February

BROWNSVILLE: Jan. 1-March 16 Walking Tours Knowledgeable docents conduct walking tours around the zoo, during which they tell a wide range of stories from the history of the zoo to animal anecdotes. Gladys Porter Zoo, 500 Ringold St. 956- 546-7187; gpz.org

BROWNSVILLE: February 2 Living History. Palo Alto Battlefield NHP provides living history programs as a unique learning experience. Chat with living historians and listen to stories about the battle of Palo Alto and the U.S.-Mexican War. Programs include live musket and artillery demonstrations. Weapons demonstrations are dependent upon weather. The park is located at 7200 Paredes Line Road, Brownsville, TX. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. https://www.nps.gov/paal/index.htm 956-541-2785

CLUTE: Feb. 1-3, 8-10 “Smokey Joe’s Café” See this musical revue showcasing 39 pop standards, including rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues songs written by song- writers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Center for the Arts and Sciences, 400 College Blvd. 979-265-7661; brazosportcenter.org

CLUTE: Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26 Planetarium Show The show features a 30-foot dome equipped with a projector to produce the night sky as it appears to the naked eye, together with a large variety of high-tech equipment to give a close-up feel for things like comets, exploding stars, and black holes. Center for the Arts and Sciences, 400 College Blvd. 979-265-3376; brazosportcenter.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Feb. 6 Winter Lecture Series: Nature Photography Techniques Lecturer Susan Chilcoat, executive director of Corpus Christi’s “Wildlife in Focus” competition, shares finer points and techniques of digital nature and wildlife photography. Your cameras or phones are welcome. Make some new acquaintances and have a cup of coffee at these enjoy- able morning sessions. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361- 852-2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Feb. 13 Winter Lecture Series: Adding Water Features to Your Yard Large or small fountains, ponds, streams, or pools can dazzle your landscape, adding amazing ambiance and re- laxation to your surroundings. Denise Housler of Aquaria Services in Corpus Christi shows you endless examples of water features including a new addition to the Botanical Gardens. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852- 2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Feb. 16 Class: Evaluating Backyard Greenhouse Needs
Plant collections, propagating, winter shelter? Is a backyard greenhouse a good option for you? Nueces Master Gardener Rosemary Plank explores types of back- yard greenhouses, sizes, costs, uses, heating, cooling, coverings, permitting, and home association considerations. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852-2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Feb. 20 Winter Lecture Series: Saving the Monarchs Learn about raising the beautiful State Insect of Texas, but also about O.E. (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha) Monarch disease threatening our populations. Texas Master Naturalist Rosemary Plank shares ways to keep monarchs healthy by doing the right things in your yard. Enjoy a cup of coffee and make new friends. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852- 2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Feb. 23 Class: New and Improved Crepe Myrtles for Your Yard With a surge of new and brilliantly colored Crepe Myrtle varieties available, Gill Landscape Designer Kathy Hubner shows the latest beauties and helps home owners determine which sizes, colors, and densities best suit existing landscapes. South Texas Botanical Gar- dens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852-2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Feb. 27 Winter Lecture: Container Gardens Whether you have unlimited or almost no landscape space, container gardens of any size make for attractive yard accents, patio pieces, or front porch planters. South Texas Botanical Gardens Horticulturist Carol Krank shares proven ideas to grow vegetables, perennials, succulents, herbs, or seasonal color in half-barrels, urns, or other imaginative containers. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852-2100; stxbot.org

GALVESTON: Feb. 3 “Jersey Boys”
They were just four guys from Jersey until they sang their very first notes. They had a sound nobody had ever heard. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story—a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony Award-winning true-life musical phenomenon, Jersey Boys. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765- 1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Feb. 14 “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System” When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip. But when rivalries both old and new threaten to tear the students apart, these young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting forever lost in the solar system. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765-1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Feb. 16 “50 Years of Rock and Roll” With a cast consisting of both stars from Broadway’s greatest rock musicals and incredible rock ’n’ roll singers, Neil Berg shares the often unknown stories from the 50-year history of the music that changed the world forever. The show uses fascinating stories and groundbreaking music with tributes to such important and iconic stars as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and The Eagles. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765-1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Feb. 17 Galveston Symphony Orchestra in Concert Hear the beautiful music of conductor Dr. Trond Saeverud and the Galveston Symphony Orchestra. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Post- office St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765-1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Feb. 22-24 Mardi Gras Galveston kicks off the first weekend of Mardi Gras with parades in the downtown historic district and along the seawall. It’s the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas. Historic Downtown Galveston and Seawall. mardigrasgalveston.com

