By Chris Lane
By Olivia Flores Alvarez
By Angelica Leicht
By Jef Rouner
By Jef With One F
By Jef With One F
By Marco Torres
August 14-15 — Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival
An emphasis on "positive, educational and inspirational" films makes this film festival unique. International and local projects, film seminars and workshops, plus plenty of youth-oriented film-related activities round out the three-day event. Festival-pass prices vary. Admission to all film screenings will be free to the public. There will also be a special "Young Filmmaker's Showcase" spotlighting films made by youth from around the world and other special youth events throughout festival weekend.
Our favorite island city, despite serious damages taken from last year's rumble with Hurricane Ike, has always known how to ensure no one gets bored during the summer. Explore the miles and miles of reopened public beaches, like East Beach, and the fun-loving, crowd-filled Stewart Beach; or take a pleasant ferry ride over to Crystal Beach — pleasant if there's no wait, of course. If saltwater isn't your deal, Schlitterbahn Galveston (2026 Lockheed, Galveston, 409-770-9283, www.schlitterbahn.com/gal) has more than enough freshwater fun to last for weeks.
If you don't want to touch water, period, there's still plenty to do. The Gulf Coast Volleyball Association is having its Open Potion Memorial Madness Tournament on Stewart Beach on May 23 (832-928-4120, www.galveston.com). A little later on East Beach, the American Institute of Architects holds its annual AIA Sandcastle Competition (East Beach, 1923 Boddeker Dr., Galveston, 713-520-0155) on June 6. Texas Beach will be home to the Texas Beach Ultimate Frisbee Fest on May 30, and come and see more than 50 boats race from Galveston during Texas Youth Race Week, July 11 to 16.
Moody Gardens/IMAX Theater, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 800-582-4673, www.moodygardens.com
See an aquarium from the inside out in the Aquarium Pyramid, or maybe check out cutting-edge film experiences like Ridefilm or the 4D Special FX Theater. And, of course, there's the usual fantastic museum exhibits and rainforest displays the Gardens are known for.
Kemah Boardwalk, Bradford Ave. and Second St., Kemah, www.kemahboardwalk.com
This one-of-a-kind Houston-area attraction features nearly a dozen restaurants, an amusement park, and plenty of boardwalk strolling and shopping. On August 1, the Salsa on the Boardwalk party kicks off.
611 Shepherd Dr.
Watch six teams of the toughest ladies around knock each other around and off the track in some of the wildest athletic action our city has to offer.
Houston Zoo, 1513 N. MacGregor, 713-533-6500, www.houstonzoo.org
Admission is free on July 4 and Memorial Day.
Greyhound Park, 1000 FM 2004 Rd., LaMarque, 409-986-9500, www.gulfgreyhound.com
Follow your internal electric bunny to the world's largest racing operation of its kind. Don't forget 50 Cent Thursdays — the rapper won't be racing, but after 6 p.m. hot dogs, beer, popcorn and soda will be two for a buck, plus dollar margaritas.
The race track reopened in early May after taking a time out for several months following Hurricane Ike. Come cheer on the return of the racing horses and maybe get lucky when you place a few bets. Stop by the Winner's Circle Restaurant or grab a hotdog trackside. Even when the horses aren't running, they're running — via simulcast racing on dozens of television screens. And don't forget the live concerts throughout the summer.
SplashTown, 21300 IH 45 N, Spring, 281-355-3300, www.splashtownpark.com
Dozens of other rides and slides make our city's largest water park a must-do attraction every year.
Traders Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Rd., 281-890-5500, www.tradersvillage.com
Bay Forest Golf Club, 201 Bay Forest Dr., La Porte, 281-471-4653, www.bayforestgolf.com
The Battleground at Deer Park, 1600 Georgia Ave., Deer Park, 281-478-4653
BlackHorse Golf Club, 12205 Fry Rd., 281-304-1747, www.blackhorsegolfclub.com
Eagle Pointe Golf Club, 12440 Eagle Pointe Dr., Mont Belvieu, 281-385-6666, www.eaglepointeonline.com
Hermann Park Golf Course, 2155 N. MacGregor, 713-526-0077, www.hermannparkgc.com
Memorial Park Golf Course, 1001 E. Memorial Loop Dr., 713-862-4033, www.houstontx.gov/municipalgolf/memorial
Redstone Golf Club, 5860 Wilson Rd., Humble, 281-459-7800, www.redstonegolfclub.com
Tour 18 Houston, 3102, FM 1960 East, Humble, 281-540-1818, www.tour18golf.com
Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda, 713-413-3400, www.wildcatgolfclub.com
Check for all of your favorite parks at www.houstontx.gov/parks:
Buffalo Bayou Park, which includes Eleanor Tinsley Park, carves a scenic, meandering trail parallel to Allen Parkway. The Waugh Bridge Bat Observation is not to be missed.
Cullen Park, 19008 Saums Rd.
People looking for a decent bicycle trail in a city park frequent Cullen Park, which is more than 10,500 acres.