Things To Do On A Long Layover in Houston Airport

Are you stuck at Houston Airport and wondering what to do? Houston Airport, also known as the George Bush Intercontinental airport, has plenty of existing activities that keep you busy during your Houston Airport long layover. You can simply go for activities that you can cover up in a few hours to other relaxation indulgence that recharge you for the upcoming flight.

things to do in houston airport

If you want to make the most of your layover, here are a myriad of things to do in Houston Airport that will excite you as never. Let’s dive right into it-

Explore Art at IAH

Browsing the art during the layover in Houston Airport can be a fantastic way to indulge into the creativity that will help you make the most of your time. You can start the tour by visiting at Terminal A. Here you can see the “LIGHT WINGS” sculpture by Ed Carpenter where you can admire fine details of this artwork.

If you’re at terminal B, discover the “HOUSTON BAYOU” mosaic by Dixie Friend Gay. This glass mosaic art from the Byzantine era highlights the natural beauty of Houston’s bayous.

At Terminal C you can explore this bronze sculpture “WINDS OF CHANGE” by David Adicks which depicts the dynamic nature of wind in its fluid and organic form. The best part you witness is the movement portrayed in this artwork.

At Terminal D, the most popular artwork is the “MICKEY LELAND” by Ed Dwight. The bronze sculpture pays homage to the namesake local politician and philanthropist.

Another remarkable artwork that you can swear by is “LEOPARD SKY” by Sheila Klein. The immersive installation features the light and mirror panels laced with painted ceilings.

Here is the overview of the artworks at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). This is not a comprehensive list, but we have selected 15 ongoing artworks that makes the most of your houston airport long layover.

What are some remarkable Artworks at Houston Airport?

LIGHT WINGSEd CarpenterNorth Concourse, Ground Level
HOUSTON, CAN YOU HEAR ME?Hana HillerovaTrain Station, Upper Level
MOONWALKING COWSilvestriTicketing, Ground Level
COUNTREE MUSICTerry AllenSouth Concourse Atrium, Ground Level
PASSING THROUGHLeamon GreenConnector Walkway, Lower Level
HOUSTON BAYOUDixie Friend GayConnector Walkway, Lower Level
ELEVATOR CORERachel HeckerTicketing, Ground Level
WINDS OF CHANGEDavid AdicksPast Security CheckPoint, Ground Level
UNTITLEDPeter MaxGates E-2, E-3, E-8 & E-9, Upper Level
MICKEY LELANDEd DwightGround Level
PASSAGES 1, 2, 3, 4Bertram Samples and Leslie K. ElkinsWalkway Terminals D & E, Upper Level
LEOPARD SKYSheila KleinInternational Arrivals Exterior, Ground Level
BEADSJim Hirschfield and Sonya IshiiInternational Arrivals, Ground Level
TIMELINEBen WoitenaEntrance Road to Terminal E, Ground Level
AIR DROPSKate PetleyFederal Inspection Services, Upper Level

Switch to the Relax Mode At One of the Many Lounges

If you prefer the most relaxed indulgence and looking to escape the crowds at IAH, consider accessing one of the airport lounges. One of the best things to do in Houston Airport where you can unwind in comfortable seating, enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages, or simply close your eyes and relax.

things to do in houston airport

If you need to catch up on work, the lounges provide business amenities such as workstations, Wi-Fi, and charging stations that help you leverage your productivity. The airport lounges at IAH also offer entertainment options to keep you engaged. You might find TV with a variety of channels, newspapers, magazines, or even gaming consoles providing you the pleasant lounge experience.

List of lounges available at Houston Airport

Lounge NameLocationOpening HoursAmenities
ADMIRALS CLUBTerminal A, Near Gate A25Daily, 5:45 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.Snacks and drinks, Business Center, personal travel assistance and more.
UNITED CLUBTerminal A, Near Gate A9Daily, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.Complimentary bar service, light snacks, free Wi-Fi, travel assistance and more.
UNITED CLUBTerminal B, Mezzanine levelDaily, 5:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.Same as above
UNITED CLUBTerminal C, Near Gate C1Daily, 5:45 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.Same as above
UNITED CLUBTerminal C, Near Gate C33Daily, 5:45 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.Same as above
UNITED CLUBTerminal E, Near Gates E11 and E12Daily, 5:45 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.Same as above
UNITED POLARIS LOUNGETerminal E, Near Gate E12Daily, 5:45 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.Private dining area, personal daybeds, shower suites, personal valet services.

