Photo by Paul R. Davis Photography

The Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Pilgrimage Home Tour will feature three beautiful homes in Houston’s iconic Tanglewood neighborhood. The Making Spirits Bright for Our Community themed tour will feature homes full of rich history, style and elegant holiday décor, including homes at 414 Shadywood Road, 5950 Stones Throw Road, and 5936 Deerwood Drive.

The biennial Houston charitable holiday tradition, sponsored by the Kappa Kappa Gamma Charitable Foundation of Houston and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Houston Alumnae Association, dates back to 1941.

The homes will be open from 10 am to 4 pm each day.

Advance tour tickets are $20 through December 1 and can be purchased at area merchants, including Bering’s, Iris Gifts and Decor, Memorial Designs, Back Row Home, Briargrove Pharmacy & Gifts, and Le Petit Market. Tickets are available after December 1 for $25 at area merchants and at each of the homes.

Houston Asiatown Bus Tour

During the Houston Asiatown Bus Tour, guests can experience an insider's perspective of Houston's vibrant Asiatown. Guests will enjoy a dim sum lunch, browse the aisles of an Asian market, explore a temple, and visit Houston's own Vietnam War Memorial.

They'll also learn about the rich history and establishment of Houston's Asian American community while being introduced to some of the unique cultural dining and shopping destinations along Bellaire Boulevard.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Buffalo Bayou Partnership presents Spirits of the Bayou Boat Tour

The Spirits of the Bayou Boat Tour is a ghostly history cruise where tour guide Andrew Groocock will share some of the haunted tales and legends of Buffalo Bayou. Guests can hear some of the lesser-known stories – both documented and anecdotal – of ghosts, lost souls, and spirits of the bayou.

Photo courtesy of Visit Marble Falls

6 perfect weekend trips from Houston for a true Texas getaway

Post-Summer Plans

With the end of this brutal summer finally (hopefully?!) in sight, it is time to start planning for fall. Call it second summer, as in still plenty warm for enjoying the outdoors but no longer hot enough to melt pavement.

Here are six places perfect for a much-needed autumn getaway. Take one (or more) as a just reward for surviving another scorching Texas summer.

Port Aransas
Miles of beach, without summer crowds: What else do you need? Well, perhaps a place to stay, and you’ll find every option from fancy condos to kitschy cottages in this seaside town. Plenty of dining and entertainment options, too. Try the local seafood at places like La Playa Mexican Grill, Fins Grill & Icehouse, and Seafood and Spaghetti Works. Have a cold one at Bernie’s Beach House, the Port A Beer Hut, or Moby Dick’s. Rent bicycles, golf carts, surfboards, and kayaks at Island Surf Rentals (check out the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail). Or just sit on the beach.

Lake Bastrop North Shore Park
This LCRA park in Bastrop hugs the shore of a constant temperature lake for swimming, paddling (canoe, kayak, SUP, and Corcl rentals available), or fishing (with a boat ramp and pier). The park features almost 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, including one connecting to Lake Bastrop South Shore Park, and a sand volleyball court, too. Stay in one of 5 Airstream campers, 2 cabins, or 6 safari style tents. All have grills for cooking and decks for enjoying views of the lake and the stars while sipping a cold one. Other dining and entertainment options in nearby Bastrop, including a distillery and several breweries and taprooms. Neighbor's Kitchen & Yard and Iron Bridge Icehouse, both on the banks of the Colorado River, serve food, craft beer and cocktails, and live music.

Lake Georgetown
At this Corps of Engineers reservoir, choose from four campgrounds with RV and tent camping options. Enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking (rentals available at Russell Park), and hiking. The crown jewel is the Good Water Trail, a 26-mile loop around the entire lake through a variety of terrain, with multiple trailheads offering the opportunity for shorter hikes. Dining options, wine bars, breweries, and other lodging options are nearby in Georgetown. Check out Barking Armadillo Brewing and, on the courthouse square, three wine tasting rooms and multiple dining options.

Matagorda Bay Nature Park
Located where the Colorado River meets the Gulf of Mexico, Matagorda Bay offers miles of uncrowded beaches for combing and wetlands for paddling. Rent beach chairs, wagons, and kayaks (guided tours available), play miniature golf, fish on the beach or pier, or birdwatch. In addition to Airstream rentals and camping and RV sites, visitors now can rent one of 10 new bungalows that sleep from six to eight people, with fully equipped kitchens, outdoor decks, gas grills, and fantastic views.

Painted Sky Inn
Located on a tranquil inlet of Lake Buchanan, this waterfront property offers rooms for two to ten people with kitchens and lake views, as well as a tiny home and a vintage Airstream. Amenities include fire pits, BBQ grills, a fishing pier, and canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. Find miles of hiking trails at Canyon of the Eagles and Inks Lake State Park (day pass reservations recommended), or tour several nearby wineries (Torr Na Lochs and Fall Creek, to name two) and breweries (Save the World Brewing and Double Horn Brewing), plus dining options in Burnet and Marble Falls.

