Culture / Entertainment

Mochi Donuts, a Vegan Fall Bonanza and Buffalo Bayou Park Mania — the Best Things to Do in Houston

Your Full Fall Weekend Guide

BY // 10.21.20

To those of you anxiously awaiting the arrival of Halloween, hold onto your candy wrappers — we’re not there just yet. As you gear up and get ready for this year’s Halloween festivities (likely to be the strangest and maybe most kid disappointing on record), take a moment to enjoy all that this Houston weekend has to offer.

From foodie events to park celebrations to music performances and more, H-Town is getting frisky with both virtual and in-person events.

Wipe your chocolatey fingers and mark up your calendar – it’s time for the weekend. This is your guide to the best things to do in Houston:

Science Spooktacular

Things are getting spooky around Houston, and that includes at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. Stop by the Arboretum in person or tune in virtually throughout the week to enjoy activities, crafts and exploring at the park’s 2020 Science Spooktacular.

While most of this year’s family-friendly events will be held virtually, the event is guaranteed to be just as fun and engaging as in years’ past. Tickets are $10 per family for nonmembers.

Five Years of Buffalo Bayou Park

Can you believe that it’s already been five years since Buffalo Bayou Park was completed? The glorious green space seems to encapsulate everything that makes Houston. . . well. . . Houston – a sprawling metropolis inhabited by nature-loving urbanites. As cars whiz down the winding streets of Allen Parkway and Shepherd, a tranquil park hideaway encourages green devotees to stop and “Listen,” “Observe,” and “Explore.” Gosh, I love Houston.

All month long Buffalo Bayou Partnership has hosted events and performances to commemorate its big five year anniversary, and this weekend park officials are unveiling a big art installation to continue with the festivities.

This Thursday, October 22 marks the opening of the exhibition Estructuras Monumentales, created by 105-year-old artist Carmen Herrera and presented in partnership with New York’s Public Art Fund. This incredible life-size art installation includes large, aluminum-made sculptures that perfectly complement the vibrance and geometric nature of the Houston skyline. Explore the monumental pieces and be inspired by their simple yet dynamic stateliness.

To see more of Herrera’s work, visit the MFAH for its accompanying exhibition, Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces.

Mochi Donut Pop-Up

Fat Straws Bubble Tea Co. is a bubble tea institution up in Dallas-Fort Worth. Run by Jenn and Terry Pham, this sweet drink shop is famous for its incredible boba teas, sweet smoothies, rich coffees and (drumroll please) mochi donuts. Yes! And this weekend, you can grab a bite of these Japanese-style donuts at Fat Straws’ Houston Pop-Up on Polk Street.

Mochi Donuts (PC: kathy tran)
Sink your teeth into these sweet Mochi Donuts during Fat Straws’ Houston Pop-Up. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Head Downtown on Saturday and Sunday for the second and final installation of Fat Straws’ mochi donut pop-up, where you can order up some sweet classics like strawberry or chocolate, or go for something different like Pandan Coconut or Black Sesame. However you look at it, you’ll be winning because you’ll be eating a donut. It’s as simple as that.

Pre-ordering is recommended, though not required.

Vegan Fall Market & Pumpkin Patch

Vegan or not, there’s nothing quite as autumnal as a fall market and pumpkin patch. And honestly, there’s nothing quite as fun as a fall market and pumpkin patch. That’s why you should make plans to visit the 2nd Annual Vegan Fall Market & Pumpkin Patch this Saturday and Sunday.

Hosted by Vegan State Fair, this weekend’s market will feature vegan vendors from across the state of Texas, as well as a Selena Q Tribute Performance, costume contests for the kids and the pups, pumpkin painting contests and more.

General Admission is $6. Masks are required.

Vegan State Fair
Celebrate everything you love about fall at the Vegan Fall Fest & Pumpkin Patch this weekend.

Trees For Houston Giveaway

If you’ve been intending to spruce up your yard with some greenery this season, you’re in luck. Trees For Houston is hosting a giveaway at their future home, and they want you to come by to pick up a free tree! Yes that’s right, a free tree.

Swing by 2001 W. 34th Street this Saturday to pick up your very own Roughleaf Dogwood, American Sycamore, Little Gem Magnolia, Bottlebrush, or Carolina Cherry Laurel. Exercising your green thumb has never been easier.

This event is sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation and The USAA Foundation.

Houston Jazz Festival

Life without Miller Outdoor Theater was a tough one this summer. But all is not lost! This Sunday, October 25, Miller Outdoor will come alive again, albeit virtually, thanks to the 2020 Houston Jazz Festival, produced by Houston Jazz Collective and sponsored by H-E-B.

Streamed live on the theater’s Facebook page, this year’s Jazz Fest will feature a series of performances by Carrol-Simmons-Sparks (CSS), made up of musicians Shelley Carol, Bobby Sparks, II, Mark Simmons and Jay McK. The dynamic team will present an evening of unforgettable music for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home, and all for free. But consider showing some local love and donating to the Houston Jazz Collective.

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