Passengers who booked flights with Spirit, may visit Spirit Airlines Terminal at IAH Airport near Gate E11.

Explore Dining Options at IAH

The airport offers a diverse range of restaurants and eateries that cater to the different taste buds and lifestyle. And, a layover at Houston airport may sum up your experience into a delectable one. You can indulge into the Tex-Mex cuisine that serves you the delicious flavorful fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos. You can also satiate your global palate by feasting on Mediterranean specialties, Chinese stir fry or some Indian curries. 

things to do in houston airport

For those with limited time or a desire for a quick meal you can grab a wrap, salad or enjoy a slice of pizza or a hot dog on the go. If all you need is a shot of caffeine or a light snack, there are plenty of cafes scattered around Houston Airport that keep you energized during your layover.

Some of the most preferred dining options that makes the most of your ‘things to do in houston airport’ list – 

RestaurantLocationOpening Hours
Agave TaqueriaGate C33Open Now, Daily 6:00 AM-10:00 PM
Auntie Anne’sGate E12Open Now, Daily 4:00 AM-7:00 PM
Bam BamGate C5Open Now, Daily 7:00 AM-10:00 PM
Bayou City BarTerminal DOpen Now, Daily 7:00 AM-10:30 PM
Beerhive EastTerminal DDaily 5:00 AM-12:00 AM

To know more dining options, visit the airport’s website.

Go Shopping at IAH

things to do in houston airport

A layover at Houston Airport does mean to be boring as you can indulge into the variety of shopping options, from luxury brands to local boutiques. This could be one of the fun things to do in Houston airport that allows you to partake into retail exploration during your wait.

When it comes to shopping at IAH, you can indulge into- 

  • Duty-free shopping – From cosmetics and fragrances to liquor and tobacco, you can find all popular brands and exclusive items that are available at dirt cheap fares.
  • Latest Fashion – You can also indulge into the designer labels, or classic wardrobe as the airport features a range of High End fashion outlets from the likes of Gucci, Versace, Emporio, and more.
  • Electronic Gadgets – If you’re in need of the latest gadgets, there are plenty of tech stores at IAH where you can shop for smartphones, tablets, noise-canceling headphones and other range of products to enhance your journey.

Which stores are available at Houston Airport?

StoreCategoriesLocationOpening Hours
AdrenalineSports & Outdoors, Accessories, ApparelGate C12Open Now, Daily 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Allen’s LandingTravel, Beauty, Wellness, Electronics, Gifts & Souvenirs, News & Books, Texan, Kids, Toys, Snacks & Sweet TreatsTerminal B, Check-InOpen Now, Sun-Fri 6:00 AM-7:00 PM, 6:00 AM-6:00 PM
AmericanaTexan, Gifts & Souvenirs, Accessories, ApparelGate E2Open Now, Sun-Mon,Wed-Thu,Sat 7:00 AM-8:30 PM, Tue 4:00 PM-8:30 PM
Benefit Cosmetics Automated Kiosk (Gate C33)Beauty, WellnessGate C33, Gate C1Open Now, Daily 24/7
BrookstoneElectronics, TravelGate B1Open Now, Daily 12:00 PM-5:30 PM
ChanelDuty Free, Beauty, WellnessTerminal DOpen Now, Sun-Thu,Sat 6:30 AM-8:30 PM, Fri 6:30 AM-8:30 AM

You can find the list of all outlets at IAH on the airport’s website.

Book Your Layover at Houston Airport Marriott

things to do in houston airport

If you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient stay during your Houston airport overnight layover, the Houston Airport Marriott is the perfect place to stay.

This is the only hotel property located within the airport premises. Some of its features include-

  • Prime location – This is the best alternative for passengers under the category ‘houston airport short layover’. The hotel is strategically located between Terminals B and C, ensuring you’re just minutes away from your boarding gates.
  • Luxury accommodation – The hotel boasts newly re-styled guest rooms that are modern and chic, especially designed for your comfort in mind.
  • Exceptional amenities – There is a top-notch fitness center, an outdoor saltwater pool and 24-hour business center that sums up your comfortable layover. There’s also a complimentary breakfast with your stay.
  • Dining options – There’s in-house FLIGHT’S Lounge & Grill where you can experience the local flavor, and enjoy a satisfying meal on your stay.

