The Best Parks of #Houston

Don’t have a lot of money but you want to get out of the house? See nature? Have fun? Go on a walk? Have a picnic? Let’s check out the best parks in Houston. This city is known as the world capital of space exploration, however, there are also some gems of nature in this city and you’ll be happy to visit them all.

Buffalo Bayou Park

This sprawling 160-acre park has something for everyone in Houston, whether local or tourist. From biking trails to running trails, playgrounds and play areas, art sculptures, canoe and kayak rentals, a two-acre dog park, a skatepark, and 18 amazing acres of prairies and wildflowers perfect for that picnic with the family. You might also enjoy The Dunlavy, the park’s resident restaurant. Whatever you’d like to do you can do at the Buffalo Bayou Park. Built along the main waterway in Houston, you’ll love the view as well. If you find yourself in town, definitely make a point to visit this park.

Smither Park

This park serves as an artistic venue for all your outdoor leisure time. On display in Smither Park is pieces fashioned by over 300 different artists, many of which are local to the area. There is an amphitheater to enjoy, as well as a meditation area, a covered pavilion, a memory wall, sculptures, and many recycled materials such as bottle caps to broken ceramic, to seashells to tiles, all designed into colorful and whimsical mosaics. If you’re artsy and looking for something a little different than your run-of-the-mill city park, come and enjoy Smither Park on your stay in Houston.

Memorial Park

This park covers a massive 1466 acres, and over 75 percent of this park is unmanicured. Step into the wilds while on your nature walk in Memorial Park and you’ll be sure to enjoy the local wildlife to your heart’s content. However, there is also many various activities to enjoy at the park as well, such as tennis, golf, softball, soccer, flag football, a public pool, croquet, and many more. For biking or hiking, over 30 miles of forest trails are available to explore, making Memorial Park one of the best parks for recreation in Houston. Come take a hike and have a picnic here. You’re guaranteed to have a fantastic day.

George Bush Park

George Bush Park is a colossal 7800 acres of land and boasts over 11 miles of various biking and hiking trails throughout its expanse. If you love park amenities, look no further than George Bush Park. Here, you’ll enjoy playgrounds, three picnic pavilions, various Little League baseball fields, an outdoor shooting range, a flying field for model airplanes, and a dog park all within one park. Benches dot the landscape throughout the park and you’ll be glad they do so you can rest and take in all the scenery. If you want to get away while in Houston, there is no better place than George Bush Park. Come and enjoy yourself here today!

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5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Houston, TX (IAH)

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Houston.

Levy Park

A classic, beloved park in South Houston. If you’re looking to enjoy a picnic under the sun or take the kids out for a day of fun, then Levy Park is the place to go. You can sit on the lawn, on picnic tables in the shade, or benches near the playground. They even have board games at the park that you can borrow as well as other outdoor activities. This park makes the Top 5 list, because there is a seemingly endless number of things to enjoy while you picnic here. 

Eleanor Tinsley Park

Located on Buffalo Bayou, this park is made of rolling green hills that beg for picnic blankets to be spread out. If you’re picnicking with children, visit the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area and Picnic Pavilion. Or walk along the park paths until you come to the perfect open field with just the right amount of shade. Another special thing you are sure to find in Eleanor Tinsley Park is clear views of the Houston Skyline.

Market Square Park

Market Square Park has been a staple Houston city park since 1836. It is frequently referred to as the bustling center of Houston’s Historic District and hosts outdoor movies, markets, and is the place for Blanket Bingo. The park is bustling and picnicking here feels like tapping into the unique pulse of Houston itself. There are plenty of tables with umbrellas as well as walkways, gardens, and artwork. 

Terry Hershey Park

Charming wooden bridges can be found throughout the trails in this park that lives on 500 acres near the Buffalo Bayou. Wildflowers, towering trees, and lush foliage cover this entire park. Picnicking here is never the same because there is so much to explore. You can stop along the bayou, in an open field of flowers, or next to the playground. The park is just outside Houston and feels like a true escape from the city into nature. 

