Category : Houston Entertainment

Fun and Free Labor Day in Houston

If you’re like most Americans you will be celebrating this Labor Day with a day off of work! Although summer doesn’t officially end until mid September, for many, Labor Day culturally signifies the end of summer and is a final shebang before school or other fall activities begin.

There’s plenty to do on Labor Day in Houston and some of those activities are easy on the wallet!

Enjoy a free boat ride at the Port of Houston’s free public boat tour. Begin the tour from Sam Houston Pavilion and seated on an open-air deck with padded lounge chairs, take in the views of Houston’s port and surrounding area as you travel through the Houston Ship Channel, a 52-mile, man-made wonder that connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Port of Houston, some things you take site of on the trip include Seagulls, Cormorants, Brown Pelicans and… trash.

The tour is closed Monday and Tuesday and the passage must be booked 24 hours in advance.

At the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, you can enjoy artistic performances from ballet, musical theater, children plays, and acrobatics. Have a picnic on the lawn infant of the stage and enjoy snacks while lounging on your blanket. Looking for something special? The full event calendar can be found on their website.

If Labor Day is synonymous with parks for you, Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park is the perfect space to run, play, or lounge as there is 125 acres of green space to explore.  Buffalo Bayou has 52 miles of waterway to create a beautiful scene-scape. There are also hiking and biking trails for the active and adventurous souls.

What are your fun and free activities in Houston? Let us know and we’ll feature your feedback in our next article!

Top Places to Cool Down in Houston

When the weather gets warm in Houston, residents take refuge in cooler locations around the city.

We’ve compiled the top three places to cool down in Houston when the weather gets warm.

The Gateway Fountain in Discovery Green is a space for children to cool down as they splash in the jets that spring from the granite floor. Rising as high as 14 feet children enjoy playing in the foutain year round, but it’s a more popular destination in the summer months. The fountain is open on Mondays from noon – 7 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Also at Discovery Green is kayaking and paddle boarding on Lake Kinder. Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented on site. Also available are $5 kayak rides! Paddle boards rent out for $10 for 20 minutes of paddle time. Discovery Green tells us to wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet and they will provide the life jackets!

Make sure to leave your pets at home!

Those who want to stay near the water but still get some exercise in and rent pedal boats at Hermann Park Conservancy. They’re open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The cost of a boat rental is $10 for a 30 session and up to four riders can fit in a boat. Life vests are provided and mandatory!

When not on the water, guests can enjoy all day train rides for $6.50 and a stroll in the Japanese Gardens.

On a hot summer day, you can take the kids to Nottingham Park! The kids can get wet and play in the splash pad and parents can rest under the shade nearby. Also in view of the shaded rest area is a dry play ground for kids to romp around on.

Attraction and operations are subject to weather conditions.

Stay cool, Houston!

Eating in Houston on a Budget

Sometimes the work day is too long to even begin to think about prep a lunch, cook dinner, or even trek to the local grocery store. One of the best things about our beautiful city is that you don’t have to constantly worry about your wallet while thinking about your stomach! There are numerous restaurants in Houston that offer both a delicious meal and a fun experience, all while keeping your wallet filled to the brim! This week’s blog is all about eating in Houston on a budget!    
  1. Pappa’s Bar-B-Q
    This restaurant prides itself on being one of the only barbecue dives downtown, all while being a popular lunchtime destination to every Houstonian. Portions are truly Texas-sized, offering BBQ staples such as ribs, chicken, baked potatoes and baked beans. Make sure you come with a massive appetite, and be sure to ask for extra napkins!    
  1. Asia Market
    Just on the fringe of the Heights, Asia Market is not only both a market and restaurant, it’s one of the best, but also the most authentic Thai restaurants in town. The fact that the plates are cheap and plentiful is just a bonus. We suggest trying one of their delicious curries, like the kang massaman ($7.95), a yellow curry with your choice of chicken, beef, pork or shrimp along with potatoes, onion, carrots and peanuts — each served with a bowl of incredibly fluffy white rice.        
  1. Hubcap Grill
  If you’re looking for some straight up Houstonian indulgence, then we suggest heading straight towards Hubcap Grill. Be sure to ask for some extra napkins as you order Frito Pie Burger, which is loaded with caramelized onions, chili, cheese, jalapeños, and Fritos! These burgers will only run you around $7, so you might as well also get a side of Hubcap’s fresh-cut, double-fried potatoes with spicy-mayo to top your meal off. Remember, this lunch-only spot is also cash only, so bring enough dough to go along with a giant appetite.   When you head to our favorite affordable Houston restaurants, be rest assured that your indulgence will not break the bank. These restaurants not only boast a fun atmosphere to all those who visit, they will keep both your stomach AND your wallet filled to the brim!      

