Schedule your Houston summer with these activities
Visit the Galapagos Islands at the Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo’s new Galapagos Islands exhibit opened recently, debuting a new colony of Humboldt penguins, giant tortoises and other iconic Galapagos Island species. Visit to learn more about how habitats at the Houston Zoo are designed for different animals’ needs to thrive even during Houston summers. Just make sure to check-in online, stay hydrated and be ready to spend most of your day trekking the globe within 55 acres. Rice students even get into the zoo for free.
Miller Outdoor Theater summer shows
Miller Outdoor Theater at Hermann Park’s season is now open. This year marks 100 years of the theater’s establishment, with anniversary-related events happening all season. Miller also hosts various productions throughout the summer, from dance performances, live music, theater productions and more. Visit their website for a full schedule of this summer’s shows, and make sure to bring a blanket because seating on the hill is always free.
Weekend Montrose Marketplace
Hosted every Friday through Sunday on the corner of Westheimer Rd. and Montrose Blvd., Montrose Marketplace boasts a wide selection of local vendors. Lucky for us, the market will also be hosting evening hours during the summer so you can shop vintage, browse handmade crafts and sample local cuisines into the hours of the night. The businesses they feature are always changing, so be ready for new finds every weekend.
Cross Galveston off your Houston summer bucket list
There’s no better time to have a beach day than during the summer, but even if the ocean isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to do in Galveston that often gets overlooked. Try the shopping districts like Post Market St. or the Strand to browse for unique stores and maybe try your hand at antiquing. For students wanting to learn during the break, step back in time on a tour of historical homes or go museum hopping through the many that Galveston has to offer. If you’re the more outdoorsy type, Galveston has several state parks and nature reserves teeming with native flora and fauna. Or, make your Galveston excursion a weekend getaway by waking up to the local produce and goods of the farmer’s market every Sunday morning.
Escape to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Take an urban escape at the Houston Arboretum & Nature center by enjoying their five miles of trails through woodland, wetland, savanna, native prairie and riparian habitats. The 155-acre site allows free parking on Thursdays with no admission fee and hosts several events throughout the summer. Try outdoor yoga, nighttime nature walks, DIY sessions and, for the 21+ student, take a sunset walk with wine and charcuterie at their Sip & Strolls.
Get retro with a drive-in movie
Tired of regular movie theaters? The Moonstruck Drive-In movie theater is only about a 15-minute drive from campus, regularly has showings of the latest releases and allows moviegoers a view of the Houston skyline too. For those who don’t mind a longer commute, the Showboat Drive-In in Hockley offers a more traditional outdoor movie experience with more screenings of classic films and less restrictions on patrons’ unique seating choices.
Go underground and visit the Buffalo Bayou Cisterns
If you’re not afraid of the underground, descend into the Cisterns at Buffalo Bayou Park. Online registration is required for your pick of activities, from a self-paced exploration, a guided history tour or even a sound-healing meditation session within the former water reservoir. The Cisterns are also known to host art exhibits ranging from light shows to musical performances, so take a look at their website to check for special events and deals.
Have a night-out for nonprofits
Houston can have a thriving nightlife if you know where to go, and you have the whole summer to explore what the city has to offer. If you’re 21+, branch out from your usual night-out venues to visit the local “charity bar” Angel Share HTX. Each charity that Angel Share supports earns a portion of the proceeds from the bar, which has raised over $1.3 since 2013. With daily Happy Hours, All-Day-Mondays and late hours, you too can aid local Houston nonprofits by grabbing a drink — or try the zero-proof cocktails.
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