Tacos, Monster Jam, and more: 28 ways to have a wonderful Houston weekend

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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.

Among this weekend’s events are art, music, theater, fall festivities, films, artisan markets, home tours, a haunted harbor Halloween party, a taco festival, a junk sale, an evening with Bill Nye, and Monster Jam.

Many events have a distinct Halloween flavor. The theater is “The Birds” and “Sweeney Todd,” the films are “Goosebumps 2″ and “Sleepy Hollow” at Galveston’s oldest house, the 1838 Menard House, and the music is the Houston Symphony’s annual Hocus Pocus Pops concert.

Scroll below for 28 ways to have a wonderful weekend.

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 festivities in and around Houston.

File images of Fall (Canva/KPRC 2)

Oct. 20Hocus Pocus Pops, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion: “Expect creepy classics like character pictures, the Halloween Express and, of course, the Goblin Parade to make their return. We’ll also have some scary surprises in store just for you and your family! Maybe you’re in it for the terrifying tunes played from our Main Stage, or maybe you’re just in it for the candy – either way, we can’t wait to have you haunt our lawn once more!”

Oct. 20Movie Night at Menard, Galveston: “The oldest house in Galveston, the 1838 Menard House, invites you to its spooktacular grounds for a showing of ‘Goosebumps 2′ (6 p.m.) and ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (7:45 p.m.). Guests are encouraged to bring their blankets and chairs for the evening. Craft beer, wine, and water will be available for purchase, and a food truck will be on-site.”

Oct. 21Harbor Halloween Party, Galveston: “The official tall ship of Texas, the 1877 ELISSA, is turning 146, and to celebrate, we’re throwing a dockside get-together to remember! Tickets are limited and include celebratory cake, snacks, complimentary drinks, live music, and more. Ticket sales help support the National Historic Landmark.”

Oct. 21Halloween in the Hangar, Lone Star Flight Museum: “Bring your Boo Crew for a unique Halloween experience in our air-conditioned, 130,000 square feet of spooky space! Our hangars transform into a family-friendly, ghostly good time with a fright plan for fun that you DO NOT want to miss!”

Oct. 21-22ArtOberFest, Galveston: The Grand 1894 Opera House presents its 25th annual juried art festival that takes place in Galveston’s historic downtown.

Oct. 21-22Fall Vibe Market, POST Houston: “The largest Artisan Market in Houston is back for a 2-day large scale market event INSIDE the X-Atrium (1st floor) at POST HOUSTON.”

Oct. 21-29 Galaxy Frights, Space Center Houston: “Every year in October, Space Center Houston transforms into a launchpad for space-themed Halloween fun. Transport the whole family to explore the wonders of space–with a spooky twist! Show off their Halloween costumes, enjoy special activities and more.”

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


🏙️ 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.

Monster Trucks coming to Houston in 2023. (Monster Jam)

Oct. 20 An Evening with Bill Nye, Performing Arts Houston: “Engineer, comedian, author, inventor—audiences revere this good-natured Renaissance Man’s infectious blend of humor, intellectual curiosity, and devotion to solving some of the world’s most complex challenges through science. Best known for his Emmy-winning run as ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’” he brings his love of science and flair for comedy to every appearance—deftly translating complex issues to help inspire audiences of all ages to engage with and improve our world.”

Oct. 20-22Genteel Junque Sale, Galveston: “An array of antiques, furniture, home accessories, and a large selection of stone corbels and columns will be available for sale at Galveston Historical Foundation’s annual Genteel Junque sale of donated items. Held at The Depot on Market, 3304 Market, the sale will emphasize high-quality antiques, furniture, and art in good condition.”

Oct. 20-22Houston Fall Home Show, NRG Center: “The Houston Fall Home Show is a vibrant marketplace where you can shop for home-related products and services, experience stunning displays to help inspire your next home project, connect with industry experts, and enjoy informative presentations from renowned local and international home professionals.”

Oct. 21Monster Jam, NRG Park: “Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles-per-hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motorsports action seen around the world.”

Oct. 21Tacolandia, The Works at Buffalo Bayou: “Enjoy a show stopping menu of Tacos from the best spots known and unknown in Houston. Discover your new favorite taco joint here! Out of the 20+ restaurants we’re expecting, we’re sure to have something you haven’t tried.”