Best Museums in Houston, TX

What’s a city without a little culture? And if the arts are any indicator, Houston is brimming with cultural exploits.

Home to some of the finest museums in Houston, Texas and its arts scene features a wide array of offerings, everything from modern and contemporary art, to historical and alternative pieces.

Located on a 30-acre campus, the  Menil Collection features multiple collections and is home to many special exhibitions annually. With buildings dedicated to artists Cy Twombly and Dan Flavin, and Byzantine, medieval, and ancient artifacts on display, the museum was founded by John and Dominique de Menil in 1987.

Founded in 1948, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston opened in its present location in 1972, and its two gallery spaces feature eight to 10 exhibitions annually by a mix of emerging and established artists. Exhibits are accompanied by publications, designed to present exceptional international, national, and regional art.

An alternative gem, Houston’s Art Car Museum was opened in 1998 by James and Ann Harithas, an artist and long-time supporter of the art-car movement, which is designed to emphasize personal expression and a choice of imagery or subject matter selected from popular culture. Drawing from the traditions of fine, folk, and public art, the art-car movement reflects fundamental changes in popular consciousness; art cars are subversive and represent the transformation of the vehicle from a factory-made commodity into a personal statement or expression.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science features 16 permanent exhibitions, everything from a butterflies and African wildlife, to a gem vault and a hall of paleontology. Beyond the traditional exhibits, HMNS is also home to the George Observatory (open Saturdays).

Opened in 1996, the Holocaust Museum Houston features its permanent exhibition, “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” that focuses on Holocaust survivors in the Houston area. The museum features artifacts, photographs, and films, and is also home to an original 1942 World War II railcar and a Danish recue boat, used to save more than 7,000 Jews from concentration camps. Additionally, there is also an education center that includes two classrooms areas and a research library.

On a lighter note, the Children’s Museum of Houston is home to a number of interactive exhibitions designed to stimulate young minds. With an emphasis on science, technology and culture, CMH also offers educational programs for children, helping to foster local youth, along with an outdoor water works play area.

Photo Blog: Our Favorite Houston Graffiti Art

Houston is full of art and culture and museums galore but sometimes the best art comes from the most unexpected places. Houston graffiti has become a centerpiece of the culture in HTown and it brings out a unique perspective in a surprising way. Houston graffiti is widely popular and well known for some of it’s most catchy sayings and unique branding. We’ve complied our favorites and put them together for Photo Blog: Our Favorite Houston Graffiti Art.

Houston Mural
This local favorite has become a hot spot for photography as it encompasses the beauty and feel of HTown. Photo via Instagram user we.art.as.one.
Technology Art
Combining traditional art and new age graffiti, this piece is a new Houston favorite. Photo via Instagram user scenesaver.
Be Someone
Possibly one of the most well known and widely popular pieces in Houston, the Be Someone graffiti has become a Houston trademark. Photo via Instagram user hi_haterz2015.
Next time you’re out and about in West Houston, snap a picture of your favorite graffiti, Alta City West! One of the beautiful things about the HTown graffiti is you don’t know how long it will be around for. So remember it how you love it and share the beauty of Houston’s graffiti.