Hermann Park

Hermann Park is a large, beloved park in Houston and is home to the Houston Zoo. The park can be rather busy as a result, but is extremely special and well-designed, so worth the risk of some larger crowds. I recommend stopping at McGovern Island in the middle of the park, taking a blanket and picnic basket to the top of Miller Hill, or claiming a bench under the Pergola Walk. Wherever you choose to stop for a picnic in Hermann Park will feel like a photogenic oasis from the city.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Houston, TX

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Space Center Houston

1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

Space Center Houston is a science museum that serves as the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. It earned a place as a Smithsonian Affiliate museum in 2014. The organization is owned by NASA and operated under a contract by the nonprofit Manned Spaceflight Education Foundation, a 501 organization. The Johnson Space Center is the home of Mission Control and astronaut training. The center opened in 1992, replacing the former Visitor Center in Johnson Space Center Building 2. the 250,000 square feet museum displays 400 space artifacts, permanent and traveling exhibits, and theaters with a focus on the history of the human spaceflight program. The center also hosts STEM programs for all ages

The Menil Collection

1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006

The Menil Collection refers either to a museum that houses the private art collection of founders John de Menil and Dominique de Menil, or to the collection itself of approximately 17,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and rare books. The museum’s holdings are diverse, including early to mid-twentieth century works of Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, among others. The museum also maintains an extensive collection of pop art and contemporary art from Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, Vija Celmins, and Cy Twombly, Jr., among others. Also included in the museum’s permanent collection are antiquities and works of Byzantine, Medieval and tribal art.

Discovery Green

1500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77010

Discovery Green is an 11.78-acre public urban park in Downtown Houston, Texas. The park is adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center and Avenida Houston entertainment district. Discovery Green features a lake, bandstands and venues for public performances, two dog runs, a playground, and multiple recreational lawns. In the early 2000s, a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and a group of local philanthropic organizations, including the Kinder Foundation, was formed to construct a new public green space in Downtown. The design of the park, led by landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates, began in 2005.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Houston

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Houston this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Houston Caribbean Festival

After being postponed last year, the Houston Caribbean Festival is back on July 4th! There will be a Parade of the Bands at 2 pm which is free to watch – so bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket. The parade will feature bright costumes, stilt-walkers, floats, steel drums, and more. The festival will be celebrating Caribbean culture – including food – so come hungry (no outside food or drink, please). There will be a kid zone for little ones.

Baytown

Just 30 minutes away from Houston across the bay, the neighboring city of Baytown is hosting a 2-day birthday party for the United States of America over 4th of July Weekend. The festival is completely free and includes live music (there will be five different bands playing shows on the stage), food, shopping at various vendors, and of course, fireworks! The firework show will be accompanied by patriotic tunes spun by a DJ.

Summer Jam HTX

If you’ve been missing music festivals over the 14 months, you’re going to want to grab tickets to Summer Jam HTX before they sell out! This music festival takes place from July 3rd at 4 pm through July 4th at midnight and will feature a variety of both local and national artists, like Big Freedia, various DJs, and more. It will conclude with a huge firework show! Tickets range in price depending on if you want to purchase general admission of one of the VIP access levels.

Galveston

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Houston’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico makes that easy to do! For a fun day in a beach town, take a one-hour road trip over to Galveston. This barrier island has sandy beaches, like Stewart Beach and East Beach, that are great for swimming, playing some beach volleyball, and lounging in the sun (perhaps even with a cold beer, since alcohol is permitted at East Beach). There’s also enough to do here to make a full weekend of it. Some highlights include:

·   Galveston Island State Park: perfect for the outdoorsy set, the park offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, birdwatching, and hiking.

·   Moody Gardens: bring the kids to this unique zoo with animals living in giant terrarium-like glass pyramids!

·   Historic Pleasure Pier: This amusement park is situated on a pier jutting out into the water! The whole family will enjoy rides, carnival games, shops, and dining.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Houston

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Houston Arboretum

4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024

This 155-acre non-profit urban nature sanctuary provides education about the natural environment to people of all ages.  It plays a vital role in protecting native plants and animals in the heart of the city where development threatens their survival.

Houston Botanic Garden

1 Botanic Lane, Houston, TX 77017

Life grows here—connecting people with plants.  At the Houston Botanic Gardens, visitors commune with nature, and each other, while engaging all of their senses in a serene oasis just minutes from the city’s center.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218

The Dallas Arboretum is proud to offer the public an array of popular annual events, educational programs for children and adults, and an emphasis on family-oriented activities. Ground-breaking horticultural research conducted in our Trial Gardens continues to contribute to an important body of knowledge, both regionally and nationally.  The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden were founded upon the dreams of a few visionaries with a passion for preserving both history and nature. Though the gardens themselves are comparatively young, the work that went into creating the current gardens began long ago.

