Culture / Entertainment

Best Things to do in Houston This Weekend — Festivals, Concerts and Sweet Treats

The Weekend Gurus Make Their Picks

BY // 10.10.19

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.

41st Houston Italian Festival

Between last weekend’s Greek Festival and this weekend’s Italian Festival, it may seem that Houston is dead set on traveling through and showcasing the Mediterranean coast – but who’s complaining?

Head to the University of St. Thomas grounds through Sunday, October 13 for the 41st Houston Italian Festival, where you can celebrate the country that gave us rich pastas, sweet gelato, strong wines and Lidia Bastianich.

The festival, which has been at it since 1978, will feature music, films, classes, tastings, games, activities and more. Taste and learn more about premium Italian wines on Thursday, or opt to save the tastings for Friday with an beer and cheese pairings event. Enjoy an folk dancing performance on Saturday, or step into a language class on Sunday. The festival truly has it all.

Admission is free on Friday (11am to 4pm). Tickets for Friday (4pm to 10pm), Saturday, and Sunday begin at $8.

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Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey

Rick Steves: the myth, the man, the legend. The respect I have for this beloved American traveller runs deep, as practically every weekend of my childhood was spent tuned into Rick Steves’ Europe on PBS. Not only did Rick Steves teach me the various histories and cultures of countries throughout Europe, but he also showed me how to travel:

Pack lightly. Have a map. And, most importantly, be open to adventures and bloopers.

This weekend, Rick Steves visits Houston to join the Houston Symphony for A Symphonic Journey. The symphony will perform a series of classics like The Blue Danube Walz, “Ode to Joy,” Pomp and Circumstance, all with breathtaking sights of European countries projected on a giant screen just behind them. And throughout the concert, Steves will be providing his own insight and commentary about each location .

Tickets start at $69 for the concerts, which will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Sweet Like Pan Dulce PopUp

There are few sweet treats that can hold it up against pan dulce. The perfect sweetness that these pastries provide are pure satisfaction. And when consumed alongside a piping cup of coffee? There’s really nothing better. My love affair with pan dulce began as a child with summer vacations to visit family in Brownsville. Every morning, the breakfast table was topped with a mound of fresh pan dulce, ready to be devoured.

So if you absolutely love pan dulce, or have no idea whether you do or not, then this one’s for you. On Saturday, The Union HTX will be joining forces with event creator Miradela to bring you the Sweet Like Pan Dulce PopUp. Sip on coffee from the Mobile Cafecito Bar, courtesy of OSO Coffee Co.; snack on bites, provided by La Casa Bakery and Cafe; and enjoy drinks, shopping, live music entertainment from DJ Art Badd, and more – all to celebrate the special Mexican sweet.

The event is free to attend. Drink passes are $10, with proceeds benefiting La Casa Bakery and Cafe.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Texas Contemporary Art Fair

In its eighth year, the Texas Contemporary Art Fair swings back through town starting tonight and running through Sunday, October 13. More than 60 galleries from around the world will convene this weekend at the George R. Brown Center, and the Fair is always a chic place to see some art, grab a drink, and mingle with art scene movers and shakers. -Matthew Ramirez

Read the extended full Texas Contemporary preview from PaperCity arts editor Catherine D. Anspon here.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Billie Eilish

There have been few stranger crossover pop acts than Billie Eilish in our time. Sure, Lorde was awfully young and idiosyncratic upon her worldwide debut in 2013 with her smash song “Royals,” but she still projected as a pop star.

The 17-year-old Eilish, however, is fresh and unique and exciting. Her No. 1 hit “Bad Guy” displaced Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” off its perch as the longest-running No. 1 single ever (and was  secretly the better song).

Her album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? alternately sounds like Bjork, Aphex Twin, even Marilyn Manson. And now she’s performing at Toyota Center to potentially thousands of fans. Doors open at 6:30 pm Thursday; show starts at 7:30 pmish. Tickets start at $39.50. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy, who started his career drumming for Odd Future-affiliated R&B band The Internet, scored a Grammy nomination at the tender age of 17 for that band’s multi-platinum hit “Girl.” Then he released a string of lovesick, deeply felt rock/soul-indebted tunes, each one better than the last, culminating in the excellent 2017 EP Steve Lacy’s Demo.

His full-length debut Apollo XXI, released over the summer, didn’t quite deliver on the promise of his early work, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to jump off the Lacy bandwagon. He’s still an excellent bedroom producer, with guitar licks and big, booming drums on Kendrick Lamar and Vampire Weekend records, and still somehow only 21.

See him Saturday, October 12, at House of Blues, while you still can catch him at a small venue. Doors open at 7 pm; tickets $30.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

MFAH Fall Festival

With highs forecasted in the 70s and lows in the 50s, this is the perfect weekend for some outdoor arts fun. The MFAH’s Fall Festival is the perfect prescription, this year themed “Celebrating Latinx Heritage, complete with Ballet Folklorico dancers, loteria, salsa dancing, art-making activities inspired by Carlos Cruz-Diez, films and more. It gets underway Saturday, October 12, from 3 pm through about 7 pm. Better yet, it’s free.

For the full schedule and more info, click here. -Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

The MFAH Fall Festival: Celebrating Latinx Heritage, is the perfect getaway this forecasted-to-be-beautiful weekend.
The MFAH Fall Festival: Celebrating Latinx Heritage, is the perfect getaway this forecasted-to-be-beautiful weekend.

DIIV

When indie dream-pop band DIIV came on the scene at the start of the decade, they were one of about dozen or so bands re-imagining the soft rock sounds of the ’70s through a druggy haze, elliptical songwriting, and winsome vocals (see also: Wild Nothing, Real Estate, Delorean, etc). Their 2012 record Oshin is an essential album of the ’10s, and a remarkable time capsule, capturing the precise time when indie rock had started to cede the spotlight to other genres on taste-making websites such as Pitchfork and The Fader. But they were still cool and good enough to play big festivals and sell some records.

After an unfortunate years-long struggle with drugs and alcohol, DIIV mastermind Zachary Cole Smith regrouped and dropped Deceiver just a few weeks ago, and it is a satisfying return. They’ll be at Satellite Bar Tuesday, October 15. Doors open at 7 pm; tickets just $15. –Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

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