The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a beautiful 155-acre nature sanctuary located in Houston's Memorial Park. It provides over 5 miles' worth of nature trails for visitors to explore, including forest, wetland, meadow, and pond habitats.
The Nature Center's building is also home to the Discovery Room, an excellent place for the entire family to learn more about the diverse habitats they've seen on the trails as well as the many plants and animals that call the Houston area home.
Things to Do
- Go for a walk on one or two of the sanctuary's nine different trails. There are long trails for hiking enthusiasts as well as shorter trails that are easily accessible for those with wheelchairs and strollers.
- Visit the Discovery Room and check out its interactive exhibits to learn about the diverse wildlife that thrives in the city of Houston. Kids can have fun doing puzzles, using microscopes, and playing games while learning about the environment at the same time.
- Go birdwatching at the Charlotte Couch Birding Platform that overlooks Buffalo Bayou. It's a great place to spot wildlife due to its many tall oak, pine, and sycamore trees. There are also observation decks in the meadow and pond habitats where you can see everything from fish and turtles to snakes swimming in the water!
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Insider Tips
- For a truly unique and educational hiking experience, try the Palmetto Multi-sensory Trail. The short loop was recently designed for people with visual impairments, but sighted visitors are encouraged to visit the trail in order to learn about how people can overcome challenges by using their other senses.
- Talk to one of the naturalists working in the Discovery Room - not only are they friendly, but they also know tons of fascinating facts about nature and are more than happy to answer any questions your kids may have.
- Parking on the grounds is limited, so come early to get a spot if you're visiting on a weekend. However, if you're willing to hike a quarter of a mile, there is additional parking in the Running Center parking lot on Woodway Drive.