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Things To Do

60 Phenomenal Things To Do In Houston This July

By Colby Smith

60 Phenomenal Things To Do In Houston This July

Are you feeling the heat, Houston?

Sun’s out fun’s out. Summer is in full swing and Houston is buzzing. From enchanting candlelight concerts, to expansive patio bars and beer gardens, to a whirlwind of museum exhibits, bars, restaurants, and things to do, here’s a comprehensive list of 60 phenomenal things to do in Houston this July! [Featured image: @wicklowheights]

1. Experience Magical Outdoor Candlelight Concerts

Photo credit: @Khanh Nguyen

Experience a magical spring here in Houston thanks to the amazing indoor and outdoor venues the city has to offer. Luckily, Fever Originals has brought its popular Candlelight concert series to beautiful venues for the season with concerts that include:

2. Get Your Tickets For This Blockbuster Van Gogh Exhibit

Artwork from the iconic post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh will come to life in a 360-degree digital spectacle that’ll illuminate and transform the physical space into a fully immersive exhibit. You’ll see Van Gogh’s work take over the walls and encompass your surroundings through the lenses of several dozen projectors, hyper-realistic VR headsets, or a mix of both.

3. Go To Town On Brazilian Steak

You can sample the entire menu with this unlimited experience, testing out pork sausage and acquainting your taste buds with grilled pineapple and chicken drumsticks and much more. Countless trips to the salad bar, a wide selection of drinks and desserts, and unlimited servings ensure that stomachs are fully sated!

4. Dine In The Dark

Ever wondered what it is like to eat in the dark? Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate taste experience for many years. Studies show that 80 percent of people eat with their eyes; with that sense eliminated, the theory is that the other senses—namely taste and smell—take over to elevate your meal to a whole new level. After donning your blindfold in the darkened, candlelit room, you’ll soon realise that focusing on taste and smell alone can be a truly enlightening experience—provided you’re not afraid of the dark!

5. Dance All Night At This Twin Peaks Nightclub

 

The public can now see what’s behind the red curtains at the new, Lynchian-inspired nightclub, Cherry. The darkly lavish new nightclub is a concept from Hospitable Viking the group behind The Commoner + The boulevardier, Rosemont, and the 006 Bar. It’s set in the two-story space formerly occupied by the Nightingale Room – which is rather appropriate all considering.

6. Venture Into The Upside Down

Seismique is a celestial new exhibit that experiments with an otherwordly interplay of immersive experiences, artificial intelligence, and alien-like terrain. Across 40 galleries, 111 projectors, 40,000 square feet, and 9 million LED lights, the exhibit immerses visitors in alien universes full of creativity, imagination, and wonder.

7-9. Cozy Up At Houston’s Best Coffee Shops

Thankfully, there are plenty of coffee houses scattered about the city for residents to take refuge, re-energize, and maybe eat a scone or two.

  • Rev up your mornings at the motorcycle and coffee garage.
  • Secret Garden offers various international coffees with options in the form of Vietnamese, Greek Espresso, Greek Freddo Cappuccino, Turkish Coffee, and more.

10. Pop Into Houston’s Whimsical New Bar

Phones at the ready, Houston, for a new selfie sanctuary has come to town with the opening of Austin-based Wonder Bar. While the quirky, IG-ready watering hole has teased their opening in H-town since last summer, the bar is now open.

11. Get The Scoop On The Best Ice Cream Parlors In Town

Hot, cold, rain, or shine, ice cream is a good call on any day. With summer around the corner, it’s only going to taste better and better as the months roll on. Here’s the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in Houston.

