After I finished school I decided that Houston was the place for me, my grandparents had lived in a small subdivision of Houston my entire life so I was familiar with certain areas and felt comfortable. I also needed a job, and Houston is a job hub (just in case you are looking).  I had never really traveled too much past my grandparents’ house, until I got a job in the downtown area.  Boy was I in for a surprise!  There were many things that my colleges were talking about doing on the weekends that I had no idea even existed in this area.  After a few months, and a couple of paychecks (I live on a budget ok!?) I decided to turn to the trusty google and find a few things that I could do with my friends on the weekends.  I wanted it to be exciting so my story would be the talk of the water cooler at the office.  Equipped with my smart phone, sunglasses and fanny pack I ventured out into the great unknown touristic parts of Houston.  If you have never visited this large and in charge city, let me tell you a couple things before you get here.  We are a melting pot of diversity; we are home to many different religions, cultures, and downright crazy fan clubs.  All these mixed together make Houston a wonderfully different place to visit and it opens the city up to many different experiences.  We might not always be in the limelight like New York, or LA but we offer some of the same things that those other big cities offer.  And although I might be a little partial I believe that everything is better in Texas, we are a big city with downhome values and good wholesome people.  Now let’s get to the list!

  • Space Center of Houston

 

    1. This was my first official weekend excursion and I was not disappointed. I wasn’t a huge science person in high school, space exploration was not on my list of things to do when I grew up, but this attraction was awesome nonetheless. I was able to walk through a space shuttle replica; the space station replica was pretty amazing as well. I touched a rock from the moon, although much to my surprise I wasn’t gifted with any amazing super power like something I had seen in a movie. But it didn’t make the experience any less amazing. At the time of my visit, I met a real life astronaut he did a small presentation that was pretty informative. I never knew or understood the type of education that one needs to travel to space. They go through a lot to blast off to the moon! And best of all this attraction was FREE! Yes I said it FREE! There was a special tour I could have taken but I opted out, it was called The Level 9 Tour. I was told there was a lot of behind the scenes stuff on the tour, and that ticket does cost, however it was only $10 I believe so it wasn’t a massive expenditure. The Space Center has to be one of my favorites to this day, I highly recommend you check it out, especially if you have small children interested in space exploration, this amusement will be out of this world! See what I did there?
  • Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo

 

    1. This is an annual mash up of awesomeness! Carnival rides, cowboy butts, concerts, and fried concoctions that will make your mouth water. I ended up taking a day off during the week due to the fact that the weekends here at the rodeo are nuts. If you can go during the week, you will be less crowded and less line waiting for your favorite ride. The first year I ever went I did go on the weekend, it was a Saturday and although I had fun, it was very crowded. Leading up to the rodeo they have a downtown parade, where cowboys from all over the area ride their horses and bring covered wagons from their trail rides right onto the main roads of downtown. The concerts are an array of artists, ranging from country to hip-hop. Check the concert listings to see who is playing the night that you want to go. And if you’re in Houston during March, I highly recommend you boot scooting over to NRG Stadium and checking it out for yourself. Don’t forget to grab a fried Twinkie or fried Oreo while you’re there, they are to die for.
  • The Museum District

 

    1. While this is fun, I believe it is more for the adults or older children who appreciate art and history. This is another free attraction and there are numerous museums to visit. I strolled through the Contemporary Arts Museum, there were a lot of local artists listed while I was visiting and I was bummed to find out an exhibit had just finished so I missed out on a lot of other local artists work. I did learn that they post all the upcoming exhibits and dates on their website if you want to plan before you go.   After that I headed over to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, while you’re there you need to check out the Planetarium and the Butterfly Center. The Planetarium had short films they showed, helping us to understand different parts of the earth and the galaxy. I opted to watch the film called “We are Stars”, it was amazing and informative. Now before I go too much further those last attractions were not free, but they hardly costs anything at all and I feel like they were worth the couple of bucks that I spent. There are many other museums in the area, some of which to this day I have not gone to, but they are on my bucket list.
  • Houston Zoo

 

    1. Not gonna lie, I have visited the Zoo more times than I can count while living here. I love animals and I really enjoy what the Houston Zoo has done lately with the Elephant area and expanding the Gorilla recreational part of the park. Each time I go to the Zoo I watch the seal show and grab the giraffe snack from the hut to feed those long neck lovelies. They will literally walk right up to you and take the food from your hands. Last time I went I watch a baby elephant take a bath, and I also got to pet a snake (yikes). The zoo keepers really do a great job there, during any show if you have questions they are more than happy to answer them. You can tell they want to keep people informed in hopes of making the world more animal conscience place. I think we take for granted the beauty of these animals, and the Zoo employees realize that knowledge is power when it comes to the Zoo tenants. The Zoo is opened all year, but Houston during the summer is torture! I recommend waiting till it cools off to go, the animals are more playful then as well, and you will see more of them out of their air conditioned enclosures. The price is still very reasonable, and you can spend all day there, really getting your money’s worth.
  • Traders Village Indian Pow Wow  

 

  1. Houston really is the hidden gem of big city attractions. While most people think of LA or New York as the go to city, don’t count Houston out just yet. If you have never visited this large and in charge city, let me tell you a couple things before you get here. We are a melting pot of diversity; we are home to many different religions, cultures, and downright crazy fan clubs. All these mixed together make Houston a wonderfully different place to visit and it opens the city up to many different experiences. From art and history museums, to space exploration and food trucks, Houston really offers an array of attractions for any age. While I may be a little biased, growing up in Texas and all, I believe that Houston offers the excitement of a city with the downhome feel and wholesome people.
  2. While I have not even begun to scratch the top of the Houston attraction iceberg; I have lived here 10 years and still have not visited all the fun and exciting places that Houston has to offer. Like Food Truck Festival, or all the great food places that Houston has. Not to mention the underground tunnels that run beneath our city, like the secret catacombs of Paris. But really the underground tunnels are full of shopping and eating, so I am told but I will have to find out for myself! So if Houston is not on your list to visit I recommend that you correct your list very quickly. The sites, the experiences, and the people are what make this city so great to visit. They are all the Gems of Houston. Grab your bags, and fly, drive, bus, or hitchhike to Houston and see all that sparkles and shines in this great city I call home.
  3. This two day Indian festival is full of dancing contests, craft shows, and ceremonies. This colorful festival is full of colorful art and interesting facts about the Native American culture. When I visited this Pow Wow, I was surprised to see dancers that were so young they could barely walk, dressed in full headdresses and dancing their native dances. I few moments got to me, it was a very beautiful event and they loved every minute of educating onlookers of their heritage. If you want a break from the shows, walking around and shopping is always fun! There are an array of different vendors, as well as carnival rides and a food court. Entry was free after you paid to park, and security rode through the parking lot while I was in the village. Which I am not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? I didn’t have any trouble while I was there, and I even went home with some really cool crafts from some of the vendors there.