Category : Holidays

4 Fun Ways to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Houston


When Fall arrives in H-town, that means three things: football season has begun, school is in session, and Oktoberfest is near. While the annual festival in Munich is in full swing, you don’t have to fly to Germany to participate. In fact, there are several of these distinctly German parties right here in Texas, so check out these events celebrating Oktoberfest in Houston.

Oktoberfest Houston
Started in 2011, Oktoberfest Houston is now an eagerly-anticipated annual event that celebrates both German and Texas culture. You can wear a dirndl, drink authentic German beer and dance to polka music, and also put on your cowboy boots and drink local craft brews. You can also compete in Olympiad games including the Stein Race, Barrel Roll, Stein Hoisting, and the Legendary Brat Toss. It’s all taking place September 29 at The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park.


King’s Oktoberfest
King’s Oktoberfest is so big it needs two weekends. The bierhaus has two locations, so why not visit both? Attendance on October 7th and October 21st gets you a raffle to win a trip for two to the real deal – the winners fly to Munich for Oktoberfest in 2019. Entertainment includes adult carnival games, arm wrestling, and a Bavarian strongman competition. Winners of the bier pong tournament will get $500 cash, which will buy a whole lot of beer.


Texas Renaissance Festival
A ren faire doesn’t automatically say Oktoberfest, unless it’s the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission. Take a day trip September 29 or October 1 and you’ll say Huzzah! to Old Bavaria at this themed weekend. They’ll have polka music, brats, and strudel. Dust off your lederhosen before you go and you can compete in the costume contest.


Saint Arnold Oktoberfest
Party in a classic German-style beer hall at the Saint Arnold Oktoberfest on October 6th and 7th. Named after the patron saint of brewers, this brewery is Houston’s oldest. Look the part and you could be crowned the King or Queen. They’ll have their full line-up of beers poured in a commemorative glass boot as well as a special German dinner.



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We Take the Work Out of Your Labor Day Plans


Labor Day is upon us once again. Last year, the long weekend was overtaken by the disastrous Harvey, but this year we hope to have decent weather and opportunities to take advantage of all Houston has to offer. On a Labor Day weekend, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do, but we’ve taken the guesswork out of where to spend each day.

Friday

Start things off Friday evening with an outdoor showing of Disney’s The Jungle Book on the lawn at Levy Park in Upper Kirby. Bring a blanket to sit on and your appetite, because there will be beer, wine, and food available to buy. If movies aren’t your thing, you can hit up CityCentre for a concert and fireworks show. Catch Fleetwood Mac cover band Nightbird, followed by a fireworks extravaganza. The event is free, but you may have to pay for parking.


Saturday

Sleep in! You’ve earned it! Then at 11 am, grab your dog and head to The Dogwood on Bagby street for a BYOD (bring your own dog) kickoff to the college football season. Catch the action as the University of Houston takes on crosstown rivals Rice University in the Bayou Bucket Classic. Don’t have a dog? That’s ok. You can still enjoy the game and play with others’ pups! For those allergic to dogs, check out the giant backyard barbecue at the George Ranch House, complete with 1930s music and games. For dinner, take advantage of the end of Houston Restaurants Weeks and try out a new place you’ve been dying to try!


Sunday

Start out your Sunday at one of the many Farmers’ Markets available. You can stock up on quality produce for the week and maybe pick up something fun for the home! Then, starting at 2 pm, enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Islands at the Taste of the Caribbean Festival. You can take in the reggae concerts while munching on jerk chicken and curry, celebrating the vibrant culture of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, and more.

Monday

Finally, the day itself is here: Labor Day. There will doubtless be picnics galore to attend at the homes of co-workers, friends, family, and everyone else. But for those who prefer to make new friends, there are some fun options for you. Monday would be a great day to take advantage of Houston’s beautiful hiking trails. Go out and get a big dose of nature! Or if you want to just relax, treat yourself to a spa day at The Hammam Spa. You’ll feel like a new person after a luxurious day of pampering.

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I took my mom to a Hammam Spa today. The first time I experienced a Moroccan bath was in Dubai, and I loved every minute of it. You start by sitting in a sauna / steam room to open up the pores, then the masseuse applies Moroccan black soap onto your skin and scrubs every ounce of dead skin off your body. You’ll be shocked at how much skin you will shed to reveal a smooth, bright complexion! Most people at traditional hammams will be fully nude (gender separated, of course) although many spas offer underwear for those preferring to cover up. We followed the Moroccan bath with a deep tissue massage 💆🏽‍♀️ It’s a wonderful experience, and I’m so excited that there is one in Houston!

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And that’s it! You’ve reached the end of your long weekend. Tomorrow, the real world comes back. But you’ll always have your memories!

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New Year’s Resolutions: Places in Houston

It’s a new dawn, a new day, and a new year… now that you’ve rung in New Year’s Eve in Houston with us, it’s time to make your list of New Year’s resolutions. And boy, are we glad you’ve visited the blog today because we’ve got some additions to that list for you.

