What to do in Houston this weekend: Zoo Boo, Oktoberfest and more fall fun

We’re here to help you navigate all the area has to offer

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Hey! Welcome to Things To Do, your weekly one-stop newsletter for all things related to weekend fun in Houston and beyond.

🍂 Fall-O-Ween

Pull on your plaid, grab yourself some gourds and chase the fall vibes at these fall festivals in and around Houston.

People attend the Houston Zoo Boo event in 2018.

Zoo Boo 2023

When: Sept. 29-Oct. 31

Where: Houston Zoo

“Celebrate fall festivities at the zoo during Zoo Boo...Costumes are encouraged, and guests will have plenty of favorites to experience, including visiting our Carved Pumpkins sponsored by Frost Bank, Giant Pumpkin, and inflatable pumpkins. Don’t miss our Pumpkin Lantern Tunnel between the lions and tiger exhibits, our spooktacular Scary-Go-Round, photo-ops all over the zoo, and much more!”

Mid-Autumn Festival 2023

When: Sept. 30

Where: Asia Society Texas Center

“Also known in many Asian countries as the Moon Festival or Lantern Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival welcomes the autumn harvest and full moon. Asia Society Texas’ Mid-Autumn Festival features Taiwanese artists and photography, storytelling, and exciting art activities such as lantern-making, paper cutting, and faux mooncakes.”

Oktoberfest 2023

When: Sept. 29-30

Where: Saint Arnold Brewery

“Saint Arnold Oktoberfest is back. We’ll have a weekend of festivities this year with celebrations at our Beer Garden on Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30. Admission is free both days! Each evening, our Beer Garden will be rocking from 4:00 to 9:00 PM with high energy live music from Das Ist Lustig with Valina Polka, our commemorative Oktoberfest 2023 mugs, and a whole slew of Oktoberfest activities. Make sure you wear your favorite dirndl or lederhosen to enter our costume contest and have a chance to be crowned King or Queen of Oktoberfest. Throughout the evening, we’ll also be hosting a stein hoisting contest, pretzel eating contest, and chicken dance contest. Rich Saint Arnold prizes await the winners! On the beer front, our annual favorites Oktoberfest and Guten Tag will be accompanied on tap by Prost Y’all, a 50/50 blend of Oktoberfest and Tarnation with Cinnamon and Vanilla. This limited release beer comes in at 7.8% ABV.”

🏙️ Houston-area happenings

It’s a big city, with plenty to do, see, hear and watch. Here’s a sampling of the city’s cultural highlights this weekend.

Miller Outdoor Theatre (Image courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre)

Houston Polish Festival

When: Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Where: Our Lady of Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church

“The Houston Polish Harvest Festival is an experience unlike anything else. We bring Polish traditions pertaining to food, drink, and entertainment to Texas. The Polish community in Houston proudly hosts this event and extends a big Polish ‘welcome’ to all of our Houston neighbors!”

The 26th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival

When: Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Where: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

“The always-popular compilation of global short films returns—vote for your favorite! Film lovers unite during the same week across six continents to view and judge the work of the next generation of international filmmakers.”

Foundation for Modern Music presents Salsa Y Salud

When: Sept. 30

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre

“Salsa y Salud joins Miller Outdoor Theatre’s 100th year celebrations with a special production to commemorate this incredible achievement. Featuring live music and choreography premiers commissioned for the occasion, a cast of over 20 artists will keep you moving in your seats or dancing on the hill. Join us for a night of high energy, excitement and family entertainment.”

The 2023 Bellaire Foodie Festival

When: Sept. 30

Where: Bellaire Civic Center

“Join us for the 2023 Foodie Festival, presented by the Bellaire Business Association and open to all ages! It’s the perfect opportunity to discover new foodie favorites while supporting local businesses. When you purchase a ticket, you’ll get access to food samplings, drinks, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and more, all included in the price. Best of all, the proceeds from this non-profit event will benefit Bellaire Police & Fire.”

