For eight weekends in the fall, a troupe of performing fairies, knights, royal personas, and jugging fools set up camp on the 55-acre grounds of the Texas Renaissance Faire. For 38 years, the Festival has re-created the 16th century’s appealing combination of simplicity and grandeur with more than 200 daily performances of live music, acrobatic comedies, and jousting. Actors portraying different levels of society—such as the English court and the pirates—roam the lolling landscape in character while performing comedic and informative bits including “Sound and Fury,” a Shakespearean vaudeville. At noon the Grande Marche parade catapults performers from the Globe Stage for a stroll throughout the park as they advertise their acts in a high-toned procession.
On a less precise schedule, craftsmen concoct tangible marvels with skills of glassblowing and blacksmithing, while food purveyors wander the beaten paths or call from their booths, selling fare that ranges from sugar-coated nuts to roasted turkey legs. At close of day, fireworks light the sky to celebrate the festival's victory over time.
With tented performance areas throughout downtown Houston, this year's fest features a lineup of hundreds of performances from around the globe. Music acts include big names (Ozomatli, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic) alongside other talented musicians. Check out the entire schedule of events here. An abundant bounty of global cuisine with everything from Japanese to Jamaican fare, highlighted by vast offerings from this year's spotlighted Caribbean nations, will nourish the hungry crowds. The festival and the performances will proceed rain or shine, so bring an umbrella if it rains, and ride in on an umbrella if it doesn't.
Nearly equidistant from Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, Christian retreat center Camp Tejas welcomes guests who gather to make new friends and explore different facets of their faith. Bunkhouses and private rooms accommodate overnight guests, while conference rooms and recreational facilities offer a chance to work, play, sing, study, and celebrate. Then there's the green, flower-dotted expanse of land that's home to these buildings. Trees, grass, and lakes abound, offering plenty of opportunities to kayak, climb, and appreciate nature. In November and December, this refreshing slice of the outdoors becomes even brighter, as the annual Lights of Tejas show organizes Christmas-light displays and family activities right along the water's edge.
If you want to find catfish, alligator, and frog legs all in one place, your best bet is the swamp. But if you want to find all three animals plus carnival rides and live music, then you'd be better off heading to Conroe in October. For 25 years, the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival has celebrated cooking traditions from the Lone Star State and its adjacent bayous, with gumbo and sausage to complement crispy fillets of its namesake fish.
Songs are almost as plentiful as snacks. On three stages and a performance space for kid-friendly shows, the fest showcases beloved bands playing sets that range from country to Beatles covers. Carnival rides, craft booths, and contests fill the rest of the fest with family-friendly activities, such as mechanical-bull rides and a non-mechanical petting zoo.
The seventh annual Art Outside Festival quenches creative appetites with live music, artists, and a plentitude of interactive workshops and performances. Over 70 bands ally to form the three-day musical lineup, featuring musicians such as Hobotech, Stereo Is A Lie, and Pumpkin. Austin-area youths Residual Kid will move crowds with driving beats even though they aren't old enough to apply for learner's permits, and lots house art cars and geared wildlife from the Austin Bike Zoo to occupy vehicle aficionados. Lay hands on creativity through interactive video displays or marvel at artists filling the tented gallery with freshly painted pieces. Aerial-acrobatic and fire-sculpture demonstrations stretch the imagination as yoga classes stretch the body, and giant artworks stretch canvas over dilapidated barn doors.