HP Houston Marathon

Held in mid January

Location: George R. Brown Convention Center


Nearly 7,000 entrants from around the world take part in this challenging race. Beginning and ending at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the 26.2-mile course winds through many Houston neighborhoods.


Mardi Gras!

Held mid – late February

Location: The Strand in the Historic District


The celebration centers on The Strand, Galveston’s historic district, where elaborate parades, masked balls, festive music and special events draw revelers from far and wide.

Rodeo Parade

Held in mid February

Location: Houston


Call for exact location
Thousands of trail riders descend upon the city from hundreds of miles around, to kick off Houston’s annual tribute to Texas’ traditions.

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Held mid February – early March

Location: Astrodome

One of the world’s largest rodeos fills the Reliant Astrodome and its adjacent facilities with dazzling competitions, award-winning barbecue and blockbuster concerts by country-and-western and other music superstars. Adding to the fun are livestock exhibits by young farmers vying for scholarships and a lively outdoor carnival.


The River Oaks Garden Club’s Azalea Trail

Held early – mid March

Location: Bayou Bend

It’s just not spring until the azaleas are in bloom. Of particular interest are the gardens at Bayou Bend, the former residence philanthropist Ima Hogg. The rest of “the trail” refers to a tour of abundantly blooming landscapes in the adjacent River Oaks neighborhood.


River Oaks International Tennis Tournament

Held in early April

Location: Houston


Call for exact location and additional information
Believed to be the oldest professional clay-court tournament in the country still playing on its original site, this annual event attracts some of the biggest names in tennis.

The Art Car Parade: Powered by Pennzoil

Held in late April

Location: Houston


Call for exact location and dates

This whimsical parade of outlandishly decorated cars, bicycles, lawnmowers and just about anything on wheels is one of the oldest and largest of its kind. The parade caps a weekend of related art car events sponsored by the Orange Show Foundation in collaboration with the Houston International Festival.

Houston International Festival

Held mid – late April

Location: Downtown Houston


Colorful and lively, this event transforms 20 downtown blocks into a sprawling open-air market of ethnic food, arts and crafts, and live performances.

WordFest: Houston International Film Festival

Held mid – late April

Location: Varies in Houston


Call for additional information
Cinema buffs get a chance to view films fresh from production when the world’s largest international film and video competition comes to town. Event organizers showcase a wide variety of film genres under the theme “Independent Stories Well Told.”

Japan Festival

Held in early April

Location: Hermann Park


The tranquil Japanese Garden in Hermann Park draws thousands of people annually to a weekend celebration of Japanese culture. The beautiful garden provides a serene backdrop for folk and traditional dancers, music performers and demonstrations of the martial arts, flower design and origami.

Shell Houston Open Golf Tournament

Held in mid April

Location: The Woodlands

Attracting close to 150 professional golfers, this is one of the biggest events on the PGA Tour. The Woodlands Tournament Players Course hosts the event, which boasts one of the largest purses on tour.


Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Held in early May

Location: Hermann Park


Mexico defeated invading French forces on this date, but this festival’s organizers see this date as a day to remind Mexican nationals of their heritage. Festivities include a parade downtown and a festival with mariachi bands, dancers and food at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park.


George Ranch Juneteenth Celebration

Held in mid June

Location: George Ranch Historical Park


George Ranch Historical Park re-enacts this pivotal moment in the history of Texas African- Americans. The festivities include tours, gospel music, food and fun.

Juneteenth Celebration

Held in mid June

Location: Hermann Park


The date marks the day Texas slaves learned of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation — two years earlier. The month-long celebration of African-American heritage includes a parade, blues, gospel and jazz performances and other events at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park.


Reliant Energy Power of Freedom

Held on July 4

Location: Downtown Houston


Live entertainment downtown fills the air as spectators flock to the grounds of Eleanor Tinsley Park at Buffalo Bayou in anticipation of the evening’s spectacular pyrotechnics.


Held mid July

Location: Varies


More than 30 art galleries participate in this annual evening artwalk organized by the Houston Art Dealers Association. Many exhibits continue throughout the month of July. Several galleries include lectures related to the artists whose works are displayed.


Houston International Jazz Festival
Held in early August

Location: Downtown Houston


Jazz musicians from around the world celebrate the birth of jazz with outdoor performances in downtown Houston.

Houston Shakespeare Festival
Held most of August

Location: Hermann Park


Productions of two plays by the University of Houston Theatre Department are a late-summer tribute to the Bard of Avon. The free evening performances are at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park.

Ballunar Liftoff

Held in late August

Location: Space Center Houston


Space Center Houston collaborates with the Clear Lake community to present this unusual summer tradition involving a platoon of more than 100 hot air balloons. Airborne competitions, sky diving, hang gliding and air rescue add to the entertainment.


The Great Tastes of Houston

Held in mid September

Location: Varies throughout Houston


The mayor’s official fall celebration serves up a sampling of menu items from the best of Houston’s restaurants.

