Ten Things to Do in Houston for $10 or Less (Eight Free) December 15-21

Band Leader Bear (detail) by Zhenya Rock from the "Gypsy Circus" exhibit at Russian Cultural Center Our Texas.
Band Leader Bear (detail) by Zhenya Rock from the "Gypsy Circus" exhibit at Russian Cultural Center Our Texas.
Photo courtesy of the artist and Russian Cultural Center Our Texas

Consider this the intermission week of December and take a mid-month break from the all-consuming holiday season. Albeit you love everything decadent, sugary and covered in snow, reboot for the final stretch of the holiday season before it really gets kicked into overdrive. Check out University of Houston's modest gallery for a free tour, enter your award-winning chili in a cookoff and keep our military families in mind this time of year. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more then $10 — and eight of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.

Docent-led 2 O'clock Tours
Blaffer Art Gallery
2 p.m. Friday, Free
Are you the Type A personality who typically does the leading, the talking and and any explaining needed? If that's a yes, then take a back seat and let the professional docents at the Blaffer Art Gallery do their job. The docents will guide you through the present works of artist Analia Saban and Blake Rayne while giving insight on each piece on display. Questions are encouraged, but pictures typically are not; enjoy this University of Houston gem because it's not one just for the students.

The palm trees add the perfect touch to the southern Christmas backdrop for cornhole in December.EXPAND
The palm trees add the perfect touch to the southern Christmas backdrop for cornhole in December.
Photo courtesy of MetroNational

Craft Beer and Cornhole Night
The Square at Memorial City
5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Free
Cornhole is the name of the game and there is no skill needed. After a few craft beers, the illusion of skill will have you browsing through Amazon for a cornhole set of your very own. No need to buy one yet, though; hone your skills this Friday at the free event hosted by The Square at Memorial City. And don't worry, should you throw your elbow out trying to go for gold, Memorial Hermann is just a cornhole toss away for you to stop in and get you iced.

Librotraficante, Tony Diaz, is doing his part to save the masses by bringing out his underground libraries for all to see.
Librotraficante, Tony Diaz, is doing his part to save the masses by bringing out his underground libraries for all to see.
Graphic courtesy of Tony Diaz

Aztec Poetry & Music Presentation
Talento Bilingüe de Houston
6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Free
The Tony Diaz slogan is that "Only art can save us," and he's doing his part with Nuestra Palabra to save lives in Houston by bringing his underground library out from hiding. This Friday Diaz will host Aztec Poetry & Music Presentation to illustrate the literary works of the Hispanic community. They will be showcasing the talent of Juan Tejeda and serving free tamales too!

Leave it to Little Woodrow's Midtown to keep a Texas chili cook-off fun and light!
Leave it to Little Woodrow's Midtown to keep a Texas chili cook-off fun and light!

Little Woodrow's Midtown Chili Cook-off
Little Woodrow's Midtown
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Free
Chili with beans? Chili without beans? Come see what Houston prefers at Little Woodrow's Midtown this Saturday. Enter your chili to win some stellar prizes and Houston bragging rights. Judging begins at 6 p.m. but the beer is flowing all day long. Don't forget your Tums, and may the odds be ever in your chili favor.

The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens makes for a scene to be seen.EXPAND
The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens makes for a scene to be seen.
Photo by Rick Gardner in memory of Mary Gardner

Photography in the Gardens of Bayou Bend
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
1:30 p.m. Saturday, $7.50
A picture is worth a thousand words, but an amateur self-taken photograph that you hang on your own gallery wall is priceless. Take the time this Saturday to de-stress from the holiday hoopla and observe a well-manicured photogenic landscape through your very own lens. Also take the time to set your camera to overcast and don't forget your umbrella because you don't want to miss out on the shot of a gentle raindrop resting on your favorite flower this Saturday.



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