12-17. Check Out An Exhibit

Keep your mind stimulated by using stormy weather to check out a vibrant mix of ongoing exhibits throughout the city:

  • Seuss Experience: The whimsical works of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss have transcended from page to film and now its final form — a cross-continental immersive exhibit.
  • Life on Mars: Channel your inner Ziggy Stardust and see if there really is Life on Mars at the HMNS’s Mars from Luke Jerram.
  • Van Gogh at MFAH: The Joy of Nature explores the shared vision of pop-art expressionist David Hockney, and post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh.
  • Largest T-Rex Skeleton in the World: From now until September 2 this year, you have the opportunity to get up and close and personal with the “largest and most complete” touring T-Rex skeleton in the world.
  • Celebrate the joy of color: In Houston, the Color Factory spans over 20,000 square feet of art installations, interactive exhibits, local features, and all-around hue-tiful space.
  • The Death by Natural Causes traveling exhibit will introduce patrons to the range of “animal, vegetable and mineral” dangers that lurk in their everyday lives. Through a collection of specimens, text and interactives, visitors can see what can cause a death, either directly or indirectly, from the natural world.

18-21. Sweeten Up At A Speakeasy

There’s something special about speakeasies. The secretive, vicarious forbidden feel of transporting back to the prohibition make imbibing cocktails all the more tantalizing. Stow away in wonderful hidden bars that Houston has to offer!

  • So Clutch, the owners of the Concrete Cowboy, Clutch Bar, and a host of establishments in other US cities, opened the doors of the Sugar Room on Washington Avenue. The cocktail lounge hidden inside a local bakery features a glamorous selection of drinks as well as tasty treats.
  • Tucked away in the corner of Cantina Barba’s back patio is a scanty, nondescript, somewhat rusty container. The door on which advertises “Mijo’s Mezcal Bar” – which, to our knowledge, lays the smallest bar in Houston.
  • Relive the ’20s and all of its splendor at the Daisy Buchanan Lounge, from the group behind Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse. The flashy new 52-seat lounge, located at what was once Bar Victor on 4321 Montrose Blvd, is made in the image of the era infamously captured in Scott F. Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. 

22. Visit The Largest Winery In Town

The most-awarded winery in Texas has expanded with an impressive facility in Richmond, Texas. Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen is now open with a full kitchen, expansive tasting room, and much more.

23. Transform The Way You Look At The Sky

At James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyscape in Houston, sunset and sunrise are otherworldly experiences. The rise and setting of the sun are spectacles all on their own. Captivating natural phenomena that imbue us with feelings of wonder, awe, and romance. At the James Turrells’ Twilight Epiphany installation, you’ll see the sky in entirely new colors.

24. Cider And Game

Reality has been a drag recently, escape into the carefree virtual world of gaming this weekend at East Downtown’s newest hangout. Cidercade opens in Houston today with a ton of games, ciders on tap, and 18,000 square feet of fun to be had.

25-26. Hit The Dive Scene

Houston thankfully has plenty of places to take shelter in a flurry of rain: whether to escape the weather, shoot a round of pool, grab a cheap beer, or to play a song on a jukebox, consult this list to discover where to go.

  • Those who leave up their festive decorations year round, like the people over at Grand Prize Bar, are complete freaking lunatics – and we love them for it.

27. Stroll Through The Japanese Gardens

Hermann Park in Houston is full of wonder. It’s home to a railroad, a zoo, an outdoor theater, and much more. Any one of these spots is worth a visit, but if peace of mind is what you’re looking for, take a stroll through their Japanese Garden.

28. Quest Out To Houston’s Hidden Castle

Photo credit: @beckystravellist

A short drive outside of Houston in the small town of Bellville Texas lies a  medieval castle equipped with a 3,000-pound drawbridge, moat, and a knightly guest quarters.

29. Be My Gyro

The original Al Quick Stop in Montrose is a charming little bodega at the corner of Waugh Drive and Welch Street next to Rudyard’s Pub. In addition to its inventory of amenities, groceries, and the like, the Quick Stop offers dynamite eats, with a full breakfast, lunch & dinner menu.

30. Crack Into The Best Crawfish In Town

Yeah, we love the holidays, but when it comes to food it’s really hard to beat peak crawfish season in the Bayou City. If you’re not throwing a crawfish boil of your own, you can get your hands dirty – and belly full – at our 10 favorite crawfish joints in Houston.

31. Follow The Umbrella Alley To This Street Art Pop Up

From the recent, epic MF DOOM mural, to the Houston Graffiti Building, to the city’s many local IG-inspired hot spots, it’s an understatement to say that H-Town is no stranger to street art. Which makes it somewhat surprising that they’re aren’t more street art-specific exhibits. There is, however, one present exhibition that has channels the graffiti-driven artwork that gives our city color.

