By John Egan

So, the workshops at your conference have wrapped up, the trade show floor has cleared out and that must-attend industry happy hour is over. Now what?

If you’re in Houston for a meeting, there’s plenty to keep you occupied after your business day has ended or even if you’ve got time on your hands during the day. Here are just 10 options among many.

  1. If you’re near the George R. Brown Convention Center, check out Discovery Green. The 12-acre urban oasis, adjacent to the convention center, features jogging trails, free Wi-Fi, two restaurants and many other amenities.
  2. Houston hosts four major-league sports venues, so you can take your pick of what type of event you’d like to attend: NRG Stadium (Houston Texans football), Toyota Center (Houston Rockets basketball), Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros baseball) or BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston Dynamo soccer).
  3. Got food on the brain? We’ve got you covered. Near the convention center are eateries like The Grove, Vic & Anthony’s, Quattro, Guadalajara del Centro and III Forks Steakhouse. Is your mouth watering yet?
  4. If you’re in the mood for some culture, head over to the 17-block Theater District. There, you’ll find the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony and Alley Theatre, among other performing arts groups.
  5. Close to the Theatre District, Tranquility Park pays tribute to NASA’s missions to the moon. Highlights include cylindrical foundations, angled walkways and an out-of-this-world view of Houston’s skyline.
  6. Bayou Place is 130,000 square feet of fun. This entertainment complex, in the heart of the Theater District, houses theaters, bars and restaurants.
  7. Is shopping your bag? Then you’ve got to make a trip to The Galleria, situated in Houston’s Uptown area. Each year, millions of visitors stroll through the 400 stores and restaurants at the largest shopping center in Texas. Anchors of The Galleria are Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.
  8. Maybe The Galleria didn’t fully satisfy your shopping urge? Swing by the West University area, home to Rice University and the Rice Village Shopping Center. There, you can browse numerous boutiques, nosh at one of the many restaurants or take part in the nightlife.
  9. Houston’s Museum District ranks as one of the country’s premier cultural districts. No wonder: The district comprises 20 cultural institutions, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo and The Menil Collection.
  10. If one word could sum up the multifaceted Montrose area, it might be “eclectic.” The quirky neighborhood offers an array of art galleries, eateries and shops. Heck, you can even get a tattoo if you’re so inclined.

Learn more about planning your next meeting or event in Houston at