Press Picks

Museum District Free Day Ten Rice University-area museums have teamed up with Channel 11, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and METRO to immerse Houstonians in culture. See the lyrical beauty of a Matisse painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, listen to the moving and chilling testimony of local Holocaust survivors at the Holocaust Museum, smell the odoriferous splendor of a hot hippo in July at the zoo. Something for everyone, and today, all for free. Buses will circulate all day to provide some rest for the weary. Participants include the Children's Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz, 522-1138; the Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose Blvd., 284-8250; the C.G. Jung Center, 5200 Montrose Blvd., 524-8253; the Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline, 942-8000; the Houston Mu-seum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive (in Hermann Park), 639-4629; the Houston Zoo, 1513 N. MacGregor in Hermann Park, 520-3200; Lawndale Art and Performance Center, 4912 Main Street, 528-5858; the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross, 525-9400; the Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7300; and the Museum of Health and Medical Science, 1515 Hermann Drive, 521-1515.

Summer in the South Dance New Directions Singles will host an old-fashioned dance way down south in the Clear Lake area. Don your favorite blue jeans, pinch your cheeks pink or shine up your shoes, and get ready to dance your heart out to the beat of Fabulous Sounds. But goodness gracious, don't spike the punch! No BYOB allowed at this squeaky-clean function. And the truly evil will have to smoke outside. 8 p.m.-midnight. Beck Hall in St. Paul's Catholic Church, 18223 Point Lookout Drive in Nassau Bay. For more information, call Alicia at (281) 488-8148 or Jean at (281) 474-2649. A $6 donation is requested.

july 13
Roar Tour Driving long distances outside the Loop can be worth it at times. Today, when you have a chance to see 11 bands in seven hours, might be one of those times -- especially when the acts include Sponge, the Nixons, the Reverend Horton Heat and the Bloodhound Gang. Not to mention the scatological humor of Jimmy Pop. 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Clear Lake Beach Club, 3813 NASA Road 1, (281) 326-3066. $27.50.

july 14
Monday night folk dancers Before Billy Ray Cyrus and his achy breaky heart got hold of it, the term "line dancing" conjured images of Greek grandfathers and ecstatic family gatherings. If you've been craving that original delirious thrill, check out this regular gathering. Beginners can learn line dances from Greece, Bulgaria, Hungry -- all places Balkan -- from lead instructor Bud Bearce and his compadre Ada Young. And they'll enjoy the company of other dancers, some experienced, some brand-new to the fancy footwork. 7:3010 p.m. In the building at River Oaks Park, 3600 Locke Lane (near Edloe and Westheimer). $3. Call 723-6332 for more information.

july 15
Boat Show Could there be a more lovely way to spend a summer afternoon than drifting on a balmy bay in your very own yacht? Unfortunately, the closest most Houstonians will ever come to that fantasy is drifting through the George R. Brown Convention Center, ogling all the seaworthy beauties on display during the annual Houston Summer Boat Show. Luxury is not all that's featured: Besides the offshore cruisers, there'll be homelier canoes and runabouts. Shop for trailers and surfboards, or check out the varieties of marine insurance on the market these days. 1-10 p.m. today through Saturday; Sunday, July 20, noon-6 p.m. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Convention Center Blvd., 526-6361. $4.95; $2 for children under 12.

july 16
Notary Public Think of the places you could go, the things you could do if you were a notary. Okay, so it wouldn't change your life that much -- but you would become very popular in the neighborhood and your office-mates would be ever so grateful. Universal Notary Training is offering a one-day, six-hour class to teach you everything you need to become certified. After that, your legal seal and signature will be worth something, literally. Registration, 7:30-8 a.m.; class, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Holiday Inn Select, 2712 Southwest Freeway. $139; price breaks available for multiple registrations. Call (800) 466-8051 for information, instructions and a confirmation number.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth In case you're tired of the same old ferocious tigers, trick elephants, hilarious clowns and astonishing jugglers that the Greatest Show on Earth always brings to town, this year Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey debuts new offerings. First, there is the beautiful blue-eyed Airiana, human arrow extraordinaire. See her launched nightly across the Summit from the "world's largest crossbow." Second, the circus has become interactive. All those holding tickets can come one hour early and try their hands at juggling the balls, swinging on the trapeze and donning a clown suit. More timid ticket holders can simply meet some of the performers. The fun starts tonight at 7:30 and runs through July 27 with 17 action-packed shows. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza. $10-$16.50. For information, call Ticketmaster, 629-3700.

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