, including Houston City Hall Parking Garage and Houston Theater District Park One. We suggest choosing a lot a couple of blocks away from the parade route to minimize traffic when the crowds leave.

Using the METRORail from Midtown

Houston’s METRORail is the perfect way to travel from Midtown Houston to downtown Houston for the Houston Art Car Parade. With just a few stops and an easy-to-use system, it takes only minutes to get from Ensemble Station in Midtown Houston to Main Street Square Station in downtown Houston. This makes it one of the most convenient ways to get around on parade day and avoid potential traffic jams.

Starting from Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts, you will take the northbound Red Line of the METRORail from the Ensemble Station next to Mid Main Lofts. Four stops later, you step of the METRORail at the Market Street Square Station. From that station, a quick walk four blocks west along McKinney Street will land you in the heart of the Art Car Parade near the Houston Public Library and City Hall.

Check out our guide to using the METRORail.

Houston’s Art Car Parade is too good to miss

Houston’s Art Car Parade is a unique and festive celebration of Houston culture that brings together hundreds of art cars created by creative owners. Hosted each year by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts, visitors can enjoy free viewing along the parade route or purchase VIPit seating in Hermann Square near Houston City Hall. There are plenty of parking options downtown to avoid traffic jams on parade day as well as convenient access via METRORail from Midtown Houston. With so much fun and funkiness to experience, don’t miss out on experiencing Houston’s vibrant art scene at this amazing event!

Guide to Houston’s Bayou City Art Festival

bayou city art festival

For 50 years, the Bayou City Art Festival (BCAF) has been a beloved Houston tradition that brings together 300,000 annual visitors and 1,500 regional artists from 32 states to celebrate art. From paintings to photography and drawings to sculptures – over 300 booths will be filled with handmade creations for both sale and demonstration purposes. Make sure you join us at BCAF this year for an unforgettable experience!

The Bayou City Art Festival offers even more than just a plethora of art- it also hosts a beer garden, wine garden, entertainment stage, and an area dedicated to kids’ art and imagination. BCAF guarantees a robust array of food truck options, so you can fill your belly with the perfect meal and never have to worry about hunger pangs. You won’t have time for hangry!

Twice as Nice

Bayou City Art Festival is so popular that it’s held twice a year during Houston’s best months to be outside. In March, it’s at Memorial Park and in October, it’s at downtown at Sam Houston Park.

All for a good cause. Six good causes, actually.

The festival is run by a nonprofit, the Art Colony Association, to benefit 6 local Houston nonprofits: Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, FreshArts, ARTreach, Second Servings, and The Women’s Fund.

How to get to Bayou City Art Festival at Memorial Park in March

No on-site parking is available at the Memorial Park event. Nevertheless, ticket holders can access free and safe parking options at Northwest Mall (555 NW Mall). Alternatively, individuals may purchase a $5 roundtrip shuttle pass to get transported from their cars to the festival site. Additionally, children 12 and under are eligible for complimentary rides. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft always have a strong presence at BCAF.

How to get to Bayou City Art Festival downtown in October

The downtown edition of the Bayou City Art Festival is one of the most anticipated art events in Houston, held downtown every October in Sam Houston Park, along Allen Parkway. If you’re staying at Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts in Midtown and want to attend this fantastic event, there’s no need to worry about how to get there! The METRORail provides quick and easy transportation from Midtown directly downtown, so all you have to do is hop on board and enjoy the ride.

You will take the METRORail from the Ensemble Station at Mid Main Lofts northbound to the Market Street Square Station, directly on the Red Line. With just four stops along the way, you can be sure that your journey will be comfortable and stress-free. Check out our guide to using the METRORail.

How to buy a ticket

Tickets are available on the Bayou City Art Festival website, and usually cost $15-18 for an adult one-day ticket. Tickets may not be sold at the gate, so be sure to order in advance.

