weekend event planner
Here are the top 15 things to do in Houston this weekend
Catch CultureMap's weekend events segment with editor Steven Devadanam and ABC13'a Brittaney Wilmore live at 8:45 am Thursdays on ABC13's livestream and on ABC13 all weekend.
The first weekend of February — yes, really — marks our favorite beaded bash. Mardi Gras! Galveston returns to the island with a jam-packed opening weekend (find our guide here) of concerts (Gin Blossoms, Hayden Baker), funky parades, and billions of the beads — some that could really pay off if you catch them.
We can't wait for the premiere of On Your Feet!, the smash musical that pays tribute to icons Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, who founded the Miami Sound Machine. The Afro-Cuban dance and glorious grooves will have you on, well, you know, at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.
Galveston's biggest bash is back. Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston
Thursday, February 1
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum’s new rotating exhibition, "The Blue Helmets in Action," focuses on the 93rd Infantry Division, the first African American combat division to be activated during World War II. The purpose of the exhibition is to educate visitors about this historically overlooked Army division. The exhibition follows the formation of The Blue Helmets, their early history, training, service in the Pacific theater, and occupation duties through to deactivation. Through Sunday, June 30. 10 am.
Community Artists' Collective presents "Here and Now: Cultural Expressions," an exhibition celebrating Black History Month. The exhibition showcases art from the Collective’s permanent collection and includes works by such contemporary artists as Ann Johnson, Gail P. Mallory, Shani Crowe, Earlie Hudnall, Ricardo Francis, Latonia Allen, Jo El Mercer, Ibraim Nascimento, and Bert Long. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Black Art Crawl in mid-February will include the exhibition. Through Thursday, February 29. 6 pm.
It’s the astounding and inspiring true story about heart, heritage and two people who believed in their talent—and each other—to become an international sensation: Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Their story is brought thrillingly to life in this breathtaking, original musical bursting with the Afro-Cuban rhythms that became the Miami Sound Machine. This features such hits as “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” and, of course, “Get On Your Feet.” Through Sunday, February 11. 7:30 pm (8 pm Friday; 2 & 8 pm Saturday; 2:30 and 7:30 pm Sunday).
Friday, February 2
The Houston Home + Garden Show is a vibrant marketplace where people can shop for home-related products and services, experience displays to help inspire their next home project, connect with industry experts, and enjoy informative presentations from local and international home professionals. The three-day event will include a special guest appearance from HGTV star Egypt Sherrod, adoptable pets from the Houston Humane Society, and an array of vendors specializing in home and garden projects. 11 am (10 am Saturday).
They got the bead(s) at Mardi Gras! Galveston. Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras! Galveston
Celebrate Mardi Gras in Galveston. The 3rd largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country will have several parades, live entertainment, street food vendors and much more. 20 parades will be taking place over the course of two weekends (and Fat Tuesday), while Gin Blossoms, Eli Young Band, and Duelo will be some of the artists scheduled to perform. Mardi Gras has a lot to love. And when you add the sand between your toes and the epic views of the island of Galveston, Mardi Gras gets even better. 5 pm (11 am Saturday; 1 pm Sunday).
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents a film series featuring four films that consider the experiences of Black women. Returning to program the second iteration of the series she created is Autumn Johnson, communications coordinator at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and social media coordinator at Houston Cinema Arts Society. This year, Johnson decided to focus on the idea of “beauty” and what defines Black and female authorship in film. Johnson will introduce each screening. 7 pm (4 and 7 pm Saturday; 5 pm Sunday).
The Marcus Roberts Trio and jazz singer Catherine Russell join the Houston Symphony for virtuoso jazz and classic Gershwin songs, including a love song for all the sweethearts. Plus, the Houston Symphony performs a new take on Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue, alongside jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of its premiere. 8 pm (2:30 pm Sunday).
Saturday, February 3
In honor of World Cancer Day this Sunday, Burger Bodega (4520 Washington Ave.) will join other Smash Burger concepts, Leon's Smash Burgers (Australia) and 7th Street Burger (New York), for a World SMASH Cancer Day Fundraiser. Each one of the Smash Burger concepts will donate $1 to a foundation of their choice, benefitting cancer research. Burger Bodega will donate to support cancer research at the Houston Methodist Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center. 11 am.
Friends of the Phoenix presents their 7th annual Fried Rice Cook Off and Lunar New Year Celebration, with friends from within the community presenting their version of fried rice with a very international flair. The competition will be based on judging as well as fan favorites. There will also be prizes for best booth/station presentation. Activities include a ping pong tournament and a bounce house. This charity event will raise money for the FOTP emergency fund and education pillar. Noon.
Get ready to celebrate the vibrant spirit of New Orleans at PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans Join them for an unforgettable in-person event filled with music, custom mask decorating, and delicious treats. Don't forget to bring your most extravagant mask ideas to add some extra flair to the festivities. Whether you're a local or just visiting, this is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Mardi Gras. Grab your friends and family, and get ready to let loose and have a blast. Children will receive a free beignet for their participation. Noon.
Jane Woe is a group of Houston musicians that capture scenes and emotions through the bend of a guitar string, through a crescendo of a rolling cymbal, and – most of all – through words that paint a picture. Jane Woe is a woman sitting on her front porch with a shotgun, waiting for her lover to get home. Jane Woe is when singing the blues isn’t enough and howling them is the only way. Jane Woe is a repetitive drum beat with two ladies harmonizing and hypnotizing a room. One fan described, “If David Lynch did the music for Urban Cowboy.” 3 pm.
Casa Argentina de Houston presents Tango Time 25th Anniversary. The event will feature pianist Rene Casarsa and the participation of Michael Fahey & Johnny Chang (violins), Pablo Fernández (bandoneon), Matt Tavilson (bass), Susana Collins & Jeremías Fors (dancers), and Andrea Berri & Giancarlo Piletti (vocalists). Eighty percent of the event´s net proceeds will benefit local musical education scholarships and Orquesta-Escuela Mediterránea, a music program for children living in vulnerable communities in Córdoba, Argentina. 7 pm.
Sunday, February 4
William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is a London bookstore owner whose humdrum existence is thrown into romantic turmoil when famous American actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) appears in his shop. A chance encounter over spilled orange juice leads to a kiss that blossoms into a full-blown affair. While you watch this classic 1999 rom-com, order from Alamo Drafthouse’s tasty brunch menu and pair with a brunch cocktail classic. Each is available to order along with our full menu at this special brunch screening. 11 am.
At ReelArt, visitors can see the world through the eyes of artists from Celebration Company, an entrepreneurial employment program for adults with disabilities, and featured artist Grace Fisher. The artists work with a variety of mediums, such as painting, photography, and glass fusion. This wide range of mediums allows the artists multiple ways to excel at expressing themselves. 1 pm.
Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, and Anni-Frid, collectively known as ABBA, dominated the charts for nearly 10 years and enjoyed nine UK No.1 hits. Mania (formerly ABBA Mania) recreates ABBA’s sound not only perfectly, but respectfully too. Mania is not only for lifelong, die-hard ABBA fans but the new generation of fans, who never had the opportunity to see ABBA live. They will perform hits like "Dancing Queen," "Waterloo," "Mamma Mia," "The Winner Takes it All," "Super Trouper," "Fernando," "Take A Chance On Me," and more. 6:30 pm.