Houston is home to several new or recently redone urban parks that are fantastic opportunities for events, outdoor activities, and fun things to do. Here are five of Houston’s best urban parks.

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park

The 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park, built along 10 miles of waterway, is one of the country’s great urban green spaces. You can kayak or go on a pontoon boat tour of the Bayou, walk the Kinder Footpaths, ride bikes or jog on any of the trails, take kids to the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area, and picnic in any of the park areas. The Water Works is four acres that’s perfect for a cocktail reception, birthday party, wedding, or large-scale event.

Buffalo Bend Nature Park

Buffalo Bend Nature Park

A 10 acre park that’s has wetland ponds, a half-mile jogging trail, native plantings, an overlook shelter, interpretive signage, bench seating, hike and bike trails, and it’s great for bird-watchers (regular sightings of black-bellied whistling ducks, blue herons, white ibis, and other migratory species).

Emancipation Park

Emancipation Park

This was Houston’s first Park, established in 1872, and it underwent a $33 million overhaul with improvements that included the construction of a new recreation center, the renovation of the existing community center and bath house, a new swimming pool, reconfigured parking options, an entry plaza, a sprayground, playground, walking trail, and picnic areas plus tennis and basketball courts and a ball field. There is also a glassy fitness center with everything from a weight room and indoor gym to weekly Zumba and line-dancing classes.

Evelyn’s Park

Evelyn's Park

Evelyn’s Park is five acres and hosts food trucks, farmers markets, free fitness classes, and other fun, family-oriented events on its grassy central lawn. There are playgrounds, art installations, and even a cafe plus an event lawn and pavilion, a children’s play area, a grove, multiple trails, and various gardens.

Levy Park

Levy Park

An outdoor reading room plus weekly public piano concerts, Houston Public Library story times, and teen-poetry make this two acre-acre park one of the best in Houston. The green spaces double as a cultural destination with activity areas. There is a Children’s Park, a dog park, a community garden, and beautiful landscaping. You’ll also find year-round passive and active programming in wellness, the arts, education, and recreation.

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Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast.

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