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Summer in the City

by Victoria Reid    May 18, 2021

What to do in DowntownHOU

Summer is synonymous with music festivals and outdoor activities, and Downtown is officially open for business (aka fun). With vaccines increasing and restrictions decreasing, it’s time to slather on the sunscreen, go outside and get back to the summer festivities you know and love!

The end of the school year probably has you thinking, “What can I do with the kids?” Bring them Downtown, of course! First stop: Discovery Green. From Kinder Lake to the Art Cars, this award-winning greenspace has plenty of entertaining options for the little ones. The newly opened John P. McGovern Playground offers double the space to play for kids of all ages. For the tiny tots, the Mendez Play Space encourages fitness and creativity with nearly 15 pieces of equipment to explore. Older kids [ages 5 to 12] can head to the interactive Gateway Fountain for a ropes course. Anyone up for a challenge?!

The George R. Brown Convention Center is offering more than AC this summer. Swing open the doors and step into the land of Dr. Seuss! One of the most exciting events of the season, The Dr. Seuss Experience, invites you to immerse yourself in the wacky, whimsical world of this beloved children’s book author. The sensory spectacle takes you on an adventure through nine different worlds from Seuss’s most popular books. Swing amongst Truffula Trees from The Lorax, stroll through the towering clovers from Horton Hears a Who! or join the Circus McGurkus! Whether you’re five or 35, this is one event you don’t want to miss.

If you’re still not keen on the idea of boarding an airplane or just looking for a break from the same old routine, why not venture Downtown for a staycation? Spend Memorial Day weekend snoozing on luxurious sheets and lounging poolside at the Marriott Marquis; leave the kiddos at Grandma’s and have a Couple’s Getaway with your S.O. at C. Baldwin; or crash at The SAM after supporting the ‘Stros!

No matter the weekend you’re dreaming of, Downtown’s hospitality community is ready to make it come true.

Like the rest of the world, the lack of live music left us reeling. Thankfully, those days are behind us because live music is back! One must-attend event? Road to River Revival at Market Square Park. Brought to you in partnership with Splice Records and Saint Arnold Brewing Company, this monthly series counts down to the annual River Revival Music Fest by showcasing some of the hottest regional talents. Plan to post up on the lawn at Market Square Park on the second Saturday of each month [May through August].

Discovery Green is giving you even more opportunities to groove to some tunes. Their Friday Night Concert series kicks off June 25 at 7:30 with a performance by Say Girl Say and continues through August. Currently, their epic lineup includes Bayou City Funk and Swimwear Department.

Sports aren’t the only thing taking over stadiums this season. DTHOU will welcome Green Day, Fall Out Boy & Weezer [July 29] and Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison & Joan Jett [Aug 17] will all rock Minute Maid Park, while Justin Bieber [Aug 5] and Tame Impala [Aug 12] are scheduled to pack the home of the Rockets. Did you buy your tickets yet?

From the minds that brought you The Commoner and Boulevardier comes Cherry Bar, a glam-rock space bringing back the ‘80s. With a zebra print floor, neon signs and icons of the decade adorning every wall, this brand-new bar is ready and waiting for you to unleash your inner Madonna. We can see it already: You — all teased hair and acid-wash denim — sipping on a Raspberry Beret, or balling out with Jane Fonda warm-ups (aka bottle service) while belting out the lyrics to “Let’s Go Crazy” under the unicorn mirror ball. We’ll meet you on the dance floor!

The dog days of summer are here, and they always call for an ice-cold treat. From gelato and root beer floats to Saint Arnold’s Superfine seltzers — our fave is Mimosa Morning — there’s no shortage of cooling options in this 1.84 sq. mile district. Our suggestion? Pop into MKT Bar for their creamy Italian ice cream, then find a shady spot to enjoy!

For those without a sweet tooth, nothing is as refreshing as sipping a cold drink while taking in the view. Snagging a seat on your favorite patio or taking advantage of the drink specials at Downtown’s must-hit happy hours are two of the best ways to beat the heat.

Ever wondered what that huge contraption carrying a group of pedaling people is? It’s the Bike Bar! Get your “fitness” on with friends and pedal to the metal bar in this two-hour tour. The fun starts in EaDo where you’ll make your way to your choice of three watering holes in the Downtown area.

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