MainStay Suites Texas Medical Center/Reliant Park
3134 Old Spanish Trail
Houston, TX 77054
Phone: (832) 201-3131
Fax: (832) 200-2750
Situated in the lovely Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals and over 800 species. Experience a true wildlife adventure as you check out the lions, Komodo dragons, flamingos, tigers, gorillas, bears, and bats, just to name a few! There is a wonderful Natural Encounter area where you can get up close and personal with otters and meerkats; and be sure to take a spin on the Wildlife Carousel, featuring hand-carved and decorated animals that showcase many endangered species of the world. If watching the animals eat makes you hungry yourself, there are two outdoor concession stands and one indoor dining area. Get ready to spend a day with the animals as you learn more about the beauty and wonder of the natural world.
Houston will be forever grateful for George Hermann's generous gift of land in the early 1900s. The park spans over 425 acres and is so popular it has been dubbed the "People's Park." People from all walks of life gather here for various events throughout the year. A monstrous statue of Sam Houston welcomes you to the park. Those seeking an educational outing for themselves or the kids will find many options inside the park. The Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, Burke Baker Planetarium and an IMAX theater are all popular attractions. Lighter family entertainment is available in the form of pedal boats, train rides and a horse stable.
Enjoy an educational outing that is out of this world at Burke Baker Planetarium. Its convenient location inside the Houston Museum of Natural Science helps you turn this outing into a full day of entertainment. There is a McDonald's to satisfy your stomach and a gift shop for picking up souvenirs. Regular astronomy shows run throughout the day, but the laser light shows presented in the evenings are simply amazing.
The Children's Museum of Houston opened in 1984 and is devoted to teaching through interactive play. Galleries cover history, culture, fine and performing arts, technology, science, and geography. Adults are welcome to take a break in the Teacher and Family Resource Center where extra teaching materials are available to boost those creative juices. Lots of fun, educational toys are available in the gift shop, and snacks are available to satisfy your hunger.
The Rice Stadium is a world famous stadium located within the Rice University at Houston. This massive stadium can seat upto 80,000 spectators and usually draws capacity crowds when the home team, Rice Owls play their football matches. Also used as a concert venue, the Rice Stadium is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that makes watching a game or a concert here an absolute pleasure. Legendary bands such as Pink Floyd, Eagles and Elton John have performed live here. The famous John F. Kennedy speech regarding the 'American Moon Expedition Plans' also took place here.
Located in Rice University campus, Jess Hess Tennis Stadium was built in 1970 and pays homage to one of its major donors, Jess Hess. Apart from being the home court for the Rice Owls, the stadium is also a venue for many tennis tournaments like 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival and many local and national level championships. The stadium comfortably accommodates 1400 spectators and has a large scoreboard, team lounge and a coach office.
The Health and Physical Education Arena or the H & PE Arena, as it is popularly known, is a huge sports facility located within the campus of the Texas Southern University. Home to all the live action of the men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams of the institution, the Arena houses 8100 in seating capacity. It has been witness to some of the most nail-biting contests among University Championships. Its size makes it ideal for other events like concerts as well. The Arena also includes a conference center that can be used for meetings and conferences. The Arena is available for rental.
Since Alex Haley published Roots tracing family trees and history has become a national passion. This museum and bookshop is dedicated to the accomplishments of the African-American community and their cultural contributions to American heritage and history. You will appreciate and enjoy the paintings, creative writings, artifacts and other items on display. Located on Martin Luther King Boulevard near The Shrine of the Black Madonna Church, the museum offers an educational experience that would make Mr. King extremely proud.
History buffs will enjoy the Houston Fire Museum, which traces the history of Houston's local firefighters from the late 19th century to modern day. The special photographic exhibit, "Taking the Heat for 100 Years," allows you to follow the history of fire fighting from the early years when buckets were passed hand-to-hand all the way through to modern technology. Another highlight is the 1892 steam fire engine that stands side-by-side with the modern 20th-century pumper.
What was once a weedy parking lot is now a 12-acre space with playgrounds, dog runs, bike paths and more. Discovery Green hosts all kinds of fun activities for families, couples, groups of friends, and the solitary traveler. Complete with an amphitheater, children's theater and open 'sky gazing' areas, Discovery Green invites you to see, touch, hear, taste and explore your way through the park. For the more technologically inclined, the park is a Wi-Fi hot spot, perfect for study sessions.
If you are in the mood for some good baseball, head on over to the very classy Minute Maid Park which is home to the Houston Astros. Formerly known as both Enron Field and Astros Field, Minute Maid Park has a retractable roof and can be fully air-conditioned. The field is known as being friendly to the hitters, resulting in exciting games for the fans! For multi-taskers, wireless Internet is available for a fee. And whenever a hitter hits a pole, every audience member gets free Chick-fil-A. Besides major league baseball, the field occasionally hosts other sports games (such as college baseball), and private functions.
Since 1977, this multicultural education center has tried to help inner-city youth develop self-discipline and confidence through the study of classic and visual arts. Scheduled events include exhibits, art shows and theatrical performances throughout the year. The entire program is designed to give kids a greater appreciation of their heritage and inspire belief in their ability to face the future.