HARLINGEN: Feb. 22 Harlingen Art Night Walk the streets of Historic Downtown Jackson Street every last Friday of the month for live music and open-air art galleries. Delicious food and adult beverages available. Historic Downtown Jackson, 311 E. Tyler. 956-622-5053; harlingenartnight.com

HOUSTON: Jan. 23-Feb. 10 “The River Bride” Two sisters in a Brazilian fishing village struggle to find their own happily-ever-after while bound to family honor and tradition. Brazilian folklore and lyrical storytelling combine to weave a magical tale of love, fate and transformation. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. 713-527-0123; stagestheatre.com

HOUSTON: Feb. 1-2 Houston Symphony: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert” The Houston Symphony performs the magical score live from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” while the entire film plays in high-definition on a 40-foot screen. The Harry Potter Film Concert Series is a new global concert tour celebrating the films. Jones Hall, 3910 Yoakum Blvd. 713-224-7575; houstonsymphony.org or harrypotterinconcert.com

HOUSTON: Feb. 9 Mercury Chamber Orchestra: Mozart’s Last Symphonies Join Mercury and experience the
beauty of Mozart’s final three symphonies: the marvelous No. 39, the profound No. 40, and the brilliant and ever popular No. 41, “Jupiter”—performed on period-instruments, as they would have been heard in the late 18th century. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-533-0800; mercuryhouston.org

HOUSTON: Feb. 12-13, 17-21 ReelAbilites Film and Arts Festival The festival pro- vides opportunities and exposure for people with disabilities through art, film, music, and more. Various locations. 713- 986-7808; reelabilitieshouston.org

HOUSTON: Feb. 13-March 3 “NSFW” Money, sex, and Photoshop. After Sam loses his job at “Doghouse,” a men’s magazine where the men always behave badly, he interviews at “Electra,” a glossy women’s magazine where the women objectify each other. “NSFW” (Not Safe For Work—online material that the viewer may not want to be seen accessing in a public or formal setting such as at work) is a satirical look at the cutthroat media world where jobs are scarce, beauty standards are savage, and personal integrity is a luxury. This production is for mature audiences. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. 713- 527-0123; stagestheatre.com

HOUSTON: Feb. 19-March 3 “Mamma Mia!” This raucous, hilarious musical about a wedding on a Greek island tells the sweet story of love and heartbreak. A jukebox musical featuring all the hits from ABBA, “Mamma Mia!” is the ninth longest running show on Broadway, and the longest running jukebox musical in Broadway history. Theatre Under The Stars, 800 Bagby St. 713-558-8887; tuts.com/mammamia

LAKE JACKSON: Feb. 1 War in Concert See the band perform hits from the best-selling album of 1973. The Clarion, 500 College Drive. 979-230-3156; brazosport.edu/clarion

LAKE JACKSON: Feb. 2 Abner Jackson Plantation Site Tour Visit the historic archeological site of Major Abner Jackson, the namesake of the city of Lake Jackson. Once a prosperous sugar plantation, the site was destroyed by the same hurricane that devastated Galveston. Discover the sugar-making process of the 1840s and how convict labor replaced slave labor during the 1870s. Abner Jackson Plantation Site, FM 2004. 979-297- 1570; lakejacksonmuseum.org

LAKE JACKSON: Feb. 16 Bird Banding Volunteers collect baseline data on bird populations at the sanctuary. The banding station is an excellent opportunity to see birds up close and to learn about all the birds of the Brazosport area. Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 299 W. SH 332. 979- 480-0999; gcbo.org

PALACIOS: Feb. 9 Harmonie Club Valentine Parade and Ball The parade runs through downtown Palacios and is followed by the Sweetheart Coronation Ball. Proceeds benefit scholarships and nonprofit organizations. Palacios Recreation Center, 2401 Perryman Ave. 361- 920-3339

