35 Things To Do In Houston When You're Bored And All Your Friends Are Busy
Seize the day and set out on your own adventure!
The #FOMO is so real, especially when your friends are busy doing all the things without you.
But, if you've found yourself with nothing to do except mindlessly scroll through Instagram and live vicariously through everyone else's highlight reel, we have some advice for you: stop. There's no reason you can't seize the day and set out on your own adventure.
Banish boredom with this hot list of cool things to do. From a bit of sunbathing and #selfcare to basking in the glow of the city's most fabulous sights, and so much more, you really can see and do it all when you're flying solo.
Oh, and when your friends find out all the fabulous things you've been doing without them, they may just get the #FOMO mood, too.
Be a tourist in your own city with an audio walking tour
This isn't your typical snooze-fest audio tour. Dan Workman, the owner of Sugar Hill Studios, offers an insider, upbeat guide to the downtown filled with behind-the-scenes stories and personal anecdotes from local celebs. You'll learn a lot about the city you thought you already knew.
Get a table for one at Brasserie du Parc
Where: 1440 Lamar St.
Pretend you're in Paris at this luxe eatery on the ground floor of One Park Place that overlooks Discovery Green. The centerpiece 360-degree square bar is a great place to sit solo — the terrace is also a lovely option to savor the classic French brasserie fare.
Park it in Market Square Park
Where: 301 Milam
The historic public hangout has a little bit of everything — think outdoor movies, blanket bingo, a dog run, and even a weekly sweat sesh to Broadway tunes.
Have an out-of-this-world time at Space Center Houston
Where: 1601 NASA Pkwy.
From Mission Control to Mission Mars and so much more, this gateway to NASA Johnson Space Center and Houston's first Smithsonian-affiliate museum inspires wonder in space, with more than 400 things to see and do.
People-watch at the Kemah Boardwalk
Where: 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah
Take a short road trip to the coastal theme park, where there's so much people-watching to keep you entertained that you won't even need the thrill of a ride — if you're not one to go on the roller coaster solo. Maybe just get a corn dog and Dippin' Dots for good measure.
Take a walk on the wild side at Houston Museum of Natural Science
Where: 5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Check out the prehistoric creatures while learning about Texas wildlife, communing with butterflies, and so much more.
Go museum hopping in the Houston Museum District
Where: Various locations
With too many museums to see in just a day, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Contemporary Arts Museum, you'll never be bored again. Definitely go see the Dan Flavin installation in Richmond Hall at The Menil Collection — if you like neon, that is.
Put the pedal to the metal at White Oak Bayou Trail
Where: West 11th Street and Antoine Drive
Go for a spin along this 15-mile path that runs through several parks, which makes for a very scenic ride — and one that's not interrupted by many streets.
Meditate at the Rothko Chapel
Where: 3900 Yupon St.
This peaceful sanctuary also has an artistic bent, with the interior of the chapel filled with paintings by famous artist Mark Rothko. It's the perfect place to put that HeadSpace app to use — you know, the one you've not used yet.
Have an epiphany at James Turrell Skyspace
Where: Rice University
Sure, it's a tourist attraction. But, have you ever really experienced it yourself? The light and sound installation is ideal for independent viewing to really get the full effect of the "Twilight Epiphany" masterwork and the LED light sequence. It's right next to the Shepherd School of Music on campus. But just remember, a reservation is recommended during peak times — even though it's free to see.
Scream for ice cream (and cotton candy) at Aqua S
Where: 9889 Bellaire Blvd., #D232
Soft serve wrapped in a cloud of cotton candy is basically a sweet dream. No need to share the goods when you fly solo at this Aussie import that brings the fluffy-frozen concept all the way from the Land Down Under.
Hit a Sake Social — for the sake of sushi
Where: Uchi, 904 Westheimer Rd.
You know Uchi is a hotspot, but you don't need reservations to slip in solo at the sushi bar during the Sake Social Hour that's offered daily 5-6:30 p.m. The drinks start at just $3, and tastings like the avo maki, social short rib, and smoked yellowtail are perfectly portioned for one. You might even meet some new friends.
Take a hike at Terry Hershey Park
Where: 15200 Memorial Dr.
Go here for a great escape from reality — and a good workout with miles of ground to cover along the Buffalo Bayou.
Meet the animals at the Houston Zoo
Where: 6200 Hermann Park Dr.
Lions, tigers, and bears barely scratch the surface of the animal kingdom you'll find here. Definitely feed the Masai giraffe family, though. You might even be tempted to learn more about the Zoo's global conservation efforts and immersive travel program that explores exotic destinations — if you want to raise the stakes on your next solo adventure.
Embrace the great outdoors at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Where: 4501 Woodway Dr.
Get back to nature and go forest bathing at the 155-acre urban sanctuary that has all the flora and fauna you could hope for.
Have your cake (donut) and eat it, too, at Hugs & Donuts
Where: 1901 N. Shepherd Dr., Ste. 4
If you need some sweet lovin', this adorably yummy, gourmet donut shop is for you. With flavors like green tea coconut, chocolate toffee latte, hibiscus with mango chips, Fruity Pebble crunch, and vegan varieties, too, you may have to get a half-dozen. We won't tell.
Get all theatrical with Miller Outdoor Theatre
Where: Hermann Park, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.
