On the schedule this week is a big art sale, a building competition, music for good, a tour of Houston's past and a street festival with a personality problem.
Click on the link below each event suggestion to learn more about what's around your final destination, such as where to eat, drink, shop and crash for the night — just in case. A feature also downloads the deets to your favorite electronic toy so all you have to do is get out and have fun.
Glassell School of Art Student Art Sale
Does your pad suffer from uninspired, blah, empty white walls? Think of the three-day Glassell School of Art yearly sale as a happy dose of Prozac for insipid decor as talented students offer hundreds of their own creations for sale, including paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, sculptures and mixed-media art pieces. And you won't believe the prices.
If you are the indecisive type, don't attend the preview social on Thursday. Wait until some of the better pieces are spoken for and shop on Friday and Saturday.
Fifth Annual Gingerbread Build-Off
The rules are simple: Build a charming, holiday-themed abode using only edible ingredients. After contestants are presented with a 24-by-24-inch base wrapped in foil, designers have five hours to erect their structures. Awards are given for Best Architectural Icon, Tallest Standing Structure, Best Traditionally Themed, Best Non-Traditionally Themed, Most Creative Interpretation of Materials and Public Favorite, in addition to the Grand Prix de Show — a decoration that carries fame and glory.
The winners are then showcased in a one-week exhibition at the Architecture Center Houston. Last year I saw pyramids, Aztec ruins, fairytale castles and Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Fun!
"Hope for Haiyan" charity concert benefiting All Hands Volunteers
Houstonians aren't strangers to natural disasters, but we haven't experienced anything like Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm recorded at landfall. With sustained winds upward of 145 mph, the Philippines experienced estimated losses of $5.8 billion. According to the United Nations, 11 million people have been affected.
A group of Houston locals and friends are doing their part with this charity bash, which includes performances by American Idol finalist Andrew Garcia, Brian Puspos and Ian Eastwood from America's Best Dance Crew and YouTube celeb Jeremy Passion — and then some. Proceeds benefit All Hands Volunteers, which is on the ground in the Philippines doing what it can to bring relief.
Heritage Society's 51st Annual Candlelight Tour
You probably drive by the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park often and wonder, what the heck is in there? The collection of buildings and historic structures are part of a museum complex that preservers and celebrates the Houston of yore.
Chaired by Divya and Chris Brown and Anne and Peter Brown, the annual candlelight soiree revives the spirit of the Bayou City, complete with strolling carolers and refreshments. Why not check it out?
26th Annual Lights in the Heights
Although the street festival started as a neighborhood meet-and-greet social, it has grown beyond the endorsement of many of the hood's residents. Some want to reverse this trend to keep Lights in the Heights a small and intimate family affair. Others, particularly the visitors, view it as a rowdy fest that starts al fresco and moves indoors for some high-decibel partying.
Best enjoy the adorably adorned houses and be respectful of the homeowners. If you make a mess, clean up after yourself.