PALACIOS: Feb. 15-17 Matagorda Bay Birdfest Join in on three fun-filled days that include professional birding tours, kayak tours, speaker sessions, book signings, vendors, a bird parade, art contest winners, kids events, and a VIP dinner. East Side Elementary Annex, 901 Second St. 956-285-3234; matagordabaybirdfest.org

PALACIOS: Feb. 16 African American Heritage Day Palacios Community Coalition presents local speakers to show contributions made and being made by the African American community of Palacios. Topics include the Historical Site Marker and Sanford Community Center. Tours may be provided upon request. City by the Sea Museum, 401 Commerce St. 310-650- 9352; citybytheseamuseum.org

PORT ARANSAS: Feb. 9 – LAMAR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT’S LAMARDI GRAS 2019 PARADE. 11:00 a.m. www.lamardigras.com. (512-791-4509)

PORT ARANSAS: Feb. 21-24 Whooping Crane Festival The whooping crane is one of the most endangered birds in the world. The festival is open to birders, photographers, families, and anyone who loves the outdoors. The festival celebrates the annual return of the cranes to their wintering habitat. Festival activities include world renowned speakers, boat tours to view the whooping cranes, interactive workshops and seminars, birding and nature boat and bus tours, a painting and wine tasting class, and a free nature-related trade show. Port Aransas Civic Center, 710 W. Ave. A. 361-749-5919; whoopingcranefestival.org

PORT ARTHUR: Feb. 16 Rotary Taste of Gumbo Experience Southeast Texas’ greatest foodie asset: Cajun gumbo. There is more gumbo than you can imagine plus music, auctions, and good times rolling in the name of college scholar- ships. Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive. 409-985- 7822; visitportarthurtx.com

PORT ARTHUR: Feb. 28-March 3 Mardi Gras Southeast Texas Celebrate four days of traditional Mardi Gras fun with parades, concerts, food, street entertainment, arts and crafts, and much more at this family-friendly event. Downtown Port Arthur, 500 Procter St. 409-540-0482; mardigras.portarthur.com

ROBSTOWN: Feb. 1-2 A Symphony of Quilts The Coastal Bend Quilt and Needle- work Guild of Corpus Christi is hosting a judged quilt show with more than 200 quilts on display (some for sale). Other highlights include vendors, a country store, a donation quilt, live and silent auctions, door prizes, and demonstrations. Richard M. Borchard Conference Center, Exhibit Hall A, 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd. 361-290- 1905; corpuschristiquilters.com

ROCKPORT: Feb. 9 Second Saturday Art Center Market Member artists exhibit and sell their works. Live music and food truck on site. Downtown Rockport, 106 S. Austin St. 361-205-5178; rockportartcenter.com

ROCKPORT: Feb. 15-17 Rockport-Fulton Market Days More than 100 vendors and live music add extra fun during the third Saturday and Sunday of the month. There are more than a dozen food trucks and food vendors, plus seating under the shade for 48 people at this pet-friendly market. The Festival Grounds at Rockport Harbor, 100 Seabreeze Drive. 361-463- 0125; rockportfultonmarketdays.com

ROSENBERG: Feb. 15-17 The Houston Glass Show and Sale and The Best Little Antique Show in Texas This annual show features dealers from across the nation selling glassware and pottery from 1880 to 1980. Two buildings are filled with top quality merchandise, and there is glass repair on site, food, and free parking. Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, 4310 SH 36 S. 713-410-4780; maxmillerantiques.com

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Jan. 31-Feb. 3 SPI Kitefest On the first weekend in February, this annual festival features an indoor kite performance along with the outdoor festival. South Padre Island Convention Centre and The North Flats, 7355 Padre Blvd. 956-761-3000; sopadre.com

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Feb. 9 South Padre Island Chili Expo (SPICE) Chili Cookoff This cook-off and fundraising event is organized by the volunteers of Walk for Women and is guaranteed fun for lovers of chili, great music, and helping a great cause. Louie’s Backyard, 2305 Laguna Blvd. 956-761-3000; spiwalkforwomen.org/spice-chili-cook-off

