Houston is a city with a storied past, a modern skyline, and a culture all its own. The city also has plenty of attractions and activities that are family-friendly, though we know that teens don’t typically want to be grouped in with the little ones.
Fortunately, there are fun things to do that will appeal to teens, while keeping all your family happy!
Here are our suggestions for 27 awesome things to do with teens in Houston.
Wondering what cool and unusual things there are to do in Houston that your teens will love? Check out these activities and places!
1. Take a Mural and Instagram Tour
Around the world, large-scale murals are recognized as a powerful form of art. With their bright colors and political or humorous messages, murals speak to teens in a way no other art form can.
Houston has many murals and seeing them is one of the coolest things to do with your teen. A 90-minute Mural and Instagram Tour takes you to see more than 40 murals throughout Downtown, Midtown, and EaDo on a golf cart. It’s a comfortable ride and your gang will have plenty of opportunities to post on Instagram and Tik-Tok along the way!
If you are looking for a shorter excursion, head to the Houston Graffiti Building at 1503 Chartres Street. You can also go to the Arts District which is home to 300+ studios where you can see local artists creating their works.
2. Play an Escape Room
Escape rooms are enormously popular with teens. The thrill of racing the clock to break out of a ‘locked room’ in just 60 minutes gets their hearts pumping. Solving riddles and deciphering clues ignite their creative thinking.
The Escape Game Houston has six unique escape rooms with themes your teens will get a kick out of, like breaking out of a 1950s prison cell, finding a stolen masterpiece of art, and investigating sinister activities occurring at the bottom of the ocean.
The Escape Game Houston has two locations, one at The Galleria and the other at CityCentre. Both are open daily from 8:00 am to 12:00 am so you can find a time for teens who like to sleep in or those who like to stay up late!
3. Dive into Immersive Art
Let your teens experience masterpieces by being part of them, through cutting-edge VR technology, massive 360-degree digital projections, and evocative light and sound.
Exhibition Hub’s Immersive Art experience invites guests to walk through a field of Van Gogh's sunflowers or a park created by the great Impressionist master, Claude Monet.
These exhibits have traveled around the world, thrilling more than 2 million guests. They are a great way to get your teens excited about art if they aren't already.
Note that these exhibitions change location periodically, so be sure to look into them soon.
4. Try Indoor Skydiving
Talk about a one-of-a-kind way to thrill your teens! Indoor skydiving offers an exhilarating gravity-defying experience for those who aren't ready for jumping out of a plane.
iFLY in Houston gives your teen the chance to feel what it's like to freefall from only a few feet off the ground. It takes place in a manmade wind tunnel, is entirely safe and very fun.
If your teen is ready to take the leap out of an airplane - and you’re ready too - Houston has some excellent skydiving operations and the views of the city and the Gulf of Mexico are breathtaking. Look into Skydive Houston and Skydive Spaceland Houston.
5. See The Famous Orange Show
This is surely one of the most unusual things that your teens will encounter in Houston. The Orange Show is a 3,000-square-foot outdoor complex that was constructed with brick, concrete, and steel together with found objects like old tiles, junk metal, mannequins, wagon wheels, and loads of other everyday discarded items.
Made over the course of nearly 25 years by a Houston postal worker, (the late Jefferson Davis McKissack), The Orange Show is more than just an oddity to look at. Visitors can wander through its different landscapes and levels.
There’s a pond, a stage, a wishing well, a stage, a museum, and even a gift shop. The carnivalesque complex, as the name reveals, honors McKissiack’s favorite fruit - the orange!
6. Catch a Flick on A Rooftop
In the warm Houston weather, seeing a movie with a view of the stunning skyline at the Rooftop Cinema Club is a fantastic thing to do at night! Most of the movies shown are suitable for teens, tweens, and younger. Sometimes classics from your teen years are shown! Grab some candy and your family and enjoy a movie under the stars! If your gang would rather sit in the comfort of your car, there is also the Moonstruck Drive-In.
7. Explore the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern is a massive subterranean former water reservoir that was saved from demolition in 2010 by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership so that the public could discover its unusual architecture and historical significance. The enormous reservoir, the size of 1.5 football fields, also showcases rotating art installations, the most magical are those that use light and color to transform the cistern into an underground wonderland.
