weekend event planner

Here are the top 9 things to do in Houston this weekend

Here are the top 9 things to do in Houston this weekend

Sinatra and Beyond
Sinatra and Beyond brings Rat Pack charm to Houston. Sinatra and Beyond/Facebook

It's a new year — and a new decade.

It's time to reflect on the past and think about the future. It's time to have a positive outlook, go outside and get some exercise, eat healthy, set new goals, lay off the social media, and do something meaningful with our time.

It's also time for some fun, especially on the first weekend of the New Year:

Thursday, January 2

13th Annual Houston Film Critics Society Awards
It’s time once again for the Houston Film Critics Society (HFCS) to hand out honors during the group’s ticketed, “awards-style” program. But not only will they be awarding the best films and performances of the past year. They will also honor B-movie legend Roger Corman. First, they’re gonna give him a lifetime achievement award. Then, the following night (also at MFAH), there will be a screening of his 1964 film, The Masque of the Red Death, at 7 pm. Corman will be around afterwards for a post-screening discussion/Q &A, moderated by longtime, local film scribe Joe Leydon. 7 pm.

Steve Byrne at Improv Houston
Coming from New Jersey (aka Springsteen territory), comedian Steve Byrne has built a nice career out of being a half-Irish, half-Korean comic for the people. He starred as a lawyer who goes back to his working-class roots and takes over his father's bar in the short-lived TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son (which he also co-created). And, since he's a big supporter of the troops, he's also headlined several USO tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and more. Catch him doing some red-blooded jokes this weekend. 8 pm (7:30 and 9:45 pm Friday; 7 and 9:30 pm Saturday). 

Bewitched '90s Goth Klub Party at Etro Lounge
Who wants to start off the New Year by going back in time to the '90s, when Houston kids were truly goth, reading Sylvia Plath, dressing in black and mostly hanging out at Numbers? Well, this retro party will be playing all things goth, industrial, darkwave, and more — from Nine Inch Nails to The Cure to Type O Negative to Siouxsie and the Banshees. DJs Damon & Franki will play the music, while art-house films, classic horror chillers, and music docs will play on the screens all night. 10 pm-2 am. 

Friday, January 3

Every Night's a Saturday Night: The Bobby Keys Story at 14 Pews
Hailing from Slaton, Texas, Bobby Keys was considered one of the best rock-and-roll saxophonists in the world. He played with The Rolling Stones (that was him on "Brown Sugar"), John Lennon, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton and a number of Texas musicians, including Joe Ely. He passed away in 2014 from liver cancer, at the age of 71, but you can find out more about the man and his musical legacy with this documentary, which covers everything from playing with Elvis to his heroin addiction to playing with the Stones in the last decade. 7 pm.

Sinatra and Beyond at Jones Hall
Who wants to ring-a-ding-ding the New Year in? Houston Symphony will be serving that up with a weekend of shows. Tony DeSare, one of today’s leading Sinatra interpreters, recreates the Rat Pack swagger and timeless magic of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, delivering showstoppers like "Come Fly with Me" and "New York, New York." All we gotta say is if he doesn't do Sinatra's swinging, Quincy Jones-arranged version of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Wives and Lovers," we'll be really bummed. 8 pm (2:30 pm Sunday).

Saturday, January 4

Saturday Discovery Camp at The Health Museum
For kiddos between the ages of 5 to 13, The Health Museum will host a one-day, Saturday Discovery Camp for all curious youngsters. Participants will take part in a full day of science and medical-focused experiences, including viewing a real human brain, live dissections of a sheep brain, practicing basic surgical skills such as suturing and stitching, learning how to start an IV and take blood, as well as how to properly read and analyze x-rays, among various others. 9 am-3 pm.

"Urban Observations: Joel Anderson" at Archway Gallery
It seems Joel Anderson is a big fan of "encaustic painting" — beeswax mixed with damar resin — which was practiced by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C., and later revived by Diego Rivera and Jasper Johns. Anderson incorporates modern digital methods in his new show, which captures his love for this city. He even became a FAA-certified drone pilot to get a bird’s eye view high above the power lines. Will run through January 30. 5-8 pm.

Sunday, January 5

Texas Center for the Missing Fundraiser at Poison Girl
Yes, Poison Girl is a nice, little hangout where people can go after work, drink and look at all the velvet paintings they have. But, once in a while, they'll put on a gathering that's more about doing some good in this community. This weekend, the bar will hold a fundraiser for Texas Center for the Missing, which provides crisis intervention, prevention and community education to the missing and their families. Food will be for sale between 4 and 7 pm. 3 pm.

Moonrise Kingdom at Alamo Drafthouse LaCenterra
While people may feel that The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won several Oscars in 2015, is the best film acclaimed filmmaker (and proud Houstonian) Wes Anderson dropped this past decade, excuse us for having a soft place in our hearts for this 2012 romantic comedy. An all-star cast (we're talking Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, etc.) basically turn a New England island upside down trying to find a couple of missing preteens in love. 3:15 pm.