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: February 15 -16 37th Annual Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show – Hundreds of quilts, divided into several categories are displayed, including a 3-Dimensional Challenge. As this is a non-juried show, ribbons are awarded by popular vote. Additionally there are vendors, community service quilts, antique quilts, hourly demos, a silent action, fashion show, boutique, and door prizes. 9am – 4pm both days www.rgvqg.com 956-648-9709

STAFFORD: Feb. 16 Greater Houston Train Show This annual event attracts rail fans from across Texas and Louisiana. The show features 20,000 square feet of operating layouts, instructive classes, model and photo contests, train videos, and vendors from across the Southwest. Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road. 713-899-5127; sanjacmodeltrains.org

STAFFORD: Feb. 17 Ellie Mae’s Musicale: “A Moore Family Salon” FBSO and the Fort Bend Historical Association whisk you back in time to a musical salon given by the Moore family. Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road. 281-276-9642; fbso.org

SUGAR LAND: Feb. 8-10 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Winner of a Tony Award, this witty musical follows an eclectic group of six pubescents (played by adults) as they vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing stories from their home lives, the contestants spell their way through a series of words, hoping to never hear the soul-crushing “ding” of the bell that signals a mistake. Sugar Land Auditorium, 226 Lakeview Drive. 713-302-5329; inspirationstage.com

SUGAR LAND: Feb. 22-24 “Peter Pan Jr.” Based on the Disney film and J.M. Barrie’s enchanting play, Disney’s “Peter Pan Jr.” is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn’t grow up— with no flying required. Sugar Land Auditorium, 226 Lakeview Drive. 713-302- 5329; inspirationstage.com

SURFSIDE BEACH: Feb. 2 Surfside Marathon This is the only marathon and half marathon in the U.S. run entirely on a beach. The entire course is on the firm, smooth sand, which is great for running. Stahlman Park, 2211 CR 257. 409-539- 5150; surfsidemarathon.com

TOMBALL: Feb. 2 Narrated Glass Blowing Demonstration Houston’s only open-access studio offers free, narrated glass-blowing demos on the first Saturday of every month except August. Three Dimensional Visions—Glass Blowing Houston, 17442 FM 2920. 281-734-0366; threedimensionalvisions.com

 

January

ARANSAS PASS: Jan. 12-13 Texas Winter Market I This shopping event brings in vendors from across the state to show the best in clothing, gifts, jewelry, gourmet food, Texas handmade items, gifts for the guys, home and holiday decor, candles, accessories, and more. Aransas Pass Civic Center, 700 W. Wheeler Ave. 888-225- 3427; texasmarketguide.com

BAY CITY: Jan. 26 Wild Game and Wine Camofest The fourth annual event features wild game tastings, wine tastings, Texas craft beer, free live entertainment, vendors, downtown shopping, and free activities for kids. Historic Downtown Bay City, Sixth Street and Avenue G. 979-245- 8081; baycitycamofest.com

BROWNSVILLE: Living History January 5th. Palo Alto Battlefield NHP provides living history programs as a unique learning experience. Chat with living historians and listen to stories about the battle of Palo Alto and the U.S.-Mexican War. Programs include live musket and artillery demonstrations. Weapons demonstrations are dependent upon weather. The park is located at 7200 Paredes Line Road, Brownsville, TX. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. https://www.nps.gov/paal/index.htm 956-541-2785

BROWNSVILLE: Jan. 1-Mar. 16 Walking Tours Knowledgeable docents conduct walking tours around the zoo, during which they tell a wide range of stories from the history of the zoo to animal anecdotes. Gladys Porter Zoo, 500 Ringold St. 956-546-7187; gpz.org