This unusual attraction is unlike most teens - or anyone- have seen before. There are several tours to take, including an Experiential Tour with an introduction and then a chance to explore the Cistern at your own pace. Learn more about Cistern Tours here.
Seeking fun things to do in Houston for active teens? Head to the Great Outdoors!
8. Get Out Onto the Water
Houston is much more than a sprawling city. There are many beautiful outdoor spaces to explore, including waterways in the city as well as lakes in the greater Houston area. The Buffalo Bayou Waterway runs through the main parts of Houston and is an interesting way to see the city. You’ll paddle under bridges, through the city’s green spaces with a view of the Downtown Houston skyline. Look into rentals from Bayou City Adventures.
Another waterway is in the northern suburbs of Houston. The Woodlands has a big lake that branches out into several waterways and kayaking is an easy way to get out of the city and enjoy some nature. Kayak rentals are available at Lakes Edge Boat and the Riva Boathouse.
9. Reach New Heights
Indoor rock climbing is very popular with people of all ages, including teens. It’s an excellent way to be physically active while providing the opportunity for your teens to challenge themselves to take another step higher.
Indoor rock climbing facilities have options for climbers of all levels of experience. Teens who want to climb high can do so safely while those more reluctant will still enjoy climbing to the height they find most comfortable. Here are some wonderful places to go indoor rock climbing in Houston that sell day passes.
10. Take a Hike
For teens who enjoy connecting with nature, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center will delight them. While there are lots of lush green spaces with trails in the city, the arboretum is one of only a few that transport one out of the city without actually having to leave Houston.
The Arboretum has five miles of trails that wind through several habitats including native prairie, woodland, wetland, and meadow. There’s an abundance of wildlife as well. For casual trails, check out Buffalo Bayou Park, which is also a perfect place for a bike ride. You can rent bikes from Bayou Bike Rentals at The Water Works.
11. Glide Through Houston
A segway tour is one of the most fun ways to get to know Houston. It’s easier than walking through such a large city, and teens will have fun navigating these odd-looking two-wheeled contraptions! Segway Tours of Houston has a number of guided tours that focus on different aspects of the city. The Buffalo Bayou Tour covers historic plazas and landmarks, and in Downtown Houston along with tales of both famous and infamous Houstonians. It also includes time along the bayou cycling paths.
Your teen might like the Graffiti and Street Art Tour where the amazing Street Art scene of Houston is discovered via segway along the bike lanes and alleys of EaDo (East Downtown) district.
12. A Little Bit of Everything
Right in the heart of Houston is Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park where there are so many great things for your teens. On Kinder Lake, they can kayak or paddleboard. There’s a roller rink seasonally and festivals and concerts throughout the year.
One fun thing for your teens to check out is the Listening Vessels, another piece of Houston public art. This pair of sculptures are placed 70 feet apart and designed so that a person can sit in one of the pair, whisper into it, and be heard by another person sitting so far away in the other sculpture.
13. Hit the Beach
Take the teens to the beach! Galveston’s 32 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico means there’s lots of sand and waves to frolic in. It takes about an hour or so to drive from Downtown Houston to the beaches.
Stewart Beach is a family-friendly beach (no alcohol permitted) and has concessions, restrooms, and well-trained lifeguards. Seawall has great beaches, unique shops, and seaside restaurants. It’s also a place where your teen can learn how to surf! Talk about one of the very best things for teens to do just outside of Houston!
Looking for the best Houston Amusement Parks for teens? Here ya go!
14. Kemah Boardwalk
Amusement parks are a safe bet when you’re looking for fun things to do in Houston with teens. Kemah Boardwalk has it all!
This theme park is approximately 30 miles southeast of Downtown Houston. The Boardwalk is along the shores of Galveston Bay, so the location is beautiful.
From the Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster to the Boardwalk Beast speedboat ride, your teens will be thrilled! The most popular ride is the Drop Zone, a 140-foot free-fall (don't worry, everyone’s strapped in tight!)
