So you’re packing up and moving to Houston! You are headed in a great direction. Whether you’re transitioning for work or merely in search of a warmer climate, Houston is a happening city full of rich culture. From shopping, art, and entertainment to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, there is something for everyone.
If you happen to have kids in your crew, check out the Downtown Aquarium. It boasts a 500,000 gallon aquarium with more than 200 aquatic species from across the globe. In addition to the amazing aquatic exhibits, there are games and rides. It’s a fun attraction for the whole family.
The Children’s Museum of Houston is also a great place to visit. Inside, kiddos can tour Kidtropolis, the city for kids, run by kids! They can run for office, use an ATM, shop in the grocery store and even own a business. Along with having fun, kids learn how to manage money and work alongside their peers.
Sites & Attractions
Whether you have kids, or not, museums are a major advantage of Houston life. At the top of this list is the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which has eleven permanent exhibits, including Paleontology, Ancient Egypt and Energy Hall, as well as various special exhibits. One of the current popular exhibits in their planetarium is Experience the Aurora, which was created by photographers over the course of seven months using “all-sky” lenses in the Arctic Circle. It allows you to experience the Aurora Borealis, commonly known as “Northern Lights.”
And as long as you are standing in awe of the world we live in, you may as well take a trip to Johnson Space Center, where you can have lunch with an astronaut and discover what it’s like to live in space. There are several different tours you can take of the station. The advantage to actually living in Houston is that you can purchase annual memberships and if you’re a student or educator, you can participate in different camps and programs offered throughout the year.
Beyond museums, Houston offers all types of entertainment ranging from rodeos, athletics and parades to fine arts. The largest rodeo in Texas, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, lasts the entire month of March each year. Many people go just to see the concerts, whether you’re a country fan or not!
For free concerts and events, visit Discovery Green downtown. They have a wide selection of activities from yoga, young writers classes and boat rides to concerts and running trails for you and your four-legged friend.
Houston also has world-class entertainment in the realm of fine arts. The Houston ballet offers famous showings throughout the year like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker. If, like me, you have not had much experience with the opera, Houston’s Grand Opera will help you enter that world with ease. They have lectures and symposiums to prepare you for the real deal! For something more along the lines of Broadway musicals, you’re in luck. Houston actually has Broadway plays! Their theater schedule is bound to keep you entertained. Finally, our orchestra lovers are not left behind with the Houston symphony performing hits, such as the scores from the 2003 blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean.
If sports and athletics are your deal, you have a wide variety of choices from watching the pros to playing yourself. For major league baseball fans, pull on your navy blue and orange gear and take a trip to Minute Maid Ballpark in support of the Astros! NBA fans may choose to spend more time in the Toyota Center, cheering on the Rockets. Or if you want to get in on supporting the youngest franchise in the NFL, the Houston Texans joined in 2003. You could join this legendary fan base from its near beginnings! (Impress existing fans with a little trivia: there are two teams to which the Houston Texans have never lost – the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.) Soccer fans have the Dynamos and though Houston rarely has natural snow and ice, hockey fans have the Aeros!
For the more shopping-focused crowd, you are in luck because Houston is home to the largest mall in all of Texas – The Galleria. The upscale mall hosts over 375 stores, several dining options, an indoor ice-skating rink, arcade and much more. The mall contains two Westin hotels and even has three office towers, one of which houses a financial center. A short distance from the mall will also lead you to one of the city’s most photographed location, the Water Wall.
If you are looking for a more laid back shopping atmosphere, Old Town Springs is your spot. The Springs has a long list of shops and places to eat as well as events like their Texas Crawfish & Music Festival. You almost take a step back in time when entering this historic, turn of the century railroad town.
After a long day out on the town, there is no doubt food will be on your radar. And Houston has whatever your taste buds are craving! They’ve got everything from Greek, like Niko Nikos to Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is the most famous in the region so if you want something local, head to Pappasitos. At either of these places, count on getting there ahead of time because there is always a line for their spectacular dishes!
While there is enough within Houston to keep you busy for a long time, you are also not far from some really great spots. For instance, Glaveston, Texas is an hour from downtown Houston and has beaches, shops and restaurants.
About the Author: Victoria is trudging away in her Master’s classes while working for HireAHelper. She’s in love with her dog, Lilly, and enjoys summer thunderstorms, stars and road trips! Go Huskers!