CLUTE: Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29 Planetarium Show The show features a 30-foot dome equipped with a projector to produce the night sky as it appears to the naked eye, together with a large variety of high-tech equipment to give a close-up feel for things like comets, exploding stars, and black holes. Center for the Arts and Sciences, 400 College Blvd. 979-265-3376; brazosportcenter.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Jan. 23 Winter Lecture Series: Go Native for Spring Butterflies Learn exactly which native plants to work into your landscape to attract the prettiest spring butterflies. Remember, natives require less water. Lecture by Dr. Michael Womack, Botanical Gardens executive di- rector and horticulturist. Make some new acquaintances and have a cup of coffee at these enjoyable morning sessions. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852-2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Jan. 26 Winter Lecture Series: Beekeeping for Fun or Profit Local beekeeper Justin Hodge shares the importance of these often misunderstood garden pollinators, how to start a home hive, plus other resources for becoming a backyard beekeeper with products avail- able for purchase. This is a fascinating topic, whether it’s for fun or profit. Enjoy a cup of coffee and meet new friends. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361-852-2100; stxbot.org

CORPUS CHRISTI: Jan. 30 Winter Lecture Series: Landscape Lessons from Hurricane Harvey Nueces County Extension Horticulture Agent Kevin Gibbs re- views the impact of Hurricane Harvey on local trees, landscapes and gardens, recovery information, and how we can prune or replant smarter to better pre- pare for future storms. South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S. Staples St. 361- 852-2100; stxbot.org

FREEPORT: Jan. 21 MLK Day Parade and Celebration Join this celebration of the holiday honoring the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and help perpetuate his memory and the legacy of his achievements for future generations. Parade starts downtown and ends at Free- port Municipal Park. Freeport Municipal Park, 410 N. Brazosport Blvd. 979-297- 2801; mlkcc.org

GALVESTON: Nov. 17-Jan. 6 Festival of Lights Walk a milelong trail along scenic Offatts Bayou and see hundreds of animated and lighted holiday-themed dis- plays. Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd. moodygardens.org

GALVESTON: Nov. 17-Jan. 6 Ice Land at Moody Gardens See more than 2 million pounds of ice carved into colorful animals from the North and South Poles. Slide down the ice slide or enjoy a drink from Shiver’s Ice Bard. Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd. moodygardens.org

GALVESTON: Jan. 6 Galveston Symphony Orchestra in Concert Conductor Dr. Trond Saeverud and the Galveston Symphony Orchestra present their Pops Concert— Russian Capriccios. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765-1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Jan. 12 “The Other Mozart” Sylvia Milo’s award-winning drama is the true, untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus. A prodigy, keyboard virtuoso, and composer who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, Nannerl’s work and her story faded away, lost to history. This one-woman drama is based on stories and comments pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765- 1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Jan. 19-20 The Oak Ridge Boys in Concert The Oak Ridge Boys re- turn to The Grand for their annual concerts featuring a four-part harmony and a string of No. 1 hits from Billboard’s country singles charts. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409- 765-1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Jan. 24 “Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly” Insects rule in the diaries of unlikely best friends: Worm, Spider, and Fly. Worm eats his homework, Fly believes she has superpowers, and Spider can’t wait to grow up and molt. Promoting eco-consciousness, earth science, and tolerance of others, “Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly” is a joyful, hip musical exploration of the world outside. You might just find that a bug’s life is not all that different from your own. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800-821-1894 or 409-765-1894; thegrand.com

GALVESTON: Jan. 26 “Something Rot- ten!” Set in 1595, this hilarious Broadway smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bot- tom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 800- 821-1894 or 409-765-1894; thegrand.com

HARLINGEN: Jan. 14 Winter Texan Fiesta This business expo offers a live concert and giveaways for the more than 5000 Winter Texans who attend. Casa de Amis- tad, 1204 Fair Park Blvd. 956-622-5053; visitharlingentexas.com

HARLINGEN: Jan. 18-20 48th Antique Show and Sale The Women of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church present the 48th Annual Antique Show and Sale with more than 30 dealers of quality antiques including furniture, glassware, toys, and reference books. The event also offers silver repair, replating, and matching. Casa de Amistad, 1204 Fair Park Blvd. 956-202-5961; facebook .com/stalbansantiqueshow

HOUSTON: Jan. 12 Mercury Chamber Orchestra: “Debussy & Ravel: The Flowers of Evil” This compelling new impressionist opera from Antione Plante features new orchestrations created from the music of Debussy and Ravel, and text from Charles Baudelaire’s seminal volume “Le Fleurs du Mal.” This dramatic opera tells the story of a young woman ready to make every sacrifice to help her twin brother become a famous painter. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-533-0800; mercuryhouston.org/ 1819-debussy-ravel

