Summer Fun 2012
Discovering Summer Fun

Five free events you don't want to miss at Discovery Green: From the dog Olympics to Rainbow

Five free events you don't want to miss at Discovery Green: From the dog Olympics to Rainbow

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Whether you are trying to get fit, party, enjoy a leisurely afternoon or unleash the artsy in you, CultureMap has put together five happenings at Discovery Green that deserve a spot on your iCal. Photo by Gary Hunt
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DockDogs is a three-day event of Olympic proportions during which iron pooches swim, leap and retrieve to earn the title of top dog. Courtesy of DockDogs
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Or you can just enjoy a stroll through the beaitfully landscaped area. There's no need for an agenda, just a desire to unwind. Photo by John Gollings
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It wasn't long ago that what is now the center of downtown outdoor life was industrial land and concrete parking lots. Around $180 million in acquisition and improvement costs later, Discovery Green offers an active park in which to enjoy programs year round.

There's something for everyone. Whether you are trying to get fit, party, enjoy a leisurely afternoon or unleash the artsy in you, we've put together five happenings that deserve a spot on your iCal.

Libations, Cuisine and Movies Under the Stars: Date Night Movies

Not to be confused with the regular movie screenings on the hill, these more intimate gatherings are on the Grace Event Lawn. Bring a picnic blanket and sprawl out on the grass for a flick — Tootsie on Saturday or Dirty Dancing on June 23.

Grab a snack basket at The Grove ($25), which includes mini pretzel bites with a trio of mustards, parmesan truffled popcorn and homemade chocolate, or choose a three-course prix fixe menu ($45) of ricotta gnudi, salad, choice of Ahi tuna, rotisserie chicken, filet mignon or Texas redfish, and dessert. And for early arrivals, a dance instructor will offer lessons.

It's OK to get romantic, but if you need a room remember the Hilton-Americas is just across the street.

Saturday and June 23. Screening starts at 8 p.m. Free to attend, food and drinks additional.

DockDogs

You know the cuddly fluffy Bichon Frise that cuddles up to you and licks your nose? It turns out some of his cousins are quite the four-legged athletes.

Moreover, they love the water just as much as Houston loves the DockDogs challenge. It's a three-day event of Olympic proportions in which iron pooches swim, leap and retrieve to earn the title of top dog. Discovery Green changes things up a bit this year with the addition of a "Haute Dog" costume contest and a tricks competition. 

June 22 though 24. Admission is free for spectators; $25-$40 for participants.

Rainbow on the Green presented by LandRover Houston

Last year, the whole GLBT community went haywire for guest celebrity Anthony Rapp, star of the original cast of Rent. The second annual Rainbow on the Green gets even gayer with disco legend Thelma Houston, whose timeless hit "Don't Leave Me This Way" is as naughty now as it was when it was released in 1975.

Tye Blue hosts, and the event also includes a troupe of local GLBT singers, dancers and musicians. 

Oh baby, come satisfy the need in me — you know the lyrics, don't you? We're sure you've got the music in you. Houston needs some Thelma.

June 22, 8-10 p.m. Admission is free.

Discovery Green Flea

For the summer, the monthly antique shopping party moves to the evening to avoid the sweltering heat. Set in the shady meadow behind The Grove, a myriad of vendors morph the grounds into a haven for bargain shoppers and eco-conscious consumers who seek recycled, up-cycled, re-purpose, vintage and playful artifacts, collectibles and furniture.

Look out for a special treasure hunt item hidden somewhere in between the tents. Find it and it's yours to keep.

June 16 and July 21, 6-10 p.m. Admission is free.

Julydoscope

Other than it happens in July, this evening fete should be called art-kaleidoscope as it is a commingling of local art organizations looking to show Houston a good time. This combination of film, music, dance and entertainment on the Anheuser-Busch Stage will feature the talents of Q-Fest, Theatre Under the Stars, Avantica Academy of Odissi Dance and other arts powerhouse companies.

At 8:30 p.m. Houston Cinema Arts Society will screen The Wiz starring Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Nipsey Russell.

July 28, 6-10 p.m. Admission is free.