Photo Blog: Texas Rodeo Season

It’s a once a year, month long spectacle that Texans anxiously anticipate every year. Outsiders looking in can’t understand the pride Texas feels during Rodeo Season. The food, the lights, and the thrill of cowboys riding their horses in the ring is enough to make any Texan excited. Rodeo season is a time to be celebrated and commemorated and we here at Alta City West want to help you get into mentality with a Photo Blog of Texas Rodeo Season. Saddle up Houston, it’s about to get rowdy.

It’s not all bucking bulls and wild horses at the rodeo. It’s good old fashioned Texas horse love too! Photo from RodeoHouston Facebook Page.

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That moment the lights start up before the first day of rodeo is one of the best feelings for any Texan. Photo from RodeoHouston Facebook Page.

Sure, there’s lots else that goes on at the rodeo but everyones personal favorite? The bull riding. Photo from RodeoHouston Facebook Page.

We hope these photos got you fired up and in the rodeo spirit because it’s right around the corner and you need to get your cowboy boots on and get back up on that horse! Yee-haw, Houston!

Ringing In 2016 In Houston

A new year means a new start here in Houston and to have a successful 2016 you need to end 2015 and start 2016 in the best way possible! Houston is making sure to not drop the ball this year and has planned events to make sure this is your best New Year’s ever! You can head out for a night out on the town or you can kick it at home and pop champagne. The great thing about New Year’s is that it sets the tone for a whole year of fun in Houston and you get to decide exactly how you want to do that. Alta City West wants to loop you in on the fun and let you know some of the best ways you can spend ringing in 2016 in Houston and West Houston.

Magical Winter Lights

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When we think New Year’s we think lights and sparkle. That’s why the Magical Winter Lights at The Sam Houston Race Park is one of the perfect ways to start 2016 off with a bang. Walk around with friends and take in the beautiful light displays before you head out to watch the ball drop and countdown the end of 2015! Photo from MagicalWinterLights.com

Prohibition Supperclub & Bar

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If you’re looking to get transported back in time instead of moving forward into the new year then we recommend heading to the Prohibition Supperclub & Bar for a little speakeasy fun. Between the flappers and performances dating back to the 1930’s you won’t even remember that it’s about to be 2016! Photo from HoustonPress.com

Alta City West

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What better way to ring in the New Year than right here in the comfort of your own home. At Alta City West you can hang out in the clubhouse with some friends and watch the ball drop or you can just sit back and relax in your apartment, because no matter what you do it’s going to be a good time. After the ball drops you can head out in West Houston to meet up with some friends for a drink!

All in all we hope that you have the best New Year’s ever, no matter what you do. We here at Alta City West think that whatever you do on New Year’s is going to set the tone for your year which is why we want to provide you with the best options so you have an amazing 2016. Between heading out and seeing all that West Houston has to offer, or staying low-key and watching the ball drop at home we know you can always count on Houston to be the best city to start a new year in!

Ice Skating in Houston

We get it, living in Houston it’s easy to forget how cold states celebrate winter. Between missing out on snowfall, not having to bundle up and having no need to warm up by a fire sometimes we forget how festive winter activities make us feel. Luckily for us, Houston loves to ice skate. Ice skating is one of our all time favorite activities to get us in the holiday spirit and there’s plenty of places to choose from in West Houston and the Houston greater area. Alta City West wants to make sure you have a very merry holiday season despite living in a warmer climate. Lace up your skates and get ready to fly Houston, here are a few choices to go Ice Skating in Houston.

Ice at The Galleria
Ice At The Galleria
Poor weather in Houston? No problem for Ice at The Galleria. Situated indoors and around a massive Christmas tree, this rink is there for you no matter what and will get you right into the holiday spirit! Photo from Yelp user Madryan A. 
The Ice at Discovery Green
The Ice At Discovery Green
You can get your skate on outdoors in Houston too at Discovery Green with this Ice Rink situated right into a park setting. At night, all lit up with Christmas lights, you won’t even remember that you’re not in the heart of snow country soaking in the festive spirit! Photo from Yelp user Mike G.
Ice Skate USA
Ice Skate USA
Ice Skate USA is another indoor rink and luckily for us this one is open year round in Houston, so you don’t need to be rushed to get your skating in by the end of the holiday season! Photo from Ice Skate USA  Yelp.
Don’t catch the warm weather bug this year Houston! We encourage you to head out and try winter activities to get you into the holiday spirit and HTown just loves to feature Ice Skating. Grab a friend and drag out your old skates, the race is on!