HOUSTON: Hops n’ Hot Sauce Festival January 12. Family friendly event bringing hot sauce vendors from across the country.  Jams, jellies,  salsas and other homemade goodies to sample and purchase. Jalapeno eating contest and fiery food challenge hosted by Mikey V’s from Georgetown, TX. Kids 12 and under are free with a free kids area for them to enjoy.  Live music and DJ throughout the day.  Ready eats from local food trucks.  The hops come from Spindletap Brewery where the event takes place. 11am-6pm www.hopsnhotsaucefestival 2819063731

HOUSTON: Jan. 19 MLK Youth Parade— Midtown Houston The 13th annual parade kicks off the 2019 MLK holiday weekend. Midtown Houston, 1200 Holman St. 713- 953-1633; mlkgrandeparade.org

HOUSTON: Jan. 21 MLK Grande Parade— Midtown Houston The 25th annual parade—one of the largest single-day multi- cultural events in the U.S.—is held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The parade route begins on San Jacinto and Elgin streets at 10 a.m. and features more than 300 culturally diverse performing groups from across the nation. This year’s parade theme is “It Takes A Village.” Midtown Houston, 1200 Holman St. 713-953-1633; mlkgrandeparade.org

HOUSTON: Jan. 21 The Original MLK Day Parade Join as the city honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the federal holiday weekend with a commemorative parade and community activities throughout the weekend. Down- town Houston. 713-236-1700; blackheritagesociety.org

HOUSTON: Jan. 23-Feb. 10 “The River Bride” Two sisters in a Brazilian fishing village struggle to find their own happily- ever-after while bound to family honor and tradition. Helena is in love with her sister Belmira’s betrothed; meanwhile Belmira only wants to escape the Amazonian river life for an exciting adventure in the city. Days before the wedding, a mysterious stranger is pulled from the river, offering a tantalizing future that may change both their lives. Brazilian folklore and lyrical storytelling combine to weave a magical tale of love, fate and transformation. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. 713-527-0123; stagestheatre.com

LA MARQUE: Nov. 16-Jan. 6 Magical Winter Lights This 52-day festival is one of the largest holiday lighting events in the Houston area, and the largest lantern festival of its kind in the U.S. The festival features eight fascinating, themed sections including The Kingdom, The Village, The Dino, The East, Houston, The Globe, and the festival’s newest sections: The Ice and The Sea. The Ice section features a second magical castle and shows guests what it is like living in the Ice Sisters’ world. The Sea takes visitors to an undersea world filled with coral, fish, mermaids, and hungry sharks. The festival also includes a Holiday Market Square where guests have a chance to explore the festival food court and shopping areas. Guests have plenty of photo opportunities with appearances by the Ice Sisters and Santa Claus. There are nightly acrobatic performances included in admission, authentic arts and crafts created by skilled Chinese artisans, amusement rides and games, and an expanded dinosaur exhibit complete with dinosaur rides. Gulf Greyhound Park, 1000 FM 2004. 888- 560-5853; magicalwinterlights.com

LAKE JACKSON: Jan. 5 Abner Jackson Plantation Site Tour Visit the historic archeological site of Major Abner Jackson, the namesake of the city of Lake Jackson. Once a prosperous sugar plantation, the site was destroyed by the same hurricane that devastated Galveston. Discover the sugar-making process of the 1840s and how convict labor replaced slave labor during the 1870s. Abner Jackson Plantation Site, FM 2004. 979-297- 1570; lakejacksonmuseum.org

LAKE JACKSON: Jan. 12 John Pizzarelli in Concert Experience the creativity, excitement, and renowned performances that only two phenomenal groups can bring to one stage. The Clarion, 500 College Drive. 979-230-3156; brazosport.edu/clarion

LAKE JACKSON: Jan. 19 Bird Banding Volunteers collect baseline data on bird populations at the sanctuary. The banding station is an excellent opportunity to see birds up close and to learn about all the birds of the Brazosport area. Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 299 W. SH 332. 979- 480-0999; gcbo.org

