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.
It all started with one Girl Scout. Demme Durrett was just a freshman when she founded the Human Rights Walk & Festival, a gathering that would eventually turn into her Gold Award project and draw more than 2,000 people. At the event's heart is an all-ages and handicapped-accessible walk that gives participants fresh air and an education in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights via an outdoor exhibit of artwork, posters, and essays that illustrate the U.N.'s 30 Basic Human Rights. But the walk is only the beginning of this outing, which also features live music, guest speakers sharing inspiring stories, and festival activities for the entire family.
Hosted across the city from NASA’s Mission Control Center, Space City Con invites fans from Houston and beyond to meet their idols from sci-fi and fantasy movies, films, and print media. Celebrities from beloved franchises drop by to dole out autographs and photo opportunities, in addition to with comic-, anime-, and literature-industry artists and writers. The convention halls rattle with sound of polyhedral dice during ongoing tabletop gaming events, along with the bellows of LARPing elves as they fall from a perfectly executed lightning-bolt spell. Visitors can pay homage to their heroes at fan-film screenings and the yearly Masquerade costume, in which they can show off fandom-inspired cosplay get-ups or purely coincidental Stormtrooper armor.
The sky is the limit when it comes to art. Pick up some supplies from First Saturday Arts Market in Houston and see where your inner artist takes you.
If you're in Houston on a visit, the best place to go is First Saturday Arts Market to make sure you leave with amazing souvenirs and memorabilia.
This store features stunning works of handcrafted art that are easy on any eye.
Patrons are provided with sufficient parking nearby.
So pick up an easel or a pack of markers. First Saturday Arts Market has art supplies big and small.
Everything's bigger in Texas, and The Houston Children's Festival is no exception. It boasts more than 300 family activities and more than 50,000 annual visitors, and has raised more than $5.2 million for Child Advocates, an organization that works to end child abuse. It's no wonder, then, that it is included in Frommers' travel guide World's 300 Unmissable Events.
Within 10 themed play zones, kids bounce on inflatables, squeal on rides, and interact with animal friends in petting zoos. Costumed entertainers walk the grounds, along with Disney and Nickelodeon celebrities, who also entertain and serenade crowds from five stages. To keep kids fueled up for a day full of finger-painting, face-painting, and balloon animal stations, food vendors stand at the ready with kid-friendly bites.
Austin Food & Wine Festival: A User’s Guide
James Beard Winners | Hands-On Fun | Gourmet Tastings | Mingling With Star Chefs
What to Bring: a book for one of the many chef signings, your dance shoes for the DJ sets, and your spare stomach
Make your first stop at the main event, the Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase, where you’ll try samples from Iron Chef Champions, James Beard Award winners, and local barbecue legends
As the day moves on, head over to a wine-tasting that might be centered on Texas vintages or a revival of the classic Texas margarita
After the sun goes down, live music becomes the soundtrack to head-to-head cooking showdowns like Rock Your Taco, in which nationally recognized chefs battle for best dish
Interactive Activity Extravaganza
Try your hand at barbecue—while helming your own grill—at the Hands-On Grilling Area
Culinary trivia events offer up prizes for your food smarts
Food-specific learning opportunities abound, like tasting wines from specific regions to learn about their terroir
Don’t bring the kids. Sure, most of the barbecue is family friendly, but the craft cocktails and fine wines aren’t. This festival is 21+.
Get your tickets early. This event often sells out fast—especially if you plan to attend any after-hours events or private parties.