Festa Italiana

Held in mid September

Location: Hermann Square


Artisans and performers help transform downtown’s Hermann Square at City Hall into a piazza brimming with the music, food and wine of Italy.

Houston Hot Sauce Festival

Held in mid September

Location: Houston


Call for exact location and times
Annual event featuring hot sauce, salsa, chipotle, jams, spices, marinades, chips, dips and more fiery food products. Ongoing stage entertainment, free kids activities, cold drinks, a wide variety of food, “amateur salsa competition”, contests, prizes, arts & crafts, pepper merchandise, and more.

Fiestas Patrias

Held mostly in mid September

Location: Houston

Hispanics representing Mexico and several Central American countries unite to celebrate their independence. A fantastic parade, street dancing and outdoor festival and other events provide the colorful atmosphere.

Egyptian Festival

Held in mid September

Location: St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church

St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church hosts this festival of Egyptian music, food, dance and culture.


Grand Prix of Houston

Held in mid October

Location: Adjacent to George R. Brown Convention Center

The CART racing circuit’s Grand Prix — a 1.68-mile Indy-car race through the streets of downtown Houston. With two days of qualifying events followed by the Grand Prix on Sunday, there’s plenty of high-speed action to see. The race course is adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center, where pit crews operate in air-conditioned comfort.

Greek Festival

Held in early October

Location: Streets around Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral


OPA! Houston brings Greek culture and traditions to the streets surrounding Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Lively Greek music and colorful folk dancers in authentic costumes entertain visitors while they sample spicy homemade dishes and heavenly pastries.

Texas Renaissance Festival

Held in early October – mid November

Location: Houston


Call for exact location and dates
A 50-acre 16th-century English kingdom comes to life for seven consecutive weekends. The merriment amidst the marketplace and gardens includes jousting, falconry exhibitions, magic shows, juggling and more.

Festival Chicano

Held in mid October

Location: Hermann Park


The Annual Festival Chicano brings music, dance and more to Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre.

The Wings Over Houston Air Show

Usually held in late October

Location: Ellington Field

The sky’s the stage at Ellington Field for awesome demonstrations of precise flying, aerobatics and air-attack re-enactments. The food court and kiddie carnival add to the day-long exhibition.

Asian American Festival

Held in mid October

Location: Hermann Park


Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is the venue for performances of Asian music, dance and other arts. Cultural exhibits and children’s activities make this noon-to-dusk event fun for the whole family.

Texian Market Days

Held in mid October

Location: George Ranch Historical Park


The George Ranch Historical Park is a living museum year round. But for Texian Market Days, more than 2,000 costumed interpreters help depict 100 years of local history. Craft booths and live entertainment mix the past with the present.


International Quilt Festival

Held in early November

Location: Houston


Call for exact location and dates

More than 1,000 quilts are on display in special exhibits during this celebration of the textile arts. Demonstrations and mini-classes are also offered during the event. More than 800 booths offer related items, such as quilting supplies, notions or finished quilts.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Held on Thanksgiving Day

Location: Downtown Houston


A lavish downtown parade with sensational floats, marching bands and costumed characters escorts Santa Claus on an early visit to the area.

Uptown Tree Lighting Ceremony

Held on Thanksgiving Night

Location: Post Oak Boulevard

When half a million holiday lights simultaneously illuminate 80 Christmas trees lining Post Oak Boulevard, it signals the start of the season. Choirs, bands and a huge fireworks show help stir up holiday spirit the evening of Thanksgiving. The abundant decorations and lights on area skyscrapers add to the dazzling display all season long.


Mayor’s Official Downtown Holiday Celebration

Held in early December

Location: Hermann Square


With City Hall as the backdrop, Hermann Square hosts an upbeat outdoor show culminating in the lighting of the enormous Christmas tree and a huge fireworks display.

Theater District Ice Plaza

Held all of December

Location: Fish Plaza


Fish Plaza in front of Wortham Center hosts an outdoor ice rink — a rare holiday treat for Houston. Skate day or night, and enjoy special entertainment.

Dickens on the Strand

Held in early December

Location: Historic District


A Victorian historic district is the setting for Galveston’s signature seasonal event. Period entertainment, costumed participants, horse-drawn parades and hearty British fare help create a scene straight out of a Dickens novel.

Christmas Candlelight Tours

Held in early December

Location: Sam Houston Park

The Harris County Heritage Society brightens the seven historical structures in downtown’s Sam Houston Park with candles and 19th-century decorations. Carolers and choirs lend musical accompaniment to your seasonal stroll.

Christmas Boat Parade on Clear Lake

Held in early December

Location: Clear Lake


A flotilla of more than 100 boats dress their decks with lights and other displays, The unusual procession up the Clear Lake channel is visible from the shores and waterfront restaurants.

Arts and Entertainment

Houston Symphony

615 Louisiana St.

Houston, TX 77002

Performances held at Jones Hall


Call for schedule of performances and additional information

Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America’s oldest performing arts organizations, with a rich history of musical excellence. The Houston Symphony fills each busy season with more than 170 concerts attended by an estimated 350,000 people each year.