MONTGOMERY: Deer Lake Lodge and Spa Hosts Guide to Wild Edible Plants Workshop January June 30. Deer Lake Lodge, a local resort and health spa, will host a class with Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, an expert in wild edible plants, Saturday, June 30, 2018. The class will be in conjunction with Deer Lake Lodge’s regular health and cleansing program. Guests will have the opportunity to spend four hours exploring Deer Lake Lodge’s 50-acre Oasis and learn about Texas’ edible wild plants and the basics of foraging, with Merriwether as their guide. Merriwether spends his nights and weekends exploring the wild and by day, he is a Chemist. His blog Foraging Texas is dedicated to edible wild plants; where to find them in Texas, and how they can be used. The class will teach guests how to identify edible and medicinal plants in the wild. He will also show the class how to determine which part of the plant can be safely eaten raw. Along the hike, Merriwether will explain how foraging nature’s wild can help heal the body, mind and soul. 9am  713-588-4130

ROCKPORT: Jan. 12 Second Saturday Art Center Market Member artists exhibit and sell their works. Live music and food truck on site. Downtown Rockport, 106 S. Austin St. 361-205-5178; rockportartcenter.com

ROCKPORT: Jan. 18-20 Rockport-Fulton Market Days More than 100 vendors and live music add extra fun during the third weekend of the month. There are more than a dozen food trucks and food vendors, with seating in the shade for 48 people at this pet-friendly market. The Festival Grounds at Rockport Harbor, 100 Seabreeze Drive. 361- 463-0125; rockportfultonmarketdays.com

ROCKPORT: Jan. 31 Winter Texan Appreciation Day In honor of the special winter guests to the area, come by for refreshments and a meet-and-greet. Special presentations, door prizes, and entertainment are available and the event is open to the public. Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, 319 Broadway St. 361-729-6445; rockport-fulton.org

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Jan. 1 Polar Bear Dip Take a plunge into the Gulf of Mexico at the annual New Year’s Day beach party featuring live music and costume contests. Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill, 6900 Padre Blvd. 956-761-3000; claytonsbeachbar.com/ polar-bear-dip

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Jan. 12 Longest Causeway Run This event follows the 6.2-mile (10K) course starting at the Port Isabel Community Center, continuing on to the Queen Isabella Causeway and over the Laguna Madre Bay, and ending in front of Louie’s Backyard on South Padre Is- land. Awards ceremonies and lunch will be held immediately following the race/ walk. Various locations. 956-761-3000; sopadre.com

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Jan. 22-26 Winter Outdoor Wildlife Expo
Each day features knowledgeable speakers offering different aspects of fishing, birding, boating, beaching, finding butterflies, dragonflies, plants, and other wildlife available on the island, as well as trips to special locations. SPI Birding and Nature Center, 6801 Padre Blvd. 956-761-6801; spibirding.com

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Jan. 31-Feb. 3 SPI Kitefest Enjoy the annual SPI Kitefest on the first weekend in February. The festival features an indoor kite performance along with the outdoor kite festival. South Padre Island Convention Centre and The North Flats, 7355 Padre Blvd. 956-761- 3000; sopadre.com

SUGAR LAND: Nov. 23-Jan. 6 Sugar Land Holiday Lights Enjoy views of more than 2.5 million lights, visits with Santa Claus every night, holiday treats and shopping vendors, and more. Constellation Field, 1 Stadium Drive. 281-207-4487

SURFSIDE BEACH: Jan. 19 Dunes Day Recycle Christmas trees into beneficial sand dunes along the Brazoria County coastline. Stahlman Park, 2211 CR 257. 979-864-1541; brazoriacountyparks.org

SURFSIDE BEACH: Jan. 26 Surfside Beach Food and Art Festival Enjoy a chili cookoff, artisans, craft beer tastings, live music, kid’s carnival games, kite flying, and more. Stahlman Park, 2211 CR 257. 832-434-4529; facebook.com/visitsurfsidebeachtx

TOMBALL: Jan. 5 Narrated Glass Blowing Demonstration Houston’s only open-access studio offers free, narrated glass-blowing demos on the first Saturday of every month except August. Three Dimensional Visions—Glass Blowing Houston, 17442 FM 2920. 281-734-0366; threedimensionalvisions.com

 

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