The Woodlands is a flourishing city north of Houston that offers a metric glut of good times for tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type needing some fresh air, a shopping addict craving some retail therapy, a foodie looking to satisfy that refined palate, or a bar hopper fiending for a dance floor; you’re sure to fall in love with The Woodlands and everything this beautiful city has to offer.
To simplify the tedium of planning, we’ve looked high and low to come up with a definitive list of the best things to do in the Woodlands. To that same point, you’ll discover The Woodlands was intentionally developed to help make your visit as straightforward as possible. Many of the spots listed below are conveniently located around each other. So you’ll never have to look far to find more fun. So start planning your Woodlands adventure, and look no further.
Not to speak too boldly of this beautiful city by likening it to Rome, but… Considered the lifeblood of The Woodlands, all roads here lead to the Waterway. Situated at the heart of the city, this urban oasis is the perfect place to kick off your visit. Conveniently connecting the best attractions that the Woodlands has to offer, the Waterway is a human-made canal that scenically courses through the core of the city before draining into Lake Woodlands. The Waterway has walking and biking trails that are lined with public art, tempting restaurants, and swanky bars.
The most notable stop along the Waterway is its central plaza: Waterway Square. Featuring a dazzling display of cascading fountains and spacious patios nestled on the waterfront, Waterway Square is where you’ll want to snap a couple of pictures.
31 Waterway Square Pl, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Millennium New Park
But if you really wanna rack up those likes on Instagram, it doesn’t get much better than a stroll through the Waterway’s Millennium New Park. This Asian-inspired park features a meditative sculpture garden and a kaleidoscopic koi pond. It’s easily one of the most photogenic spots in The Woodlands.
5 Waterway Ave, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Riva Row Boat House
A voyage along the Waterway via standing paddleboard or kayak is easily the most picturesque way to explore the city. So be sure to hit up the Riva Row Boathouse for all your downtown sailing needs. If kayaking or paddleboarding isn’t eye-catching enough for you, Riva Row is most known for its swan boat rentals.
2101 Riva Row, The Woodlands, TX 77380
The Woodlands Trolley
If you’re not looking to get your feet wet, the Waterway is the main departure point for the city trolley. The trolley is an equally dramatic mode of touristic transportation. And conveniently enough, it stops at most of the spots you’ll find on this list. Most importantly, trolley trips are free of charge.
With over 90 stylish stores and boujee boutiques, Market Street is not only the premier choice for shopping in The Woodlands but also one of the most impressive luxury shopping districts in Texas. If you’re a devout believer in the spiritual benefits of retail therapy, then Market Street is nirvana. Whether you’re searching for a fresh outfit to keep up with the latest fashion or endeavoring to adorn your home with a chic furniture collection, this outdoor shopping mecca has everything you could possibly need. If you begin to feel a bit famished, Market Street also features an array of trendy restaurants and cafes that are perfect after a busy day of shopping.
Hughes Landing Boardwalk
Bordered by Lake Woodlands, Hughes Landing is an upscale lifestyle development in the city. Also known as Restaurant Row, there’s a myriad of casual and elegant food options. Many of the restaurants along the boardwalk deliver scenic dining experiences with patios that overlook the lake. In the summer and fall, the Hughes Landing Band Shell hosts Rock the Row, a free music festival featuring local bands playing everything from classic rock to Motown. The boardwalk also features a dog park, boat rentals, and public art displays.
The Woodlands Mall
For even more shopping options, The Woodlands Mall is another fantastic option for shopaholics. This prominent fashion center features more than 160 stores. From large-scale department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom to affordable fashion retailers like Forever 21 and GAP, The Woodlands Mall has a healthy mixture of consumer-friendly and upscale shopping options for everyone. Of course, the mall also features a fantastic food court with a diverse selection of sweet and savory mall fare. Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift or just looking to treat yourself, the Woodlands Mall is sure to have what you’re looking for.
1201 Lake Woodlands Dr. Suite 700, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Story Book Maze
Located in Town Green Park, Story Book Maze brings your favorite storybook characters to life in a truly unique way. You’ll literally get lost in the fun of this literary labyrinth filled with life-size characters from Aesop’s most famous fables. The maze is designed to teach children about the most celebrated fables in history while simultaneously imparting their timeless life lessons.
Between Town Green Park and the Library in The Woodlands, TX 77380
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Known as one of the most popular venues in the Houston area, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is a unique outdoor auditorium in the Woodlands. Owned and operated by The Woodlands’ Center for the Performing Arts, music fans and art aficionados from all over flock here to enjoy the top-notch acoustics and state-of-the-art sound system. The Pavillion hosts both modern and traditional shows. You can sing along with the most popular artists today at the Pavilion’s rock, pop, rap, and country concerts. Or experience the finer side of art and entertainment at the Pavillion’s classical performances. The Pavilion is also a popular venue for festivals and live events, making it a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike.
2005 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380
The Woodlands Children’s Museum
The Woodlands Children’s Museum is a remarkable 11,000-square-foot facility that combines the joy of learning with the importance of play. As one of the best attractions for kids in the area, the museum has several play areas, each with different educational toys and activities. The museum also offers a variety of programs and events, such as storytime, crafts, and science experiments. The staff is always friendly and fantastic with kids. They’re more than willing to help out with anything you need. With interactive exhibits that encourage hands-on learning, the museum is designed to ignite and inspire the curiosity of both adults and children.