For more art destinations in Houston open year round, check out our post on hidden art stops in Houston.

The murals of Midtown

Midtown Houston is a walkable neighborhood filled with vibrant murals that bring life and color to the city. Nearly every block has unique street art to enjoy.

Come walk around and experience all of the amazing street art that makes this part of town so unique!

Discover why street art makes Midtown Houston such a unique and captivating place. With its dynamic atmosphere, plenty of walkable streets and vibrant murals – you’ll be blown away by your experience! Take the time to explore this one-of-a-kind area for yourself today.

For more unique art stops in Houston, check out our list of hidden gems.

Houston Art Twins: public art in Houston with a global twin

Fantome sculpture

Have you ever been to a city and felt like you were seeing double? Well, in Houston, that could be because our public artworks seem to have twins overseas. If you’re ever in Houston, be sure to check out these amazing works of art!

Houston has unique public art pieces with “twins” in famous places.

Houston is an incredibly artistic city, blessed with many incredible public art pieces. One particularly noteworthy part of Houston’s art scene are the “twins” – pieces that Houstonians can find in their own city, accompanied by a twin piece from another global city. Houston has become a hub for creative couplets of beloved sculptures that add unique depth and texture. They make Houston an even cooler place to explore.

Chronophage clocks in the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Cambridge University

At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, feast your eyes on an unforgettable and creative steampunk grasshopper clock known as Chronophage. This incredible time-devouring creature can be found on the ground floor of HMNS – it was originally designed for Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University by John Taylor and unveiled to the public in a ceremony hosted by Nobel laureate and physicist Stephen Hawking.

In 2008, Time Magazine bestowed the prestigious honor of one of its ‘Best Inventions’ upon The Clock. This timekeeper is truly a marvel as only four Chronophages exist in the world; one original located in Cambridge and two other variations, namely Dragon Chronophage situated in Shanghai that swallows an oyster pearl hourly and Midsummer Chronophage travelling within United Kingdom.

Personnage and Birds Miro sculpture at 600 Travis Street

Since 1979, the iconic Personnage and Birds sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miró has stood guard in front of Williams Towers at 600 Travis Street, attracting visitors for over four decades. This twenty-two foot high abstract artwork was specially commissioned to be placed here; it is even said that Miró himself visited its home prior to his death in 1983. Passersby have delightedly captured countless photos as a reminder of this beloved fixture’s presence in downtown Houston throughout these years.

Barcelona is incredibly fortunate to feature the remarkable 72-foot Woman and Bird sculpture by Miró in Parc Joan Miró. This piece, created just three years after its twin in Houston, makes Barcelona one of only two cities that can flaunt such grand public works art from this renowned artist.

Jean Dubuffet sculptures at Discovery Green in Houston and Garden des Tuileries in Paris

Two monumental sculptures, Monument au Fantome and Le Bel Costume, are connected by history and art. Artist Jean Dubuffet created both statues, which can be seen at Discovery Green in Houston (Monument au Fantome) and Garden des Tuileries in Paris (Le Bel Costume).

Monument au Fantome is the larger of these art twins, standing 15 feet tall and comprising several individual sculptures with small openings to pass through them. You’re likely to see kids crawling through and around the Fantome grouping. It has an intricate web of abstract lines crossing over each other, making it look like a living organism.

Le Bel Costume stands at a smaller 9 feet tall, with its own distinct character. Its robust architecture and shades of grey convey the timeless artistry of painting in all its curves and strokes. Both works by Jean Dubuffet embody his philosophy that art should exude spontaneity and vivacity – no matter where it be seen! Houston or Paris, these pieces will capture your attention instantly.

Visit Houston’s art scene

As a bonus, the famous “Houston is Inspired” mural is two blocks from the downtown Miro sculpture at 600 Travis Street.

Houston stands out as a hot-spot for unique art, giving life to its diverse culture and creative spirit. Every corner of Houston has something special waiting to be discovered – so don’t forget to keep an eye open on your next visit! For more ideas, check out our blog post on hidden art stops in Houston.

