The Best Parks in Houston

The city of Houston is home to over 366 parks overseen by its Parks and Recreation department. Stretching from as far as 1,500 acres of land, parks in Houston are the best for all seasons, whether for leisure, family time, exercise, musical or theatrical performances, all hosting unique experiences around town. In our list of the Best Parks in Houston, you’ll find a city bustling with events and activities to make you feel at home.

What Does the Best Houston Parks Offer?

From historical to modern parks, the best parks in Houston offer their specialties of nature shots, music venues, park side restaurants, and more, shown in the list below. Check out their sceneries and find which of the best parks in Houston fits best for you:

List of the Best Parks in Houston

  1. Buffalo Bayou Park
  2. Midtown Park
  3. Discovery Green
  4. Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park 
  5. Smither Park
  6. Theatre Under The Stars
  7. McGovern Centennial Gardens
  8. Sam Houston Park
  9. Lucky Land Houston 
  10. Hermann Park 
  11. Bear Creek Pioneers Park 
  12. East End Park 
  13. Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
  14. Eleanor Tinsley Park
  15. Alexander Deussen Park
  16. Sesquicentennial Park
  17. Arthur Storey Park
  18. Memorial Park
  19. Johnny Steele Dog Park
  20. Cullen Park
  21. George Bush Park 
  22. Root Memorial Square
  23. Bay Area Park
  24. Mason Park

1. Buffalo Bayou Park

18200 Allen Pkwy & Memorial Dr

Buffalo Bayou Park
Buffalo Bayou’s Instagram.

Right beyond Houston’s City Skyline is Buffalo Bayou Park sprawled across 160 acres of land. From green gardens and landscapes, paddling activities at the lake, trails for riding and running, art pieces, play areas, and more, there is much to discover at this must-see Houston park. The park even features a skate park, a boat launch, stair access, bridges, and water fountains, and will begin to implement more fun features for visitor convenience and enjoyment. The park contains a number of featured locations, such as The Water Works gateway for great views, Elanor Tinsley Park for events, a dog park, and Lost Lake for wetland garden viewing.

Location

1800 Allen Pkwy & Memorial Dr
Houston, TX 77019

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6AM – 11PM

Upcoming Events

April 16th: Sound Healing Meditation at 10 AM
April 18th: Breakfast at Buffalo Bayou at 7:30 AM
April 27th: Sunset Yoga at 6:30 PM

Check out Buffalo Bayou’s calendar for many more events!

2. Midtown Park

2811 Travis St

Midtown Park
Midtown Park’s Website.

Midtown Park is a modern park, newly opened in 2017 to the public for the ultimate neighborhood park experience. Midtown provides guests with a park, retail space, and public parking, with plenty of restaurant and food options besides its paths and public transportation. Hosting a green lawn, this is where festivals, performances, family activities, markets, and other events are held. Other features include their reflecting pool, Bayou Waterway, art wall, swings, garden walk, playground, interactive water feature , social games, and dog park. For a conveniently outdoor modern experience with family, Midtown is the park to visit!

Location

2811 Travis St
Houston, TX 77006

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 8AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events 

April 4th: Zumba at 6:30 PM
April 22nd: 2023 Midtown Wine Fest at 1:30 PM

3. Discovery Green 

1500 McKinney St

Spanning 12 acres is Discovery Green, with a vision for talent, creativity, and prosperity to grow within the city Houston through connection, green space, and ample opportunity. Discovery Green emphasizes its “green” routine, stressing its sustainability through maximizing open spaces, natural air flow, water efficiency, solar panel uses, and recycled material within park construction. Indoor environments around the park rely on daylight for natural light sources, monitored at all times. Included in the Discovery experience to sustain it as one of the best parks in Houston are its kids playground, Kinder Lake, listening vessels, dog runs, courts, fountains, and multiple art installations.

