There are some amazing outdoor spaces in Houston that will give you a chance to escape the daily grind and get out into the wild. Our guide to the Top 8 Spots for a Picnic Outing in Houston will give you some ideas and inspiration on where to go.
Top Spots for Picnics You Must Visit in Houston
We’ll give you the major details you need to know about each spot (the address, website, and primary features), and then we’ll give you some more information on what to expect. We’ll tell you the facilities you can find there, what the picnic areas are like, and other things to do.
With so many gorgeous parks and outdoor spaces in Houston, it’s hard to whittle them down, but any one of these would make for a beautiful day out.
In no particular order, here are our top 8 picnic spots!
1. Eleanor Tinsley Park
|Address||3600 Allen Pkwy Houston, TX 77019|
|Features||Suitable for kids and dogs, good for exercise, view of the city skyline, street parking, wheelchair accessible|
Eleanor Tinsley Park gives you a beautiful green space with plenty of trees and a sweeping scenic view of the city skyline. It’s a popular park in Houston for a good reason. And it’s usually very busy here as it has trails for bikes and separate trials for walkers/runners. And this makes it an excellent place to go if you want to get some exercise.
You can enjoy walking over the various bridges to enjoy a different view of the city. There’s a sand volleyball court here which is nice. The green space is well maintained and makes an ideal spot for laying out a picnic blanket and taking in the view. Lock Bridge is a nice place to go if you want to leave your mark on the city by leaving a padlock behind.
There are some beautiful gardens here, like Eleanor Tinsley Garden and Jane Gregory Garden. And events happening throughout the year in the open-air Nau Family Pavilion, too.
2. Buffalo Bayou Park
|Address||105 Sabine St Houston, TX 77007|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, good for families, good for date nights|
Another very popular park in Houston, Buffalo Bayou, is huge. It has many beautiful gardens and a lovely view of the Houston skyline. You can walk along the bayou, which is a calming walk, and you can enjoy the wildlife here (including a bat colony, which is fun to keep an eye out for at night!).
There are maps dotted around the park so you can find your way, and there are pavilions here, with events taking place throughout the year. In addition, there are several places to go for picnics in Buffalo Bayou Park. You can check out the full guide to picnic spots in Buffalo Bayou for specific places to look for.
If you don’t want to bring your own food, you can enjoy the food trucks that are here on rotation, and you can enjoy ice cream trucks in warmer weather.
Buffalo Bayou Park gets pretty busy at peak times, but there should still be plenty of space for you to go and enjoy the views.
3. Hermann Park Conservancy
|Address||1700 Hermann Dr. Houston, TX 77004|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, kids play parks, park railroad, golf course, gardens|
Hermann Park Conservancy has a lot going on! It’s a beautiful park with plenty of space to walk around, and there are tons of activities here to enjoy. There are gorgeous gardens here, like the Japanese Garden. It has an 18-hole public golf course, and you can enjoy a pedal boat ride too.
There are plenty of spots here for picnics. The lake picnic area, for example, is gorgeous. With a beautiful view of the lake, you can sit at a picnic table and use one of the BBQ grills here. There’s also a swing set, a boardwalk, and trails to walk along here. There are also covered picnic pavilions in the park that you can reserve in advance.
There are places to go to buy food here, including Ginger Kale, a cafe offering many healthy options. You can visit one of their food trucks too.
Hermann Park Conservancy is home to Houston Zoo and Houston Museum of Natural Science, making it an excellent place to go for families.
4. Memorial Park
|Address||6501 Memorial Dr. Houston, TX 77004|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, playgrounds, croquet, tennis, and volleyball|
Memorial Park is a beautiful park with many activities to enjoy. With gorgeous gardens and green spaces, people of all ages can enjoy a picnic and a day out here. If you love to enjoy outdoor exercise, you can make the most of the croquet lawn, tennis and volleyball courts, walking and biking trails, and the golf course.
There are a lot of places to go for picnics at Memorial Park and enough open green spaces to lay down a picnic blanket on a warm sunny day. There are numerous picnic tables dotted throughout the park, and you can reserve a spot if you want to ensure you’ll have somewhere to sit.