Jazz, ballet, orchestral concerts, musical theater, and beyond — you can take your pick from the many performances. And it's free. From March through November, Miller Outdoor Theatre has a packed program of artistic, culturally diverse productions.
Pack a picnic and head to Buffalo Bayou Park
Where: Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive
The 160-acre urban green space not only features incredible views of the Houston skyline, there's also a fountain, walking trails, and art installations like Jaume Plensa's "Tolerance" statues.
Find your serenity at Milk & Honey
Where: 2800 Kirby Dr., Ste. A134
It's high time you #TreatYoSelf with a spa day. Massage, facial, mani-pedi — all of the above — it's the ideal way to get re-centered. Because you're worth it.
Make something delicious at Well Done Cooking Classes
Where: 2811 Airline Dr., Ste. 5
From Baking 101, to pizza and pasta making, pick any number of delicious classes. But, don't tell your friends you got schooled — unless you want to be hosting the next dinner party.
Chill out at the Marriott Marquis pool
Where: 1777 Walker St.
While you could do a full stay-cation for a night, access to a day at this hotel's impressive Texas-shaped pool and spa is available through Resort Pass.
Bake the best cookies from Tinys Milk & Cookies
Where: 3636 Rice Blvd.
The warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies from Tiny Boxwood have become nothing short of legendary. But, lucky for you, you can make a whole batch of them at home with cookie dough from Tinys Milk & Cookies. And while you're there, get some of the coconut milk chocolate or Mom's vanilla ice cream. Because #NetflixAndChill is best served with cookies and ice cream.
Slurp away at Ramen Jin
Where: 11181 Westheimer Rd.
You don't want to eat noodles in front of anyone you know, anyway. After slurping up the ramen at this trendy shop, be sure to get the matcha waffle to top it off.
Get the perfect Instagram shot at the Sugar & Cloth Wall
Where: 1201 Main St.
Pack your #selfie stick and have a little photo shoot. This dreamy wall and staircase is made for Instagram with its Pantone-perfect backdrop, #nofilter required. It's like a photo set right in the middle of Green Street, especially since the ground is painted, too. You may think it's lame to do a solo shoot, but when you come back bearing #InstaGood pics, you'll get over it.
See a home run at Minute Maid Park
Where: 501 Crawford St.
Take yourself out to the ballgame, and snap a home-run pic at this iconic downtown ballpark that's home to the Houston Astros.
Be a crazy cat lady at El Gato Coffeehouse
Where: 508 Pecore St.
This may not go down well with everyone. But, ignore the "cat lady" stereotype and hang out with your favorite felines at this bright bungalow while getting a caffeine kick at the same time. They even have cat yoga on Sundays. One thing's certain: you definitely won't be lonely — and you might even be tempted to adopt a new friend.
Go on a subterranean adventure at Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
Where: 105 Sabine St.
The cool factor is so real, and your friends will definitely be wishing they were here. The 221 25-foot-tall concrete columns of this former underground water reservoir, built in 1926, are a sight to behold. The current exhibit, Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern: Spatial Chromointerference, is a dazzling projection that you won't want to miss. It's on view until January 13, 2019.
Have a night at the (turtle) races at Little Woodrow's
Where: 2306 Brazos St.
See the tortoise and the hare — actually, not the hare. But, the famous turtle races have the little guys scurrying to the finish line for hilarious fun. Every Thursday, you can catch this spectator sport with a side of DJ beats and drinks, too, naturally.
Nerd out with Geeks Who Drink
Where: Various locations
Test your trivia skills and make fast friends with fellow savants. The smartass quizzes cover everything from celebs in trouble to wordplay and bad TV, along with soundbite-like audio rounds.
Go underground at the Conservatory
Where: 1010 Prairie St.
Stop by the subterranean beer garden and food hall to try some delicious eats, 60 brews on tap, a wine dive bar, and art installments. Plus, on any given night, there's a range of food and drink specials, DJ sets, pop-up vendors, and more.
Play games at PacMan Fever
Where: Joystix Classic Games & Pinballs, 1820 Franklin St.
A gamer's paradise, Joystix turns its showroom into the ultimate arcade every first and last Friday of the month with more than 200 new and classic games, along with drinks available at the Eighteen Twenty Lounge next door.
Find your urban Zen at Blue Trees Memorial Drive at Waugh
Where: Intersection of Waugh and Memorial Drive
It's not hard to chill out among these painted trees that are the very picture of Zen. If blue's not your color, there are also green ones.
Have a top-shelf drink at Anvil Bar & Refuge
Where: 1424 Westheimer Rd., Ste. B
Sidle up to the bar for a "break-even bottle," giving you at-cost access to top-shelf, rare spirits that you've likely never tried.
Have a laugh at Station Theater
Where: 1230 Houston Ave.
Get on the laugh track at an improv show or late-night comedy — or take a free intro to improv class yourself. There's even a David Bowie mural outside, as if you needed any more convincing.
Wakeboard without the embarrassment at Wake Nation
Where: 4411 County Road 410
Stop being the one falling on your face at the lake. The Wake Nation water park allows both beginners and experienced riders the ability to brush up on wakeboarding, water skiing, and wakeskating on a 12-acre lake — no boat required. You can also take private lessons if you need some extra, ahem, help.