Location

1500 McKinney St
Houston, TX 77010
 

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6AM – 11PM

Upcoming Events

March 4th – June 3 (Saturdays): Bank of America’s Screen on the Green at 7 PM
April 9th – April 30th (Sundays): Jazzy Sundays in the Parks at 5 PM
April 11th – May 2nd (Tuesday): Toddler Tuesday ay 10:30 AM
April 20th – June 1st (Thursday): UHD Thursday Night Concerts at 7 PM

4. Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park 

 2800 Post Oak Blvd

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Waterwall Park Information Page.

The Waterwall Park is located in Uptown Houston alongside Memorial Park and other Houston attractions. Featuring their famous 64ft. water wall perfect for photo opportunities and family visits, the park also sports 186 oak trees for a beautiful stroll and a 360ft. lawn, and the Scarnae Frons for a place to view the water wall in all its glory. In Houston’s business district, Waterwall Park is perfect for a memorable, tranquil experience with loved ones.

Location

 2800 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 8AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events 

Check out Uptown Houston’s website for events and information on Waterwalls closest, shops, dining experiences, hotels, and homes.

5. Smither Park

2441 Munger St

Smither Park
Smither Park’s Website.

Art is all around us in Smither Park, combining the unique artistry of neighborhoods Third Ward and East End. The park describes itself as a creative urban space featuring over 300 individuals artistic contributions with marble, mosaics, recycled materials, and other quirky creations around the Houston Area. The park features an Amphitheater, a pavilion, a Memory Wall, artistic swings, a plaza and walkways, a meditation wall, and a marble tower. 

Location

2441 Munger St
Houston, TX 77023

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 7AM – 7PM

Upcoming Events

April 8th: Easter Orange Art Car Hunt at 10 AM
April 13th: The Main Street Drag at 9 AM
April 22nd: Mosaic Workshop for Beginners at 9:30 AM
April 28th: The Happening Performance Art and Open Mic at 6 PM

6. Theatre Under The Stars 

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

Theatre Under The Stars
Theatre Under the Stars Website.

Theatre Under The Stars involves Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre as it delivers Broadway to your very own Hermann Park. Their values of engagement, inclusivity, collaboration, resilience, transparency, and inspiration translates into their many performances in and out of the Hobby Center, including those put on at Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre. From their performance of the Music Man musical, you can expect their return to the outdoor stage for a memorable night at the park.

Location

TUTS:

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
800 Bagby St UNIT 200
Houston, TX 77002

Miller Outdoor Theatre:

000 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030

Open Hours

Sunday & Saturday: Closed
Monday – Friday: 10AM – 6PM

Upcoming Events

July 15th: A Celebration of Houston Stories and Songs qat Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park

7. McGovern Centennial Gardens 

1500 Hermann Dr

McGovern Centennial Gardens 
McGovern Centennial Gardens on Hermann Park Conservancy’s Website.

Created out of celebration for Hermann Park, McGovern Centennial Gardens serves visitors unique experiences at every garden room. Containing a multitude of tree and flower species, each garden is arranged beautifully, with opportunities for spaces to be rented out, such as their Celebration Garden and Cherie Flores Pavilion for events. Other garden features include their Arid, Family, and Woodland Garden, as well as their Hawkins Sculpture, Tudor Family Pine Hill, and Pergola Walk.

Location

1500 Hermann Dr
Houston, TX 77004
In Hermann Park

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 9AM – 7PM

Upcoming Events

April 2nd: Hello Spring Panic! at 2 PM
April 8th: Volunteering at 10AM
May 20th: Annual High Tea at 10:30 AM

8. Sam Houston Park 

1000 Bagby St

 Sam Houston Park 
Christian Jankowski on Sam Houston Park’s Google Reviews.

Sam Houston Park comprises a historical array of artwork and memorials, classified as a historical site for all to view and visit. These historical exhibits and art pieces include the Alexander Hodge Memorial, Armillary Sphere, Neuhaus Fountain Coyotes, Pilot Dogs, their Scanlan Fountain, Statue Relocated to HMAAC, U.S.S Houston Monument, and WWI Monument.

Location

1000 Bagby St
Houston, TX 77002

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 7AM – 9PM

Offering Deals

April 5th: Mister McKinney Facebook Live at 7PM
April 21st: Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine Gala at 6:30 PM

9. Lucky Land Houston 

8625 Airline Dr

Lucky Land Houston
Lucky Land’s Website.

