Dewberry Farm opens its gates to let the public browse its vast land in search of fall- and farm-themed attractions. The centerpiece of the farm fun is the four-acre corn maze, which challenges guests to navigate three miles of path before reaching freedom. The entrance of the walking-puzzle is manned by the Corn-cierge, who will provide game sheets to solve brainteasers peppered throughout the maze and tridents for defense against people left behind from last year's maze. Celebrate survival at the farm's 16-acre pumpkin patch, where both carving and cooking pumpkins can be purchased ($0.50 per pound, $1 minimum per pumpkin). For an additional $3, jack-o-lantern aficionados can take a stroll through Punkin' Hollar, featuring more than 500 lighted carved pumpkins in a nature setting with trees, animals, and night sounds.
Jaws snap and claws scratch at Crocodile Encounter. Families, school groups, and aspiring zookeepers can enjoy the city's largest reptile show or explore its animalian encampment, meeting massive Aldabra tortoises, alligators from Texas, and Siamese crocodiles, along with pigs, capybara, and eland. To finish off this adventure, guests can pet a live alligator and feel its bumpy skin or watch as it devours a meal.
The Texas Zoo brings guests up close to animals such as ocelots, coati, alligators, and owls. Visitors can wander the zoo path in search of their favorite big cats or the monkey enclosure, or attend one of the zoo’s many feeding and training programs to see otters, lions, and gators in action. In addition to self-guided tours, the zoo runs educational summer camps including the reptile weekend, conservation rangers, and Drawn to Animals art camp.
Designed by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's stainless steel building safeguards a multitude of work designed to intellectual engage viewers and invoke complex reactions. The museum's two galleries, the Brown Foundation Gallery and the Zilkha Gallery, collectively host 8–10 free exhibitions every year.
The Brown Foundation spotlights work by internationally renowned artists and pieces organized around themes; past exhibits include a Kiki Smith survey and a showcase of performance art by black artists. The Zilkha, meanwhile, hosts the museum's Perspective Series, which gathers the work of emerging artists. The museum's Teen Council curates a biyearly edition of Perspectives, unveiling work by young, Houston-area artists that mine for deeper feelings than the normal teenage angst toward parents, teachers, and singing animatronic bears. The Teen Council also contributes to the museum's numerous programs, which include lectures and discussions for each show, as well as Musiqa concerts based on each Brown Foundation Gallery exhibition.
At the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, you might spy a group of yogis meditating in a forest clearing or budding photographers snapping shots of herons in the wetlands. Daily programs such as these are part of the Center’s mission to connect Houstonians with the natural world. Situated on the western edge of Memorial Park, the 155-acre nature preserve acts as a sanctuary from the busy city that surrounds it. Visitors can walk along 5 miles of trails, which wind past forest, meadows, wetlands, and ponds.
The nature advocates at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center hope the Center serves not only as refuge from the urban bustle, but also as a constantly changing outdoor classroom. In the Discovery Room, for instance, interactive exhibits help young explorers learn about the Center’s diverse ecosystems. Classes and workshops range from home composting to breaking into the birdhouse-real-estate market. The Center also offers nature camps for kids, as well as other special events year-round.
Karen Mones's passion for fitness began at a young age, exercising to Jane Fonda videos with her mother. She went on to play softball, earn her bachelor's in exercise and sports science, and obtain six instructor certifications in everything from yoga to strength training. She founded Houston Adventure Boot Camp to share her knowledge and passion for fitness with as many people as possible.
She and her trainers create different regimens each day, taking advantage of the city's natural spaces and natural forces to enhance their workouts. They challenge gravity by having students lift their own bodyweight or free weights. Students plow through the heaviest friction the air can throw at them in sprints, and they hold up under constant pressure from the sun to nap in the middle of a field.