  • In this week’s blog, the first of 2018, we’re listing out a few of our top places that you absolutely MUST put on your New Year resolutions list – places that you have to resolve to visit here in Houston this year.
  • Rienzi Museum of Fine Arts. This converted mansion from the 1950s has been renovated into a museum, and the tours, creativity, and inspiration on hand will have you positively inspired for the rest of 2018. We recommend going ASAP!
  • Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. With a stunning 64-foot-tall fountain at its center, not to mention 11,000 gallons of water circulating every minute, this attraction is the perfect park to take pictures of for the Instagram highlight reel.  
  • Big Bubble. You’ve heard about this classic not-so-secret Houston anomaly. Visiting the Preston Street Bridge (not to mention its stunning architecture) will have you excited to find the little red button and watch the results in the river below. The treasure hunt is on!
  • The Cockrell Butterfly Center. Who doesn’t love butterflies? These pleasant creatures inhabit a wondrous park that transports you into another environment entirely. Spot your favorite colors and species here, and take some pics to share with us!
  • Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. Speaking of nature, this tranquil spot has acres of trails and plenty of beautiful sites for you to relax. Explored it before? Well maybe try it again differently this year – after all, it’s a new year, and a perfect time to meet up with a new friend… or better yet plan a date day here with that special someone!
  • The Health Museum. Fascinating science exhibits make a visit to this museum not just intriguing and fun, but you’ll feel as if you spent your time productively, educating yourself on things about biology and life science that you never knew before. What’s not to love?!

Did we miss one of your favorite spots in Houston? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to feature it in a later spotlight on our blog or social media. Cheers to 2018!

The Best Houston Christmas Shopping

It’s getting down to the wire…. You know what we’re talking about! The Christmas shopping rush is far from over, though the days are getting shorter and the time is closing in on us all. When it comes to holiday shopping, it always seems that there’s obligation attached to the season – and that makes visiting the shops and malls and stores around Houston no fun at all. However, we here at Alta City West have a bit of a different perspective. We think holiday shopping should be a joy – especially when shopping at local spots here in Houston. Boutiques, local businesses, neighborhood vendors, and places all over our city are celebrating the season, so let’s get in on that. Here are some of our favorite places on our shopping list this Christmas season. Check that list twice before checking out!
  • The Galleria. With local vendors and large shopping outlets alike, this is your one-stop-shop in our area for completing your holiday shopping list. Whether you’re looking for cool style, quirky fashion, health and beauty products, or even gift cards, you’ve got somewhere to shop for someone you love.
  • French Cuff Boutique and Karma Couture Boutique, two of our favorite clothing boutiques have many options for the fashion icons in your life. From accessories to main eye-catchers, you’ll find something “fitting” for the season. See what we did there?
  • The Monogram Shop is one of the premier places in this area to get personalized gifts with a local touch. Engravings, thoughtful gifts, and individual, personalized knick-knacks for friends and family in your life have never looked this good. And this holiday season, the people you’re buying for are sure to feel loved. Isn’t it great what you find when you shop local?!
Did we miss a spot you love? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to stop by before the holiday rush is completely over… and then we’ll post about it, too! Happy holidays, family and friends!

Photo Blog: Holiday Lights in Houston

2017 has been quite a year for our city of Houston. We’ve seen highs and lows, and we’ve persevered through it all together. As the year begins to come to a close, we’re reminiscing on all we love about living in Houston, and we thought it would be a good time to spotlight our city from a few different angles for our next blog here at Alta City West. This week, our photo blog is showcasing ten of our favorite shots of the gorgeous Houston skyline. What a beautiful city we live in… so let’s take a moment to reflect on its beauty amidst the hustle and bustle of this busy holiday season. Have your own pic or two of our photogenic skyline of Houston? We here want to see it, so share it with us! Snap!  

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Celebrating Thanksgiving in Houston

Ah, Thanksgiving is upon us, and we couldn’t be any more excited about it. There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned, family-style dinner – Texas-sized, of course! Watching the parade together in the morning, smelling that turkey cooking throughout the day, and celebrating with family and friends over the afternoon… and don’t forget the pie, either! Here are just a few ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Houston with your loved ones this year. Try not to eat too much!
  • Watch the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade… in person! The largest Thanksgiving event in Houston takes place downtown, and the weather is slated to be perfect. So grab a few friends and family members, and be sure to arrive early to get a good spot. Bonus for sticking around to spot Santa!
  • Host a “friends-giving” feast! Who doesn’t love a good potluck turkey dinner?! Assign a few of your loved ones to bring the stuffing, the pumpkin pie, and the cranberry sauce, and host your Thanksgiving dinner feast comfortably at home in Alta City West.
  • Volunteer to feed others. Houston’s own Annual Thanksgiving Big Super Feast is one of the best events of the year to spread the joy and thankfulness to those who may not be feeling it this time of year. Tis the season to get involved with a charity.
  • Dine out with friends… When all else fails, West Houston’s got plenty of restaurants around our neighborhood here that are featuring dinner deals. Never fear! If you’ve burned that turkey, you can still have the chance to stuff your face!
How are you spending your Thanksgiving this year? Share photos of your plans and celebrations with us, and we may highlight them on a future blog or social media post. After all, we in Houston are famous for a community that feels like family… and that’s you, too! There’s no place like home on Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!

