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11 things to do in or around downtown Houston

Basketball fans will be in Houston for the Final Four. There are plenty of things to do in or around downtown while they're here!
Credit: KHOU 11

HOUSTON — The Houston area will soon be the center of the basketball world as fans for the four teams left standing in the NCAA Tournament will head to town, with a champion being crowned at NRG. 

With so many people coming to H-Town, downtown will be packed!  There’s the March Madness Music Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as Fan Fest and other events surrounding the games.

There are also plenty of other things for visitors to our city to do while they’re here.  Here are 11 of ‘em in or around downtown Houston!

Art Car Museum

When Ann and Jim Harithas opened Houston's Art Car Museum in 1998, they wanted to offer a place where you could see art cars year-round. The result is a gallery that mixes more traditional fine art with the kind on wheels.

Beer Can House 

Right in the middle of Houston’s Rice Military neighborhood, in between new townhomes, you’ll find a 1930s home covered in aluminum. This is Houston's Beer Can House.

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern

What we now call the Buffalo Bayou Cistern was built about 100 years ago, but it just opened to the public in 2016, which means you can take a walk through Houston history.

Lost Lake

Signs all over Buffalo Bayou Park let visitors know about Lost Lake. But what is Lost Lake?

"It is truly a lost lake," said Karen Farber, vice president of external communications for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

The lake was lost when the dam that created it failed in the 1970s, pouring its water into Buffalo Bayou.

Love Lock Bridge

If you’re looking for something unique to do to celebrate with that special someone, how about the Love Lock Bridge right over Allen Parkway in Eleanor Tinsley Park?

Freedmen’s Town Labyrinth

What was once a historic Houston church is now a different kind of sacred space -- one that's mesmerizing, almost hypnotic.

"It’s an opportunity to quiet your mind, stay within this path that has one way in and one way out," said public artist Reginald Adams.

He co-designed and constructed the Freedmen’s Town Labyrinth, a project that started in 2014.


It's not just unique. It's not just bizarre. It is notsuoH.

"Some people will see it as Houston backward right away and sometimes they're like, ‘What does that mean?’" laughed co-owner Missy Bosch.

The name 'notsuoH' is Houston spelled backward, but it’s not that simple.



It’s a getaway right in the center of the city: The Four Seasons.

"The hotel has gone through a tremendous renovation over the past five years," said general manager Tom Segesta. "We wanted to create a downtown destination."

That destination now includes Top Golf suites, a steakhouse, a bar and something extra special.

Black’s Bodega

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, two women wanted to help a Houston neighborhood stay afloat. Together, they created a unique space where you can spend a lot of time and a lot of cash – if you’re not careful!

ROCO on the Go

Music can help us focus. It can help us connect. It can help us experience. That makes it a powerful tool in the right hands.

"We place-make with music," said Alecia Lawyer, founder, artistic director and oboist of ROCO, a professional, 40-piece chamber orchestra based in Houston. "We have recorded all of our music all of these years for 17 seasons to be able to leave up our music for free listening."

When COVID hit, ROCO put that music to use by developing playlists for Houston experiences. The art and trails in Buffalo Bayou Park were the first to get QR codes that linked back to those playlists.

Rice University Building Secrets

Where in Houston can you find a recipe for gold, a resting spaceship and a building that croaks like a frog? Believe it or not, all of that and so much more is at Rice University.

Twilight Epiphany

One of the most prominent pieces of public art on the Rice University campus celebrates a big milestone. Artist James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace opened more than 10 years ago.

Looking for something else in downtown Houston?  Here are some more options

Watching the games with an antenna?  KHOU 11 has upgraded its technology and is broadcasting on both VHF and UHF.  Tune in on either 11.1 or 11.11.


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