December is as solid a month as any to hit the town in Houston, and below you've got a ton (or 23) things to keep you busy. There are concerts, plays, art exhibits, sporting events, and outdoor activities. Know of an event in Houston that isn't listed below but should be? Shoot me an email.
Wednesday, December 10
If you really want to up your lower Westheimer street cred, head out tonight to check Indie-psych rockers Spain Colored Orange, who have developed an enjoyably quirky live show.
Accidentally make reference to their show the following day to your friends and make sure to use the words “sonic” and “ethereal.” You’ll automatically be the hippest accountant in your department.
Thursday, December 11
Vino 100: Champagne Tasting
I’ve never been to a Champagne Tasting –I hear they’re fun, though- so I’m not accustomed to usual prices, but $40 seems a bit much. I mean, with that same $40 I could get 20 Lonestar tallboys and 20 single pattie cheeseburgers. I’m classy like that.
Friday, December 12
Orange Show: Christmas in East End
The Christmas in the East End festival is pretty much exactly the same as a Christmas Festival in, say, River Oaks. Except instead of Santa Claus, Pancho Claus reigns king. And instead of a sleigh, he rides to the show in a lowrider. And instead of Christmas cookies there are Mexican delicacies. But other than that, yeah, it’s exactly the same.
Saturday, December 13
Old Downtown Tomball: German Christmas Market
And since you just reached below the border for a bit of spicy-Christmas yesterday, why not follow it up with a bit more sauerkrauty version by paying a visit to Tomball’s German Christmas Market? It’ll probably be really funny if you keep pronouncing Santa Claus “Santa Clowess.” Surely nobody’s thought of that before.
City of Tomball
200 Market St.
Sunday, December 14
St. Thomas High School: Buffalo Bayou Kayak Tour
Surely you’ve fantasized about kayaking down the majestic flowing grace that is Buffalo Bayou before, and thanks to those wily water enthusiasts at St. Thomas high school you now can. $50 per person gets you everything you’ll need for the trip, except of course the friend with low esteem that you’ll peer pressure into going with you.
Monday, December 15
Alley Theatre: A Christmas Carol (play)
I've really got my fingers crossed that somebody comes up with a stage adaptation to the big screen epic A Christmas Story. In the meantime, A Christmas Carol will have to do, I suppose.
Tuesday, December 16
Toyota Center: New Orleans Hornets vs. Houston Rockets
Catch the new look Rockets as they take on Chauncey Billups and the suddenly relevant Denver Nuggets. Remember, Ron Artest, of Brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills fame, is with the Rockets now, so there’s a slight, slight chance that you may be punched in the face by a professional athlete at the game. Good luck.
Wednesday, December 17
Houston Museum of Natural Science: Body Worlds 2 & The Brain: Our Three Pound Gem exhibit
If you’ve never seen Body World’s before, it really is a must. Essentially, Dr. GvH has “plasticized” more than 200 human specimens, removing their skins and exposing the “machine which winds the springs” for the world’s gawking eyes. Do not underestimate the creepiness of this exhibit. Price is $17-25 dollars.
Thursday, December 18
Toyota Center: Concert
You’d be hard pressed to find a rapper more relevant right now than Lil’ Wayne. (Kanye West may have something to say about that assertion, though.) You’d also be hard pressed to find a rapper more idiosyncratic that Lil’ Wayne. (Kanye West may have something to say about that assertion, too.) He’ll be in concert tonight with Keyshia Cole and the annoyingly auto-tuned chorus king T-Pain. Check him out.
Friday, December 19
Houston Museum of Natural Science- The Birth of Christianity: A Jewish Story
The press release bills this as a display of ancient scrolls, objects, and artifacts that allows “the story of two of the world’s most influential religions [to] unfold,” but the real entertainment will probably come from counting how many tools make really edgy and clever Mel Gibson jokes. The over/under is set at 14 1/2, by the way.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Saturday, December 20
Toyota Center: College Basketball Doubleheader
What’s better than seeing the Texas Longhorns lose at anything? Why, seeing the Aggies lose on the same day, of course. See both of them for the price of one at this midday doubleheader. And make sure you mention how the Football Longhorns didn’t make it to the National Championship game. I’m sure their fans will appreciate it.
