Pack your lawn chairs and your cooler, and prepare to have a relaxing good time at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Visitors sit on the hillside or under the polygon canopy to enjoy the weekly shows that start in the spring and run through the fall. Sponsored by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, free admission guarantees you can enjoy a lovely evening without hurting your entertainment fund. From folk music to grand opera, serious Shakespeare to outrageous comedy, concerts to full Broadway musicals, this outdoor theater appeals to all ages. Special children's programs are even available on occasion.
If you're an art aficionado and a nature buff, you simply can't miss out on a visit to the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, also known as the Cullen Sculpture Museum. Handpicked sculptures from the 20th and 21st centuries are artfully displayed on the grounds of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) Houston, the collective creative geniuses of artists such as Henri Matisse and Auguste Rodin shining through. The setting for this sculpture display, a lush artwork of nature itself, is the brilliant brainchild of Isamu Noguchi and landscape architect Johnny Steele, who selected native plants like Loblolly Pines and Drake Elms. These trees, along with nearly 80 others, frame the priceless sculptures on display.
Standing stoically among 18 acres (7.28 hectares) of oak trees, the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park (formerly known as Williams Water Wall) has amazed visitors since its 1985 opening. The Waterwall sends 78,500 gallons of water down its face every three hours, utilizing a recycling mechanism that continues the torrent until the lights are turned off at the end of the day. Visible from many of downtown Houston's buildings, this attraction has become something of an icon with locals. Perfect for a romantic stroll, picnic, or reflective moment, Williams Water Wall is a great stop in the area.
Blaffer Art Museum was founded in 1973 to honor the late Sarah Campbell Blaffer. It offers educational programs and exhibits for both University of Houston students and the public. Showings in the gallery change regularly, and many periods of history have been exhibited over the years. The emphasis is on contemporary art of the past century. Previous exhibits have focused on German Expressionism, Vienna Moderne, 20th-century illustrations, and many others.
Karbach Brewing has been brewing and serving Houston since 2011. The brewery turns out craft brews in several categories: the "starting lineup" of regular year-round beers, the "seasonal lineup", limited release beers and their "F.U.N Series." Favorites from Karbach around the city include the Hopadillo IPA, Weekend Warrior Pale Ale and Karbachtoberfest to name just a few. Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons come in to the brewery for a tour. Admission price gets you a souvenir glass and four drink tickets. In addition to the brews, open house days also see food trucks come in to the drinking area so you can soak up a little of that beer.
The Cockrell Butterfly Center, housed in The Houston Museum of Natural Science, promises an experience like no other. An impressive array of over 1,500 butterflies from across the world call the tropical conservatory their home. The three-leveled glass enclosure is an enchanting rainforest, punctuated with fascinating flora and an alluring waterfall. Marvel at exotic species of the arthropod, Blue Morpho, Atlas Moth, Red Peacock, Owl Butterfly and Longwing, to name a few. Housing some of the largest and rarest specimens, the vibrant assortment paints a picture of paradise.
The Buffalo Bayou Artpark is a beautiful blend of nature and art. Take a relaxing walk along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou in the midst of towering trees as you admire beautiful sculptures both large and small, paintings, statues, or random pieces of eccentric art by some exceptionally talented local and international artists. The experience is one of tranquility and peace and should not be missed when in Houston.
If you want to spend an evening laughing your heart out, Station Theater is the place to be. Enjoy Improv comedy and amazing stand-up acts performed by talented and upcoming local comedians. This no-frills place stands out for its strong content-based performances. You don't have to shell out big bucks to enjoy your evening because of their Bring Your Own Bottle policy and affordable ticket prices. If you think that you have a funny bone in you and possess the courage to go up on that stage, they also hold improv comedy classes at timely intervals.
The Elizabeth Baldwin Park is located in the heart of the Midtown district and is a great place to relax and rejuvenate in the midst of nature. There are long winding trails through forested areas and towering trees with plenty of benches and picnic areas. This park is over a century old and features oaks that are nearly as old and give the park a tranquil ambiance. There also is a large fountain and a couple of war memorials.