Frio River
The aptly named Frio River is famous for swimming and tubing in the summer. The most popular way to enjoy the river is Garner State Park, but getting weekend reservations can be tough. Another option is Neal’s Lodges, a sprawling family-owned complex that includes 81 cabins, 10 lodges, 17 condos, 45 RV hook-ups, and 16 tent sites, plus a country store and dining room. See a bat emergence at nearby Frio Cave or a bit farther away in Kickapoo Cavern State Park. Saturdays are for fine dining at The Laurel Tree and diner fare at Lost Maples Café, both in Utopia, and Concan has several eateries as well (some close after the summer season, so check websites).

Find miles of hiking trails at Canyon of the Eagles and Inks Lake State Park near Marble Falls.

Photo courtesy of Visit Marble Falls
Find miles of hiking trails at Canyon of the Eagles and Inks Lake State Park near Marble Falls.
Photo courtesy of British Consulate

Houston-based British Consulate teams embarks on 2,500-mile Texas road trip to host cultural pop-ups

a great texas road trup

Heads up, Texans: The British are coming.

Houston-based head of the British Consulate, Her Majesty’s Consul General Richard Hyde, and his senior-most staff will embark on a 2,500-mile road trip across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The trek will feature tree plantings and what the consulate dubs “consulate pop-ups” in each city.

Aside from meeting civic and business leaders, the pop-ups highlight the close economic links that the UK has with the state of Texas, not to mention some British food and drink.

By the numbers, the 2,500-mile trek is roughly three times the length of the United Kingdom. But then, as we know, everything’s bigger in Texas.
Tree planting and pop-up consulate events in Nacogdoches, Texas; Kilgore, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Texarkana, Arkansas; Amarillo, Texas; Lubbock, Texas; and Waco, Texas.

This comes in the year of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and as such, the UK team honors Queen Elizabeth’s 70h year on the throne by participating in the Queen’s Green Canopy, a global sustainability initiative to plant trees.

The trip also marks 180 years after the UK Government first appointed a representative to Texas, according to a press release.

“The aim of this tour is to focus on cities outside the ‘Texas Triangle,’ Hyde noted in a precisely worded British statement. “This will enable us to engage with a wide range of politically influential and economically important communities and groups. Whilst honouring Her Majesty’s 70th year on the throne and enhancing the environment with tree plantings, we also hope to demonstrate that the UK is a modern and dynamic partner of Texas, a leading centre of culture, music and sport and a world class centre of innovation and science.”

Photo by Sebastian Ramirez

Fierce 'Fight Club for street artists' tour draws up high-energy Houston showdown

the secret's out

With the arts community adversely affected during the pandemic, Los Angeles-based live arts entertainment brand Secret Walls is on a 30-plus city tour to bring its high-energy physical illustration and design battles —and to shine a spotlight on local talent — across the US and Canada.

Art fans can check out the Support Your Local Artist (SYLA) Tour when it hits Houston Wednesday, August 31 with a free show at Karbach Brewing Company. The free, all-ages event, which was originally slated to run at House of Blues, kicks off at 7 pm.

Coined by the Wall Street Journal as “a fight club for street artists,” Secret Walls is an energetic art battle fueled by crowd reaction. Artists are divided randomly into teams and equipped with markers, paint brushes, spray paint, and paint rollers. Nothing is revealed to the artists prior to the start of the competition.

They artists then have exactly 90 minutes on the clock to ideate and create their artwork. A team of judges, plus a decibel meter measuring the audience’s cheers, determine the winner of each showdown.

The Houston stop will feature local artists Alex Arzú, Nicky Davis, Ghoul Shack, and Tarbox. The event will also include food and drinks, music by DJ Mad Sounds, and limited-edition merchandise for sale.

For the Houston stop, Secret Walls has partnered with UP Art Studio to host a special Secret Walls Academy NFT Workshop and Kid’s Team Battle for students at Hogg Middle School. This artist-led youth workshop provides a crash course in NFTs and digital art while building confidence in the next generation of freestyle street artists, according to a press release.

Since Secret Walls debuted in 2006 with a mission to support local artists, the contest and tours have produced more than 2,000 battles in more than 50 countries and, ays founder Terry Guy, has grown to become the world’s premier live paint and pixel battle platform.

“The Houston community has been so supportive of Secret Walls in the past and we wanted to do something special in return,” Guy notes in a statement. “Thanks to all our fans, we were able to pull some strings to make the event free and accessible to more supporters. We look forward to seeing everyone at the show.”


