You’ve been working hard all week, so let loose this weekend with our picks for the best things to do in Houston. Hit up some amazing concerts and exhibits, or enjoy the great outdoors and head to a farm just outside of town. Read on for 11 can’t-miss happenings going on Thursday through Sunday. For other options, check out the full CultureMap Events Calendar.
Get ready to rodeo
Thursday, March 9: RodeoHouston welcomes country performer Chris Stapleton to the stage (6:45 pm; tickets: standing room only at $16 per person). The singer’s 2015 debut solo album, Traveller, earned four Grammy Award nominations and the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart. Stapleton’s hits songs include "Tennessee Whiskey," Fire Away,” “Whiskey and You,” and "Outlaw State of Mind." (NRG Stadium; 3 NRG Pkwy)
Stop and smell the Azaleas
Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12: The 82nd annual Azalea Trail kicks off Friday, giving visitors access to some of the city’s most impressive residences and gardens. The trail starts at Bayou Bend Gardens (11 am-5 pm; tickets: $10-$25 per person) and includes stops at Rienzi, the Forum of Civics Building, and four River Oaks residences. (2940 Lazy Lane; 713-523-2483)
Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12: Jurassic Quest at Lone Star Convention and Expo Center boasts big fun for the entire family (3 pm; tickets: $15-$24 per person) with a display of over 80 life-size dinosaurs, plus dinosaur-themed inflatable mazes, face painting, crafts, and more. (9055 Airport Rd., Conroe; 936-588-3332)
Girl on fire
Friday, March 10: Singing sensation Alicia Keys heats things up at RodeoHouston with a performance at NRG Stadium (6:45 pm; tickets: $16-$300 per person). Hit songs by the talented musician and singer, currently a coach on the popular singing competition series, The Voice, include “If I Ain’t Got You,” “In Common,” “Un-thinkable,” “Fallin’,” and “No One.” (NRG Stadium; 3 NRG Pkwy)
Saturday, March 11: Take part in Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race, the 45th annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta (7 am; tickets $55 per person). Paddlers ages 12 and up will compete in the 15-mile competition that runs along the scenic Buffalo Bayou and ends at downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park. (7700 San Felipe Rd.; 713-752-0314)
Bikes in the Heights
Saturday, March 11: From Houston’s first mixed-use community-slash-home to several nationally registered historic spots, go for a spin around the neighborhood (10 am; tickets: $5-$10 per person) on the Houston Heights Bicycle Tour. (1302 Heights Blvd.; 713-520-0155)
Saturday, March 11 through Monday, March 13: Grab the kids and go strawberry picking at Blessington Farms’ Spring Break Spectacular in Simonton (10 am-12 pm; tickets: $15 per person). The fun also includes hay rides, pedal cars, and barrel trains. Did we mention giant slides and tube races? Get your tickets now. (510 Chisholm Rd.; Simonton; 832-444-8717)
‘Cue up — Updated
Saturday, March 11: Load up on brisket, ribs, smoked boudin and more ($8 per item) by Blood Bros. Barbecue at Glitter Karaoke (12-5 pm). Cool down with ice-cold brews ($5-$8) and tap your feet to beats by DJ Seek (2621 Milam; 713-526-4900).
Saturday, March 11: Country singer Alan Jackson makes his 23rd appearance at RodeoHouston (3:45 pm; tickets: standing room only $16 per person). Throughout his career, Jackson has earned more than 150 music industry awards and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. Among his chart-topping singles are "Don't Rock the Jukebox," "Chattahoochee,” and "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere,” a duet with Jimmy Buffett. (NRG Stadium; 3 NRG Pkwy)
Art car sneak peek
Saturday, March 11: Score a preview of the cars in the 2017 Art Car Parade (4 pm; tickets: free), as well as music, games, and insider scoop on the parade, slotted for April 8, via a Q&A session with several in-the-know panelists and a special screening of "Art Car: The Movie" (7 pm) at Market Square Park. (301 Milam St.; 713-650-3022)
Smokin’ good time
Sunday, March 12: Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, otherwise known as The Chainsmokers, amp things up at RodeoHouston (3:45 pm; tickets: $16-$300 per person) as the high-energy DJ duo, who performed recently in Houston at Club Nomadic during Super Bowl LI, take center stage at NRG Stadium. Hits by the 2017 Grammy Award winners include "Don't Let Me Down," "Closer" and "#Selfie.” (NRG Stadium; 3 NRG Pkwy)
Looking for more than these 11 hip happenings? Not to worry, our CultureMap Events Calendar has you covered.