Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — with beer
I couldn't do it. Shame on me.
I just couldn't narrow down this week's event picks to only five. That's because there are truly so many ab-fab happenings held all around town that I'm going to let you decide what floats your boat, whether that's movies, parties, food festivals, beer holy days or children's activities.
By now you should know what to do. Click on the links below each suggestion to find more intel, such as where to eat, drink, shop and crash as you go about your adventures.
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2013
More than 50 feature films, shorts, documentaries and multi-media performances comprise the Houston Cinema Arts Society five-day binge. The Houston Cinema Arts Festival is held at many venues around town, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Sundance Cinemas, Asia Society Texas Center, Aurora Picture Show, Deborah Colton Gallery, Project Row Houses, the Shepherd School of Music and the Rice University Media Center.
There's so much to do and too much to see. So pore over the schedule carefully so you don't miss what's of personal interest.
The skinny: Wednesday through Sunday; various locations; admission varies by event, passes start at $80.
Asia Society Night Market
Is there a better way to understand the richness of other cultures than immersing yourself in their everyday environments? Traveling halfway across the world to Southeast Asia may not be practical for some. So instead, Asia Society Texas Center is bringing a slice of street life to Houston.
As the Asia Society Texas Center prepares to open the exhibitions Weavers' Stories from Island Southeast Asia and Between History and New Horizons: Photographs of Women, Work and Community in Laos, officials are shaking things up with a one-night only event that transports to the Museum District the hoopla of an outdoor market and all its foods, crafts and trinkets with the help of local vendors that include Best of Filipiniana, Caphin, Goro & Gun, Greenway Coffee, Flip 'n Patties, It's a Wrap, Juice It Raw!, Melange Creperie, MuSuBi, Nougat Desserts & Confections, Urban Harvest, Big Creek Farms, Orchid Obsession, Pat Greer's Kitchen, Texas T Kobe, the Utility Research Garden and yaya's RAW Rah.
The skinny: Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m.; Asia Society Texas Center; free event.
Camp For All Young Professionals 2013 Fundraiser "Camp Culinary Challenge"
CultureMap food writer Eric Sandler is one of the judges that will scrutinize versions of camp food at this premier young professionals event that supports Camp For All. RDG + Bar Annie, Le Mistral/Artisans, Relish, Three Brothers Bakery and Hilary Purcell Catering will vie for bragging rights as they fire up their best versions of mac 'n' cheese and s'mores, which guests can wash down in the open bar.
The skinny: Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m.; Winter Street Studios; $90 general admission, $70 Camp For All young professional members.
Houston Beer Week 2013
There's something about beer drinkers — more so than wine imbibers. I may be suggesting a huge stereotype here, but dare I suggest that lovers of frosty suds are much more happy-go-lucky folks?
A conglomerate of breweries, pubs and restaurants are participating in Houston Beer Week, an eight-day citywide initiative that celebrates the goodness of craft beer. A full schedule (click here) highlights pairing dinners, exclusive taps and casual parties. Amid all the fun, don't forget to bring along a designated driver. Because if you drink and drive, well, that just makes you a loser.
The skinny: Friday through Nov. 16; various locations; pricing a la carte.
18th Annual Children's Festival, presented by ExxonMobil
The Woodlands' favorite amphitheater will be overrun by little ones for an action-packed lineup of performances by local art presenters and national entertainers, including Disney Junior's Imagination Movers. Educational amusements in the Activity Tent, Healthy KidZone, Anadarko Science Zone and Wells Fargo Fun Zone will complement areas where kids can fly kites and play in the sand.
The skinny: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion; tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
"Club Berlin" benefiting Rice University's Baker Institute
You can expect the who's who of the city's young professional scene to secure entry to "Club Berlin," particularly as honorary chairs Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager are set to make an appearance alongside party chairs Kristen and Lee Nix, Cody Sutton and Molly Reese Ward.
The party, which commemorates James A. Baker III's influence in bringing down the Berlin Wall, revs up a chic soiree catered by the creme de la creme of Houston's kitchen savants, including Bryan Caswell of Reef running a caviar bar, Philip Speer of Uchi doing a dessert bar and Ron Killen of Killen's Steakhouse putting together a charcuterie bar.
As for the real liquid bar, Grey Goose, Baker Wall Breakers and Cote d'Or are in charge of the poison.
The skinny: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Baker Institute for Public Policy; tickets are $100 in advance, $150 at the door.
10th International Risotto Festival
Risotto is one of those things: It's either sumptuously silky or it feels like a ton of bricks followed by a lethargic food coma. Pace yourself at the 10th International Risotto Festival as upward of 16 local chefs fight in an arborio rice battle. Chairs Lucinda and Javier Loya plus Consul General of Italy Fabrizio Nava helm this indulgent fair.
Don't be fearful of the caloric intake. It's all for a good cause, one that benefits scholarships for the Art Institute of Houston.
The skinny: Sunday, 2 to 6 p.m.; Houston Design Center; tickets start at $50, children ages 12 and under attend for free.