Secret Walls takes place at 7 pm Wednesday, August 31 at Karbach Brewing Company, 2032 Karbach St. Event is free and open to all ages. For more information, visit the official site.

Artists such as Lillipore and Goopmassta have faced off in previous Secret Walls showdowns.

Photo by Sebastian Ramirez
Artists such as Lillipore and Goopmassta have faced off in previous Secret Walls showdowns.
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Iconic Austin blues club brings the show to fans with new indie livestreaming platform

Live on Live

If legendary Austin blues club Antone’s is your vibe, but the drive to Capital City isn't, you’re in luck. Antone’s Nightclub launched a new service for livestreaming its shows in November.

Kicking off with New Orleans-based funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, for their special “Phunksgiving” show last month with Michael Hale Trio, the full lineup is delineated on the Antone’s website. Specifics were still loose before the launch, allowing the famous blues club to call the shots. The partner agency that created the streaming service, 3rd + Lamar, created the system to give Antone’s as much freedom as possible.

"Partnering with Antone's to build their livestreaming platform and produce each of their shows is an incredible opportunity for 3rd + Lamar," said the agency’s co-founder Nick Schenck in a press release. "The amazing talent that performs at Antone's – and their fans worldwide – deserve best-in-class live production quality, and we're thrilled to play a part in this operation."

Not that Antone’s needed to stand out more in the music industry (the nearly 50-year-old venue has always been one of the best places to see both local and national talent), but this achievement places it among relatively few venues across the country, especially those that operate their system independently.

The intimate Antone's shows are filmed by four Blackmagic 4K cinema cameras on tracks overhead, which ensure that the whole space is easily visible without having camera operators amid the audience.

“We did over 430 individually ticketed shows in 2019 and we felt like we were bursting at the seams,” said Antone’s owner Will Bridges. “Then when livestreams became more prominent during the pandemic we realized, this is our opportunity to take Antone’s outside of our four walls. … [W]e see people in the comment threads all the time saying ‘If I could only be teleported to Antone’s!’ Well now they can.”

The release emphasizes that the system means Antone’s “fully retain[s] ownership of their content, which can then be utilized at their discretion.” It also calls the service “an add-on option for all artists performing at Antone’s,” positioning the service as not just an audience luxury but a performer’s low-cost marketing tool. Suddenly, artists playing at Antone’s are afforded a choice without needing to be invited to record or pay an independent video team, while reaching even more viewers with no extra time spent advertising.

“Our ultimate goal is to make these amazing musical experiences accessible to everyone. Life is busy, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to participate no matter where they are or what they have going on,” said Bridges. “We want to make livestreams from Antone’s totally commonplace. When we announce our upcoming shows, fans have two options: watch it at the club our watch it at home.”

Livestreams are at antonesnightclub.com, and links also appear with each applicable event across the site. Prices are listed on the website, and livestreams start 10-20 minutes before each show.

Alt-rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers heading to Houston for 2023 North American tour

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most pioneering and enduring acts is headed to Houston to close out a highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25, 2023 as part of a North American trek that kicks off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29.

Houston lands the honor of the closeout city for the North American tour (the band will also play a slew of dates in Europe). Effortlessly hip, celeb-fave modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers, along with the talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale this week at 10 am Friday, December 9 online.

Houston fans who can't get enough can also catch the Chili Peppers when they hit The Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday, May 17 — the only other Texas date.

Aside from The Strokes and Thundercat, supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have been played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with major names such as Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Fan-favorite, wood-fired Houston pizzeria quietly opens in the Heights

enough (pizza) to love

A popular Houston pizzeria has opened its second location in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet has begun a quiet soft opening in the former Fegen’s space at 1050 Studewood St.

Since its 2019 debut in Midtown, the Gypsy Poet has earned a devoted following for its wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s personal-sized, 13-inch pizzas exist somewhere on the spectrum between traditional Neapolitan and classic New York — too crispy for the Italians but not quite foldable like an East Coast slice. Options include a classic Margherita and the signature Fancy Backpacker, which is topped with prosciutto, truffle oil, and arugula.

Part of the restaurant’s appeal stems from its friendly service and easy going atmosphere. It regularly hosts informal musical performances and other artistic happenings.

Taken together, Gypsy Poet has earned legions on fans. Yelp users ranked it as Texas’s second best restaurant in 2021. More recently, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy awarded it a high 7.8 rating during a pizza review.

The restaurant opens at a time of transition for pizzerias in the Heights. Dallas-based Neapolitan restaurant Cane Rosso closed last year, and suburban favorite Crust Pizza Co. opened this summer in the former Mellow Mushroom space at N. Shepherd and 20th.

The Heights location of Gypsy Poet will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9 pm; Friday from 12-2 pm and 5-10 pm; Saturday 2-10 pm; and Sunday 2-9 pm.