15. Palace Social Arcade
At the Palace Social Arcade in Bellaire just outside of Houston, there’s no shortage of fun things to do with your teens. They’ll love the high-tech immersive XD Dark Ride Experience that combines the best aspects of a movie, a video game, and a thrill ride! Next up there are virtual reality games, an awesome arcade, bowling, and karaoke rooms. Add great food like burgers and milkshakes, pizza, Mexican food, American classics and chocolate lava cake for dessert. Palace Social will keep your teens entertained for hours.
16. Houston Waterparks
If you are in Houston on a hot day, take advantage of the city’s waterparks. The Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown is Houston’s largest water park at 48 acres with a Caribbean theme and every kind of water ride there is! Teens love the Wahoo Wave, a six-story water slide. Big Rivers Water Park and Adventures has more than just fantastic water rides, it also has aerial attractions like multiple zip line courses, a five-story climbing wall, and a seven-story bungee jump! A day at Six Flags is not just for teens. If you are traveling to Houston with younger children or traveling without the family.
Seeking some educational things to do with teenagers? Houston has many excellent museums!
This is the official visitor center of the NASA Johnson Space Center which is perhaps the most significant institution in Houston. The visitor center offers a substantial experience where curious teens will learn about space through videos played on giant 4K movie screens, 400 artifacts, and a tour on a real spacecraft.
Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the 10 largest art museums in the US, with a staggering collection of nearly 70,000 works of art from antiquity until the present. Your teens may be drawn to the works in The Kinder Building of the museum with over 1,200 works of modern and contemporary art spread across three floors.
There are so many artists represented it’s impossible to list them all here. Among the modern masters whose work hangs on the museum’s walls are Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Mondrian, Joan Miró, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and so many more.
19. Holocaust Museum
A visit to this museum may be challenging to some teens, but the Holocaust is certainly a part of history they know about. This museum takes the flat textbook content they have read in school and makes this history tangible.
Through exhibits and short films, visitors learn of stories of survivors of the Holocaust. A visit to Houston’s Holocaust Museum is a somber, but meaningful, thing to do with your teen.
Part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Planetarium offers a sensory experience for guests to learn about space and the solar system. Their Digistar 6 system simulates being in the vastness of space, navigating asteroid fields, and roaming planetary surfaces.
Where to Shop and Eat with Teens in Houston
21. The Galleria
When your teens want to shop til they drop, The Galleria is the place to go. It’s the largest shopping mall in Texas, with 400 stores! There are many popular chain stores your teens will recognize like Urban Outfitters, Free People, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters and many more. Plus there are both sit-down restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and fast food joints like Shake Shack. The Galleria is an excellent place to go if you get stuck with a rainy day in Houston.
22. Willowbrook Mall
This mall is smaller than The Galleria, and not as upscale, which may be a good thing. There are teen favorites like H&M, Hollister, Vans, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and lots of other shops. There’s a food court for fast food favorites.
This is the center of Downtown Houston and it's an excellent place to stroll and shop. There are local boutiques selling items like hats, artisan jewelry and unique clothing. You’ll have a good selection of food at Finn Hall food court with eight restaurants.
24. The Melting Pot
At The Melting Pot, you’ll enjoy watching fondue being made right at your table. Start off with cheese fondue, followed by an entree of meat, seafood and vegetables cooked as you like served with various dipping sauces. Finish it all by dipping strawberries into decadent chocolate fondue!
25. The Rustic
Here the family can try homestyle Southern cooking with treats like cactus fritters and jalapeño spoonbread. They serve family-sized portions of carnitas or brisket with a choice of sides. There’s live music too!
26. Irma's Original
The kitschy, colorful decor in the tiny dining room is 100% Instagrammable and the Tex-Mex food is 100% delicious! Dishes vary by day so be sure to check the menu in advance to guarantee a happy teen!
Go bowling and have dinner at the same time! Bowlero has bowling, arcade games, and a menu that includes teen go-to's like wings, burgers, pizza, and more.
Explore more of Houston with our article, 30 Fun and Interesting Things To Do In Houston.
For suggestions on how to organize your time in Houston including daytime activities, suggestions for meals, and nightlife, see our Houston 2-day itinerary!
Check out our other articles:
- Houston for solo travelers
- 18 Epic Ideas for a Work Party in Houston
- 23 Things To Do in Houston For A Memorable Girls’ Night Out
- 27 Perfect Date Night Ideas In Houston