Even though it’s a short work week, the weekend still can’t get here soon enough. Ready to have some fun? We hear you. From lively festivals to can’t-miss food events, read on for the top eight things to do in Houston this weekend. For more options, check out the full CultureMap Events Calendar.
Deep in the heart
Thursday, June 1
Head to posh downtown residential high-rise The Star Houston for a Texas-themed three-course dinner, including cocktail pairings, by chef and former contestant on the Food Network's Chopped Javani King.
A cheese and fruit board gets things started before course one, an Heirloom tomato salad with aioli, 25-year-old balsamic, and burrata cheese, is served. It’s followed by a main entree of pan-roasted quail with aioli blanched garlic potato puree and braised kale, and chocolate bourbon pecan pie for dessert. Proceeds benefit nonprofit Preservation Houston. (6:30-9 pm; tickets: $50-$70 per person; free valet)
1111 Rusk St.
Back in time
Friday, June 2-Sunday, June 4
Experience up-close encounters with a lifelike Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, and T-Rex at Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed event at NRG Arena. Kid-friendly activities include miniature golf, a scavenger hunt, digging for fossils, and play time in the Adventure Zone with bounce houses, crafts, and face painting. (Various times; tickets: $15-$19 per person)
1 NRG Park; 612-375-9670
Friday, June 2
Polish fantasy horror flick The Lure puts an adult spin on The Little Mermaid. The storyline involves two mermaid sisters, caught in a love triangle when they fall for the same man. Catch a showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. (7 pm; tickets: $7-$9 per person)
1001 Bissonnet St.; 713-639-7300
Soccer state of mind
Saturday, June 3
Kick it at FM Kitchen and Bar, where you can catch the play-by-play as Juventus takes on Real Madrid in UEFA Champions League soccer final. Score big thanks to specially priced Italian and Spanish beers ($1 off while each respective country's team leads the game) available all throughout the match. (1:45 pm; tickets: free entry)
Get your game on early with spins by DJ Ryan McKay (10 am-kickoff), and work up a thirst as former Houston Dynamo Mike Chabala, of soccer-inspired fitness club Sphere, leads two workout classes. (Classes are at 10 am and 11 am; tickets: Space is limited with free admission for the first 10 people to arrive)
1112 Shepherd Dr.
Saturday, June 3-Sunday, June 4
The lineup of more than 55 artists on four stages at the 2017 Free Press Summer Festival includes headliners Lorde, Flume, G-Eazy, Cage The Elephant, Solange, and The Shins. Fuel up at the festival food court with elevated bites by chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan of The Pass and Provisions. (11 am - 11 pm on Saturday, 11 am - 10 pm on Sunday; tickets: $148 per person)
150 Sabine St.; 888-512-7469
Where the wild things are
Sunday, June 4
On loan from the Natural History Museum in London, the 52nd "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" exhibition/competition at The Houston Museum of Natural Science features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behavior to breathtaking wild landscapes. The annual contest receives almost 50,000 entries from 96 countries, with this year’s 100 award-winning images showcased in an international tour across six continents. (9 am; tickets: $25 per adult and $15 per child)
5555 Hermann Park Dr.; 713-639-4629
Sunday, June 4
The Houston Exotic Auto Festival and Luxury Lifestyle E-X-P-O hits NRG Arena with a display of luxe automobiles from McLaren, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and more. (11 am; tickets: $20-$35 per person)
1 NRG Park; 713-629-3700
Sunday, June 4
At the Chefs for Paws fundraiser at The Merrill House, enjoy tastings created by a roster of local top chefs, including Martha DeLeon (Pax Americana), Alyssa Dole (Cherry Pie Hospitality), Felix Flores (Ritual), Ben McPherson (Krisp Bird & Batter), and Ryan Hildebrand (FM Kitchen and Bar). You’ll also enjoy cocktails from Deep Eddy Vodka, beer from Goliad Brewing, and wine from Cannonball Wines. Proceeds go to Rescued Pets Movement. (5-7 pm; tickets: $75 per person on up to $500 for a VIP table for eight)
2502 Algerian Way; 713- 360-2002