Explore the Houston’s Downtown

things to do in houston airport

If you have a long layover in Houston, why not take the opportunity to explore the vibrant Downtown area. Here are some of the highlights to consider during the houston airport long layover-

  • Visit Discovery Green – Start your adventure by visiting this beautiful urban park where you can enjoy lush green spaces, interactive art installations and live events.
  • Explore the Museum District – The Museum District offers a captivating experience for art lovers and people from all walks of life.
    • Begin your exploration at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston which houses an extensive collection spanning thousands of years and various cultures. Marvel at the artwork from the likes of Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso.
    • Next, you can delve into the wonders of the natural world at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). Here you can explore fascinating exhibits on the fascinating gemstone displays or venture into the Burke Baker Planetarium for a cosmic exploration.
    • Pay homage to the life and times of surviving Holocaust victims where you can learn about this dark chapter in history. Browse through the thought-provoking exhibits, artifacts, and survivor testimonies that shed light on the Holocaust.
  • Explore Buffalo Bayou Park – Stroll through the Buffalo Bayou Park where you can enjoy picturesque views, walking trails, and even boat tours. Here you can enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings and admire the city skyline while immersing yourself in the nightlife that the city has to offer.

Visit the Space Center in Houston

things to do in houston airport

If you’re interested in space exploration and want to have an educational and immersive experience, this is one of the perfect things to do in Houston near the airport. You can expect to see real spacecraft, learn about the history of space exploration, and even touch a moon rock.

  • Here you can get a glimpse into the life of an astronaut through interactive exhibits. You can hear the first hand stories of astronauts, learn about their training and the wonders of space travel.
  • Tour the iconic Houston’s Mission Control Room where the team communicated with astronauts during the Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • In the next exhibit, you can Marvel at real moon rocks and lunar soil samples brought back from the Apollo missions.

In conclusion, a layover in Houston can be an opportunity to explore the city and experience some of its unique attractions. From visiting the Space Center Houston to exploring parks like Buffalo Bayou and Cullinan, there are plenty of things to do during a layover. You can also enjoy local cuisine, go shopping, or relax in an airport lounge.

So, next time you have a layover in Houston, consider taking some time to explore the city and make the most of your wait.

Who Are We?

Travellers can access all the assistance and services they require through ContactForSupport. Instead of sitting on hold for a long time, passengers can just call our customer service representatives and expect a quick response. For instance, call us right away if you need assistance finding or reserving any services at the Houston Airport to experience a hassle-free journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Houston airport for 5 hours?

You have enough time to enjoy a meal at one of the airport’s restaurants, browse through shops, or relax at an airport lounge.

What are the things to do near Houston Airport during a long layover?

You can explore attractions like the Space Center Houston, the Museum District, Buffalo Bayou Park or indulge into the shopping at The Galleria.

What to do on a 4 hour layover in Houston?

Consider visiting the airport’s dining options to savor, exploring the shops for duty-free souvenirs, or simply browse the free Wifi at IAH.

Where can I relax at Houston Airport?

You can find comfortable seating areas throughout the terminals, or simply access airport lounges for a more relaxed space.

Does Houston airport have a play area?

There are no play areas within the airport.

How far is Houston Downtown from the airport?

Houston Downtown is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Houston Airport.

What are the fun things to do in Houston Airport on a layover?

Houston Downtown is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Houston Airport.

Is 1 hour layover enough time at Houston Airport?

It depends on your airline or the travel route. It’s always advisable to check with your airline.

Do I have to go through security again for a connecting flight in Houston?

If you are connecting another domestic flight, no security screening is required. But in case of international flight, you may need to go through one.

Is it easy to change terminals at Houston Airport?

The terminals are connected by Skyway, which allows passengers to move between terminals quickly.

Can you leave Houston Airport during layover?

Yes, you can leave Houston Airport during a layover if you have sufficient time and proper documentation (visa, if required) to enter the United States.

Published June 22, 2023
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