Lucky Land invites its visitors to experience Chinese culture and the rich history behind the country’s wonders and cultural sites. The park includes attractions such as their 3D Gallery, Goat Garden, Guan Yin / Yu, Koi Fish, Villages, Cultural Replicas, and more that provide you a glimpse into historical Chinese art and architecture. Whether for a great photo opportunity or for a learning lesson, Lucky Land is perfect for family trips to share the experience with.

Location

8625 Airline Dr
Houston, TX 77037

Open Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Friday: 10AM – 5PM
Saturday – Sunday: 10AM – 6PM

Upcoming Events

Check out Lucky Land’s Website for status on their opening dates, due to temporary closure for construction.

10. Hermann Park 

 6001 Fannin St

Hermann Park 
Herman Park’s Website.

Since 1992, the journey to Hermann Park and all activities under the Hermann Park Conservancy have resulted in bringing Houston together with its points of interest, including the Bayou Parkland, Bill Coats Bridge, Brays Bayou, its multiple gardens and pavilions, art installations, restaurants by the lake, the Grand Gateway, gift shops, and more. With its location fairly near the Houston Zoo, there is much ground to cover when visiting Hermann Park with experiences for every interest. Also don’t forget to check out the best restaurants in Houston.

Location

 6001 Fannin St
Houston, TX 77030

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6AM – 11PM

Upcoming Events

April 1st: Love Your Park at 8:30 AM
April 6th: Student Performance at 10AM
April 28th: Evening in the Park at 6:30 PM

11. Bear Creek Pioneers Park 

3535 War Memorial St

Bear Creek Pioneers Park
Jasmine Saha on Bear Creek Pioneers Park’s Google Reviews.

Bear Creek Pioneers Park is part of the Addicks Reservoir, much like Cullen Park. The park’s typical walking trails, an equestrian trail, a small zoo, recreational sports fields, picnic spaces, tennis courts, and small ponds and lakes are all features that keep park visitors coming for a great place to spend time with loved ones. The park also features the Harris County War Memorial in honor of WWI verterans, where Memorial Services are held every year. 

Location

3535 War Memorial St
Houston, TX 77084

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 7AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events

April 21st: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7:30 PM
May 28th: 5K Run / Walk-Star For A Star at 10 AM
August 6th: Love and Gospel 2023 at 7 PM

12. East End Park 

6500 Kingwood Dr

East End Park
Manish Khatri on East End Park’s Google Reviews.

East End Park, located at the end of Kingwood Drive,  remains a rich and diverse biosystem within Harris County. Brimming with spacious trails, boardwalks, hundreds of shading trees, wetlands, and meadows, this park’s serene and peaceful views are perfect for a quiet and nature-filled walk with family and friends. You may even spot wildlife roaming the area. Bird watching will be a unique and fulfilling experience at East End Park!

Location

6500 Kingwood Dr
Kingwood, TX 77345

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6:30pM – 7PM

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events are available.

13. Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center

14140 Garrett Rd

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
Sheldon Lake State Park on Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Website.

With a more wildlife-based approach, Sheldon Lake State Park brings a unique trail experience for a chance of fishing, hiking, paddling, and nature watching for free. As an oasis, two miles of trails will lead you around and to the Sheldon Lake, where fishing is accepted either from the lake bank or your own paddling canoe. Wildlife flocks the area, perfect for observers and willing photographers in the area to try their shot at capturing the beauty of Sheldon Lake State Park’s beautiful scenery and experience.

Location

14140 Garrett Rd
Houston, TX 77044

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 8AM – 5PM

Upcoming Events

April 22nd: Wildscape Work Day at 8:30 AM
May 27th: Wildscape Work Day at 8:30 AM 
October 21st: Sheldon Spooktacular at 5 PM

14. Eleanor Tinsley Park

18-3600 Allen Pkwy

Eleanor Tinsley Park
Michael Wei on Eleanor Tinsley’s Google Reviews.

