Social season in Houston has begun, and we’ve compiled a list of some alluring, can’t-miss events. Everyone’s a winner when it comes to raising funds for charity, so consider this a sampling of gatherings where you can give back to the community, and raise money for a cause close to your heart — while mixing in some fun.
From a festive Mardi Gras soiree, to a thrilling Middle Kingdom-inspired fete complete with camel door greeters, to a lively Kentucky Derby party, and an amazing art car parade, here are 14 nonprofit events to hit up now through mid-May.
Big music acts
Dec Your Room and Kids’ Meals “Kick Up Your Boots for Kids”
Date: February 7
Break out your rodeo attire for a performance by country crooner Mark Chesnutt at Stafford’s Redneck Country Club. There's also a fashion show by Pinto Ranch and cornhole tournament, for a guaranteed good time. Ticket details here.
Houston Children's Charity's 21st Annual Gala
Date: March 23
Mr. Worldwide, Pitbull, is set to rock the house at the Houston Children’s Charity at The Post Oak at Uptown Houston. Bring your credit cards: The black-tie gala will also have a 30-minute live auction with plenty of tempting items for bid. Ticket details here.
Opera Ball “An Evening in Old Hollywood”
Date: April 14
Former lead singer of Van Halen — and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer — David Lee Roth takes to the stage at the Houston Grand Opera Ball 2018, held at The Post Oak at Uptown Houston. The ultra-glam white-tie event pays tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Count on a red carpet, swanky supper club, and elegant partygoers in spectacular gowns and tailcoats. Ticket details here.
Cattle Baron's Ball “Drilling for a Cure”
Date: April 28
Two-step the night away as country singer Trace Adkins headlines the 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball at the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond. During the evening, try your hand at Vegas-style gaming, including blackjack and craps, cheer on your favorite piglet at the pig races, and enjoy both a wine pull and a Kendra Scott jewelry pull. Ticket details here.
Black tie required
San Luis Salute “Hollywood Dinner Club”
Date: February 9
Let the good times roll at the twenty-second San Luis Salute, themed “Hollywood Dinner Club,” hosted by Paige and Tilman Fertitta. The festive evening, which celebrates Galveston's Mardi Gras, boasts a royal procession of the Knights of Momus court and surprise big name entertainer (former performers include Pitbull, and KC and The Sunshine Band). The San Luis Salute is scheduled to be held at the Galveston Island Convention Center. Tickets are sold out, but you get on the waitlist by sending an email to Kim Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ballet Ball “Swan Lake”
Date: February 17
The Ballet Ball, which temporarily moves to the Houston Ballet Center due to damage done to The Wortham by Hurricane Harvey, promises fashionistas in glamorous dresses, gents in tuxedos, a large silent auction, and entertainment by Party on the Moon. Ticket details here.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science “Jewel of the Nile”
Date: March 3
Be transported to the days of the Middle Kingdom at this Houston Museum of Natural Science event. Expect a duo of camels greeting guests at the door, private access to museum exhibits (cocktails in-hand), a unique silent auction featuring gems, minerals, and unique museum experiences, dinner alongside a Tyrannosaurus, and tunes by 10-piece party dance band, Inside Out. Ticket details here.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston "Underground"
Date: April 13
Let CAMH take you Underground for a bold and spectacular evening of art and entertainment, including dancing and live and silent art auctions with stellar contemporary pieces. Ticket details here.
Symphony Ball “The Balinese Room”
Date: May 12
Setting the alluring tone for the Symphony Ball, “The Balinese Room” theme is a nod to a 1940s Galveston nightclub, with an illegal casino and famous headliners including Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope, that was closed down by the Texas Rangers. Anything but humdrum, the night includes a multi-course dinner by The Post Oak at Uptown Houston chef Jean Luc Royere, formerly of the Mandarin Oriental in Miami, and lively spins by New York-based DJ Kalkutta. Ticket details here.
Hermann Park Conservancy “Hats in the Park”
Date: March 22
Hermann Park Conservancy's annual "Hats in the Park" luncheon features a champagne reception and al fresco luncheon on 350-foot lawn, the Centennial Green. What to wear? Spring attire with flat shoes or wedges and spectacular toppers, of course. Ticket details here.
Bayou Bend Fashion Show
Date: April 6
Only in its third year, the Bayou Bend Fashion Show has already attracted a prime seen-and-be-seen following. Oscar de la Renta's fall collection was showcased on the runway in 2017, as attendees lingered over a catered lunch in a large, decorated open-air tent. You can also save the date for the Bayou Bend Garden Party on April 8, which takes place in the same tented spot. Ticket details for both events here.
Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s Houston Art Car Ball
Date: April 13
Deemed one of the wildest parties in Houston, the Legendary Art Car Ball at Hermann Square includes outrageous costumes, live music, performance art, and artistic cars. Mark your calendars for the Houston Art Car Parade on April 14 as well. Nearly 250 colorful art cars, bikes, skaters, and motorized creatures roll along Smith Street in downtown Houston. Ticket details for both events here.
Catastrophic Theatre “Toga! Toga! Toga!"
Date: April 21
This annual costume soiree pays homage to its origins with an evening of Dionysian delights. Unleash your inner god, goddess, or mythological creature by dressing up as Zeus, Aphrodite, Artemis, Satyrs, and other deities. Lounge about while consuming Greek fare and imbibing copious amount of spirits while being fanned by glittering, and scantily clad, attendants. Get crazy on the dance floor, Animal House-style, to the tunes of a soul and party-hits cover band. Ticket details here.
Bo's Place “Hats, Hearts and Horseshoes: A Kentucky Derby Affair”
Date: May 5
Break out your Derby Day ensembles and catch all the action at Churchill Downs on a large outdoor TV screen at a posh private residence. The afternoon features mint juleps, musical entertainment, and fun and games complete with prizes. Ticket details here.