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Bored, schmored: 13 ways to beat the heat & experience your best summer ever in Houston

Bored, schmored: 13 ways to beat the heat & experience your best summer ever in Houston

snow cones, raspas
Try a raspa, shaved ice or snow cone. VisitVisalia.org
Urban Harvest Farmers Market, produce
Support our local farmers at the various markets around town, as shown here with Urban Harvest Farmers Market. Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Rothko Chapel, sculpture
You know there’s at least one artsy-fartsy place you’ve always meant to visit (for me, it’s the Rothko Chapel). Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., crowd, open house
Visit the superfecta of Houston-area breweries, such as Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. Photo by Sarah Powers
Brian Ching Dynamo goal celebration
Support our hometown heroes at an Astros or Dynamo game. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
snow cones, raspas
Urban Harvest Farmers Market, produce
Rothko Chapel, sculpture
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., crowd, open house
Brian Ching Dynamo goal celebration

It’s summer, and many of you have a bit more free time on your hands. Houston’s heat often comes with a magnetic pull toward the couch — but don’t let yourself fall into that lecherous trap. Here’s a checklist of all things fun-n-local to jumpstart your brain next time you *think* you’re bored.

Tour a brewery (or four)

Be the first on your block to visit the superfecta of Houston-area breweries: Buffalo Bayou, Karbach, Saint Arnold and Southern Star.

Cool your innards

Try a raspa, shaved ice, or snow cone. Our favorites around town are Yeti Sunshine, Mam’s House of Ice, and Tampico… but there are dozens more across Chinatown, Telephone Road and the East End. If you're north of town, a reader raves about Vonnie's Snow Cones in Cypress.

Support Houston’s food truck scene

These guys are pretty much melting inside their vehicles, all in the name of merry mobile meals, so the least you can do is order up some eats. Eating Our Words curates a great list of their Twitter accounts, so you can determine which trucks are where.

Adopt an animal

Houston’s heat and humidity affect thousands of animals, who are often left without food, water, and homes. Stop by the SPCA, Friends for Life or another local shelter and give a home to one in need. Pick out the perfect one for you; it’ll make both of your days.

Do your summer reading

What’s on your list? Whether it’s Fifty Shades of Grey, A Game of Thrones or The Healing, Houston has some excellent local bookstores—like Brazos Bookstore, River Oaks Bookstore, and Murder by the Book — plus a fantastic public library system.

Visit a farmers market—or a farm

Support our local farmers at the various markets around town: Rice University on Tuesdays, City Hall on Wednesdays, Sugar Land Town Square on Thursdays, HCC Southwest on Fridays, Eastside on Saturdays and Highland Village on Sundays. Some vendors even offer farm tours.

Get your game on

If you’re feeling competitive, try a trivia night at Marfreless (Mondays) or the Richmond Arms (Wednesdays), BINGO at the Maple Leaf (Mondays) or the SPJST Lodge 88 (Thursdays, get there *early*) or the Turtle Races at Little Woodrow’s.

Culture up

You know there’s at least one artsy-fartsy place you’ve always meant to visit (for me it’s the Rothko Chapel), so let this summer be your chance. Try the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science or Menil Collection.

Be a kid again

Find your inner child! Feed the giraffes at the Houston Zoo, run through the fountains at Discovery Green or support our hometown heroes at an Astros or Dynamo game.

Take a class

It’s cool to nerd out. This summer try a cooking class at Central Market, an art class at the Glassell School or any number of classes at Leisure Learning.

Do a hotdog crawl

Hot dogs taste like summer, and we’ve got some great ones around town: James Coney Island, Good Dog Hot Dogs, Revival Market, Sammy’s Wild Game Grill, Happy Fatz, Happy Endings, Watson’s Pub, Becks Prime and more. Sample your way through the list and report back with your favorite.

Get to know the heart of the city

Destination: Downtown. Catch a flick at the #awesome new Sundance Cinemas, grab a meal at the amazing Phoenicia Specialty Foods or see what’s up at Discovery Green. Need more culture? The Alley Theatre, Hobby Center and Wortham have amazing summer lineups.

Feel the beat

Check out the live music summer shows at Fitzgerald’s, Warehouse LiveCynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, House of Blues, the Continental Club or any number of other venues.

What other local Houston activities should we add to our summer checklist?

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