32-33. Hit A Patio Bar

One surefire way to capitalize on the weekend, weekday, weeknight – really just any time – is to have a couple drinks amongst friends in the open air of a patio. Get out and about this season at some of our favorite watering holes in town

  • Nestled on 1239 W 19th St. among a familiar crowd of patio bars – Preslee’s, McIntyre’s Heights, and Bungalow Heights– is a newcomer known as Moonshine Deck, a throwback Americana-inspired bar and kitchen with moonshine and whiskey to boot.

34. Meditate At The Rothko Chapel

Masterful artists often are exalted with holy reverence. Ingenuity, insight, and genius confound the layman such that no possible explanation can rationalize artists’ masterpieces than divine origination. Lemmy Kilmister is a god, Dolly Parton is an angel, and Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi, is literally being considered for sainthood. In Houston, a chapel stands as a testament to the artwork of Mark Rothko.

35. Laugh It Off

Is it too soon to laugh about how awful the pandemic has been? We don’t think so. Head down to Montrose gem, Rudyard’s Pub, and catch one of the ribhurting comedy events that they have in store for the season!

36. See Live Concerts In The Park

As we turn the corner into June so do things start heating up in Houston with hot summer events. After bringing back their outdoor movie series, Discovery Green has announced that it will also reprise its Friday Night Live Concerts later this June.

37.Venture Into Space City’s Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston is one of Houston’s top attractions, the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston’s first Smithsonian Affiliate and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee. Designed to engage adults and children alike, the center features more than 400 space artifacts, permanent and traveling exhibits, attractions and theaters related to the exciting future and remarkable past of America’s human space-flight program—all for one admission price. What’s more, Space Center Houston has the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public view. There is always something new at Space Center Houston with an amazing array of traveling exhibits and astounding events.

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38. Roll Into Houston’s Smashing New Bar

Houston’s bang-up new bar is groovy, baby. Furnished with shagadelic psychedelia complete with flashy neon signs and a cigarette machine straight out of the 60’s, new downtown hangout, Unicorn Disco, gives Houstonians the chance to blast into the past.

39-40. Glamp In The Stars

New resident Texan, Elon Musk, promises that humans will land on Mars by 2026. If you can’t wait that long, you can spend a few nights at Basecamp Terlingua, an other-worldly glamping experience that integrates the future with the past, giving its visitors the impression of luxury camping in the cosmos.

  • Horizon on the Hill in Marble Falls is a wedding venue like none other. The countryside venue offers sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, a majestic look over Lake LBJ and Lake Marble Falls, and a dazzling stardome that acquaints visitors with a magical view of the constellations.

41. Transport Yourself To Madrid At This Clubby Restaurant

If you’re looking for a taste of Spanish cuisine, with the sight, sound, and feel of Madrilenian nightlife, MAD Houston is your ticket.

42. See Surreal Art Installations In An Underground Chamber

“Underground” has long been the moniker to describe art, music, and film outside the mainstream passed, traded, and discussed by those in the know. In Houston, the underground art scene could mean just that, or, it could refer to the art scene literally underground at the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern.

43. Eat Some Rock N’ Roll Tex-Mex

Sound check. With the stage all set, Tres Amigos Café y Cantina is ready to rock. On April 22, the Tex-Mex restaurant and ZZ-top shrine is set to open in the Shepherd Park Draught House space at 3403 N. Shepherd.

44. See The Big And Bright Stars At Night

Photo credit: @museum_mike_

See what Space City is all about this weekend at the re-opening of the George Observatory! The observatory first opened in 1989 and run until temporarily closing in 2019 for a “much needed makeover”. This weekend, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is reopening their totally revamped observatory!

45. Go On A Road Trip Adventure

Anyone that has ever road tripped out of state understands the sheer size of Texas. And with its enormousness, there’s plenty to see and do in the Lonestar State. From state parks and small towns, to luscious vineyards, to some strange little oddities along the way, here’s some exploration inspiration for my fellow Texan wanderlusts.