Oct. 21Sienna Gingerbread Market, Sawmill Lake Club: “Sienna’s 18th annual Gingerbread Market will be the biggest yet with over 60 artisans, crafters, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. You’ll see many favorites who return each year, plus some new artisans added to the line-up. Of course, what’s shopping without music, snacking and sipping? Yancey’s Food Kitchen and Rob’s Mini Donuts will be on-site with a full menu of brunch favorites. Tequila with Friends and Austin East Ciders will provide shoppers 21 and older with a complimentary beverage. Must have I.D., please, and bring at least one non-perishable item for the Second Mile Mission Center. A 2-piece jazz duo will keep the beat with holiday tunes.”

Oct. 21Houston Filipino Street Festival, Constellation Field: " Organized by the Filipino Young Professionals of Houston (FYP), this annual celebration promises an immersive experience into the heart of Filipino traditions, music, art, and delectable cuisine.”

Oct. 21-22 AIA Houston Home Tour: “The Home Tour is a nonprofit fundraiser and supports various AIA Houston initiatives throughout the year. Open to the public, the AIA Houston Home Tour showcases the finest residential architecture in the Houston area, as designed by licensed architects. Houses are chosen to showcase a variety of design styles demonstrating that excellence in design is not limited by size or dollars.”

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


🎶 Music

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

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 29: Peter Gabriel performs at Little Caesars Arena on September 29, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images) (2023 Scott Legato)

Oct. 20 Carlos Rivera, Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land: “Carlos Rivera is a multi-platinum selling artist considered one of the most important singer-songwriters of his generation. With global hits like ‘Que Lo Nuestro Se Quede Nuestro’ and ‘Me Muero,’ Rivera has reached millions of streams around the world and positioned himself among the best voices. He has released seven studio albums and one EP. Some of his most notable musical collaborations include recordings with top artists such as Juan Gabriel, José José, Jose Luis Perales, Gloria Estefan, Raphael, Franco de Vita and Laura Pausini, as well as artists Maluma and Becky G, among others.”

Oct. 21 Peter Gabriel, Toyota Center: “Toyota Center is excited to welcome Peter Gabriel on October 21! i/o - The Tour will see Gabriel playing new material from his forthcoming album i/o, as well as delving into his peerless catalogue of music, with hits, fan favorites and the unexpected.”

Oct. 21 Kansas, Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land: “Coming to Smart Financial Centre on Saturday, October 21st! America’s preeminent progressive rock band, KANSAS, to celebrate the band’s 50thAnniversary - Another Fork in the Road.”

Oct. 21-22 Ivan Cornejo, 713 Music Hall: “Ivan’s budding career continues to expand, currently the second most consumed Regional Mexican artist in the US and top 10 overall Latin in the US. He has reached over 1.1 billion combined streams, notably one of the most nominated artists at his year’s Premio Lo Nuestro with 6 nominations and winning ‘Debut Artist of The Year’ and ‘Regional Mexican Album Of The Year’ at the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards, cementing his status as one of music’s most promising new generation of stars.”

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)

Oct. 17-29 “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” TUTS: “Winner of 8 Tony Awards! Stephen Sondheim’s musical masterpiece is theatrical excellence. Set in the dark corners of 19th century England, this is the extraordinary, inventive tale of a vengeful barber whose love for a lost daughter has pushed him close to the edge, and an all too eager pie shop owner, who will do anything for a price. Together they serve up disturbing, delectable, deliciousness that customers are dying for.”

Oct. 20-29“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” The Garden Theatre: “Three people, one dead playwright, and 37 plays, all in just 90 minutes. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) takes you on a wild romp through all of Shakespeare’s classics including ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Hamlet,’ ‘The Taming of The Shrew,’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Prior knowledge of Shakespeare’s work is not required, but someone close by to call 911 in the event you pass out from laughing is.”

Oct. 20-Nov. 4“The Birds,” Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.: “When a relentless and deadly slew of birds begins attacking humanity, strangers Nat and Diane find themselves trying to survive together in an isolated cabin. Soon after, the young and attractive Julia arrives looking for shelter, bringing with her suspicion and distrust. When the duo becomes a trio, paranoia takes hold revealing an inside threat that rivals that of the murderous birds on the outside. Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 classic short story, and the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, is adapted by Conor McPherson and becomes a gripping and unsettling look at human nature in the face of societal collapse.”

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.”

Oct. 23-24“Cinderella,” Panto Company U.S.A.: “Bullied by her two mean Step Sisters, Cinders’ future looks bleak until her Fairy Godmother casts a spell and sends her to the ball. How will the Prince ever find her when she flees at midnight, leaving behind a single glass slipper? A true-to-story play full of original songs and bursting with more hilarity than you can imagine. And of course, there’s the perfect happy ending!”

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.”

MORE: Houston fright night fun for grown-up ghouls and goblins


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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.