Fall Activities In and Around Houston

Fall is in the air, pumpkin spice lattes are in hands everywhere, and the smell of apple cider and hot chocolate makes taste buds water (well, at least ours do)! This October, there’s so much to do around Houston to celebrate fall, so we didn’t want to let another week go by without highlighting some fun activities to do and ways to partake.

For this week’s blog, we’re giving you a few can’t-miss opportunities to show your fall pride. Let us know which of these are your favorite… or if we’ve missed any, of course!

  • Enjoy the pumpkin patch at Blessington Farms, where you can pick your own pumpkins in true harvest style, and also enjoy the Farm Funland with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like a fall tradition like a corn maze, not to mention some delicious fall flavors that you can buy fresh and local. Dewberry Farm nearby also has some fantastic (and delicious) homegrown options.
  • Hit the Haunted Trails for a spooky good time right here in Houston, where you can explore a haunted house, work your way through an eerie hayride, and explore the history and lore behind some of Houston’s spookiest secrets.
  • Make some autumn decor, and take some fall pictures for a photo shoot. Whether you’re dressing your place up for the season, or you’re getting yourself decked out in costume for Halloween, fall is the perfect time for some new photos – get your groove on and spice it up in (fall) style.
  • The Annual Fall Fest weekend takes place on October 22nd this year – don’t miss out on fun celebrations, attractions, and local favorites for all ages. It’s a Houston tradition, and one you won’t want to miss out on!

Whether this is your first time celebrating the harvest season in Texas, or you are used to autumn festivities year after year, you don’t want to miss out on the fun. Join in, and share with us how you’re celebrating the fall. We at Alta City West want to hear all about it… we may even feature you on our social media. Happy fall-ing!

Photo Blog: Fall Around Houston

September is winding down, and now that fall is in the air, we’re taking some time to enjoy it. Here around Houston, we may be used to the Texas weather, but that doesn’t mean we’re immune to the joys of fall. From pumpkin patches to harvest festivals, Halloween costumes to hayrides and apple crisp, we love it all!

For this week’s photo blog, we’re spreading some of the autumn joy around this part of Houston. We at Alta City West love experiencing fall in all its delight, even if we don’t get the foliage and cool, crisp air that normally comes with the season. Share your favorite fall pics with us, too – we may just feature you on an upcoming blog or social media post! 🙂

Labor Day Weekend in Houston

Labor Day weekend will quickly be upon us – and who doesn’t love a long weekend to relax and get away for a little while? Of course, by “getaway,” we mean a stay-cation right here in our wonderful city of Houston. After all, there’s plenty to do for the long weekend, and we at Alta City West are happy to share some of our favorite thoughts for the long weekend.

This week’s blog features just a few of our favorite upcoming things to celebrate at the end of this month. Take a look at the list, and see if we missed any.

    • A dinner cruise. If you’re staying local, there are a few different local parties taking place on the coast that are perfect for two (or more). Take a date, bring a few friends, or get the family together. A day out on the water is perfect relaxation for a long weekend!
    • Attend a party. Have you checked Eventbrite’s website? There are lots of events that will be happening around the Houston area that will guarantee a Labor Day weekend spent in style. Just be sure to plan ahead for a designated driver or the Lyft/Uber apps!
    • Houston Restaurant Weeks is going on around the city. This is the perfect time to eat at that restaurant you’ve been dying to try, and you’ll be able to do so at a fraction of the price. Just be sure to make a reservation, since it may get crowded.
    • A concert, a baseball game, a community event? There are lots going on, at Minute Maid Park, Houston Symphony, Discovery Green, and beyond. Check the website calendars for your favorite venue, and be sure to get tickets in advance.
    • BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival is happening over Labor Day weekend. If you haven’t been to Moody Gardens, now’s the perfect time to head over and enjoy your favorite local craft brew or two. Bottoms up!
    • Traders Village is hosting a Rock & Pop Tribute Festival over the long weekend… it’s the perfect time to enjoy some classic tunes from your favorite cover band (and enjoy some delicious food and drinks while you’re at it).

Did we miss an event or idea for the long weekend? Perhaps you’re leaving the city for a little getaway? Whatever you’re doing for Labor Day, enjoy the days off, plan to relax, have an adventure, and have fun with people you love. Share your Labor Day plans with us, and we may feature them on our social media pages, too – cheers!