Calendar Closeup

Your guide to Theater District Open House: This free family event takes theatrics to another level

Your guide to Theater District Open House: Free family event rocks

21st Annual TransCanada Theater District Open House, presented by Bank of America
Enjoy meet-and-greets with costumed actors and dancers at this Sunday's Theater District Open House. Courtesy photo

Looking for a fun, free way for the whole family to experience Houston's incredible performing arts scene?

The 21st Annual Theater District Open House offers a great opportunity to learn more about the city's nine major performing arts organizations —  the Alley TheatreBroadway at the Hobby CenterDa Camera, the Houston Ballet, the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony, the Society for the Performing ArtsTheatre Under The Stars and Uniquely Houston. The open house festivities take place this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. throughout downtown's Theater District.

The family-friendly event includes activities and live performances by each of the district's groups. Enjoy musical theater shows, behind-the-scenes backstage tours and meet-and-greets with costumed performers.

Joy of Djembe, presented by the Society for the Performing Arts, will be playing traditional African drums in front of Jones Hall and a live band and DJ will be performing nearby at Bayou Music Center. If the whole family is coming, make sure to visit the lobby of Jones Hall for arts and crafts, an interactive instrument petting zoo and a prize wheel. Kevin James, "The Inventor" of the daring magic troupe The Illusionists, will be performing live magic on the main Jones Hall stage throughout the day, while Theatre Under the Stars and Broadway at Hobby Center has performances at Sarofim Hall (inside Hobby Center).

You can even learn to dance with tango lessons hosted Society for the Performing Arts in the Cullen Alcove at the Wortham Theater Center.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend this weekend's performing arts extravaganza which concludes at 4 p.m. with a free performance by the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall.

Free trolley rides are available for patrons to travel between venues and food trucks will be on-site to provide tasty treats throughout the event. Don't forget to stop by the photo booth in Wortham Theater Center for a keepsake of your day.

At this Sunday's event, patrons can also find limited-time deals on tickets. Save up to 50 percent at the Houston Ballet, 25 percent off at the Houston Symphony, 20 percent off the Houston Grand Opera, $40 off Theatre Under the Stars six-show packages and 10 percent off Da Camera and Uniquely Houston performances.

CultureMap is also participating in the event by encouraging visitors to take a selfie at one of the four photo sites — Alley Theater Production Center, Hobby Center, Jones Hall and Wortham Theater Center — and then post it to FacebookInstagram and Twitter with the hashtag #TDOH14. Once you post the photo, you can pick up a free souvenir print of your photo at Hobby Center during event hours. Make sure you tag and follow @HouTheaterDistrict and @CultureMap.

The full schedule of Sunday's events is available here.