Between the turkey, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and pies, your Thanksgiving meal might leave you feeling a little stuffed. Consider some outdoor exercise that can help you melt away the trimmings.
You’ve probably trekked to popular spots such as George Bush Park, Hermann Park, Discovery Green and Memorial Park, however Houston has nearly 53,000 acres of total park space to explore – that’s about the size of 40,000 football fields. But instead of just envisioning the gridiron, get moving on it!
Read on to find out more about the green spaces brimming within this concrete jungle we call home.
6400 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77074
Are you ready for some football? Bayland Park has multi-purpose fields perfect for unleashing your inner athlete: football, softball, baseball and soccer to name a few. Head over to the tennis court to practice that backhand technique. If walking off that food coma from a hearty Thanksgiving lunch is more your style, take to the trail! This park also features a trail for the visually impaired. Note that the park’s community center will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
Tony Marron Park
808 North York, Houston, TX 77003
Nestled not far from Downtown along Buffalo Bayou on the city’s East End, Tony Marron Park boasts soccer and baseball fields. Need a moment to stop and catch your breath while you’re here? Take in the lush landscaping and greenery provided with the help of Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Root Memorial Square
1400 Clay St., Houston, TX, 77002
The Houston Rockets won’t be playing basketball on Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! If you want to shoot some hoops, Root Memorial Square, across from the Toyota Center, has a full, outdoor basketball court. It also has lighting, lawn space and a view of the skyline – the perfect backdrop for those action shot photos you’ll be taking when you make that jump shot!
3770 Summit Valley Dr., Houston, TX 77082
Located between Highway 6 and the Westpark Tollway, this family-friendly space has something for everyone. There’s a 9-hole disc golf course, playgrounds, a rock-climbing wall and a sand volleyball court. The sports amenities don’t end there - you can bend it like Beckham on the soccer field or swing for the fences on the softball field. This park is somewhat of a hidden gem. It’s not easily visible from the street; the entrance is tucked away off Summit Valley Dr. Another thing to note – there are picnic tables if you want to pack up some post-Thanksgiving meal snacks (or would it be better to call these leftovers?) The park opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Mary Jo Peckham Park
5597 Gardenia Lane, Katy, TX 77493
Up for a game of putt-putt on Turkey Day? Head to this park for its miniature golf course, complete with putters for young children. Families can also enjoy disc golf. Another perk? The park isn’t just built for kids. Older adults and those with disabilities can stay active on the senior fitness playground. It’s known for being crowded on the weekends, making parking a premium, so plan accordingly in the event your family and friends aren’t the only ones looking to burn some calories! If you want to spend time outdoors without breaking too much of a sweat, you can also kick back at the fishing pier. Check out the fishing rules here.
James Driver Park
10918 1/2 Bentley St., Houston, TX 77093
This park in Northeast Houston is open 365 days a year – and so are its amenities. Covered and lighted basketball facilities mean you can stay cool or dry (depending on the unpredictable Houston weather) and the fun doesn’t have to stop once the sun sets. For the set who’s always on a roll, catch some air at the skate park. Good to know: if you find that your Thanksgiving outing here is a success and you want to come back, you can rent the pavilion area (near the basketball courts and skate park) for no fee. However, rentals do require a reservation.
Food for Thought
Precinct 4 parks are open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Not sure where to find a park where you live? Check out Visit Houston's parks and outdoors page where you can search for a green space by region.