Events bringing Lodgeur’s guests to Houston

More than 6,000 guests have come to Houston and stayed in a Lodgeur furnished apartment. While many of our guests are traveling for work, internships, clerkships, medical residencies, travel assignments or extended medical care in TMC, we also host thousands of guests visiting Houston for a huge variety of events.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular events in Houston that draw Lodgeur guests year after year. So if you’re looking for an exciting new experience or just want to explore everything this amazing city has to offer, read on!

Houston Marathon (January)

Image courtesy of the Chevron Houston Marathon.

The Houston Marathon is an annual event held in January that draws runners from all over the world. This marathon, which has been running for more than 40 years, is a great way to kick off the year with a healthy and challenging competition. The course takes participants through some of Houston’s most iconic neighborhoods and provides stunning views of its skyline.

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (February & March)

Image courtesy of RODEOHOUSTON.

The Houston Rodeo is another popular event held each year, usually between February and March. Rodeo attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the globe who come to watch rodeos such as bull riding and barrel racing, take part in activities like petting zoos and carnival rides, and listen to amazing performances by big names like George Strait, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and more!

Lodgeur is a popular place to stay for guests who prefer hopping on the METRORail at the station next to Mid Main Lofts to being stuck in the parking and traffic near Rodeo. (Check out the post on using the METRORail from Midtown.)

Houston Art Car Parade (April)

cars in Houston's Art Car Parade
Each year’s art cars are unique, created by community groups from around Houston.

The Houston Art Car Parade is an annual event held every April which celebrates both local artistry and automobile culture with colorful decorated cars parading around town. This parade features hundreds of unique cars created by local artists ranging from classic vintage models covered in graffiti to modern vehicles outfitted with flashing lights or outlandish designs – it’s sure to be a spectacle you won’t want to miss! Be sure to check out Lodgeur’s Guide to the Art Car Parade.

Offshore Technology Conference (May)

robots image
Image courtesy of Offshore Technology Conference.

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is an annual event that takes place in Houston, Texas. It brings together more than 60,000 industry professionals from around the world to discuss the latest innovations and advancements in offshore energy technology. The conference has been running since 1969 and continues to be one of the most important events in the oil and gas industry. Attendees frequently choose Lodgeur when they want to be close to the OTC but have more space and privacy than a hotel room offers.

Bayou City Art Festival (October)

art festival

The Bayou City Art Festival (BCAF) is a Houston staple that has been celebrated for 50 years! This event brings together 1,500 regional artists from 32 states and over 300 booths filled with handmade art including paintings, sculptures, photography, and drawings. It’s no wonder BCAF draws in an impressive crowd of 300,000 visitors twice a year during the best months to be outdoors in Houston – March at Memorial Park and October at Sam Houston Park.

Theater Season (October through May)

theater play image
Photo courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera.

Houston is one of the most vibrant theater cities in the United States, and its theater season is no exception. Every year, Houston’s theaters come alive with a variety of performances ranging from classic plays to modern musicals. Lodgeur’s furnished apartments across the street from Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH) make it a popular choice with actors coming to town for a series of performances, who are looking for a more comfortable home away from home during the theater season.

Sports (Baseball, Basketball and Football)

baseball stadium image
Image courtesy of

Houston is a great place to be a sports fan or a professional athlete. The city and its surrounding area have teams in all three major American professional sports leagues – the NFL, NBA and MLB. Lodgeur hosts professional athletes in town for a season who are looking for the consistent quality of a hotel, but with the amenities of a complete apartment home.

Lodgeur – your home in Houston

Houston’s events draw millions of visitors to the city each year. Thousands of visitors have chosen Lodgeur’s furnished apartments in Midtown as their home base to explore the nation’s 4th largest city. Come see why they keep coming back.

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