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)
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.
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
Take a class
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 Live, Cynthia 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?