For many of us, getting out of the house has become key to maintaining our sanity, but trips to the work or the grocery store don't quite cut it. The truth is we can still have fun while being responsible and observing safety guidelines. So here we present to you five fun socially distant activities to do in Houston right now. 

Visit the Houston Botanic Garden

The Houston Botanic Garden's opening in September was welcome news in Houston at a time when being outdoors and distancing are the way to have fun. The 132-acre garden just miles away from Hobby Airport is home to an array of native and non-native plants, arranged in various horticultural displays and spaces. For kids, the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden offers space to explore and play, but the Global Collection Garden was by far our fave with its diversity of beautiful plants and calm spaces to sit back and enjoy. 

Watch a Drive-In Movie

Drive-in movie theaters made a comeback this year thanks to the ongoing pandemic. In Houston, you'll find several options for an outdoor movie night. Try Moonstruck Drive In in Houston's East End or go to one of The Drive In at Sawyer Yards' final showings. Yes, they're closing and relocating but they have a great lineup of movies – including a handful of Christmas classics – scheduled through November 29. Over at the Raven Tower, The Best Little Drive-In in HTX is on hiatus during November, but their move line-up will be back in December. And just outside of Tomball, the Showboat Drive-In Theater, which has been operating since way before the pandemic, offers a solid selection of movies on two giant screens.

Go for a Hike

Houston has no shortage of outdoor, green spaces, and luckily for residents and visitors, the city's weather allows for outdoor activities year-round. Hit the trails at Memorial Park for an escape from routine. With some 30 miles of winding trails, you can spend a morning or afternoon immersed in nature without leaving the city. When you're done, take the opportunity to visit the park's newest section, the Eastern Glades. Weekends are definitely busier than weekdays but there is plenty of space to distance.

Ice Skate at Discovery Green

With new safety protocols, including an online reservation system and reduced capacity, The ICE at Discovery Green is back for another season of fun. Glide across the ice with downtown Houston as your backdrop – a little outdoor exercise will do wonders! Make sure to reserve a time for your ice skating excursion ahead of time and keep in mind that masks are required for skaters and all staff. Oh, and check out the ICE's schedule of themed nights, which bring a little dose of extra fun to the skating rink.

Explore Houston by Bike

Biking never gets old and it's a good way to have fun, do exercise and see the city. Get together with a few friends, mask up and head to Buffalo Bayou Park for a bike ride. You can pack a small picnic and stop in one of the park's green spaces to enjoy it. Don't own a bike? Tent one at one of Houston B-Cycle's stations. They've taken steps to remind riders to wash hands, wear gloves and maintain their distance. For other bike route ideas, read our Bayou City by Bike guide.

Make it a Staycation!

Tired of looking at the same four walls? Book a night at one of Houston's top hotels for a nice change of scenery. The city's hospitality industry has committed to making guests' safety their top priority. Before you book, check out these Houston hotel deals.