46. Sink Your Teeth Into ’80s Nostalgia At Houston’s New Diner

The 1980s are making a come back. Be it the nostalgia-saturated Stranger Things, kaleidoscopic fashion lines, or droves of new wave, synth-driven music flooding the sound waves.  Embrace the return of all things ’80s at Hungry Like The Wolf, which has just opened at 920 Studemont St #900.

47. Float The Texas Border

Yes, it’s only April, but warmer days are on the horizon. You could visit your parents house in the suburbs, or take a dip in your apartment complex’s pool, but why not think bigger? Why not think lazier? For instance, the Texas-shaped, six-story-high lazy river at the Marriot Marquis in Downtown.

48. Brunch Like You Mean It

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the spring is in the air. If Benadryl isn’t doing the trick on your allergies, you can see how the mimosas fare at one of our top 10 favorite brunch spots in Houston!

49. Stroll Through The 3D Gallery

What do Selena, Drake, and God have in common? All three make cameo appearances in the Houston’s pop-up 3D Galerié.

50. Get Spooky At This Monster Mansion

Photo credit: @jvaughn7266

Ghouls, goblins, and other unearthly creatures are invited to hang their head – er, hat – at Waxahachie’s Munster Mansion, a colossal replica of the house featured in ’60s cult-classic sitcom, The Munsters.

51. Catch Movies At The Landmark Miller Outdoor Theatre

After an extended hiatus, Houston’s beloved Miller Outdoor Theatre is finally reopening to the public next month with a performance from Grammy-winning all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea on May 1.

52. Visit This Mosaic-Filled Park

Smither Park, located at 2441 Munger Street at the corner of Third Ward and East End, is operated by The Orange Show Center For Visionary Art – the same organization behind the Art Car Parade and Beer Can House. As such, Smither is embedded with the same quirky and endearing community-driven artistic flair.

53. Let Those Butterflies In Your Stomach Out

Enter a stunning, three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot waterfall. This simulated tropical rain forest is filled with exotic plants and thousands of live butterflies. As you walk through the three-story glass rain forest at your own pace, feast your eyes on a rainbow of color provided by the thousands of live, fluttering butterflies and exotic flowering plant species.

54. Take A Ride In A Supercar

Live the dream and drive a Cobra on a Racetrack with a professional racing instructor by your side! This program includes full instruction and all equipment needed for you to have a great time and check this experience off your bucket list!

55. Nosh On Crepes While You Get Your Car Washed

Need something to hold you over while you get your car waxed? Look no further than Drip Coffee Cafe, a one-of-a-kind carwash on Richmond Ave in the Heights that doubles as a kitchen and cafe.

56. Crush Kolaches

Like breakfast tacos, kolaches are synonymous with breakfast in Texas. Savory, comfortable, portable – perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, or bought-by-the-dozen hangover cure. Unlike similar handheld breakfast staples such as donuts, bagels, and croissants, it’s not so easy finding kolaches outside of Texas. We’d probably travel more if you could, but for now, we’ll stay here in Houston with our favorite comfort breakfast food on the go.

57. Cool Off at Texas’s Great Swimming Holes

Put on your bathing suit, get your towel, grab some sunscreen, then grab some more sunscreen before heading out to these gorgeous and refreshing natural swimming spots for the ultimate Texas summer experience.

58. Drink Endless Margs on a Buffalo Bayou Party Barge

What could be better than floating the Buffalo Bayou? Floating the Bayou with a buzz, of course. Cuchara is bringing back their Xochimilco boat tour: a booze cruise that serves ceviche, party favors, and all the margaritas you can drink.

59. Venture Down To Candyland

Have you always fantasized about scoring that golden ticket to explore a candy haven? Then we’ve got great news for you! Candytopia will be coming to Houston very soon. Explore this magical and imaginative wonderland with their one-of-a-kind full sensory experience.

60. Channel Your Rage. Yoga Style

Rage Yoga in Houston is an alternative take on the centuries-old tradition that is extending across the continent. This badass practice gives yogis the opportunity to find serenity through explicit expression (that’s yelling and swearing) and sensuous intoxication (having a beer afterwards).