LIST: 24 ways to have a wonderful Houston weekend

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MORE: Houston’s 40 best October experiences 🎃

🍂 Fall-O-Ween

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

File images of Fall (Canva/KPRC 2)

Oct. 13-15Katy Rice Harvest Festival, Historic Downtown Katy: “Bring the family and enjoy a full day of great craft vendors, live music, food trucks & much more! There will be fun for the whole family, including a kids/teen zone, craft beer, and expanded food area.”

Oct. 13Treetop Terror, The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park: “Come climb and see what awaits you on this eerie night of shrills and thrills! This Halloween themed special event includes a 3-hour night climb with scary special effects, lights, and decorations. Join us… if you dare!”

Oct. 14ArBOOretum, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center: “Grab your costumes and get the kids together for the Arboretum’s biggest family event of the year! ArBOOretum features fun fall activities for all ages including live animals, pumpkin decorating, and Houston’s only Trick-or-Treat Nature Trail. Enjoy these fall classics and so much more!”

Oct. 14 San Jacinto Fall Fandango, The San Jacinto Museum: “In a frontier world where neighbors lived miles apart, social gatherings like a fandango were essential for socializing and forming tight-knit communities. Try your luck in authentic historical games, experience period music while partaking in traditional dancing, get creative with arts and crafts, and step into the past with living history activities for all ages.”

MORE: Frightfully fun family-friendly Halloween happenings in Houston and beyond

🏙️ Houston-area happenings

An annular solar eclipse as observed in Suining, Sichuan province January 15, 2010. VCP (Photo by Jie Zhao/Corbis via Getty Images) (Jie Zhao)

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.

Oct. 13-14Southern Smoke Festival, Discovery Green: “The big bash returns in 2023. Join us on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 as we host some of the F+B industry’s most talented chefs and personalities and throw a party to support F+B in crisis nationwide. You’ll eat your share in big and bold bites; have your choice of superb wine, beer, and spirits; and enjoy outstanding live music to enhance the chow-down experience. Proceeds will benefit Southern Smoke Foundation, which has distributed more than $11 million to F+B workers nationwide. Help our cause and rock out with us this October!”

Oct. 14 Annular Solar Eclipse Viewing Event, Houston Museum of Natural Science: The event will feature crafts, activities, simulations, and solar telescope viewing. The Burke Baker Planetarium will broadcast a live stream of the eclipse from Bandera, Texas, located directly withing the path of annularity. The museum’s astronomers will be on site to discuss the annular solar eclipse and the upcoming total solar eclipse, happening April 8, 2024.

Oct. 14 Experience the Annular Eclipse, Space Center Houston: “Visit Space Center Houston to view this year’s annular solar eclipse! We’ll have unobstructed viewing areas to watch the eclipse, as well as interactive activities and programming that dives into the science behind these awe-inspiring celestial phenomena–and how to view them safely with complimentary eclipse glasses provided at our viewing area! Members of the Houston Astronomical Society will be on hand to guide you through using different telescopes to view the eclipse and how to build your own pinhole camera using materials around your home. And at 11:15 a.m., enjoy a special presentation on ‘Experiencing the Eclipse Through Touch and Sound’ from members of the Houston Astronomical Society.”

Oct. 14 Houston Country, Folk, & Blues Festival, Clear Lake Park: “Come and enjoy major concerts, 100 artists & crafters, a farmers fresh market, and dozens of fun contests and attractions. Check out the Taste of Texas Food Garden, with gourmet cuisine, and cold craft beer and wine. National recording artists will be performing throughout the afternoon and evening on the main stage. Best of all, admission is FREE for all ages (even parking is FREE). So, bring the whole family for an beautiful day of Peace, Love, and Music!”

Oct. 14 Barktoberfest, Powder Keg: “Bring your friends, family, and pups and enjoy entertainment, food trucks, a dog costume contest judged by local celebrities, a vendor market, silent auction, dog adoptions, and more all while helping save the lives of at-risk cats and dogs through Houston Pets Alive!, a local rescue saving Houston’s homeless pets! The event is FREE to attend, with beer tickets available and registrations into dog costume contests, which will be judging 4 categories: most creative costume, funniest costume, cutest costume, and judges’ favorite. Contest winners will receive a prize valued at over $200! The first 350 beer or combo tickets sold will receive a commemorative tasting glass and one free beer!”

Oct. 14 Festival en el Jardin, Houston Botanic Garden: “Join Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) and the Houston Botanic Garden for Festival en el Jardin as we prepare for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) by celebrating our past and honoring our future through music, dance, and visual arts. Create your own altar and make paper marigolds; shop with vendors selling authentic Latin American arts & crafts; and enjoy performances by the Ermelinda Cuellar Jazz Trio (2:30 p.m.), MECA’s Ballet Folklorico (3:30 p.m.), and Mariachi Monarcas (4:30 p.m.).”

Oct. 14-15 Bayou City Art Festival, Sam Houston Park: “The Bayou City Art Festival is Houston’s iconic art festival showcasing the works of 300 artists in 19 different categories.”

Oct. 14-15 Wings Over Houston Airshow, Ellington Airport: “One of the top air shows in the United States, this premier Houston event is dedicated to showcasing vintage World War II aircraft, along with the thrills of modern aviation, and has supported a variety of local and national charities during its 39-year history.”