Houston Botanic Garden presents Flutter: The Monarch Butterfly Project

When: Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Where: Houston Botanic Garden

“‘Flutter’ brings Open Dance Project’s theatrical approach outdoors, where the company takes on the natural phenomenon of the monarch butterfly migration with its signature athleticism and poignant wit. In addition to responding to the natural environment of the Garden and interactive butterfly installations by local sculptor Meredith Tucker, which depict three different species of butterfly and a plant each pollinates, the performances incorporate painted textiles and artistic props fabricated by Natasha Bowdoin, whose work investigates and reimagines humankind’s relationship to the natural world.This family-friendly event includes after-hours access to the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden and its many hands-on opportunities for learning and play. Food and beverage will be available for purchase, including savory options from Maria Rita’s Tex-Mex and dessert from Cupcake and a Smile.”

Sawyer Yards Art Ramble

When: Sept. 30

Where: Sawyer Yards

“Join Sawyer Yards on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 2-7 p.m. for an unforgettable creative journey across our campus for the inaugural Art Ramble. Walk into a world of artistic wonders as over 100 artists, across four incredible art studio buildings, open their doors just for Houston!”

Chefs For Farmers Food & Wine Festival

When: Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Where: Autry Park

“Returning for its second year, don’t miss Chefs For Farmers Houston as we come back bigger and better than ever this fall! Hosted at Autry Park from September 30-October 1, spice up your taste buds as you sample delectable bites from more 40+ chefs and local farms Houston has to offer. But that’s not all! We’ll keep the drinks flowing as you WINE down with sips from various wineries and spirit brands. Loosen up your belts folks – each ticket is all-inclusive of unlimited food, drinks, live entertainment, and more.”

🎶 Music

Looking for live music in Houston? Here’s our guide to the best of live music happening this weekend.

Tate McRae in concert

When: Sept. 29

Where: Bayou Music Center

Singer-songwriter Tate McRae will come to Houston in support of her 2022 album, “I Used to Think I Could Fly.”

Tash Sultana in concert

When: Sept. 29

Where: 713 Music Hall

The gender-fluid multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer-songwriter Tash Sultana will come to Houston Friday in support of their upcoming album due out later this year.

ROCO in concert: Seismic

When: Sept. 29

Where: The Miller Outdoor Theatre

“Take a seismic journey as ROCO’s 19th season kicks off with the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation In Concert Series, featuring the full 40-piece chamber orchestra led by Artistic Partner Mei-Ann Chen, in two ROCO-commissioned world premieres and an exhilarating tale of love, intrigue, and adventure! Experience Anthony DiLorenzo’s ‘Techtonal’—inspired by Lois Stark’s book ‘The Telling Image,’ with animation by Cynthia Lee Wong—then go on a flight of fancy in Kevin Lau’s ‘The Nightingale.’ Finally, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade whisks audiences away in colorful scenes from ‘The Arabian Nights’!”

Ne-Yo in concert

When: Sept. 29

Where: Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land

Ne-Yo will come to Sugar Land in support of his 2022 album, “Self Explanatory.”

Joji in concert

When: Sept. 29

Where: Toyota Center

Joji will come to Houston in support of his 2022 album, “Smithereens.”

The Manhattan Dolls in concert

When: Sept. 30

Where: 1940 Air Terminal Museum

“The Manhattan Dolls, renowned for their captivating performances, will take you on a Sentimental Journey through the iconic music of the era. You’ll be treated to a delightful blend of beautiful ballads and toe-tapping tunes that will transport you back in time. So, whether you prefer to sit back, relax, and enjoy these timeless classics or find yourself In the Mood to hit the dance floor, this evening promises to be a celebration of unforgettable melodies.”

Houston Country, Folk, & Blues Festival

When: Sept. 30

Where: Heritage Place Park & Amphitheater

“Get set for the famous Houston Country, Folk & Blues Festival at Woodlands- Conroe, with nine solid hours of Grammy Award Winners and Billboard #1 artists performing live on stage, and it’s all FREE (even parking)!Show date is Saturday Sept. 30, 2023, from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., at historic Heritage Place Park. Come and enjoy major concerts, an artist & crafter market, a farmers market, and dozens of fun contests. Check out the Taste of Texas Food Garden, with delicious cuisine, and cold craft beer and wines. It’s a beautiful day of Peace, Love, and Music for the entire family, so be sure to get your free V.I.P. tickets today!”

Corinne Bailey Rae in concert

When: Oct. 1

Where: The Stafford Centre

Corinne Bailey Rae will bring her Black Rainbows Tour to Houston Sunday.


When: Oct. 1

Where: Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land

Latin music star Maluma will bring his Don Juan tour to Sugar Land Sunday.

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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.