Eleanor Tinsley is located within the Buffalo Bayou Park space, specializing in recreation and relaxation with its community-centered buildings on their green space. Improvements include their Bud Light Amphitheater for concerts and events, heir Nau Family Pavilion for leisure, their volleyball court, multiple gardens, and trails to other parks in the area. The community is strong in Elanor Tinsley, so join the Houston family!

Location

18-3600 Allen Pkwy
Houston, TX 77019

Open Hours

Open 24 Hours.

Upcoming Events

Check out Buffalo Bayou’s Calendar for activities within the Bufalo Bayou area!

15. Alexander Deussen Park

12303 Sonnier St

Alexander Deussen Park
Alexander Deussen Park on Harris County Precinct One’s Website.

Maintained by Harris County Precinct One, Alexander Deussen Park is one of their many parks which are for everyone to enjoy with promises of jogging trails, playgrounds, fishing, boating, and sports facilities. For this specific park, Alexander Deussen Park contains a duck pond, its own community center, a boat ramp, a water gazebo, and a pavilion. Additionally, their Senior Center provides public amenities such as a weight room and enrichment programs for residents to participate in. 

Location

12303 Sonnier St
Houston, TX 77044

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6AM – 9PM

Upcoming Events

April 1st: Harris County Employee 5K at 8 AM
May 14th: Tri Girl Triatlon & Duathlon at 7 AM

16. Sesquicentennial Park

400 Texas Ave

Sesquicentennial Park
Sesequicentennial Park on Buffalo Bayou’s Website.

Sesquicentennial Park resides as part of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Headed by its 250ft. boat dock, the park also includes the Allen H. Carruth Promenade and Baker Common, perfect for Houston photographers and those with an eye for art and city shots. You’ll find historic statues and their descriptions walking around the green space as well as multiple beautiful angles of Houston’s highest buildings. 

Location

400 Texas Ave
Houston, TX 77002

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events

April 9th: Bunnies On The Bayou at 1 PM

17. Arthur Storey Park

7400 W Sam Houston Pkwy S

Arthur Storey Park
Ehmid Velic on Arthur Storey Park’s Google Reviews.

Arthur Storey Park centers around a large pond and its surrounding trail. Perfect for nature shots and taking in the scenery, you’ll find lots of ducks and wildlife around while you walk and explore their paved paths. For guest convenience, there are restrooms, as well as playground equipment for children, and a Tai Chi court.

Location

7400 W Sam Houston Pkwy S
Houston, TX 77036

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6:30AM – 9PM

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events are available.

18. Memorial Park

6501 Memorial Dr

 Memorial Park
Parvin B. on Memorial Park’s Google Reviews.

Memorial Park describes itself as a “park for all Houstonians, today and tomorrow”; with its emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and preservation, their wide range of activities and community events aim to bring Houston together one day at a time. Fitness and Wellness classes are hosted here, alongside adult group recreation, biking, golf, sports recreations, trails, croquet, and more. Newest to over 100 years of Memorial Park History is the Eastern Glades construction for an even more expansive park features such as a boardwalk and a lake.

Location

6501 Memorial Dr
Houston, TX 77007

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 6AM – 11PM

Upcoming Events

April 8th: GirlTrek at Memorial Park at 8:30 AM
April 13th: Picnic for the Park 2023 at 7 PM
April 22nd: Earth Day Celebration at 6 PM
April 28th: Star Party in the Glades at 7:30 PM

19. Johnny Steele Dog Park

2929 Allen Pkwy

Johnny Steele Dog Park
Anthony Rivich on Johnny Steele Dog Park’s Google Reviews.

Located in Buffalo Bayou Park, Johnny Steele Dog Park offers a wonderful outdoor experience for you and your pup. This unique park experience includes a pond, shade, dog washing areas, drinking fountains for you and your dog, and benches to sit on. Regulations such as a two-dog per-person limit and proper vaccinated and licensed dogs apply.

Location

2929 Allen Pkwy
Houston, TX 77019
In Buffalo Bayou Park

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 7AM – 8PM

Upcoming Events

Check out Buffalo Bayou’s Calendar for activities within the Bufalo Bayou area!

