If you want to spend time outdoors exploring the stunning city of Houston, check out our hand-picked list of the best social distancing activities in Houston. Make the best of the City With No Limits with our curated suggestions to safe outdoor activities. Go enjoy the Lone Star State!
1. Anthills Trail
Located near the Blue Jay Trail at the Terry Hershey Park, this trail runs along a quaint river. Pick this trail if you’re up for a challenge – rated as ‘moderate,’ you can run, bike, or jog along this route. There are two paths here – the dirt route for seasoned hikers and the paved route for newbies and joggers.
2. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt
Prepare to go on a quest of epic proportions with Let’s Roam’s scavenger hunt. This app-led adventure takes you and your family on a fun hunt around Space City. Explore iconic landmarks, solve clues, and participate in hilarious challenges. With social distancing measures in place, a city scavenger hunt (which is 100% outdoors) is perfect to go around the city in a safe yet exciting way. Uncover the secrets of the city’s monuments with Houston’s Museum District Scavenger Hunt, or discover Downtown with Houston We Have A Hunt.
This pristine wooded preserve provides a safe haven to many of Houston’s native animals and birds. This quaint park in the middle of the city surrounds Rummel Creek. Follow the trail to find a gorgeous pond that is home to turtles and frogs. Watch tadpoles swim from a wooden bridge and relax at the Moore Log Cabin education center – this was built in 1932!
4. Great Texas Birding Trail
We can’t recommend the Great Texas Birding Trail enough for budding bird-watchers. Stretching across the whole state, the highlight in Houston is the Buffalo Bayou Loop. Spread across Sam Houston Park, Buffalo Bayou Park, White Oak Park, Hermann Park, the Nature Discovery Center, Houston Arboretum, and West 11th Street Park, this circuit doesn’t disappoint. Spot woodpeckers, kites, warblers, woodcocks, buntings, waxwings, hummingbirds, owls, hawks, swifts, redheads, and herons here. Who knows, you might spot an alligator or two too!
5. Paul Carr Jogging Trail
Housed on Heights Boulevard, the Paul Carr Jogging Trail is a winding trail that boasts of numerous attractions along the way. From stunning Victorian mansions to colorful murals, you’re in for a visual treat as you walk along this route. Pose for a photo-op in front of the ‘Greeting From Houston’ memorial you pass- it’s picture-perfect!
6. Buffalo Bayou Park
Spread over 160 acres in urban Houston, Buffalo Bayou Park is one of the best outdoor locations you can explore in the city. Rent kayaks and bikes to explore the park or visit the Water Works, relaxing at the Brown Foundation Lawn. If you can, teach your kids a fun move or two at the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark!
7. Houston Zoo
Get a dose of the wild side at the Houston Zoo. This 55-acre park is home to more than 6000 animals. We suggest you book ahead for Animal Encounters with okapis, elephants, Galapagos tortoises, and sea lions. Additionally, don’t forget to check out the lion, tiger, and flamingo exhibits. With more than 700 species, the Houston Zoo guarantees a day of fun and learning!
8. Memorial Park Conservancy
Indulge in an adrenaline-filled adventure without stepping out of the city at Memorial Park Conservancy. From cycling, skating, golfing, running, hiking, and tennis, there’s something for everyone here. The comfortable biking trails here are a delight. Pro tip: the park also conducts bird-watching workshops.
9. Oyster Creek Trail
A quick half-hour drive away from Houston, the Oyster Creek Trail is one of the most popular hiking spots in the city. Stretching across 4.5 miles of paved wilderness, this trail is also home to a gurgling river. Picnic by the creek or take a long walk amidst nature with your loved ones. Your pets are also welcome here!
This delightful city park is ideal for a quick getaway from the bustle of the city. Take a walk along the lovely Japanese Garden and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Your kids are bound to love the pedal boat and train tours. All aboard the Hermann Park Railroad!
