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Houston Treasure Hunt: An Activity for the Whole Family

Magnolia Houston | family in park

Welcome to the city of wonders. Houston is home to a NASA training facility, as well as a world-class zoo and aquarium, dinosaur skeletons, rare plants and even a Dreadnought class battleship. If you’re looking for an activity that’s a little more off the beaten path, we’ve crafted a unique scavenger hunt that’ll take you and your family to some of Houston’s more intriguing treasures.

Solve each clue to get to your next destination. Good luck, and happy hunting!

STOP #1: Book, Line and Sinker

There once was a place with a west view, that was so cluttered with books the owner didn’t know what to do.

Stories piled to the ceiling, and stacked near the floor

They’re even in the kitchen and over the door.

You’ll find thousands of rare, unique, and antique tomes

For sale inside this 3,500-square-foot home.

(Need a bigger hint? Sorry, Becker’s can’t be choosers.) 

STOP #2: Button Up

Big red buttons usually signal DANGER. Not so for this hidden gem, a big red button tucked under a bridge. Scour the concrete pillars for the button and then Press it On. The bayou will reward you by letting out a giant… burrrrrrrrrrp! 

STOP #3: Drinks on the House!

Journey to a house that’s covered in cans

About 39,000, all placed by one man.

There’s beer on the house, there’s beer on a tree

But that isn’t a problem, because the cans are all empty. 

STOP #4: Cistern of Mercy

A place of solitude and reflection, this popular underground landmark once held 15 million gallons of drinking water for Houston’s citizens – no bull (just a Buffalo)! Today, it has only a shallow pool of water and a 17-second echo. This underground hotspot costs $2 to visit (ages 9+ only), though families can peer into its dark abyss through the “Down Periscope” installation created by artist Donald Lipski.

STOP #5: Light in the Darkness

You might have an “epiphany” standing inside this open structure at dawn or twilight. Designed by James Turrell, the 72-foot canopy has a square opening that creates a magical effect during these times. It’s also known for brilliant acoustics, so prepare to belt out your favorite tune and sound like a star. Might we suggest something by Damien Rice?

STOP #6: The Metal Menagerie

If you’re afraid of spiders, you’ll want to “steel” yourself before seeking out the giant arachnid looming over a local pipe manufacturing plant. The daddy longlegs is joined by about 25 of his metal besties, including King Kong, planes and a white rhino. Artist Ron Lee is the genius behind the Texas-sized sculptures… you may want to thank him afterwards, or just run straight Holmes. Tip: This one’s on private property, so take pics from afar.

STOP #7: Home Suite Home

If you’re staying with us at Magnolia Houston, you’re right in the heart of the action. Our 314-room boutique hotel is tucked into the original Houston Post Dispatch building, which towers above the city’s compact downtown core. Guests can catch a game at nearby Minute Maid Ballpark, visit the Shell Oil headquarters or check out major events inside the George R. Brown Convention Center. Call 713-221-0011 for info or book your stay online today.