4775 W Panther Creek Dr #280, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Rob Fleming Park
Rob Fleming Park features barbeque pits, a dog park, a pond for small-scale fishing, playgrounds, and picnic areas. The park is a great place to visit year-round. But it is especially beautiful in the springtime when Bluebonnet Meadow is in full bloom, making it perfect for family photos. And the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center is a great place to cool off on a hot day. The lazy river is perfect for relaxing, and the two-story flume slide is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. The interactive play structure is great for kids of all ages, and the 150-gallon dump bucket is sure to make a splash.
6055 Creekside Forest Dr, Spring, TX 77389
Texas TreeVentures is an aerial ropes course located at Rob Fleming Park’s Recreation Center. The Texas TreeVentures ropes course is a can’t-miss adventure for both children and adults. The three-level aerial course challenges adults and children in a fun and safe environment. With over 72 unique trials and tests, it’s a thrilling adventure that will quite literally push you to new heights. The course is designed to build confidence, teamwork, and communication skills. Participants are sure to come away with a renewed sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience or a scenic way to appreciate the outdoors, the Texas TreeVentures ropes course is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
6464 Creekside Forest Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77389
George Mitchell Nature Preserve
Spanning over 1800 acres, the George Mitchell Nature Preserve is one of the largest nature preserves in The Woodlands. It is a popular destination for nature lovers in search of some outdoor recreation. There are five miles of hiking and biking trails that scenically weave through the lushest parts of the forest. The postcard-worthy trails are well-maintained and suitable for all skill levels. With a carefully preserved ecosystem that is home to a variety of wildlife, George Mitchell Nature Preserve is a beautiful place to explore and a valuable resource for the community.
5171 Flintridge Drive Spring, TX 77381
The Ice Rink
The Woodlands Town Center is a bustling event center that comes to life during the holidays. The seasonal attraction that locals look forward to most is undeniably the ice skating rink. The rink features dynamic lighting displays, a state-of-the-art sound system, tables for parties, and concession stands. Skaters can lace up their skates and enjoy the festive atmosphere with its dazzling lights and holiday tunes. Or take a break and enjoy some hot cocoa and themed treats from the rink’s concession stands. They also provide lessons for those who aren’t so sure-footed out there on the ice, so everyone’s welcome. With its second-to-none amenities and convenient proximity to other attractions, the Town Center’s ice skating rink is a Woodlands holiday tradition. It’s perfect for couples and families looking for some festive fun.
2005 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Glade Gallery is a popular destination for art lovers in The Woodlands. The gallery showcases a revolving selection of local and international artists. If you’re particularly fond of any pieces on display, much of the gallery’s collection is available for purchase. In addition to art exhibitions, Glade Gallery also hosts a variety of evening events, including classical concerts, comedy acts, dinner theater, and live performance art. The gallery also has a bar that serves wine and upscale cocktails for art shows and pre-event drinks. Whether it’s attending the show of an up-and-coming local artist or dressing to the nines for a sophisticated night out, the Glade Gallery is the perfect spot for some cultured recreation in The Woodlands.
2000 Woodlands Pkwy, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Art Scavenger Hunt
The Woodlands is a haven for art lovers, boasting one of the largest collections of public art in Texas. The collection includes a diverse range of pieces, from mosaics and murals to sculptures and art benches. In 2014, The Woodlands Arts Council commissioned local artists to design and install a series of more than two dozen art benches in appreciation of the city’s public art scene. You can find most of the Instagram-worthy benches along the Waterway and its surrounding park areas. We recommend using the trolley system to make the hunt as eventful as possible. Here, you can find the Arts Council’s official worksheet for the art bench scavenger hunt. The art bench tour is a super fun way to delve into the city’s art scene while exploring some of the most popular areas in The Woodlands.
Char Dahm Hindu Temple
The Char Dham Hindu Temple is a sacred location for Hindus and a must-visit attraction for sightseeing tourists. The name Char Dahm refers to a pilgrimage to the four corners of India that promises salvation upon completion. These four holy corners represent the four major Hindu deities. And each corner is home to a significant temple in the Hindu faith. The temple itself features the following: rarefied architecture that you won’t find anywhere else in the city; a peaceful ambiance that demands reverence from tourists; waterfront meditation spaces; and interpretative Hindu art. The temple is the perfect place to marvel at Indian architecture while learning about the underrepresented Hindu culture. The temple is open to all visitors, regardless of religious affiliation.
8044 College Park Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77384
Shankz Mini Golf & VR
Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf is a family-friendly attraction delivering a wide range of indoor amusements. Play a round of blacklight mini-golf at the intricately designed 18-hole course. Test your skills with an array of classic and modern games at the arcade. Trip out your senses by going into virtual reality simulators. Grab a pint of beer or glass of wine at the bar. They also offer party packages for special events. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a unique party venue, Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf is sure to deliver.
3091 College Park Dr #270, The Woodlands, TX 77384
If you’re looking for a city that has it all, look no further than The Woodlands. With something to offer tourists and locals alike, this vibrant city is sure to charm you with its natural beauty, rich culture, and boundless possibilities for fun. So what are you waiting for? Plan your visit today! And if you’re considering a move, check out TripBison’s article about why The Woodlands is a fantastic place to live.