Houston Opera

510 Preston St.

Houston, TX 77002

Performances held at the Wortham Theatre Centre


Call for schedule of performances

Founded in 1955 through the joint efforts of Maestro Walter Herbert, former singer Edward Bing, and Houston cultural leader Mrs. Louis G. Lobit, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is one of the United States’ premier opera companies.

City Ballet of Houston

9902 Long Point Road

Houston, TX 77055

Performances held at the Wortham Theatre Center


Call for performance schedule

Houston Ballet performs on tour across the world and at home in the magnificent, state-of-the-art facility, Wortham Theater Center, in downtown Houston. Experience the power, beauty, and sensuality that have made Houston Ballet — in the words of The London Times — “one of America’s most vibrant ballet companies.”

Theatre Under the Stars

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

800 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002

713- 558-8887

Call for performance schedule

As one of the largest nonprofit producers of musical theater in America, TUTS has a reputation for premiering new musicals, presenting classic revivals, producing touring productions and bringing local audiences great entertainment. TUTS is the resident company of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Zilkha Hall

Located in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

800 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002


Call for performance schedule

In the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is home to Uniquely Houston’s programs. Performances feature local community programs in music, dance, theater and educational outreach alongside distinguished artists from around the world.

Broadway in Houston

Performances held at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

800 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002


Call for performance schedule

Broadway In Houston delivers a mix of touring blockbusters direct from Broadway or London’s West End.

Alley Theatre

615 Texas Avenue
Houston, TX 77002


Call for performance schedule

One of the oldest resident professional theater companies in the country, Houston’s Alley Theatre literally began in an alley in 1947. Its post-modernist two-stage complex in Houston’s Theater District presents diverse plays by contemporary dramatists.

Verizon Wireless Theatre

520 Texas Ave
Houston, TX 77002

713- 230-1600

Call for performance schedule

Expect diverse programs at Verizon Wireless Theater, host to more than 100 concerts each year. Broadway tunes, rock and roll, soul, country, jazz, chamber music, dance extravaganza and more play at the trendy venue

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77380


Call for performance schedule

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands is one of the world’s great entertainment experiences. The summer home of the Houston Symphony, this picturesque amphitheater offers performances ranging from rock to Bach. The Pavilion accommodates up to 16,000 with covered reserved seating for 3,000 beneath its soaring white peaks, room for 1,900 guests in the uncovered reserved area and nearly 12,000 on the hillside lawn.


Houston Aeros

Profession Hockey

Games played at the Toyota Center

1510 Polk St.
Houston, TX 77002


Season runs October – April

Houston Astros

Professional Baseball

Games played at Minute Maid Park

501 Crawford St
Houston, TX 77002


Season runs April – October

Houston Comets

Professional Women’s Basketball

Games played at the Toyota Center

1510 Polk St.
Houston, TX 77002

713- 758-7254

Season runs May – September

Houston Rockets

Professional Men’s Basketball

Games played at the Toyota Center

1510 Polk St.
Houston, TX 77002


Season runs October – April

Houston Texans

Professional Football

Games Played at Reliant Stadium

1 Reliant Park

Houston, TX 77054

713-629-3700 Season runs September – January

The largest City in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston has a population of over 1,500,000. This Texas city has much to offer both visitor and resident including more than twenty universities and colleges such as the distinguished University of Houston, the University of Texas-Houston Health and Science Center, Texas Southern University and Rice University. Houston’s international cuisine, moderate weather, and superb arts offerings are just a few of the reasons for the city’s popularity. Outdoor recreation in Houston all year and find quality entertainment day or night in local theme parks, major-league sports arenas, and in Houston’s highly acclaimed museums. Restaurants and entertainment are a short walk or trolley ride away in the downtown area.The METRO light rail whisks riders through the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, to the state-of-the-art Reliant Park sports and event facilities. Houston was named for Samuel Houston (1793-1863), the politician and general who was at the forefront of Texas’ fight for independence from Mexico. He later became President of the Republic of Texas; when Texas became part of the Union, serving as a Senator and later as Governor of Texas. In 1914 the Houston Ship Channel was created, beginning a whole new life for Houston. The 50-mile long channel linked Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.This deep-water port became a major shipping link and an important junction for the U.S. grain market. The following year oil was discovered and the boom began. Oil companies flooded the area and by the end of the decade there were forty companies located in the city. World War II found Houston a major supplier of many commodities. In 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration made its home in Houston assuring the city its place in space age technologies.

Houstonians are proud of their city’s diversity. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Art Car Parade, the International Festival, Fiesta Patrias, the Westheimer Street Festival, the Children’s Festival, and a variety of holiday celebrations bring the City together throughout the seasons of the year and are a source of great enjoyment for visitors.. Houston is renowned as a world center of oil, natural gas, iron and steel, paper products, electrical and electronic machinery. Above all, however, Houston is a city of great neighborhoods that welcome the visitor to a rich cultural environment and an enjoyable and memorable vacation.


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