In Houston, September beats out July and August for the hottest month of the year—it has nothing to do with the weather, however. The culprit behind the elevated heat level is the Houston Hot Sauce Festival. This annual event brings together exhibitors from across the country to sell and hand out samples of their signature hot sauces, salsas, jams, dips, and other spicy foods. Luckily, vendors also supply plenty of cool beverages, thus eliminating the need for bite-size fire extinguishers.
Live entertainment complements the spicy goods. Blues artists, jazz bands, and other musician play throughout the festival, and each day brings special events, such as salsa eating competitions or fire eating performances.
At the dine-in movie theater Star Cinema Grill, concession stands are obsolete. By pressing a button, customers signal a server and are able to order restaurant-style without disrupting their viewing experience or screaming at an usher for a lobster bib. From angus sliders to ice-cream floats, Star Cinema Grill's menu appeases all ages with its gourmet-pub cuisine served amidst the glow of screenings and first-run film releases.
You'll never go hungry at Viva Cinema. That's because staff not only keep sodas and popcorns topped off with free refills, but also encourage guests to bring in leftovers from the attached Mexican restaurant, Viva Cantina. They extend this level of love for the community by adding Spanish subtitles to most movies, and showing free family films one day per week and free horror shows on Wednesdays after dark. They also bring in local producers and actors to talk about their films in an effort to promote local artists.
At Funplex, a pair of roller skates can take you across the country—or at least a smaller version of it. Gigantic murals of iconic American skylines surround the Roller City USA Skating Rink, while fog, lasers, and music add to the excitement and accurately recreate the feeling of teleportation. But this five-acre fun park isn't rooted to the rink. The indoor go-kart car track launches kids and adults alike into dreams of being a race-car driver as they accelerate to up to 22 miles per hour. And the rest of Funplex brims with attractions both fast and slow: bumper cars, a ferris wheel, and a full-size bowling alley with 40 lanes.
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: Kids
Pro Tip: Make sure children have socks so that they can enjoy the inflatables.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Bounce houses
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
After having children of my own, I discovered how difficult it can be to find a nice, secure place for them to play and release some energy. Seeing the faces of the kids light up when they enter the inflatable room is the best part of this job. They enter the facility thinking it is just another business?until they see the inflatables and that's when the excitement begins.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
We have an indoor inflatable room where kids can run around and have some fun without being outside in the heat.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Arcade room is also part of the weekday play, and it doesn't require coins. On weekdays only, unlimited play runs Monday?Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kids also receive a drink and a snack with their entrance during these times. Weekends are reserved for private parties.
Since its origins as a converted parking garage, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has ushered film-lovers of all breeds into its auditoriums, even gaining a following among Hollywood legends; Quentin Tarantino has been known to host five-day movie marathons at Alamo. The theater has earned that reputation by making moviegoing a personal experience, from the menu of handcrafted snacks and locally brewed beer to the completely ad-free presentations before shows. Alamo?s ninja servers pick up written food and drink orders throughout the movie and serve moviegoers directly at their seat. The staff enforces a strict no-talking, no-texting policy by kicking out any offenders, falling just short of yanking them from their seats with a giant's shepherd's crook.
Both first-run blockbusters and classics are projected onto Alamo's silver screens in crisp 35-millimeter or digital format. Meanwhile, surround speakers immerse audiences in the cinematic soundscape, whether they're seated in one of the expansive theaters afforded to blockbuster reels or the more intimate spaces reserved for indie films wound around tiny bobbins. Despite Alamo's vow of silence, fan-centric Quote-Along and Sing-Along nights encourage guests to shout their favorite lines, and actors, directors, and other celebrities often attend special screenings to lead in-depth discussions. These exclusive events have led to acclaim for Alamo from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, which called it ?one of America's most fanatically unique moviegoing experiences,? and Wired, which opined that it "might just be the coolest movie theater in the world."