Finally found time for date night? Don't settle for dinner and a movie. Houston is full of interesting things to do and see that will make your date night interesting and unique. This weekend, try one of these fun date ideas.
Catch a Concert at Discovery Green
Settle down on the grass to watch an outdoor movie, or check out a craft beer tasting. Discovery Green is located in the heart of Downtown Houston and has a full calendar of free and ticketed events. The vibrant 12-acre park is a green haven with the stunning backdrop of Houston's Downtown skyline. In the winter, an outdoor ice-skating rink transforms the park into a frozen wonderland. And interactive water features provide much-needed cooling in the heat of the East Texas summers.
For a listing of what's happening at Discovery Green, check out the park's events calendar.
Houston, TX 77010
Visit the Art Car Museum
Sure, the art cars are cool, but the Art Car Museum has more than just elaborately painted automobiles. Contemporary art from local, national and international artists are featured as well. And this quirky little niche museum displays items not typically seen in the other art museums around Houston.
To get the full experience, be sure to spare the 15 minutes or so needed to watch the art car documentary set up in the back of the museum.
Different art cars are rotated in throughout the year, so come back periodically to catch the latest jaw-dropping designs. And of course, don't forget to add the Art Car Parade to your calendar.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
140 Heights Boulevard
Houston, TX 77007
Take a Kayaking Tour of Buffalo Bayou
What better (and more romantic) way to experience Houston than meandering along its famous scenic bayous? There's nothing quite like seeing the Downtown skyline peeking out through trees and reflecting off of the glimmering water of Buffalo Bayou, or paddling under the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony.
Take a 1-, 2- or 3-hour guided kayak or canoe tour, or rent kayaks to explore on your own. But a word of caution: Be sure to check bayou conditions before heading out, as excessive rain can make venturing on the water unsafe.
Buffalo Bayou extends all the way from the 610 West Loop to Downtown, but starting locations for tours and rentals vary. Be sure to check with the tour or rental agency to find out where to go.
Give Back at a Charity Saloon
Show your date your philanthropic side by meeting for drinks at OKRA Charity Saloon. For every drink or food item you buy at OKRA, you get tickets that you can use to vote for one of the several local non-profit organizations featured that month. The organization with the most tickets at the end of the month gets the next month's proceeds. In fact, 100 percent of OKRA's proceeds go to Houston-based charities.
In addition to the community-minded concept, the space itself is very cool. The building was originally constructed in 1882 as the Original Casino Saloon, and the bar still has its original barrel vault ceilings. The large space features exposed brick and large chalkboards boasting the various drink offerings and food specials, including their crowd-favored beef jerky, parmesan rosemary waffle fries, and — you guessed it — fried pickled okra.
OKRA is also conveniently located near METRORail's Red Line Preston Station, so you don't have to worry about a designated driver if you stay near the train line.
924 Congress Street
Houston, TX 77002
Catch a Show at Miller Outdoor Theatre
Located in the heart of Houston's Museum District and in the center of scenic Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theatre offers a great low-key, yet culture-packed date spot. This sizable covered, open-air auditorium features a variety of shows — from Shakespearean plays to musical performances to feature-length films.
Some events require tickets, but all performances are free. Even for ticketed events, it's not uncommon for viewers to spread out blankets and sprawl on the large grassy hill rising up from behind Miller's auditorium seats. Add a light picnic for a fun twist on a classic "dinner and a show."
Check out Miller's performance calendar to find out what is showing.
Tip: Parking can sometimes be tricky on the weekends at Hermann Park, so give yourself plenty of time to find a space. Thankfully, even a long walk from the car can be enjoyable (and romantic!) when you're strolling underneath Hermann Park's many live oaks.
6000 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030
Blow off Some Steam at Tantrums, LLC
The concept is simple: Enter a room that is stocked full of old electronics, dishes, and yard decorations, pick your weapon of choice (baseball, sledgehammer, etc.), and then destroy as much of the room as you can until the timer dings.
For those with high-stress jobs or have the quintessential Houston daily commute, the activity can be therapeutic. But owner Shawn Baker says that much of their business, believe it or not, comes from couples on date night. So much so that those at Tantrums, LLC have a saying: "Couples that smash together, stay together."
If you're surprising your date with a spin at Tantrums, however, be kind and guide them on what to wear. Opt for older clothing you don't care about anymore but that still allows you to move around freely. And finish off your ensemble with a nice pair of steel-toed boots if you have them. Giving your date a heads up will ensure they are comfortable and can take full advantage of their range of motion. You know, for optimal television-kicking.
1730 Elmview Drive A
Houston, TX 77080
Attempt an Escape (Game)
Step into a video game in one of Houston's many Escape Rooms. Choose from a variety of scenarios — a crime scene, a heist, a hostage situation — and you have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles and break out of the room. Depending on the location, you may have as many as 10 or 12 people total in the room. If you want to keep it just the two of you, better to try for an off-time, such as a Sunday morning, rather than a Friday or Saturday night.
A number of escape games businesses are set up across Houston. Arguably the most highly rated are Crazy Cats Escape Room located in the Heights and Cipher Escape Room in Montrose — though Houston Escape Room and Escape the Room Texas are also very popular.
View each business' website for location details.
Take a Class at a Makerspace
Welding a desk sculpture or building a quadcoptor might not be — strictly speaking — the most romantic activities in the world, but they are great for making lasting, and often quite tangible, memories.
Local makerspaces like TXRX Labs have a number of great courses to choose from. In addition to classes on hands-on areas like gardening, cooking, woodworking, acrylic painting, and leather and jewelry making, they also have courses on high-tech, virtual tasks like 3D printing and modeling, C/C++, and Android app design. Prices and schedules range widely based on the topic but can be as short as a couple of hours and as inexpensive as $30 per person.
Impress your date by showing off your handy skills, or (better yet) learn something new together. After all, hasn't your date always wanted to build their own battery pack?
205 Roberts Street
Houston, TX 77003