Culture / Entertainment

Galveston Mardi Gras, Tapas on the Trails and Valentine’s Finds — What to Do This Weekend

Your Guide to the Best in Houston — and Beyond

BY Virginia Reynolds and Matthew Ramirez // 02.13.20

Houston weekends are packed full of events, but how many of them are truly worthy of your time? PaperCity’s new events calendar offers a curated look at all the best things to do in the area. But everyone can still use a guru — or two.

PaperCity Weekend Gurus Matthew Ramirez and Virginia Reynolds cull our calendar for your weekend must dos in this weekly series.

Radical: Italian Design 1965-1985

This Friday, February 14, grab a date and head to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for the opening of the museum’s newest exhibit, Radical: Italian Design 1965-1985. As the name suggests, the exhibition will take a look at the uniquely striking design that ruled Italy between 1965 and 1985.

The one-of-a-kind works, which include pieces from the likes of Archizoom Associati, Lap Binazzi, Ugo La Pietra, Alessandro Mendini and others, are drawn from the collection of Dennis Freedman, founding creative director of W Magazine whose love for creativity and design translated into his collection of the iconic Italian objects.

To learn more about the exhibit and its pieces, as well as the monumental period in design, head back to the MFAH on Sunday, February 16 for an Opening Lecture, presented by the museum’s very own Cindi Strauss.

Admission to the museum is $19 for adults, $16 for seniors, $12 for youth, and free for children. The lecture is free to attend.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

109th Mardi Gras! Galveston Celebration

You know it, you love it, and it’s finally back. Head to Galveston Island this weekend to help kick off the 109th edition of the Mardi Gras! Galveston celebration. Regarded as the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas and the third largest in the country, this two-week party will feature 23 parades, more than 25 concerts, 20 balcony parties, and so much more – so you should have no issue finding something to do. Things begin this Friday and last through Fat Tuesday, February 25.

General Admission is $23 at the gate.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Randall King at Armadillo Palace

Anyone with a pulse in Houston knows Goode Co. does barbecue, seafood and even Tex-Mex – but what you might not know is its Armadillo Palace (located at 5015 Kirby Drive) is a mecca for live music as well. “Longnecks and two-steps” is the tagline on Armadillo’s website, and what better date than Valentine’s Day to take in some live country music.

Texas-raised Randall King cites George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks as influences and brings a traditionalist approach to contemporary country, which often leans into “bro” stereotypes or cringey hip-hop tropes. He’s shared stages with Robert Earl Keen, Cody Johnson and many more. Combine a Valentine’s night of excellent food with music.

It all goes down this Friday, February 14, at Goode Company Armadillo Palace. Show starts at 9 pm; tickets are $15 day of the show. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Tapas on the Trails

If your idea of the perfect Valentine’s date consists of sipping and savoring delicious drinks and bites all while strolling through beautiful nature trails, then you won’t want to miss the Houston Arboretum’s beloved Tapas on the Trails evening event.

On Saturday, February 15, the nature garden will transform into a Valentine’s paradise, made perfect by softly lit trails and four food stations sprinkled throughout with tapas-sized dishes such as the Pecan-Smoked Heirloom Tomato Bisque, Gulf Coast “Lobster” Roll, and Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, and specially paired wines and beers.

Tickets for members are $85, non-members $95. All proceeds will benefit the Arboretum.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Harlem Globetrotters: Pushing The Limits World Tour

Just because the Rockets are taking a break from playing this weekend for the NBA All-Star festivities doesn’t mean you have to take a break from watching basketball this weekend. Instead, head to the Fertitta Center at the University of Houston this Saturday or Sunday to experience the fun and excitement of the Harlem Globetrotters, the high-energy crew known for its jaw-dropping basketball stunts and family-friendly entertainment.

harlem globetrotters 2
Catch the Harlem Globetrotters as they perform their jaw-dropping stunts this Saturday and Sunday.

The group of athletes will be in Houston for two days (and three shows) for the Pushing The Limits World Tour, which is set to feature crazy new stunts and record-breaking attempts.

Tickets start at $23.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Supper Club at The Annie

If you’re looking to celebrate your special someone through all of Valentine’s weekend, then stop by The Annie on Sunday, February 16 for its first Supper Club of the season, appropriately themed “Love Songs.”

Supper clubs may be a foreign concept to many here in the South, but this Midwestern style of dining has seen a revival in recent years – if not in actual brick-and-mortars, then at least in common lexicon (see Ron Faiola’s documentary and corresponding book Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old Fashioned Experience). The Annie will be latching onto this classic “dinner and a show” experience, giving you the chance to sip cocktails, dine on a three-course prix fixe meal, and dance the night away to a set of love songs performed by The Richard Brown Band, featuring Kelley Peters and Bob Luna, and special guests Shawn Sounds and Christina Wells.

Tickets are $150.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Aventura at Toyota Center

Let me find out there’s a more appropriate band for Valentine’s weekend than Aventura, the bachata group from the Bronx that put modern bachata on the map nearly 20 years ago with “Obsesion,” a song so universal (its only rival is the tired “Suavemente”). I just heard it at the club Friday night, sandwiched between Roddy Ricch and Lil Uzi Vert.

Bachata’s roots go back as far as the 1960s. It can be traced to the Dominican Republic and the music of its indigenous groups. The gentle rhythms are the backbone of the genre, which mostly consists of either lovesick or heartbroken ballads. Aventura is the new standard bearer of this tradition, whose music speaks to generations of lovers. Frontman Romeo Santos (whose solo career is equally dignified and strong) could steal your girl this weekend.

Aventura rolls into town at the Toyota Center on Friday, February 14 (and next Saturday, February 22). Tickets start at $59.50. Doors open at 7 pm. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Patti LaBelle and Babyface at Smart Financial Centre

If you’re looking for “grown and sexy” this Valentine’s Day weekend, look no further than the duo of Patti LaBelle and Babyface who come into town Sunday, March 16, at Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land. (Show starts at 7 pm; tickets start at $49.50.)

Underrated ’00s R&B singer Tamia completes the lineup (please tee up “Leave it Smokin” right now, one of the most overlooked tracks of the past few years). No one needs to explain the importance of the headlining duo. LaBelle is so iconic she sells frozen pies, and Babyface is one of the best songwriters of the pop era. His ’80s records under his name (especially Tender Lover, which contains one of the greatest songs ever, “Whip Appeal”) laid the groundwork for the next 30-plus years of male R&B.

More recently, his 2014 record with Toni Braxton, Love, Marriage & Divorce, was fantastic, full of grown-up themes, a throwback to a time when R&B/quiet storm artists like Anita Baker made music explicitly for married couples. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

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