Discovery Green, a 12-acre park located in downtown Houston, officially opened to the public on April 13, 2008. The long-awaited destination fulfills a commitment from Mayor Bill White and major private Houston foundations to create and preserve green space within Houston’s central city. With its proximity to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Minute Maid Park, and Toyota Center, Discovery Green is an ideal location for the city’s newest attraction.
Emulating the model of great urban parks around the country, Discovery Green is designed as an engaging and active place with programming to serve all ages and backgrounds, as well as workers, residents, and visitors alike.
Much to See and Do
Tree-shaded walks lead to a tranquil pond while grassy slopes offer postcard views of downtown. Try out the new jogging trail that surrounds the park, or splash around The Model Boat Pond. Special dog fountains and runs are appropriately sized for large and small canines.
Want to try bocce ball or challenge your best friend to a game of horseshoes? Maybe recapture your title as king of croquet? Discovery Green is your field of play. It starts with a rentable four-wheel golf cart embellished by the talents of two local Art Car artists. The art cart is stocked with just the right equipment for an hour or two of friendly competition. Children will be amazed at the towering Mist Tree and delight in the one-of-a-kind play area designed to reflect the path of migrating birds. And don’t forget to make time to laugh and splash the Gateway Fountain, an interactive waterscape. Art installations add to the landscape while touring musicians and performing arts groups take the stage for noontime and weekend performances at the park’s amphitheater.
Dining at the Park
Visitors have a variety of dining experiences to choose from within the park: the informal elegance of The Grove restaurant and the fast-casual fare of The Lake House, with both menus comprised of award-winning Chef Robert del Grande’s creations. The Grove’s all-glass exterior overlooks a gathering of live oaks, offering visitors a peaceful, upscale ambience in the heart of the nation’s fourth largest city. Upstairs, the Tree House serves up appetizers and drinks to the shorts-and-sandals set, who relish the atmosphere of the open-air deck. The Lake House reels in visitors with its self-serve lakeside concept and convenient counter service.
Major Park Features
Prominent features visitors can enjoy include a one-acre lake, children’s playground, interactive water features, amphitheater stage and slope, small and large dog runs, public art works, HPL (Houston Public Library) Express, open lawns, and great restaurants.
Andrea and Bill White Promenade
This walkway forms the heart of the park and offers a 360-degree view of Houston’s skyline.
Kinder Lake, encompassing more than an acre of the park, features water gardens and a model boat area, a shallow pool specifically designed to accommodate remote-controlled watercraft operated by park goers of all ages.
The Grove and Tree House
Overlooking the park’s live oaks, Schiller Del Grande’s destination restaurant and rooftop bar offer patrons exceptional food, service and views of the park.
The Lake House
The Lake House offers fast, casual, family-friendly food, with views of Kinder Lake and the Jones Lawn.
Anheuser-Busch Stage and Fondren Foundation Performance Space
This amphitheater hosts a variety of performances, including music, theater, film and dance, and is oriented toward a sloped lawn for audience seating. When the platform is not in use, it is open to all park goers, either as space to work, lounge, or dine near The Lake House café.
The Jones Lawn is the park’s largest green space, providing ample area for major events or pick-up sports.
Brown Foundation Promenade
The Brown Foundation Promenade is shaded by 100-year-old oak trees, the largest of which is the Nancy G. Kinder Oak near Avenida de las Americas, one of four large live oaks moved to the park.
John P. McGovern Children's Playground
The playground is carved into an existing, tree-shaded hill, which shields youngsters from the surrounding streets and integrates the theme of the major migratory bird flyway over Houston. Individual species are represented in the play sets, and accompanying signage educates visitors.
The fountain offers a visual gateway to the park for visitors approaching from McKinney Street and is an extension of the playground area. Two systems of jets create a myriad of water activity atop a gently sloping granite surface, with 14-foot high arcing jets serving as gateway landmarks and smaller jets cycling on and off to invite park visitors for a closer look or some fun in the spray.
Public Art At Discovery Green
Discovery Green features new works by artists Margo Sawyer and Doug Hollis. Great care was taken to ensure the art installations would be visually prominent, yet at home, in the park’s environs. In addition, Jean Dubuffet’s Monument Au Fantome, an iconic sculpture by this world-renowned artist, has been relocated to the park.
The Alkek Building
Overlooking the Gateway Fountain and John P. McGovern Children’s Playground, this building is where the park’s staff, information center, and public restrooms are located.
Programming at Discovery Green
Discovery Green is more than a beautiful green space: it is an experience waiting to be enjoyed. The park comes to life with active programming during its Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter seasons. Regularly scheduled music, dance, film and theater, as well as exercise classes, children’s events and an urban market, comprise the backbone of park programming. Park spaces also may be reserved for private and public events.
Both restaurants are in keeping with Discovery Green’s eco-friendly consciousness, incorporating composting, recycling, green housekeeping products and biodegradable packaging. Throughout construction, the park has committed to “green building practices," utilizing solar panels and sustainably-grown wood.
Driven by a passionate commitment to sustainable design and operation, the Conservancy is pursuing a “Gold Level” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. LEED credits are earned based on site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources used in construction, indoor environmental quality and innovation in the design process. This will continue to be a priority as the Discovery Green Conservancy operates the park.
*Dining at The Grove and The Lake House
*Discovery Green Flea Market (Market)
Size 11.78 acres
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau - Member