The Best Houston Instagram Accounts to Follow

Houston is such a beautiful city with so much art, food and scenery. The only problem? There’s no way you can see and try it all in a quick amount of time. Well we’re here to save you the hassle. Social media is a wonderful tool and today Alta City West is going to tell you how to use social media to view all that Houston has to offer without even leaving the comfort of your home. We’ve put together our favorites and made The Best Houston Instagram Accounts to Follow so that you can see it all and then this weekend head to check out some of your favorites!

The Artsy Instagram Account

HouTxGrown

One of the coolest things about Houston that we don’t get to see nearly enough of is its graffiti. So it’s a good thing that @houtxgrown is here to spotlight their favorite graffiti on their Instagram account for all to see. You get it all in one place without having to travel all the streets looking for your favorites. (Photo courtesy of @houtxgrown Instagram).

The Foodie Instagram Account

HungerHouston

We get it. There’s only room enough in your stomach for so much every day and there’s no way you can try all of Houston’s amazing food joints before a new one pops up. But don’t worry because @HungerHouston is here to try it all for you and show you their favorites. Next time you need some food inspiration head over to their page and decide your next meal (Photo courtesy of @HungerHouston).

The View Instagram Account

HoustonCity

Houston is notoriously known for having some of the most beautiful scenery and buildings in the nation. There’s always some new way to view the city and some cool shots of different areas of the city. @HoustonCity has a great way of catching the city in a new point of view and making you wish you could see the city every which way. (Photo courtesy of @HoustonCity).

With Houston being such a lively and fun city it’s hard to keep up with all that’s going on. The best way to control it all is give a few Instagram accounts a follow and keep up even when you’re busy. Then, when you’re not busy you know exactly what to go check out without having to do much research! Go ahead Houston, push follow. You won’t regret it!

Photo Blog: Houston’s Most Haunted

It’s official, one of our top 12 favorite months has arrived! October is a time for scaring and ghoulish activities to commence and we cannot be more excited for the countdown to Halloween. We’re going to fill up on candy, watch as many scary movies as possible, and start full out decorating with pumpkins and cobwebs. But before our favorite holiday arrives and we throw on our costumes, Alta City West thinks we need to share the greatness that is the haunted Houston scene. You may not know it but chances are you pass a notoriously haunted area in Houston everyday. With some even located right by in West Houston, there has never been a better time to go out and get a little spooked in Houston. Alta City West wants to make sure you get the best of the best out of your scare experience and with that we give to you Photo Blog: Houston’s Most Haunted. Go forth and be scared Houston.

2309 Wichita Street

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A Gothic themed house that the owner worked on for over 30 years until he passed away. Now it’s empty and spooky and some of the stairways don’t lead anywhere. Happy Halloween. (Photo from: Swamplot.com)

Jefferson Davis Hospital

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It is the trifecta of scary: built on a cemetery, was a hospital, and is now abandoned and boarded up. It’s recently been renovated and turned into artists lofts, but that doesn’t stop the scary antics that ensue at night! (Photo from: Hauntedia.com)

Martha Chapel Cemetery

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We’re a little scared to even write about this one, we don’t want this juju in our lives. But still we must go on. Martha Chapel Cemetery has cemented its title as one of Houston’s most haunted places not only for the endless paranormal activities that go on at all hours of the day but on top of that it sits at the end of a road that locals call ‘Demon Road’. No, we’re not kidding. (Photo from: Hauntedia.com)

If you’re sitting at home and wondering “Where can I go in Houston to get really scared this Halloween season?” (We don’t know why you would be doing that, but to each their own) Alta City West is here to provide you with a decent starting point of where you can go get the full ghost experience.