Here's What's Re-Opening at Houston Parks

What to know before you go.

By Gwendolyn Knapp

Buffalo Bayou trails.

Image: All Stock Photos/Shutterstock.comUpdated on April 8

Updated on July 1

Sam Houston and Eleanor Tinsley parks will be closed on Saturday, July 4, to ensure the city’s virtual fireworks show can be put on safely.  All other city parks will remain open for active recreation only—ie. exercising—and urban park rangers will be patrolling to make sure folks aren’t gathering in groups. “We want it to be a kinetic experience,” Turner said in a press conference on July 1. “Just keep going, keep moving, and keep yourself safe.”

Updated on June 1

June 1 is a big day for our area parks. Many facilities are reopening today. But remember, as our beloved greenspaces start to offer more access, make sure to practice social distancing (six feet), wear a mask if possible, and exercise solo or only with your household to be extra safe. Here's what to look for:

Texas State Parks

Starting today, June 1, you can now make reservations for overnight camping through September 7. Make sure to check out this map for state park closures first, though, because not all of them are open. Masks are still encouraged, social distancing is still required, and no groups larger than five people are allowed.

Hermann Park

The train and pedal boats are back in action in everyone’s favorite Museum District greenspace. Tickets to each are sold at the park’s Conservancy Gift Shop, and the hours for the train and boats can change depending on weather. The park’s public programming and events are still canceled through June 30, however. 

Buffalo Bayou Park

The Johnny Steele Dog Park is back open and tours of the cistern are back on (and you must wear a mask). You can also book private boat tours (public tours are still closed) and visit the Water Works Visitor Center. But still closed: the Lost Lake Visitor Center, the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area, the volleyball court, and restrooms (there are port-o-cans for use though).

Memorial Park

The city-operated Memorial Tennis Courts and Memorial Park Golf Course are now open

City Parks | HPARD

Dog parks, neighborhood tennis courts, and municipal golf courses including Melrose, Memorial, and Sharpstown are open, as are the Lee LeClear Tennis Center and the Homer Ford Tennis Center in MacGregor Park. Lake Wilderness Park is open for day use, though its nature center, dining hall and playground remain closed, and bringing extra soap and sanitizer is encouraged.

Still closed as of June 1: City-operated playgrounds; skateparks; swimming pools and splashpads; basketball and volleyball courts; community centers; fitness centers; and exercise stations.

Updated on May 21

Houston Parks will remain open for Memorial Day Weekend, but Mayor Sylvester Turner says that the city is bracing for crowds and advises everyone venturing out to wear a mask, maintain social distance (six feet), and wash your hands. Though city pools usually open on Memorial Day Weekend, they will remain closed at this time along with all splash pads, due to COVID-19. 

The city also plans to reopen three tennis centers, three golf courses (Melrose, Memorial, and Sharpstown), and five disc golf courses with restrictions on June 1. 

Updated on April 24

Houston Parks continue to have parking closures on the weekends to aid our city’s social distancing efforts in the fight against COVID-19.  This includes limited parking at Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, Hermann Park and Spotts Park, from dusk tonight, April 24, to dawn on Monday, April 27.  All city parks are open, however.  Plan to social distance or even exercise solo if you venture out to one.

Updated on April 17

In a Friday briefing, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that to alleviate crowding in our city parks, all gated parking entrances will be locked from Friday nights through Monday mornings. Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, and Hermann Park will also block off some of their parking as well.  All city parks will remain open, though. If you go by foot or bike, please practice social distancing or consider exercising alone, as Memorial Park is urging folks to do, and wear a face covering.


Updated on April 10

Along with the closures of all city and county parks this weekend,  B-Cycle is also off limits.


Updated on April 9

City parks are All closed as of this evening for Easter Weekend, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today, April 9. This includes Memorial and Hermann Park.


Updated on April 8

Harris County will close its parks this Easter weekend (from Friday, April 10 until Monday, April 13) in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Houston area.

While city parks will remain open, Mayor Sylvester Turner has also given park rangers the authority to shut them down if crowding occurs.  

Updated on Mar 26

To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in our area our daily life is changing rapidly. That includes what you can and can no longer do at our local parks. Our outdoor gems are closing places where public health might be threatened. And though Harris County has issued a stay at home order through April 3, our parks remain open with some caveats—playgrounds, exercise equipment and benches are closed as are all city-owned tennis centers and golf courses. If you're still hellbent on going to the park, make social distancing the top priority. If you can't stay six feet away from people, don't stick around. 

For now, here are the closures you need to know about before you venture out: 

Buffalo Bayou Park

  • Johnny Steele Dog Park is closed.
  • Cistern tours are canceled.
  • Visitor's Center is closed.
  • Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area is closed.
  • Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark (operated by HPARD) is closed (*as of March 25).
  • All programming, including tours and events, has been currently suspended. 
  • Restrooms are open.
  • Train and pedal boats are closed.
  • Gift shop is closed.
  • Main office is closed to visitors.
  • All group volunteering events and public programming are currently suspended.
  • Kite Festival and Hats in the Park  have both been canceled; Evening in the Park has been rescheduled for October 29.
  • The McGovern Centennial Gardens are still open.
  • Lake Plaza restrooms are open.
  • Pinewood Cafe is open for takeout.
  • Playgrounds, stretching stations, and volleyball courts closed; ballfields and Aquatic & Fitness Center  closed. (*as of March 24)
  • Memorial Park suggests exercising alone (*as of March 24)
  • Restroom facilities are closed—including the nice new ones in the Eastern Glades and at the Cullen Running Trails Center.
  • Port-o-lets are open. What, do you think they'd padlock them?
  • Golf Course and Tennis Center (operated by Houston Parks & Recreation) now closed (*as of March 25).
Other Houston Parks  
  • All events are canceled through April 30.
  • All HPARD community centers are closed (Metropolitan Multi-Service Center and  North Wayside Sports Center included)—though area kids, aged 1–18, will be able to get free dinner at 47 of these community centers daily, starting March 20, from 3–6 p.m. More info at
  • All city parks and trails are open, including Lake Houston Wilderness Park.
  • All playgrounds, water spraygrounds, basketball courts and outdoor exercise equipment is closed (*as of March 25).
  • All tennis centers and golf courses/driving ranges— including Gus Wortham, Hermann Park, Memorial Park and Sharpstown— are closed (*as of March 25).  
  • Neighborhood tennis courts are open. 
  • All park headquarters, visitor centers, and park stores are closed.
  • Park programming is limited. 
  • Some parks are closed including Pedernales Falls and Balmorhea—keep up to date with this map of TPWD closures.
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