Arts & Entertainment in Houston


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For Meredith McCord, looking at a piece of pottery brings back decades worth of memories. McCord started The Mad Potter in 1998, and since those early days, she's used her kiln to immortalize countless special moments. She traveled to hospitals to capture the footprints of newborns, helped a young man create a dessert plate with the words "Will you marry me?" emblazoned across it, and auctioned off items for charity. Yet some of her fondest memories center on the day-to-day interactions with customers, specifically when they return to pick up their fired pieces and utter three words of amazement: "I did that?" The Mad Potter has since expanded into three Houston-area locations, where children and adults come to paint their own works of art or create replicas of their ancient ancestors' garden gnomes. More than 500 bisqueware items line the shelves of each studio, including coffee mugs, plates, and figurines. Staffers then help visitors select from more than 54 available colors of paint and supply them with everything else they might need, including brushes and stencils. The staff can even take things over and create more intricate designs?while still consulting closely with the customer. Whatever route a person chooses, there's always time for a sip of wine or beer; the River Oaks location sells wine and beer while Bellaire and Woodway maintain a BYOB policy.
1963 W Gray St., Ste. A
Houston,
TX
US
At the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, you might spy budding photographers snapping shots of herons in the wetlands. 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 arboretum 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 arboretum?s diverse ecosystems. Classes and workshops range from home composting to breaking into the birdhouse-real-estate market. The arboretum also offers nature camps for kids, as well as other special events year-round.
4501 Woodway Dr
Houston,
TX
US
Brazos Bookstore At one point in time, if you walked into Brazos Bookstore and asked for help finding authors such as Larry McMurtry and Donald Barthelme, the staff may have simply pointed and said, “He’s right there.” Karl Killian opened Brazos in 1974 as a means to cultivate Houston’s literary scene, and his bookshop drew voracious readers and even seasoned writers to its well-stocked shelves. It was so beloved, in fact, that when Killian retired in 2006 a group of 27 Houstonians purchased the bookstore to ensure it remained independently owned. Today, Brazos continues to feed the public’s literary lust with a smartly curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, as well as in-store readings from accomplished authors and their favorite pencils. The shop's commitment to letters expands beyond its walls, though; Brazos supports cultural projects such as Inprint and the Academy of American Poets.
2421 Bissonnet St
Houston,
TX
US
Owner Connie Broome envisions Vino Artino as a place "all about art, friends, and fun," a concept she solidifies through relaxing, hands-on classes. Sessions are led by artists with degrees from art and design schools across the South. As they swill any libations they wish to bring, pupils sit at tabletop easels and follow step-by-step instructions to re-create scenes appropriate for a girls' night out, a Mother's Day outing, or a hide-the-hole-in-the-living-room-wall party. Though each class is grounded in a particular painting, the studio urges artists to put their own stamp on the finished product by using different colors, adding fun flourishes, and choosing their own canvas size.
11550 Louetta Rd, Ste 500
Houston,
TX
US
1960 Beads stocks a plethora of glamorous beads and baubles including Swarovski crystals, pearls, and semiprecious gemstones. Shoppers can peruse racks of beaded strands arranged by color and size. 1960 Beads’ workshops guide students and to create personalized accessories, from macramé to stone-pendant wire wrapping, that can ornament twin Chia pets in order tell them apart.
7526 Cypress Creek Parkway
Houston,
TX
US
Stop relying on rabbit messengers for your basketed deliveries with today’s bundled Groupon: for $20, you’ll get $40 worth of customized gift baskets from Design It Yourself Gift Baskets. Send them anywhere in the country with free ground shipping. From sweets to spas, you’ll find an endless array of gift options for friends, coworkers, or personal assistants, or choose from a preconcocted treat set. Gift a golfer with the Score Low! golf gift basket, an argyle-emblazed box stuffed with a ball, pick up cup, rules of golf booklet 2008–2009, 100% cotton towel, and whiffle practice balls ($33.95). Reel in fishermen with the The Big One Fishing Gift Basket, a woven crate containing a hand painted mug and fishing picture frame ($29.95).
7999 Hansen Rd
Houston,
TX
US
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