The weekend is meant for fun. But with so much to do in America’s fourth largest city, it can be tough to narrow down the choices. Let us help with our guide to the weekend’s top events, from the return of Cirque du Soleil to a can't-miss barbecue fest. Read on for the top 11 things to do in Houston this weekend.
For more options, check out the full CultureMap Events Calendar.
Thursday, April 6-Sunday, April 9: Gear up for the 34th Houston Auto Show at NRG Center. The event showcases nearly 800 new car models by 30 automakers, from Chrysler to Lamborghini (times vary; tickets: $12 per adult, $5 per child). 8400 Kirby Dr.; 713-629-3700
More cool cars
Thursday, April 6-Sunday April 9: A four-day festival celebrating the 30th Annual Houston Art Car Parade Weekend culminates in the big parade in downtown on Saturday at 2 pm with more than 250 entries. Cheech Marin is the grand marshal. Other events include the Sneak Peek at Discovery Green on Thursday night, the Legendary Art Car Ball on Friday night around Houston City Hall, and The Houston Art Car Parade Awards Ceremony on Sunday at Smither Park. www.thehoustonartcarparade.com
Under the big top
Thursday, April 6-Sunday, April 30: Cirque du Soleil rolls into town for a month-long run of Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience inside a fantasy world filled with strange characters and reality is relative (times vary; tickets: $35-$210 per person). Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W.
An affair to remember
Thursday, April 6-Sunday, April 9: The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair amps things up this year with a dinner, called “The Boiling Point,” by renowned chef Bryan Caswell (Reef), James Beard Award nominee and BravoTV Top Chef alum Ed Lee, and chef David Bancroft (Acre Restaurant in Auburn, Alabama) on Thursday (7:30 pm; tickets: $150 per person). The foodie fun continues through the weekend with tasting sessions and classes (times vary; tickets: $65-$200 per person). Multiple locations; 713-747-9463
Friday, April 7: Head to Hotel Granduca’s new al fresco dining venue Il Giardino for a four-course Italian meal paired with craft beers by Italian beer distributor Birradamare, all part of a special “National Beer Day” dinner (7 pm; tickets: $75 per person). 1080 Uptown Park Blvd.; 713-418-1104
Saturday, April 8: Sip, nosh and stroll at the Brenner's on the Bayou Wine Fest (3 pm-6 pm; $75 per person in advance; $85 at the door; $135 VIP). The event, which takes place on the scenic grounds near Buffalo Bayou, showcases eclectic wines, live music and light bites from several Landry's chefs, including Jason Cole (Brenner’s Steakhouse), Michael O’Connor (Vic & Anthony’s) and pastry chef Eunice Grassa (Landry’s Signature Group). 1 Birdsall St.; 713-868-4444
Saturday, April 8: Singing sensation Ariana Grande brings her Dangerous Woman concert tour to downtown’s Toyota Center (7:30 pm; tickets: $49.95-$250 per person). The tour supports Grande’s third studio album by the same name, which features hits including the title song, plus “Everyday,” Let Me Love You,” and “Into You.” 1510 Polk St.; 866-446-8849
Saturday, April 8: Iceland’s DJ Yamaho brings her eclectic spins, from disco to techno and to house, promising a hot night at the Opera Ball Encore after-party (10 pm; tickets: $150 per person). UPDATE 04/06: DJ Yamaho had to cancel her appearance because of a family medical emergency and has been replaced by DJ Whitney Fierce, who is currently touring in Mexico but will fly to Houston for the Encore party. 501 Texas Ave.; 713-546-0277
Sunday, April 9: This weekend, brunch at Hugo Ortega’s newest concept, Xochi, includes more than just the delicious buffet (11 am-2:30 pm; $34 per adult, $12 per child). Actor, comedian and writer Cheech Marin will be on-hand, celebrating his new memoir, Cheech Is Not My Real Name: …But Don’t Call Me Chong. Buy a copy and have it signed by Marin (11 am-1 pm; tickets: free entry), while you sip $6 cocktails stirred with Tres Papalote Mezcal (11:30 am-2:30 pm). Marriott Marquis Houston Downtown, 1777 Walker St.
Sunday, April 9: The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team takes on Russia in an international friendly game (1 pm; tickets: $25-$250 per person). BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas St.
Sunday, April 9: The Houston Barbecue Festival boasts tasty barbecue from favorite joints near and far, including Houston’s El Burro & the Bull, Feges BBQ, Killen's Barbecue, and The Pit Room, Taylor’s Louie Mueller Barbecue, and Elgin's Southside Market (1 pm-4 pm; tickets: $60 per person). NRG Park, Gate 13; 832-454-6106