I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
What a perfect name and description for a large set-aside public park called Discovery Green Park. It is located in the heart of a large city filled with tall edifices and lots of concrete. Join us for an introductory tour of our impressions and photos taken one day.
Houston, Texas, is blessed by the foresight of people who seized the opportunity to secure land for public use in the heart of this downtown metropolis when it became available. Discovery Green's address is 1500 McKinney Street, Houston, Texas 77010.
This almost 12-acre park sits directly across the street from the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Discovery Green Park is a well-utilized public park on the east side of downtown Houston. I had my digital camera and decided to record some of the images as my husband and I strolled through this beautiful downtown park for the first time.
Coming out of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the first prominent sculpture that arrests one’s attention is the colorful and abstract piece of art titled Monument Au Fantome by Jean Dubuffet. Over a stainless steel base, this fiberglass medium is colorfully painted. It took several years to finish this intriguing creation (1969 – 1971).
It used to grace another spot in downtown Houston. The sculpture was generously donated and moved to this park when Discovery Green opened in the year 2008. Art lovers and visitors can walk around and even through the middle of this sculpture, enjoying it up close and personal.
The Jones Lawn
A large lawn of over 10,000 square feet of green space greets visitors. It offers them an opportunity to walk, sit or lay on the well-maintained grass and enjoy this “Jones Lawn” for multiple purposes.
One could lay in the grass and look up towards the sky at passing clouds and daydream. I remember doing that as a youth with my mother and siblings labeling each cloud that passed with a name of what we thought it resembled.
Many people take picnic provisions and use the grassy area to advantage. Others are there to watch performers on stage or do some performing of their own as in twirling hula hoops around one’s waist or tossing and chasing balls.
Lovers can spread out a blanket on the well-manicured lawn and whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some wedding proposals have taken place in this lovely spot.
Discovery Green Park hosts many different types of shows, all free of charge to the public. A trio was performing on the Sunday afternoon of our visit.
The lawn attracted people who were listening to the band, and the chairs and tables of the adjacent casual restaurant called The Lake House were filled to capacity. Young and old alike got to hear this free concert.
Why is the casual restaurant in the park named The Lake House? On the other side of this bandstand stage area and adjacent to the lovely Jones Lawn is over an acre of water called Kinder Lake.
Nothing is quite as soothing to the eyes as the sight of rippling waves of water, especially on warm to hot southern days, of which we have our fair share in Houston, Texas. Remote controlled boats can be used in this area, which is fun to view. In the winter, for a while, the lake is purposely frozen and becomes an outdoor ice skating rink!
On the day of our visit, sailboats were skimming the waves and made an attractive setting for some picture taking. This first photo shows a view of Kinder Lake with the Minute Maid Park building as a backdrop. For those of you who may not know...this is the home of the Houston Astros professional baseball team.
Much thought was put into the development of Discovery Green. Native plants are utilized to create the gardens.
My husband and I need to go back to see many of the distinct gardens within this park. Some of these include the following: a Rose Garden, Butterfly Garden, Water Garden, Scent Garden, Bulb Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Native Plant Garden, and more.
One can efficiently cool off by playing in the fountains and water elements found within Discovery Green Park. Many people were taking advantage of these features on the day of our visit.
It was fun watching the many cute children playing in the cooling mists and streams of water in the Gateway fountain. Adults as well were cooling off.
Doug Hollis created this sculpted water element within Discovery Green. Dimensions of this stainless steel fountain which continually provides veils of rain or streams of mist are 15 feet in height and 22 feet wide.
Synchronicity of Color
Created by artist Margo Sawyer, there are two of these giant rectangular sculptures in Discovery Green Park.
Both of them are eye-catching! One hundred fifty-one panels hold 1,500 aluminum boxes in 65 colors according to the information posted regarding them. Pictures of some recent law school graduates were being taken the day my husband and I were there. Either one of these sculptures would certainly add an exciting backdrop for personal photos!
Visiting Discovery Green
There is much more to explore on our next visit to this downtown park. More art, gardens and entertainment of all kinds depending upon the time of day, week, or even season awaits us.
The next time my husband and I venture down there, we wish to dine at The Grove or The Treehouse Restaurant. Both of the restaurants offer excellent food service from what we have heard. Those restaurants are overlooking the beautiful spreading branches of the large oak trees across from them some of the trees over 100 years old! It is understandable how they were assigned their names.
A farmer's market every Sunday from Noon until 4 pm intrigues us. There are exercise classes of all sorts held on the grounds.
Enjoyable to see would be the ice skating that takes place from around Thanksgiving to mid-January each year. I'll be on the sideline merely watching if we go down there at that time of the year. I'd probably break my neck if I tried ice skating at my age.
If your dogs travel with you, they are welcomed to this park. Two dog parks—one for smaller ones and one that accommodates larger canines—are also in this park.
Did you ever twirl hula hoops around your waist or wish to try it now? No problem! We saw vendors with a great abundance of them on-site.
In the park is a statue of George R. Brown, whose name is on Houston’s impressive convention center. This remarkable man started as an engineer and became a world-famous entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adviser to several United States Presidents among his many other accomplishments.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this brief look at Houston's Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Peggy Woods
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 17, 2020:
Hi C E Clark,
Thanks for shedding some light on this fantastic downtown Houston park. It is an amazing place with all kinds of weekly as well as seasonal activities.
Yes, the social distancing is tiring, but necessary. We miss getting together with people like we used to do. Stay safe!
C E Clark from North Texas on October 17, 2020:
Looks like lots of fun and interesting things to do at Discovery Green Park.
Was hoping to comment on something more Halloweenish since that day is just around the corner. Checked out "National Museum of Funeral History's Halloween Haunted House," and another of your articles about hearses, but neither would allow for comments. Seemed like the perfect time of year to give them some publicity.
Seems like Covid-19 is revving up again around the country. We have had 117 deaths in this county since the start. And of course the entire country has had well over 216,000 deaths since Jan. 21, 2020. Hope you are taking care to stay safe. I know it gets tiresome, because it's been so long since we started with the masks and the social distancing, etc., but one must keep it up for everyone's sake.
Posting this article to AH & FB.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 23, 2020:
Discovery Green is a fantastic downtown city park in the heart of Houston, offering so much to people visiting it.
Liz Westwood from UK on April 22, 2020:
What a lovely public space, with so much variety.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 22, 2020:
It is incredible to me that they can freeze enough water in the warm winters down here to have an outdoor skating rink. People look forward to it year after year.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 21, 2020:
The sculpture in the second photo is dramatic! It certainly catches the attention. I love the idea of freezing Kinder Lake to create a skating rink in winter.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 21, 2020:
Given the size of our city and metro area, we have a lot to offer people. Glad to know that you are enjoying learning about Houston.
Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on April 21, 2020:
The more I see and read about Houston from your Hubs the more impressed I am. Discovery Park looks wonderful and to have an oasis such as this in a downtown area is remarkable. Kudos to the city planners for putting aside land for parks such as this one. You are fortunate to have such beautiful areas to enjoy in a large city.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 21, 2020:
We do enjoy our many parks in the metro area of Houston!
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2020:
There is always something going on of interest in this downtown park.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 20, 2020:
I would enjoy seeing this park, esp. The Hummingbird garden and the mist tree. I also like to watch ice skaters. I am amazed at the many public parks in Houston. I can see why you live there.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 20, 2020:
This is another lovely park with such unique features.