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Lush 110-acre garden & event venue with famed Japanese landscape, nature classes & May herb fest.  The garden was established in 1934 and is the oldest major botanic garden in Texas; it is located in the heart of the cultural district. Its most popular areas are The Fuller, Rose, and Japanese Gardens.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Houston

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Houston, there’s no better place for brunch than Bosscat Kitchen & Libations. They have a great selection of decadent brunch choices and – as the name implies – a big variety of cocktails.

Discovery Green

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Discovery Green, an urban park that’s conveniently located right downtown. If you don’t feel like prepping the lunch yourself, there are several great restaurants bordering the park offering takeout -including The Grove, which is in the park itself and offers a rustic menu perfect for picnicking.

High Tea

Do you and your mom like feeling fancy? There’s not much fancier than an afternoon tea. At McHugh Tea, you can enjoy a lovely spread as long as you book 24-hours in advance! The event includes your choice of three bottomless pots of tea from their selection of more than 60 organic flavors, three kinds of tea sandwiches, three different kinds of dessert, two flavors of scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream, and lemon curd. You can even upgrade to the Tipsy Tea, which includes all of the above, plus your choice of bottomless wine, mimosas, or champagne.

Paint & Sip

If you want something unique to do, head to Pinot’s Pallet, where you and your mom can create masterpieces while sipping wine! All you have to do is BYOB and the staff will take care of the rest, from the painting supplies (and drinking supplies) to walking you through the process with instructions. They have three class options for you on Mother’s Day: a vase of daisies from 11 am to 1 pm, an abstract floral from 3 pm to 5 pm, and a seascape from 7 pm to 9 pm. Feel free to bring a snack as well!

The Original Ninfa’s

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a night out at a famous restaurant. Consider The Original Ninfa’s, which was a James Beard semifinalist last year for Best Restaurant. The restaurant was started by Mama Ninfa, who took the restaurant world by storm by popularizing fajitas! Ninfa’s has now been in business for 50 years and is still serving up amazing fajitas and other Tex-Mex cuisine. 

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Best Car Washes in Houston, Texas

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Houston, Texas. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Houston has to offer.

First, we recommend Cory’s Mobile Detailing & Car Wash Service. This shop services cars, trucks, SUV’s, minivans, full-sized vans, RV’s, semi-trucks, even boats and airplanes! Fleet detailing is also in their repertoire. They offer an array of different detailing work for your vehicle, including mobile car wash and detailing services. If you cannot come into the shop, they will come to you. This is the ultimate in convenience. They have three packages to choose from, each better than the last, beginning with their silver package, to their gold package, up to their platinum package. Each package is more expensive and also fluctuates in price depending on what you’d like done.

Second, we recommend Dream Team Detailing. This shop offers mobile hand washing, headlight restoration, and interior detailing. They service all kinds of vehicles from sedans to sports cars, from SUV’s to trucks to minivans and full-sized vans. Not one inch of your vehicle goes untouched. We’re sure you’ll love the service you receive at Dream Team Detailing. Call or go online to book your appointment today.

Finally, why not give Fresh Start Mobile Detailing a try? At Fresh Start, it doesn’t matter what you drive, each vehicle is treated with the utmost respect, as if it was their own. Three packages are available for you, the Fresh Package, the Fresher Package, and the Showroom Fresh Package. Each package comes with more services to ensure your car will gleam with clean. Pricing fluctuates according to the size of your vehicle. Fresh Start services sedans, trucks, SUV’s, minivans, and full-sized vans.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the CARisma Wash on Kirby Dr., the Express Carwash on Clearwood Dr., or the Mister Car Wash on Washington Ave. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Houston, Texas, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Houston

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Houston and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Houston that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Hyatt Place Houston/Galleria

Outdoor enthusiasts who’ll be wanting to see some green during their time in Houston will have a happy stay at Hyatt Place Houston/Galleria, which is near Waterwall Park, the Arboretum, and the Nature Center. Your comfortable room will entitle you to free Wi-Fi, free hot breakfast, and access to an area shuttle. Other amenities around the hotel include an outdoor pool, a gym, a bar, and a grab & go market. Their pet policy allows two dogs up to 50 lbs. each and not exceeding a combined weight of 75 lbs. The fees for pets are on a tiered basis depending on how long you stay.

