weekend event planner

Here are the top 10 things to do in Houston this weekend

Here are the top 10 things to do in Houston this weekend

Rioja Wine Festival
Nosh on tapas and sip on rioja at this weekend's festival.  Courtesy photo

We know the weather has been getting obnoxiously hot lately — and it's only getting worse. But, as we slip into the month of June this weekend, there are plenty of cool things to check out, including pool time, jazzy gems, and some fun fests.

Thursday, May 31

Get happy at the HAAPIFEST Film Festival
For 13 years now, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who reside in Houston have held a film festival where visions of AAPI people and culture are played on a big screen, giving both a platform for aspiring AAPI filmmakers as well as a place where novices can get glimpses into the AAPI world. Now, in its 14th year, the three-day, Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival — or HAAPIFEST — will feature more than 25 new shorts and feature films, geared to highlight and celebrate all things AAPI. It starts at 7 pm (6:30 pm on Friday and noon on Saturday). 

Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. tries to seduce you with The Graduate 
Everything about the 1967 film The Graduate is iconic: Mike Nichols’ direction, Dustin Hoffman’s star-making turn as awkward protagonist Benjamin Braddock; Anne Bancroft crushing it as seminal cougar Mrs. Robinson; those Simon & Garfunkel songs, etc. It took some chutzpah for British dramatist Terry Johnson to adapt a stage version, which played in London and Broadway in the early aughts. Now, the Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. will do their take on the play, which begins this weekend and ends on the June 9. It starts at 7:30 pm (8 pm on Friday and Saturday; 2 pm on Sunday). 

Friday, June 1

Support local, female-run businesses at HTX Boss Babes Summer Fest 
Even though the HTX Boss Babes Summer Fest sounds like a very progressive, forward-thinking event, where 100 female vendors, creatives, and businesswomen will be on hand to sell their wares, the people involved in this are making it seem like this is gonna be a two-day, crazy shindig. Deep Eddy Vodka and Austin Eastciders will be on hand for booze. A female DJ (named DJ-illset) will cool you off, as will the free popsicles. Kudos to the babes for making support of local women and their businesses a lit experience. It starts at 5 pm (10 am on Saturday). 

Da Camera presents Dianne Reeves
Chamber music/jazz organization Da Camera of Houston rounds out its 30th anniversary, 2017-18 season (which is titled “No Place Like Home”) by bringing in a jazz powerhouse to perform. A figure who is vocally and physically stunning, Dianne Reeves is a Grammy-winning jazz singer (and soon-to-be NEA Jazz Master) who comes from a family sprinkled with jazz legends. (Bassist Charles Burrell is her uncle and the late keyboardist George Duke is her cousin). And, honestly, we can’t think of a better jazz vocalist to sit back and enjoy on a Friday night. It starts at 8 pm. 

Lounge in the Hotel Derek pool at the Float and Flick film series
If you’ve ever felt like watching a movie while maxing and relaxing in a luxurious pool, the ultra-snazzy Hotel Derek will be opening up its pool area for a summer film series called Float and Flick. For $20, you can get gourmet popcorn, a drink ticket and access to the hotel’s Splash Pool, all while a film is projected on the hotel’s three-story movie wall. The first movie up is that Julia Roberts star-maker Pretty Woman. In the coming months, audiences will get to see Sharknado (for some reason), Jurassic Park, and Back to the Future. It starts at sunset (8:15-8:30 pm). 

Saturday, June 2

Soak up the sun at Summer Saturdays at River Oaks District
Starting this weekend and going all through July, the River Oaks District’s Summer Saturdays will be offering up some community activities for folks who want to get outside, get some exercise, and just do fun stuff during the weekend. The folks over at Equinox will get things going with a 45-minute workout that’s open to people of all ages. Throughout the day, there will be activities in the courtyard, including large-scale games like Jenga and Connect Four, as well as light bites, a coffee bar, and DJ Senega spinning tunes. It starts at 9 am.

Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund BBQ Benefit Lunch 
We could go off on a lengthy rant about the tragedy that happened at Santa Fe High School. Instead, we’ll suggest that you help make a differene and attend the Santa Fe Memorial Fund BBQ Benefit Lunch, where there will be $10 BBQ plates, a bake sale, and a silent auction — with $5 raffle tickets sold onsite. It starts at noon. 

Sample fine, Spanish wine and cuisine at the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival 
The Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival
is made for people who like to sip and savor wines from that Spanish wine region known as Rioja. Now in its fourth year, this fest will hit attendees with more than 50 wineries and winemakers from Rioja, along with tapas cooked and served by local and visiting celebrity chefs. And if you want to know about Rioja and all its depth and richness, check out the VIP wine tasting seminars. A portion of the ticket proceeds benefit the Piggy Bank and funding for Houston farmers affected by Hurricane Harvey. It starts at 1 pm. 

It's game on at the #SaturdayFunday game night 
“Weekend Fundays”— as they’re called — are apparently back over at the Little Woodrow’s in midtown. During the afternoon, there will be $4 mimosas and frozen lemonades, $5 Bloody Marys, $18 Dos Equis buckets, etc. However, this Saturday night, online shoe giant Zappos and Portland sportswear company Columbia will host a game night – dubbed #SaturdayFunday — where people can shop for footwear (including Columbia’s latest PFG footwear line) while playing games, eating food and snapping up free drinks at the bar. It starts at 5 pm. 

Sunday, June 3

Stay classy and jazzy at the chic Jazz Luncheon 
The Great Age Movement is a nonprofit that’s looking out for the senior crowd. Their mission is to build senior playgrounds throughout Houston’s public parks and provide volunteer programs that promote health, learning, and socialization. A way the organization is raising funds for that is through its 2nd annual Jazz Luncheon this weekend. Bubba McNeely Duo will be providing the live jazz for this event, which will also be a tribute to the legendary Duke Ellington. (His granddaughter, choreographer/dancer Mercedes Ellington, will be in attendance as an honoree.) It starts at 12:30 pm.