Dream Machine is back on, Hocus Pocus is queued up and ready to go at the Houston Zoo and the Houston Italian Festival is cooking up something good. Family-friendly or all-night art ragers, these are the weekends Houston is known for. Keep reading for more of this weekend's best bets.
Zoovie Nights Series: Hocus Pocus at the Houston Zoo
Friday, 5 p.m.
6200 Hermann Park Drive
Hocus Pocus is undoubtedly the movie of the season. It's Kathy Najime, Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler bringing back more than the undead with this family-friendly showing at the zoo. Dress in costume and show up early to meet the zoo's newest babies; meet Cali the sea lion, two new river hogs born this June, and Joy, the three-month-old elephant. For information, call 713-533-6500 or visit houstonzoo.org/halloween-zoovie-nights/. Free to $18.
Día de los Muertos Art Exhibit at Talento Bilingüe de Houston
Friday, 7 p.m.
333 South Jensen
Calaveras, ofrendas and pan de muerto. Three staples any Día de los Muertos celebration must have. Talento Bilingüe de Houston has hit the mark with all three necessities plus the celebratory art of ten local artists; works will include the techniques of papier-mâché, painting, sculpture and altars made. Round out the evening with the brew best befitting the evening, a Saint Arnold, plus food trucks for the hungry. For information, call 713-222-1213 or visit tbhcenter.com. Free.
Mixed Media Party at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Friday, 8 p.m.
Dress to the nines for your own red-carpet moment during this Friday’s MFAH Mixed Media, because board shorts just won’t do when you’re mixing and mingling around the fabulously sculpted dresses by Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta. DJ Sun always looks for just the right music when curating these events, but he upped his game for this one. “We try to center it around dance music to keep it energized,” says Sun. “This time I wanted to do a DJ that personified fashion and stylishness. I finally landed on Miguel Migs. He’s got great house tracks, great dance music; very stylish as well.” For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. $22 to $25.
Dream Machine near Downtown Houston
Saturday, 6 p.m.
215 Grove Street
Imagine a local, one-night-only mega-event that meant to unify Day for Night, Santa Fe's fantastical Meow Wolf, artist Brion Gysin’s hallucinatory Dream Machinefacebook.com/events/150693075526536. $15 to $40.and a little bit of clandestine goings-on. That’s what Bambull Black, the collective of artists Hannah Bull, Dom Bam and Black Cassidy, are after in their homegrown production, Dream Machine, which this year invited 15 artists to create interactive, tech-inspired and digital installations to anchor the nightlong art party. After being postponed because of Harvey, the party is back on. For information, visit
Houston Italian Festival at Campus Life Mall, University of St. Thomas
Saturday, 11 a.m.
The Houston Italian Festival, now in its 39th year, knows not to mess with a good thing. The four-day celebration of all things Italian still boasts meatballs, Italian classes and wine tasting, but 2017 sees the addition of a new Spaghetti Western Night, featuring a Sergio Leone double feature and live country music (plus $2 off admission if you don a cowboy hat). There’s always a lot to do, but festival spokesperson Margaret Bannon encourages everyone to check out the grape stomp and pasta-eating contest, and to “do your homework so you know what you would like to do, what you would like to see and which food you would like to try!” For information, call 713-524-4222 or visit houstonitalianfestival.com. Free to $25.
The Princess Bride at Studio Movie Grill CityCentre
Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m.
822 Town and Country
Inconceivable! Fathom Events is returning the classic Rob Reiner-William Goldman collaboration The Princess Bride to theaters for a special 30th-anniversary celebration of the beloved 1987 fantasy-comedy. Part of Turner Classic Movies’ Big Screen Classics monthly series, this screening of the catchphrase-heavy cult hit will feature exclusive commentary by TCM hosts Ben Mankiewicz and Tiffany Vazquez, perhaps not unlike a modern-day Peter Falk with Fred Savage. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $13.53.
Bayou City Arts Festival in Downtown Houston
Sunday, 10 a.m.
Since moving to Houston ten years ago, mover and shaker Tony Paraná seems to have collaborated with just about everybody in the local art scene, including Fresh Arts, Houston Arts Alliance, War’Hous, Spring Street and Cultured Cocktails. The Montrose Art Society insider also is the featured artist at this year’s Bayou City Art Festival Downtown. Bridget Anderson, executive director of presenter Art Colony Association, Inc., tells us Paraná channels memories and experiences from his time growing up in Brazil, using mixed media to paint flavorful foods and landscapes. A walking feast for the eyes, the festival includes food trucks, vendors, more than 300 artists and tons of musical entertainment. Plus the weather should be nice, as Anderson says she’s been doing her non-rain dance. For information, call 713-521-0133 or visit facebook.com/houstonartfest. Free to $15.
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The Secret Garden at the Hobby Center
Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
Originally published in 1911, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel would go on to be read by generations of children and taught in countless schools. It told the story of ten-year-old Mary Lennox, whose home has been India up until the time she is orphaned in a cholera outbreak and sent to England, a land that is foreign to her. Eventually, a movie was made about this and more recently a musical was written, and it is that musical, tuts.com $30 to $108., that Theatre Under the Stars is bringing to Houston audiences. For information, call 713-558-8887 or visit
Margaret Downing, Steve Jansen, Vic Shuttee and Susie Tommaney contributed to this post.