20. Cullen Park

19008 Saums Rd

Cullen Park
Jay Perez on Cullen Park’s Google Reviews.

Cullen Park encapsulates the meaning of “multipurpose” with its variety in scenic, recreational, and environmental qualities. It is home to multiple soccer fields, baseball fields, picnic areas, pavilions, and spacious bike and hike trails. Cullen Park is also known for its location near the Addicks Reservoir, and interestingly, the park may turn into a small pond from rain flooding, so plan your visit accordingly!

Location

19008 Saums Rd
Houston, TX 77084

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: Sunrise to Sunset

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events are available.

21. George Bush Park 

16756 Westheimer Parkway

George Bush Park 
J.R Cohen on George Bush Park’s Google Reviews.

George Bush Park is home to 7,800 acres of land with plenty of nature sites, trails, bridges, and recreational equipment to go around. From observation ponds, archery, horseshoes, rock climbing, model airplane flying, sports fields activities, hike and bike trails, playground equipment, and even hosting the American Shooting Center activities with roughly 560 acres of land. For scenic, peaceful, and a spacious park experience, George Bush is the one of the best parks to visit in Houston.

Location

16756 Westheimer Parkway
Houston, TX 77082

Open Hours

Sunday – Saturday: 7AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events are available.

22. Root Memorial Square

1400 Clay St

Root Memorial Square
Luke Haruki on Root Memorial Square’s Google Reviews.

Located right by the Toyota Center, Root Memorial Square is a small, city encompassed park donated by Alexander and Lura Root in their memory. Featured at this authentically Houston park are new sidewalks, art pieces, irrigation, basketball courts. a shaded pavilion, a fountain, and more lighting. Watching a concert? Head over to Root Memorial Square while you wait for a grand time at the Toyota Center!

Location

1400 Clay St
Houston, TX 77002

Open Hours

Open 24 Hours.

Upcoming Events 

Check out Toyota Center for upcoming concerts and games, and visit Root Memorial Square before the show!

23. Bay Area Park

7500 Bay Area Blvd

Bay Area Park
Bay Area Park’s section in the Harris County Precinct Website.

Featuring the historic Armand Bayou, the Bay Area Park includes roughly 64 acres of trees, ponds, trails, gardens, and gazebos. A variety of services such as baseball fields, concessions stands, a pavilion, picnic tables, wifi access, restrooms, softball fields, tennis courts, and canoe access to the Bayou are all perfect for a day out in nature.

Location

7500 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058

Open Hours

Sunday- Saturday: 7AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events 

No upcoming events are available.

24. Mason Park

541 S 75th St

Mason Park
Vincent Clark on Mason Park’s Google Reviews.

Mason Park is home to an impressive 104 acres of land filled with green spaces, Hermann and MacGregor Park, the Brays Bayou hike and bike trail, and more with its great amount of land. This ample amount of space allows for recreational sports such as soccer, baseball, and softball fields along with swimming pools and exercise circuits. New to the scene is their gulf course, and the park is constantly going through improvements to provide a variety of activities for its community. 

Location

541 S 75th St
Houston, TX 77023

Open Hours

Monday – Thursday: 8AM – 10PM
Friday: 8AM – 9PM
Saturday: 10AM – 2PM
Sunday: 8AM – 10PM

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events are available.

Conclusion on the Best Parks in Houston

Houston has parks that include common activities, but all have unique park experiences, ranging from historical attractions to modern family-friendly strolls. We hope this list has provided insight into the range of Houston’s nature and city effort to preserve the beauty of parks and recreation. Looking for more around Houston? Take a peek at our Houston related posts for the latest information on culture, sports, and food around town!

Featured imaged credit to Hermann Park Conservancy

Eva Rogers

A Texan through and through, her passion for the Lone Star State is evident in every word she writes.Hailing from the vast plains of West Texas, Eva has a deep appreciation for the unique blend of tradition and innovation that defines the Texan spirit. Eva crafts articles that celebrate the diverse tapestry of Texas, from its bustling urban centers to its serene rural landscapes.