Condo Rental

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this one-bedroom condominium on Airbnb, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes free parking, a washer & dryer, a king-sized bed, Wi-Fi, and a kitchen. The beautifully remodeled space includes stainless steel, granite, and hardwood floors. There’s also a patio and access to shared spaces within the complex, like an outdoor pool and a gym. Your host Patrick is an experienced Airbnb Superhost and the property has earned great ratings for his friendly communication, the well-kept grounds, and perfect location.

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Houston

When you just need a budget-friendly, clean, and comfortable hotel, La Quinta Inn & Suites is the place to turn. It was voted the 2020 Traveler’s Choice on TripAdvisor and it’s located perfectly for quick access to the George Bush International Airport, as well as many local attractions. Rooms are comfortable and practical, coming equipped with a microwave, desk, and flat-screen TV. You’ll get free breakfast daily and get to enjoy amenities like a pool and hot tub, a business center, and free Wi-Fi.

Tiny House

When you’re traveling, it can be nice to stay somewhere that’s a bit of an adventure so that the stay itself feels just as exciting as your excursions. That’s where this tiny house on Airbnb comes in. This charming beach-themed cottage is run by a Superhost and has great reviews. It’s well-located near everything downtown and allows for a private and autonomous stay.

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What to do in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas is a fantastic place to be if you’re looking for something fun to do. Whether you’re in town for a vacation or a business trip, Houston has plenty to do and is sure to have something for everyone in the whole family. Do you like touring museums? Are you an art lover? Do you love history? Have you always wanted to explore space? Then read on and discover what there is to do in this town!

First, we recommend the Holocaust Museum Houston. This year they celebrate their 25th year of hope. The Holocaust Museum’s goal is to educate and to never forget. If we do not remember the atrocities of the past, we are doomed to repeat them. The museum’s featured exhibit this year is Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory. It showcases over 60 personal items with personal stories to go with them from Survivors or the family of Survivors. Be sure to visit this exhibit if you find yourself in Houston. It is one-of-a-kind, touching, and educational.

If you’re an art lover, then the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is your bet. Several exciting exhibitions are on display, such as Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature, which is a double exhibit showcasing both Van Gogh and Hockney. Both artists use bold splashes of color and use creative ways to express perspective through their medium. Another exhibit on display is Between Sea and Sky: Blue and White Ceramics from Persia and Beyond. These exceptional pieces span several continents and centuries. The museum has on loan from the San Antonio Museum of Art three fabulous original pieces from the Ming dynasty. For any lover of art or ceramics, this is a do-not-miss event!

We also recommend the wonder of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. If you want to be blown away by all that nature has to offer, you will make the time to come to this museum. With a planetarium on site and a butterfly center that is sure to tantalize, what is not to love here? Several exhibits are on permanent display, such as Faberge: Art of Presentation, Hall of Ancient Egypt, the Morian Hall of Paleontology, and the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. If you love beauty or antiquity, you will never be disappointed with a visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science!

Finally, who could go to Houston without visiting the Houston Space Center? This center has all you could ever want for space exploration memorabilia, such as their Starship Gallery, filled with spacecraft from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo eras. Have you always wished you could see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket? They have one! These rockets have become world-renowned for not only being reusable, but re-landable as well. Want to know what astronauts have to wear during a spacewalk? They have every suit since the dawn of the space race. They even have the Independence, a shuttle replica, mounted on the back of a NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft that the public can enter!

Houston is a town that has so much to do, you won’t know what to do first! One thing is for sure, you won’t be bored for long! Bring your whole family on a fabulous adventure in Houston today!

Links

On Air Parking (IAH) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Houston-International-Airport-IAH

Holocaust Museum Houston – https://hmh.org/

Museum of Fine Arts – https://www.mfah.org/

Houston Museum of Natural Science – http://www.hmns.org/

Houston Space Center – https://spacecenter.org/

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near IAH

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Harris County Public Health

2223 West Loop Street

Houston, TX 77027

713.439.6000

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm

Several Houston retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         H-E-B

·         Kroger

·         Randall’s Pharmacies

·         Sam’s Club

·         Walgreens

·         Walmart

There is also the choice of being vaccinated at one of the participating hospitals or health centers.  Again, contact the hospital ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         St Lukes Health

·         Houston Methodist Hospital

·         Memorial Hermann Health System

·         UT – Health Houston

·         Baylor College of Medicine

·         Harris Health

·         Kelsey Seybold

·         MD Anderson Cancer Center

·         Memorial Hermann

·         Michael E DeBakay VA Medical Center

·         Texas Children’s Hospital

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