You can buy food here instead of bringing it yourself. There are food trucks here every day, and you can find them at the entrance to Picnic Loop, the Tennis Center, and the Vale-Asche playground.
The Vale-Asche playground is well worth a visit if you have kids. It’s designed to be an accessible playground, and it’s 90% accessible for children with mobility issues.
5. Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve
|Address||20215 Chasewood Park D Houston, TX 77070|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, green areas, fishing, kayaking|
The Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve is a beautiful, tranquil place to help you escape the noise and bustle of the city. There are plenty of parking areas, and it’s a beautiful place to go if you want to walk your dog, go jogging, or just enjoy the views.
There’s a picnic area with tables next to a parking area, a volleyball court, and restrooms. There are multiple trails here with green spaces, so you can sit down with a picnic blanket and watch people as they stroll by.
You can enjoy fishing here or go kayaking on Marshall Lake. The walking trail consists of a 1.7-mile loop, and it does get pretty busy at times. A word of warning: you might see alligators here, so keep an eye out for them!
6. Mandolin Gardens Park
|Address||13426 Hampton Bend Ln Houston, TX 77070|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, fountains|
Mandolin Gardens Park is a lovely spot for a tranquil picnic with several bridges spread throughout the park, and pretty fountains on both sides. It’s a great spot to go and take some photographs.
Located in a relatively quiet neighborhood, this isn’t the place to go to enjoy a noisy gathering around a grill. It’s ideal for a quiet picnic and to enjoy the view. It’s a great spot to enjoy the nature around you.
There aren’t any facilities here, and that includes parking. You’ll have to find a space on the road to the park, and it does get busy from time to time. However, we think it’s worth visiting at least once so you can enjoy this beautiful, hidden gem.
7. Alexander Deussen Park
|Address||12303 Sonnier St Houston, TX 77044|
|Website||https://www.hcp1.net/Parks/AlexanderDeussen.aspx(not online at the time of writing)|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, dog park, boat ramp, grilling area, bicycles to rent|
Alexander Deussen Park is another beautiful spot in Northeast Houston, just outside the 610 loops. With 309 acres of space, there is plenty of space here to spread out and explore, and you can enjoy some gorgeous views of Lake Houston.
There’s a picnic area here with tables and BBQ grills, so you can enjoy a bite to eat with your family and friends. You can also enjoy a picnic by spreading out on the green spaces. Alcohol is not prohibited here, which is something to keep in mind! Plus you can’t buy food nearby, so you’ll have to bring your own.
Plentiful activities to do here; you can take your kids to the playground, your dog to the dog park, and enjoy a long walk on the trail. There’s a boat ramp too, if you want to go out onto the water and public exercise equipment. Plus, you can hire a bicycle to make traveling around the park a little faster.
Not to forget about the bathrooms here, which is helpful, and a few places to park. In addition, it’s pretty quiet at certain times so that you can enjoy some peace and space from the usual hustle and bustle.
8. East End Park
|Address||Kingwood Dr. E Houston, TX 77001|
|Features||Walking and biking trails, fishing, open field for picnics, dog friendly|
East End Park is a gorgeous park. The trail goes through a beautiful forest area with amazing trees, and it’s suited for both walkers and cyclists. It’s a dog-friendly spot too, and there are multiple paths to take with both laminated maps throughout the park and paper maps that you can take with you.
An open field area is perfect for picnics, and it’s also a great spot to just sit and take a breather. There isn’t anywhere particularly close to grab some food, so you’ll have to bring your own from home.
There’s a fishing spot at Otter Point, which is worth a visit. There’s a giant alligator in the waters there, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on clear days to see if you can spot it. It’s also a great place to go bird spotting, with everything from small birds, blue herons, and even bald eagles.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope this has helped you to plan your next day out in Houston! While you might associate the city with big skyscrapers and busy nightlife, there are some truly beautiful natural spots in Houston to enjoy.
If you want to keep exploring, check out the rest of our guides, like our guide to the 10 Best Skyline Scenic View in Houston, TX, the 8 Best Wine Stores in Houston, and the 5 Best Beaches in Houston, TX.