We are getting closer Super Bowl LI and while there are activities over the weekend surrounding the big game, there's a lot of other things going on around Houston. New art exhibits, big concerts, a Tony-award winning play, a couple of craft brew cook-offs and much more round out the list of hip happenings in Houston.
Here are 10 of the top events taking place this weekend. For a full list of events, be sure to check out our CultureMap Events Calendar. And look for a special article on Lunar New Year celebrations later this week.
Thursday, January 26
Cats walk on a tightrope, balance and roll on a ball across the floor, and play musical instruments — the band lineup includes Tuna on cowbell, Oz on guitar, Asti on drums, and Nue on keyboard — in this fun-filled show that continues this weekend and next weekend. It benefits Friends of League City Animal Shelter and will feature kittens and cats available for adoption.
BBVA Compass Broadway at The Hobby Center presents the multi Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens and adapted from Mark Haddon's best-selling novel about an exceptionally intelligent 15-year old named Christopher on a quest to clear his name after being accused of killing his neighbor's dog. While on the hunt to discover who really committed the crime, he makes an earth-shattering discovery and embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. It continues through Sunday.
Friday, January 27
On loan from the Natural History Museum in London, this special exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behavior to breathtaking wild landscapes, selected from over 50,000 entries from 96 countries. It continues through June 4.
Works from 17 Japanese artists are featured in this special exhibition at the Asia Society Texas Center through July 30. It showcases the innovative shapes of bamboo art and features rare wall-hung installations and some pieces that have never been on display before in Houston.
Country music fans will delight as superstar Reba McEntire hits the stage at the newly opened Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land. McEntire will perform songs from her latest album Love Somebody as well as hits that span her entire career.
Saturday, January 28
Super Bowl LIVE, a free nine-day fan festival with over 250,000 square feet of entertainment space, debuts at Discover Green. Live music from national and local bands, a wide array of food, interactive exhibits, and a 90-foot-tall thrill ride called Future Flight, featuring a virtual reality trip to Mars, are all a part of the fun.
The NFL Experience is an exciting opportunity for fans to get amped up for the big game on Super Bowl Sunday. Visitors to this interactive theme park inside the George R. Brown Convention Center can get autographs from NFL players, shop NFL merchandise, participate in games, like going head-to-head against NFL players in a 40-yard dash and vertical jump on LED screens, check out skills with the NFL Draft, and admire Super Bowl rings in an enhanced display. It is open to the public this weekend and February 2 through 5.
This one-night event, sponsored by the Houston Press, celebrates art, culture, food, fashion, and music with performances and galleries filled with works from local artists. Individuals or organizations that have made an impact in the arts community will be honored with a Mastermind Award and a $2,000 check.
Sunday, January 29
Singers Aaron Lewis, Tracy Byrd, and The Voice winner Sundance Head will headline the third annual cookoff presented by the Robert Garner Firefighter Foundation and Karbach Brewing Company. More than 35 teams will compete in the cookoff and CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler is one of the judges. Proceeds will go toward textbooks for individuals studying fire science and technology, the Robert Garner Fire Academy, the Robert Garner Mentorship program and other RGFF Initiatives.
The Saint Arnold One Pot Showdown features 80 teams competing to create the best "one-pot wonders" using Saint Arnold beers. The outdoor event benefits Kids Meals, an organization that provides healthy meals for preschool aged children living in poverty.
8th Wonder Brewery kicks off a week of Wonder Bowl festivities with the BBQ Showcase from noon to 6 pm. Enjoy some of Houston's finest 'cue and wash it down with some fresh brews. Groovy tunes provided by Heapin' Helpin'.