Sunday, December 21
Reliant Park: Disney on Ice – Disneyland Adventure
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get an aching in my bones to buy my kids a $19* coke. Fortunately, Disney on Ice is in town and they allow me to do just that. It also lets me see androgynous cartoon characters fiddle around on ice skates, which is another hobby of mine.
Monday, December 22
Houston Museum of Natural Science: Photography Exhibit
I won’t lie, I’ve never been terribly interested in looking at pictures of rocks/geographic landscapes/etc, but photographer Michael Collier has some really noteworthy shots of just those things. Give it a whirl, you may come away surprised. Even if you’re not, at least you’ll sound intelligent tomorrow when you tell people that’s how you spent Sunday night.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Wortham Center: The Nutcracker (ballet)
What’s a Christmas season without at least one trip to see the Nutcracker? Unfulfilled is what it is. It’s like going all of Halloween without eating an excessive amount of tiny Snickers candy bars or going to Dallas and not making at least two Tony Romo/playoff failures jokes. It’s your duty, sirs and ma’ams.
Wednesday, December 24
Discovery Green: Outdoor Ice Skating
Ice skating inside is fine for May, but come winter time, it’s an activity that should be done outside. Plus, Discovery Green’s ice rink is (kind of) on a real lake. In your face, fabricated Galleria Mall Ice Skating Rink.
Thursday, December 25
Your House: Family Stuff
Really? You need something to do today? How about this, and I’m just throwing this out there now: take a break from the computer and spend some time with someone that loves you. Watch the parade or the Celtics-Lakers game on TV. If you’ve absolutely just got to get out of the house, Tom Cruise’s Nazi movie comes out today (because nothing says Christmas like anti-Semitism, apparently).
Friday, December 26
Menil Collection: Art and Power in the Central African Savanna
An art exhibit from four African cultures that illustrates the influence of “stylistic changes in power figures,” this place’s probably not the best place to take a kid.
That is, unless your kid happens to have a rooted interest the political, social, and cultural changes of Africa during the nineteenth century. (Don’t they all?)
Saturday, December 27
Verizon Theater: Pink Floyd Laser Show
I’ve always been a fan of psychedelic English rock band Pink Floyd –at least, ever since my dad told me I had to be a fan- so this event was a shoe-in for the Events Calendar.
I mean, it combines Pink Floyd and lasers. What more could you want?
Verizon Wireless Theater
Sunday, December 28
Convention Center: Gun and Knife Show
I’m neither an advocate of guns nor knives, but when said guns are of “high caliber,” well, that changes everything. Seriously, I see regular caliber(?) guns in person maybe once every few months, there’s no way I’m missing out on high caliber guns. I can catch the Texans-Bears highlights on Sportscenter at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m.,8 p.m. or 10 p.m.
High Calibur Gun Show
Monday, December 29
Hobby Center: Always… Patsy Cline
It’s a musical tribute to Patsy Cline. That should be reason enough to see this.
Tuesday, December 30
Reliant Stadium: Texas Bowl (football: Rice vs. Western Michigan)
It might not have the same luster as the Orange Bowl (or even the Sugar Bowl), but last year’s Texas Bowl saw nearly 63,000 people make their way out to the game, so it should be fun regardless of its non-marquee status. If it’s of any consolation, the traffic should be just as bad as it will be at the National Championship game, which is something.
Wednesday, December 31
There are a ton of things to do on New Year’s Eve, but a stop by notsuoH’s to see Ladyheat, Electric Attitude, The Backalley Sluts, Hops, and Sara Van Buskirk should not disappoint. And since rumors are still floating around that this place may close soon, you may want to make your way out there if you never have before it does.