11. Nature Discovery Center
Teach your kids the wonders of nature at the charming Nature Discovery Center. Get a fascinating insight into life at the Prairies at the Russ Pitman Park. The Deciduous Woodland and the Cypress Pond are a must-visit for nature lovers.
12. Rooftop Cinema Club Houston
Don’t give up on movies this quarantine. The Rooftop Cinema Club offers retro drive-in theatre experiences for a nostalgic evening with your family. With an impressive library spanning various genres and eras, this theatre is a great way to enjoy the cinematic experience while social distancing!
13. Thompson’s Fish Camp
Sometimes, all you need is an evening of fishing to fight the blues. Look no further than Thompson’s Fish Camp! Grab some live shrimp or dead bait and head to the waters for an eventful day of catching your meal. Kick back with beer and snacks as you enjoy a day of laughter and conversation in the Texan sun.
14. Waugh Bridge Bat Colony
We know what you’re thinking…bats?! Don’t worry – this is a perfectly safe space to watch these fascinating creatures. Drive your children out to Waugh Bridge at sunset and spot the bats emerge from their hideout. Teach your kids about these flying mammals as you watch thousands of bats from your observation deck.
15. Smither Park
Get a healthy dose of art and inspiration at Smither Park. Located next to The Orange Show in Munger Street, this quirky garden houses a plethora of modern sculptures and art fixtures. We love the colorful mosaics here – our favorites are the guitar and kayak installations.
16. Galveston Beach
This sun-kissed beach an hour away from Houston is a spectacular weekend retreat. From kayaking at the Coastal Heritage Preserve and fishing on a chartered boat to gaping at exotic animals at the Moody Gardens aquarium, Galveston Beach is so much more than just sand and water!
17. Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Up for a camping trip without leaving the city? Lake Houston Wilderness Park is right up your alley! Located thirty minutes away from downtown Houston, this green park offers overnight camping facilities and bike trails. We recommend renting an overnight cabin and going horseback riding here.
18. Lake Livingston
Nestled at the edge of the breathtaking Pineywoods Park, Lake Livingston boasts of several hiking trails. However, fishing is the highlight here – catch catfish, bass, perch, and crappies at the bountiful lake. When you’re done, watch the sunset on a kayak.
19.Brazos Bend State Park
Take an hour-long drive from Houston to the stunning Brazos Bend State Park, where you can go bird watching, camping, and hiking. Go horseback riding along gorgeous creeks and or spot stars at the George Observatory.
20. Sylvan Beach
When life’s a beach, just wave! Drive down to Sylvan Beach, just 23 miles away from the city. Revel in the cool ocean breeze and sparkling waters. Enjoy a quick game of Frisbee or volleyball with your family, and don’t forget to build sandcastles too!
21. Texas City Dike
Get set to catch some catch at the longest man-made fishing pier in the whole world. Stretching across an impressive 5.3 miles, the Texas City Dike on the gulf coast is home to docks, piers, and picnic shelters along Galveston Bay. Oh, and did we mention the 18-hole golf course? Go putt!
22. Franklin Drive Thru Safari
If you’re up for a quick drive on the outskirts of Houston, Franklin Drive Thru Safari is your best bet. This interactive petting zoo and adventure park allows you to get an up-close look at exotic animals from all over the world – drive your own car or book a private tour to play with giraffes, zebras, bison, deer, and many more animals!
23. Lake Conroe Park
Enjoy a calm picnic at Lake Conroe Park with your loved ones. A 45-minute drive away from the city, this gorgeous park has picnic tables and BBQ pits to cook up a sumptuous feast. Watch the sunset against the canopy of the Sam Houston National Forest and try to identify the calls of the local birds.
Choosing the best social distancing activities in Houston is an easy task – the city’s vast outdoors promises a host of fun activities and ideas. From going on hilarious scavenger hunts to feeding giraffes and deer, there is much to choose from. So what are you waiting for? Put your mask on, pack a picnic and a bottle of hand sanitizer, and explore the outdoors!