Houston Insider Tips

Act Like a Local: Five Things to Do in Houston this Summer

Written by Vicki Powers

Folks new to Houston might not understand just how the humidity works in our city. And the first time you experience summer in Houston – well, let's just say it's always memorable, whether it relates to a tropical storm, flood or intense heat.

But don't despair. There are plenty of things to do in Houston and experience summer like a local. Here are five ideas for ways to spend your summer days in Houston.

Take A Houston Brewery Tour

Houston is home to more than 25 local breweries, which is great for beer lovers! Go behind-the-scenes and take a tour at a brewery near you! Here are a few that might be of interest:

No Label Brewing Co.

Folks out west love having a brewery in Katy situated in an old rice silo. This brewery offers Saturday tours, noon – 3pm, for $10 including 4 beers. Arrive after 2 pm and get just two beers!

Karbach Brewing Co.

Recently purchased by Anheuser-Busch, Karbach offers free tours seven days a week during specific hours. Closed toe shoes are required so be prepared for that! Tours are first-come, first-served with no reservations.

8th Wonder Brewery

Check out this EaDo brewery during weekday tours Monday through Friday at 7 pm. Their outdoor patio is dog-friendly!

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

This Heights area brewery offers tours during Friday happy hours and during Saturday Open House, noon – 3 pm. $10 gets you samples of all draught beer as well as sneak peek of experimental beer.

Saint Arnold Brewing Co.

Texas' oldest craft brewery offers tours six days a week. Weekday tours are free (1 pm, 3 pm) while Saturday tours are $10 and include four 8oz. samples (noon, 1 pm, 2 pm). The Beer Hall is a bustling place on Saturdays. It's fun to see folks bring games, snacks and picnic blankets or chairs to hang out with friends.

Be Cultured at Houston Shakespeare Festival

Even though this is outdoors, who doesn't want to see Shakespeare for free? Shakespeare in the park returns each summer to Miller Outdoor Theatre. This year's performances feature Twelfth Night and Richard III on alternating evenings July 28-August 6 (except July 31). These classic Shakespeare plays delight audiences young and old. One of many free Houston events, it's a great way to introduce your family to Shakespeare! Head out early with a blanket and picnic and snag a spot on the hillside.

Free reserved, covered seat tickets are available each performance day from 10:30 am – 1 pm at Miller Outdoor box office located at 6000 Hermann Park Dr. Houston Shakespeare Festival by University of Houston has attracted nearly 500,000 Houstonians to free performances since 1975.

Picture courtesy of The Silos at Sawyer Yards

Houston Culture: Visit Locals Artists 

Houston is home to Washington Avenue Arts District, which is believed to be the largest concentration of working artists in the country with more than 250 working studios. The Silos on Sawyer (1502 Sawyer St.) is right in the heart of this area and features summer events perfect for local arts lovers. One big event, July 28, is the Summer Series Art Stroll & Sale, 5 pm – 9 pm. It's a perfect combination of great local art from hundreds of artists, music and refreshing cocktails in four participating studio buildings: The Silos on Sawyer, Silver Street, Summer Street Studios, and Winter Street Studios. Better yet? It's free to attend!

Picture courtesy of Vicki Powers

Stay Cool at the Houston Zoo 

Fridays are even more special this summer at Houston Zoo with Cool Nights, through August 11. The Zoo stays open till 8:30 pm (last entry at 7:30 pm) with new weekly themes. And stick around even longer for a movie on the jumbo screen. Outdoor movie night is August 11 featuring Batman LEGO Movie. The Zoo also offers a $4 savings every day when you arrive after 4 pm, as part of its Chill Out at the Houston Zoo promotion. This is valid through September 4.

Catch a Movie Inside a Houston Museum

Skip the typical movie theaters and visit Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) for special movie presentations. Its Giant Screen Theater (60 ft. x 80 ft.) offers 3D documentaries with captivating video. It's also is home to Take Two, a variety of throwback classics this summer for only $5. One cool benefit is the Q&A after the film with museum curators and staff.

  • July 14 – Top Gun
  • July 28 – Titanic
  • August 4 – The Princess Bride
  • August 18 – Captain America: Civil War

If these ideas aren't enough, other things to do this summer include free salsa dance lessons each Friday outside Downtown Aquarium, outdoor movies at 13 different venues (like La La Land at Miller Outdoor August 17) and Blanket Bingo at Market Square Park the 3rd Thursday all summer. It's a competitive evening vying for prizes in the beautiful downtown park! From movies to museums and local brewery tours, explore Houston like a local this summer.

Featured photo courtesy of Vicki Powers

About the author

Vicki Powers

Vicki Powers, formerly of Houston on the Cheap, is a native Texan and freelance journalist. She loves helping Houstonians learn how to live in a big city without spending big bucks.

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