MORE: Hankering for a fright? These Houston-area ghost tours are sure to leave you satisfyingly spooked

🎶 Music

TORONTO, ONTARIO - FEBRUARY 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally enhanced.) SZA headlines her "SOS" North American Tour at Scotiabank Arena on February 25, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Robert Okine/Getty Images) (2023 Robert Okine)

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

Oct. 13 Chris Stapleton, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion: Country music sensation Chris Stapleton’s All American Roadshow Tour will bring him to The Woodlands on Oct. 13 alongside special guests Charley Crockett and Nikki Lane. Kentucky-born Stapleton is an 8x Grammy, 15x CMA and 10x ACM Award-winner. Most recently, he was named CMA Male Vocalist of the Year for the sixth time—setting the record for most wins ever in the category. Additionally, his most recent album, “Starting Over,” won Best Country Album at the 67th Annual Grammys as well as earning Album of the Year honors at both the 54th Annual CMA Awards and 56th ACM Awards.

Oct. 13 Cigarettes After Sex, 713 Music Hall: El Paso’s Cigarettes After Sex will come to Houston in October. Cigarettes After Sex garners over 18 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Five years on from the release of their breakout self-titled debut and their acclaimed follow-up “Cry” (2019), they have recently seen several viral moments on TikTok unlock new levels of audience growth and album sales.

Oct. 14 SZA, Toyota Center: SZA’s SOS Tour will bring her to Houston’s Toyota Center on Oct. 14 alongside special guest D4VD. The tour follows the 2022 release of SZA’s sophomore album, “SOS.” Some of SZA’s Hot 100 hits include “Snooze,” “Kill Bill,” and “The Weekend.”

Oct. 14 Suki Waterhouse, White Oak Music Hall: Actress, singer-songwriter and model Suki Waterhouse’s Fall Tour will bring to her Houston on Oct. 14.

Oct. 15 Sting, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion: Sting’s My Songs World Tour will bring him to The Woodlands on Oct. 15 alongside special guest Joe Sumner. Sting’s My Songs concert will feature his most beloved songs, written throughout the 17-time Grammy Award winner’s career both with The Police and as a solo artist. Fans can expect to hear hits including “Fields of Gold,” “Shape of my Heart,” “Roxanne,” “Englishman In New York,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Roxanne,” “Message In A Bottle,” and “Demolition Man.”

MORE: These autumnal Houston-area festivals scream ‘fall’ 🍂

🎭 Theater

For theatergoers, Houston offers a rich menu from which to choose.

Alley Theatre (Copyright: Bill Saltzstein (c) 2009)

Closes Oct. 15“What the Constitution Means to Me,” Main Street Theater: “Fifteen year old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions at American Legion posts across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the document’s profound impact on women’s bodies—starting with her great-great-grandmother, a mail-order bride who died under mysterious circumstances. This witty and searingly personal exploration breathes new life into our founding document and imagines how it will shape the next generation of American women.”

Closes Oct. 15“Chicken & Biscuits,” Ensemble Theatre: “‘Chicken & Biscuits’ is a raucous family comedy so full of laughter and love, it’ll leave you begging for seconds. The Jenkins family is coming together to celebrate the life of the family patriarch—hopefully without killing each other! But any hopes for a peaceful reunion unravel when a family secret shows up at the funeral. A feel-good comedy that will feed your soul.”

Closes Oct. 22 “American Mariachi,” Alley Theatre: “Family, love, and tradition are at the core of this heartwarming play about the freedom to dream big. It’s the 1970′s and girls can’t be mariachis… or can they? As Lucha and her spunky cousin hunt for bandmates, dodge disapproving relatives, and bring Mom along for the ride? This play is infused with vibrant, infectious live mariachi music and reminds us how music and love can make the impossible come true.”

Closes Oct. 27“Carmela Full of Wishes,” Main Street Theater: “Feliz Cumpleaños! It’s Carmela’s birthday, and she’s finally old enough to tag along with her big brother as he runs the family errands. Passing by the bodega and the lavanderia, Carmela picks a dandelion and makes a very important wish… Carmela Full of Wishes illuminates the beauty of working class neighborhoods and the power of community and family. Told through the lens of a heartfelt sibling story, this endearing play explores what hope looks like in a migrant community steeped in Mexican culture.”

Closes Oct. 29“Little Comedies,” Alley Theatre: “‘What do ‘Swan Song,’ ‘The Bear,’ ‘The Proposal,’ ‘The Wedding,’ and ‘On The Harmfulness of Tobacco’ have in common? They are all one-act comedies written by Anton Chekhov that will be performed by the Alley’s Resident Acting Company and directed by the Tony-Award winning playwright and legendary director Richard Nelson. Acclaimed Russian literature translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky collaborated with Nelson to create a new English translation which will make for an extraordinary theatre experience.”

Closes Nov. 12 “Switzerland,” Stages: “Brimming with razor-sharp dialogue and dark wit, ‘Switzerland’ is a gripping psychological thriller that’s sure to leave you breathless. In her remote home hidden in the Swiss Alps, Patricia Highsmith, the reclusive, Texas-born matron of murder stories, lives out her days in solitude. That is until a mysterious young emissary arrives at her doorstep, urging her to pen the final installment in her famous ‘Tom Ripley’ series. Following years of ominous silence, it seems this unexpected visit could be just the push the ailing novelist needs. After all, what does it take to write a truly sinister story if not real-life inspiration?”

Closes Dec. 31 “Always … Patsy Cline,” Stages: “Featuring 27 of Patsy Cline’s biggest hits, such as ‘Walkin’ After Midnight,’ ‘I Fall To Pieces,’ and ‘Crazy,’ ‘Always…Patsy Cline’ is a timeless tale of friendship and great music. In 1961, country music legend Patsy Cline met Louise Seger, a fan from Houston, at a honky-tonk. The two struck up a friendship that continued via letter-writing until the singer’s tragic death years later. First premiering at Stages 35 years ago, Always…Patsy Cline welcomes home the fans who made it a hit and invites new generations to discover Patsy and Louise.”

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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.